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Cruisin' for a Bruisin'

On ''Lost,'' the hunt for pregnant lady Claire leads Jack and Locke to more mysteries

Matthew Fox, Lost | DO NOT RESUSCITATE Please, no more flashbacks of Dr. Jack's dad issues
Image credit: Lost: REISIG & TAYLOR/ABC
DO NOT RESUSCITATE Please, no more flashbacks of Dr. Jack's dad issues

''Lost'': The hunt for Claire

How nice was it to have a real enemy tonight? Yes, Tom Cruise's cousin is truly a force to be reckoned with, as he drags Claire and Charlie off . . . somewhere . . . and then reappears to stick his boot up Jack's nose in the most one-sided fight I've seen since Jon Stewart went on Crossfire. I mean, Jack couldn't even land a punch on the guy! What if Ethan's not real? What if it's like in Ghost, where Patrick Swayze gets his ass kicked by that one really creepy subway dead guy until he learns how to focus his energy and take out all his rage on soda cans and . . . Oda Mae? Oda Mae, is that you?

What? Oh. Sorry.

First things first: I asked you guys to help me with anything I missed, and you came through with a couple nice ones:

John Locke: Also the name of a famous philosopher! He was a 17th-century anti-authoritarian who believed that mankind needed to follow natural law to reach its divine purpose and who influenced the thinking of 18th-century philosophisizer Rousseau, who was a crazy French woman who lived in a box. Not to be confused with a box company.

Ethan Rom = Ethan Frome?: Ethan Frome is an Edith Wharton novel about some guy who's stuck in a love triangle or something. I dunno. It just makes me think of that part in Grosse Pointe Blank where John Cusack asks his old English teacher if she's ''still inflicting all that horrible Ethan Frome damage'' on her students, and then . . .

What's that? My references to Great Movies of the '90s aren't getting us anywhere? Fine. We will talk about the show, then, if that's how you want to be.

I personally did not care for the Jack flashbacks, which told us he and his dad had a troubled relationship, because, well, we already knew that, because of all the other Jack flashbacks (and there are other people I want to know about, dammit!). I also didn't think it justified him being such a total brat. He's got a martyr complex that's starting to make him a real party pooper, and no one is gonna ask him to the spring formal if he keeps up with that kind of behavior. I also do not appreciate the totally passive-aggressive attitude he's throwing at Kate because of her refusal to tell him what she did after he asked her not to.

And yet: I feel a great deal of confidence in the Lost staff and their Master Plan, don't you? Turning the stupid hobbit finger tape into punk-rock bread crumbs? Brilliant.

I also loved the Reasonable Sawyer/Sayid scene, coming on the heels of last week's Reasonable Sawyer/Hurley scene. I liked the weird look Shannon gave Kate when Kate said, ''If there's anyone on the island your brother's safe with, it's Locke.'' Oh, and by the way, ''If there's anyone on the island your brother's safe with, it's Locke,'' is Phrase #2 on the Official List of Things You Just Do Not Say Unless You Want Someone to Die, which was why I was very surprised to see Boone and Locke not only make it to the end of the show, but also discover a giant piece of steel in the ground (which I think might be Rousseau's box) (or a spaceship) right before: Boom. Lost.

But the bestest thing about tonight was this: When Jack and Kate found ''VH1 Has-Been'' Charlie hanging in the tree, his neck was a terrifying purple, and he was terrifyingly dead. And Jack started giving him CPR, and Kate started crying, and I realized that this was all supposed to be paralleling the earlier flashback scene where Dr. Jack had to stop giving CPR to the patient his dad killed, and then Kate made Jack stop giving CPR to the obviously dead Charlie, and even though I knew he was going to go back to the CPR and save Charlie's life, I started crying. This is how you identify good TV: When you know what's going to happen and you still get swept up in it all. When you know, but you don't know. When anything is possible.

Discussion questions:

1. Is Reasonable Sawyer all just a plea to get on everyone's good side so it's easier to creep around to the back and stab them and then make out with their women?

2. Okay. So Charlie says all ''they'' wanted was Claire. Who are they? Rousseau's shipmates, not dead after all? Really powerful wizards? Pirates? Who?

3. So, what is up with Boone and Shannon? I am praying for Not Incest, but . . . that look was pretty weird.

4. Where did the polar bear come from?

5. Do you think Kate killed her dad?

6. Um, where are the Koreans?

7. What did it mean when Walt said, ''My other dad calls me the luckiest person he's ever known''? Can we take Walt to Vegas when we get off the island?

8. There's been a lot of discussion amidst the Internet geeks about ''red shirts'' (the extra plane crash survivors = the red-shirted Star Trek extras who were there just to get killed off). When Boone made that reference while tying red shirt strips around trees, does that prove that J.J. is listening? And am I an Internet geek now? (Don't answer that.)

9. What sort of jail time do you get for hobbitcide?

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Originally posted Dec 09, 2004