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October 13, 2015

Lost: Catch-22

by Erin Martell, posted Apr 19th 2007 12:45AM

Henry Ian Cusick(S03E17) Poor Desmond. I know that everyone on the island has a sob story, but Desmond is easily the most tragic Lost character. He continues to test himself and seems to be desperate for a sign that he is doing the right thing. Henry Ian Cusick delivered another brilliant performance, proving that he deserves all the screen time that he can get.

The Flashback

The newest piece of Desmond's back story answered a lot of questions about his past behavior. I have always wondered what kept Desmond in the hatch all of those years (besides fear). His preoccupation with purpose, sacrifice, and tests began in a monastery.

It was pretty brutal of Desmond to bail on his six-year relationship with Ruth (a week before the wedding, no less) without telling her where he was going. Greater calling aside, he had that punch coming to him. Desmond is developing a pattern of testing himself in intense ways. As he was explaining his feelings to Ruth, a lot of his statements still apply now. Desmond's gift forces him to put his own desires second to the welfare of others (saving Charlie this week, even if it meant losing Penny). He also sacrificed his relationship with Penny in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" by allowing a sequence of events to occur in the same way.

Desmond has had a tough life so far, and I hope for his sake that his sacrifices are rewarded. Brother Campbell (was that the head monk's name?) kept stressing the value of sacrifice to Desmond, and his efforts have to add up to more than just saving Charlie. Even getting "fired" by the monastery had its benefits. Desmond met Penny for the first time as she came to collect cases of the Moriah Vineyards wine for her father. The man loves rare alcoholic beverages, doesn't he?

The Beach

The great Sawyer-Kate-Jack love triangle has become a square, thanks to Juliet. Jack has to be the worst judge of character in the world. I was actually a little embarrassed for Kate as she engaged in dorky flirting over oatmeal with Jack. After being fairly cold to Kate, he ran off to dine with Juliet, and Kate had to "settle" for sex with Sawyer. Island living is brutal, isn't it? I love that Sawyer has become so desperate that he overlooked being second-best in Kate's eyes. He even stole Bernard's "Best of Phil Collins" tape for her!

At this point, I'm not that concerned with Juliet's role in the romantic tension on the island. If the Others show up in a week as Ben promised, Juliet's loyalties will be exposed eventually. There's no way that this relationship can last.

The Jungle

I would have gladly traded the entire beach romance subplot for more all-male camping scenes. Desmond was convinced that someone was coming to the island, and he was willing to sacrifice Charlie to make it happen. It's interesting that most of the crash survivors avoid the weekly jungle missions, but once Hurley called it camping everyone was on board.

We didn't get a Driveshaft sing-along, but we did get a Korean ghost story. The male bonding was cut short by the sound of the helicopter and its passenger. Was the splash in the ocean an indication that the helicopter crashed, or did it drop something into the water? It seems like a helicopter crashing into the ocean would make more noise, but what do I know? Someone also parachuted into the jungle, but Charlie had to ignore Desmond's hints and wait until daylight to check it out. Charlie really did not make the test easy for Desmond. No wonder Desmond was so conflicted.

I'd like to think that Desmond passed the ultimate test of putting someone else's life over his own happiness. When he saved Charlie from a brutal death (seriously, how awesome was that death scene?), he still thought the mysterious person was Penny. Desmond spent the majority of the episode agonizing over his vision, and I think he made the right choice by saving Charlie.

The mystery woman turned out to be Marsha Thomason, whose character is apparently named Naomi. Naomi knew Desmond by sight, and carried a photo of Desmond and Penny in a Portugese copy of Catch-22. Since the two men who detected the island's electromagnetic anomaly in "Live Together, Die Alone" were Portuguese, I have to believe that Naomi is working for Penny, too.

Final thoughts/questions:

  • Sawyer was in rare form tonight. His references to afternoon delight and mix tapes convinced me that he has the emotional maturity of a teenager. But I loved that he called the Others "perverts" when he found out about the Hydra cage-cam. The best line had to be when he asked Juliet and Jack, "Arguing over who's your favorite Other?"
  • Was Hurley's reference to the Chupacabra a shout-out to Season One theories about the monster?
  • The campers had better bring that satellite phone back to the beach so Sayid can work his magic.
  • Did you catch the photo of Mrs. Hawking in the monk's office?

6 RatingDesmond's episodes are always a little depressing, but he's still one of my favorite characters. Besides Ben and Juliet, he's one of the only characters whose flashbacks I really want to see. All in all, I would give this episode a 6 out of 7. See you next week for "D.O.C."!

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I want to know how Naomi got a picture of Desmond and Penny. During his flashbacks when they got the pic taken there was only one copy of it and Desmond took it with him when he broke up with Penny.

May 01 2007 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


Re: comment #41 -- I don't know the exact answer to your question, but I do know that weight loss is not always as simple as calories in, calories out. Perhaps Hurley has a thyroid issue. I also believe I've come across information on studies showing that in some people, lack of food causes the body to conserve calories even more than normal, all in an effort to prevent starvation. People who are fat now, according to a news show I saw recently, are the products of generations of natural selection. Those who tend to put on weight were more likely to survive for all but the last century or so. Hurley's weight may not be as odd as we all suppose.

Or maybe I'm just too believing! :-) But that's my 2 cents.

April 23 2007 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

#56: Nikki and Paolo getting buried alive convinced me more than ever that the writers are making it up as they go. They had such a short and finite story arc, that I think the writers were trying to introduce some new characters, decided that they couldn't really do anything with them, gave them a self-contained back story and killed them off. (No sense paying two stars you can't use!)

April 22 2007 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What if both Clare and Charlie are hurt and Jack can only save one of them and Juliet tells him to save his sister?

April 22 2007 at 7:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

#56...I'm going to guess..they sucked in some sand and died.

#52...at the end of last season the scientist called Penny.

Given all the others know..they surely know Jacks fathers name is on other birth certs..maybe they will tell him.

What if the head monk sees Des and Penny together but the lady in the picture on the head monks desk doesn't see them together. 2 different future seeers..2 different futures seen.

I wonder if we will have to wait for the series to be over and when the rerelease the Seasons with commentary will we ever know all the clues they were giving.

I really like these biblical reference.. i wish they would share more.

April 22 2007 at 7:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great episode. All your comments are good. But here's my question. What happened to the two who were buried alive a few episodes back?

April 22 2007 at 1:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

who is Jacob that you keep mentioning? did I miss something in this episode?

April 21 2007 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
A Viewer

This was a good episode, and I admit that I sincerely thought that Desmond would let Charlie die. The scenes in the jungle were really interesting and dramatic; you could almost feel Desmond's tension as Charlie approached what only Desmond (and God, unless God can't see the island as Ben said) knew would be his death.

I agree with whoever said that the monk seemed to deliberately force the meeting between Desmond and Penny. That there was a photo of the old lady who told Desmond his destiny in his last flashback episode on the monk's desk only reinforces that -- not that I noticed that during the episode, I only find out about those things online.

The Korean ghost story was hilarious. Awesome scene, especially how it started out light-hearted like that and it ended up with the helicopter crash.

So if the book was a Portuguese copy of "Catch-22" (the novel), then does that imply that this new woman (Naomi?) is working for Penny like those other Portuguese speakers, in the research station at the end of the Season 2 Finale? I think so. I like the theory that the whole thing, Others, Dharma, smoke monster, numbers, four-toed feet, etc. aside, is centered around Desmond and his girlfriend's quest to find him. He has turned out to be a quite central figure, and he's one of my favorite characters.

So, the Jack-Kate-Sawyer love triangle has become a love quadrangle, apparently, with the addition of Juliet. I can't believe that Kate is so shocked that Jack is showering affections over Juliet instead of her. I mean, he saw her having sex with Sawyer, and then when he eats dinner with Juliet, she goes and has sex with Sawyer again. Well, that'll really show Jack, huh?

I don't know if Juliet will be a love interest for Jack for long. I mean, she's going back to the Others in "one week," so I don't know if this "love quadrangle" will last. The last time it looked like there would be a second woman added in was with Ana-Lucia, but she didn't really ever get involved with Jack despite the speculation that she would, nor did she get involved with Sawyer, except for when she had sex with him as a con to get a gun.

In the end, I don't care about the love triangle as much as I care about the stuff going on in the jungle. So, now that an outsider has crashed on the island, let's get some answers about how she got here. How did she find the island with the magnetic field? Was the field what caused her to crash? What's up with that crazy helmet?

And if Desmond couldn't bring himself to allow Charlie to die this time, will he ever do it?

And now that Bernard has been mentioned again, will he and Rose ever reappear? (I like those two characters, mainly because it's nice to have a couple of genuinely good-hearted characters on the island. Unless Bernard is the leader of the Others, like #51 said. Now THAT would be creepy.)

April 21 2007 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No me gustó ese episodio, me pareció aburrido y predecible. Pareciera que su único era decirnos cómo Desmond conoció a Penelope

April 20 2007 at 11:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

nice recap, thanks. i was trying to figure out who naomi was and that's why i read it. wikipedia is really disappointing on lost--their heroes page is amazing. jack was not really cold to kate, but he did give her the "cold shoulder" by ignoring her flirting. how did you know naomi's name? why do you say the two guys who noticed the electromagnetic anomaly were working for penny? i know i missed some episodes, but are you talking about the two guys in the spaceship? i thought they were russian? ok, i'm lost. :)

April 20 2007 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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