Sunday, July 22, 2007

What I'm Watching - Lost

There is so much to say about this episode. I will start off by writing generally about the history of the quality of Lost, in my opinion, and how this season has been so far (I will talk about events that happen in the first three seasons - SPOILER ALERT). Below that will be a discussion of this specific episode (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT), which you will have to highlight over to see.

I watched the first episode of Lost way back when it first premiered in 2004 and was unimpressed. I later was encouraged to give it another chance, and I realized that the first half of the pilot (the first episode shown) was sub-par for Lost, and the second episode (the second half of the pilot) is far better, and truly sums up what Lost is all about. It started some of the best relationships on television, including those between Sawyer and Sayid, Michael and Jin, Jake and Kate, and Claire and Charlie. Boone's demise and Locke's fascination with the island were played out very well. The episode which revealed Locke's history in a wheelchair, "Walkabout," was stunning. Shannon, who could have been a throwaway character, was put to good use with her surprising relationship with Sayid. The Others, as this mystical kind of whispering voice, were frightening and mysterious, and that was great. The recording of the French woman stranded on the island, as well as the discovery of the plane and the appearance of the polar bear, all helped to make Lost a fantastically enjoyable show with just enough sci-fi and a good balance of realistic grounding to make it work.

Season Two started off so well, and I enjoyed the lack of any resolution of some of the plots (Michael, Sawyer, and Jin) until a few episodes in. The idea of the Tailies was fascinating, and the episode "The Other 48 Days," recounting their experiences during the first two months on the island, was excellent. And I doubt there could have been any better way to unite the Tailies and our familiar castaways than with the dramatic shooting of Shannon (so well done). The Hatch was a bit interesting, and I was beyond thrilled when The Others popped up with Torches and Kate as a prisoner, though I do feel the show was more exciting (in a supernatural sense, of course) when The Others were merely freaky whispers in the woods.

I think Season Two really took a dive when Michael released Ben. That had been a great plotline, what with the balloon and the grave, etc. Michael's radical transformation into a murderer seemed forced, and his reliance on the trustworthiness of the The Others a tad much. The fact that shirts popped up on the Internet within days of the episode's airing with the words "Guns don't kill people, Michael kills people" indicates a major decrease in quality for the show. The end of last season was rather poor, offering up too much mystery and far too many unanswered questions.

This season has been intriguing to be sure, but the main problem is that there are far too many questions and very few satisfying answers. Desmond's time-traveling is interesting, the Charlie problem to be sure, and what the hell The Others are up to is certainly intruiging. Juliet's husband being hit by a bus, Eko's unnecessary death, and that whole dreadful Hurley flashback episode were some regrettable low points. And then of course, the epitomy of the show might be this week's episode.

Lost - Season 3, Episode 13 "The Man from Tallahassee" (C+)
Highlight below to read

We have been waiting for so long to find out how Locke ended up in a wheelchair. And yet, after all this time, I feel I have been cheated a bit. This is the same way I felt when we finally found out what Kate did, a sort of "well, that's interesting" but little of the show's more intriguing island mysteries tied in to either. Lost keeps giving us these surprising links, like the fact that EVERYONE met Jack's dad (which was only interesting the first time, with Sawyer and the Red Sox saying), and the colonel who knew Sayid being on the island, etc. Yet all that becomes too far-fetched, to the point where I just don't care that Claire is Jack's sister. Why should I, if they don't even know? The writers seem to be trying to be too clever, though they claim they have had a plan to connect everything all along, and I certainly hope that they do.

The episode itself wasn't terrible, and Locke's backstory is one of the ones that is more believable (as opposed to the preposterousness of Hurley's flashbacks). How he ended up in the wheelchair is interesting, to be sure, just not Lost-interesting. The fact that his dad is on the island is just ridiculous. I have had enough of The Others knowing everything, and the possibility that they could find someone no one else could find, in less than 80 days by the way (unless they knew Flight 815 was going to crash) is ridiculous. And judging by next week's preview, it doesn't seem like he'll even be in the next episode. Locke used to be my favorite character, but I am growing to dislike him more and more.

As far as Jack goes, he also seems far too trusting in The Others and the whole football thing still doesn't make much sense. I am of course curious as to what will happen, but if Lost keeps dishing out more questions and not providing any answers, I may become too frustrated to care, as many people seem to have done (most of those people have stopped watching). I am hanging in there though, and who knows what next week may bring.

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