“Lost”: Episode 12, “There’s No Place Like Home,” Part 1

Lost12jackpcThis one opened and closed on high notes but hit some rough sledding in between.

“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 1,” the first of the tri-part season four finale, is the first Lost seg of the season where I had believe-ability issues with the plot that were nettlesome enough to take me out of the thrall of the storytelling, ever so briefly here and there.Lost12katepc

Jacob’s mouthpiece tells Locke to move the island? I can dig it. Ben is a master manipulator who has secret rooms and stashes of “Doctor Who” props all over the island? I’m down with that. Polar bears in the jungle and black smoke monsters with gnarly tempers? Sure. But Aaron is five weeks old? Give me a break!?! That baby is at least three-four months old if he’s a day.

(Saturday afternoon update: A reader with impeccable credentials on all things “Lost” makes two good points that should be noted. First, in the “Lost” chronology, Aaron is actually only seven weeks old at the time of the press conference, given that he was born in season one on day 38. Second, and this I really should’ve remembered, Screen Actors Guild rules and other labor laws make it virtually impossible to do scenes of any length with infants younger than two months. So we gotta allow some slack there.)

None of the reporters at that press conference would’ve bought that, and they would’ve charged that dais to get at Kate with questions about her giving birth on the island. They would’ve challenged Sayid’s assertion that there were “absolutely not” any other crash survivors. How could he possibly know?

Jack, as Kate says earlier in the episode, is a horrible liar and Sun is no better. The press would’ve smelled the B.S. and pounced. There would’ve been no decorum or quick exit for the survivors — there Lost12sunpc would have been a riot, and the story would’ve turned to skepticism about the claims of the Oceanic 6. I thought that was where they were going when the reporters started to ask Kate about giving birth and Sun about her husband. The only thing worse than Jack trying to lie to the press was the awkwardness of him instructing the other five how to lie just before they landed. I noticed they weren’t looking at Jack with quite the same reverence as before.

Second major hole in the “Lost” ozone layer for me this week: Sun and the business about buying up a controlling interest in her father’s mega-conglom. I’m sure each of the 6 got fat settlements from Oceanic Airlines once they turned up, however they turned up. But enough to swoop in and steal control of a multinational conglom from its meglomaniac leader? Oh come on. Those South Korean firms are huge — it’d take billion(s) and it would not be the kind of transaction you could do in a single morning.Lost12hamel

They could’ve still had what was otherwise a hell of a showdown scene between Sun and her father without that flight of fancy. We know Sun’s got plenty of reasons to despise her father. For starters, I can’t swear to it but I don’t think Mr. Paik was in that opening scene of the Oceanic 6 reuniting with family members on the tarmac of the military facility. (I’ll check in the ayem.) OK, he was there….sorry Mr. Paik.

All that said, once again, it was still a mighty entertaining hour of television delivered in the seg penned by our “Lost” leaders, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, and helmed by Stephen Williams. We learned a lot.

Lost12hurleypc **It jumped right out at me this time: Kate looks an awful lot like Jack’s mom, Margo (played by Veronica Hamel, pictured above).

**I’d been wondering, like every other “Lost” fan, about what to make of Ben and his whining about losing control to Locke and his faux emotional trauma over his daughter. I don’t buy it now. I think he’s still the puppet master, manipulating every situation he’s in for own nefarious ends. Granted, Ben’s got more of a challenge these days with all the unruly factions on the island. But as he informed Locke toward the end of the seg: “I always have a plan.” He also admitted once again to not being “entirely truthful” with Locke. Duh.

**In the flash-forward scene of Hurley’s surprise party, Hurley appeared to have the same style of ceramic Virgin Mary statue that bedeviled dear old Charlie way back in season one, only Hurley’s was painted gold. Great line from Mama Hurley: “Jesus Christ is not a weapon” as Hurley holds it over his head ready to strike a charging polar bear or something with it.Lost12sayidpc_2

**So Jack finds out about Claire, at his father’s long-delayed funeral no less. He just can’t catch a break. I confess to wishing that they would use Claire’s surname more often on the show. It has such a familiar ring to it…

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  1. Phil says:

    Roger Ebert in his 1997 re-review of Hal Ashby’s “Being There” as part of his Great Movies series, he presents this anecdote about the final scene of the film (which I think is very relevant to many things that happen on Lost, and which can remind us not to overthink and add to some scenes):
    “In the much-discussed final sequence of “Being There,” Chance casually walks onto the surface of a lake. We can see that he is really walking on the water, because he leans over curiously and sticks his umbrella down into it.
    When I taught the film, I had endless discussions with my students over this scene. Many insisted on explaining it: He is walking on a hidden sandbar, the water is only half an inch deep, there is a submerged pier, etc. “Not valid!” I thundered. “The movie presents us with an image, and while you may discuss the meaning of the image it is not permitted to devise explanations for it. Since Ashby does not show a pier, there is no pier–a movie is exactly what it shows us, and nothing more,” etc.”

  2. Nick says:

    Paik has something to do with Automobile manufacturing, no? Auto companies are indeed huge. Airlines on the other hand rarely make any money (Chapter 11 anyone?). Hence for an airline to offer a settlement large enough to buy a controlling interest in an auto manufacturer is indeed BS. Even if the airline has some sort of insurance, a realistic settlement is going to be millions not billions. Furthermore, buying in a day is ABSOLUTELY impossible. If the company is public the most liquid shares only trade up to say 5% of their float in a day. If private, Sun would need to convince several MAJOR shareholders to part with their stakes, IN A DAY??

  3. Salvadore Paradisio says:

    Given all improbabilities, I think Sun buying shares to take controlling interest in Paik industries is completely reasonable. First, she would be given a settlement for not one person, like, say Jack. She would be receiving at least a triple-sized settlement: for herself, her dead husband (none of the others lost family), and for her unborn child. That would be substantially more money, especially for the dead husband. There are other unknown variables at play as well: has Paik Industries recently fallen on hard times, possibly related to the Widmore company, DHARMA, Mittelos Biosience, Oceanic Airlines, etc.? That seems within the realm of possibility. I think in some episode a while back that there was a big clue that Paik Industries is in fact involved in the larger scope somehow, which could translate to a fall in the price for stock shares. (There was also a tsunami that year. That could put a big crunch on Paik Industries.)
    Of all things, Sun’s hostile takeover seems completely in line with the reality of the show’s mythos and the history of that year. Plus, with Sun wielding such great power, I wonder if she might use it for something… tropical.
    I also had no problem with the press being kept at a pole’s length away from the Oceanic Six. One word: money. And Jack? He’s become quite the capable liar, having learned from some of the best. He can’t fool Kate, surely, but he’s always been able to put on a brave face in front of a crowd.

  4. Joe says:

    Then in this episode we see alive and kicking Nadia, when in episode 9 we see her get shoot at point blank range by a hitman.

  5. Phil says:

    No doubt the scene was filmed in Hawaii, but the location in the show is actually Lost Angeles. Hurley bought the mansion for his mother before he was a castaway on the crazy Island. It’s why in the first episode of this season Jack is watching the local news coverage of the newly restored Camaro. It’s also why Hurley, in both occasions, was sent to Santa Rosa Hospital (which is actually quite a ways away from LA and I’m sure there are closer facilities to accomodate for him, but nonetheless much closer than Hawaii).
    I do concede, it was probably a luau, but then again Hawaii itself is a bunch of islands in the pacific ocean. And still hilariously inappropriate, good natured as it may be.

  6. maverick says:

    Hurley’s surprise birthday party is not an “Island Theme Party.” They’re in Hawaii at Hurley’s house, it’s a luau!

  7. rocco says:

    In regards to Sun buying the controlling interest in her father’s company, take a look at the first two lines of that scene. The dialogue between her father and his assistant(?) talk about how all those shares were purchased without them seeing it coming.

  8. Phil says:

    It was a nailbiter of an episode! It’s cruel making us wait two weeks to get the conclusion to this season!
    I got a kick out of everything that happened with Hurley’s seg. The gold jesus statue and his mom’s quip, and the inappropriately Island themed party… oy vey! I could be totally wrong, but I think that was the first time since season two that we saw the Numbers in their entirety.
    The thing that jumped out at me the most, out of all other things that happened in thsi ep? The turtle (or tortoise) on the beach! I appreciate the producers not editing that out or reshooting the scene. That turtle may be the next Dharma shark.

  9. Zedman2 says:

    I will have to review the episode, but they state that Aaron was just 5 weeks old. Technically, the baby could have been born premature by at least 6 weeks and that would be enough to get by in terms of his real age.

  10. BigTex says:

    Yeah, you know, a lot of coincidental and out there things can happen as long as there is some sort of logic behind it at the end of the day. That’s why buying a controlling interest and the reporter scene don’t work of course. On a bigger scale that’s why these showrunners, writers, and producers better wrap everything up at the end of the run.
    Interesting to see Sun on the revenge path. Who will the second man who was responsible for Jin’s death be?
    I question Ben’s control. Is he really the puppet master as you say? I sort of lean toward a higher power- not Jacob but perhaps Richard. With all of the properties of the island to consider I wonder what happened to the Black Rock (pirate ship) crew? Could any of The Others be from that era, where are they…

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