Lost: Par Avion
(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.
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 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?
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:
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!