Courtesy of EW:
This was a perfectly balanced episode: The central story line involved characters (Claire and Charlie) who we've come to care about, but the plot was interspersed with some truly nail-biting moments. The past few episodes had referenced Claire and Charlie without actually giving them much to do — and I don't know about you, but I'd been missing them. It's nice to have a couple on the show who exhibit unadulterated (so to speak) affection for each other. But we could see, even from afar, that Desmond's premonitions were getting under Claire's skin, even if she didn't know exactly why. This episode brought all of that to the surface. Charlie had interpreted Desmond's concern as a sign that he was only worried about Claire (as opposed to Charlie, Claire, and the baby, all of whom Desmond saved during the electrical storm) because he had designs on the blonde Aussie beauty.
But, hey: First of all, she wasn't always a blonde. Claire's flashbacks made me understand the connection between her and Hurley (which was much more prevalent in the first season). Of course, it's easy to write off Hurley's doting as simple physical attraction. And while I don't doubt that played a part, I think this episode showed that the two are kindred spirits. Claire feels responsible for the death of her mother, and Hurley feels responsible for the chaos and death that ensued after his lottery win. This is one of Lost's great strengths: It even offers insights into characters who don't appear during an episode. And in this way, it rewards devoted viewers (and doesn't exactly indulge the casual channel surfer).
In any case, it seems fitting that Claire, one of the more free-spirited characters, would seek salvation in a flock of birds (and, so help me: if anyone devises a halfway plausible theory that links the Lost master plan to A Flock of Seagulls, I will stop watching). Charlie was initially resistant to her plan, but only because he was worried Claire had a crush on Soothsayer Desmond. I confess that even after Desmond explained to Claire how Charlie would have died (he would have been crushed by waves against the rocks while trying to get the carrier seagull for Claire), I still don't quite know what to make of his visions. If they are not prophecies, are they simply versions of the future that would come to pass except for the interference of our castaways? If so, isn't the whole world, like, going to explode or implode or something?
Hold on, though. How badass were those electrified pylons? I expected Locke to push Mr. Eye Patch through the perimeter, but I surely wasn't expecting Patchy to foam at the mouth and then (as far as we know) die. Then Kate, without hesitation, volunteered to go first over the pylon. The woman has no fear! It's almost a compulsion. Plus, it provided a great excuse to film Ms. Lily from the rear. Such serendipity.
Another coincidence: Jack and Claire are half siblings. This was a long-expected development, but I still got goose bumps when Claire came upon the senior Dr. Shephard in the hospital. Do we buy his story, or is there a reason Jack's father might be lying about his paternal relationship to Claire? Finally, let's analyze Claire's promise to her mother: ''I'll see you soon, okay?'' How telling is that phrase? Could it have anything to do with the fact that Claire has always been depicted as a quasi-religious figure on the show? Or was she simply in despair and saying goodbye?
And speaking of which, Lost viewers, you'll have Doc Jensen to take you through the rest of the season of this TV Watch. I'd love to keep doing it, but they are a season behind in Europe (where I'm moving), and we already know how season 2 played out. To those of you who gave a kid a chance with this Lost Watch: It's been a distinct pleasure writing for ya. To those vitriol-spewing message-board writers: Well, let me just offer you a few points of discussion below.
Does this episode change what you think will happen to Charlie? What was the significance of Sawyer reading The Fountainhead (a tough question with roughly two million answers, sorry) in this episode? Do you think sending a message with the seagull was just a symbolic gesture, or will it have real consequences? Does anyone else really want another Sun-and-Jin-centric episode (I love them!)? And share your wildest (or perfectly sound) theories on how Locke got in that wheelchair before next Wednesday.