Lost Recaps S1E10: Raised By Another
When it comes to genre television, a baby is never good news.
Especially for the person who’s having it. Horror, sci-fi, fantasy – they’re all genres that seem to encourage their creators to go rummaging around in whatever uterii they can get their hands on. Whether you’re Dana Scully getting medical-raped into bearing your boyfriend’s little brother or Starbuck having her ovary pinched in Battlestar Galactica, if you have a reproductive system and you’re in a show that isn’t strictly of this world, someone’s going to try and get their grubby little paws all over your nice shiny womb.
Which is why I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this week’s episode, Raised By Another, given that it revolved around Claire (Emilie de Ravin) and The Most Abjectly Low-Effort Pregnancy on Television. Look, I’m not saying I have to watch a live-action sonogram, but Jesus – I’m pretty sure that the director didn’t even bother strapping the sack of apples to her front for most of her scenes this week, just shooting her from the boobs up so you couldn’t tell the difference. She’s hefting giant bags around, wandering off through the woods alone, generally acting like a person who isn’t even pre-menstrual, let alone two weeks out from birthing a fucking child.
But anyway. That’s not the point of this review, though it is distinctly amusing to see the writers assume that “pregnancy” means “a baby bump and that’s IT”. This being Claire’s episode, we get a few flashbacks about the nature of her pregnancy, how it came to be, and just how she ended up on the fucking island.
And it’s about as grim as I had expected for a genre show, to be honest. Okay, so she actually conceives the child through consensual sex with her garbage artist boyfriend, so that’s something. But, after he scoots the scene, she attends a psychic who informs her that it is of VITAL and MYSTIC importance that she raise the child herself, lest something DREADFUL and BLEAK happen to the world at large. And when he catches wind of the fact that she doesn’t want to do that, and plans to give the child up for adoption, he uses his magic powers to figure out that the Oceanic flight is going to crash, and sticks her on it to make sure she’s got no choice but to raise the child by herself stranded on an island after a traumatic crash.
But the show wants to make it clear that he’s right. When Claire tries to sign the adoption papers, none of the pens work. We’re obviously meant to be sagely nodding along to the idea that Claire simply must raise this child alone, lest some great and non-specific Bad go down and it be all her fault. The guy who fucked it into her? Oh, yeah, he’s off the hook. Irrelevant. But Claire, being the Woman, has to raise her child as nature intended otherwise she is loosing mere anarchy on the world.
Oh, and add to that the fact that someone has been fucking with her baby since she arrived on the island; this episode features what I can only assume is someone injecting Future Plot Points straight into her womb while she’s sleeping, and then magically managing to make her look mad for believing that they did.
Sorry if I’m rolling my fucking eyes. Why do none of these Mystical Reproduction writers seem to want to get their hands on a pair of bollocks for a change? Why can’t we have some enchanted, demon sperm that torments the man who owns it? Why is it always, always the people with the womb who get the short end of this stick? And why does it always seem to come in the form of some vaguely regressive gender politics? Let a woman get a non-dramatic abortion, for once, genre television, it’s all I’m asking here.
But, elsewhere on the island: finally, we’re getting some delicious fucking plot. Hurley decides to make a manifest of everyone who was on the plane, in the hopes that people stop committing random acts of violence against one another; right from the off, this is a fun little side-plot, because Jorge Garcia has an easy, comfortable chemistry with almost everyone he’s on screen with. Fuck, even the glimpse of Sawyer we get in this episode is bearable, because Hurley’s there to temper it. For the most part, this is just a pleasing little side-note to the episode at large – until Hurley discovers that one of their number, Ethan (William Mapother) wasn’t on the plane at all.
Yes! At last. Matched with the Sayid stuff from last week (he staggers back into the caves,
which are a metaphor for my vagina, at the end of this episode, thank goodness), it feels like Lost is finally getting somewhere that isn’t to the core of Jack’s childhood trauma. They’ve set up a lot of questions, and now, ten episodes in, I’m ready to start getting some answers, and to develop a weird crush on William Mapother and his lovely, strange, enormous face. Even if he was certainly the one shooting goat-baby serum into Emilie de Ravin earlier in the episode.
Overall, Raised By Another is a vaguely irritating episode, but still one that improves on the foot-dragging low-effort that we’ve been dealing with the last few weeks. I’m here, I’m ready, and a bitch wants answers. Let’s just hope that we start to get them sometime soon, huh?
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