Thursday, October 22, 2009

3.12 Par Avion

Follow along! The episode guide for “Par Avion” is in Finding Lost — Season 3, pp. 96-100.

Locke continues to be crazy, Mikhail dies another day, we realize once and for all that Claire has a half-brother on the island, and the main storyline seems completely ass-backwards.

Fun things I noticed:
• I still think Claire looks awesome as a Goth.
• Notice Locke’s first reaction to discovering there’s a sub on the island, like he’s already planning to do away with it.
• AGAIN, where Mikhail begged for death in the previous ep, he thanks Locke for hurling him into the sonic fence in this one.
• I might be missing something, but why don’t they chuck their backpacks and guns through the fence rather than carrying them on their backs? The sonic fence would only affect their heads, but not inanimate objects in their packs. Would it?
• I really dislike the plot about the birds. It makes NO SENSE. Why would Desmond be preventing Claire from catching a bird early on if he had this vision of Charlie being bashed on the rocks?? Why wouldn’t he WANT her to catch it, thus preventing Charlie from heading out to the rocks to catch one of them? Desmond’s actions make absolutely no sense.
• And here’s why I hate the ending where they tie the piece of paper to the bird: A) first, that bird never would have sat still long enough for Des to catch it, especially with them both yelling behind him; B) that note is the longest, most rambling, crazy-ass note in the world, and I’m screaming GET TO THE POINT! (ME. The person who would try to fit a thousand-word essay on a post-it, *I* thought it was long.) C) the moment that bird lands in water – and it will – that note will be mush.
• I love the look on Kate’s face when Jack’s playing football. HAHA!!

Things that have new meaning:
• The birds at the beginning flew out of the trees the same way they flew out of Charlie’s dream in “Fire + Water” when he dreamed he saw Claire and his mother on the beach.
• The scene in the jungle with Mikhail and Co. is the key to this episode for us now. He says the three of them are not on the list that’s been made by the “magnificent man,” yet they were all touched by Jacob. Is he lying? Is he purposely misleading them?
• Mikhail says he has a fleeting memory of John being a paraplegic, but how would he have known him as such? Did he do off-island work? What memory would he have had? Is he some weird incarnation of the Man in Black or Jacob?
• It’s hard to believe this is the first time we saw the sonic fence!!
• I actually referred to the woman in “Two for the Road” as Claire’s mom, forgetting that Christian goes to see Aunt Lindsey in that scene, because Claire’s mom was obviously still in the coma at that time.


Marebabe said...

So, a doctor friend of Christian Shephard’s in Sydney called him with news of the car crash about the time that Carole Littleton was taken into surgery. Christian immediately swooped in with financial aid, and by the time Claire could get a shower and return to the hospital, all the arrangements had been made. One thing about taking care of details with amazing efficiency, it really moves the story along!

Nikki, remember several months ago, when you posted pictures from a season finale party featuring costumes of the dead pilot and the sonic fence? Well, when the sonic fence first came into view in this episode, I almost laughed out loud. Quite a different reaction, compared to the first time I saw it. Then, it was a huge puzzlement. Now, in a flash, I can remember all the jokes that have ever been made about it.

Exactly how does Mikhail recover from a hemorrhage so severe that blood was SQUIRTING out of his ears, like when you hold your thumb over the end of a garden hose? (Great special effect!) They’ve never explained Mikhail’s apparent gift of having nine lives. Are we just supposed to assume that he is special like Locke or Rose, being blessed with a whole series of miracle healings? Or here’s a thought: Is he possibly the Man in Black disguised as Mikhail? This rewatch comes complete with a whole different kind of confusion, compared to what we had back in S3.

In spite of how full-of-holes the entire bird plotline was, I still enjoyed how it played on my TV. I can’t help it. I love the ending where Claire and Charlie release the bird. I love the message contained in the note, long-winded though it may be. I love how Charlie reads it out loud. Beautifully filmed. Beautiful everything. I know it was pretty lightweight stuff, as far as advancing the overarching story, and actually quite flawed, as you pointed out in your book, Nikki. But I liked it anyway.

Joan Crawford said...

Claire looks much better as a brunette, hands down.

The Question Mark said...

@Marebabe: interesting point about MIB being Mikhail, but I'm not too sure. If it had been that easy for MIB to acquire a body, I don't think he would've had to resort to using Locke. I think dying off-island and then bringing the body TO the island plays an important role. If MIB did inhabit Christian's body and was walking through the jungle as him, that would explain a lot. Perhaps he even found the coffin and stole the body so that no one would find it.
But if that's the case, then obviously Christian couldn't provide MIB with the necessary loophole to kill Jacob (who knows why), so he got to work trying to replace it, first with Eko, then with Locke.
That's just my own crazy theory, though. :)

Also, I've always found Claire really, REALLY pretty, especially in Season 4 (I think she gained a little weight and she's wearing a wig, so she looks different than she did in Seasons 1-3). But Goth Claire, I gotta admit, that was kinda cute.
In fact, there's an idea for a kick-ass set of Lost Halloween action figures: Goth Claire, Taller Ghost Walt, Deflated Ghost Chicken, and the warden from "The Long Con". That guy gave me the heebie-jeebies.

Marebabe said...

@The Question Mark: Here we are, within spittin' distance of Halloween, and our discussion right now has to do with dead guys and a coffin and reanimation and a really scary, evil warden and a ghost teenager and ghost farm animals... seems eerily appropriate somehow. ;)

Anonymous said...

Maybe Klugh and Mikhail were happy to die quickly rather than be tortured ("marked" and/or executed) by Ben and that cold-blooded sheriff, once the Others found out they'd screwed up and been captured.

I think a cool LOST Halloween costume would be a split-down-the-middle Roger Work Man - one half alive (and holding a beer), the other long dead (with a missing arm).

Fred said...

My belief about Mikhail recalling Locke was a paraplegic is something we are going to see in Season 6. At some flashback or whatever, Mikhail will pass by Locke in the hospital and see him, much as Rose saw Locke at the airport, when he helped retrieve her pills. Since the writers like parallels, I am betting on something short and sweet like that taking place.

You know, this is the third picnic on the island. Will people never learn!

Someone explain to me, what the title of the episode has to do with the episode: Par Avion--by air. I know we send letters by air, and ther's Claire's attempt to send a message, literally, by seagull. But that was the B plot. And if it is the main idea, then will we see some biologist catch the bird and read the letter?

Rebecca T. said...

Oh. My. Werd. Go back and watch that scene of Kate leaning over the body and you will see Mikhail breathing steadily! Major oops on the part of the filmers, unless they wanted people to catch that he wasn't dead, but then the Losties surely should have seen it, especially Sayid.

I seriously wondered, when Mikhail says thank you, if him dying in that way means that he is able to be inhabited by smokey or MiB. Hmmmmm

Another picnic! This one doesn't end in tragedy, but only because of Desmond.

The bird story line reminded me of the Bernard/Rose SOS story line.

Hmmm... I wonder where Jack gets his compulsive need to fix things from? ::CoughChristianCough::

Seeing the scene between Claire (pregnant) and her mother reminded me painfully of the later scene with the different Mrs. Littleton and it made me cringe just thinking about it. She looks nothing like this woman. Or like Claire. Or like Lindsey. And that accent..... but that's discussion for another day.

JS said...

You know where my mind is when my first point is - have Claire and Charlie consummated their relationship? I don’t know if we have any evidence of that, or did I miss it?

Why does Claire get away with lying about who was driving? Can’t they tell just by looking at the huge hole on the driver side and the fact that the mom was thrown from the car?

Mom was a librarian – not dead. I assume the aunt is hostile because Christian is a drunk, and made them miserable, but I still do not understand why she is so hostile to Claire. Unless of course she believes she was driving. But still. S6 definitely has to address how her mother came out of the coma (and changed her looks and accent).

Christian : Claire :: Darth V : Luke

It’s funny that Claire says she is pregnant when it is obvious to anyone looking at her.

I LOVE the look on Kate’s face when she sees Jack playing football. And spiking!

@sonshinemusic - Mikhail was totally breathing, and it was quite noticable!

Nikki Stafford said...

Marebabe: AAAAHAHAHAHA!!! OMG, sometimes I think you and I have already discussed the episode or something, because as soon as they emerged and saw the sonic fence, I immediately started laughing and muttered, "Hehe... finale party guy." HAHAHA!!! I *almost* re-ran that photo to go with this episode... how much do I love that someone else was thinking the same thing?!

Nikki Stafford said...

Fred: You know, this is the third picnic on the island. Will people never learn!

Oh rats, I can't believe I forgot to mention that!! I saw it and thought, "Oh, Charlie... see... you COULD have lived, but OH NO. You had to just GO on a frickin' picnic, didn't you? Every time someone goes on a picnic, one of the two ends up dead. You could have cheated it, but now... you're gonna die, Chah-lie."

Nikki Stafford said...

JS: Why does Claire get away with lying about who was driving? Can’t they tell just by looking at the huge hole on the driver side and the fact that the mom was thrown from the car?

I actually don't think she was lying. Isn't the driver's side on the right in Australia? That's how I always took that scene, but maybe I'm completely mistaken about Australian vehicles...

Gillian Whitfield said...

Like a few other people when I watched this episode, I noticed in the scene where Kate is getting on the other side of the fence, Mikhail was still breathing. That was the first time I noticed it. And I've seen this episode a few times. Why wouldn't Kate notice, she was standing close to him?

JS said...

@ Nikki - you are, of course, correct. I will now take off my American blinders....

Sagacious Penguin said...

I've never really had an issue with Desmond's actions in this episode. All we know is that he sees flashes of various events that lead up to a bad conclusion. So if he sees Charlie going after birds in various places and then sees him dashed upon the rocks as a result, he's going to assume that anything and everything he sees in the flashes ought to be stopped so as not to lead to the final outcome. He can't know at the beginning that Charlie dashed on rocks could also have been prevented by his allowing an earlier bird-catch. poetically ironic, really. I think it all comes together for him later but he's too busy trying to prevent things to appreciate the irony.

Marebabe said...

This is just a test

Marebabe said...

(I tried to post this comment in the small hours of Friday morning, but I hit a major glitch with the blogger, something I didn’t know how to deal with.)

@Fred: Sometimes the episode title is drawn from some really tiny, obscure moment in the episode. For example, “Something Nice Back Home” in S4 is a busy episode with lots of important stuff going on. The title is taken from one of Bernard’s lines to Jack, when he’s trying to convince him of the wisdom of going under a general anesthetic for his appendectomy: “Wouldn’t you rather be dreaming of something nice back home?” If I had been asked to make up a title for that episode, I would never in a million years have come up with that. So, “Par Avion?” Just go with it. In the world of Lost, the titles don’t necessarily refer to the main themes in the episodes.

@Sonshine: LOL at your ::CoughChristianCough:: remark. That’s a good-un!

Susan said...

Back in season 1 when Charlie and Hurley are burying Ethan, you can see Ethan's dead body breathing. Directors film so many takes and then use the best ones, so sometimes stuff like this slips through.

The Question Mark said...

@ Marebabe:
regarding titles: I loe the Lost episode titles. My best friend, who is also obsessed with the show, refuses to know what the title of an episode is until AFTER he's seen the episode.
But I love hearing the title first, and then trying to figure out what it means. Like, for example, with "316", the whole time I was thinking, "what the heck does that number mean?" I love how the titles are so enigmatic.

Marebabe said...

@The Question Mark: Enigmatic titles... No doubt! Fans start up the lively discussion well before a new episode airs, speculating and theorizing about what its title really means. And I marvel at your friend's restraint. He must steer clear of all Lost fansites to keep from knowing titles in advance.

Austin Gorton said...

For whatever reason, Mikhail's mysterious regenerative powers is one of those mysteries that I won't mind going unresolved.

I *should* care about it, but for whatever reason, in this one instance I'm content to just shrug my shoulders and say "eh, it's a weird island" lol.

Blam said...

Nikki: [T]hat note is the longest, most rambling, crazy-ass note in the world, and I’m screaming GET TO THE POINT!
Sweet muffins! Just think of how heavy the paper would be with a message that long... And this, kids, is how you sentence a bird to death.

Batcabbage said...

@Nikki: Yep, our cars have steering wheels on the right, as JS agreed. One thing I've always wondered about cars with left-hand-drive (the furtherest I've been overseas is a 10 minute barge ride to Fraser Island), is the clutch still on the left?

@Teebore: Funny how Mikhail's amazing regenerative powers don't extend to his missing eye. Wouldn't you grow it back if you were him? Depth perception is fun.

@Blam: Yay, you're back! We have all be sentenced to awesomeness!

Marebabe said...

@Batcabbage: Clutch is on the left in America. You'd be surprised how many Americans don't know that, having never been in a vehicle with a standard transmission in their pitiful, boring lives!

Batcabbage said...

@Marebabe: Cool, thanks for that! I have officially learned something today. I can go play nintendo now. Thanks!

Rebecca T. said...

Sweet muffins, Blam, but it's good to have you back :)

Jazzygirl said...

I don't think I caught the commment Mikail made to Locke about "the Locke I remember..." Another connection to something we will hopefully see in the future.
I did notice him breathing when Kate looked at him. I always assumed he has badly injured but didn't die. I really enjoy is character and it is a shame we didn't get to see more of him.

Fred said...

This is the first time we really see any birds, excepting the Hurley-bird, which I assume is native to the island. These gulls come in from Australia on a migratory path, an island which non one can get to except on a particular compass bearing of 305, and from which experienced sailors, like Desmond, can't find their way.
Now I know most birds fly by some inner magnetic compass, so I wonder if the compass in their brains is being pulled along by the electro-magnetic anomaly on the island. I think we are to imagine, before the Swan imploded, the birds may have been scattered round the island's "bubble" of EM. With the Swan's anomoly gone, they can reach the island.
The seagulls are also a poigniant metaphor of the helplessness of those on the island. The birds come and then go, something the Losties can't do, trapped as they are. It is this contrast which makes Charlie's reading of the message so heartfelt. Yeah, I know some see it as melodramatic, but Charlie's reading is alike a pause in a long passage, restful stop to consider how far the survivors have come.

Austin Gorton said...

Allow me to add my voice to the resounding chorus of "welcome back, Blam!"

As the X-Men (or at least their covers) say, "hope you survive the experience!"

The Question Mark said...

Good to have ya back, Blam!

Fred said...

In a show which conveys so much of the nature of magic, every time we come upon something that seems supernatural, the show's writers provide a scientific explanation for it. The whole Wizrd of Oz mentality, that the wizard is really a con man pulling at levers behind the stage. So now we come upon a sonic fence that turns the brain to pudding. But, Tom had drawn a line in the sand (actually jungle)earlier with Jack. We were given to believe the Others were somewhat primitive and limited. Why? Why not just let the Losties come upon the fence if they felt like it. It's not like they'd have first thought, okay let's cut down a tree and crawl over the pillons. Maybe, Nikki and Paulo would have first found out about the pillons, not given them any thought and just walked into the plane of the sonic fence. Okay, wishful thinking, but I'm sure most of the Losties wouldn't have been as creative as Sayid, Locke and Kate were.

Blam said...

I really appreciate the warm welcomes back. From what I've read things have plenty awesome without me, so I just hope I can keep up.
PS: My verification word is "forized". What you become when you put on your glasses?

Blam said...

@ Teebore: OMG! I used to totally dress like Kitty Pryde!

crazyinlost said...

I always took Mikhail's comment about Locke to mean that everything he knew about them he knew threw his Flame intel gathering for Ben. And Nikki, I also have wondered how "not on the list" jived with being "touched" by Jacob. Sure seems like they are on "Jacobs List" to me!

@Batcabbage- as Marebabe stated, left drive cars have clutches on the left (I also dont see the fun in driving an automatic-boring!) But I didn't realize that right drive cars had clutches on the left too! I learned this from watching "Top Gear". Love that show! I'ts Monty Python meets Red Green-with cars!

Anonymous said...

I've never had a car that didn't have a standard transmission. Thankfully I've not broken an ankle/leg/foot or I'd not be able to drive. :)

Anyway, why *does* Claire (and her aunt, apparently) blame her for the crash? Allegedly they were arguing before it happened, but the aunt couldn't possibly have known that.

JS said...

Top Gear is awesome! The fact that we watch it makes me even more embarrassed that I didn't realize Claire and mom were in Australia.

Now that I KNOW Claire was driving, I think it makes more sense that the aunt is angry, and thought it selfish of Claire to go home and take a shower. Not saying it's right, just understandable. She may have already been angry about Claire's rebellious behavior that may have gone with her (hot) Goth-ness. Plus, I don't think we have ever seen her not angry.

Verification - chroiler. A piece of important equipment used by the band.

Ash said...

Re; the title. The little blue stickers you put on air mail letters say "Air Mail, Par Avion", and that does somewhat tie in with the birds. It is literally Air Mail...

And, if I have counted correctly, isn't this episode the exact mid point of the whole show?

Ali Bags said...

@ crazyinlost "@Batcabbage- as Marebabe stated, left drive cars have clutches on the left (I also dont see the fun in driving an automatic-boring!) But I didn't realize that right drive cars had clutches on the left too! I learned this from watching "Top Gear". Love that show! I'ts Monty Python meets Red Green-with cars!"

Being British I can vouch for all this. I drove on the right for the first time this summer (in Hawaii) and was mightily relieved to find the pedals in the place I was used to having them.Although it was a bit weird having to use the gear stick with my right hand. My only real problem was driving off the side of the road all the time!

Ali Bags said...

By the way I am already up to 'The Constant' and my memory having been destroyed by too much alcohol I will have forgotten all my genius observations by the time the rewatch gets around to them.

Oh well - I'm afraid I'm so excited about the imminent Season 5 DVD arrival (I've ordered them from the UK where they have already been released)I can't stop watching.

tiasabita said...

I agree with Marebabe that the bird scene at the end was beautiful albeit flawed. I think Claire said early-on in her plan that the birds would only be there one day, that they were migrating. But Dez found the bird sitting on what appeared to be a nest in a very unfortunate location. An 'appearing for one day only' bird would not build a nest, would it? But I agree with Marebabe that the bird scene at the end was beautiful albeit flawed.

With Emilie de Ravin's beautiful eyes and skin and overall beauty she can pull off blonde or brunette, but I found the goth look a bit harsh.

studiorose - you'd win the Lost Halloween Costume Contest, hands down!

A nitpick - Claire's mom is still intubated, with a breathing tube in her mouth, after being in a coma for 7-8 months looking at Claire's belly, or at least a few months if Claire was already pregnant but just not showing at the time of the crash. One can stay intubated for about two weeks at the longest before they need a tracheostomy!!

crazyinlost said...

@Ali Bags-I've always wanted to drive a right sided vehicle. But knowing my feet would be the same but hands reversed, I'm afraid my brain wouldnt be able to only switch half my body! lol Would be loads of fun to try though-who knows, maybe I'm a natural! (even

@tiasabita-I agree with you. E.dR. looks much softer with blonde hair-but those eyes-nothing can change the intensity of those eyes!

deeannjay said...

On re-watching "Par Avion", I was fascinated by Kate's conversation with Danielle. Now that it has been established that Alex is alive, Kate wonders why Danielle isn't anxious for more news of her long-lost daughter, to which Danielle responds by asking Kate how would feel if she knew that Jack, 16 years in the future, was unable to remember her. Is this a foreshadowing of a possible re-set following the detonation of Jughead, leading to memories being wiped out?