Lost: Catch-22

I’ve been waiting for a Desmond episode, so I’m happy with tonight’s installment: Catch-22.

A shout out before the bullet points. I love the fact that comic scribe Brian K. Vaughan penned this episode. He’s always been a favorite of mine and I dig the Superman versus The Flash point/counterpoint.

Here we go:

  • Catch-22/Abraham
  • I’m no biblical scholar nor have I read Joseph Heller’s novel but I was an English minor and I did go to Sunday School as a child.

    I really think Desmond is truly damned if he does or damned if he doesn’t. Maybe God’s plan is for him to be a wanderer. Abraham was led by God to Canaan and Abraham followed God’s path to the mountain to sacrifice Isaac despite his misgivings.

    Maybe I’m being too literal. Maybe the point the monk made is valid. Maybe Desmond doesn’t know the value of sacrifice. Maybe, like Kate, he shows his selfishness by running away, by being scared, instead of facing life.

    Repeatedly God (through the visions) has placed Charlie on an express train to Heaven and Desmond won’t let his ticket be punched. In this case, Charlie is Isaac. Maybe the first aid kid could have saved him; maybe that was God’s plan all along.

    Whatever the case, the echoes of God and deja vu (from Catch-22) seem to point out the futility of free will in the face of some greater divine (divining?) force. Let Charlie die (or be nearly mortally wounded) as the true test. Don’t get scared about that next phase, just do what the monk said: “Whatever comes next.” (Especially if the monk’s own mother also points him down that path.)

    Also, Jenn got the whole parachute of rescuer falling in the jungle right about the time that Desmond made the jigsaw puzzle metaphor, so point to her.

    Additional goofy connection: Moriah in the bible (and wine) as mountain of God’s plan and Moria in Lord of the Rings as mountain of plans gone awry.

    Truly scatological follow-up: didn’t Charlie look like Gollum when he got shot with the arrow (a scene which, am I remembering this right, might have happened in those movies in somewhat the same way?)

  • The Breakfast Club
  • I love the fact that the beach whistling scene was like two scenes from that film rolled into one. Just tickled me.

    Perhaps another sly pop culture reference from BKV?

  • Change
  • I touched upon this in my very broad first bullet point, but I think Desmond is some kind of agent of change on the island.

    It’s semi-clear that the visions aren’t fully clear (sorry, that’s confusing) and that they can change just as much as he can change them, since the full picture (or the puzzle box, to use his terms) isn’t known.

    What if Desmond’s purpose, his higher calling, is to do nothing? To listen to God and believe his promise (re: Isaac).

    I’m re-hashing here, but I think the final message is that on this island, Desmond can’t run. He’s going to have to face something serious – in this case death – just as strongly as he ran from marriage, responsibility, adulthood, etc. back in the real world.

    I mentioned this a few Lost recap posts previous, but I think that Kate and Desmond have similar stories and paths. The difference being that Desmond didn’t kill anyone yet (that we know) but may have to on the island and Kate might have to learn to stop killing.

    Still, they’re both selfish cowards who like to run.

  • Charity & Service
  • Hurley mentions it in the superhero debate.

    The monk mentions it in the monastery.

    Desmond seems addicted to it.

    Taking the job with Penny’s dad to make their relationship work (and sailing around the world).
    Joining the armed services.
    Becoming a monk.

    He does these seemingly selfless things in order to escape true responsibility. It’s like passive-aggressive civil service.

  • Romance
  • While some of the sex that happened this week certainly wasn’t romantic, we did get some romance, or at the very least relationships.

    Jack making sweet with Juliet like some old married couple.
    Kate flirting with Jack but using Sawyer (not that he minded, he just wants to call a spade a spade [and no, that’s not a putdown of Kate]).
    Mention of Bernard (and Rose, by proxy) – good to know they’re not dead.

    I think this is the real growth area for this show. It’s been long enough. Force some folks to confront their emotions to grow towards one of two things:

    1. What the Island wants of them
    2. What they want for themselves (like they selfishly did before) in defiance of the island

    All of the lovey-dovey will inevitably lead to drama/fireworks and Locke/Moses bringing Hellfire. I’ll stop the religiosity now.

  • Penny’s epitaph
  • “With enough money and determination you can find anybody.”

    Just as those two Portuguese dudes were searching for Desmond (and notified Penny at the end of Season 2), so to does our helicopter ejectee. Not a stretch, I know, but Ardil-22 isn’t Portuguese, as far as I know.

    So, where is she from and how long has she been searching for Desmond? Will there be a rescue? Are there others coming for her and Desmond? What nationality is she and whom does she work for, besides Penny? Dharma? Hanso?

    And yes, given the bullet point, I do feel as though Penny is either deceased or must/will die in order for Desmond to come full circle, whatever the Hell any of that means.

    ;-)

Nothing else. Go to sleep!

7 thoughts on “Lost: Catch-22

  1. The very easter-egg link you gave us says that Ardil-22 actually is Portugese.

    As for this episode, I thought it was sort of a weak outing for the series this season. My wife missed the first half of the episode… and it didn’t matter. Not that much happens given the forty-five minutes it took to tell the story.

    But I do like that we’re given this chance to get into Desmond’s shoes a little bit. Plus, I think this kind of breather — seeing people identify the beach as “home” and all — is essential to maintaining the kind of tension they’ve been up to. But, seriously… do any of the castaways every really talk to each other? It’s like, “Hey, Jack’s back! I’m gonna go eat some canned beans.”

  2. Hunter Maxin says:

    Also, I checked with the former Int’l rights coordinator at Simon & Shuster (don’t ask, just a lucky twist of fate that I know her)…and that copy of Ardil-22 is the official BRAZILIAN printing of Catch-22.

  3. @Hunter: They speak Portuguese in Brazil, so maybe it’s some kind of regionalism. I just know that “Catch” doesn’t literally translate to “Ardil” unless Babelfish is wrong. ;-)

    Good call on Ruth as well. Maybe she or the over-protective brother have some kind of vendetta against ole Des.

  4. Hunter Maxin says:

    The “catch” in Catch 22 doesn’t really translate to catch in even English as the phrase’s meaning has come into being (awkward sentence, but i think you understand). As Ardil means “trick”, I think Ardil-22 was a very conscience decision when it was translated to Porteguese. Either way, that’s the actual Brazilian version of the book used in the episode.

    I don’ thin Ruth the character has any meaning other than to introduce the name for contextual thematic clues. I’d bet dollars to donuts we never see either again, but…

    The Book of Ruth teaches that genuine love at times may require uncompromising sacrifice. Regardless of our lot in life, we can live according to the precepts of God. Genuine love and kindness will be rewarded. God abundantly blesses those who seek to live obedient lives. Obedient living does not allow for “accidents” in God’s plan. God extends mercy to the merciful.

  5. evans says:

    I just watched the episode again, and if you look closely, when Desmond goes to turn in his robe, there is a quick shot from behind the desk. In the corner, there is a photo of his monk mentor and a woman. It is the same woman who owns the jewelry store and tells Desmond that he was meant to walk away from Penny, and who knew the guy with the red shoes was going to die. It was his path. “Unfortunately, the universe has a way of course correcting itself.” I thought this was intriguing, since his mentor told him that the monastery wasn’t where he is supposed to end up.

    I think Desmond’s test is to keep Charlie alive. By doing so he is sacrificing himself; the ultimate sacrifice.

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