Thursday, February 19, 2009

TBG TV: Lost - "316"

The Good:

The entire fifth season has seen this show slowly embrace its fantasy/sci-fi inner child. The opening scene at "The Lamppost", however, indicates that any plot device previously deemed implausible is now in play. And, if that point wasn't hammered home, Eloise Hawking's "Stop thinking how ridiculous it is…" line sealed the deal.

In an episode where the dialogue – once again – sunk to a new nadir, the early favorite for second-finest single line of the season goes to Eloise's deadpan "Probably not" in response to a question about Ben's trustworthiness.

It took nearly 50 minutes, but someone was gracious enough to finally acknowledge the whole "hey, if this flight to Guam is doomed, what'll happen to everyone else?" elephant-in-the-room.

The Bad:

Ummm…what exactly did Jack do to "save" a flailing Hurley from drowning in the lagoon? They showed the scene twice and both times, it appeared that the mere sight of Jack was all it took for Hurley to figure out the whole "fat floats" corollary.

Worst line of the season? How 'bout Desmond's howlingly awful "You say the island is not done with me? Well, I'M done with the island."

OK…I'm just one of a zillion different hacks with a lightly-read blog who offers up occasionally empty, occasionally constructive criticism. Maybe I have no earthly idea what I'm talking about, but me thinks it's bit late in the game to be introducing Jack's "Granddad Ray" into the storyline and especially for such a contrived one-shot purpose.

I will now summarize the bedroom scene between Jack and Kate:

Kate: "I'm going back to the island after steadfastly refusing to go and calling you crazy for wanting to go back."

Jack: "Great! Hey, where's Aaron – that toddler you brought back with you from the island? Remember? You convinced yourself that he was your son. The writers have used him as a plot device to dictate your every decision since the start of the fourth season. Remember?"

Kate: "Don't ever ask me about him again."

Jack: "'K."

Kate: "Let's have sex."

Jack: "Giggedy."

So, Sayid's apparently under federal custody of some kind (just like Kate in season one!). He's in the care of a female officer/agent of some kind (just like Ana Lucia in season two!). I'm betting that Sayid was responsible for Ben's beatdown (didn't Sayid torture Ben in season two?) Are we really sure that this show is ever going to end?

Verdict: The gigantic narrative gaps during this episode's "46 hours earlier" period are all that's keeping me from crapping all over this one. I'm OK with the whole "a few answers, even more questions" approach, but at some point we need "pencils down" and a consistent forward progress. The inevitable introduction of new island characters has been a huge hit (Ben, Miles, Faraday) or a ginormous miss (Ana Lucia, Libby, Nikki/Paolo) and the writers are running out of time to salvage the story if things go awry.

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