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October 6, 2015

Lost: Par Avion

by Erin Martell, posted Mar 15th 2007 10:06AM

Emilie de Ravin, Lost

(S03E12) In the words of Keanu Reeves, whoa. There was a ton of information to process in this episode. "Par Avion" featured at least three major shocks, all of which were pretty satisfying. Claire has had so few flashback episodes that I was not sure what to expect. This episode definitely helped me to understand (and like) Claire much more.

The Flashback

I was relieved to finally see a Claire-centric episode that did not revolve around her baby. The flashback scenes made her far more interesting in her own right than as the mother of a potentially evil child. We learned that a very goth Claire was responsible for a car accident that put her mother in a coma. A familiar face from "Two For The Road" also showed up: Lindsey, the woman Christian Shephard confronted about his daughter. It turns out that she's Aunt Lindsey, and Christian is actually Claire's father! I was spoiled on this part, but I still found the revelation exciting.

Christian, who had been anonymously paying Claire's mother's medical bills, came to Australia to convince Claire to humanely end her mother's life. According to Christian, he had visited Claire when she was very young, and even sang to her ("Catch a Falling Star," perhaps?). Claire was unmoved by the conversation, and didn't even bother to ask Christian his name before telling him to leave. The lack of curiosity on the part of the Lost characters continues to infuriate me. Christian tried to stress the difference between hope and guilt, but Claire kept her mother alive anyway. Many years later, a pregnant Claire visited her mother to make a tearful apology. Emilie de Ravin's performance made this scene extremely touching.

Claire seems to have very few personal demons, unlike the rest of her island roommates. As of the current episode, she has made amends with her mother, met her father, and kept her baby. Everyone else has had a huge personal issue with which to come to terms. What is Claire's purpose on the island? Perhaps it relates to her relationship with Charlie.

The Beach

The Charlie-Claire relationship was front and center in this episode, which likely thrilled some and annoyed others. Charlie surprised Claire with a picnic breakfast and an eagerness to "day-seize" with her, but he changed his tune quickly after Desmond showed up. Desmond gave Charlie a very obvious hint that going hunting was in his best interest on that particular day.

Suddenly, Claire came up with an idea for getting everyone off the island. She noticed a flock of tagged birds, and formed a plan to catch one and attach a note to it. It wasn't a bad plan, actually, but Charlie and Desmond did not go along with it. Claire's suspicions ultimately led to her discovery of Desmond's death visions. Charlie lived to seize another day, thanks to Desmond's interference, and Claire got her bird. I am glad that Claire and Charlie's relationship has become less of a roller coaster; the arguing was getting old. Now Charlie has someone other than Hurley with which to confront death and say "Whatever, man." Can Claire change Charlie's future, though?

The Jungle

Members of the rescue party did a lot of fighting among themselves this week. After blowing up The Flame station, Locke clearly was not to be trusted, and Sayid knew it. Locke's "ignorance of the C-4" excuse did not fly with the group, and he tried to change the subject by suggesting that Mikhail be killed. The always-suspicious Rousseau was very much in favor of that. Danielle also conveniently interrupted Mikhail just as he was revealing his knowledge of Locke's former paralysis.

Why do the Others need to know so much about the crash survivors? Mikhail made it sound as if the survivors have been sized up according to their "flaws." Neither Locke, Kate, or Sayid made "the list," but who has? Quite a few of the Tailies were kidnapped, but the fuselage survivors were left alone (except for Walt and Claire). Perhaps each of the survivors are bound to each other through their flawed characters.

Mikhail also revealed that Ben Linus is not at the top of the Others' hierarchy. Where, then, is Ben's place in this structured community? He still seems fairly high up, but there could be several layers within the group that we do not know about. Unfortunately, we will not get those answers anytime soon, thanks to Locke. The man is building up a horrible trend of screw-ups (or deliberate sabotage). After reaching a strange line of pylons and sensors, Locke decided to use Mikhail to "test" the security system.

With all due respect, Mikhail's death scene was really cool. The bizarre noise, the blood spurting from his ears, the frothing at the mouth--this death had it all. Sayid and Kate were, naturally, furious with Locke, while Locke seemed apathetic about the entire thing. Sayid finally questioned Locke's motives for coming on the rescue mission, echoing the thoughts of numerous viewers. The C-4 that was found in Locke's backpack only made matters worse. Whose side is this guy on?

After finding a way over the pylons, the group finally reached The Barracks (that was fast), only to be surprised once more. Jack was happily playing football with Tom, like some sort of carefree college student. What in the world? I was completely faked out by Jack's racing toward the rescue party. Whatever made him so friendly toward the Others in such a short time cannot be good.

A few thoughts:

  • Add Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead to the Lost library; Sawyer was reading it in the final beach scene.
  • Was Mikhail telling the truth when he said that the underwater beacon stopped working after the EMP? If it is true, then Michael and Walt will never be able to return to the island.
  • Why doesn't Danielle want to know anything about Alex? I didn't really buy her answer.

See you next week for the Locke flashback episode!

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If the EMP knocked out the satellite dish and the sonar beacon, how did the security system around the barracks and the chess computer still function?

April 11 2007 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chris w

I love LOST. And since its long hiatus, it has gotten back on track. I just wish that the survivors were more CURIOUS about what the friggin hell is going on w/ this island. Oh sure, they might ask a few questions that pertain to the current situation their dealing with at a certain moment. But how about some INDEPTH questions as to what Dharma is, how long the island has been here, wassup w/ all the stations around the isle, who the hell are the others and what do they want. If I was a survivor, I'd tie the first islander to a tree, let Sayid torture his ass, and get some friggin answers instead of drawn-out riddles that lead to more mysteries. But, alas, this is a series that relies on drawn-out stories. I just wish the producers would deliver some "meat and potatoes" in the narrative.

March 18 2007 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought the episode this week was excellent and it sort of confirmed some theories I have about the show.

1. I have no doubt that Rousseau was one of "the others" at some point. She has been on the island for 16 years and hasn't bothered to explore all of it - even while supposedly searching for her daughter? When Kate, Locke and Sayid were about to enter the Flame, she claimed that she always avoids "precisely this kind" of encounter - meaning she avoids anything having to do with the others. But those are the very people who are supposed to have taken her daughter. If she was really trying to get Alex back wouldn't this be the very first places she would go to get her? This also explains her lack of interest in asking questions about her - she doesn't really want her back. Danielle was also very eager to kill Mikhail. Just as Locke was willing to kill him to keep his secret, she suggested several times that they kill him and in fact it was her that interrupted him when he was telling the survivors the most information. Funny how she spoke up right before he got to her.

I think she was one of them and willingly gave up Alex and later did something to cause them to banish her. I think she made up the story about the other members of her group and how Alex was taken from her as a way of dealing with the guilt of giving up her own child. It would also explain her taking Claire's baby as a sort of "peace offering" as a way of regaining her place with them.

I think the reason the writers went to so much trouble to create the entire Juliette branding story line was to make sure we'd recognize the branding mark when we see it later on Rousseau. That will open up a whole new storyline when Jack sees that mark at some point on her - and it's such a perfect "Lost" way to end an episode like that!

2. Locke has figured out that Ben and the others are his best means of remaining on the island and continuing to have the use of his legs. I remember Locke questioning his purpose and destiny on the island just before he and Boone found the plane. At that same time he lost the ability to use his legs and Boone had to go up in the plane alone. I think that was a message to Locke that the use of his legs could be taken away from him. The other time his legs were injured was when he was pinned down by the blast doors and Ben helped him get out. Again I think he sees this as a sign that the use of his legs is a gift from the others. I suspect that he wants to walk more than anything else in the world and is willing to do what it takes to make sure it continues to happen.

I hadn't been able to figure out why Locke has been so determined to not let anyone learn about his former paralysis. It occurred to me that throughout each of his flashbacks he becomes very angry when people tell him that he can't do something. He is prideful, self reliant and obsessive so not allowing anyone to view him as disabled makes sense as the motivation for him to keep his paralysis a secret. This week we saw that he is willing to kill anyone who threatens to reveal that secret.

Let's take this a step further. If Locke really does believe that the island/others brought each of the survivors there and has a plan for them, their efforts to get off the island before those plans are revealed could destroy whatever "destiny" they are expected to fulfill. If they manage to leave the island that might jeoprodise his ability to continue to use his legs and thus his willingness to blow up the Flame and it's satellite dish.

I think he now believes that he is supposed to join the others. The problem is that they don't seem interested in him. We've seen him join the pot growing commune so he's certainly not afraid to join a group with questionable motives. More to the point, his willingness to act in his own self interest - or more accurately willingness to act as he sees fit with no regard to the rest of the groups wishes, caused the destruction of that group. This past week he made the statement that no one consulted him about taking Mikail with them but he doesn't seem to have any problem not consulting them when it serves his own ajenda. He has also been betrayed by his own Father and his willingness to follow his beliefs regardless of the impact on those around him makes sense.

3. Finally to those saying Claire killed her Mother, you seem to be forgetting that her Mother is alive. In fact when Christian Sheppard tried to talk her into euthanizing her Claire refused. We also don't know who caused the accident. Claire said the truck pushed her off the road so just because she was driving doesn't make her responsible for her mother's injuries.

March 18 2007 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

great episode i was soooo suprised at the end with jack what a freakin traitor and yay charlie is still alive i dont know why but i really like that guy and i dont want him to die am i just being an idiot or was he a hobbit in the lord of the rings movies not certain but ya pretty gruesome death for charlie if it did happen and is it just me or dose that guy that can see into the future really creep you out as for the flashback god sooooo annoying i dont really care i want to see what happens to kate and loche and sahid or w.e his name is and that guys death when his ears started bleeding and his mouth started foaming grooooosss!! cant wait to see next weeks episode and to think i used to think this show was stupid

March 17 2007 at 2:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jack made a deal to get his 2 comrades released. ahe is merely honoring his side and getting the "others" to feel he has been turned. Meantime he knows there is a security fence around the encampmeny.

Weird that Danielle has never ezxplored the island. I can't accept that.

The others Leader must be some kind of Religious charismatic figure drawing his/her followers to commit suicide, or die, at the drop of a hat!!! Pretty ugly thought. Why aren't Kate & Co amazed at how much the others know about the new arrivals?

March 16 2007 at 9:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chris w

I love both Battlestar Galactica and Lost. I know a lot of Lost fans are also BSG fans. And at the beginning of both of their seasons 3, I thought Lost had stumbled out of the gate, while BSG had came out w/ superb eps. Now that Lost has returned from their SUPERLONG break, though, it is getting back on track. I'm becoming enthralled w/ LOST again. But BSG is, while still engaging, has lost some of its "mojo", if you will. I watch both religiously every ep., but LOST has seemed to find its way once again. Even the ratings are getting better in the new 10pm time slot.

RUMOR: Anyone else heard that there will be only 2 more seasons after this one for LOST? Supposedly Lindeloff and Cuse said this, but I can't confirm or deny this...Anyone know anything? I

March 16 2007 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

At first I was intrigued by the possibility that Shannon's dad, Jack's wife and Claire were all in the same accident, but: the first two happened in LA, and the last one happened in Australia (Claire's even driving on the right side of the car).

Also, n | a: the reason you don't see a "bump" on Sun is because she is not very far along at all. Remember, it's only been 2 weeks since the hatch blew and they've only been on the island for 80 days total (so,less than 3 months).

March 16 2007 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Along the lines of the idea that Kate/Sawyer were put on a "list" along with Jack and Hurley to be taken to the others last season, I am thinking that the Others know that Jack's Dad is also the father of CLaire. (Possibly suggests that Jack's Dad has something to do with Others/Dharma?).
But if the Others reveal that Claire and her baby are related to Jack, and if Claire and baby were still kidnapped then it would be leverage to make Jack do Ben's surgery...

Justa thought, but I could be late on that one...

March 16 2007 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jeff, #63, that's my point. Claire'saccident happened loooong before Locke got to Australia (already paralyzed).

I'll rewatch the Shannon's dad's accident episode, but the "other driver" they refer to is, I believe, Shannon's father. Most of the reference is while talking to Carol Vessy, er, Julie Bowen.

March 16 2007 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

locke couldn't have been in claire's accident, he was paralyzed before he got to australia.

i think jack might be fulfilling his 'prophesy' to lead the others. or he just likes playing football?

March 16 2007 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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