Friday, February 6, 2009

Ramblings on Lost

"They elected a black guy?"

Having watched the first four episodes of Lost’s fifth season, here are a few random thoughts:

- I think I might be the only person in the known universe to prefer episodes that deal primarily with the original castaways. That might have something to do with the exceptionally good actors, like Matthew Fox, Terry O’Quinn, and Josh Holloway – or, in the case of Kate-centric stories, with the fact that I am a sucker for a gorgeous face, and by golly, does Evangeline Lilly have one.

- Talking about Evangeline Lilly, was it me or did her Canadian accent sneak in during the scene in the hotel room where she tapped out Aaron’s ketchup. She can tap out my ketchup.

- I am still not exactly sure if I am happy with the way things are progressing. This time-travel schtick of a loose narrative with strands dangling in the air like Michael Bolton’s mane is all good and fine – and they seem to have an endgame in place, which will make the whole thing all the more rewarding eventually. But, still, the sense of a pervasive mystery has all but disappeared. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse seem to be running the tightest of ships, especially when it comes to making sure everything has some sort of an explanation. In “The Little Prince,” the way they, and the writers, incorporated the batsignal from the hatch from the first season was a nice touch – especially the meta moment where the writers, vicariously through Locke, admitted that it was nothing but a cool gimmick to end the episode on at the time. Still, though, I get the sense that they are trying to explain too much. It’s as if Lindelof, Cuse and the writers realised they let way too much hanging in the second and third seasons, and now they are trying to literalise the fuck out of it. Some things should be left unexplained. What are the numbers? What’s the deal with the skeletons they found in the caves? What the hell was the black smoke? Oh, who gives a fuck! In the wise words of Mother Mary, let it be.

- Has Sun all gone all Sun-ti-Mental or is it just me? Will she try to exact revenge on Jack and Kate, and, god forbid, maybe Aaron? The scene where she was left alone with the kid was terrifying – harkening back to the former days of the show where, once again I must mention this, the mystery creeped the fuck out of you (Oh, I must say Microsoft Word's spell-check is just dying to replace “creeped” with “creped.” Yet people, like moi, still use it – go figure).

- Michael Emerson’s run in Lost should be analysed by all bit-parters/guest-actors as to how an apparently short gig can be transformed into a full-time position. The guy was signed on for a few episodes, but he was so fricking good, that the story was written around him. And now, Emerson is simply doing sterling work, rocking the house every time he’s on screen. He has become one of the core characters.

- Charlotte is Daniel’s daughter. Probably. If so…lame.

- Also rocking the house this season is Josh Holloway. He is simply brilliant. Just look at the aftermath of the scene where he witnesses Aaron’s birth – some of the best work he’s done on the show. I disagree that he was underused last season – he was merely unlucky in not being one of the six that got out. But, it just goes to show how great the initial casting was that you can leave one of your star players on the sidelines for an entire season, and yet, they bring in their A-game when it’s, once again, their moment. I’d like to think that it was Holloway’s sojourn to Turkey last summer to shoot an ice-cream commercial that brought out the best in him. I am nothing if not able to cite my country as inspiration for greatness.

- Jin’s comeback? How are they ever going to tie that in with the established mythology of the show? During the last four seasons, has Jin ever run into Rousseau? Has she ever recognised him? All questions waiting to be answered. Do I care? No, I do not. Still, it’s good to see Jin back.

- And talking about those people who believe in plans and all that shit, it was obvious from the get go in the first season that Jin was going to – SUDDENLY – turn out to be an Anglophone (which is a long word for having a telephone bought in England). Just look at the reaction shots. Anyway, I am so glad they ended up diverting from that route. Jin has turned out to be one of the most interesting characters.

- Wolverine Sayid of the past two seasons is a much better approach towards the character than the tortured torturer approach of the former seasons.

- This has nothing to do with Lost, but isn’t it funny how Heroes is so shit? It’s simply the worst show on network TV. When you find your audience preferring the delights of According to Jim to your show, you know you have messed up plenty somewhere (and it has some really likeable characters, and a few great actors, so what the heck’s going on).

- In the scene where Sawyer et al were being shot at by the other others in the other others’ canoo – am I right in thinking that the other others are the Oceanic Six making their way back?

- I still love this show, and think it even better than even Mad Men, which is my favourite show on TV right now. How is that for inverse illogic?


Anonymous said...

Love the caption!

So do you like the show or not?

Anonymous said...

Heroes is awesome! You're a prick.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous prick : get a life :)

Ed Howard said...

I've been really happy with Lost the last season and a half or so, and I love the wild, loose sci-fi direction things are going in now. Although, as much as I love most of the time travel stuff, which has generally been handled really well, I'm not too crazy about the increasingly obvious idea that Charlotte is the daughter of Daniel and that girl who's in a time travel coma back in England.

My own personal time travel theory, with no real evidence admittedly, is that once the Six return to the island and everything, eventually the castaways are going to turn out to be, way back when, the origins of the Others on the island. That would explain where the Others came from, at least. How's that for out-there theories?

And Heroes is a mess. I don't know why I'm even still watching it anymore except that it once, before the rousing anticlimax of its Season 1 finale, seemed like a promising, fun show with lots of great characters. I'm not really sure what happened to that show, but it's long gone now.

Troy Olson said...

- I'm 50/50 on the "Big 4." Sawyer and Locke, both very good. Kate, pretty, but her character annoys me. And Jack, well Matthew Fox plays a self-righteous, sanctimonious ass better than anyone else on TV (if only that's how they wanted his character to portrayed).

- As for the writing, Cuse and Lindelof so often want to be taken seriously, yet the writing constantly makes fun of the stupid stuff on the show and in a way that makes fun of the fans of the show. You can't have it both ways guys. It's very disingenuous.

(I should point out that I agree with your take on the dropped plot points - just move on and enjoy where it's at now).

- As to the characters - Sawyer has been great this season and I've enjoyed his chemistry with Juliet. Hey, it's something different and not having to deal with some silly love triangle is refreshing. The three new characters from the freighter have all been mostly good as well (Charlotte feels a little underdeveloped still, but that should change at some point). Oh, and my wife is happier that Jin is back than just about anything that ever happened on the show, most likely just so she can gaze at Daniel Dae Kim once again (and you are correct, there is no way he would have known who Rousseau was).

- I have to agree that this is as good as the show has ever been. It feels much more tightly paced, they have multiple interesting storylines, none of which are particularly dragging, and best of all they've gotten rid of pointless flashbacks (although I was always hoping for a Vincent flashback, oh well).

- Heroes - I'll trust you that it's shit. I gave up after Season 2 and never for a second felt like watching Season 3.

- Your last statement made my head explode trying to understand the logic of it. Kablooie.