Friday, March 21, 2008

Lost - "Meet Kevin Johnson"

What Aaron Liked: I'm actually OK with the return of Harold Perrineau's "Michael" character. I've always thought the writers mishandled his storyline in the immediate aftermath of the first season finale, when his son Walt was abducted. He went from playing a moderate role in the evolution of Jin and Sun's relationship, as well as an occasional foil for Locke, to being written as an annoyance to the castaways – for the unforgivable sin of wanting to find his son. I dug a lot of last night's smaller moments, like when Michael challenged Tom to "prove it" with regards to his claims about Widmore (see "What Aaron Didn't Like" for more on that). I thought Ben's incredulous "you detonated the bomb?" line was terrific, as was the performance by Ken Leung who wore his living room humiliation really well, before dropping the line of the night about, of all things, pound cake.

What Aaron Didn't Like: After almost four full seasons, here's what we know about the Rousseau character: she doesn't trust anyone and that goes double for Ben. Yet after about 10 seconds of "run, b*tch, run" persuasion from Ben, she suddenly believes his claims about an imminent attack?! Weak. Really weak. Why anyone on the island would take anyone else's word at face value – at this point in the narrative – is just beyond any realm of believability. And, while it's admittedly too early too make judgments, Rousseau's episode-ending fate sure seems like a sh*tty payoff for a character who was written to be a lot smarter over the years. Similarly, I was surprised to see Sayid give Michael up so quickly. When, Sayid isn't all torturing n' stuff, he's a pretty cerebral guy and it seems like he overplayed his hand there.

For the first time that I can remember, the flashback device was used as a straight-up exposition. OK, I guess they all are, but if you saw last night's episode, you know what I mean. I thought the Michael story was told as well as it could be, but it sure felt like someone hit the brakes right in the middle of a good ride as the flashback ended up overstaying its welcome a bit.

And, the wife and I argued this well into the night: Who was that wee Negro in the upstairs window of Michael's mother's house? We both agree that it was supposed to be Walt, but there is no way in hell that was Malcolm David Kelley, right? Mrs. Bootleg swears it was, but I sure seem to remember a 7'4", 41-year-old Walt towering over the fallen Locke in the season three finale before climbing back up his beanstalk. Assuming I'm right, I say "boo" you Lost writers for assuming you could stick any ol' child out there like that.

Verdict: Well, it wasn't the absolute clunker that Kate's episode was last month, but it was certainly an abrupt end to the previous three weeks of eeeeeeexcellence.


Anonymous said...

I want to know why I'm just now learning that Tom is gay. I mean, come on wait until the guy's dead before you bring (drag) him out of the closet? How daring.

That Bootleg Guy said...

Actually, Tom's sexual orientation was touched on in season 3 during the arc where Jack/Kate/Sawyer were prisoners of The Others.

Mathan said...

Bootleg, I'm totally with you on everything. From the abuse of flashback to the trusting of Ben to the island keeps you alive. Wait you didn't mention that last part, but that was close to a jump the shark moment for me.

For once I agree with you 100% on the topic of Lost.

Tom said...

Lostpedia has his image captioned as "Fake Walt".

One of my buddies just started Lost a month ago on DVD and forgotten in what became of Tom's character was how much of a creepy bad-ass he was in the first two seasons.

Which just makes Rousseau another good utility character to meet an anticlimactic demise.