Thursday, March 15, 2007

Lost: Are you ready for some football?

"Lost" spoilers coming up just as soon as I run a fade route...

Another solid but not spectacular episode that managed to balance Wacky Beachfront Hijinks with the latest adventure plot with The Others.

I remember interviewing Carlton Cuse at a press tour event in July, and when I asked about Christian Shepard being Claire's father, he about had a heart attack; it was like it had never occurred to him and Damon that the fans would be able to decipher that scene in Ana-Lucia's death episode where Christian visited a blonde, blue-eyed Aussie woman and demanded to see his daughter, when in fact everyone did. So I'm glad that they didn't try to make that revelation into this episode's big moment, instead doing it around the halfway point. They went out of their way to have Christian not tell Claire his name, so there must be some plan in place for how Jack and Claire -- who, back in the days when all the characters lived on the beach, already had a nice sibling-style bond -- to find out how they're related. They already went the "Jack drops a familiar Christian turn of phrase" route with Sawyer, so I'm guessing this time the intel will come from The Others, who know everything about our castaways, up to and including the fact that Locke was para(lyzed) before the crash.

And by getting Claire's parentage out of the way quickly, the producers were able to deliver a real surprise at the end: Jack and Tom/Zeke are now BFFs, casually tossing around the pigskin and putting the first real smile Jack's shown in the last two and a half years. For the first time in a while, I'm actually interested in seeing what's been happening with The Others, though this could just be an absence makes the heart grow fonder thing.

I'm also glad to see that Locke's recent bumbling may not be an attempt to turn him into this show's Gilligan(*), but is instead back to pursuing his own agenda no matter what that means for his friends, season one-style. Is it just that he's afraid again of the prospect of rescue? Does he want to join up with The Others? Is he going insane without a button to push?

More season one nostalgia: Kate and Sayid working together as a great team. They've barely had an screen time together in the last year and a half, and I wonder if part of that is because the producers didn't want us to notice that Evangeline Lily's chemistry with Naveen Andrews is so much better than with either of her designated fellas, but they're a good pair, even platonically. The tree climb over the sonic fence was a strong example of how much the "Lost" score adds; I didn't for a second believe that Kate was going to get fried, but those ominous strings had me feeling nervous anyway.

(*) By the way, if anyone wants to do a "Lost"/"Gilligan's Island" character comparison chart in the comments, feel free. Important questions: Is Hurley the Mr. Howell, or is Jin? Is it possible for Sayid to be both the Skipper (always getting annoyed with Gilligan) and the Professor (always fixing up impossible gadgets)? And since Kate's a dead ringer for Mary Ann, who's Ginger?

What did everybody else think?

15 comments:

TuckPendleton said...

Why, oh why, can't the Lost writers abandon this half-flashback, half-present structure they have locked themselves into? Do they really feel like it is so revolutionary and brilliant that the show's viewers simply wouldn't be able to live without it?

IMHO, the show could gain A LOT of goodwill, by going 3-4 shows that exist only in the present, and really driving the story and characters forward.

At this point, I don't care about the past. I may have been interested once, but I don't anymore, thanks to the show's ineffectual plotting. I want things to happen now; I am interested in what's going on now.

And I'm already cringing at the inevitbale episode about Paolo and whatshername.

Come on, Lost writers. It'll make you feel good...

Eric said...

Nikki and Paulo are the Harlem Globetrotters.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Jack once find his father's casket, but no body inside? Could Claire come across the body in the jungle somewhere, and freak out? That may get a bit too CSI/Bones with the dead body, but it could be a way to do the reveal.

I liked the episode. I was way to spoiled to appreciate the "shock" of the half-siblings, but I liked both halves - beach and jungle.

Scott said...

for me, one of the stronger episodes of the season, just as pure execution: three stories, two interesting (the flashback was ho-hum from start to finish); the don't-fry-your-brain scene was well done, and I agree that the Kate/Sayid interplay is one of the best on the show; and the Others/Jack moment, even though I expect it will be deflated, was a nice surprise. Heck, the fact that they actually got to the camp was a nice surprise. I felt like something moved along here, even if they do jerk us around next week.

BF said...

The Episode where Paolo conquers the Middle East before being slaughtered in Greece might be entertaining.

Kat Coble said...

Alan! Not one word about the "note"?!

Yes, I'm hung up on the "note"...specifically how they fit a monologue roughly the size of the Sunday NYT on a three-inch scrap of paper.

Not that it maters, because they didn't have a waterproof way to secure it to the waterfowl which means that said note will be legible for a grand total of 18 minutes.

J said...

Every time Charley's hobbity little mug comes on screen I can't wait for Final Destination 4 to kick in...

When his time comes I'm sure he'll die in a (yawn) act of bravery; I'm sure there will be some too-serious beach burial scene; and I'm sure we'll totally get driveShafted by a bunch of unnecessary flashbacks.

But would it kill the Lost folk to have a little fun with the current predicament? Shouldn't Charlie be walking three steps behind Desmond at all times? Can't Des plague his life with Ed Glosser-ish warnings?

As the writers've made this character so unbearable, they could at least throw the viewers a bone and torment him weekly.

It's a very special island. Couldn't he accidentally fall down an elevator shaft?

Anonymous said...

They killed off Ginger, because she had sex with her brother.

John Coulter said...

the Others are definitely the Mad Scientist (Vito Scott):
65) The Friendly Physician - A mad scientist (guest appearance by Vito Scotti) lands on the island and takes the Castaways to his castle ....on a nearby island… to perform experiments on them. (NOTE: This is the only episode in which the Castaways actually leave the island, but they return in a boat which sinks in the lagoon before they are able to grab some things and head back to Hawaii!)
another ep:
77) Ring Around Gilligan - A mad scientist (guest appearance by Vito Scotti) lands on the island, and makes the castaways work for him through the use of rings that, when placed on their fingers, cause them to fall under a hypnotic trance. What are his evil plans? To use the hypnotized castaways to rob Fort Knox!


and Danielle/French Lady is the WWII Japanese Soldier that still thinks the war is going on (Also played by Vito Scotti):
15) So Sorry, My Island Now - The Castaways are captured by a Japanese sailor who thinks that WWII never ended (guest appearance by Vito Scotti). When the other castaways are captured, it is up to Gilligan to save them.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

Last night's episode also seemed aware of the characters' flaws and actually put them to use in service of the plot, rather than ignoring them: Locke's obsessive and secretive and that meant he did things that affected the story, and so on. Far too often, Lost seems blissfully unaware of its characters' foibles, and that's a mistake that hurts the series and the characters.

Cheesesteak said...

Seeing Jack with a seemingly genuine smile shocked me when I saw it. This could be fun.

Anonymous said...

Completely off topic from this, I just read this and thought you might be interested:

BRAVO AIRS 10 EPISODES OF NBC'S CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED DRAMA "FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS," STARTING FRIDAY, MARCH 16 AT 7:00 PM ET/PT

http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=20070315bravo01

Pam
(some people on my Grey's list didn't even know Kyle C had his own show...)

paul c. said...

At least Locke is interesting again. He knew the C4 was there and (like anyone with half a brain who watched last week) had to know the building would blow up. It's pretty clear to me he deliberately offed Bakunin. That look of taunting that Bakunin gave Locke after beginning to say the Locke he knew was paralyzed was quite intriguing. Now, is Locke crazy, out on some sort of revenge trip, or got some secret plan we'll discover in season 5? If the show is still on by then, that is.

Kris said...

I just was wondering why the sonic killing pillars didn't affect anyone else nearby. How could sonar be that directed? It was a cool way to kill somebody, though.

I don't remember from last week, but did Locke at any time seem to recognize the Russian? Wondering if he played some role in Locke's being paralyzed.

The sad thing about this show is that they have moved these flashbacks so slowly (almost everyone's back story has been going for 2 seasons now) that we smarter viewers can start to predict some things. For example, most of us knew well ahead of last night that Claire was Jack's half-sister...or at least were highly suspicious that was true. Many had guessed well in advance that Libby had been in the looney bin with Hurley, etc.

If they had moved along these back stories a little more quickly, we may not have had a chance to make these educated guesses, speculate, etc. Which ruins the shock value or suspense of the show.

I think why "Heroes" will be a long-lasting series is that they move things along very quickly, introducing new mysteries all the time to keep you distracted from the big picture. "Lost" is always teasing you with the big picture, but never giving more than a morsel at a time.

I have a feeling there are probably many many people who have accurately guessed what the island is all about by now, so when the 'reveal' happens, we won't be all that surprised, and it will be a big let-down.

Didn't the producers/creators/whoevers of "Lost" say that they would introduce more about the 4-toed statue? I'd like to get back to that....

Eric said...

It's a good thing that it's not Sawyer with the visions of Charlie's death. He'd totally be taking advantage of it.

"Charlie, trust me on this. You need to do my laundry - right now."