Sonic fences, another car accident (that’s five by my count – Kate ‘n Lefty, Shannon’s Dad, Jack’s future wife, and Michael), tagged birds and a tub of black hair dye all come together in this week’s “Par Avion” episode. “Par Avion” can often be seen on “Air Mail” packages (At least here in Canada – the literal translation for those who skipped that day in French class is “By Plane”) and obviously refers to Claire sending her “Air Mail” message on the wings of a seabird.
I’ll be honest, Claire is my least favourite character on the show. I was dreading this week’s show, knowing it would be Claire-centric, and after watching it three times to try to get into “write a recap” mode, my opinion hasn’t changed. I just hope that whatever ends up knocking off poor old Charlie, it has to go through her to get to him.
On to business.
This week’s episode opens on a tight shot of Claire’s eye.
(*Lost fan side note. When I recapped Season One at my website this summer, I counted a total of ten episodes (out of 24) that opened with this kind of shot. Could the producers be trying to tell us something? Something about how our characters see and perceive the world? Nah…*)
By the smashed glass and deployed airbag, Claire sees that she’s in a car that has been in an accident. The bit of the odometer that we can see reads “108″. Those prop guys never miss a trick.
A radically different hair do (The only kind that most of the men in the audience would even notice!) tells us that this is a flashback and not a “Hurley I’ve got some bad news about the van” moment.
On the road in front of her, a woman lies motionless, obviously thrown through the car window on impact. It’s Claire’s Mom, as we learn after the young woman scrambles out of the gaping hole in the windshield and tries desperately to rouse the unconscious woman. Claire applies that age old First Aid technique: “Shake victim vigorously until consciousness returns” to no avail.
Cut to another tight shot of Claire’s eye. Her blonde hair lets us know that we are back in “Island Mode” and she opens her baby blues to find an arrangement of fruit laid out with a note reading “G’Day”, which is Australian for “Good Morning” and often for “How’s your hangover?”
It seems that Charlie has laid out the fruit as the first part of a breakfast picnic he’s set up in Claire’s honour. He’s got a new lease on life and is doing his best to stop feeling sorry for himself and make the most of Island life. By her blushing response, Claire likes his new attitude.
Out in the jungle, Sayid is trying to fix their position relative to the “barracks” using the map he found in the basement of the Flame station. Locke is less than confident that the wiring map is going to accurately lead them to where they’re going.
“It’s an electrical wiring map, Sayid. I’m not sure it’s as accurate as you think.”
“Well, it’s certainly not as infallible as the magical carvings on your stick.”
“Hey the stick did get us to that station.”
“Oh, the station which you accidentally blew up.”
“Well if you’d have warned me that the basement was rigged with C4, I might have been a little more careful.”
Kate interrupts the two men’s verbal tussle by suggesting that their prisoner could tell them if they’re on the right track. He says they are, and after a brief debate about keeping Bakunin alive, the group heads off to follow the map.
On the beach, Charlie and Claire arrive at the picnic area that Charlie has set up. As they are about to sit down to breakfast, Desmond emerges from the trees and invites Charlie on a boar hunt. Given what Charlie knows about Desmond’s “visions” the conversation becomes quite awkward as the Scot is obviously trying to take Charlie out of harms way, while neither of them want to explain the situation to Claire. Fortunately, her attention is drawn from the odd exchanges between the two men by a flock of seabirds passing overhead. Realization dawns on her and she exclaims that she thinks she knows a way to get them off the island and then runs off down the beach.
She runs to Sun and Jin, and explains her plan. By trapping one of the migratory seabirds, many of which are tagged for tracking by scientists, they might be able to send a message by bird to the outside world. Hopefully.
Sawyer overhears the plan and just when he’s about to call Claire “Barbie” or maybe “Barba-mamma”, he remembers his defeat at the hands of Hurley (with a little help from Sun’s “I’ll kick your Redneck Ass” look) and narrowly averts a nicknaming. Best moment of the whole show.
When Claire tries to enlist Charlie’s help, he questions the depth of her knowledge of migratory seabirds and suggests that the whole exercise might be a waste of time. Claire isn’t impressed with the new, new Charlie.
In a hospital, black haired Claire is being questioned about the accident by a policeman. When he suggests that there was a fatality, Claire corrects him, reminding him that her Mother is in surgery, not dead. The policeman retreats. Did anyone else think that the exchange was just really odd? When Claire points out that her Mother isn’t dead, he seems to accept it and let her off the hook, despite the fact that he’s investigating a serious accident. Just odd.
As she’s filling water bottles, Kate asks Rousseau why she hasn’t tried to find out any more about the daughter that Kate told her she met.
Rousseau explains that she knows that her daughter doesn’t even know about her, making any questions about her too painful to ask.
The group walks through the jungle and Kate asks Bakunin how he got on to the island. He came by submarine. Kate surmises that the existence of the sub means that Bakunin’s people can come and go as they please. Not quite. The “event” of a few weeks ago, the electromagnetic pulse (presumably, the hatch imploding, purple sky turning, quarantine door flinging, failsafe key turning, Desmond vision inducing electromagnetic pulse…) damaged their underwater beacon, meaning that they can leave, but never return.
Kate wonders why anyone would ever want to return.
Bakunin tells her that she wouldn’t understand. Because, she’s not on the list. It seems that the man who brought Bakunin to the island is a “magnificent man” (I’m trying to imagine any man I’ve ever met that would rise to the level of “magnificence” in my description of him and coming up blank. Anyone else out there ever meet anyone you’d describe as “Magnificent” in conversation? That bit just gave me pause. Obviously this “Magnificent Man” is “Jacob”, and I’m guessing he’ll turn out to be more than just a normal man…) and that the four people who have captured him are not on the list because they are in turn, flawed, angry, weak and frightened.
I know this may be awkward time to ask, but did one of you just fart?
Sayid suggests that Bakunin’s people aren’t as omniscient as they would like the survivors to believe. Bakunin rattles off their full names, Sayid Jarrah (Sayid gave him this one last week, just after he got shot), who he could not know, Kate Austen, a complete stranger to him and John Locke, who he might have a fleeting memory of.
“I must be confused, because the John Locke I know was para…”
I don’t think he was going to say “Paragliding when I met him,” when Rousseau interrupted him. Notice he didn’t claim any knowledge of the French woman.
The one person he doesn’t mention interrupts what might have been very revealing (surprise, surprise) to show them something just a bit out of place on a deserted tropical island. A series of posts, looking very much like a fence or at least the remains of one. They extend off in both directions, equally spaced and in a vague oval shape that extends out of site.
On a secluded portion of the beach, Jin and Claire are building a bird net. As Jin puts the finishing touches on the trap, Sun arrives with the bait. She and Claire cut it while discussing Sun’s Mother’s hopes for her daughter. When the subject of Sun’s Mom’s never having worked comes up, we learn that Claire’s Mom was a Librarian. We also hear Claire talk about her Mom in the past tense, a fact Sun notes but Claire doesn’t let her pursue.
In the hospital, Claire walks in to her Mother’s room and is confronted by her Aunt Lindsey. The dynamic between the two women is, to say the least, strained.
Lindsey is, to say the least, a bitch.
A doctor comes in and explains that Claire’s Mom may never regain consciousness. When Aunt Lindsey turns the conversation to the question of the bill she is told that the money is being taken care of, by an anonymous benefactor.
(*This shouldn’t be an issue, as Australia has a form of Universal Health Care similar to Canada’s that would mean that unless they planned on paying for “extra” services like a private room and special nursing care, the basic medical bills would be paid by the whatever Aussies call their National Health Care program.*)
On the beach, just as Jin (counting aloud IN ENGLISH!) is about to trap the bird, a gun goes off twice, frightening the bird.
It’s Desmond and Claire figures that for some reason, Des and Charlie don’t want her to catch the bird.
Back at the mystery posts, Sayid tries to get an explanation out of Bakunin. The prisoner is less than helpful, but he certainly seems pleased to see the row of posts. Sayid figures that it’s a security perimeter of some sort, perhaps even a trap. Bakunin tries to assure him that while his postulation is correct, the thing no longer functions, like most everything else on the island. There is also, according to Bakunin and the map that Sayid carries, no way around the thing. Locke figures he’ll see if there’s a way through. He uses Bakunin to test the thing, bodily throwing him between the pylons. When the Russian dies, foaming at the mouth and bleeding from the ears, Locke’s only word on the subject is a less than heartfelt “Sorry.”
Kate won’t let it go at that. While Sayid tries to figure out what killed Bakunin, she berates Locke, since in her eyes he’s taken away the one bit of leverage they might have been able to use to get Jack back. Locke stands firm in his opinion that Bakunin wouldn’t have been any of help or value to them.
“Pardon me for not knowing that they had a, uh, uh, a sonic weapon fence.”
Kate comes up with the solution to the problem of getting through the fence. They’ll go over. That means they need the axe, which is in Locke’s pack. And lookie, lookie, not only is the axe in his pack, but along with it, there’s a nice block of C4 explosives.
“I thought you didn’t know there was any C4.”
“Well, I stand corrected.”
Remember last week when I said that I’d be willing to bet that Sayid keeps a much closer eye on Locke from now on? I’d bet that someday soon, Sayid and and John are going to be having a LONG chat about truth, justice and exploding Dharma stations.
On the beach, Claire confronts Charlie about what Desmond did to scare off the birds. Since he was watching Aaron all day, he really has no idea what she’s talking about, but she labels him a liar despite his protests and banishes him from her shelter. I see where Aunt Linsey gets her skills, or vice versa. Have I mentioned that I don’t really like the Claire character?
Speaking of Claire and her family, she’s back at the hospital to visit her Mother. She walks in to her Mom’s room to find a strange man hovering over the bed.
It’s Christian Shephard.
After meeting him for the first time, Aunt Lindsey arrives and the two older people start arguing. This was one of those scenes that showcases one of the few things I really dislike about Lost. The tendency to occasionally lapse into Soap Opera cliche. I swear I could see the guy who plays Victor on Y&R saying “You are not the arbiter here!” instead of the actor playing Shephard.
Come on folks. An argument in the hospital room of a woman in a coma while her daughter watches, followed by the “big reveal” that Shephard is Claire’s father? That’s Friday afternoon on every soap on the tube. All that was missing was the close up of the Mother’s eyes fluttering.
At the fence, Locke and company fell a tree and build a makeshift ramp to scale over the fence. Sayid figures that if they don’t break the plane between two of the pylons, the sonic pulse weapon won’t fire. Kate volunteers to climb over first.
Pole Dancing on an island kinda sucks
Could the Kates penis envy be any less subtle
The Russian and Locke faked the whole thing, just to get kate to do this.
Anyone else notice Sayid just vanished? Perv.
She makes it, but not before every red blooded man in the audience finds himself wishing he was that tree…
Locke and the rest follow.
Auntie Sun helps Claire put a nappy on Aaron while the two of them discuss what happened.
“Desmond’s never gone boar hunting before and the boar never come that close to the beach.” Well, except the time that they found the boars in the fuselage scavenging the dead bodies and the time that a boar tormented Sawyer by raiding his tent and taking his tarp…
Claire, it turns out, has something in common with her half-brother Jack. She digs tattoos. Enough that she works as a piercer in a tat shop. Guess those Goth-Locks of hers aren’t posing after all.
Christian comes into the shop and convinces her to go for a cup of coffee before he leaves her life for good. The two go to a mall and Claire asks him about the circumstances that took him out of her life. It seems that while he tried to be a father, between her Aunt’s hatred of him and her Mother’s distaste for the fact that he had a whole other family in the States, it just wasn’t meant to be.
When she asks why he bothered to fly to Australia now, rather than just paying the bills from the States, he tells her that he came to help. His version of helping involves “ending her pain”, which seems to be his euphemism for euthanasia. Personally, I was hoping to hear him say that he wanted to help in a way that implied the apparent miraculous curative power of our mystery island, but alas, no such luck.
The Doctor’s were able to bandage up her arm,
though, sadly, they were unable to remove the stick from her ass
Claire isn’t impressed by his suggestion. She storms off, but not before telling him that she prefers to not know his name. So, now we know how she and Jack don’t know about their relationship. Good thing it wasn’t her in that net with him…
She also wasted a perfectly good opportunity to make a Dr. Kevorkian reference.
“Do not keep your Mother alive for the wrong reasons. Now there is hope and there is guilt and believe me, I know the difference.”
On the beach, Claire follows Desmond as he hikes along the beach. Just when he’s about to round a rock, she confronts him. He keeps her back and we see that he’s found one of the seabirds and it’s sitting there patiently waiting for him to pick it up.
(*I don’t recommend trying this with wild seagulls. If they don’t rip your hand to shreds with their beak, they’re almost guaranteed to crap all over you. Either way, Desmond is a braver man than I.*)
She pushes for an explanation and he points out where Charlie died, dashed to death on the rocks trying to catch a bird for Claire.
She takes the bird back and brings it to Charlie, showing him its tag. She tells him that she knows everything, but Charlie shrugs off the visions. I don’t think that she does. Want to bet that Claire’s faith in Psychic Phenomenon might just be restored?
In the hospital, Claire, now blonde and pregnant, turns her Mom’s TV back on, to a show about migratory birds, Canada Geese in this case.
She tells her Mom about the baby for the first time and the forthcoming adoption. She finally admits that the accident was her fault and tells her Mom how sorry she is for all the things she’s said and done. It’s another one of those soap moments I love so much.
On the beach, Charlie reads Claire’s message aloud. It’s perfect. He tucks it into the bird’s tag and Claire sets the little Air Mail package free.
The two have a lovely hand-ee hold-ee moment as they watch the birds fly South out to sea.
Kate looks up to see similar birds flying over her head. Hmm.
Sayid emerges from the undergrowth to tell the little band that they’ve arrived. Staying in the brush, they spot Jack running toward them. Only, he’s not running to escape. He’s running to catch a football thrown by “I’m Tom, by the way.” Kate is understandably confused by what she sees.
Jack seems to have found a new home.
A tiny, hard to read sneak peak at the specific of Jacks new home.