Lost in Retrospect: Hearts and Minds

A major shift in what can most accurately be described as the show’s second love triangle, between Boone, Shannon and Locke, as well as some squicky revelations and an insight into just how much these characters have developed. I might’ve been bored if it weren’t for my fascination with the strange… stange siblings.

For a refresh on the episode, I suggest you check out Lostpedia’s excellent Wiki page.

Yeah, I called it a love triangle. Because apparently Boone is in love with Shannon, but now he’s a bit in love with Locke. Or something.

That sounded more negative that I’d intended. But really, as with most of the Boone and Shannon stuff, it was utterly fascinating. Boone really cemented his place as Locke’s apprentice after the vision quest. That whole “relieved” thing was kinda creepy, though. This episode showed us that Locke was willing to do nasty things to his greatest follower, bashing him over the head, tying him up in what seemed like a torture trap and sending him on a vision quest. And we’ll learn in a couple of episodes that he gave Sayid a bit of whammo too. And now his greatest follower admits that he saw a vision of his sister’s death and felt (relatively) good about it? Locke’s really establishing himself here as a major antagonist. Can you blame me for thinking, back in 2004/2005, that he’d turn out to be a villain?

One point keeps coming up in every analysis of this episode, and mine will be no different: how the hell did Boone’s Imaginary!Monster behave so much like the real one if Boone had never seen the Monster before? The sound, the ripping up of trees, the way it backs off Boone once it gets close (because the real Monster can’t kill Candidates, so if they stop and hide, it has to say “So yeah…” in Monster language and skulk away). I can’t help but wonder if perhaps the Monster attacks were real and Boone was only imagining Shannon. Or perhaps Jacob — or even the Man in Black — were somehow influencing his visions, guiding him towards a particular revelation and slipping in real bits of information to make it more real. I dunno. I’m leaning towards the former explanation, but whatever the case, it’s worth thinking about further.

Now, the flashbacks. It has to be said: Ew. Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew and ew. I don’t care if you’re only stepsiblings, guys, it’s not cool.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, the flashbacks did a decent job of putting in that same mindset as Boone so that by the end of the episode, when he says he felt relieved that Shannon was dead, we felt kinda relieved too. She spent most of those flashbacks being an epic bitch, hold the magnificence. She played Boone to get the money and then she played him to get a ticked back to America. But on top of that, the flashbacks really showed how much both Boone and Shannon had evolved as characters since the beginning of the show. Shannon actually helped Sayid for no reason other than to be helpful, and is forming an actual, meaningful relationship with a decent bloke. Boone is still worshipping at the altar of someone (and we all know that worshipping false idols is a sin–you worship Joss or the Grand Moff or nobody), but it’s not Shannon, not someone who’ll take him for grant him, use him, rub his face in the fact that he’s being manipulated. Because in his own warped way, I think Locke really does care about Boone. Not, not in an actual love triangle kind of way, but in that mentor/protégé, master/apprentice kind of way.

We had some nice subplots with Sun and Jin this episode. The latter’s secret gets revealed to Kate, which I kinda like, because it means that for a while, she gets to do dialogue scenes with someone other than Michael. It’s not that I don’t like Michael (at this point in the show, at least) or his interactions with Sun, but variety is the spice of life. On the comedic side, we get Hurley and Jin. Hurley and Jin. What more needs to be said?

The reason I enjoy this episode as much as I do is because of a personal preference for the characters it centres on. I think they’re insanely interesting. It’s just a shame what happens to Boone and Shannon in the end, or else maybe this episode would prove more important to the myth-arc and move from the “good to rewatch” category to the “must rewatch”.

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