Episode Title: "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1"
Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: Well this one should come as no surprise. After a brief flirtation with "Alice in Wonderland" references over the past season, Lost comes back to it's most referenced work of literature for the Season Four Finale - "The Wizard of Oz". Based on the episode preview, it's pretty clear where the literal part of the title comes from:
It looks like we're finally going to see the moment when the Oceanic Six arrive "home" - back to the real world, away from the Island. But as this season finale is a three-parter (each with the same title), here's how I see it breaking down: the "flashes" for the next three episodes will surround the action of the Oceanic Six immediately after they arrive home - probably starting with them stepping out of the plane as featured in the episode preview above. However, the action on the Island for the next three episodes will build up to reveal the truth about how the actually, physically got off the Island. I have to assume that it won't be until the very final moments of Season Four that we understand what happened when the Oceanic Six left the Island - meaning that the flashforwards for the next three episodes will be chock-full of confusion and mystery as the Oceanic Six reference that event / keep up their lies / act strangely.
As for the Losty twist in the title? I should probably save this for next week, since I'm going to have nothing to write, as the episode title is the exact same - but what the heck. If you recall during "Something Nice Back Home", Jack found that his perfect dream world back home quickly started to fall apart - much like we've seen for other members of the Oceanic Six. I think the irony of the title will come to mean that although they currently view the Island as this foreign place that they are trying to escape from, once they do escape, they will look longingly back at their Island days and consider it "home" - thus, "there's no place like home" will come to mean there is no place like the Island. Irony!
In regards to the obvious movie reference, for the young readers out there who have never seen the Judy Garland classic "The Wizard of Oz", the phrase comes into play at the end of the film - where Dorothy is saying goodbye (after #41ing) to her friends, she taps her heels together and repeats "there's no place like home". She then magically wakes up back in Kansas where her family tells her that it was all a dream... well, all of her family except for her uncle Henry Gale, who believes her story. The parallels here are pretty strong. If the Oceanic Six were to tell anyone about the truth about the Island (Oz), they would probably laugh and tell them it was all a dream - well, everyone except for Henry Gale (the fake name that Benjamin Linus used during Season Two!), who would know that it was all too real.
The one other thing I'll mention is that most of the prior Lost-Wizard of Oz references have been closer to the novel than the film. However, the line "there's no place like home" is only mentioned once in the beginning of the novel, where Dorothy tells the Scarecrow that she would rather live in Kansas than Oz because "there is no place like home." Of course, you could pull the same deeper meaning from the line, but it's a lot more subtle than in the film.
Episode Description: The face-off between the survivors and the freighter people begins. Guest starring are L. Scott Caldwell as Rose, Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, Jeremy Davies as Daniel Faraday, Ken Leung as Miles Straume, Rebecca Mader as Charlotte Lewis, Jeff Fahey as Frank Lapidus, Kevin Durand as Keamy, Anthony Azizi as Omar, Andrea Gabriel as Noor "Nadia" Abed Jaseem, Byron Chung as Mr. Paik, June Kyoko Lu as Mrs. Paik, Lillian Hurst as Carmen Reyes, Cheech Marin as David Reyes, Veronica Hamel as Margo Shephard, Michelle Forbes as Karen Decker, Susan Duerden as Carole Littleton and Noah Craft as Hendricks.
Episode Breakdown: Wow. What is this, a Lost Reunion Show? Check out the jam-packed guest star listing! The cross-pollination of the different character's family and friends boggles the mind! Some make a lot of sense. From Sayid's past, we've got Nadia (his lover). From Sun's past, we've got Mr. Paik and Mrs. Paik (her parents). From Hurley's past, we've got Carmen and David Reyes (his parents). From Jack's past, we've got Margo Shephard (his mom). Others are far more intriguing...
Aaron. The inclusion of Carole Littleton might bring into question a lot of the previous assumptions that we had made related to the Aaron. For starters, when we last left her, she was in a coma.
I’m assuming she came out of it over the past three months (of Island time). But why would Claire's mother / Aaron's grandmother show up unless she knew that the baby Kate was carrying along was actually her grandson? And if she knows that Aaron is her grandson, why doesn't she take Aaron with her, rather than leaving him with Kate? And if the world knows that Kate isn't Aaron's mother, why is she able to continually refer to him as "her son". Was an above-the-table, legal adoption completed to transfer ownership of Aaron from the Littleton family to Kate? Or is she lying to everyone about who Aaron really is, making Carole's inclusion in the episode simply to provide a dramatic scene, as Kate lies to her face and she doesn't realize that she is standing mere feet away from her grandson? Or, did she figure out the relationship between Jack and Claire during all the media coverage that likely accompanied the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, and is there to welcome her half-son back to the world?
Like I said, a lot of questions.
Based on the story that Kate told on the witness stand of her trial, there were only six Survivors of the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 (actually two others - but they died on the way to the beach... which didn't sound like enough time to birth a baby). However, the flight manifest would have indicated that Aaron didn't exist when the plane left Australia, so the only way to explain his existence would be that he must have been born between the time of the crash and present day... which meant that Kate was pregnant when she was boarded the plane. Since she was walking on the plane with a coat over her hands (to cover her handcuffs), it would be unlikely that anyone would have gotten a close enough look to verify if she looked pregnant or not. The story could work... and help explain the "sympathy" vote for Kate on her trial. She's not only a hero - but a new mommy!
So why is Carole there?
In today's news channel, information overload society - if there was anything that would link Claire to Jack, I think that the news would have found it (probably Fox News)... perhaps connecting birth certificates somewhere? But that raises the question if Christian Shephard would have even been listed on the birth certificate as the father of the baby in the first place. Another issue - Jack knows that he and Aaron are related, based on his "you're not even related to him!" comment to Kate a few weeks back. So we have to ask ourselves - with three hours of Season Four left (before Jack theoretically leaves the Island), is there enough time for him to figure out that he and Claire are related before he leaves?
Although Locke interacted with Claire and Christian this week, at no point was their relationship revealed. Claire merely said "I'm with him." Miles saw Claire leave with Christian, so he could have heard her comment of "Dad?" when she first woke up, but he would have no idea about Jack's connection to Christian. So I don't think it's likely that either of them would be able to piece the story together for Jack. Rather, I think the only way that Jack would find out the truth would be for him to stumble upon Claire and Christian together, and have a conversation develop where one called Christian "Dad" in front of the other. Since Christian is all disappeary and Claire might be a ghost, the likelihood of this happening seems small. Although Jack stumbling upon the Cabin would be a fantastic twist on his journey to follow the Freightor's helicopter, he probably wouldn't be traveling alone - and it's unlikely that the Cabin would appear to a whole group of Survivors.
So where does this leave us? I think that Jack leaves the Island without any knowledge of his relationship to Claire. When he arrives back in the real world, he learns the truth and is suddenly freaked out by Aaron and his relationship because of what happened on the Island (leaving Claire behind?). This would explain his uneasiness with meeting up with Aaron after Claire's trial. I'm thinking Carole Littleton is there to welcome home her step-half-son (or something like that), but is sadly unaware that her grandchild has come home as well. It should make for some good awkward situations between Jack / Kate / Aaron / Carole when they find out the truth. Expect a lot of panicked / freaked out looks between Kate and Jack!
Boy that was a tangent! Moving on...
Alpert. The rest of the guest stars are pretty much standard (aside from Michelle Forbes – who we all know as Lynn from the second season of “24”!)…
with the exception of Alpert. Although he was pretty involved in last week’s episode – it was all in a flashback role. His inclusion this week (which appears to be all flashforwards) hopefully indicates that we’re due for a reunion of Alpert and the Others with our Survivors on the Island! Again, with a mere three episodes left for this season, I think a visit to “The Temple” might be unrealistic (unless that’s where you have to go to “move the Island”) – but a rendezvous with Ben, Locke, and Hurley seems very likely… especially if Locke and Ben are looking for allies in helping to defend the Island.
Storyline. Other than the guest stars, this week’s episode description gives us almost nothing to go on in predicting what will happen this week. “The face-off between the survivors and the freighter people begins.” That could mean almost anything. But the curious thing is that it looks like most of our Survivors could almost avoid the whole “face-off” by staying exactly where they are. The Freightors are heading for “The Secondary Protocol” Dharma Warp Station (I assume). Based on my theory last week that the battle between Keamy and Ben will go down in this station (resulting in the gash to Ben’s arm and him teleporting to safety in Tunisia), it’s safe to assume this is where Ben, Locke, and Hurley are heading as well. But all the rest of our Survivors are either headed towards, or hanging out on the Beach.
If it weren’t for Jack’s interpretation of Frank’s iPhone (“I think they want us to follow them”), our Survivors could calmly board Sayid’s Zodiac Boat and make trips back and forth to the Freightor until everyone was safe and sound off the Island. Instead, odds are that Jack and Co. follow the homing beacon of the helicopter and end up right in the middle of this “face-off”.
…and that’s about all I’ve got for this week.
Administrative note: the Instant Reactions are going to be delayed this week, but I’ve setup a post for them on the Message Board in the interim. I’ll be off making the world a better place by molding the youth of America in my self-image through the weekend, so it might not be until early next week that you get some analysis. The good news is that next week is sans-Lost, so we’ll have plenty of time to digest, analyze, and prepare for the two hour season finale on May 29.
Until then, happy Losting!
Preview Comments: http://facethewoods.com/lost/index.php?topic=313.0
Instant Reaction Comments: http://facethewoods.com/lost/index.php?topic=314.0
(Be good and stay out of the Instant Reactions until post-episode!)