This one was great.
Episode 3 dropped a ton of mythology on us about the Dharma Initiative, and we meet Mr. Eko and his “Jesus Stick”- or at least, Sawyer met the Jesus Stick up close and personal.
There was so much going on in this episode that each scene fell perfectly in time with the last one. In a Locke-centric flashback, we see John struggling to get through life dealing with the anger and confusion that comes when your father cons you into donating your kidney to him and then dumps you like yesterday’s garbage. While John was dealing with that, he met Helen.
Back in Walkabout, John first mentions the name of Helen (although that is not the same Helen as we get here). Played by the wonderful Katie Segal, Helen and John become a couple, but he just could not give up his obsession with his father. John would go out in the night to sit in his car outside Cooper’s house. One night, Cooper came and got in the car with John to remind us what a cold-hearted bastard Anthony Cooper was. His dismissal of John was such a cruel scene that you cannot help but feel for him, a man who only wants to understand why his father would have done that to him.
The flashbacks end in a positive place as Helen forces John to choose between her and the obsession with his father. Although this has a happy ending, we know where John ends up in the flashbacks, crippled and talking to a sex phone service to a woman he calls Helen.
Back in the Hatch, Kate, who has escaped her prison, gets the drop on Desmond. During the scuffle, Desmond accidentally fires his gun and shoots the computer, causing Desmond to freak out. “We’re all gonna die” he said. Kate goes to get Sayid to fix the computer. Jack seems very agitated and then Desmond appears to recognize Jack, to Locke’s surprise. Desmond then tells his story of being stranded on his race around the world in his boat, being grabbed by Kelvin and brought to the Swan station to push a button. “Just saving the world” Desmond said, Kelvin’s words, not his. Then, Desmond directs Jack and Locke to the bookcase where an orientation film is hidden behind the novel, Turn of the Screw.
The film is an orientation film used by a group called the Dharma Initiative to explain what the Swan Station’s purpose is. It features a man who calls himself Dr. Marvin Candle, but we know as Dr. Pierre Chang. He gives background on the Dharma Initiative.
John wants to watch it again.
I am not sure the reasoning behind Jack being so angry this entire episode. He just seems so out of control, which, though Jack has been shown to be hot-tempered, this felt like a whole new level. This, of course, continued to set up the conflict between Jack and Locke.
Sayid is brought in (with Hugo) to fix the computer as the timer continues to countdown. Desmond takes off, leaving the Swan. Jack departs too, which leaves John in a conundrum on what to do next.
Sayid is able to fix the computer and they enter the code into the computer which, to Hurley’s shock, is the numbers, 4 8 15 16 23 42.
This would be enough for most episodes, but we also get to see Sawyer, Jin and Michael, who had been subdued by the “Others”, tossed into a pit in the ground. As they try to figure out what to do, a girl is dropped into the pit as well. It is Ana Lucia, whom we met in the finale of season one. She was on the plane, too.
When Sawyer pulls out the gun, prepared to shoot “Shaft” the next time he opened the cage, Ana Lucia disarmed Sawyer and called to be let out. It was obvious that they dumped Ana Lucia in the pit to get information. As she is being pulled out, Mr. Eko said “Who are they?”
Everything worked together in this episode so well, keeping tension with each second clicking off the timer. In what could have been nothing but a big exposition dump, the show really found some creative ways to give information and still be remarkably entertaining.
I really found Jack unlikable here and I was glad that this was not the first impression I had of Jack because I would have hated him. He was very close-minded and judgemental during these Swan scenes and even at the end, where he wound up pushing the button, Jack was on edge.
Desmond would not be seen again until the finale of season two.
“See you in another life, yeah?”