Welcome to LOST Observations: your guide through the clues and easter eggs scattered throughout ABC’s LOST. This time, we’ll delve into the mysteries and characters from episode 10, Raised By Another.
Major plot spoilers for Seasons 1-6 ahead!
Those hoping for an analysis of Charlie’s bacon biscuit dream may end up disappointed, although there are lots of other dreams, mysterious events and clues to take a closer look at in this episode. While Claire is getting more stressed out by the minute, Hurley comes up with the idea to make a census of every survivor at the caves and on the beach.
“I knew this was gonna happen.”
- The first shot of the episode informs us that we’ll be dealing with lots of Claire and screaming this week.
- Claire’s island dream has more than one weird thing going on, the least of which is a shot of Claire running backwards. Is it caused by stress, or is there something else going on? Is the island warning her that something will happen to her baby? Your guess is as good as mine.
- Locke, appearing as some kind of tarot reader (likely alluding to Richard Malkin), and sitting at the same table the psychic used during the readings with Claire, has black and white colored eyes. The black and white symbolism is a recurring theme on the show. It’s possible that it’s foreshadowing the fact that Locke will play a large part in the war between “black” (Man In Black) and “white” (Jacob).
- The first card Locke takes from the table makes the sound of a knife. The fact that Locke plays the role of creepy psychic in Claire’s dream is interesting, considering the two characters haven’t interacted on the show so far. Locke and Claire will grow closer later when he builds a baby crib for her birthday, and he protects her and Aaron from Charlie. Claire will see the Man In Black (posing as Locke) as a father figure during the sixth season of the show.
- Locke tells Claire: “You know what’s happening. He was your responsibility, but you gave him away, Claire. Everyone pays the price now.” This shows Claire’s fear of Malkin’s warning and what will happen if she doesn’t raise baby Aaron by herself. Claire will “give [Aaron] away” in Something Nice Back Home, when she sees the Man In Black posing as her father and leaves Aaron in the jungle to follow him.
- Claire finds a crib in the middle of the jungle. The plane mobile has four Oceanic airplanes hanging from it and revolves around a star. It makes the sound of plane turbulence before it starts spinning. Claire will find a very similar mobile in The Staff station, where she is taken by Ethan after her kidnapping. The star is probably a reference to the song “Catch A Falling Star”, which Claire’s father (Christian Shephard!) sang to her when she was young.
- Like Shannon, who we’ll discuss in a week or 19, Claire has a fear of being abandoned. Earlier, in White Rabbit, she told Charlie she thinks people are afraid of her and the responsibility she carries around in her stomach, while in this episode she’s reluctant to befriend Charlie even after he tells her he won’t leave her. When she sees that Charlie stays with her after the false labor, she decides to go back to the caves with him.
- All this is explained in Claire’s flashbacks in this episode and later ones. Claire’s boyfriend, Thomas, makes a similar promise to not leave Claire before he does. Turns out the time-bomb of responsibility gave him cold feet after all.
- Thomas also mentions Claire’s “daddy abandonment crap” during the fight with Claire. As we learn in Par Avion, Claire is the daughter of Christian Shephard, who left her and her mother for the family he already had in Los Angeles. According to Christian, he left because Claire’s aunt hates him and her mother didn’t like the fact that he had another family… Strange.
- In a deleted scene from season 6, we see the Man In Black leave Claire alone on the beach after she tells him she doesn’t want to hurt other people anymore. She begs him to not leave her. When we see her in The End, she’s afraid he’s sent Richard, Frank and Miles after her to kill her.
- Claire has a second rough night on the island. This time it’s Ethan giving her the creeps. Claire tells Jack “He had this thing – like a needle. He stabbed me with it.” Turns out she was right about that.
- In One Of Us, we learn Ethan was secretly taking blood samples from Claire, and injecting her with a serum developed by Juliet to find a cure for the pregnancy problems on the island. She was the Others’ “control case”.
- At the end of the episode, Ethan kidnaps Claire. We later learn he did this on his own; while Hurley was finishing his census, Ethan felt the heat under his feet and “improvised”, taking Claire in before he was supposed to. He took Claire to Dharma’s abandoned medical station and further treated her there. The plan was to kill her after the birth of her baby, but Claire escaped and… well, things got out of hand.
- In the mobisode “Jack, Meet Ethan. Ethan? Jack”, Ethan tells Jack that his wife and baby both died during childbirth. This could somewhat explain Ethan’s obsession with Claire and her baby.
- Ethan himself was the last baby to be conceived and born on the island before the pregnancy issues occurred, and one of few that was born and died on the island (although he did leave a few times).
- Ethan appeared in more episodes after his death on the show than when he was still alive. He appeared in the flashsideways as well (going by the name of “Dr. Goodspeed”, his father’s last name), telling Claire “I don’t want to stick you with needles if I don’t have to”.
- In this episode, Ethan tells Hurley his last name is Rom. “Ethan Rom” is an anagram for “Other Man“. He probably had a lot of fun trying to come up with that name.
THERE CAN’T BE AN OTHER
- Richard Malkin. One of them unsolved mysteries. Or at least, it seems that way. He gives Claire her money back during the first and second readings, and even offers her $12.000 to give her baby to board Oceanic flight 815. When he reappears in season 2, he tells Mr. Eko that he’s not a psychic at all. Who is this guy?
- Malkin tells Claire he saw a “blurry thing”, and didn’t want to give Claire a reading at first because of that. When he does give her a reading, he tells her that she shouldn’t give the baby up for adoption and that “there is no happy life for this child – not without [Claire]“. During the third reading, he changes his mind and pays Claire money to board a plan and give her baby to a couple on Los Angeles.
- Charlie’s theory is that Malkin predicted the crash of 815, and sent Claire on the flight to ensure she would raise the baby. Malkin’s comments in “?” seem to rule that option out, although it’s always possible that he was lying to Eko for some reason.
- In a deleted scene shown on the Season 2 DVD, Malkin tells Eko he was paid $16.000 by a couple in Los Angeles to convince Claire to board the plane. This would explain most of his actions, but since this scene was deleted from the show, this is not necessarily canon.
- Another possibility is that someone else told Malkin to convince Claire to board the plane. Since Widmore sent Abaddon to convince Locke to go on a Walkabout (Cabin Fever), it’s possible he paid Malkin as well. The hole in that theory is that Widmore knew Locke would crash on the island because he met him in 1954, and he didn’t meet Claire until 2007. It could also be possible that Jacob was behind it all. Maybe he dried out all the pens too. We’ll never know for sure.
- As for the psychic’s “prophecy”… Danger surrounded the baby, indeed. But it was never because Claire didn’t raise him. Even under Claire’s protection, he was taken by Ethan (still in the belly), Danielle Rousseau and Charlie. Sometime after Claire’s second disappearance, Aaron became one of the Oceanic Six. He was raised by Kate and his uncle Jack – a “couple in Los Angeles”. Although it’s some cool foreshadowing, being “raised by another” didn’t seem to have any bad consequences on little Turniphead.
- The line “they’re not strangers, Claire. They’re good people” could be seen as a hint about The Others’ true identity. More than once have they stated they were “good people”.
CATCH A FALLING STAR
- Claire asks the Stewarts if they could sing “Catch A Falling Star” to Aaron every once in a while, like Christian did to her. The song has made a few appearances on the show.
- It plays on the plane mobile in The Staff station where Claire is taken by Ethan. When Claire hears it, she wonders how that’s possible (Maternity Leave).
- The mirrored music box given by Christian to Claire and Jack in the flashsideways plays the song. Neither of them know why their father wanted them to have it.
- Kate sings it to Aaron in Whatever Happened, Happened; another nod to the fact that another couple is now raising him in Los Angeles.
- In Sundown, Claire sings it to herself while being captured by The Others. A soundtrack version composed by Michael Giacchino is played during the scene after the Temple massacre.
- Claire tells Thomas “my mom would disown me”. This is interesting, considering Carole Littleton is in a coma at this point, as we find out in Par Avion. This could be explained by the fact that Claire still speaks about her mother in the present tense (while her father tried to convince her she was “not really living”). Claire pays her mother a last visit in the hospital before boarding Oceanic flight 815, to apologize for her past behavior.
- Kate has an interesting look on her face when she tells Jack she used to “sink” on the beach with her mother when she was young. Kate’s mother issues, too, are explained by a hospital visit later on the show. In What Kate Did, we learn that Kate killed her father, and in Born To Run we see Diane calling for help when Kate pays her a visit in the hospital to tell her she’s sorry.
- Claire’s friend, Rachel, tells her she thought she was “all into that Astrology stuff”. This is shown briefly in White Rabbit, when Claire talks to Kate about it. Claire responds by telling her she doesn’t need someone to tell her how to live her life, which is mirrored on the island when she tells Jack she’s “sick of everyone telling her what to do”. I suppose being told to get on a crashing plane was the limit for her.
- Hurley’s name is revealed to be Hugo Reyes. Why he was nicknamed “Hurley” will always be a mystery, although Jorge Garcia did say on Jimmy Kimmel Live that it’s an abbreviation for “Hair/Curly”, because of his curly hair. That might have been a joke.
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