Friday, February 29, 2008


Lost Lost

Okay, if you're not watching Lost, I pity you. Last night's episode, "The Constant," was pure-quill science fiction, and recast much of what we've learned in the last three seasons in a new light. The "sickness" Rousseau talked about? Desmond's premonitions? And his time-slip back to 1996, right after the EMP explosion that destroyed the Swan? And the reasons for Desmond's court-martial for "not following orders" in the first place? Mmm...

And if I had to place a bet, I'd say that Minkowski wasn't slipping to his personal past, but to the future. So watch for him to turn up in a scene with a Ferris wheel in a flashforward with one of the Oceanic Six. But what does it mean that he dies in the "past," before ever getting there? (And why has Faraday not been allowed to talk to Minkowski since coming to the island? Mmmm...)

Spending a lot of time last night on Lostpedia after watching the episode, refreshing my memory about all kinds of little bits and pieces from the first three seasons that I'd missed, I found two bits of video that I'd never seen before.

First, and most relevant to last night's episode, is the Orchid Orientation Video, which was released last year as a teaser for the current season. It suggests an explanation for the polar bear in Tunisia, and a different application of the timeslip effect that's messing with Desmond.

Next up is the "Sri Lanka video," from the alternate reality game The Lost Experience. In it a younger Alvar Hanso explains the significance of the Numbers. (And if it's canonical, it might squash my theory that it's the remnants of the Dharma Initiative that are in charge of the freighter.)

And of less earth-shattering significance, but mildly amusing, is a commercial for Apollo Bars, which I don't think we've seen anyone eat on the show in a while.

Hmmm....3.5 years to get to the sf? At least Heroes started good, then got bad.

John, don't make me come over there and hurt you.

I'm just sayin' seemed to be more tolerant of Lost than Heroes. I finally realized you called it about Heroes viewers like me; we were hanging on needlessly. How was Lost different with a 3.5 year payoff? (I'm speaking in the dark, here. I haven't seen any Lost episodes. They could have been entertaining out the wazoo and I wouldn't know it.)
I've found Lost to be consistently excellent from the beginning; it's had lulls here and there, but what show hasn't? And a lot of what they have done this season has been pure brilliance. Last night's episode was one of the finest episodes of television I've seen in a long time. I couldn't possibly be more excited about this show right now.

Thanks for the links, Chris! I hadn't seen that second vid. Explains quite a bit. (I also hadn't thought about Rousseau's "sickness," OMG. I love this show.
Didn't get to see it yet, but it's on deck for Saturday. After reading your post, I can't wait!

Timeslippage is cool! Maybe somebody went back in time and taught Charlie to swim between Seasons 1 and 3 ;-)

The links look cool. I guess I'll have to check them out when I'm not at work...
I'm pretty much with Jen (that's "dianora2" to you) on this, John. The reason I've stuck with the show this long is that it's yet to disappoint. Some episodes have been better than others, but the Lost writers have yet to take a serious mistep, so far as I'm concerned. If it looked like they were losing their way, I'd jump off the bandwagon, as I've done with everything else sooner or later (except Alias, but that was just masochism, and I've regretted it ever since). But ever new reveal on Lost just makes the puzzle that much more interesting, and serves to suggest they really have worked it all out since the beginning.

But really, beyond that, the writing is just excellent. What turned me off of Heroes early on was the writing as much as the red-flags that they were working without a complete map, neither of which sat well with me. Even if Lost didn't seem to cohere storywise, which it does, it would still be a study in how to do water-tight character pieces, without having to resort to overly portentous nonsense. And the Lost showrunners know better than any show I've ever seen how to modulate a series' tone from time to time, mixing the humor and light in with the drama and dark. And better still, they know there has to be balance in the light and dark, so that when a normally humorous character like Hurley is called upon to provide the drama and pathos for an episode, they have to balance it by making a normally serious character like Sawyer the butt of all the jokes. Just brilliant!
Hey, Irb! (And it's Chris, right?) I'm curious to know what you make of it. And you know, it might actually explain Charlie's swimming, at that!
I've always found LOST to be guilty of an astounding amount of hand waving. "Listen, and I will explain all-- HEY! LOOK OVER THERE!"

The hand-waving's been pretty good these last few episodes, I'll admit, but I was a skeptic from episode 1, and I've yet to see anything in this show to change my mind.
That ain't hand-waving, Blaschke, it's sign language...
I'm with you, Amigo. Last night was one of the series high points. I've been extremely pleased with this season. Now that they've got a definite end in sight, I think every episode will be a more or less straight line to the finale in three seasons' time.
Mark -- that's part of what makes the show so exciting right now, isn't it? Since they have a set deadline to work toward, there's less time for filler. From now on you can't help but feel that EVERYTHING is important -- whether it really is or not!
Great episode. Makes me want to watch the ep where Desmond went to London and met up with Charlie again. Was that Season 2 or last year? Hmm, maybe I can unstick myself in time and watch it as it's happening - "Lost" can be my constant!
Justin, that one was "Flashes Before Your Eyes," which was in the first half of Season Three. I had to revisit the synopsis of that one, myself, over on Lostpedia.
What john d. said.

I watched the first episode of Lost, a bit of the second, and two others later on on holidays that literally put me to sleep.

4 years for one good episode sounds like a big waste of time. :)
"Lost" is TV's gift that keeps on giving. It's had its share of dull spots and logic lapses (Why does no one EVER ask the most obvious question in any given scene?), but it has been cooking on all four burners since the middle of Season Three.

Don't know whether you're familiar with J. Wood's "Lost" blog over at the Powell's Books blog, but it's my favorite resource after Lostpedia. The link is:
Thanks for the tip, Michael!
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