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.