Anyway. That’s not why I came to post! A guy called to ask Howard what he thinks is beneath the hatch on the Island and it reminded me I wanted to come and share a link with you. I finally finished my LOST review yesterday and Vlad/Patti posted it last night. If you’re interested in reading, I’m re-posting here as well.
LOST: “Deus Ex Machina”
Story by: Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse
Air Date: Wednesday, March 30th, 2005
All in a Day’s Work
By Rae H., Soulful Spike Society Review
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. That’s what they say at least. I suppose it could have been the long hiatus that made this episode enjoyable but I think the credit really goes to the writers and, well, Terry O’Quinn. I should come clean right now and admit my love for the O’Quinn and his acting. He’s shined all season but he took it further in this episode. And, it should be noted that I actually am still not sure I like Locke which, in itself, is a great testament to Terry’s acting abilities. It takes a lot to make me dislike a character played by Terry.
That’s a loaded quote if ever I’ve heard one and it gives us something to chew on for this episode right off the bat. On the surface, it foreshadows the story we are about to see unfold in Locke’s memories. His father built a mousetrap for him, slowly but surely, and Locke definitely gets caught in it. However, when we examine it some more, it seems to foreshadow what’s happened to bring everyone to the island. There are so many coincidences and interconnections between those on the plane that it has to make us wonder if there was some higher power here setting up a very elaborate mousetrap that’s very effectively caught our survivors. And, perhaps there’s just a bit of meta thrown in there by the writers. After all, we started with a simple (ha!) plane crash and a group of survivors. Slowly but surely, piece by piece, the writers have been moving things into place. We’re only a few episodes out from the finish of this season and I suspect we can expect them to spring their trap very very soon.
I suppose that brings us to the title of this episode. If I’ve learned nothing else about this show over the past few months, it’s that the episode titles rarely have just one meaning. In this case, the writers could have been referring specifically to the way Locke’s father just dropped into his life out of nowhere and maneuvered him into giving up a kidney. Or, they could have been referring to the “act of God” that cured Locke’s paralysis and which is now, for no apparent reason, being taken away. That, after all, is much more in line with the true definition of the term. The crash was Locke’s deus ex machina. A sudden and wholly unexpected event that solved his not being able to walk.
Then again, it could refer to Locke’s sudden and unexplained visions and leg problems that ultimately seem to be leading to us finding out just where that hatch leads. After all, how were the writers going to get them out of this seemingly impossible situation? Locke and Boone have been working on opening that hatch for some time. Heck, even their trebuchet didn’t work. The solution to the problem couldn’t be easy after all of that. And, so, we get Locke’s sudden loss of mobility again and visions that lead to a mysterious plane (a deus ex machina in and of itself… a small, from the looks of it, two-engine plane from Nigeria crashed on an island in the South Pacific… talk about improbable) and finally to Locke’s pleas on top of the hatch, which end with his seeing the light. Hmmm, a clever way to resolve a plot that otherwise seemed to be stalled, eh?
Not that it answers any of our questions. We’re left with only a glimpse of Locke as he gazes down into the light beneath the hatch. Could he see anything down there? Does that mean whoever turned on the light was going to open up the hatch and welcome him home? Or is it just another chance to fool us into thinking we’ll finally get some answers? I’m just not sure. The previews for next week show us nothing of Locke and, if I know J.J. and crew, the beginning of the next episode rarely picks up right after the end of the last.
So, let’s stop worrying about the bigger mystery of the island and think about some of the others, eh?
The moment that his trebuchet didn’t work Locke seemed to lose some faith. He was so sure he was meant to open that hatch and see what’s beneath it and yet what should have worked to get it open didn’t. Notice it’s right at the moment when Locke experiences a little doubt as to whether it’s really “meant to be” that Boone points out the injury to his leg and Locke realizes that something isn’t right. Locke is so sure the island gave him the gift of his legs back… perhaps his loss of faith is to explain why the island seems to be snatching that gift back?
“Teresa falls up the stairs, Teresa falls down the stairs…” Ok, that part was just creepy and here I thought only Locke had the ability to freak me out. Boone feels responsible for the death of his nanny. Interesting. There’s a connection here that should be explored further. How many of the people on this island feel responsible for the death of someone else whether by their own hands or someone else’s? Jack feels responsible for both his father’s death and the woman (and her baby) that his father killed. Kate, well, we don’t know exactly whose death she feels responsible for but we knows she definitely feels it. Sawyer’s is obvious as is Sayid’s. Even Hurley has a death on his conscious. Is it truly a coincidence? Or an important connection? Your guess is as good as mine but I have to believe that we weren’t given this tidbit about Boone’s past for shits and giggles.
Jack, oh Jack. What would we do without you? I sure hope nothing happens to you anytime soon. Who else would we get to diagnosis the cause of our headaches or to take care of us when we fall off a cliff during a hunting accident? Even when you’re being snarky and yanking Sawyer’s chain, you’re still helping him. It worries me how they depend on the good doctor at times.
Speaking of Sawyer… Ok, so we weren’t but he looked so cute in those glasses I feel it’s time we must speak of him. He’s farsighted. Fascinating really. I never would have thought that of him except that he does keep himself at a distance from everyone else so I suppose it makes sense that he’s better at seeing things that way rather than close up. And, yet, with just a little help from the group as a whole he’s gotten some help at seeing better. What tricky writers we have in this bunch. So, Sawyer, are things better or worse now that you can see clearly? Hmmm?
I may be rambling at this point but there were so many goodies to get us thinking in this episode. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention what I love best about this show: the sound and visuals. The sound of the plane falling off that cliff was all the sound we needed during that scene and the writers knew it. Nothing else was needed to drive home how seriously Boone was hurt. (And, did anyone notice that that plane somewhat resembled Kate’s little toy plane?) Then, when Locke was lying in the hospital bed next to his father and they were getting ready for surgery, the room was filled with flowers. Sunlight was streaming in the windows and it looked so cozy. The perfect family scene. Yet, the minute we saw him after the surgery, the flowers were gone and the blinds shut. In fact the room looked positively cold and sterile compared to the warmness it held before. The clues are all there for us to catch that so much had changed for Locke the moment he awoke. There was a lot of red in this episode as well. Red herrings I suppose, clues to us that something wasn’t quite right. The investigator gave Locke the results of his parental test in a red folder and his car was bright red. Then all the blood covering Boone. We rarely see such vivid colors in the flashbacks. I was worried what the red could mean and it turns out I was right to worry. These little touches are what make this show for me. It’d be easy to just give us the story and not worry about the details but not with these writers and directors.
This episode was a great start to the last part of this season. Now, let’s just keep ‘em coming!
And, finally, things that I noted but didn’t manage to work into my comments above:
- Locke points the mom to aisles 8 and 15 for the footballs.
- Just how far into the past were these flashbacks? Locke, by his own admission, has been in the wheelchair for four years. So, it was at least 4 1/2 to 5 years ago and I think we were meant to believe it was even older than that given the hair-style, etc. So much for my idea that complications from his rushing out of the hospital so soon led to his being paralyzed, eh?
- How the heck was the radio in that plane still working? Not to mention (though I did mention it above) how the heck did a plane with maps of Nigeria crash on this island?
- “Someone there? Repeat your transmission… There were [are?] no survivors of flight 815.” Huh? Ok, who was that that they actually picked up the signal from
the radio and they immediately recognized the flight number? And why would they say that if someone on the radio was claiming to be a survivor? Will this prompt someone, somewhere to send out a search party or was someone else answering that radio transmission?
- Does anyone else think it’s weird that Boone wasn’t a little more shocked and disbelieving when Locke told him the truth about his legs? Charlie can’t believe Hurley won the lotto and is rich but Boone instantly believes a story that is much more fantastical? I couldn’t tell if Boone was just playing along or if he’s just more open to Locke’s stories than Charlie is to Hurley’s. And, will he pass this info along or is it another secret he’ll keep for Locke.
- Locke’s half-truths to everyone worry me. There was no reason to lie about the plane. He and Boone could have stumbled upon it while hunting. Why lie?
- On the other hand, probably just as well he didn’t fill everyone in on the plane full of heroin. Here we thought Charlie would be forced to kick his habit!
- The symbol on Boone’s shirt translates to 84. I don’t know that it’s significant but I found it interesting that it was more numbers.