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Posted at 10:13 AM ET, 03/15/2007

Lost Analysis: If You Don't Know Claire By Now...

By Liz Kelly

The usually elf-like Claire (Emilie De Ravin) does her best Neve Campbell impression. (Photo Courtesy ABC)

If you haven't yet seen last night's episode of "Lost" please avail yourself of the opportunity to watch it online before proceeding downpage to take in this week's picky-point analysis from movie editrix Jen Chaney and me.

Liz: Jen, it happened again. The disappointment, the filler, the melodrama. Let's just say it -- the network has won. "Lost" has been turned into a nighttime soap whose only goal is to keep us hanging on for one more episode each week for as long as they can continue to sell advertising. And, damn them, they keep me coming back with final minutes like last night's view of Jack playing a Kennedy-esque game of football in the Others' village.

Am I overreacting?

Jen: I don't think you're overreacting necessarily. When I watch "Lost" now, I am rarely wowed by an entire episode. As I said last week, it works for me on a cerebral level, but does nothing for me emotionally. Case in point: While the Claire/Mom-in-a-coma plot was interesting, I was never really moved by it.

But, as you said, that ending with Jack playing football (an homage perhaps to Matthew Fox's role in "We Are Marshall"?) absolutely hooked me to watch next week's episode. Also, I was intrigued by Locke's behavior last night. I think he blew up the Flame on purpose, and I think he had a definite reason for wanting to kill McPatchy. Maybe he realized that the Dharma peeps had been monitoring him and effectively controlling him? I don't know, we'll find out next week.

Liz: Last night would've been much more effective if we'd just stayed with the Locke/Sayid/Kate/Rousseau/Mikhail expedition. I think Damon Lindelof needs to clear his scripts with us from now on. Much more could have been mined out of the darkening Locke who, as you say, basically killed McPatchy and seems to have suddenly returned to his man-with-a-mission M.O., though his mission seems to have taken on a decidedly destructive bent.

And, because last night's episode wasn't a total waste of an hour, the most tantalizing detail was Mikhail's statement about the "great man" who brought him to the island and the reemergence of this list idea -- a list that Kate and Sayid are apparently not on because they are "flawed." (I dunno, I think Sayid's pretty perfect. Well, Naveen Andrews is. I digress.) It seemed Mikhail was about to get to Locke and why he was or wasn't included on the list when Rousseau interrupted to point out the perimeter fence. What's your take?

Jen: I assume Mikhail was referring to the elusive Jacob, whose list has been referenced before. And I thought he suggested that none of the Losties -- including Locke -- were worthy of the list. He was about to say that the Locke he knew was paralyzed, but was cut off in mid-sentence. It seemed to me that Locke was not surprised to hear that Mikhail knew this information, which makes me think he caught onto some as-yet-unexplained intel during the chess game, not to mention that explosive he's hauling around in his backpack.

I'm still not sure who Jacob is, but the reference to his list reminds me of Jacob's ladder. Biblically, that's the connection between earth and heaven. So if the Losties aren't climbing the ladder, does that bring us back to the purgatory theory?

Much more after the jump...

Liz: See, that makes my head hurt. Because I want the show to be that deep, but then I'm asked to swallow the Claire melodrama and care that her aunt was a shrew. Speaking of the Claire backflash... Listen "Lost" producers: We all knew that Claire is Jack's sister and it would have come off as supremely cool if the show had made confirmation of that fact more of an understated reveal -- an easter egg moment, ya know? Something we learn as a byproduct of another story because the knowledge inspires exactly nothing in us viewers, except a few "gee, ain't that a coincidence" and "good thing those two didn't hook up" comments. Not to mention that the whole Goth Claire persona was a little hard to buy. First Cheech Marin, now flashbacks with bad wig action -- what's next, a very special episode featuring Don Ho and Vincent Price?

Jen: I totally agree about the flashback. We already pretty much knew Claire was Jack's half-sister, so to devote an entire flashback to that reveal seemed pointless. At least Bai Ling wasn't involved, although Claire did work at a tattoo parlor. (Is there significance to that? Maybe.)

You also were right. With the black hair, she did look a little like Neve Campbell ... the Neve Campbell that starred in "The Craft."

Liz: Minus the scars and Skeet Ulrich.

Jen:The only other relevant detail I took from the flashback was Jack's father's comment that Claire's mother was "alive but not really living." That description seems to apply to the Oceanic flight survivors as well, again bolstering this whole purgatory notion.

Liz: Yes, it seems as if there had to be some significance to Jack's father's insistence that Claire not keep someone alive out of pure selfishness, which I'd hoped was going to somehow relate back to the Charlie death prophecy. Alas, no.

Another puzzling bit was the exchange between Kate and Rousseau in which Rousseau said she doesn't want to know any details about Alex because Alex probably doesn't even remember her or know she exists. Which kind of made me wonder why Rousseau went to the trouble of kidnapping baby Aaron to potentially exchange for Alex in season 1. The Lost blog has a nice post attempting to answer the question "Who is Danielle Rousseau?"

Also, because you're a big fan of the producers' oft-dropped literary references, I'm sure you noted Sawyer's reading material last night: Ayn Rand's "Fountainhead," which to me was an interesting choice since the book centers on one man's struggle not to give in to popular opinion. Maybe Lindelof needs to read it again.

Jen: I did note "The Fountainhead" but wasn't quite sure what to make of that. Maybe the not-giving-in-to-popular-opinion theme related back to Claire's contention that there is hope that they can escape the island? And if the survivors are caught between the living and the dead, maybe -- as she did by keeping her mother on the machines -- Claire is rejecting the "do not resuscitate" option for herself and her cohorts as well?

In Sir Lindelof's defense, I will say he didn't write last night's episode. I'm sure he approved it, but he wasn't directly responsible for Aunt Lindsay's one-dimensional dialogue.

Liz: Hey, maybe McPatchy was referring Lindelof when he was going on about the "magnificent man."

Clearly, I'm out of steam for this week. Anything else from your end?

Jen: Good point about Rousseau. Her lack of questions is certainly incongruous with her previous behavior.

Not to keep dwelling on McPatchy/Mikhail, but I also found it strange that he was such a chatterbox. He gave Sayid, Kate, Locke and Rousseau an awful lot of information, even after they kidnapped him. Not sure he would have wanted to blab about the list and the security perimeter around the barracks. But it was kind of cool to watch his head bleed. Ah, McPatchy. We hardly knew ye.

Liz: "Cool to watch his head bleed?" (Stepping slowly away from Jen)

Jen: No, I believe my brain dump, for what it's worth, is complete.

I have to say I am excited to learn next week about how Locke ended up in a wheelchair. I hope that neither Jack's father nor Bai Ling is in any way responsible.

We'll trade more cockamamie theories then?

Liz: Hey, speak for yourself. My theories are all quite sound. But, yes, we'll trade what we've got next Thursday a.m. Meanwhile, we can continue the discussion of this week's episode today at 2 p.m. ET in the Celebritology Live chat.

Next Week on "Lost": The Man from Tallahassee -- Ben tries to persuade a determined Locke to call off his destructive plan by offering him some of the secrets of the island, and Kate's reunion with Jack does not go off as planned when she discovers that he has made a deal with "The Others."

By Liz Kelly  | March 15, 2007; 10:13 AM ET
Categories:  Lost, TV  
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