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The Elephant in the Boa – 5.04 ‘The Little Prince’

By Fishbiscuit,

  Filed under: Lost Recaps
  Comments: 33

One of the perks of Lost Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is we frequently get the chance to bastardize works of great literature into our patchwork quilt of crazy clues. Now, normally this project falls way above my paygrade. I love this show, but I don’t have the leisure time to plow through masterworks like Foucault’s Pendulum or Valis or the Dark Tower series. That’s why I was so happy to see that this week they cut all us Lit slackers a break. All we had to do was read The Little Prince, a book so teeny you can actually read the whole thing on line in less than an hour. No kidding. Go read it. (Or just go read the first two chapters, so you’ll understand my title.)

A little prince was born on a faraway asteroid.

His home had the non poetical name of Asteroid B-612. In French, that would be:

The little prince fell in love with a flower. But she was fickle and demanding.

He left her. But he could not forget her.

The prince’s journey ricocheted through the asteroids of the infinite galaxy, where he had a series of bizarre encounters before he finally fell to earth.

There he met the victim of a plane crash. They formed a fragile friendship that ended when the little prince returned home through a magical devise that looked a lot like death

…but wasn’t.

To make up for last week’s “Efren Salonga” debacle, the Lost gang gave us a nice clean, solid anagram to work with this week. Even an anagram amateur could handle this one lickety split.

CANTON-RAINIER equals RE-INCARNATION. That’s what I like. A nice clean letter to letter transference from gibberish to simple English. Now does this mean Locke is going to be reincarnated, brought back to life in a new body? Is that why Ben needs to hustle him back to his homeland? A poisonous snake bite returned the little prince to his planet, but his corporeal body was never found. It seems death is not the end of the road in allegories like this. It’s just another turn around the circle.

“Oh! I understand you very well,” said the little prince. “But why do you always speak in riddles?”
“I solve them all,” said the snake.

Ben’s Brigade continued to re-assemble, some voluntarily, some not. When his shyster wasn’t exploiting poor Mrs. Littleton’s tragic naivete, he was wangling a way for Hurley to be forced out of his comfy incarceration. Didn’t see much of Hurley this week, but he did look adorable in his Safety Orange jumpsuit, doing his best Violet Beauregard impersonation. Stay cool, Hugo.

Question: Who keeps shooting little puffy darts into Sayid? Who besides Ben needs those O6 hotbodies?

Sun is working the deep cover. She gets her weaponry via FTD these days, just like a genuine hitman.

Who exactly is she trying to kill? Just Ben? Or does she want to take out Jack as well? And is it wrong that I’m rooting for her to succeed?

What was up with the Gruesome Twosome anyway? Could they have been any creepier?

Jack and Kate spent the episode imitating Rooster Hannigan and Lyly St. Regis as they tried to salvage their diabolical orphan-napping plan. First we saw them on the boat, nobly trading lie for lie. Kate got to keep her Cabbage Patch doll Aaron, so long as she agreed to help Jack permanently strand all the Leftover Lostaways on Hellhole Island. But when things went awry, and it seemed as if Claire’s mother might have discovered what these two have stolen from her,

they joined forces again for one more sordid chapter in “The Suckage of Jack and Kate”.

All Kate wanted to do was make sure Claire’s ma didn’t get to meet her own grandson. All Jack wanted to do was to steer Kate into the new cage Ben had waiting for her. Fun times, Jate style. I could use photos from the episode to illustrate this dreary subplot from the episode, but I thought it might be more fun to let our new stars, the Lost Untangled dolls, tell the tale instead.

I think it’s time for them to wrap up this reality show and get those O-Suckers back to Fantasy Island. And it does look like they’re working on that. As the episode closed out, most of the weary travelers were convening at Pier 23 for what looked like the Lost version of a Three-eee Hour Tour.

The O6 took up way too much time in this episode, because back on the Island, the time travel tilt-o-whirl was spinning into vertigo blackout. Once again, the Island was where it was all happening.

“But on your tiny planet, my little prince, all you need do is move your chair a few steps. You can see the day end and the twilight falling whenever you like . . .”

For the most part, the Lost Time Travel Rulez seemed to be holding. The Island stayed put, with each of its moments in time – past, present or future – coexisting just as they did in the instant they happened. In good Tralfamadorian fashion, each moment in time is happening at the same time, all at once, right now. Only our little band of survivors is moving, like the flakes in a snowglobe that keeps getting shook up. They left behind the Hostiles from Asteroid 1954, and time warped to a day of great importance – November 1, 2004. The day Boone left the world and Aaron entered it. The day Locke pounded on the hatch door and a light shot up into the sky and he thought he had found God.

Except it was only Desmond shining a flashlight up a hole. But you could see how he got the wrong impression.

It was eerily beautiful to see the tower of light piercing the jungle landscape, even more so knowing that there was another Locke and another Sawyer standing right there on the island at just that moment in time. Locke wisely steered the group away from the potential self encounter, avoiding the possible universe imploding disaster that might occur should one ever meet oneself while tumbling around unstuck in time. I mean, it’s not like I really have any frakking clue what would happen. But Locke decided we shouldn’t find out. Like Link, the Hero of Time, Locke joyfully embraces each new quest thrown into his path. Richard said to leave the island, so Locke sets right off for the only known dungeon of leaving – the Orchid.

Truth is the old bat seems like he’s having the time of his loony ass life.

Things for Sawyer are not quite as pleasant.

In a moment that was as delicate as it was devastating, Sawyer stumbled onto the tableau in time when Kate helped Claire give birth to her little Lost prince.

It was painful to see him lurch towards Kate with recognition, but then hold himself, still himself, and just watch what he knew he must not disturb.

The reality of all he had lost surged through him in one passionate wave of longing and loneliness and regret. What great acting by Josh Holloway. His expressive face pulsed with everything Sawyer felt in that fleeting moment, without a word, without a muscle moving.

When the now familiar flash began to light the sky, Sawyer looked up in a panic, terrified, realizing this final moment had come where he’d really lose Kate forever. His eyes were pleading, like a moment from The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, “Please don’t take this memory from me”.

But she was gone. Sawyer has learned a bitter lesson. The past is irrevocable. What’s done is done. Like the little prince by his selfish flower, Sawyer has been tamed, and nothing is ever going to be the same for him again.

“Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

This is as good a place as any to mention that I’m not one who is enjoying the way Juliet is going all lady shrink on Sawyer. It feels all kinds of forced. The man doesn’t need to trampoline off to the nearest available estrogen based life form. What he could use however is a frakking beer.

But…that would be a big fat fail. The oogedy boogedy flashed the gang to what looked the morning after of a great big kegger, but there wasn’t a brewski left unguzzled. So who was sleeping in the base camp while the Lostaways were being hurtled through time? That was the most interesting mystery of the episode. Did the time travelers bump into the future this time?

Who left the Ajira Airlines water bottle in the outrigger canoe? And who was chasing our tired time tourists when they started paddling around the Island to reach the Orchid? In the words of Butch Cassidy, Who are those guys?

Some have theorized that the shooters might have been the O6 themselves after having returned via Ajira Airlines, but I’m not seeing that. It’s bad enough that they left their friends for three years to rot on Craphole Island. Don’t tell me they came back and tried to kill them. In any case, Juliet managed to wing one of them, so it’s only a matter of time before we find out who that wounded warrior is.

I do think they committed a misdemeanor here against the Time Travel Lawz. Theoretically, under this set of chosen Lawz, the only things that a time traveler gets to take with him are the things they were physically touching at the time of the Original Big Zap. So, not to be technical or anything, but shouldn’t the outrigger have disappeared when the flash rescued the rowers from the shooters? Shouldn’t all the rowers have ended up in the drink? Come on guys! We’re only four episodes in and the Lawz are already springing leaks.

In Sawyer’s words, time travel’s a bitch. And then, apparently, you die.

The Mystery of the Nosebleeds deepened this episode. Charlotte bled half her bodyweight, but then managed to hop up and trek through the jungle, brain aneurysm and all. But then Miles got the runs.

And then Juliet.

Daniel, who gets fishier with each new time blip, first told Juliet that he believes the nosebleeds happen because the brain’s internal clock gets confused. Mmm…ok? But then he told Miles the nosebleeds might be related to time spent on the Island, leading to lots of rampant speculation about why Charlotte and Miles, relatively new arrivals, are starting to bleed out quicker than old timers like Sawyer and Locke. Could it be, as hinted last year, that Charlotte has actually lived many years on the Island, perhaps having been born there? And could Miles indeed be the Chang baby we saw in the opening sequence of the series?

Seems a little like racial profiling to me, but it could be. This theory would also explain why Juliet would bleed before Locke or Sawyer. But then what explains the Minkowski dude on the freighter? What baby does he represent?

Are nosebleeds related to The Sickness that killed Danielle Rousseau’s crew? And what about that old hippy, Horace Goodspeed? Can you even die of a time travel nosebleed when you’re just making a cameo in someone else’s dream? And even if you’re already dead?

“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”

I’ve always wondered what explains the connection between rain and miscellaneous wonky happenings on Lost. Like when Walt appeared to Shannon.

Or when Harper appeared to Juliet.

When Richard Alpert visited little orphan Johnny, he mentioned it was coming down “cats and dogs”. Not sure if there’s any connection with our new time travel gymnastics, but it was raining again, hard, when time burped the crazed paddlers free of their attackers.

The rain washed in the weekly WTF. Actually it was a twofer this week. It was a WTF-F!

It seems that, in defiance of all the known – and also the unknown – laws of physics, Sun’s husband did not get blown into teeny tiny Jin Bits after all. The sturdy fisherman not only withstood standing in the epicenter of a huge bomb, but he managed to propel himself out of the blast zone and in to the circle of time frizzle, where all the fun is happening. So Jin is in da house!

That’s right. Wake up, Jin. Forget English. Now you gotta learn French! .

Jin was rescued by the once demure Danielle Rousseau, whose shipwreck on the Besixdouze we finally got to see. I’m told that her sailors were discussing a transmission that was being broadcast from the island and that The Numbers were heard coming over their radio, but to be honest, the main thing I noticed about her was how young she looked.

I guess 16 years on a tropical island without access to sunscreen will take its toll. But it was poignant to see the brave young girl, soon to be a mama, knowing as we do all that this merciless island paradise would put her and her baby through.

What did it mean that Danielle met Jin even though that never happened? Duh. It means it happened! Because whatever happened, happened. You see, that meet up was chronologically in Jin’s past but sequentially in his future. Mmkay? You really don’t need to be bugging out about this stuff, because it’s all covered. Whatever happened, happened. Whenever it happened. Plus Danielle is dead now anyway. And Jin has a lot more to worry about than whether or not he represents a paradoxical aberration to the arbitrary parameters of a fantasy based theory system.

I realized while trying to recap it, that somehow this episode didn’t come together for me. The shimmering scene of Sawyer lovestruck in Kate’s presence was a classic Lost moment, and the flip flopping in time has become entertaining in a travelogue kind of way. But the O6 activity felt dull and draggy and seems to meander on next week, judging by the previews. With Lost, at least for those of us who’ve come this far, we always keep looking to see what might be happening that we’re just not seeing yet. Out of all the possible references to The Little Prince, I think this is the one that best applies.

When the narrator, as a boy, tries to draw a boa constrictor who has eaten an elephant, all the grownups insist that he has drawn a hat. It’s because they can’t think outside of the box, can’t see what is invisible to the eye. This episode, all I saw was a hat. I have to be honest. But I’m not going to stop looking. The drawing isn’t finished yet. I’m sure I’ll see the elephant inside the boa eventually. If not, it won’t be for lack of trying.

From TVFrenzy:

  • crixius

    The beauty of LOST was always that is was a SciFi show with a strong emotional/character component. I was very happy to see that emotional stuff make a comeback in this episode. It was feeling too scifi heavy and while fascinating, you need both elements to make a great show as opposed to a just an OK show. The Sawyer scene was beautiful. It was great to see Jin – alive (that guy has to stay off boats!). Young Danielle broke my heart – since we know what her and Alex’s ultimate fate is.

    Jack and Kate continue to be the black hole of boringness on this show, and Juliet the therapist is quite tiresome. I loved Hurley’s cameo performance. All in all, a pretty balanced episode that I really enjoyed.

  • Phrandile

    very entertaining and insightful – awesome!

  • Hipster Doofus

    Ugh. I’m sick of people thinking that all nosebleeds are caused by the same thing.

    Minkowski got it because his brain was unstuck in time.

    Goodspeed got it because he was gassed to death, just like Ben’s dad, who also got a nosebleed.

    Our castaways are getting it for an entirely different reason.

    • Castaway

      Perhaps you’re right. Because I can’t for the life of me understand all the nosebleeding being caused by the same thing. And I reckon Locke and Sawyer will join the club soon.

      Great recap, Fish! I thought the episode was quite shippy, though not altogether bad. I enjoyed the on-island action. The off-island story continues to be a dud. The ‘will they or won’t they go back’ melodrama of the O-Suckers (Hee!) is a bore. We know they’re going back. Stop wasting our damn time.

  • tractorbeams

    You are right, the episode certainly wasn’t mind blowing but it was one of the best we’ve seen this season. I choose not to bother with the O6 storylines unless it’s about Sayid kicking ass and just focus on what happens on the island and on that front it delivered. Loving Sawyer this year, Holloway’s performances are simply mesmerising. My heart broke when I saw the wreckage because I knew we would see Danielle and yes I am still bitter over her death…and even more so now that I got to see the sweet young woman she once was and realise what she went through all this years to become the crazy French woman we have come to love. So all these elements brought together gave this epi a certain emotional resonance that was lacking in the previous epis.
    As always loved your review, keep up the good work and I hope we get to see the.. Lost Untangled dolls more often πŸ™‚

  • great review as always when they said anybody speaks french here, i say out loud, i dooooo me me lol i know it was stupid but i did it ^^
    i don’t think too it’s the o6 but so WHO ? i dunno you but people who hasn’t nosebleeds mean maybe ’cause they’re a constant, locke could have or richard or the island itself, dan we know it’s desmond and for sawyer it’s or aaron or kate no ?
    or they’ll have it next episode but it’s weird but i don’t think so.
    congrat again fish πŸ™‚ you’re the best^^

  • RichPundit

    Very, very nice Fishbiscuit!

  • Dan

    I’m endless disappointed with FB reviews. The interpretation of Jack and Kate was ridiculous and off-base. Was the section about the canoe a joke? If I’m not mistaken, they are touching the canoe when time shifts. There was never a rule that stated object from the original jump are the only objects that follow.

    This is always boring and frustrating because FB constantly reveals herself as a fraud with some strange Sawyer agenda and a poor sense of satire. I read these things so I can try to understand the appeal. . . but it never hits me.

    • docarzt

      Dan, from the rules: “NOTE:Personal attacks of any kind will not be tolerated. Be nice, or be quiet. This includes name calling, aggressive criticism, or any kind of attack against the site or a contributor.”

      Everybody has a right to voice their opinion, but I’m not here to teach people how to disagree civilly, I’m the guy in the guard tower that puts your IP on the ban list. Please, point/hate-free counterpoint only.

    • TRoss

      One week Dan eats corn flakes. “UGH!” he says, “these corn flakes are awful!” A week later Dan eats another bowl of corn flakes. “These corn flakes are soooo disappointing!” Another week goes by and Dan eats yet another bowl of corn flakes. “Eating these corn flakes is so frustrating! I can’t stand these corn flakes!” Yet another week arrive and he tries again. “I keep trying these corn flakes hoping they’ll taste good, but they never do!”

      Dude, stop eating the corn flakes. They’re clearly never going to appeal to you. Stop torturing yourself.

  • Gusteaux

    Very nice indeed, Fish. I’ve been a fan of your reviews for years. I’m so happy you’re posting here now.

  • Eileen

    My guess is that “Dan” is a Jater, which would explain the lack of good manners. He can avoid being so disappointed by simply not reading reviews from a writer he thinks so little of.

    Nice job Fish. Like so many others I am glad to see an episode that gets back to the emotions of the characters and how they deal with loss, fear and things they don’t understand. Sawyer’s scenes were amazing, Juliet’s nosebleed scared the life out of me, Danielle’s younger self broke my heart and Jin’s ALIVE. So far S5 gets a thumbs up from me and so does this review!

    • docarzt

      Now, now. I’m sure there are Jaters with good manners. Let’s not generalize. The one thing that is okay to generalize is unfriendliness. It has NO place here.

  • Jane

    The canoe not disappearing when they time jumped probably falls under the unspoken (mostly) loophole/rule that characters who become able to pass through walls not fall through the floor.

  • Desi’s Brother

    I speak french and volunteer to translate!

  • grabbypaws

    Fishbiscuit, I love this recap and I think that so far it is your best recap of the season, though, all of them never disappoint for their insightful ness, parallells and the amount of cultural and literary references you bring out.

    Though, I think I may be totally biased for this one, since The Little Prince is on of my fav books, so cheers to all the little LIttle Prince things you’ve dug.

  • Thanks Fish for another insightful and yet hilarious recap. To be honest, I was beginning to think we wouldn’t see some truly memorable character moments in the show this season. Thank goodness I was wrong about that. Sawyer’s transcendant love for Kate really shone through in this episode, and reminded the audience of how he at least has never tried to force Kate to do what he wants. He’s just simply in awe, and completely devastated by her loss. I am thinking they will have him be resigned to never seeing her again, and he’ll start to move on, just as the writers spring a reunion on them both.

    I too, at times, have only seen the hat, and not seen the amazing elephant inside the boa. My hope is renewed, though, that the season will not be merely confined to plot points and gotcha twists.

    The O6 stuff has me yawning because it just seems like they are throwing obstacles in the way to delay their return and also playing out some turgid spy melodrama with lies and betrayal. I am over it, and can’t wait to have the cast reunited again.

    The island story at least has some heart, and some action and is giving us new developments to ponder each week.

    The Gilligan’s island pic had me chuckling. As did the use of the Lost Untangled dolls to give us a summary of the off island snorefest.

  • switch

    cool review! its the first time I read your work and it was almost as entertaining as watching the episode itself. I’ll be glued to this site for your next write-up.

    in all honesty, the Jack-Kate drama is really too much already. two seasons were enough to showcase their awkward love affair. and I actually enjoyed what they did in season 3 when Sawyer became more prominent in the triangle. and yeah, my sentiments exactly on the brewing Sawyer-Juliet pairing. as you said, it feels forced. not my taste as well. why don’t they delve in more on the Faraday-Charlotte pairing, do you think?

    I hope the O6 returns to the island as fast as the flashes happen. I don’t know why but they are becoming a wee bit pathetic as each episode comes to a close. Go do what you need to do Ben!

    Here’s to a more exciting episode this Wednesday, and a wackier review from you afterwards! Namaste.

  • Kristen_pants

    I thought that this review was totally spot on and one of the best reviews of the episode I’ve seen on the internets. Fishbiscuit continues to be insightful and hilarious and I’ll follow her recaps to the ends of the earth.

  • MoniquE

    God, I love this recap. I am just so happy that there is someone out there who doesn’t insist on treating Lost like it’s as serious as cancer. It’s supposed to be fun! I loved the Gilligan’s Island picture! And those Dolls! LMAO. I didn’t know what to make of that commercial when I saw it, and to see it end up here almost made me fall out of my chair laughing. I pretty much agree about the O6 becoming a bore and also – Sawyer. OMG. Sigh. Poor baby. And Juliet needs to totally keep her claws off him.

  • rove3

    Thanks Fish for another awesome review. You always manage to point out some little thing or another that I had not thought of. I’m with those who are ready to fast forward through all the tiresome O6 stuff. We already know they’re going back one way or another so the ‘how’ of it doesn’t interest me much. The island action is where it’s at.

    I find it funny that people would lash out at the Fish for her opinions on Jack and Kate as a team. Most of the reviews I’ve read about TLP so far have all had pretty much the same opinion.

    Thanks again Fish and thanks to you too Doc for trying to keep the peace (an often thankless job).

  • iamme

    Fish, you have done it AGAIN! Fantastic recap. Hilarious in all the parts it needed to be (Ben as the Heiress, LMAO!!!!), and downright intriguing and informative as well. I didn’t read the Little Prince so it was great that you gave a little synopsis of what it was about, and all the little quotes that were so fitting. I’m only hoping that you have stellar material to work with this week. Should be since it’s crunch time for the O6 (O-Suckers, LOL) to go back to the island, and Locke et al are headed to the Orchid once more.

  • spinflip

    ‘It’s only a matter of time’ becomes a pun when it comes to this season…

  • Seabiscuit

    “What was up with the Gruesome Twosome anyway? ”

    Were you talking about Ben and Jack or Jack and Kate? ;p

  • Darbi

    Ha! Seabiscuit, I thought the same thing and had to back up and read it twice before I caught on. Nice review, Fish. I think a lot of times we all miss the boa and simply see a hat, but it’s reviews like yours that help draw out a point that helps layer the episode, and allows us to see what else is there we might otherwise be too narrow minded to notice initially. While I wasn’t crazy about the off-island storyline, I recognize it’s benefits in driving the on-island story especially with the re-introduction of a young, pregnant Rousseau (perhaps the fertility issue hasn’t been forgotten after all) and her science team who came to the island to study time. The most touching scene of the episode was without question James witnessing Kate at her most joyful, brave and selfless as she aided Aaron into the world. Josh did a wonderful job floating those emotions across his expressive face. I also very much enjoyed the conversations between Locke and James, trading philosophies and the differing thoughts on the opportunity of saving oneself a world of hurt if you could do things differently.

    There is one point you and I differ on and that’s Juliet’s efforts in calming James down and later getting him to open up about his feelings (something he brought up first) in seeing Kate. I can’t help but think about the heady space James was in after the events in ‘TB’, and his reluctance to talk to anyone about what he’d gone through. Like many, I was disappointed how his tragedy was sort of swept under the rug during S4 in favor of the O6 storyline, so, it’s nice to see they’re having the character speak to his feelings now on losing Kate so he can move forward. If that means Juliet is the serogate that’s being used while they’re literally bobbling around time in a very primordial state, I have no complaints. All that being said, I enjoyed your review as always.

  • methosrocks

    I love the title of this recap – “The Elephant in the Boa”. I don’t feel I have a clue yet as to how this season will turn out. Loved the manips and very much hope for a return of the dolls. ROFL!

    I wasn’t wild about this episode – Jack & Kate get suckier every season; I’m overdosed on Ben; I’m leery that Daniel might be at risk to swallow the season this year as Ben did last year. On the plus side, Sawyer’s glimpse into the past was poignant (and superbly acted); I loved Hurley’s moment; Sayid kicked ass; and Jin LIVES!!!!!! I’m 100 times more interested in the Left-Behinders than I am in the O6, so I hope they don’t draw out these off-island delays. Your Gilligan’s Island motif expressed my feelings perfectly. Can we get this O-6 tour underway soon, please?

  • -Sagat-

    Good read!

  • SayeedIsWhatineed

    Awesome! Can’t wait to see where Jin has been warped around lately. See you here next week!

  • Maryann

    LOL Fish yet another priceless recap. I love them, and I also love how much WORK you put down into these, with all the various pics, and so on to match your recap. I for one appreciate the VISUALIZATION of your recaps as well as your words. It just brings out the emotion, the funny and the mystery more :). Well done!

  • LV

    Wow, Fish, add me to the list of admirers. Your reviews are supremely entertaining, and I really look forward to the next one. Thanks!

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