Tuesday, July 21, 2009

1:9 Solitary

With "Solitary" we delve into some really cool Island mythology, all surrounding Danielle Rousseau. It's hard to remember how little we knew about her at the beginning, since we've now seen her whole story, including some really cool flashbacks in the past season.

In our introduction to Rousseau (this episode could be called "Rousseau 101") we learn several things:
-Rousseau shipwrecked on the Island with her team
-She believes there are others (Others) on the Island, but has never seen them; she just hears them whisper
-Her team became "infected" by the Others and she believes that she was forced to kill them all. She feared if they were rescued they would infect even more people.
-She is apparently unaware of the Smoke Monster and tells Sayid "There's no such thing as monsters."
-She knows there are polar bears on the Island

Lostpedia reports that in an earlier draft of "Solitary" the writers had Rousseau tell Sayid that her science team had come to the Island to do research about "Time." This line was cut from the script at the network's request because they were wary of anything that related to Sci-Fi. My, how times have changed!

In season 5 we learn that Rousseau's team came into contact with the smoke monster (when Montand lost his arm) and that's what apparently "infected" them. So why did Rousseau go on to believe that it was the Others? Does she believe that the Others and the monster are one and the same? Also, given that Locke has already had an up-close experience with the smoke monster (or something like it), has he been "infected" the same way Rousseau's team was? He does seem to know things about the Island that no one else knows - when it's going to rain, where to find Jack when he was hanging off the cliff, where to find the Beechcraft. I don't think it's that much of a stretch to think that maybe those abilities come from his contact with Smokey.

Another question: why did Sayid tell Rousseau that Nadia is dead? We learn later on that he was blackmailed into spying on his friend for the CIA with the promise that he would be reunited with her, so he knew she was living in L.A. But he tells Rousseau that he has been "holding on for the past 7 years to just a thought, a blind hope that somewhere she's still alive." Looks like maybe the writers goofed on this one.

Sayid's flashbacks in this episode keep with the pattern of showing how he got to the Island. The writers do a good job of balancing his back story, which is pretty dark and depressing, with scenes of the rest of the Losties playing on Hurley's gold course. It's really well done and creates a nice contrast. They also did a great job portraying Rousseau - we're not sure whether we can believe anything she says because she seems stark raving mad. Mira Furlan is superb - my only criticism is that her French accent isn't very convincing.

The part that sticks with me the most about this episode is that it's the first time we hear the whispers. It's the first clue we get that Rousseau isn't completely crazy.

The folks at DarkUfo have provided a transcript, since it's difficult to hear:

Male Voice- "Just let him get out of here."
Male Voice- "He's seen too much already."
Male Voice- "What if he tells?"
Female Voice - "Could just speak to him"
Male Voice- "No."


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