Deus Ex Machina

Episode Report Card
Daniel: B+ | Grade It Now!
Immaculate misconception

So Locke shows the boy how to set the Rube Goldberg-esque mousetrap in action, and goes over to Swoosie to find out what she wants. She's caught off-guard before asking where the footballs are. Locke tells her aisle eight for regulation, fifteen for Nerf. 815, notice? (And I would expect the separate aisles to represent a sporting goods section for the real ones versus the toy department for the Nerf ones. Then again, the episode guide on ABC.com says he works in a toy store, in which case separating the footballs makes no sense.) Swoosie looks much happier than you'd expect someone to be based simply on finding out where the footballs are. She thanks Locke and takes off, and the mousetrap does its work. This motif works on so many levels this episode!

Back on the island, Locke standing on top of the hatch, which has been dug out to the extent that we can see it's on top of a structure about eight feet in diameter. Boone says, "You want my opinion..." and then thankfully never offers it, although there's apparently some discrepancy with the closed captioning, which I totally meant to check except for zzzzzzz. He's clearly skeptical of Locke's plan, which turns out to use a trebuchet to hammer half a ton of force on the glass in the hatch, and then they'll be in. Boone wants to know why the thing is called a trebuchet when it looks like a catapult, and Locke explains that it's not called a catapult because it isn't a catapult. This seems to be a conversation that Boone would have initiated long before the damn thing was completed, but what do I know? So they prime or load or whatever the hell the trebuchet, and Boone says, "One minute you're quoting Nietzsche, now all of a sudden you're an engineer." Boone clearly missed the flashback, in which we learned that Locke's contraption expertise is a result of his having played Mousetrap as a kid. Jack presumably played Operation, and Kate played, um, violent video games. Annoying, nosy, violent video games. Boone says that they've been coming out here for two weeks, and Locke never says anything about himself, even though "everybody's got a story," the first of many meta-statements this week. Locke says that his story would bore Boone, and all I can say is Boone knows from boring stories. They wind up the trebuchet, to which they've attached what seems to be a jagged piece of scrap metal, presumably from the plane. They built this thing in two weeks? Colour me impressed/skeptical! The music ratchets higher as the trebuchet does likewise. Then Locke holds the rope or trigger or whatever and does a countdown, even though Boone doesn't have to do anything. He releases the trebuchet, which slams down ineffectually on the hatch. And then the trebuchet falls apart. Lousy American-made goods. If the trebuchet is anything like Mousetrap, they'll now lose a piece and never be able to build it properly again.

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