Thursday, April 19, 2007

Lost - Season 3, Episode 17 - "Catch 22" Recap/Review

Only one word can describe last night's hour-long thrill ride: "Yes!" as in, "Wow!" *pumps fist* "Cool!"

Some fellow Lost fans were trepidatious about the follow-up to the brilliant Desmond-centered, time-travely episode, "Flashes Before Your Eyes," but I knew we were in for a good one. I listened to the Lost Official Podcast yesterday before the episode and Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof said something "momentous" was going to happen in "Catch 22," and they were right! Let's get to it, then.

The episode starts in the deep jungle, in the rain, with Desmond leading a motley crew of survivors: Hurley, Jin, and Charlie. Hurley and Charlie are debating who would win in a race, Superman or The Flash. Suddenly, Charlie steps on a wire. He looks up to see an arrow pointed at his head. Instead of calling out for help, he continues his step, removes pressure from the wire (this was a "WHAT?" moment for me) and the arrow flies out and impales him in the neck. The scene is gruesome and bloody for Lost.

I was shocked. We all know about Desmond's flashes, but my brain didn't go there first, it went straight to "Oh my god! Charlie!"

Desmond and the others fly to grab his body. Jin begs Desmond for help but he fumbles, screams, "There's nothing I can do!" Charlie gurgles and chokes to death.

Flashes! A sequence of images foretelling the future come in rapid-fire speed on the screen. We see Hurley picking up a cable in the sand, a strange red light in the sky, the familiar picture of Desmond and Penny, Charlie dying, and finally, feet dangling in the air.

Desmond opens his eyes. He’s on the beach, fishing. It’s a clear blue day. He looks behind him at the other survivors. His gaze moves from one face to the other until he sees Charlie walking along, alive as ever.

Desmond immediately jumps up and runs towards Hurley. He asks Hurley if he knows where Rosseau’s cable is up the beach. Hurley says yes. (He found it after he went on a walkabout after Libby died). He then asks him for his help in some “future stuff.” Hurley asks why. Desmond thinks for a moment as if running through his memory. He says, “Because someone’s coming.”

Cue LOST logo.

The first flashback sequence finds a silent Desmond in a monastery. A monk comes to see him and hands him the brown robes of a new recruit. The monk’s name is Brother Campbell and he speaks briefly about a vow of silence that the brothers take to show their devotion. Campbell had doubted Desmond’s devotion, but now, he sees Desmond is ready. He’s one of them. Desmond breaks his silence and says, “Thank you… brother.”

On the beach, Hurley and Desmond go up to Jack and ask for a first aid kit. Desmond says he’s got a twisted ankle and he wants to borrow some tape. Why Jack doesn’t just give him tape but rather hands over a whole medical kit is a little bit of a mystery, but hey, whatev!

Next, Hurley and Desmond go spy on Jin catching fish. Desmond doesn’t know how to ask Jin to help them. Hurley says, “Let me handle this.” He goes up to Jin and says two important words: “Camping” and “Marshmallows.” Jin smiles and agrees to come.

Then, the most important piece of the puzzle, Desmond goes alone to see Charlie, who’s playing his guitar. Charlie, of course, is reluctant to agree. “This has something to do with me dying again, doesn’t it?” he says (paraphrased, of course). Desmond begs him to come, tells him he needs for something important. Charlie just says, “Can I bring my guitar?”

Meanwhile, another pointless Sawyer storyline is going on. This one has to do with Kate. Sawyer goes to see her in a pretty gratuitous state of dress and they talk about “the Doc.” Kate says he knows that her and Sawyer slept together. Sawyer seems pleased. He says now that that’s out of the bag, how ‘bout a little “afternoon delight?” Kate walks away, but not before Sawyer calls out, “What? Do I need to make you a mixtape?”

Away from camp, the four intrepid explorers (the B-team, as I’ll call them, because these are not the typical “go out and adventure guys!”) walk up the beach until they find the cable. Charlie wonders if they’re going to go deep into the jungle now but Desmond shakes his head. “It’s getting late,” he says, “let’s make camp.” Jin is excited. “Camping??”

The next flashback finds Desmond and Brother Campbell putting on stickers on wine bottles. Desmond asks about the name the brothers have given for their wine: Moriah. The mountain where God commanded Abraham to kill his son, Isaac, as a test of his devotion. Campbell says Desmond underestimates the importance of sacrifice. Suddenly, another monk appears and says a man insists on seeing Desmond. The man punches Desmond in the nose and then walks away. Desmond looks up at Campbell and apologizes.

Back at the camp, Kate meets Jack in the kitchen. Kate says she doesn’t really know what to do with herself these days, with no one to rescue, “no cells to escape from.” Jack assures her that something will definitely go wrong in a few days. He then takes two bowls of oatmeal and goes to have dinner with Juliet.

Kate then goes to Sawyer’s tent and jumps on him. Sawyer is, at first, reluctant. He says, “Are you crying?” Kate tells him to shut up and attacks him (in the not-bad-way).

Down next to the cable, the boys are having a good 'ole camping experience. Charlie is using his guitar for sound effects while Jin is telling a horror story in Korean. It ends the same way every campfire horror story ends, with a man without a hand! Desmond is sitting away from the others and Charlie goes over to see him. Desmond is looking at the picture of him and Penny in Sydney.

A loud sound coming from the ocean seems to get louder. Jin is the first to notice it, and then they all stand up and stretch their ears. “Is that…. ?” Charlie exclaims, “It’s a helicopter!” They stare up at the cloudy sky. They don’t see anything, but the regular sound of the helicopter’s propels sputters and then there’s a large splash in the ocean. The guys wonder about jumping into the water but it seems far away. Then, they look behind them and see a blinking red light coming down over the island and crashing nearby. Desmond immediately wants to run after it but the others –especially Charlie- make him wait for the morning.

Back in flashback land, Desmond goes to a house in a suburban neighborhood. He knocks on the door and sees the man that punched him in the nose. The man says, “Leave,” but Desmond just asks if “she’s” here. A woman appears. Her name is Ruth and she and Desmond sit down to have tea. Desmond begins to apologize but Ruth cuts him off. She says there’s no way he can make up for what he did. Desmond apparently left town just days before their wedding, meanwhile everything - the catering, the hall, etc. - was paid for. Desmond just apologizes (again).

In the jungle, the B-team comes upon some random stuff fallen on the jungle floor, including a hula-hula girl doll and an Italian-language edition of Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22,” and a Satellite phone! Of course, the satellite phone dies as soon as they turn it on. Desmond picks up the book, though, and thumbs through it until he finds a picture lodged as a bookmark. It’s a very familiar image. It’s Desmond and Penny!

Desmond is convinced it’s Penny who fell out of the sky. He gets them all to move faster than before, intent now on his beloved.

In flashback land, in the monastery, Desmond is getting drunk on the Moriah wine. Brother Campbell comes upon him and asks, “What are you doing, Desmond?” Desmond is basically like, What does it look like? Campbell sits down and tells him he’s not cut out for the monk lifestyle. Desmond is surprised. He says, “But I am a monk.” Campbell shakes his head, “Not anymore,” he says.

In the jungle, heavy rain starts to fall. Charlie and Hurley start arguing about who would win in a footrace, Superman or The Flash. Desmond gets a strange look on his face as the events unfold exactly as he saw. He even looks back just in time to see Charlie’s surprised look as he steps on a wire. An arrow flings towards Charlie’s neck. Desmond screams, “DUCK!” and tackles Charlie to the ground. The arrow narrowly misses both their heads and plunges into Charlie’s guitar.

Charlie is astonished and gives Desmond a look of, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!”

Back in Flashback-land again, a plain-clothes Desmond goes to see Brother Campbell to say Goodbye. He doesn’t seem to hold any remorse or anger. Desmond is a go with the flow kind of guy. (Notably: on Brother Campbell's desk, there's a picture of Ms. Hawking from the previous Desmond episode.) Campbell says if he’s willing to wait, someone is coming to pick up a shipment of wine and can give him a ride. Desmond, of course, agrees and next we see him loading boxes onto the back of a station wagon. The driver is Penny and the two of them seem to fall for each other within moments.

Back in the jungle, the B-team comes upon a person hanging from the trees. A parachute lies above them. The person has a black flight suit on with a white helmet obscuring their face and a red blinking collar. Desmond climbs up a tree and uses his machete to snap one of the ropes. The parachutes falls into the hands of Jin, Hurley, and Charlie. Then Desmond cuts the second rope and the person falls onto the makeshift net. Desmond quickly runs down the tree and cradles the person’s head. He says, “Penny,” and takes off her helmet. But it’s not Penny. It’s a dark skinned woman we’ve never seen before. She whispers, “Desmond,” and then passes out.

* * *

Well, I don't think my simple recap really did justice for this wonderful episode. There was an incredible sense of drama and timing and a sharp visceral feeling to the episode. Everything just popped. Lots of great character interaction, some surprising laughs, and some truly exciting moments. If Lost keeps up this momentum, we're in for a hell of a season finale!

I will say that the episode did not inspire such wonder as the "Flashes Before Your Eyes" episode. I felt like the time travel and other weirdness factors in that episode really upped the level of possible Sci-Fi Lost-ness, while this episode was more typical LOST, all the regular actors, a nice big journey through the jungle, while still surprising us. Think about us, it's been almost 3 full seasons and this is the first time someone else has crash-landed on the island (besides the fictious Henry Gale/Ben thing). I can't wait to find out who this person is and what her connection to Penny is.

I want it to be Wednesday again!

(Images, as always, from and

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Blogger kovoor36 said...

i want it to be wednesday again too!!!!

April 19, 2007 9:30 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

I wonder what caused that woman's crash. We kinda know that the plane crash happened because Desmond didn't push the button when he should have (he was out trying to find the other guy that was in the hatch with him, that he ended up killing). So, what caused this crash?

April 20, 2007 9:18 AM  
Blogger Devid said...

The Show is awesome.I love this Show.Monk is the Best character of the show.His gestures and body language is equally humorous as his deeds.One day i was Searching to download monk episodes and i got the Good Stuff and Really that was the Best source for me to watch the show.

December 30, 2008 4:18 AM  

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