Do No Harm: Starting out with a Jack-centric episode for once, the chapter begins with something of an ending. The majority of this episode is spent with Jack trying to save Boone’s life. This drawn out death scene, ultimately doesn’t work. We don’t get the emotional weight of Boone’s death. It’s brave that he was willing to die, but we don’t quite get that at an emotional level. The emotion comes from Jack, not willing to give up on Boone. This worked for the better with Charlie, but for the worst with Boone.
Jack’s flashback isn’t as revealing or emotional as his first two, but we do find out that he was married once to some blonde girl he saved. We don’t see anything between the two of them that aids the fact that they’re getting married, or any justification that he’s in love with her. The other big plot point of this episode is that Claire had the baby. Even more unbelievable is that Kate delivered it. Does it make sense that a woman with no medical experience whatsoever could deliver a baby? Actually, yes. It kind of does make sense
The Greater Good: At last, we learn why Sayid was in Sydney, and how he got on Oceanic 815. This is an absolutely fantastic episode, putting Lost back on track towards a great finale. Sayid’s flashback deals with him trying to get information for the U.S. government from an old school friend who is tasked as a suicide bomber. What Sayid does in this episode goes a way towards cementing his deep seeded anger at himself. His confliction about feeding his friend an idea that will get him killed makes this episode one of the best of the first season.
Then we have Sayids on island story, mostly consisting of him investigating Boone’s assumed murderer, John Locke. As the audience, we know that it was mostly just an accident, but Shannon isn’t convinced. Her cold-blooded attempt to end Locke’s life wasn’t quite unexpected, but it made for some conflict between Sayid and Shannon. However, the greatest moment of the episode is still Locke’s confession to Sayid. You can tell clearly that even though Sayid has a gun on him, Locke has control of the situation.
Born to Run: At this point, I can’t tell if Damon and Carlton are just making things up as they go along in regards to Kate. At first we were told that the guy who owned the toy plane was the one she murdered. Now we know that he was just an innocent bystander. Add that up to Sayid’s misdirection of saying Nadia was dead in Solitary, and we have a show that is bound to answer some questions, but leave the loopholes unscathed. On top of that we have a meaningless debate about who poisoned Michael, and we ultimately get to Kate being betrayed by Sawyer in the end. Consider me unmoved by this episode. Lets just get straight to the finale.
Exodus: This was actually the first time I’ve sat through this entire episode, and as I watched it, I couldn’t help notice subtle homages to it from the series finale. The music playing while our passengers are about to leave Sydney is very similar to the music used in the final scene of the series. However, there’s still a lot more to this episode. It isn’t quite up to scale with some of the other great finales of the series, but it’s good. Part 1 spends most of its time confirming that “The Others” are coming, getting Jack, Locke, Kate, Hurley, and Arzt to “The Black Rock”, and launching the raft off the island.
From there things go off like fireworks, literally. Arzt unexpectedly explodes, teaching our main characters a little thing or to about dynamite in the process. It’s really shocking that they introduced this character barely an episode ago, only to kill him once he lived his purpose. Reminds me of yet another character who was killed off in a very similar way when they had lived their purpose. No wonder it took them an entire two hour episode to get it back to the hatch.
Meanwhile, on the raft, after a confrontation about whether or not to use their only flair, a boat arrives, and for once we have satisfaction that our hope has not gone to waste. Then the men on the boat kidnap Walt and blow up the raft. It’s definitely the biggest surprise of the episode, and it offered one hell of a jolt. It turns out that Walt was the boy the others were looking for, instead of Claire’s baby. In order to keep things moving quickly throughout the episode, there’s a drawn out chase against Rousseau involving Charlie and Sayid.
While I like that Charlie wasn’t willing to give up on Claire’s baby, I find it supremely stupid of him to take one of the Virgin Mary heroine statues. Unfortunately, Season 2 does much more harm to his reputation than this. However, this episode really all builds towards that final scene after they've broken open the hatch. There’s such an atmosphere during that scene, that we may be opening the door to something incredible, or something terrible. It doesn’t reveal what’s in the hatch, but that definitely serves the cliffhanger better.