Archive for the ‘Getting Lost’ Category

Getting Lost (Redux): Lockdown

“Getting Lost (Redux)” has jumped way ahead, to the 17th episode of the second season, “Lockdown.” Why the big jump? To combine the two most compelling threads of Season Two: the mystery of the hatch and the identity of Henry Gale. Along with the introduction of the tail-section survivors, these two threads represented the crux of Season Two.

As I said yesterday, the hatch was the main cliffhanger at the end of Season One, and the first few episodes of Season Two deal directly with it: We meet Desmond, find out one use of The Numbers, and learn why the button must be pushed every 108 minutes. Jack and Locke have an intense confrontation over whether or not to push the button, but then Desmond disappears and the button becomes a kind of white noise for most of the season. It’s always there to be pushed, but most of the middle of the season deals with the integration of the tail survivors.

“Lockdown,” though, brings the mysteries of the hatch back into focus, with a little help from “Henry Gale.” Continue reading

Getting Lost (Redux): Exodus

There are many reasons to be skeptical heading into next Sunday’s Lost finale: the massive expectations, the unevenness of Season Six’s quality, the limited number of successful television finales compared to the vast array of “disappointments,” etc. But there is one reason why I am still confident that the Lost series finale will be memorable for the right reasons: This show knows how to do finales, and “Exodus” was the first example of that.

As I’ve said before, I didn’t watch Season One as it aired, and even as I was catching up on DVD, I wasn’t totally sold on the series. There were moments of high suspense and taut action, but there were also stretches in which the show seemed to be spinning its wheels, and I found the flashback stories almost unbearably trite and boring at times. “Exodus,” the three-hour finale to the first season, was probably the first episode that made me see that there was something uniquely appealing about Lost. Continue reading

Getting Lost (Redux): Pilot

There’s no doubt that a large reason for Lost’s initial success was its impressive pilot. Directed by J.J. Abrams, the first episode of Lost has both the intense feel of an action movie, and the enticing suspense of the first chapter of a mystery novel.

So many images from the pilot are obviously memorable. The opening shot of Jack’s eye, the sight of a pregnant Claire on the beach, the scene in which Kate stitches up Jack’s wound, and so many others have become burnt into Lost lore. The episode is stunningly visual—the first line of dialogue (aside from screams and cries for help, of course) doesn’t come until almost five minutes in, when Jacks asks Claire how many months pregnant she is. This comes amidst the famous opening sequence of Jack pulling bodies from the wreckage.

What stands out about these opening scenes, looking back, is how the priority of characters has changed. We see a lot of Michael, Walt, Shannon, and Boone, but Sawyer and Locke don’t even speak in the first hour. Even Vincent the dog seems more important than they do.

This is not to say that the writers and producers didn’t know what they were doing—just that the story they were setting up was clearly very deep. In fact, Abrams’ direction is impressive in its ability to capture the core of characters in single shots. Whether it’s something easy and simple, like Shannon painting her toenails on the beach, something obviously important but cryptic, like Locke sitting on the beach as the rain begins to fall, or something subtly telling, like Sawyer’s silent self-loathing as he smokes a cigarette, it’s clear that there is a very defined view of all these characters.* Continue reading

Introducing….Getting Lost (Redux)!

There are very few episodes of Lost that I’ve seen twice. This is not because I dislike the show, obviously, but merely because re-watching Lost often seems pointless. Unlike other, denser shows on television, like The Wire or The Sopranos or Breaking Bad, Lost does not seem like a show that would reward repeat viewings. It’s not layered with the same subtlety and depth as those shows, and a lot of the suspense of certain episodes is drained when you know, for example, that Jin has not been captured by “the Others” but by the survivors from the tail of the plane. Continue reading

Getting Lost: Across the Sea

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

OK, Question #1: How is it possible that this guy STILL doesn’t have a name? (shaking my head) I don’t know…. I don’t know.

I suppose I should give up any hope of him ever getting a name, right? Well, if he were going to get one, this would seem like the episode for him to get it. I think Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse probably think being nameless is intimidating.We’re probably stuck with “Man in Black” (or Flocke, or Smokey, or the Smoke Monster, or Esau, or Blackie, or any of the other nicknames he’s acquired over the last year) for good.

At least his mother took the trouble of color-coding him from birth, right? Yeah, that was awfully nice of her.

Should we talk about the episode now? Continue reading

Getting Lost: The Candidate

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

So, it looks like Jack figured it out. Did he? Well, it depends what you mean by “it,” but it certainly felt like those lines Jack was spitting out as he desperately tried to talk Sawyer out of defusing the bomb were important. For one, he flatly declared, “Locke can’t kill us.” This, of course, echoes the boy’s claim from back in “The Substitute,” but this was the first time the prohibition has been extended to all the candidates. This might raise some issues, since the Smoke Monster has previously been a killing machine, taking down the pilot, Mr. Eko, Bram (Jacob’s bodyguard), and pretty much Widmore’s entire camp earlier in this very episode. The loophole to this, of course, is to assume that those victims had either never been candidates (like the pilot) or ceased to be candidates (like Eko).

If the Smoke Monster can’t kill the candidates, then what is he doing with them? According to Jack, his goal is to get them all to kill each other. As many have speculated, the Man in Black cannot leave the Island until all the candidates are dead, but he himself cannot kill them.* As a result, he has to wait for the candidates to slowly kill each other—something they have been pretty good at now for 100+ episodes. Continue reading

Getting Lost: Season Six Thus Far

In the absence of a new Lost episode last night (ABC ran a rerun of “Ab Aeterno” instead), this week’s “Getting Lost” will look at where the show’s final season stands now:

Given the hype and anticipation for this season of Lost, has it lived up to the expectations? That, of course, is the big question. I think the obvious answer, at this point, is “No.” We still don’t know how the alternate timeline plots will ultimately resolve themselves into the main narrative, and this season has seen its share of dull episodes, like “What Kate Does,” “Dr. Linus,” and “The Package.”

But it’s probably unfair to judge the whole season as of yet. Lost has always been a show that has made its reputation primarily with premieres and finales. That’s not to say that character development doesn’t play a key role on the show, just that the show has made a habit out of sandwiching some dull episodes with strong beginnings and thrilling endings. Fans tend to forget this, but with the exception of Season Five (which I called one of the best television seasons of the Aughts), every single season of Lost has had a pretty noticeable slump in the middle.*

*Some people would probably object to the inclusion of Season Four, which was only 14 episodes, but I would say that episodes six (“The Other Woman”), seven (“Ji Yeon”), eight (“Meet Kevin Johnson”), and ten (“Something Nice Back Home”) were pretty forgettable. Continue reading

Getting Lost: The Last Recruit

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

First thing’s first: Why were Jin and Sun speaking English in the last scene? I suppose it was to stress what Lapidus pointed out—“Look’s like someone got her voice back”—since Sun could speak Korean but not English before seeing Jin, but I’m not buying it. These two grew up in Korea, lived almost all their lives together in Korea, and Jin couldn’t even speak English until last season—there is no way they would speak English after seeing each other for the first time in three years.

Still, though, wasn’t it nice to see those two together again after all this time? It was, actually. I pointed out last week how Sun kept showing up places slightly after Jin gets taken from them, and I had gotten so used to it that I totally forgot that Jin was at Widmore’s camp until they both showed up at the beach. The scene itself was a little generic, but it was a well-earned sappy moment since those two have been apart for so long and—unlike some relationships I can name on this show—they have been so constant in their desire to reunite. It also served as the nice capper to an episode that was all about reunions.

Tell me about it. How many were there? Continue reading

Getting Lost: Everybody Loves Hugo

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

Oh man, how excited were you to see Libby again? I know a lot of people were anxiously awaiting her return, and I hope for those people that it was everything they hoped for and more, but I didn’t really care. As I said when the season started, if they had gone through the whole season without addressing her character at all, I wouldn’t have minded.

But you were at least happy for Hurley, right? He got to see Libby again! Last week, after the exceptionally well-received “Happily Ever After,” I was talking to a fellow Lost fan as we shared our enthusiasm about the episode. One worry he had, though, was that the series would devolve into a sappy “love conquers all” message. After all, Charlie and Desmond were only drawn to the existence of the parallel universes once they realized that their respective soulmates were there.

Last night in “Everybody Loves Hugo,” we pick up where we left off. Continue reading

Getting Lost: Happily Ever After

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

As Bunk Moreland might say: Are you happy now, bitch? You know, it’s almost like the producers said, “Alright, fine, you think this season is starting to stall? Well, we’ll give you Desmond. And then we’ll throw Daniel Faraday in. And then we’ll throw in the clearest explanation of the Alternate Timelines to date.” Unlike “Ab Aeterno” from two weeks ago, which positioned itself as a mythology-heavy episode but didn’t really tell us much that we didn’t already know (with the notable exception being “cork”), “Happily Ever After” was quite the opposite. It was an episode that seemed like an repeat of a typical Lost formula but was actually more illuminated than any episode thus far this season.

How exactly did this seem like a repeat of a typical Lost formula? Well, in many ways this episode was exactly like the first Desmond-centric episode of the series, “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” In that episode, a “catastrophic electromagnetic event”—in that case the explosion of the hatch—sent Desmond’s consciousness into an alternate timeframe, in which he was still with Penny. Even though his life in that timeframe seems ostensibly better, though, he is forced to return because it is his purpose to return to the Island.

The same format, more or less, happened in “Happily Ever After.” In this episode, the electromagnetic event is merely an experiment done by Widmore’s new crew* to see if Desmond can, indeed, survive it. Instead of having the relationship he wants with Penny, he has the approval he craves from Widmore. And instead of simply going back in time, Desmond goes into the alternate version of 2004 that we’ve been seeing all season long. Continue reading