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September 2, 2014

Lost: Enter 77

by Erin Martell, posted Mar 8th 2007 7:52AM

Evangeline Lilly and Naveen Andrews

(S03E11) Now that was an episode! Writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse deserve serious kudos for achieving such a perfect balance of plot and character development. "Enter 77" combined action and humor, and utilized a majority of the cast instead of focusing on a core group of characters. We learned the identity of Eye Patch Guy, and he just might be my new favorite character.

The Flashback

Was it just me, or did it seem like there were fewer flashback scenes in this episode? I actually thought that the presentation of Sayid's flashback proved that less is more with regard to character back story. There were no filler moments, just a close examination of Sayid's time in Paris. While posing as a cook named Najeev, Sayid was set up and held captive by one of his former torture victims.

Amira had been falsely accused of harboring an enemy of the state, her arms permanently scarred by hot oil used during her interrogation. Part of me did not want Amira and Sami's accusations to be true, but Sayid's tearful confession was moving. I genuinely hope that Naveen Andrews gets more screen time, because his performances are always memorable. Amira ultimately forgave and freed Sayid, but he may have learned more about mercy from her cat, which mysteriously ended up in the Flame station.

The Beach

The ping pong scenes were hilarious, and it's nice to know that Lost episodes can include both drama and levity, instead of just one or the other. Jin discovered a ping pong table during his search for firewood, and the survivors determined that it came from the now-destroyed hatch. Ever the opportunist, Sawyer saw the game as a chance to get "his" stuff back (according to Sawyer, it was his when he stole it). He challenged the beach group to a game, with some pretty high stakes. If Sawyer won, he would get "his" stuff back; if he lost, no nicknames for a week.

He lost, of course, to Hurley and his Forrest Gump-like ping pong skills. I hope that Sawyer's penalty extends through the rest of Season Three, because I am on nickname overload after the last few episodes. The man can certainly pout like nobody's business, though. Even after Hurley returned some of Sawyer's "reading materials," the con man was unable to show a little gratitude. You're welcome, James.

The Flame Station

After following Locke's bearings for two days, the jungle group (Sayid, Kate, Locke, and Danielle) came upon a high-tech farmhouse, complete with cattle and a satellite dish. The farmer was none other than Eye Patch Guy from "The Cost of Living," also known as Mikhail Bakunin (see below for the significance of his name). Mikhail claimed to be "the last living member of the DHARMA Initiative, a rogue member who had refused to take part in a war with the hostiles. DHARMA supposedly lost "The Purge," and Mikhail was offered a truce by the hostiles.

The Flame Station was as well-equipped as The Swan, containing furniture, DHARMA liquor, ammunition, and a chess-playing computer. Amira's cat was also a resident of The Flame, and Sayid learned that it was named Nadia, after the famous gymnast. On a side note, I thought Amira mentioned that the cat was male--why give it a female name? The only down side to The Flame was that the satellite dish was broken, and the station was wired with explosives.

Sayid demonstrated his brilliance once again by deducing that Mikhail was not a DHARMA member, and that he was not alone in The Flame. Kate and Sayid were able to subdue Mikhail after an impressive fight sequence. The Others might not be the best liars, but they do know how to fight. Anyone who can hold his own against a violent fugitive and an Iraqi torturer is pretty awesome in my book. Where was Locke during the fight, you ask? Playing chess on the computer. That's right, playing chess.

Apparently Locke did not learn his lesson from the first DHARMA computer, because he kept playing chess with the Flame computer until it led him to the Manual Override. I like computer games, too, but I think that the discovery of a new DHARMA station and an Other are more pressing matters than setting up one's own personal War Games scenario. Even when charged with watching Mikhail, Locke couldn't keep his eyes off the game. What is going on with Locke this season? His actions used to make sense to me; now I just want to scream at him.

During Locke's chess match, Kate and Sayid found a familiar Other hiding under the trap door: little ol' Ms. Klugh. Kate scored one for the beach survivors when she punched out her former captor, but the victory was short. Mikhail had already taken Locke hostage, and a standoff ensued. Klugh, speaking Russian to her colleague, apparently ordered her own death, but left no contingency plan for Mikhail. The Other was left at the mercy of Sayid, Kate, Locke, and Danielle. After some discussion, Sayid decided to let Mikhail live, but only to accompany them to the Others' camp. Unlike Locke, Sayid made good use of his time in The Flame, and found a map to The Barracks.

Locke, deciding that one screw-up per episode was not enough, actually performed the Manual Override. I am not sure why he believed Mikhail's "hostiles" story even after Mikhail was exposed as an Other, but he did. Locke followed Dr. Marvin Candle's video instructions and entered 77, which caused The Flame Station and all of its communication capabilities to explode. Strange game, Locke. I guess the only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of backgammon?

A few thoughts:

  • Was anyone else suspicious of Danielle's motives when she ditched Sayid, Kate, and Locke outside The Flame?
  • I hope there are some Lost fans who are fluent in Russian, because I am curious about the Russian documents found in the station.
  • Mikhail claimed that Nadia the cat was named after Nadia Comaneci, with whom he shared a birthday. Comaneci was born on November 12, 1961. Also born on November 12: Mikhail Chigorin, Russian chess player.
  • Add another name to the list of Lost's philosophy references. Mikhail Bakunin was a Russian revolutionary, credited as one of the fathers of modern anarchism.

See you next week for "Par Avion," the Claire-centric episode!

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Glenn

What I didn't get was if the computer would allow the winner of the chess game to detonate the charges under the Flame compound, would that mean that if the Flame was under attack, that the Dharma members would have to win a chess game before they could destroy the compound? Seems pretty dumb.

Desmond's episode was great, this episode was just okay. Locke is becoming more and more stupid as this show goes on.

Of course, I'm probably going to quit after this season.

March 09 2007 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nathan

Crap crap crap, why show us hundreds of Dharma folders and then take it away? I am so annoyed with this show and it's continued loose plot for taking away potential mystery explanation. So much in that shed was usable.

March 08 2007 at 11:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

The Losties do not keep blowing up the hatches, LOCKE keeps blowing them up.

If he blows up a third one, I'd say he has a issue with them.

March 08 2007 at 10:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kevinc

Locke entering 77 made perfect sense to me.

Locke went against DHARMA when he stopped entering the numbers, and the hatch blew up. Now, he hears the doctor, on the computer, who is clearly DHARMA tell him to enter 77 if the "Hostiles" are overrunning the Flame station. So he obeys and enters 77. Makes perfect sense. Who says that's what blew the station?????????

Why does everyone assume that the C4 was what blew the station? The C4 looked to have been added after the station was built, probably by the Hostiles. Give DHARMA some credit, they build these things really well and I can't see their defense being so shoddily installed. If it was the C4 that blew it up, it was probably the Hostiles that did it, not Locke.

Didn't Sayid take the entire operations manual? Not just the map???

March 08 2007 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Emma

Loved this episode, it was SO good to see Sayid back in the limelight and it was a great light and dark episode combining both humour and action. I have to say, though, what was up with playing Sawyer against the D-Team?! Nikki and Paulo have got to be THE most annoying characters since Ana Lucia (and I even ended up liking her in the end). Don't get me wrong I am not one of those any change/ new characters are bad people, but these two have to be the worst kind of additions. Ever since the show began the worst type of new character was this type, oh by the way I have just been hanging out on the beach the last two and a half seasons. Get them off the screen already! I am afraid I am with Sawyer on this one ... "who the hell are you!?"

March 08 2007 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

Chris.

Who is to say that Danielle DID NOT recognize Ben. For a few weeks now I have been thinking that she was in on the whole thing from the get go. My theory is her "story" about her crash and killing her crew is all a lie or she believes it because she was brainwashed. Either way I say she was an other and was banished. Perhaps Ben came to her and gave her a chance at redemption by "capturing" him.

March 08 2007 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
theParty

Everyone who is saying its lazy writing is completely off base, and just looking for a reason to hate on lost. Locke has always been prone to becoming obsessed about issues. He was obsessed about his father. He was obsessed about pressing the numbers in the hatch. And in this episode, he was obsessed with beating the computer in chess. So how can it be surprising or lazy that his obsession led him to leave the prisoner. That is just Locke's nature.

In regards to blowing up all the "answers." First, you have no idea whether or not they told Locke about the explosives. Even if Locke knew about the explosives, he most likely would have pressed 77 anyways because the program told him to press 77 if an incursion by hostiles has occurred (which in fact was the case).

Furthermore, disconnecting the wired explosives is not as simple as removing wires, as some have suggested. Sayid was not trained in explosives and it is unlikely that he would have been able to simply "turn off" a security system. Nor would he have attempted to due to the danger in messing up. and blowing himself up.

Finally, the idea of the group staying in the Fire and coming up with a plan does not make sense. Do you really think they would stop and read manuals about the Dharma Initiative? No, they were on the mission to retrieve Jack from the Others. (Although this may be something you would do because as a viewer you want to know more) Thus, Sayid found what he needed once he found the map and did not need to waste time on reading other documents.

March 08 2007 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BillS

Chris: I just assumed Ben was Alex's adopted father. She was probably taken when she was young, and maybe doesn't know he isn't her real father.

http://popculturejunk.blogspot.com/

March 08 2007 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dean Hostager

If you want to find out what is really going on in episode 77, read this.

http://losthematheory.com/sayidhostiles.aspx

March 08 2007 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LC

Brian-

The reason they left the station, even though Klugh was dead and Mikhail was captured was that they figured that the others were most likely on their way and staying there would have risked capture.

March 08 2007 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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