We’ve already figured that there is something very strange about the island that the castaways are now, and that they’re not alone. Now in ‘Raised by Another’, we get the first indication that there was something strange going on with the passengers BEFORE the crash. And considering who that character is, that takes on another level of significance.
Up until this point, Claire has been more of a background character, not even appearing in three episodes, but now her characters comes to the front with a vengeance when she has a very vivid dream about her baby being in danger. Now, lots of pregnant women happen in the last trimester of the pregnancy, but associated with the island, it could mean something a lot worse. I will not attempt to analyze this dream (I’m not a psychiatrist), but it seems to represent dread, danger, and foreboding.
As we know Claire is a pretty spiritual person, and like many pregnant women, this has left her vulnerable. This was an unexpected pregnancy, and one that her stiff of a boyfriend did not prepare her for at all. Far more important was a visit to a psychic early on. The psychic saw something very dangerous coming, and tried to warn her about it— or did he? Given his behavior, and his approach to what was happening, for four months, it seemed like he was trying to manipulate Claire into holding on to her baby. Then, when she finally agrees to listen to her, he says that it’s safe for the child to be adopted—- but only if she goes on a certain plane at a certain time. Did he know the plane would crash? Did the psychic know about the island and was he trying to get her there in the first place? (Later episodes will suggest that this is very probable)
On an even creepier level, was some kind of force pushing Claire towards him to begin with? We see her about to give the baby up for adoption, but when the attorney hands her a pen, it doesn’t work. Same with the replacement pen. Claire probably took this as a sign not to give up her child to these parents. Is it possible the island was putting obstacles in her path, that the psychic knew about it somehow? Given what we see in later seasons, I am not inclined to dismiss this. There is something significant about this pregnancy, but even now I don’t know what or why
These problems are speculative. What is going on in this episode is not. When Claire is attacked by someone, Jack, ever the rationalist, is determined to dismiss both as some kind of hormonal alarm. Charlie, who’s a lot more spiritual, and clearly is falling for Claire, wants to protect her, and believes that something is going on.
Hurley’s reaction is even more interesting. After helping search most of the caves for Claire’s attacker, he realizes that they don’t know anything about the other passengers, including who lives where and why they were there. He hits upon the idea of doing a census, and carries through with it. Hurley is turning out to be an interesting character. Yes, he’s funny and yes, he’s got a communal attitude, but he also has a good head on his shoulders about understanding how people think and the problems they are facing on this island. He also knows how to handle people (the scene where he gets the passenger manifest from Sawyer is a small gem) and he is forceful (watch how determined he gets Jack’s attention in the next to last scene) This is a character with a lot more going on than a ready wit (though we won’t know his baggage for a little while longer)
Unfortunately, Jack is dismissive of her fears as being part of her pregnancy, much like Claire initially debunks the attack. And when he finally learns the truth, it’s too late for her and Charlie. They have just encountered Ethan, one of the ‘Others’ that Rousseau mentioned in the previous episode, and the dynamic of the series is about to change yet again.
As we shall learn very shortly, pregnancy and children are a very important element of this island. What is not clear yet is if this is because of the island or because of the children. Though he isn’t seen in this episode, the character who this most affects is Walt, for reasons that will become clear soon, and in his case, he was different before the plane crash. We have yet to find out if there is anything significant about the child Claire is carrying (he’s still far too young for us to know one way or the other) but it’s obvious that the Others must think he is.
Like the previous episodes, the story focuses on three or four characters, and does almost nothing with any of the others. For the second straight week, we don’t see either Jin or Sun, no Walt and precious little of Michael, almost nothing of Boone or Shannon, and very little of Kate or Locke. The episode seems to focus on Claire and her relationships with Charlie and Jack. (Though we don’t know it, he and Claire have more in common then they know) As a result, the episode, while a very important one as far as plot and character development goes doesn’t have the same power as some of the earlier ones. Emilie De Ravin is a fine actress (and even in her condition, she fairly glows with beauty), but her character doesn’t have the same force as Evangeline Lilly or Yunjun Kim’s. ‘Raised by Another’ could have been a lot better than it was, but in the last sixty seconds, we have the shows first real cliffhanger. And this one isn’t going to be resolved by the next episode