Posts Tagged ‘Getting Lost (Redux)’

Getting Lost (Redux): Every Man For Himself

The first six episodes of Season Three—the “Cage Era”—are some of the most controversial episodes of Lost. Many fans were upset to see the focus taken away from the beach, while Jack, Sawyer, and Kate were imprisoned off on Hydra Island. On the other hand, the introduction of the Others was a watershed moment for the mythology of the series.

I, for one, always thought the first six episodes—and really eight, when you factor in “Not in Portland” and “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” which aired some time after the first six—were among the best stretches of episodes the show ever did. Continue reading

Getting Lost (Redux): Live Together, Die Alone

For a while after I first watched “Live Together, Die Alone,” the second season finale, it was my favorite episode of Lost. On a second complete viewing: Not so much.

It’s not that “Live Together, Die Alone” is bad, but on the heels of “Exodus” it feels a little slight as a finale. Also, compared to later season finales, this one is not really the game-changer it felt like at the time.

The best thing about “Live Together, Die Alone” is the first full inclusion of Desmond. Desmond was of course introduced back in the Season Two premiere, but we learned little about him, aside from the facts that he was Scottish, he likes to say “brotha,” and he pushes a button. His return in this episode—and the shot in which he first appears, with Jack staring down into cabin of Desmond’s boat, was a nice callback to the end of Season One, with Jack staring down into Desmond’s hatch—is both surprising and fitting. Continue reading

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