Posts Tagged ‘the Man in Black’

Getting Lost (Redux): The Incident

One of the raison d’etres of “Getting Lost (Redux)” has been to help see how Lost got from where it was to where it is now. “The Incident” is critical to that on a very basic level, having triggered Season Six’s controversial and polarizing Sideways stories. It is also critical on a more complex story level, having been the first episode to introduce us to Jacob, in all his splendor.

“The Incident” opens with a scene, which I feel like I’ve linked to a dozen times already but here’s one more, that fundamentally changed the tenor of the series. Not only did it confirm that Jacob was in fact real (it’s almost hard to believe that this was ever in doubt), but it also introduced us to the Man in Black. This was the first real indication that Jacob had a rival, and was not the sole entity of power on the Island. The final season has made clear that the characters were brought to the Island as part of a power struggle between Jacob and the Man in Black—a struggle that will ultimately end with Jacob’s death. Continue reading

Getting Lost: Ab Aeterno

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:

Well, let’s start with the obvious: What exactly does “Ab Aeterno”—the title of last night’s episode—mean? Come on, you can’t Google it? Apparently, it can be loosely translated as “from the beginning of time,” “from eternity,” “from the everlasting,” etc. Basically, it means some shit is really, really old, as we discover in this episode that Richard Alpert has looked more or less the same for over 140 years.

Speaking of which, were people really still calling America “the New World” in 1867? I mean, the United States was pushing 100 at that point, and Europe had known about the continent for almost four centuries… Yeah, that part of the episode didn’t ring all that true to me. On the whole, I was a little wary of the entire Canary Island part of Richard’s story. Richard is an important character in terms of the Island’s overall mythology—and he’s almost always a good addition to a scene or episode, despite not always getting a lot of chances to shine, as he did two weeks ago in his dynamite scene—but he’s not really a character at the emotional center of the story. We didn’t meet him until Season Three, and we didn’t know much about his character until, really, this season.

And, unlike a lot of viewers, I really wasn’t especially interested in the whole “Richard doesn’t age” phenomenon. I didn’t really need a whole episode devoted to explaining it, since the supernatural is such an ingrained part of Lost by now. So centering an entire episode around Richard—with pretty much none of the main characters—was a rather bold move. People generally hated an episode like “The Other 48 Days” from Season Two for the same reason. Continue reading

Getting Lost: The Substitute

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:

Hey! A Locke episode! Yeah, after an episode that left him out completely, we get an episode totally centered on John Locke, who I’ve already called the show’s most important character.

And were you super thrilled with this episode? It was a pretty good, wasn’t it?

Well, it still had those dumb alternate timeline storylines… Well, here’s the thing with those. People have complained that the 2004 stories are pointless, or a distraction from the on-Island stories that people care about. There is definitely some validity to that when we have to watch a whole episode of Kate trying to run away from US Marshal Edward Mars again. But this episode worked the John Locke storyline in pretty seamlessly, in a way that actually added to the on-Island story. Continue reading

Getting Lost: LA X

For “Getting Lost,” the new series in which John S takes a look at the most salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost, he’s borrowing Tim’s interlocutor style:

What was the deal with that opening? As many were predicting, the opening scene of Lost Season Six was a quasi-replay of the first airplane scene from the show’s pilot. Panning back from the wing, we see Jack looking out the window, and the flight attendant comes by to ask about his drink. In other words, the plan worked, and we are now witnessing an alternate timeline.

Last May, when Juliet set off the hydrogen bomb on the Island, people immediately starting hypothesizing that Season Six would be the story of what happens if and when Oceanic 815 actually landed at LAX (a hypothesis strengthened when the title of the season premiere was announced). My biggest worry about this storyline, though, was that it wouldn’t be interesting. I, for one, never really cared much about these characters’ off-Island lives. Continue reading

Lost Season Six and the Importance of The End

“It always ends the same.”

“It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

—Jacob and the unidentified Man In Black, from the Season Five finale of Lost

The sixth and final season of Lost kicks off tonight, in what is likely the most anticipated final season since at least the end of The Sopranos. It’s conceivable that Lost is actually more anticipated than The Sopranos final season. For one, more people watch Lost, since it’s on a network and not premium cable.

But it’s not simply the number of viewers the show has, it’s the type of viewership the show inspires: There are no passive Lost fans. You cannot just check in every few weeks to see where the characters are—you will be totally fucking confused. The show is so deeply enmeshed in mystery and ambiguity that missing any steps in the narrative will get you completely lost. This is also what makes the show so addicting. Continue reading