At long last, we get the backstory of two island dwellers who aren't part of the main cast--Bernard and Rose. From what I understand, there has been a pretty loud clamor in the fan community for this story. What interests me most about this is that we didn't really know much, if anything about Bernard (including if he's alive) until this season.
I will give them this--the reunion of Rose and Bernard was one of the most memorable and moving moments in the history of the show.
So, to have a backstory for them is not a bad thing.
Once again, we have a little Mutant Enemy reunion. I found it ironic that this time, Sam Anderson is trying to be a boss-figure to Daniel Dae-Kim and this time Dae-Kim can tell him to stick it and walk off. Try doing that at Wolfram and Hart and see how far it gets you.
Bernard and Rose are the manifestation of the two groups on the island-those who want to stay and those who would prefer to be rescued. Interesting to also see that Rose is all about enjoying the days she has left in this world, while Bernard can't accept her fate and wants to do something, anything about it. I love the give and take as Rose tries to convince Bernard she's made peace with her mortality and she just wants to enjoy the time she has with him. In some ways, it's like a compressed version of the character arc that is going on this season for Tony Soprano over on The Sopranos. Tony has decided every day is a gift, though in his world there are some days to dig around for the gift receipt and see if you can get a return.
My theory has been that the island is giving people what they need and/or want. It's interesting to see Rose visit the guru in the Australian outback and not be able to be healed, but she is healed on the island. Did it take nearly losing Bernard and missing him to make her want to be healed and to not be as resigned to her fate? Is that what helped her to find healing on the island? It's an interesting theory and one that could bear out as the story progresses.
Meanwhile, Rose is the one person on the island who knows Locke's secret. And she also shares his faith in the island, which is sorely tested. If anything, Henry has managed to make Locke question his faith in himself and the island in this epiosde. Luckily, Rose came along at the right time to help Locke regain some of his faith, though how solid a ground that's on, we'll have to see. I have a feeling that Henry will throw a monkey wrench or two into that equation.
Which brings up an intersting idea to me. Follow me here. Assume that the island is giving people what they want and/or need. Is the real purpose of the Others to serve as some kind of distraction from that? Does the island require some kind of blind faith of those who follow it and to the Others need to disrupt that? Is there some battle going on there and the Others are a manifestation of one side? If you follow that reasoning, could having Walt be important to the Others as some kind of power source or bargaining chip or leader in their side of this, for lack of a better word, crusade? And will Aaron eventually become a target as well since from all we've seen the island seemed to want and need him born and living there.
It's an interesting idea. If we're having some kind of spiritual battle here with the souls of the inhabititants as the prize, then what has happened to Boone and Shannon? Which side did they end up on--heaven or hell? Or are they in some purgatory waiting the outcome of this battle?
OK, I've really wandered off on a huge tangent there this week...
Back to the episode as whole.
Now, I know that fellow bloggers have complained that the past few weeks has been 50 minutes of build-up and then 10 minutes of action and plot-twists. I can't argue that, but I do think this week gets the balance better. Jack decides it's time to face the Others on their terms and bargain to get Michael and Walt back. So he and Kate head out to the point where they weren't supposed to cross and wait. And there's tons of sexual tension along the way. Thankfully Michael has escaped from the Others just in time to come running out of the jungle before Jack busts a move on Kate by the fire and we get some Scantily Clad Kate time. The loud, "Dammit!!" you heard last night was me, teased by the thought of some Scantily Clad Kate scenes.
Meanwhile, Henry Gale is in full out manipulation mode. He has power over Locke by his silence. How cool was the scene with Henry smiling to himself in his cell as Locke begged for answers. He knows exactly what he's doing, though what his overall agenda is, I'm still not sure. I have to wonder if it's a divide and conquer thing. As much as Jack and Locke don't get along and disagree, they could be stronger together as leaders. Split the apparent leadership of the group and you could split the group. Also, I find it interesting that as the season goes along, the overall threat of the Others has become less and less worrisome to the castaways. As we saw on the season finale of Battlestar Galactica
, an enemy can lull you into a false sense of security and comfort, coming in and lowering the hammer when you're getting comfortable and thinking your worries are long past. The Others have not come on the aggressive since taking Aaron and pursing the Tailies through the jungle. They say they will respect a boundry, but is all that a false sense of security?
And will we see the big bad that Henry referred to as the real power before season's end? Or will that be one of the many mysteries to contemplate, fret and worry over as we spend all summer dissected season two in anticipation of season three?
posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/13/2006 02:04:00 PM