Friday, July 31, 2009

1.15 Homecoming

Follow along! The episode guide for “Homecoming” is in Finding Lost, pp. 94-98.

Chah-lie’s second flashback is a heartbreaker… this one speaks to the heart of what Charlie is all about. All his life he’s been told he can’t take care of anyone, when all he seems to DO is take care of everyone. He threw his sobriety away to help Liam, he made him what he was, and now he’s trying to save Claire. But it always ends badly when Charlie manages to screw up somehow. I LOVED his character in this ep. That photocopier scene is yet another comedy classic from Dominic Monaghan. And the scene of him at the dinner table explaining that there’s been a problem with royalties while finally admitting to Lucy’s father (and himself) that DriveShaft is over, is very poignant.

Fun things I noticed:
• I remember at the time wondering that if the last memory she had was the plane, is it possible she died in the crash and we’ve always been looking at ghost Claire? Pregnant ghost Claire? Hm… people have always theorized that Claire may be dead at one point or another, and considering her recent disappearance…
• Someone asked in a previous episode why I didn’t point out Ethan’s superhuman strength. I talked at length about it in my book and I’m trying not to repeat what I said in the book here, but that’s definitely something that all of the Others possess – even Juliet lays a smackdown on Kate in Left Behind that is superhuman.
• Jin and Sun once again refer to the survivors as “others” followed immediately by a scene where Claire does the same thing.
• I still love the little in-joke about Ricky Gervais’s The Office, when Lucy says her dad’s buying a paper company in Slough. Teehee!!
• I still love how Sayid looks at Boone hesitantly when Boone steps up to volunteer as sentry (and the fatherly way Locke says he believes in him…)
• As I explain in my book, it’s actually Steve who dies… Scott is standing right there at the funeral.
• I think this might be the only time we see a flashback that cuts right back to a character (without a whoosh) making some reaction to what they just remembered. Charlie’s face is CLASSIC.
• I STILL can’t figure out why it took a full minute for most of the people with guns to make it over to Claire. If she was never in any danger, why does Jack go mano-a-mano with Ethan without anyone rushing in to help?
• I think I said this in my book, but Penny also lived in Knightsbridge, like Lucy. However, what I didn’t notice earlier was when Charlie’s standing on the doorstep, it looks like the country behind him. Correct me if I’m wrong, anyone reading from London, but isn’t Knightsbridge that area right around Harrod’s, and all of it is city blocks?

Things that have new meaning:
• Charlie deems Ethan the bad guy: even from the beginning, people are either good or bad, and that’s the only way they’re characterized. Yet in the season 2 finale, Ben defines the Others as the good guys.
• When we later see Ethan – as a hardworking doctor who was sent on a mission by Ben – his creepiness and threats in this episode seem a little baffling. Were the writers simply still trying to figure out what to do with the Others?
• Locke and Jack argue about whether to tell everyone or not. Jack’s reactionary, Locke says let’s stop and think for a bit. This conversation mirrors the one Sawyer has with Jack at the end of “Namaste,” where he tells him that Jack’s reactionary leadership led to the deaths of many people, but instead Sawyer thinks things through first.
• Jack puts his hand affectionately on Claire’s shoulder as he leads her away… almost in a brotherly sort of way…


Joan Crawford said...

Pregnant Ghost Claire. You have officially blown my mind with those three words.

Paithan1 said...

So, Jack is afraid to put guns in untrained hands because it could lead to someone getting shot accidentally...much like Ana Lucia (a trained cop) kills Shannon?

Sawyer was right when he said it was Steve that got killed & Hurley is still mixing 'em up. Except as I read the part in your book re: this, I got super confused & wonder who messed up!

I feel so bad for Charlie the addict; I find it incredibly painful to watch.

Pregnant Ghost Claire? Hmmm...

Kate said...

Wow, I lucked out on checking up on the rewatch this early in the morning! Wooh!

This one made me feel really sad for Charlie. :( He's never really been one of my favorite characters but I've always had a soft spot for him, he's really sweet and funny even if he lies almost as often as Kate. =P

**The photocopier scene was hilarious, although it was also kind of painful to watch. Poor Cha-lee!

**I noticed the "others" referencing too! It was especially chilling to me to hear Jin say (I'm not sure if it was this episode or not--I've been doing a LOT of rewatching as of late) "This happened to me because of what the 'others' have done." Wow Jin, truer words have never been spoken--and you don't even realize what you're saying!

**I really appreciated Locke's reassurance of Boone in this episode, even though I hate Locke's guts--I still find times where I appreciate what he does for the other people on the island (at least in the first season...). BUT I hated his conversation with Jack about what they should do, he made it sound like Jack was a complete idiot for suggesting that they go after Ethan. Jack is reactionary and at times he annoys me for it--but even more so annoying to me is how Locke treats Jack during that scene like he's a small child running around with "sharp sticks". As far as I remember--Locke is the one with the sharp sticks and Jack is the one with guns...if Locke had just listened to Jack instead of vetoing any action right off the bat, Steve/Scott might not have died. Jack's idea clearly wasn't going to work--but Locke's didn't either, if they had just discussed things they could have come up with the bating plan on the first day and saved a life.

**All throughout this rewatch I've been noticing Jack's interactions with Claire and cooing at how cute it is even though they don't actually know they're brother and sister yet. Although I did realize something interesting about "Do No Harm" (I know we haven't gotten there yet, but, I'll forget by then if I don't say it now). It really caught me off guard and seemed strange when Jack so easily brushed off Claire having a BABY in the middle of the jungle with an untrained woman, especially since the whole episode was about him "letting go"...he clearly let go very easily of that situation and it seems un-Jacklike. Usually he tries to do everything and be everywhere at once and seemed like the writers were concocting a situation so that Jack couldn't deliver the baby. And then I realized it was potentially awkward for Jack to deliver the baby, seeing as she's his SISTER. Made a lot more sense then. Yeah but, Nikki--I've been loving all those little tender moments between them. :D

Ali Bags said...

@Nikki - you are correct, Knightsbridge is that area around Harrods, a super expensive area to live in. It does have parks though, maybe that was what was behind Charlie (although we all know it was filmed in Honolulu!)

At last some accents that didn't make me cringe - were a lot of these actors actually British? Although I'm not 100% sure about Lucy.

I notice Jack's back to being a dick in this episode - being all controlling over the guns.

And how did Ethan kill Scott/Steve? Did he come from the sea? Use that boat the Others have? Wouldn't someone have heard it?

Azá said...

Nice recap Nikki and thanks for the posts - still continuing to enjoy the rewatch - its certainly ramping up and plots are developing!

Kate said...

Ali, you just reminded me that I was angry at Jack a little bit during this episode too! I already ranted about Locke, but Jack was a bit idiotic again too. Between them, if they'd just both stopped vetoing every idea that wasn't there own and thought about things, discussed things, made compromises, things would have worked out much better and much easier. But then again, I guess they wouldn't have had the epic rivalry they do if they were both able to do just sit down and talk things out...

And also about the guns, I just remembered that I was especially pleased with Sawyer in this episode in his dealings with Kate. I wasn't angry at Jack not letting her come because I understand that he genuinely thought they were out of guns and it obviously makes sense that no one should go unarmed, but I was pleased that Sawyer actually piped up and let her come. I appreciate it when guys treat woman like equals. "If the lady wants to come, let her come." Amen Sawyer!

I remember being very torn in the beginning between Kate/Sawyer and Kate/Jack. I'm definitely a Jater now, but back then...I must say I leaned to and fro. =P

Rebecca T. said...

I dunno... can a ghost give birth?

Somehow, after my first watching of Lost I came away liking Ethan. So did my sister. Then we rewatched the series with my parents and were both like, Why on EARTH did we like him?

The dialoge between Jin and Sun about the baby is even more poignant when you know that they had recently discovered they couldn't have children.

More later... I have to run

J.W. said...

If I ever become a tv writer, I'm requesting Dom for my show. He takes everything the writers give him and turns it into gold.

I don't know about Steve/Scott or Sceve, but I do know the page in Finding Lost where Nikki tries to explain the situation only to nearly confuse herself is the funniest page in the book. ("I give up.") Also the picture of "Charlie" with the Drive Shaft "fans" is my favorite photo in the book.

I think Ethan's behavior here (abducting pregnant girls, murdering people, and threatening to kill Charlie two or three times) makes Ben's future statement, "We're the good guys" all the more funny. I won't say anything more here, but I'm beginning to get suspicious that Ben occasionally lies.

Ali Bags said...

@Katey I just remembered that I was especially pleased with Sawyer in this episode in his dealings with Kate.

I think the writers were setting us up for the Sawyer/Kate bonding session in the next episode!

Of course, If jack had been more honest about his feelings and less ridiculously controlling he could have had Kate from the beginning.

A long long time ago, I used to be a Skater but now I couldn't care less who Kate ends up with! (I disliked Kate a bit less back in season 1, but it's around this point that she starts to really bug me - and my Jack hate begins)

Rebecca T. said...

@J.W.: I won't say anything more here, but I'm beginning to get suspicious that Ben occasionally lies.

Funniest. Comment. Ever.

Okay, on to the rest of my thoughts for this ep.

I noticed some striking similarities between Charlie and Sawyer in this episode. Here Charlie is pulling a long con at the urging of a shady "business associate". He also falls in love with his mark, but then sabotages everything by following through with the con, thereby destroying any chance of happiness with the girl.
Hmmmmmm...... What if Lucy got pregnant......

I had a major bone to pick with Locke in this ep. When Jack wants to go after Ethan, saying they can track him, Locke's comment is We know how well that turned out last time.
That point is completely irrelevant! Last time, Ethan had 2 hostages. This time he has no one. Last time they almost caught him and would have if they didn't have to save Charlie. This time Ethan doesn't have that kind of leverage.
I don't understand what Locke was thinking. Did he expect them to stand sentry every night into eternity? Did he think Ethan would give up after one failed attempt? I mean, it's just stupid.

It was so WEIRD seeing Jack and Locke working somewhat together and actually having a balanced and respectful conversation.

Can I just say I absolutely love the music playing in the background when Charlie is demonstrating the copier.

I love how they just give Kate a gun in this episode. Does no one remember that she claimed to not know anything and that she acted as though she couldn't even release the clip or anything?

Also, I know Ethan seems to have super strength, so why does Jack have little problem overpowering him this time? He has him under control before the other Losties find their ridiculously long way over to him.

Gillian Whitfield said...

I LOVED the photocopier scene! That was AWESOME! Definitely my favourite scene of the episode. Dominic was a great actor in this episode.

I have to admit, even though I knew that Charlie was going to shoot Ethan, having seen the episode more than a few times, I still jumped when Charlie shot Ethan.

Pregnant Ghost Claire? Anything is possible on Lost.

Fred said...

Nikki, what you wrote about Charlie deeming Ethan the bad guy. This black/white system of morality and the way the story confuses it, with characters becoming both good and bad reminds me of Wim Wender's "Wings of Desire." The angels see the human world through sepia tone monochrome, and how when they become human they see in colour. When I first watched LOST, I thought like a lot of viewers it was about Purgatory, and when the Others appeared , I thought, great like they are angels helping the survivors finish the journey. Obviously, that got blown out the door with the other seasons.

Now I am wondering if Jacob is an angel, or even if just the "Esau" figure is his angel, the one who wrestled with him (as told in the OT). Still fits the black/white theme and all that religious content, like when Charlie was laid on the ground the woven rope around his neck acted like a halo/crown of thorns round his head (this idea has been well worked by so many other audience members).

Susan said...

Lostpedia has a long article explaining the Steve/Scott thing, if anyone wants the link let me know and I'll look it up, but basically the Steve-actor played Scott's dead body, and Scott-actor took over as Steve. It seems to have been a mistake that the producers didn't catch.

Leading up to this episode we wonder how the Charlie of the Moth flashbacks becomes an addict. In this episode we see him blaming Liam for hooking him on the drugs. Well, sorry dude, you were alone in the room and no one forced you to pick up the heroin and start using. I was a little disappointed in that scene, though I can't say how it could have been done better.

Rebecca T. said...

@Susan: Maybe it's just me, but I never took that scene with Charlie in the dressing room to be the one where he started using. The way he picks up the drug packet and looks in the mirror and becomes overwhelmed made me just think he was thinking how the drugs had destroyed his brother. We don't actually see him use them there. I felt it was more of a gradual process and we never see the moment when he actually gives in.

Is there anything to discount this that I've missed?

Susan said...

Yours is a reasonable assumption. I assumed they wanted us to show him starting the habit in that scene because we do eventually see what Kate did and how John got paralyzed and I figured this scene was doing the same with Charlie, explaining how he became the way he was when we meet him.

Anonymous said...

I’m thinking Ethan could have used one of the Other's canoes to slip in by water, however, I’m not convinced Ethan was the killer. They say Scott/Steve had a broken neck, both arms and all the bones in his fingers were broken. That sounds more like torture. The question is; who was trying to discover what information? Either TPTB did not have a handle on Ethan for awhile or maybe some other Other, or Not Jacob, or even time travel Locke did the torture. Heck at this point it wouldn’t surprise me to find out it was “future” Sayid, he has those skills as we have already seen. I’m trusting that TPTB did know the ending and started early salting in details to be revealed when we aren’t expecting them. Likewise, they had to mess around and we got the unhelpful season 3.

I am also a little startled how they mention time passing. At some point it is said they have been there about a month, but Charlie is upset because Claire has been missing almost two weeks! She’s been gone nearly half the time they have been on the island, but no one is looking for her or doing much in the way of protecting everyone else.

One more random thought, at the funeral they say that Scott won his trip to Australia as a sales prize from an internet company. Two thoughts come to mind. First, perhaps he wasn’t there by accident, perhaps he was sent by Widmore and recognized by some “Other”. The other alternative that came to mind is that he is internet savvy and has some knowledge about the island that the Others would like to extinguish. Perhaps they thought the knowledable guy was Scott, but it was really Steve:)

Oh, and of course Locke doesn’t want any searching to go on, someone else would find his hatch!


JennM said...

This Scott/Steve business is slightly confusing. I have Nikki's book downstairs–I'll have to re-read this section.
Do you think that the Scott Steve switch is significant?
Also I love the idea of Scott "winning a prize." If anyone (or any force) were trying to get specific people on the plane that would crash on the island, what better way than to offer a free trip! So simple it's scary!

Casey S. Pitman said...

It's painful to watch Charlie's flashback in this episode. I really feel for him here.

I've always loved the copy machine scene, but this time around I was struck by the crazy circus music that is playing during that scene. It really is a tragic scene - the junkie is trying very hard to go straight - but it never feels that heavy with music like that. I can't remember hearing anything else like it in the series.

'Tis all for this episode. It's nice to be caught up with everyone else.

I really miss Charlie...

The Rush Blog said...

His murder of Ethan in this episode really disgusted me. He called himself protecting Claire, when she didn't need his protection at the time of Ethan's death. I believe that the true reasons that Charlie murdered Ethan were two fold - he wanted payback for Ethan's actions in "Raised by Another" and "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues"; and he wanted to prove to himself that he can "take care" or "save" someone.

I was so disgusted by Charlie that I could barely finish watching this episode.

The Rush Blog said...

Locke and Jack argue about whether to tell everyone or not. Jack’s reactionary, Locke says let’s stop and think for a bit. This conversation mirrors the one Sawyer has with Jack at the end of “Namaste,” where he tells him that Jack’s reactionary leadership led to the deaths of many people, but instead Sawyer thinks things through first.

What bullshit! I hated that scene from "Namasate". Sawyer was both right . . . and wrong. Yes, Jack can be reactionary. And he can also think things through. Just like Sawyer. If Sawyer honestly thought he was a better leader than Jack, then he was experiencing an ego trip.