Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lost: They're gonna need another boat

I'll try to hit "The Nine" (which I haven't seen yet), "Gilmore Girls" and "Jericho" (both of which I have) later today. In the meantime, "Lost" thoughts just as soon as I can down a fifth of Chivas to blot out memories of the 2004 ALCS...

When I was writing my newbie's guide to "Lost," I initially referred to The Others as "hostile natives," until it occurred to me that the odds were slim that someone as old as Michael Emerson was born on the island back in the '50s. Whoops. But the best part of that final scene wasn't the tiny clue about the origins of The Others, but the payoff to the old bit about Christian Shephard believing the Red Sox would never win the World Series.

Overall, The Others still don't make a lot of sense to me. If they have easy access to the outside world, why would Ben be so obsessed with getting his hands on Desmond's boat? He used to have his own, not to mention a compass heading that allegedly would allow someone to escape the island's pull. The "Cool Hand Luke" chain-gang stuff, meanwhile, doesn't really fit with their whole "We're the good guys" image, and seemed there mainly as an excuse for Kate to get sweaty in that sundress, for Sawyer to make the fangirls go wild with that kiss, and for Sawyer to once again prove that he's the roughest, toughest hand-to-hand fightin' grifter of all time. (I could have done without Kate being turned into a damsel in distress again, though. I'm not even a fan of the character, and there was arguably nothing she could have done in that situation without a gun, but it's irritating how they spent so much time setting her up as a bad-ass and then inevitably use her as a human shield for the bad guys.)

But internal logic has never been this show's strength. As someone once said (I think on this blog, though I can't find the comment), "Lost" is great at the micro (action scenes, bizarre imagery) and lousy at the macro (the "mythology"). I accepted it a long time ago, so now my only question is whether an episode engaged me on an individual level, which this one did.

A strong flashback, thanks to the always sterling performances by Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim, plus a rarity for such a late-date "Lost" flashback, in that we learned something important -- in this case, that Sun was wise to decide in the Sydney airport that the man she fell in love with hadn't disappeared completely.

Meanwhile, does anyone more anal than me want to do a tally of number of Oceanic 815 passengers killed by The Others vs. Others killed by Oceanic 815 folk? It's hard without knowing what The Others did with all of the tailies they abducted (are they some of the people busting rocks with Sawyer and Kate?), plus the question of whether you count the murders of Ana-Lucia and Libby since Michael was working for The Others. Judges? Either way, just when I was feeling happy that Paula Malcomson had found an ongoing post-"Deadwood" gig, Sun has to go and shoot her. Somewhere (most likely in Kansas), Gerald McRaney is smiling.


As I understand it, this episode and next week's were originally reversed, which I suppose means we won't be seeing any of last night's characters for at least a couple of weeks. Feels weird that we've gone so long without Locke, Mr. Eko, Hurley and the rest. Hell, I even miss Charlie a little. A little.

What did everybody else think?

11 comments:

Dan Coyle said...

Not to rehash my "Abrams is a misogynist" argument last week, but the moment I saw Malcomson I thought, "ooooh, TrixieOther as a tough chick! Cool!" And then I immediately thought, "And we don't know who she's sleeping with, so therefore she's doomed." And I was RIGHT.

Oh, I think the Others ARE the good guys... in the same sense the Cylons percieve themselves as the Good Guys. I'm sure Ben really believes what he's doing- continuing the work of the Dharma initative (I guess)- but they're willing to do horrible, horrible things to accomplish it. They're testing Jack, Sawyer, and Kate to see if they're good enough for the cause.

I'd like to think next week Jack is drafted into the Others by having to save TrixieOther, but I'm not holding my breath.

Toby said...

I agree with Dan that the Others will insist on Jack saving Colleen's life in surgery. Ben did say he would someday ask Jack to do them a favor if he wanted to go home, but I'll bet he didn't realize how soon that would come up.

I'm thinking we saw some of the kidnapped Tailies working the "chain gang" when Sawyer and Kate were brought in to join them. Specifically, there was this black woman whom I think we saw on the beach in "The Other 48 Days", but I could be wrong.

If Jack watched that Red Sox footage carefully, he might have noticed Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore in that crowd of players as they celebrated. He'd have had no idea they were there to film a scene for "Fever Pitch". (Who did at the time?)

He could have then accused Ben of showing him a staged production.

Dan Coyle said...

Toby: Yes, but Jack is very, very stupid. ;-)

I missed that her name was Colleen. And I think Ben wanted to recruit Jack to begin with, but saving Colleen- if he saves her- will be added incentive. Because Jack has to Save Everyone.

jim treacher said...

"If they have easy access to the outside world, why would Ben be so obsessed with getting his hands on Desmond's boat?"

He doesn't want anybody ELSE having easy access to the outside world?

Dan Coyle said...

But he and the others are the only ones who know how to gain access to the outside world.

dez said...

I'm bummed TrixieOther didn't get a chance to blurt out "Cocksucker!"

If the Others have been there so long, wouldn't they have doctors of their own? Or was Ethan the only one? Also, a radio show I listen to has a weekly Lost recap, and they noted today that we have yet to see any kids in the Others' camp, yet there we've seen kids (or at least, their legs & a dangling teddy bear) walking through the jungle. Are there other Others? Or at the kids being indoctrinated elsewhere? Freaky.

Bring back Mr. Eko, dammit!

EzekielRawlins said...

Isn't Colleen/Trixie doing double duty on ER as Stamo's character girlfriend?

CM said...

Lost has been boring so far this season. I'm looking forward to seeing Locke and Hurley again next week. When they're trying to unlock the mysteries of the island, it's a great show, especially since everyone has different ideas about whether the mysteries should even be solved, and where they came from. But in the episodes at The Others' camp, it becomes a psychological drama without much new or interesting about it. Sure, we don't know exactly who these people are, but do we care? The captives are so much at the mercy of The Others that they can't do anything active to try to solve the mystery. We just have to watch them be subjected to mind games.

anon said...

I know the Others are supposed to have home court advantage and all, but can't the Losties get anything right? They've lost their guns multiple times, they've lost multiple Losties, and now they've lost a boat. How did the Others sneak up on the sailboat in the first place? How did they track Sayid without his noticing? Based on Sawyer's comments, it really isn't clear to me that the Others are supposed to represent some crack commando crew. So why can't the Losties win one? Just one?

I really like Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim, but I didn't like the "two steps back" aspect of the flashback; it clouds the issue of who fathered Sun's baby. It felt like the writers were adding complexity to use up some plot, just like Prison Break and 24 end up doing. On the other hand, Sun shot someone. Actually took an Other down. Thank god somebody did (even if it had to be Paula Malcomson).

I did like the developing exploration of Elizabeth Mitchell's character, the disturbing revelation about Ben's childhood, and Paula Malcomson's cameo -- I assume it's a cameo because others have mentioned that she has a regular gig on ER. Also, for all the fanboy stuff about Sawyer and Kate, I was more moved by Rousseau's daughter and her concern for "Carl." I really hope that scene was sincere, because Rousseau's daughter is the only (semi-regularly appearing) Other we've seen so far who doesn't give off a whiff of sociopath.

But the best line was really in the preview. "Dude, the explosion blew your underwear off." A little Hurley makes everything so much easier to take.

Anon

jim treacher said...

"But he and the others are the only ones who know how to gain access to the outside world."

That's if you ascribe to Desmond's "snow globe" theory, but keep in mind that he had most of a bottle of Dharma hooch in him at the time.

Yeah, looking forward to seeing Locke and especially Hurley next week.

Mo Ryan said...

I dug the episode, but I think a lot of other people are feeling meh. I don't sense it going in an X-Files Season 6+ direction, but I really think they're starting to just wing it with the mythology (as if they weren't before).

So far I'm liking the season, and don't mind the flashbacks, but they're not adding much that's new, imho.