Lost: All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues   Rewatch 
April 19, 2023 6:58 PM - Season 1, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Ethan is pursued; Charlie is recovered; Locke and Boone make a discovery.

S1E11: All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues (Lostpedia | transcript): air date 8th December 2004 • writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach • director Stephen Williams • day 16 on the island • Jack flashbacks

Charlie and Claire taken • not how, why? • which way is the ground telling you that they went? • call it, Jack • how many drinks did you have at lunch, dad? • be the doctor; let me be the hunter • Mount Baldy can bag a boar • I’m known as something of a warrior myself • dummy trail • getting the evening news from a six-year-old • redshirts • this is not just about my career, Jack, it’s my life • a heaping platter of cosmic payback • 17th is very good • the Martha Stewart of matrimony • the Ethan/Jack fight • I’m not letting him do this, not again • I need to revise my statement • Charlie hanged • Charlie revived • all they wanted was Claire • we’re not lost • CLUNK

Whitney Pastorek, Entertainment Weekly: ''Lost'': The hunt for Claire
The bestest thing about tonight was this: When Jack and Kate found “VH1 Has-Been” Charlie hanging in the tree, his neck was a terrifying purple, and he was terrifyingly dead. And Jack started giving him CPR, and Kate started crying, and I realized that this was all supposed to be paralleling the earlier flashback scene where Dr. Jack had to stop giving CPR to the patient his dad killed, and then Kate made Jack stop giving CPR to the obviously dead Charlie, and even though I knew he was going to go back to the CPR and save Charlie’s life, I started crying. This is how you identify good TV: When you know what’s going to happen and you still get swept up in it all. When you know, but you don’t know. When anything is possible.
Myles McNutt, AV Club: Lost (Classic): “All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues”/“Whatever The Case May Be”
On the one hand, it’s a fakeout, and thus risks convincing the audience that any time a character like Charlie is in danger he’ll end up pulling through. And yet on the other hand, the scene’s “happy ending” is anything but happy. Claire — the real target of the attack — is still missing, and Charlie isn’t exactly celebrating his survival given that her fate remains uncertain. He survived, sure, but the life and death reality of the island came close to ending his life and holds another in jeopardy. Charlie’s near-death represents the show transitioning its sense of stakes to characters we would have previously thought immune, seeding the possibility one of those characters could die before the season is done, and pushing us to consider how a character like Jack would respond to such a tragedy.
Therese Odell, Houston Chronicle: All the Best Episodes of Lost Have Shorter Titles
[spoilers for future episodes & events throughout]
Isn’t it interesting how Locke and Boone find the hatch? A series of very unlikely events have to align in just the right way for Locke to find the hatch: Locke has to decide to go back to the caves to prepare for the search party; Boone has to decide to come along on the expedition; Boone and Locke have to decide to take a divergent path from Jack and Kate — following Locke’s decision that the island is leading him in this direction; Boone has to decide to remain with Locke until just the right moment — if it changes, no hatch.

Similarly, the events in the flashback also lead to a conclusion that is unforeseeable, but inevitable. A patient is called into the ER and the hospital chooses to call Christian who is not in the hospital rather than bring sober Jack downstairs to operate; Jack, hearing that his father is drunk, chooses to intervene in the procedure wherein he loses the patient; upon learning that the patient was pregnant Jack chooses to rat out his father to the hospital board; Christian loses his license, and out of shame for what he did he chooses to go to Australia; Jack chooses to bring his father home and as a result, ends up on the plane and ultimately on the island.

Fate? Or coincidence? (Or, option #3 conspiracy?) Did the island lead Locke to the hatch, or did he find it by accident? Is Christian responsible for his own downfall for making Jack into the kind of man who would turn in his own father? He seems to say so himself: “I know I have been hard on you, but that is how you make a soft metal into steel.” [...] Each choice made by Locke and Boone and Christian and Jack leads to this moment: the moment of steel, we could call it — the steel hatch that Locke discovers, and Jack’s steely spine that Christian forged.
Javier Grillo-Marxuach, The Lost Will and Testament
[spoilers for future episodes & events throughout]
The strange case of the hatch may be the best example during the prehistory and first season of Lost of how the exchange of ideas between Damon, JJ, the writing staff, and the rest of our production and broadcast partners truly functioned. Because JJ’s calling card back then was the whole concept of the “mystery box” he wanted the hatch in the pilot, even though no one knew what would be in it.

JJ was more than happy to punt the decision as to what would actually be inside the hatch to the writers' room because of his deeply felt conviction that the mystery was as good a journey as the reveal and would be so tantalizing it would keep the audience clamoring — even if the subject to be eventually revealed was not forethought. It was at that point that I first heard Damon articulate — wisely, and for reasons of self-preservation and sanity — the one hard and fast rule that he lived by for the entire first season. He would not put anything on screen that he didn’t feel confident he could explain beforehand.

So the reason the hatch doesn’t come up until the end of the tenth episode of the series — even though JJ was stumping for it since before the pilot was written — was because Damon didn’t fully believe in any of the ideas presented to him for what was there.
Rewatch companion: THE STORM: A Lost Rewatch Podcast - S1, E11: "All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues"
Dave Gonzalez: “This episode has everything I like about the first season of Lost. It has Jack running into the jungle for no reason, convinced that he’s right. And then he ends up sort of being right. Blind faith, but because we get to see his flashback we’re cool with it. It has missions. It has teams. It has Sawyer and Sayid having a showdown that doesn’t actually erupt into violence, but instead brings them closer together and faces them outwards towards another mystery. That mystery is the others. So we finally have an antagonistic force on the island that’s obviously antagonistic. It’s us vs. them. It’s light vs. dark. I like it.”

Neil Miller: “Jack’s a little slow on the uptake.”
Joanna Robinson: “Sometimes. But when he gets mad, boy, is he mad.”
Neil Miller: “Oh boy. Does he run fast?”
Dave Gonzalez: “And in circles.”
Joanna Robinson: “That’s like the best sort of symbol of Jack: angrily charging headlong into the jungle and then running in circles for an hour until the people who have actual skills come and find him.”
Neil Miller: “Well, it's a good little show-don't-tell way of cutting the line between Jack and Locke, who we believe to be our two main — even though there is no sort of main characters — the two main forces that are leading the people on the island. And it’s just so funny that Jack just goes crazy running off. And eventually like: Locke goes back; packs up his stuff; gets more people; creates a plan; and then casually just finds Jack.”
Joanna Robinson: “And all that time Jack was running in a circle. That entire time.”
Dave Gonzalez: “Running in a circle viciously remembering things.”
Neil Miller: “And the best line to me is early in the whole sequence when Kate is like: ‘Jack’s going to get away!’ And Locke’s like: ‘We’ll catch up.’”

Dave Gonzalez: “Jack and Locke being two leads of the team: I think it starts here really being true. Because the past few episodes Locke’s been lying low, just talking about skinning boar, and contributing opinions to other people’s ventures. But now he’s been reactivated. Because he has a purpose, I think. And I think Locke with a purpose is a much more activated character; and creates this really harsh dichotomy between him and Jack. When Jack’s given a purpose to do something, he gets all flustered about what sort of guilt that choice has; and if he's the best person to be a leader. And here not only is he reliving a whole flashback with his dad, but he feels bad that he didn't believe Claire last episode when she said she was being attacked. So yeah: Jack mindlessly wandering into the forest and then Locke very purposefully striding into the forest. And then both of them happening across different conclusions that are equally as important. Like I said: some of my favorite parts of Lost.”

“What is that?”
“That's what we're going to find out.”

posted by We had a deal, Kyle (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Currently streaming in the US on Hulu (subscription) and Freevee (free with ads); in the UK on Disney+; and available for purchase just about everywhere.Next episode will post Saturday.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:02 PM on April 19

[pounding clipboard] HATCH! HATCH! HATCH!
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:03 PM on April 19

They found the hatch! I loved the hatch!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:52 PM on April 19

There's something very 'man of science, man of faith' about Jack (with Kate's help) finding and resuscitating Charlie, half of the goal of the expedition, while Locke gets distracted by Island feelings and leaves Charlie's trail to uncover a mystery.
posted by Night_owl at 5:30 AM on April 20

Yeah, for all that Locke seems very purposeful about the rescue mission at the start, at the end it becomes clear -- to Boone and thus to us too -- that oh, Locke's now just doing his own islandy thing here.

I usually avoid spoilers in the more-inside and strictly speaking the mysterious metal thing in the ground isn't yet revealed to be a hatch, but yeah: hatch! and this is really the narrative -- or at least the central mystery -- that drives the show to this season's finale and on into the next season.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:12 PM on April 20

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