Tuesday, May 19, 2009

TBG TV: Lost - "The Incident"

The Good:

Jacob, the four-toed statue and the Blackrock ship in the first five minutes? OK, Lost, I'm listening. Tell me more.

Before he was revealed to be That Loophole Guy, I loved the hell out of Locke turning the manipulative tables on Ben. It was so transparent and SO evil and so…Ben.

Sayid's sad, cynical delivery as he slowly bled out ("I cannot be saved.") was heartbreakingly wonderful. I'm relying on the show's occasionally biblical overtones in hopes that Sayid's line means he CAN be saved (i.e…he won't die next season)…he'll just spend eternity in hell, when he does die in 30 or 40 years. I'm OK with that.

Yes, yes, yes…the Jack/Sawyer fight was silly, contrived, cliché, etc. It was also more fun than it had any right to be. I was rooting for Sawyer like it was a title fight and when he nailed Jack with a ballshot, Mrs. Bootleg nearly had to scrape me off the ceiling.

Jacob's final(?) scene was fascinating to watch. Here's this being who's seemingly immortal, but when he realizes that his demise is near, he nervously prattles on about his threadworking skills. I'm sure it'll ultimately be one of those Obi-Wan Kenobi "If you strike me down…blah blah blah" moments, but it was still cool to see this omnipotent presence pee his pants a little as he approached death's door.

The Bad:

I get that the physics of a hydrogen bomb are too complex to explain within the confines of an hourly, episodic drama, but come on…we're supposed to believe that Faraday left "detailed instructions" for removing a piece of this 30-year-old, radiation-leaking explosive in the pages of a thin spiral notebook? Wouldn't something like that require more than 120 college-ruled pages? Just sayin'.

Over the years, my biggest beef with this show has been the odd, often nonsensical deviations in established character development that seem to pop up whenever the writers need to move the story along. The "Juliet" character's season-long inconsistency is the most egregious, but having Sayid – written as a cerebral, meticulous strategist (even when he's torturing others) – pull out the "hide in plain sight" idea from the crack of his ass ranks a close second.

So, Rose and Bernard have managed to avoid detection in the jungle for three years? These two self-described retirees have eluded The Others AND the Dharma Initiative for three years…with a dog? For three years? They've procured food and toiletries, probably started a fire or two and gotten by just fine on their wits and guile for three years completely unnoticed? Makes perfect sense.

A year from now, untalented hacks like me will be writing exhaustive Lost eulogies, remembering the best and worst moments of the show's seven-season run. Since I'm all about irrational knee-jerk reactions, I'll go ahead and call Elizabeth Mitchell's "Juliet" the most mishandled character of the series, so far. I never really warmed up to her, but I appreciated her tragic motivation. I dug her emotionless gaze that belied the fact she was often the proverbial "smartest person in the room". And, I grew to understand her "I don't give a sh*t if you don't trust me" attitude. These were traits that were well established in the show's third and fourth seasons. This season, however, Juliet was reduced to a two-dimensional caricature of the insecure girlfriend. The fate of everyone on the island hangs in the balance and the deciding vote is cast by Juliet…because she saw the way Sawyer looked at Kate?!

Verdict: Honestly, I do NOT get the insane amount of hate this episode's been getting. What better way to set up the end game than to establish a higher power (or two) and leave very existence of every character on the show as one massive cliffhanger? OK, except Jack…we know he'll be alright. And, Kate. And, Hurley, too…dammit. Best season of the series' long run, with a strong finale that encapsulated the best of the show's storytelling and mythology.


SHough610 said...

I know countless people have pointed this out but shouldn't Jack have some sort of head trauma by now? I don't by that he's not slurring his speech and forgetting peoples names.

I also think the "they" that Jacob was referring to was Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, and Miles. I also like how Miles mentioned that the bomb might be the incident and everyone ignored him.

That Bootleg Guy said...

Arrgh...I totally meant to mention the point about Miles. I especially loved the reaction of everyone to Miles' point. I'm too stupid to do that "screen-cap" thingie, but it sure looked one giant in-joke wink at the audience.