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Lost Reviews and News

Key Points from "Homecoming"

Season 1, Episode 15
Episode Air Date: 02/09/05

Point 1
Claire Now this is what I'm talkin' about. The "Lost" producers are whipping out the good stuff for February sweeps and now, after a few ho-hum episodes, we get a real treat with "Homecoming."

And that treat begins and ends with the return of Claire. In case you forgot, Claire made a surprise appearance at the end of "Special." Remember? She stumbled out of the nighttime jungle and scared the holy hell out of Boone and Locke? Yeah. It happened. And now, two weeks later, we finally see the conclusion to this most unexpected development.

This week's episode picks up moments after Claire's appearance. Locke and Boone rush Claire back to the cave camp. She's unconscious and bloody, but still impossibly pregnant (seriously, when is she gonna pop that thing out?). Jack revives her with the ancient "please wake up" technique -- this involves saying "please wake up" repeatedly. Oddly, it works. Alas, Claire's return to consciousness reveals a troubling development -- she has absolutely no memory of her fellow castaways or the events on the island. Her last accessible memory predates the plane crash. So you can imagine her consternation upon gaining consciousness in a dark tropical locale with scores of strangers staring at her in confusion and horror. Not a good time.

I'll have more on Claire in a bit (she's integral to this episode's Very Major Plot Development), but here are the important bits:

  1. She's still pregnant. The baby appears to be okay.

  2. She has no memory of Ethan or the kidnapping. This is probably a good thing.

  3. She has a dim memory of Charlie and peanut butter. Veteran "Lost" viewers will understand this connection. Others will have absolutely no idea what this peanut butter business is all about. Sorry about that.
Point 2
Charlie This episode includes a shockingly mindless series of Charlie flashbacks. The writers were trying to show Charlie's metamorphosis from drugged out rock star to responsible man, but the flashbacks were a big-time distraction from the far more interesting island developments in this episode. Nonetheless, here are the key flashback points:
  • One year after Driveshaft's break up, Charlie and one of his "mates" are running low on drugs. They're also running low on money. This poses a problem since they need money to get drugs. With this in mind, Charlie's friend hatches a plan.

  • And that plan involves taking advantage of a wealthy Driveshaft fan.

  • Yes, there is such a thing as a "wealthy Driveshaft fan." Fortunately, she also happens to have a big crush on Charlie.

  • So Charlie engages in a pseudo relationship with this woman with the aim of wooing her just long enough to procure an expensive item from her home. If all goes as designed, Charlie and his friend will sell this item for money that will, in turn, net more drugs. It's foolproof!

  • No, it's not. The plan begins to fall apart when Charlie develops feelings for his wealthy lady friend (her name is Lucy). This causes Charlie to entertain thoughts of respectable living and responsible actions. These thoughts manifest themselves in Charlie's unwise decision to accept a job from Lucy's rich father.

  • Now, you may be asking yourself what line of work would be fitting for a drugged out bassist. Obviously, the answer is copy machine salesperson. So Charlie squeezes himself into a suit and prepares for a sales call, but just as he takes his first step toward the moral high ground, his drug habit kicks him straight in the crotch. Charlie looks around Lucy's house and pilfers an antique cigarette case (once owned by Winston Churchill, thankyouverymuch).

  • For some strange reason, Charlie opts to carry through with his sales call despite his descent into Winston Churchill Memorabilia Crime. And of course it's a debacle. He sweats. He stammers. He fumbles with files and papers. And then comes the piece de resistance -- he vomits on the copy machine. Let the nastiness of this visual swim around in your brain a while. It's a treat.

  • And then, in the closing moments of this flashback ridiculousness, the producers pull forth the Giant Hammer of Obviousness and proceed to smack every single viewer right between the eyes. Soon after the Xerox vomit incident, Charlie visits Lucy's home to apologize. Lucy answers the door, her eyes bleary from hours of crying. She knows all about the Winston Churchill cigarette case. She also knows about Charlie's drug habit. But what she doesn't understand is why Charlie accepted the job. Okay -- are you ready? You might want to take notes on this next part. In response, Charlie stutters: "I guess, I wanted to be respectable. I wanted you to think that I could take care of you." Lucy retorts: "You'll never take care of anyone." SLAMS DOOR. END SCENE.

    Did you get all that? "You'll never take care of anyone." Remember that. The sheer obviousness of it will make you laugh really hard in just a bit.

Point 3
Jack

Locke

Sayid

Sawyer

Kate

Claire

Charlie

All right. Now we're getting somewhere. This next part was by far the most exciting part of this week's episode.

The morning after Claire's miraculous reappearance, Charlie and Jin are walking through the forest. Charlie is chattering away. Jin is trying to ignore him (an easy task since Jin doesn't understand a word of English). And then BLAM! ... a rock shoots out of the woods and knocks Jin to the ground. Charlie is dumbfounded. Jin is unconscious. And then a familiar foe appears amidst the foliage. Ethan strides toward Charlie. He's dirty and disheveled. Bloody scratch marks are ripped into his cheeks. Charlie grabs a nearby stick and prepares to strike, but Ethan blocks the blow and snares Charlie by the throat. As he closes Charlie's windpipe, Ethan delivers an ultimatum: If Claire is not brought back to this exact spot, he will kill the castaways one by one. And as a special treat, he promises to kill Charlie last. With that, Ethan releases Charlie and walks back into the brush.

Charlie and Jin make it back to camp and Charlie immediately delivers the disturbing news to Jack and Locke. As is often the case, Jack and Locke have differing viewpoints. Jack wants to go on the offensive and track Ethan down. Locke knows better. Ethan has show himself to be a cunning adversary (Locke reminds Jack about the ass-whupping Ethan delivered and he keys Charlie in to that whole hanging-from-a-tree thing), so trudging off into the woods on a revenge mission probably won't yield effective results. Locke knows that defense wins championships (and protects plane crash survivors from island psychopaths), so he wants to set up guards posts and prepare makeshift alarms. Jack yields to Locke's expertise. Operation Protect the Damn Camp is a go.

And the plan works wonderfully until daylight spills across the beach. That's when a broken and very dead corpse is found in the sand. Fortunately, the deceased is one of those random castaways that conveniently pop up every few episodes. Locke deduces that Evil Ethan broke through the camp's defenses by traveling in from the ocean. Tricky bastard.

The dead castaway sets off Jack's Alpha Male Alarm -- he knows a defensive stand will lead to more deaths. With this in mind, he pairs up with Locke and walks into a super secret wooded area, where he reveals the hiding place of Kate's metal briefcase. Using the key strapped around his neck, Jack opens the case to reveal the four 9mm pistols contained within. Upon seeing the guns, Locke replies in perfect fashion: "Why doctor, you've been holding out on us."

Locke and Jack quietly confer with Sayid. They concoct a plan to capture Ethan by using Claire as bait. Charlie catches wind of this operation and vehemently disagrees, but Claire (who must have been lingering nearby) steps in and volunteers to play the cheese in Jack and Locke's mousetrap.

But there's a hitch -- they have more guns than marksmen, and it doesn't make sense to stage a battle without all the weapons. Jack, Locke and Sayid all know how to blow the crap out of things, but Charlie isn't an experienced shooter. The only alternative is Sawyer. So Jack enlists his adversary, but Sawyer has a little surprise for him; another gun. Way back in the early days, Sawyer lifted the weapon off the U.S. Marshal. The gun was useless without ammunition, but now that Jack has boxes of bullets, a fifth weapon has entered the picture. Question is: Who should get it?

Why, Kate, of course! We all saw how well she handled that weapon in her absurd bank robbery flashback.

Fully armed with guns and a plan, the platoon of Jack, Locke, Sayid, Sawyer and Kate accompany Claire into the jungle. Heavy rain falls as the snipers take up hidden positions. Claire apprehensively walks into Evil Ethan's chosen location. Moments later, Ethan charges from the woods. Claire bolts in the opposite direction. Running and dramatic music ensue. Just as Claire is about to fall into Ethan's clutches, Jack blindsides Ethan with an impressive open field tackle. Jack's gun goes flying into the mud as he and Ethan exchange blows. The other shooters rush in as Jack gains the upper hand, subduing Ethan with a torrent of massive punches to Ethan's face and chest. The threat has been minimized, so Jack and the other gunslingers move into defensive positions around Ethan, their guns trained on important body locations. Ethan struggles to his knees in an apparent act of aggression, but before anyone can react, six shots are delivered straight into Ethan's chest. The camera pans around to reveal ... CHARLIE! The sneaky little bassist followed the group and nabbed Jack's gun during the struggle. And when he got the opportunity to plant a garden of bullets in Ethan's torso, he didn't hesitate. The other gun holders are stunned -- Ethan could have provided valuable information -- but then they appear to remember that Ethan is the guy who strung Charlie up from a tree and left him for dead, so perhaps Charlie's vigilantism is somewhat forgivable.

Later that night, after the excitement and gunplay have concluded, Jack sits next to Charlie and asks him why he played a first-person-shooter on Ethan's rib cage. "I wasn't going to let that animal anywhere near her again. Ever," Charlie says. Well, that's what he says on the outside. On the inside, the dialogue went more like this: "I wasn't going to let that animal anywhere near her again. And I've got these issues with taking care of women. Now, in previous times my drug use prevented me from fully accepting a caretaker role, but now that I've kicked the habit, I find myself filled with a potent mixture of reasonability and honor. And one more thing: HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW, LUCY?! I 'TOOK CARE' OF CLAIRE REAL GOOD, BABY. AND I 'TOOK CARE' OF ETHAN TOO!"

(Note: That "Giant Hammer of Obviousness" stuff I referred to in Charlie's backstory segment should make sense now. It's as though the writers asked themselves: "What's the shortest route between an action and a motivation? Hmm. I know! A blazingly obvious flashback sequence! Genius!")

Editorial Tangent: Feel free to skip ahead if you don't want to read my rambling opinions. However, I feel the need to give credit where credit is due. I've been a critic of certain aspects of this show (my disdain for the flashbacks is pretty clear), but the "Lost" crew deserves high praise for this episode's Ethan capture sequence. They ratcheted up the tension and delivered a true surprise with Charlie's death blow. This scene ranks with the best things I've seen on television and it's a perfect example of how exceptional this show can be when it's firing on all cylinders.

Point 4
Sun

Jin

It appears that Jin is suspicious of Sun's language abilities. At the beginning of the episode, Jin asks Sun if Claire's baby will be all right. Sun doesn't completely bite -- she doesn't come out and say "Oh sure, the baby is fine! Didn't you hear Jack just say so?" -- but she does hint at an ability to understand the conversations going on around her. Seeing as the producers went out of their way to highlight this exchange, it's safe to assume that a Sun-Jin revelation episode is forthcoming. Couple these latest developments with Kate's recent discovery of Sun's English skills and you can see that the stage has been set for some sort of pivotal event.
Point 5
Island Stuff A couple of slightly relevant island things were revealed during this episode:
  • The castaways have been on the island for about a month.

  • Claire was missing for almost two weeks.

  • Vincent the dog reappeared, but his discovery was quickly forgotten when the body of Ethan's victim was found on the beach. It remains to be seen whether or not Vincent has been reunited with Walt.

  • The castaway killed by Ethan was named Scott Jackson. He's the guy everyone mistakenly called "Steve."
That's it for now. Be sure to drop by our "Lost" Forum for stimulating conversation and conjecture.
Next Episode:
"Outlaws" -- Kate and Sawyer reveal their deepest darkest secrets to each other. Yeah. That's gonna end well. Airs: Wednesday, Feb. 16, 8 p.m., ABC.


Review by Mac Slocum. All photos and episode descriptions © ABC Inc.



Posted by Mac Slocum on February 11, 2005 8:21 PM |




another thing: charlie was saling a copy machine model number 518!!!! another 518 hint!
p.s. i love to read your reviews

#1. Posted by: hirshel at July 23, 2005 8:56 PM

This episode also wins the award for Best Subtle Reference to an Award-Winning British Sitcom! (When Charlie asks Lucy where her father is, she says he's 'buying a paper company in slough'. A paper company in slough is the setting for the mock-documentary-sitcom The Office. Neat, huh?)

#2. Posted by: Rob at December 4, 2005 6:31 PM

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