Thursday, April 13, 2006

Healing and unexpected apparitions in last night's LOST

…and then in one single bound, Lost broke its streak of promise and momentum to return to the slow and boring. I think that Rose and Bernard are cute as much as the next guy/gal, but come on, an entire episode devoted to them? Too much. While these characters have provided a nice little runner throughout, they are definitely not engaging enough (I don’t think) to merit an entire episode based around them. Last night’s episode was just a product of the problem with the flashback format. Since the flashbacks have generally become framed around doing a big reveal on a piece of a character’s life, there are only so many you can do before:

a) it gets ridiculous, because the person has too many “secrets” and reveals


b) no big reveal is made during the flashback at which point the flashback itself and the episode coast into the doldrums.

I mean isn’t something amiss if two ancillary characters, who’ve probably only had three or four meaty scenes througout the entirety of the show, are now suddenly getting flashbacks? As I said before, Rose and Bernard are endearing characters, and they were a good device for raising the emotional stakes of reuniting the two groups of survivors, but I didn’t think they have the presence to carry an entire episode. B plot sure, but not an A plot. I wasn’t even crazy about the way their relationship evolved through the flashbacks. One minute the two are meeting each other in a snowy alley way. The next Bernard is proposing to Rose. OK, I get it, they didn’t have time to display their entire courtship. I was just curious as to why the writers decided to make their marriage the result of a whilrwind romance. I thought the idea of the faith healer was interesting enough, and I liked the fact that Bernard was so committed to trying alternative methods to medicine to cure Rose. But when you think about it, isn’t Rose’s reveal of having cancer and being healed just a thinly veiled repetition of the Locke paralysis, miraculous recovery instance? I mean the episode addresses head on that Rose and Locke are both aware of the mystical healing powers of the island. Not only that, but that Rose knows what the island has done for Locke, which I did think was a neat twist, since no one else seems to remember Locke in his wheelchair. Still, this isn’t really new information. We already knew the island had strange healing powers, and now we know that it can cure cancer as well as paralysis. We don’t even know yet why exactly Locke was unable to walk, --it could have been the result of an accident, or the side effect of a debilitating illness. Who knows. Also didn’t Rose’s moment with the “faith healer” seem strangely similar to the moment that Claire had with her psyhic? I suppose this was an intentional coincidence but it could be easily mistaken as lazy writing.

I felt totally jilted by the fact that last week’s previews had made it look as if something actually happens this episode regarding the Henry Gale plot. I still think the fake Gale element is a great storyline, but they are dragging it out for far too long. Any survivor who knew what and who he was, would be down there 24/7 trying to pump him for answers and information, and that would be the sole focus of anyone’s time. As for the Jack and Kate spark, I’m a much bigger fan of her with Sawyer, because I think they have better chemistry with one another. Besides, even though Sawyer can be mean, Jack has proven to be pretty devoid of any sense of humor or light heartedness –therefore making him less likeable, at least in my book. Also, while it compelling to create tension between both Kate and Jack and Kate and Sawyer, I think it ultimately diffuses the build up for any one pair to get together, i.e. Scully & Mulder, Riker & Deanna (Imzadi), etc.

I was, however, glad that the rustling in the leaves that interrupted Jack and Kate was not a mere boar or puff of black smoke, but Michael finally returning from the island of temporarily abandoned characters. Once again, next episode looks both fascinating and action filled and I cannot believe that we will have to wait until May 3rd to see it. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, two Lostless weeks coming up in our midst.

Apparently, there are only three new episodes left in the season. Rumors have it that we will find out before all ends the cause and reason for the plane crash. My guess is that the season finale will lead up to this information but then stop short in a cliffhanger, so that we must wait over the long, hot, cruel summer for the truth to be divulged next season.


Anonymous The Rodenator said...

I notice that your review of last night's episode include mention of the next on. I often find with Lost that what I am most excited about is the next on, which usually contains promise that doesn't amount to much, so I proposed for myself a way to judge each episode independent of the teasing next on. I have yet to put this into practice, but I would like to watch an episode of the show and stop before the next on. I would then wait a day and mull over the show. Then when I have come to my conclusions about how much I liked the episode, I watch the next on. Good idea or am I a geek?

BTW: I don't if I was too excited about the Rose/Bernard back story, but I do like the idea of introducing new characters and getting to see their backstories. I mean how many pointless backstory episodes about the same characters am I supposed to endure? I understand the writers don't want to spill the beans on how Locke got paralyzed (or haven't written it yet), so I don't want anymore Locke backstories. In lieu of boring backstory episodes about the same old characters that reveal nothing (Kate was on the wrong side of the law, Jack wants to fix everything, Locke was screwed over by his dad(?), Sun and Jin met) give me backstories about the other characters.

4:05 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

I dunno, I guess that is one way of handling it, I just feel as though the show has become too over run with characters. I think they need to work themselves out of that format.

Also, their new gimmick is to throw in the most interesting element of the episode (libby being at hurley's mental institution, michael coming back) at the very, very, end of the episode. It's cheap and I don't like it.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous The Rodenator said...

Yeah, and if you set up a VCR (what's that?) to tape the episode you might miss those last bits as the show tends to run over.

5:28 PM  
Blogger The Coen Bros. said...

Well, look on the bright side. We will get a Michael episode and his flashbacks will be about waht happened to him on the island.

As for this episode, I liked it. Felt a little first seasony, but at least it involved everyone on the island. Although just what those people are doing always pops into my head. Don't they want to go down the hatch? Is no one even a bit curious as to the going ons on the island? I would be down there every day, watching things, scouring clues. Apparently these people just sit around for days and days and days doing nothing. Well ,I am sure the last few episode will be good. Here's hoping.

7:08 AM  
Blogger The Coen Bros. said...

PS Sawyer can be "mean" sometimes? If I was on that island he would be beaten to a bloody pulp. He extorts people for medicine and guns. He cons people for a living and, yes he is torn about it, but he also enjoys it. He has destroyed lives again and again. God I want him. Now if he would only kill a bunch of sand people, Men, women, and children, I would want him even more.

7:52 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:51 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Sawyer doesn't exactly "extort" people for medicine. In season one when they tortured him to get Shannon's inhaler back it turned out he never even had it. When he's claimed the medicine after, he's always given people what they needed (i.e. Sun and the pregnancy test) and didn't even put up that much of a fight when Jack won it all back at the Poker game. The thing about Sawyer is he talks a big game, but doesn't really deliver on it. Sure he's done some bad things in his past life, --but so have many of the other survivors --Kate, Sayid, Charlie, --- Sawyer just doesn't pretend to be all good and meritorious, but that's what makes him all the more compelling.

I do hope next week will have Michael's flashbacks of what happened while he was romping on the island. That would be awesome.

9:52 AM  

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