THE ‘LOST’ EPISODE OF THE DAY
The episode: The Beginning of the End
Original Airdate: January 31, 2008
Written By: Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse
Directed By: Jack Bender
Content: Feeling that their rescue is close at hand, the survivors don’t know whether to believe Charlie’s final message that the people on the boat are not who they claim to be.
Why It’s Worth Re-Watching: This is the most reflective LOST premiere to date. Sure there’s a sense of foreboding throughout the episode (both on Island and off Island in the flash forwards) but this episode mostly reflects on the past as the show prepares to go forward.
This is Hurley’s episode through and through. The episode opens with Jack watching a high-speed car chase and then we are taken to said car chase and it’s revealed that Hurley is the one driver, and when arrested yells “I’m of the Oceanic 6!’ Hurley was running away from Charlie’s ghost. Hurley’s story on the Island is about reflecting on Charlie’s death and honoring his death by listening to him about the ‘Not Penny’s Boat’ message. In his flash foward, he cryptically (as the audience senses it) reflects on getting off the Island and why they should’ve never done it. I’ll write it one more time for the heck of it: reflective.
When Hurley’s standing on the beach with Bernard and confesses that he’s always wanted to do a canonball into the ocean, there’s such a tangible sense of hope and the future which is then juxtaposed by the flash forward in which Hurley jumps at the chance to be put back into the Santa Rosa mental hospital. Also, as soon as Hurley emerges from the water, Desmond has returned without Charlie. There’s many good things about Hurley-coping-with-Charlie’s death in this episode. Number one is how Sawyer attempts to help Hurley, attempts to talk with him about Charlie. Number two is the scene between Hurley and Claire. Sure Jorge Garcia and Emilie de Ravin overact in it (yes I’m capable of criticizing her as well. won’t happen often but it will happen) but it’s still effective especially Jorge’s expression as he walks up to Claire to give her the news. Number three is the “I’m listening to my friend! I’m listening to Charlie” speech. It’s fantastically written, fantastically acted, and the music in the sceen’s powerful. It’s such a critical moment in the episode as well because this essentially forms the two major major major stories of season four and, back in the day when watching in a weekly order, I wondered how the heck Hurley ended up off of the Island. LOST is brilliant.
One of the coolest sequences in the episode occurs when Hurley gets lost in the jungle after Sawyer leaves him. It’s cool because Jacob’s Cabin appears to Hurley and it’s fairly creepy. The figure (presumably Christian) is rocking in the chair but then an eye appears at the door and looks at Hurley. Hurley runs away and then a LIGHT turns on. At this point, Hurley closes his eyes, counts to five, and re-opens them to find the cabin gone. And then he runs into Locke. But before I delve into the Locke/Jack things in this episode, I have one last Hurley thought.
One of my favorite scenes in the entire series of LOST is when Charlie and Hurley talk outside the mental hospital. It’s just fantastic. Words won’t do the scene justice. I posted the scene in the 9/22 entry to celebrate LOST’s birthday.
As for Locke and Jack, Jack is very, very mad about Locke’s actions in Through The Looking Glass. Jack actually tries to kill Locke in this episode but the gun wasn’t loaded (or so says Locke). One of my favorite exchanges occurs in this episode. It is when Locke tells Jack that whatever he’s done he’s done in the best interest of the people on the Island. And then Jack yells, “Are you insane?!?” Matthew Fox’s delivery is top notch. I should also mention that the big question of this episode, as raised in Through The Looking Glass (which will eventually be an episode of the day, readers, don’t think I’m going to ignore the most mind-blowing episode in LOST’s history…I am merely waiting until the semester is over because I could reach 5,000 words writing about it), is whether the Freighter have very bad or very good intentions. Locke feels that they are a threat as does Ben (who says in Through The Looking Glass that ‘this is the beginning of the end’). It’s a very intense scene and then sides are taken. Some go with Locke. Some go with Jack.
I also enjoy the short scene at the end with Jack and Kate, at the fuselage, where Jack remembers Charlie. It’s nice. And then Daniel Faraday drops into the jungle from the sky.
I should also mention that this is Matthew Abaddon’s first appearance. It’s cryptic and ominous. It’s great.
Also, Ben tells Danielle to get Alex as far away from “rescue” as possible, Rose, Sun, and Claire share a moment and it’s great. Naomi dies in this episode right before she tells Minkowski that she’s been fatally injured by Locke. Kate does try to help Naomi.
As for the title, the title obviously echoes the words of Ben. This episode also truly marked the beginning of the end for LOST. The first episode of the new shortened seasons, the end date firmly planted. It’s a terrific episode. Lindelof and Cuse wrote a gem. Bender did another great job directing.
Ah…what an episode.