Sunday, February 3, 2008
Lost - "The Beginning of the End"
With the return of my favorite show to the abandoned television landscape, I'd planned to post a short review of each of the eight episodes slated to air this season. Then, I got to thinking how unoriginal this idea was, since there are two bloggers you can find slightly to the right who are doing a better job at this than I.
But, since I'm nothing if not "unoriginal"…
What Aaron Liked: I was a little skeptical before, but I think the flash forwards are not only an effective storytelling device, but very necessary, as well. The nods to Jack's crazy-bearded downward spiral were pretty nifty, if not at all subtle and the reference to "The Oceanic Six" was a nice way to keep us lemmings strung along this season. I hope that Michael Emerson's performance as "Ben" is as strong all season as it was last Wednesday. Just a brilliant turn and with only a few lines, to boot. When he derisively asks Jack for permission to go with Locke's group, I wanted to applaud. Speaking of which, I'm ecstatic to see someone stand up to – and reject – Jack's de facto leadership.
What Aaron Didn't Like: Sorry, but I've never been a fan of the "Hurley" character. You can't spend three seasons writing him as a snarky blob, and then expect him to have any credibility as a "serious, emotional" load. It's like when a pro athlete dies or is paralyzed or something and the ESPN Sportscenter anchors have to switch from bad comedy and catchphrases to "professional broadcast journalist" tone. To that end, the writers need to do something about the characters who add nothing to the story. They've failed to develop several personalities (Jin, Claire, Rose, Bernard and, I'd even argue Sayid, among others) beyond superficiality, at the expense of keeping uninteresting arcs like Kate and Sawyer strong. It's time to cut bait with most, if not all of the chafe. Now, THAT'S how you mix a metaphor, kids.
Verdict: Solid, but not great, with a little too much "here's what happened in our last episode" catch-up. Good start, but it can – and has been – better.