Season 1 Episode 24

Exodus (2)

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 25, 2005 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (45)

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  • An exceptional ending to an exceptional season

    All of the final episodes of Lost are two hour affairs, which play very well live but naturally have to be slashed into two parts, which does lead to some real problems when it comes to the end. Furthermore, as is the case with many shows, but especially Lost, the good stuff comes mostly in the last hour when they're leading up to the cliffhanger. That said, there is still a lot of interesting character bits in 'Exodus, Part 2' that make it interesting in its own right.
    First of all, there's the fact that Claire, who has been getting more and more strung out the closer the raft has gotten to leaving, is now getting increasingly nervous about the safety of her son, who she still hasn't been able to name. She knows that the Others came for Rousseau's baby a few days after she gave birth, and given that they've already taken her once, she knows the odds are good they'll be back. This gets her strung out, which in turn has made Charlie, who has now assumed the position of Claire's protector, even more anxious. Of course, it doesn't help that his fears are proven correct, they just come from the person we should have expected unstable behavior from --- Rousseau herself. We don't actually see Rousseau's attack, but the image of Claire afterwards is really staggering. This is the moment when Claire stops being a scared girl, and becomes a mother. And its more than the fact that she's just named her child.
    Charlie and Sayed, who have had little to do with each other on the island, begin the search for the two of them. We know that Charlie is too emotional for something like this, and that Sayid, who is in many ways the most matter-of-fact, is probably being far too tolerant letting him come on this mission. But Sayid thinks that Charlie's ability can help prevent danger, which is ironic considering he leads Charlie to a mine field---- the airplane filled with heroin. We've known this was a potential problem ever since Boone and Locke found the plane, but now they've put the thing into his hands. The temptation will help lead Charlie into darkness as season 2 begins.
    Locke, Kate, Jack and Hurley go to the Black Rock to get the dynamite that they will made and transport it back --- though Arzt has decided to tag along in the insufferable schoolmaster type way that seems to be his only form of speech. The only part of his rant that isn't hysterically annoying comes when he finally points that of the forty-some castaways, we've only really met ten of them. One can imagine that some of the characters on the island are getting rather sick of being ordered around--- go to the caves, build a signal fire, protect yourself from the Others, etc. Jack and Locke might be trying to protect them, but they're not making an effort to know them, at least no by name. (The writers would try and remedy that it future seasons--- but it didn't work very well. Guess you can't satisfy all of the people all of the time.
    The scene with the nitroglycerin are suspenseful. You know the moment that Arzt insists on handling the dynamite, he's a dead ma, and certainly the writers buil it up that way, dragging the tension out as long as possible, until we think he's finally past it--- and Boom! And notice that after Arzt dies, Jack and Locke wait all of ten seconds before continuing on removing the explosives, and that Hurley considers this as just another sign of his curse. In his strange disconnected way the late Leslie Arzt was right.
    Then there's the raft itself, which has forced some unusual couplings. Michael and Sawyer, who've had nothing to do with each other on the island, find themselves in a small raft with no one to talk to but a child and a man who speaks no English. However, they're still not talking much because Michael holds the same opinion of Sawyer that he had a few days ago, and there's tension, even when he commits one of the few heroic acts and dives into the water to get the rudder after it beaks off. Furthermore, Jin ad Michael are beginning to communicate with each other well, and they seem to be forming a friendship, ironic considering how at loggerheads they were when the second raft was being built.
    The continuance of the flashbacks to the day of departure continue, and as was the case before, we don't learn a lot that's new, with one critical exception--- Jin. Something terrible happened between waiting at the airport and getting on the plane--- a man working for Sun's father came into the men's room, and told him that he would never be free of Mr. Pak. He seemed to be different to Sun because he was planning to leave before, afterwards he realized that he would never be free, and this tension followed him all the way to the island. When we see him on the raft, he looks happy and free for the first time in the series (remember he is a fisherman's son). But he has to know that any chance of discovery will lead to Paik finding out. (Ironically, by the time rescue does come, Paik will no longer be an obstacle.)

    Let's start with the monster. Up until now, we have no idea whether it's physical, psychological or mechanical--- we only have a marginally better idea now--- but this is the episode where we get our first real look at it, when it runs into our hardy adventurers in the opening minutes. What we see appears to be a large controlled flow of black smoke. Furthermore, if you look directly at it, it doesn't seem to have the same power as it would normally. In 'Walkabout', Locke didn't run away when it came, and he managed to survive. But when he looks at it in this episode, there is definitely an element of fear in his expression. Did he see something in the smoke that frightened him? Hard to say, but for much of Season 2, Locke seems to be greatly diminished. He clearly thought that seeing the smoke again would demonstrate his faith, which is probably why he wanted Jack to release him when the monster has him in his clutches. He might be a man of faith, as he tells Jack in the memorable conversation they have shortly afterward, but it's going to be tested severely, and this is one of the crucial parts. Jack, of course, is still the epitome of the rational man, who dismisses Locke's talk of destiny and fate, and will continue to believe so despite the overwhelming evidence. Ironically, it is not until he leaves the island that he will come to believe what Locke is saying, but by the time he does, he will be almost too damaged to accept it.
    Rousseau will lead Sayid and Charlie on a merry chase for Aaron, but when they finally catch up with her, she surrenders willingly. The reactions of the others are interesting,--- Sayid is compassionate and forgiving; Charlie brusque and angry, calling her pathetic. However, both are so convinced of the Frenchwoman's instability that they completely dismiss what she heard in the jungle--- that the Others said that they were coming for the boy. Rousseau's information will turn out to be completely accurate, but they won't realize it until it's too late to do any good for anybody.
    It is also interesting to notice what happens when the two men return to join the other survivors. After Charlie hands Aaron to Claire, she looks at the injuries that he has suffered with affection. Charlie doesn't notice this, however--- his attention is diverted to one of the Virgin Mary statues that he now has in his possession. Similarly, Shannon runs to Sayed with a similar look of anxiety as well as the fact that she is now safe. What she doesn't realize yet is that Walt gave Vincent to her for a reason, and she won't know it until it's too late.
    And on the raft, we see that Michael and Jin really have come full circle given what has happened at the beginning. When Michael tries to hand the watch back to Jin, Jin gives it to him. Of course, considering what we now know that it symbolizes to him, Jim probably would have dumped it on anybody, but it is a pretty effective moment nonetheless. Michael also reveals that he can't figure out why a jerk like Sawyer would risk his life on this trip, and it is an interesting question. The idea that Sawyer has something of a death wish would be consistent with some of his character. Yes, he wants to track down the man he blames for killing his parents, but I think that in a pinch, receiving the ultimate punishment that he thinks he's entitled to will do as well. The irony is, he nearly gets it.
    For after sunset, the radar they are carrying starts beeping. There is a huge amount of tension as the passengers argue whether or not to use their only fare gun. Ironically, Michael's misgivings turn out to be well-founded, and if they had let it go, rescue might have found them. But they give in, Michael fires, and the boat comes for them. The happiness that overcomes the passengers is joyful, but it doesn't last long. The Others have come for the boy-only they wanted Walt, not Aaron. What happens next is one of the more frightening moments in the series history. Nevertheless, it's somewhat diminished considering that after this episode, Walt would almost cease to be a factor in this series. Oh, it would be a critical element for Michael and a couple of other characters, but after the big buildup, it's something of an anticlimax, which may have been part of the reason the series lost favor in its second season.
    The other major project-the opening of the hatch --- also comes off, much to Hurley's dismay. Given his obsession with the numbers (to a spooky level; he's repeating them over and over as the team makes their way back to the hatch) when he finally realizes that they have been on the hatch all this time, he makes a pretty desperate attempt to stop the dynamite. But it's too late--- Locke, Jack and Kate have finally opened "the box". However, in true cliffhanger fashion we just see that it's a long ladder leading down, down, down, and we can hear some kind of mechanical throbbing that we have heard before, before the scene fades to black.
    This is a hell of a way to close out what has been, for the most part, an extraordinary debut season. The best dramas are lucky if they can manage four or five interesting characters; Lost has given us nearly a dozen, and there are going to be several more in coming seasons. The writing has been top-notch; the acting superb, and the level of mystery better than almost any other series that has tried to call itself mythology.(I'm looking at you, X-Files!) The job of the first season of a show like Lost is to lay out a series of mysteries, which they have done. Now comes the harder part; showing us how deep the rabbit hole goes. The answers start with Season 2
    My score:10