Friday Poll and LOST 2.03 Orientation (Locke)

Who was the mysterious Helen that Locke was talking to in Season 1?  We are about to find out, but first here’s our Friday poll question.

Orientation is one of the first heavily mythology based episodes during the early part of Lost, and as such I believe it tore away a large part of the viewership.  Many Lost viewers up until then liked to see the character interactions on the stage of a great survival story.  Would the characters learn to get along in order to survive or would they descend into despair, destruction and cannibalism (just kidding about the last one!)?  But all of a sudden with Orientation we realized they probably would survive.  The hatch is full of food, guns, and heck even entertainment and a working shower!  The one lone inhabitant that guarded it was even gone and not coming back.

And here is where things get really dicey… the science fiction elements start to make themselves known.  Who are the people that were here before?  What is the Dharma Initiative?  Why do Desmond’s filling’s hurt when he walks by the concrete wall?  And the kicker… if they don’t enter the Numbers into the computer Then the world will End.  This sci fi stuff and the waiting for answers to these mysteries were too much for some people.  But for me (and many others),  this is just what we wanted we want to see in a great show.  And now (unfortunately) we are all totally obsessed with Lost… but in a good way.

Recap:

Mike, Sawyer and Jin are beaten and captured by the Others and thrown into a tiger pit.  A huge black man looks down on them menacingly waving his stick.  When Sawyer tries to test the pit door, a large machete type knife scares him back.  Just then a girl is thrown in with them. Her name is Anna Lucia (we saw her talking to Jack in the Season 1 finale.  She was on flight 815 but in the tail section.  They ended up in the water but survived and swam to shore where after a few days they were hunted and chased by a mysterious group.  That part is true but Anna does not reveal that she is actually plotted to put the men in the pit thinking that they were the Others.  She tricks Sawyer and steals his gun and then gets the stick man to pull her out of there.

Back at the hatch, Kate escapes and makes her way to the gun room, grabs a rifle, sneaks up on Desmond (who has Jack at gun point) and clubs him.  This sets off Des’s gun which shoots the computer.  The exact same one he forced Locke to enter the dreaded Numbers into which stopped the countdown timer and reset it to 108 minutes.  Desmond freaks out and says they are all going to die.  He tells Jack he needs to fix it before the timer goes down to zero.

Jack agrees after he makes Des tell him the story of how he got there.  By the way, Jack vaguely remembers Desmond from Los Angeles.  Des says he was in a round the world boat race, hit a reef, was dragged to hatch by Kelvin who said he was just saving the world (by entering the Numbers), Kelvin died, Des is alone, The End.  To which Jack is completely skeptical, but Locke is willing to go along.  Des points them to a video (the Orientation video), which recounts the history of the hatch which is actually the Swan station.

It is one of many stations on the island constructed by the Dharma Initiative and funded by WWII arms dealer Alvar Hanso.  The DI is a research institute founded by the DeGroots at University of Michigan (in Ann Arbor) to explore social science research.  The Swan is for exploring the unique Electromagnetic property fluctuations at that location.

Jack is not too happy about this turn of events.  His job has been to protect the losties and get them off the island.  Locke is at cross purposes he feels they were sent to the island for a purpose all of them, and they are not to leave there until they discover that purpose.  Locke is a Man of Faith, Jack is a Man of Science.  Leading Jack to say, why is it so easy for you to believe (in this destiny)?  To which Locke replies it’s never been easy.  And in the flashback we see why.

Locke’s flashback:

John Locke is at an anger management therapy session, but his anger spills out when the people there recount their petty problems which seem trivial compared to Locke being conned out of his kidney and then dumped by his father.   The same one that left him as an orphan for 40 plus years.  Locke meets a kindred spirit in Helen.  Also angry but with John’s help gets over her anger and wants a serious relationship with him.   But Locke can’t commit because he is obsessed with his father and sits outside his house for hours just waiting for something to happen.  Well it does, Cooper, his father tells Locke he’s a nuisance and he conned him and he needs to get over it.  Locke weeps, but ends up going back again soon thereafter.  Helen makes him a deal, a key to her apartment if he will stay with her.  But he doesn’t so she confronts him, casts and casts his keys away.  She tells him he needs to make a Leap of Faith, to go ahead and move forward with her help and leave the past behind.  He says he can’t but ultimately he does.  Unfortunately things don’t end there as we see in upcoming episodes.

Back on the island Sayid is able to fix the computer and Locke enters the code, but it’s the wrong one.  Jack comes back with the right code.  He got it from Desmond after telling him this was all crazy, that nothing bad would happen at the hatch without the code.  Desmond recognizes Jack as the man he met in the stadium who was trying to fix a paralyzed girl.  Jack breaks down and says he married her but they are married no more.  Locke types in the correct code, but wants Jack to push the button.  Locke does not want to do this job alone (recalling his conversation with Helen).  Jack reluctantly agrees and now they both have a new job… pushing the button every 108 minutes to save the world (or risk looking like fools if this is just a mind game).

Thoughts:

As they did so well in the first two seasons, they totally tied the island story to the flashback story.  Locke’s journey of faith ends at the hatch and Jack’s story of faith begins there.  As Locke says,  “all roads (i.e. destiny’s) end at the hatch”.  We saw this again in the Season 5 finale,  The Incident when a something happens at the Swan which in theory resets everyone’s destiny thereby avoiding their painful experiences on the island.

Dr. Marvin Candle is the narrator for the Orientation video.  We see him a few times doing this at other stations.  In this one, his left arm is immobile making some believe that he lost his real arm.  This was confirmed in the S5 finale.

The picture of Desmond with Penny (that Jack sees after he runs after Desmond) was changed.  The version on the DVD shows the Penny we know, but she was not cast when the episode first aired so another woman’s picture was used.

3 Responses

  1. […] quiet on the Lost Rewatch front this week, we have but one shout-out goes to the always reliable TLE Lost Blog. For a little non-Lost action, check out The Film […]

  2. I love this episode, it gives us so much information, but many more questions.

    I found it strange then when Desmond was typing in the numbers in the premiere they showed him hitting the space bar to space the numbers, but when Locke entered the number the spaces were bypassed. Was this a continuity error. Also if a computer monitor is damaged, it doesn’t necessarily render the computer useless, I mean that’s all Desmond shot. And when he did shoot the screen, he says “what have YOU done” I thought it was him that shot it. To me it’s all Desmonds fault, he was the one holding them with the gun, if he had done it all diplomatically maybe they wouldn’t be in that mess, but that’s a drama show for you, things are supposed to go wrong to add to the drama of the show.

    When Desmond explains the process of saving the world, we see Jack’s antagonist reaction to faith, and his word. Jack asks Locke if he believes it, and he does, he says ‘his words are all we got’. The bible is all we got when it comes to faith in God also. But we all have free-will to choose to believe or not.

    Funny how Hurley said they are finally returning to normalness, then when Kate shows up he says ‘oh crap’ very reminiscent of the Rose & Bernard scene in the finale how they say it’s always with you guys, always up to something.

    I find it suprising that part of the orientation film would included background on Dharma, wouldn’t they have been breifed on the information at the Dharma camp, when they were inducted? 540 days is the stay in the swan 108×5=540.

    Helen asks Locke to let go, I think alot of the Losties have a problem letting go of something or rather. Maybe that’s the very thing that corrupts us as people. Forgiveness is forgetting.

    Locke wants to watch the film again. Now there are devoted fans of the show that will rewatch the show, and there are casual watchers that will not, so they either fall into two categories, Jack’s or John’s.

    This is the first time the leap of faith comes up.

    I bring up the magic box again, because Hurely wants food, and he indeed gets it.

    Desmond is running away, how does Jack chase him down, when he doesn’t even look like he’s running, it seems like whenever anyone trips while running, they are stopped by the island for a reason. There is a real theme of running in the show. There are people running away from the past.

    I particularly love the argument between Jack and Locke on the button. Why do you find it difficult to believe, why do you find it easy, it’s never been easy. It’s almost as good as the discussion between Jacob and his nemesis.

  3. Interesting points, Jay Jay. If you did episode reviews, I would surely read them!

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