And now we find ourselves at the end of season 2. Season 1 was all about the crash, the victims, who these people actually were, and how they were going to get off the island. With one exception of course – John Locke, who was determined to stay ON the island. Now, in season 2, Locke’s opened his hatch, and inside wasn’t the hope he was looking for… just a place with a crazy Scot that Jack eventually took over and assumed as his own, and a button that Locke was going to be beholden to for the next few weeks. The power struggle between Locke and Jack took up much of the first half of the season. It was a bit jumbled, but still fun, and we continued to learn more about the other characters.
The Tailies added a group of new characters, but again that was a bit troublesome, because they didn’t all have a place. As they began their trek, they consisted of Ana Lucia, Libby, Eko, Bernard, and Cindy. Cindy didn’t even make it to the beach, and AL and Libby will be dead before the season’s out. Eko will only last 5 episodes beyond that. The only one who fit was Bernard, who is married to Rose, and while some people think they’re extraneous characters, they have their place in the show and are important in their own right.
And then Henry Gale came. Michael Emerson is one of the great actors on television today (and the Emmys actually got it right for once). Lost is one of my all-time favourite shows, and the first season is fantastic, yet I was sitting there counting down the episodes until Henry Gale would finally make his appearance. And what an appearance it was. The second half of season 2 is so much fun to watch in retrospect because of what we now know. We know Gale is lying; we know Sayid is right; we know what’s going to happen; we know who’s going to die and who will live. “Lockdown” was one of those edge-of-your-seat episodes of TV for me when it first aired, and now that I know what’s going to happen, it’s more of an episode where I sit there going, “No, John, don’t do that! Don’t believe Cooper! Don’t believe Ben! Go on your damn picnic!” (You, Hurley, on the other hand… please don’t go on a picnic.)
As Gale proves himself to be a liar, Locke is caught, not knowing what to believe. In season 1, it was so easy for him to believe in the island. But now the island is letting him down, and he doesn’t know what to do. Eko is the one who attempts to come to his rescue, at the island’s behest. But it doesn’t work out, and Locke becomes the Jack to Eko’s Locke, refusing to believe him, trying to convince him the button doesn’t work. Locke is more obsessive than Jack, though: where Jack was more like, “Fine, whatever, old man. Do what you want, I’m OUTTA HERE,” Locke recruits Desmond to help him out and prove to Eko that what he was doing was wrong.
In season 1, Locke had discovered a window in the ground, and he believed hope resided within it. He interpreted it in a way the others didn’t. Now, after seeing the Pearl video, he no longer believes in it. Eko, on the other hand, watched the video and realized that Locke was wrong, that the Swan station was the psychological experiment, but the PEARL was – people were put in chairs, made to believe that they were watching people in the Swan station fulfilling a meaningless task. But it was the people in the Pearl who were doing the meaningless task – their pneumatic tubes were ending up in a clearing, not at any HQ, and someone (most likely Mikhail at the Flame station) was watching THEM watch other people. That’s what Eko saw, and he became even more convinced he was right. Locke, on the other hand, lost his faith completely.
The final episode was confusing at the time, but in retrospect contains many of the elements that have made the rest of the series so compelling – Widmore, Desmond, Ben as Leader, the hatch, Radzinsky, the statue, the island’s beginnings… from the end of season 2 to where we are now, we’ve been chasing the answers to the questions that wonderful finale posed. And now, with season 3 next week, we’ll start finding some of the answers.
What did you think of season 2 as a whole? Did it work for you? What was it like seeing it in the context of season 5?
Just a note that if you HAVE been following along in Finding Lost (which is the intent of this entire rewatch… the notes I’m putting up on the site are just talking about the eps in relation to later seasons, but the actual books have very detailed analyses of the eps), then it’s time to pick up a copy of Finding Lost — Season 3, which is where we’ll begin next week! Polar bear cages and fish biscuits, here we come!