Thursday, August 20, 2009

2.03 Orientation

Follow along! The episode guide for “Orientation” is in Finding Lost, pp. 178-183.

While admittedly I grew a little tired of seeing that scene of Desmond holding the gun to Locke AGAIN while Kate hid in the shaft AGAIN and Jack yelled at Locke AGAIN, it’s awesome to watch this episode and see things for the first time that seem like old news to us now. That orientation video… the food store… Desmond’s crazy eyes.

Fun things I noticed:
• In the anger management class, one of the steps written on the blackboard to “transforming your anger” is “re-wire your hot button.” Locke’s hot button becomes the Execute one, and when he tries to re-wire it (as in, not push it)… ka-boom.
• I don’t think we ever actually see Locke smoke in a flashback, do we? The way Terry O’Quinn was holding the cigarette in his mouth made it look like he’s not a smoker, either. Then again, neither am I, so I could be wrong on that.
• What exactly was Helen doing in an anger management class? She seems like one of the calmest and most together people on the planet.
• Terry O’Quinn = brilliance.
• Why would Jack just hold a gun to Desmond’s head? Jack seriously goes off the rails in this episode, but then seems to go back to normal by the next one.

Things that have new meaning:
• “There was . . . an incident.” That orientation video is awesome to watch after having seen season 5. You see Radzinsky’s model in it (though the tiny computer has been added); Chang has the prosthetic arm after his arm was crushed in the accident; you realize that the Swan station had to be reimagined after what happened.
• The orientation film is dated 1980, so it took them 3 years to get their act together and fill in the place after the incident.
• Desmond mentions that every time he walks by that wall, his fillings hurt. Interesting that in “Some Like It Hoth,” Alvarez is killed when one of his fillings shoots out of his tooth and through his brain. Desmond needs to stop walking by that wall!
• In “316,” when Eloise is telling Jack to give Locke something that belonged to Christian, she says, “That’s why it’s called a leap of faith, Jack.” That line is an echo of Helen and Locke’s lines in this episode.
• I had completely forgotten that Jack was the first person to push the button. Ironic, considering that if Miles is right, then Jack is the reason they’re pushing the button in the first place!


Gillian Whitfield said...

First post! Before Dr Chang referenced the Incident, I was slouching on the couch, when he did, immediately I sat up straight and rattled off what the Incident was. This was the one scene I was looking forward to the most in this episode.

Fred said...

Desmond running for the boat is so Gilligan's Island--get off the island but leave the castaways behind. But really, once I'd found a replacement, I sure would be out of there. And given one of them held a gun to me (i.e. Jack), I wouldn't be inclined to tell them I had a sail boat. Which makes me kinda wonder--Jack!!! Wake up, the guy is telling you he's getting off the island!! Oh sorry, you're in reliving the trauma of losing Sarah. Never mind, just curl into the foetus position and whimper. (Sheesh, didn't Jack ever hear about therapy?)

Notice how the promt on the computer looks like a little sad face :<.

When John is left on his own in the hatch, the counter counting down, this time the tension builds, knowing that it really could go up in smoke (or bright purple light). It is another instance of "Live together, or die alone."

Joan Crawford said...

@Fred - Cute! It does look like a little sad face. Smile, little computer, it isn't your fault, you were just programmed that way! And Jack can be such 14 year old can't he? "Nothing's wrong!" *SNIFFLE*

@Nikki - Terry O'Quinn was amazing in this episode and I love Helen. What a cool, hip lady she is. Exactly what Locke needs...too bad about all that. Maybe she has been in therapy for years and years and that is what makes her so calm and cool? Like an alcoholic that goes to meetings still even though they have been sober for 8 years.

JW said...

Nikki, I like your comment in your book that Jack seems to take personal offense to the whole button saving the world thing and gets all upset because of it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but at the beginning of this episode I believe the "Previously on Lost" flashback of the Tale people making their first appearance is a new shot and not the shot from the end of the previous episode. I guess the editor wanted us to have a clear shot of Mr. Eko and company rather than the backlit shot from Adrift.

The Question Mark said...

LOCKE: "Yeah, well, Francine feels a bit too much if you ask me."

Amazing. I love you, Terry.

@Fred: yeah, they say Desmond is crazy, but right now Jack is the one acting like a total nutcase! Desmond full out says, "I'm getting away from this island. Goodbye." And Jack's just pointing his gun (as if Des is any kind of threat in that jungle scene) and whining about, "Ohhh, wah wah, why aren't you skeptical, like me? Wah wah wah! It doesn't matter who I married! My life is sad! Wah wah!"

LOL Jack is a good guy, but his attitude really ticks me off sometimes.

Seeing Marvin Candle again is great, knowing how important he becomes in Season 5. The first time I ever saw this, i didn't even notice the prosthetic arm/hand.
Also, I'd forgotten how HOT Ana Lucia is!

Azá said...

@ Nikki: Totally agree, that repeat scene nearly tipped me on this encounter, how annoying indeed!

You'd think even now we have had 14/17 episode seasons and that Darlton have said we can cram more in,; this makes me wonder, what just write it normally (joke!). I'd guess that maybe they wanted to stall a little bit to see what's happening with the show in terms of duration?

@ Fred: That's where Dessy was running. Thank you, I can't believe when I watched it that I wondered, where the hell is he runnign to!? I'd have probably figured by the time we next see Dessy in the finale, but you've helped ease my mind a few weeks before we get there!

All have mentioned Terry too, and indeed there was some sublime acting. I think Matthew Fox demonstrates quality acting too here as well as Sawyer (in the next ep anyway!). He does seem really, really p!$$£d throughout the entire ep, but is great how he gets upset when catching Dessy on the run.

I caught that Nikki, too, with the filling, great line and great continuity. I think this was the first ep for Edward and Adam? They wrote a few eps in season 5 and I really like their eps, they are almost up there with Darlton's :)

I think this show has uniquely demonstrated a Möbius strip narrative, especially with all the lines we hear Locke speaking and just generally behaving. Jack is almost exactly the same as Locke in S05 in a converted way, Vis-à-vis, redemption. Which brings me onto what I really noticed...

When they almose purposeflly showed us on the "previously on Lost" into, and Dessy saying "see you in another life yeah". It clicked...

This is almost the first shot (I believe?) of seeing two characters from the island connect in the outside world ending up on the island and the line just cut to "see you in another life, yeah?" jumped out with a new translative meaning.

I think it's about Game Theory. A place where people are brought to for redemption (as supported in my comment above about Jack) and all their almost seemingly unoticed connections in the outside world leading up to the island means that they are all in the game together.

The new Dharma videos from Comic Con sprang to mind when watching the Orienentation clip and how it was founded etc, plus additions from how human experiments etc take place (Comic Con vid) about people being special. The video says "they walk amongst us, but they are not one of us". This is Jacks tatoo, right? This means all our Losties are special and are taking part in the (grander) Dharma experiments, with the smaller stuff looking more 'for show'. I think Dharma struck a deal with Jabob and Esau, allowing them to bring people to the island to run the experiments, while they also harness it's unique properties.

Think I'll stop there, but this is what's beginning to jump out at me more and more, especially with all the similar, if not, identical lines we've heard many characters saying (e.g. Locke's Helen and Eloise).

Thoughts :)

Anonymous said...

Ah, the things you notice in hindsight! Such as when Jack skeptically questioned Desmond about having been down there three years pushing a button every 108 minutes - "Where do you get food?" And...Desmond doesn't answer the question! And nobody pursues it. You'd think that would be foremost on everyone's mind - the pantry only holds enough, as Hurley says in the next episode, to feed one man for three months. How has he survived for three years? If I'd been on that island for two months eating nothing but fish and fruit, I'd sure as hell want to know the answer to that question!

variabull said...

Reyes DestinyGravity

So has anyone kept track of how many times someone has tripped, fallen or dropped something to get to a plot point. In this episode it was Desmond tripping as he was running away from the Swan so Jack could catch up with him and have his moment of recognition and emotion and get to be all weepy, as Jack is intense you know. (Note to Jack, where do you think Des is running to. Maybe his crashed boat on the reef is serviceable. He just told you about his boat 40 minutes ago. As Ben might say,"Don't you listen?") Recent season 1 episodes it was Shannon tripping in the jungle before "Walt" showed up. Boone dropping the flashlight to find the Swan hatch, Hurley tripping to find "the numbers" printed on the Swan. I could go on and on. So is this "the hand of fate" or the whisperers? Until we know differently I thought we could coin a term for it. From Minkowski we have Spacetime. How about DestinyGravity? And lets name it Reyes DestinyGravity since Hugo "Hurley" Reyes has made falling down on Lost an art form.

As for Helen and anger management she does manage to rear-end Locke's VW and throw his car keys over the Cooper mansion security wall. That might be a sign of a wee temper.

Susan said...

This episode introduces one of my favorite minor characters -- Pierre Chang aka Candle/Wickmund/Halliwax. I just thought it was cool how he pops up in episodes unexpectedly with yet another Dharma video. Then in season 5 we actually get to meet him.

I loved Desmond's simple summing up of his 3 years down in the hatch.

Hurley is starting to be the voice of doom. Last season Jack says things could be worse, Hurley says How, and the island proceeds to answer him. Now he says It's about time things are finally returning to normalness, enter Kate running in, looking for Sayid to fix an emergency.

variabull said...

How did our intrepid group of survivors manage to miss finding Desmond's sailboat for 44 days. Wouldn't Sayid, Hurley, Jin, Charley and Jack walked right past it on their way to Danielle's hole in the ground? Weren't there about 4 or 5 excursions by various survivors past where we have surmised the boat was moored?

The Shout said...


It's not just The Losties who managed to miss the it. In The Glass Ballerina Ben reacts with complete surprise when told about the boat.

How the hell did they not see it the 3 years in was there? And if they did why did they steal it for themselves?

variabull said...

Why steal the Elizabeth for themselves. Isn't Ben all about power and strategy. Stealing it denied the 815 survivors a means to find the Others (I think that was Denise's contribution to plot exposition) and would keep his own people from doing a 305/325 skidoo if they accidently came upon the sailboat (Man from Tallahassee plot exposition from Ben about why he needed a Galaga without a big hole in it).

But then doesn't an overworked Other deserve to just kick back and get away from it all from time to time. Pack a picnic basket and sail around in circles in a 57' $500,000 yacht with say... his favorite "Blondie", and a bottle of 60 year old scotch.

EvaHart said...

I was so glad that we finally got some answers (admittedly not many) after watching the scene in the hatch again.
After all that has happened watching the orientation video was amazing, and when Locke says "We've got to watch that again" I was in total agreement.

I was a bit annoyed at how perfectly Desmond remembered his meeting with Jack but I don't suppose it really matters, there are bigger issues and questions going on.

Great acting from Terry O'Quinn in the flashbnacks, they have to be the best ones, tying closely with Sayid.

On a kind of unrelated note, today while I was in London I visited the Faraday museum (I couldn't resist!) There was sadly nothing about time travel but a lot of information on electromagnetism....Very intersting!

The Shout said...


Lol.Maybe Tom would enjoy a weekend cruise with his boyfriend and I can definately imagine Juliet in a bikini taking inthe sun but its hard to picture Ben catching some rays on deck.

I could believe that if Ben knew about the boat he might choose to leave it where it was as part of some long term strategy but he looks completely taken aback when Coleen tells him The Losties have a boat. Maybe he DID know about it but didnt expect Desmond to return to The Losties camp

Rebecca T. said...

See, as I watched this episode, I was more thinking that it seems more likely that Jack changed the future (or past or whatever) rather than caused it. Things just don't seem to add up for me, but maybe I'm just dense.


Sheesh, the Tailies sure make a heck of a first impression.

You know, as much as Locke (as a character) drives me crazy and I vacillate between liking him and being angry at him, his flashbacks are some of my favorites. He's just so flippin' complicated.

And I totally heart Helen. And I realized in this episode that every single relationship I loved on this show was doomed (except for Desmond and Penny, they seem to have worked it out [so far]). Sun and Jin might just make it depending on what happens in S6, but every single other one I liked died a horrible death.

I was struck by the scene between Locke and Cooper in the car and the similarities with the Ben/Jacob scene at the end of S5. "What about me?" is Locke's question and Cooper basically says, "What about you?" Interesting.......

My favorite line this episode went to Sayid's response to Hurley.
Hurley: "I wasn't even there for the whole baby stealing stuff."
Sayid: "I assure you it was very exciting."
I love when he drops those deadpan comments.

Why is it Station 3 if it was one of the last ones they seem to be working on? Right?

Jack: "You don't even know what you're running from!" Ha! That could be said of pretty much all of the Losties. They all are running from something and some of them think they know what it is, but it's all so complex and deep they haven't really figured themselves out yet.

I loved Sayid's face when Locke and John are fighting over pushing the button. He's all like, what on earth is wrong with these crazy people and why can't everyone just realize that I am the most fit for leadership around here?

Joan Crawford said...

@Sonshine - It is just hot to hear Sayid say "I assure you...". Yes, you do Daddy, yes you do ;)

JennM said...

@ Question Mark: "Ohhh, wah wah, why aren't you skeptical, like me? Wah wah wah! It doesn't matter who I married! My life is sad! Wah wah!"
HILARIOUS! I feel the same way about him sometimes!

For those of you that provided the visual of Ben and Juliet lounging on the yacht—also HILARIOUS! You can just imagine Ben trying uber-hard to do everything he can to please Juliet, while the whole time she is rolling her eyes and secretly plotting some way to throw Ben overboard and use the yacht to get home to her sister. Love it!

V said...

I may be too slow in posting this comment. But if anyone is still reading this post, did it bother you that Kate could crawl from the pantry into the armory? The armory should be harder to access than that. It is used to store guns and other important things plus it is where the Losties will lock up Ben. What's the point of having a combination lock on the door if anyone can just climb a box in the pantry and crawl to it? It's a good thing Charlie didn't know about that when all the heroin statues were stored there!

It's been awhile since I've watched the Henry Gail episodes but isn't there a time when he or Locke crawl through that same vent?

Susan said...

Later Locke will bolt that vent from the outside, so when Michael locks Jack and John in the armory, they have to wait for Kate and Sawyer to show up and let them out. But I don't know if he did anything to keep someone from opening it from the outside.

Ben crawled through the vent from the pantry to the computer area during the lockdown.

V said...

Susan, Thanks for clearing that up for me!

Juanita's Journal said...

Why would Jack just hold a gun to Desmond’s head? Jack seriously goes off the rails in this episode, but then seems to go back to normal by the next one.

Seeing Desmond reminded Jack of when he first met Sarah. He was also reminded that his marriage to Sarah ended on a quiet, yet ugly note.