“There’s No Place Like Home: Part One” Recap and Analysis …
You know when you go to a wedding or a formal event and all the waiters are walking around with little crab puffs and tiny chicken salad sandwiches or shrimp, and you take a couple and then realize that you want more but the waiter with the good stuff is all the way across the room and it’ll be awhile before he’s back around? Yeah, that was this week’s episode. It tasted good, but it sure did leave me hungry for more.
Anywho, let’s get down to brass tacks. I’m going to make things a little easier on myself this week by following a little bit of an unconventional format. The recap will still break things down chronologically, but I will probably jump around quite a bit. Oh, and I’m going to do all the Oceanic Six flash forwards at the end. Okay? Cool.
Previously, on Lost: Locke was born and guided through his life by agents of the island. He’s presented with some objects and asked to pick out the right ones. He chose … poorly. In the jungle, Ben is visited by the ghost of Christmas past and told to find him so he can find Jacob. Locke does, and he, Ben and Hurley find the cabin. Locke goes inside. Ben and Hurley eat a candy bar. Christian Shephard and Claire are inside the cabin and Locke and them chat for awhile. Locke comes out and says they have to move the island. No big whoop.
And now, “There’s No Place Like Home: Part One” …
We open on a transport plane. One pilot holds onto his lucky rabbit’s foot hoping for some extra mojo considering the cargo they’re carrying. That cargo, it turns out, is the Oceanic Six, back in the cargo hold. Ensign Ro, I mean Michelle Forbes, looking dashing as always, walks back to the survivors to let them know that they’re about to land and that they’re not obligated to answer any questions after touchdown. Jack, being the mouthpiece for everyone as always, tells Ro that they all want to get the questions over with. And, with that, the plane touches down at a military airfield in Hawaii.
Ensign Ro. See, I wasn’t lying.
The Oceanic Six deplane. Hurley’s mom and dad are there, and immediately start with the hugging and kissing. Sun’s mom and dad are there, as well, as is Mrs. Shephard, who gives Jack – sporting a genuine smile instead of his usual patented grimace – a great big hug. No one’s there to greet Kate and Sayid. Sadness. At least Hurley grabs Sayid and drags him over to the Reyes’ clan, where much hugging ensues. That leaves just poor Kate, alone, clutching her sad, non-biological island baby with no one else to love. Awwww. What can I say, though? Karma – she can be a real bitch.
Back on the island now (and more about the Oceanic Six much later), Jack and company are wondering what the hell to do with the satphone that was dropped out of the passing chopper the previous episode. Dan offers to help, so Jack hands over the phone but warns him not to try any funny stuff. Dan pushes a button and they’re able to monitor the conversation in the helicopter. It’s Keamy, telling Frank that he needs to land. Frank tells Keamy that they’re still a few klicks away from the LZ and Charlie is liable to ambush them this close to the Cambodian border. Keamy tells him he doesn’t care, that he loves the smell of napalm in the morning, and that he wants to set down now, and be ready to deploy to The Orchid once they’re on the ground. Ah, yes, The Orchid. This is going to be good.
Jackass, having just had his appendix removed with a butter knife earlier, wants to run out into the jungle and hijack the helicopter. Of course he does. This pisses Juliet off royally, and she breaks out the big snark by telling him not to bleed to death on the way out there before stomping off. Stick with me, honey, you’re better off without him. Besides, he’ll live. He’s in the flash forwards. Don’t you watch the show? Since Jack’s innards could come flying out at any moment, and because Juliet’s too pissed off to get some alone time with in the jungle, Jack asks Kate if she’d like to come with and do some “tracking.” You know, like the good ol’ days before she started waffling back and forth between him and Sawyer like a high school tramp?
After Jack and Kate take off, Dan whips out his handy journal again and starts scouring the pages like a madman. Charlotte – hey gorgeous, haven’t had much time with you lately, but you’re still looking good and saucy, rowr – asks him what he’s up to. He flips to a page with a sketch of the Dharma logo that Ben had on his parka when he leaped to the Sahara, with the words “The Orchid.” Okay, so what we already knew we now know officially. It’s all going down at The Orchid, and it’s gonna rock. Dan tells Charlotte that Keamy has started the SECONDARY PROTOCOL (say it with an ominous tone) and that they have to get off the island RIGHT NOW. That don’t sound good.
It’s daylight now, and out in the jungle Kate and Jack are playing all cutesy and shit, as usual. Kate asks about Jack’s bleeding wound, which he says is fine, and to which she calls bullshit and she’s right, because Jack is usually full of shit. But anyway, it’s not long before they hear a sound and whip around with guns drawn, ready to blow away a polar bear or maybe an old-fashioned Other. Instead, it’s Miles. He freaks a little and they drop their guns. Sawyer is close behind, carrying everyone’s favorite island baby, and he’s not very happy to see Kate since she blew town. Jack gets with the twenty questions with Sawyer and James tells ’em about Claire wandering off and Keamy and his men blowing the high-holy hell out of “New Otherton.” Good one, Sawyer. Jack wants to continue onto the helicopter despite hearing about his royal badness, Keamy, and tells Kate to take Aaron and head back to the beach with Miles and Sawyer. Jack walks off, but not before Sawyer gets a flash of conscience, grabs his rifle and heads off with Jack, telling him “You don’t get to die alone.” Rock on, bad boy.
Hey, it’s Sayid. He’s motoring along in his little speedboat, just, you know, chillin’. He gets to the beach and tells everyone to pack their bags, it’s time to head to the party barge. Kate comes tramping out of the jungle (heh, you see what I did there?) and says OMG Jack is totally going to the helicopter and I’m stuck babysitting this rugmonkey and, like, we should do something. So she does. She dumps Aaron off with Sun and she and Sayid high-tail it into the jungle of mystery, leaving Daniel there to ferry people over to the freighter. Which he begins to do, six at a time, with Sun and Jin in the first batch, because Sun is preggers. Charlotte helps them push the boat into the water, tells Dan to be careful and gives him a little wave and an “I like you, I like you” googly eyes. And, damn, what eyes she has. I think she can look directly into your soul with them things. Seriously, look.
See? Village of the Damned ain’t got nothing on her. Still, if looking into those eyes means I’m damned, then so be it.
Annnnnd, we’re finally back with Ben, Locke and Hurley. Ben’s leading the trio through the jungle and Hurley’s playing twenty questions. How’re they going to move the island? Very carefully. Why haven’t they moved the island before? Because it’s tricky and unpredictable. If they, like, move the island, won’t the guys with guns still be on the island? Yes, that will still be a problem. Are we there yet? Shush, Hugo. Ben stops at a rock cropping, moves a boulder out of the way and pulls out an old Dharma tin. I swear, man, Ben and his Others are like the Swiss Army knife of cults. Locke says GIMME and takes the tin. Inside is a pair of binoculars, a signaling mirror and a small tin of Dharma crackers. You know, cause signaling can make you hungry, I dunno. At any rate, Hurley takes the crackers and starts to eat them, until Ben tells him that they are over 15 years old. Whatever, they’re crackers. I think I’ve eaten crackers that are 20 years old before. Back to the show, Ben uses the mirror to signal up the mountain a bit. John asks who he’s trying to signal, to which Ben replies “Who do you think?” There’s a response signal a few seconds later and Ben says they can go up now. John asks Ben what he said to them with the signal mirror, to which Ben tells him to mind his own beeswax. They head on up the mountain toward The Orchid.
This week’s episode-inspired drink recipe is a real explosive concoction that’s guaranteed to blow your mind and leave your brain in tiny little pieces. You know, kind of like what Keamy loves to do – blow shit up. So, in honor of this season’s favorite psychopath, I present to you a drink that Desmond and company wish they had on the boat instead of their current cargo …
In a large shot glass:
- 1 thumb of peppermint liqueur
- 1 thumb of cinnamon schnapps
- 1 thumb of Jagermeister
- 1 thumb of Midori melon liqueur
Grab a tall glass, a Collins glass would be preferable, and put some ice in there. Pour in the Gosling’s, then slowly pour in the ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wedge. Kick back and imagine you’re in the Caribbean and a monster storm is coming in. Two drinks in and you won’t care if your hut falls down around you.
Chill the shot gloss. Layer the precious liquids VERY CAREFULLY (pretend you’re building a bomb) in the glass in the order of the ingredient list – peppermint bottom, schnapps next, etc. Rub your hands together like all those bomb defusers do in the movies, carefully pick up the glass and shoot it all down. Guaranteed flavor explosion in your mouth, but don’t blame me if you feel like a bomb went off in your head the next day after you down two or eight of these. Enjoy!
Daniel arrives at the freighter with the first group. Desmond helps everyone aboard, and Sun and Jin are shocked to see Michael standing on deck. There’s some tense silence, then Michael has to explain in his emphatic Michael voice that he’s not working for Ben, dammit, he’s trying to atone for his sins. Whatever, dude. You still screwed up. In the meantime, Dan has everyone off the boat and turns it around to head back to the island. Personally, I think I would have gotten some more, you know, GAS while I was there, but I’m just practical like that. I guess I just don’t think like a physicist. Anywho, up in the wheelhouse, Desmond and the first mate are cranking up the engines since Michael has fixed them. They’re all ready to head to the island, but they can’t get any closer than five miles from shore because there’s some RF interference on board that’s futzing around with their radar/sonar/magic fairy reef detector. Desmond goes off to find the source of the interference.
Back in the jungle, Jack and Sawyer come across the chopper and Frank is inside, handcuffed to one of the seats. Jack asks where Desmond and Sayid are, to which Frank replies that they were smart enough to stay back on the freighter, which is the safest place to be right now. I wouldn’t be too sure about that, Frank. At any rate, they get Frank out of the cuffs and Frank tells them that Keamy’s gone off to The Orchid to capture Ben and he’ll blow up half of hell if that’s what it takes. Sawyer asks what they’ll do to anyone with Ben. “Nothing good,” says Frank. Hurley’s with Ben, says Sawyer. Shit, says Jack. Guess they’re going after Hurley, then.
Back on the freighter, it seems as though Desmond has found the source of the RF interference, and goes apeshit, screaming for Michael to get in here and take a look. Michael, Sun and Jin head into the ship and to the room where Desmond is leading. Inside is enough C-4 to blow the ever-loving crap out of the side of the world. I’m serious, there’s enough C-4 wired up on that boat that if they wanted to get back home, all they’d have to do is load it under the island and blow the whole fucking thing across the Pacific and back to the states. What we have here is a bit of a pickle.
Back in the jungle, Kate’s off with the only guy on the island she hasn’t screwed over. She tells Sayid with her master tracking talents that the tracks she’s looking at are different … and they’re doubling back behind them. Sayid draws his gun and yells OLLY OLLY OXEN FREE! Of course, since he used the magic phrase, Richard had to come out of hiding. He tells them they need to put their guns down, Sayid says nuh uh, Richards says uh huh do too, Sayid says nuh uh can’t make me, Richard says can too, and then the Others surrounding them pull out about a hundred guns and cock them and Sayid says uncle. Whew, thank God it’s the OTHERS! Did you ever think you’d be saying that? Me neither.
FLASH FORWARD TIME! Back in the more recent past, or the future events of the survivors who are further in the past and still on the island … oh, you know what I mean.
It’s a press conference and Ensign Ro is explaining the revised history of the Oceanic Six. Flight 815 went down just south of Indonesia, and the surviving eight managed to make it to an uninhabited island, Membata. Later, they fashion a raft and sail north to the island of Sumba, where they are found. She shows pictures of the raft landing at the beach. It’s all pretty impressive. After this, it’s time for the press to do some grilling. And by press, I mean four of the 70+ people there, because they’re the only ones that got to say anything. Jack is first and is asked what it was like when the plane hit the water. Jack weaves a brilliant tale of bullshit, of how it was fast and that some of them managed to get a hatch open before the plane sunk. Some of them floated on cushions for a day or two before the tide took them into Membata. By that time, there were only eight left. Hurley is asked if he’s happy to be back and getting his fortune back, to which he responds that he doesn’t want the money because it’s nothing but trouble. Sun is asked, in Korean, if Jin was one of the people to make it out of the plane. She tells them that he never made it out. A crafty reporter starts grilling Kate about baby Aaron, saying that if Aaron is five weeks old at the press conference, she would have had to be six months pregnant when she was caught in Australia. Ro swoops in and cuts all this off, though, citing legal issues being out of bounds to discuss. Finally, Sayid is asked if there is any chance of other people making it off the plane and surviving. He simply says no, absolutely not.
After the press conference, they all head back behind the curtain. Jack tells Kate she did a good job, and Sayid is told he has a visitor. He heads outside to find Nadia there. They hug and cry. It’s all very touching, really. Too bad she’s gonna die. What a downer.
Later, in Korea, Sun pays an unexpected visit to her daddy’s office. He asks how the baby is doing, and Sun tells him to shut his pie hole because he doesn’t care about the baby. He never liked Jin and there are two people responsible for his death – daddy’s one of them. Mr. Paik asks how she can insult him like this. She explains that Oceanic gave her a very large settlement and she’s just used it to buy a controlling interest in the company. She then tells dear ol’ dad that after she has the baby, she’ll be back to talk about how they should run the company together. BOOYAH SUCKAH!
Back in the states, Hurley drives up to his house in an old Gremlin or Pacer or some POS, at any rate. He has a bag of Mr. Cluck’s. He heads inside and the house seems empty. He calls out for his mom and dad, but there is no answer. There’s a coconut on the floor and he hears whispering. Heads into one of the bedrooms, grabs a mini statue of Jesus and throws open the door to the pool deck. SURPRISE! It’s a birthday party! Hurley is shocked and just stands there for a moment with Jesus over his head until his mother delivers the best line of the year – “Hugo, Jesus is not a weapon.”
It’s a grand old time after that, and Kate and Aaron and Nadia and Sayid and Auntie Em and Uncle Henry and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are all there. Hugo’s dad takes him around to the garage to show him his birthday present. Hurley really doesn’t want anything that’s bought with the money, but his dad assures him that he got this before the money came around. He opens the garage door and inside is the sweet Camaro they were going to fix up. Go on, Hurley, get in. You’ve got some mangoes to smash up pretty soon. Inside the car, Hurley gets ready to crank her up when he notices the odometer and trip meter, all reading 481516 and 2342, respectively. Hurley wants to know if this is a joke and jumps out of the car and runs away, leaving his dad bewildered.
A little bit later, we find the Oceanic Six at Christian Shephard’s memorial service. Jack delivers the eulogy and makes a joke about his father liking funerals because of the free booze. Way to crack a joke about a dead (alive? undead?) alcoholic there, Jackie boy. After the service, Carole Littleton gets Jack to the side and spills the beans about why his father was over in Australia – Jack’s got a half sister, and her name was Claire! But wait, Jack says … that can’t be … we … we made out on the Millenium Falcon that one time … EWWWW.
All done with flash forwards now, and back in the jungle, Ben, Hurley and Locke have made it to The Orchid. Keamy and his men are already there, and Ben explains that they need to get inside the main compound. Locke asks what they’re going to do to get in there, and Ben gets all bitchy and tells him that he doesn’t even take a dump without a plan, so STFU. Then Ben tells Locke that he has to listen carefully because he’ll only say it once. “So, here’s what you do if you want to get into The Orchid: You go into the greenhouse through that hole there. Once inside, you’re gonna turn left. You go about 20 paces until you see a patch of anthuriums on your left. They’re in an alcove against the north wall. Face the wall, reach down with your left hand. Cross your left foot over your right and pat the top of your head six times. Say 10 Hail Marys, whistle the theme to The Godfather and count to 71. After that you’ll find a switch that activates the elevator. The elevator takes you down to the actual Orchid station. Once there you can push the big red button that says PUSH BIG RED BUTTON TO MOVE ISLAND. Got all that? Good. Cause now I’ve got to go surrender myself to Keamy.” And, sure enough, he does. Keamy aims the gun at Ben’s head, but instead of shooting, he just pistol whips him. As much as that man has been beaten in the past 15 or so episodes, he’s not going to have many brain cells left.
Cue the thonk!
Not the meatiest episode ever, but satisfying, nonetheless. It did its job admirably of setting up all the hell that’s going to break loose in Parts 2 and 3, and I know I’m excited as hell to find out what happens. Since this was a set-up episode, there’s not much to analyze or review, but I’ll go over some key points to bear in mind as the season finale unfolds.
POINT, THE ONE. That little radio thing that Keamy had on his arm last episode was obviously the remote detonator for the bajillion pounds of C-4 on the boat. My best guess is that it’s hooked up to his vital signs to form a dead man’s switch that’ll go off if he’s snuffed. This ought to be interesting. I don’t know how all this is going to play out, but without the boat, the Oceanic Six can’t get off the island immediately, which would mean they’ll be sticking around for at least half of another season, not to mention that they’d have to at least get Sun off the boat since she lives. That leaves the fate of Jin, Desmond and Michael all in the air. Jin isn’t safe since he’s supposedly “dead” in the flash forwards. I’m guessing there’s no way in hell they’re going to kill of Desmond since they just opened a whole dramatic can of worms with the whole Ben-hunting-down-Penny storyline. And as for Michael – well, I still think he’s the one in the mysterious coffin in the last season finale’s flash forward.
POINT, THE TWO. We know, officially, that The Orchid is the launching platform for the quantum leaping that Ben does into the Sahara back in “The Shape of Things to Come.” If I were a betting man, I’d put money on the fact that Ben makes that leap in the season finale. The set-up is just too good. He has his collapsible baton – we saw him give it to John before giving himself up – you know there’s going to be a tussle with Keamy so it’s likely that Ben might be shot in the arm trying to escape, and they’re all at The Orchid, now. After his leap to the Sahara, when he visits Widmore, Ben tells him that he’ll never find the island. I’m guessing that’s because the thing’s been moved. There’s a chance that even Ben might not know where the island has been moved, but you’ve go the wild card of the parka to keep in mind. Why the parka? Is it cold down in the lower level of The Orchid? Do they have to keep the equipment on ice to keep things from overheating? Or is the parka necessary after the island has been moved? Good thoughts to think.
POINT, THE THREE. If anything happens to Juliet, I’m going to be royally pissed off.
POINT, THE FOUR. A tad off-topic for this episode, but it still bugs me. If Claire is off being all chummy with her dad, and Aaron is now the responsibility of Kate, and Claire and Christian both say that Aaron is where he’s supposed to be … how the hell does that fit in with what the clairvoyant told Claire WAY back in Claire’s first flashback in season one? Malkin told her that it was imperative that Aaron be raised by Claire, and only Claire, before “changing his mind” and putting her on the plane to meet a couple in America that would adopt him. Of course, most of us believe that the clairvoyant put Claire on that plane because she was supposed to be on that plane, but what all can we really believe in what he had to say? Boy, talk about going back to the well on this one. That was a long damn time ago! And, of course, he admits to Eko in “?” that he’s a fraud as a psychic, but who knows if we can really take his word for that, either. Ah, Lost, how you love to confuse us.
POINT, THE FIVE. These are anthuriums, you know, in case you ever need to get into The Orchid, or something:
I think that’s about it, really. There’ll be a helluva lot more to talk about after the finale, that’s for sure. I can’t wait to see what sort of mind-bending cliffhanger we’ll be talking about all summer. Until next time, keep thinking those thoughts and if you come up with something, tell me something good.
Chris Kirkman is a graphic designer/photographer/journalist/geek extraordinaire with way too many Bruce Campbell movies in his library. He is still hoping that Lost will end when Bob Newhart wakes up next to Suzanne Pleshette, complaining of a strange, strange dream. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.