Wednesday, February 17, 2010
TBG TV: Lost -- "The Substitute"
If you missed it last week, m'man Joe Reid posted an excellent take on the early direction of Lost's sixth and final season. Worth a look for fans of the show.
Three Things I Dug:
Happy-Go-Lockey: The opening (alternate) sequence with a wheelchair-bound Locke experiencing a series of sad-sack moments – and taking them all in stride – put a smile on my face. For the past five seasons, the Locke character has been written as pathetic and naïve – even when he seemed to be in control – so it was refreshing to see him laugh off his face-plant on the front lawn as the sprinklers came on.
Ben's Eulogy: Buh-rilliant. Michael Emerson's portrayal of Ben Linus – a man whose entire reason for being has been stripped from his soul – continues to be the best thing about this show. Ben may no longer know which end is up, but the realization that he and Locke were kindred spirits – to say nothing of the deadpan "sorry for murdering you" bit – was a nifty little sequence.
Princess Sun: If I remember correctly, it was Sun's idea to bury the real Locke ("Locke-thentic"? "Locke Classic"? He needs a differentiating nickname). In the next scene, it's Ilana and Ben who are carrying the corpse, followed by Ben and Lapidus digging the grave. Nary a bead of sweat broke across Sun's perpetually pouty countenance. Who knew "Sun" was Korean for "Mrs. Bootleg"?
Three Things I Didn't Dig:
Whiskey Sawyer: I loved the palpable tension between Jack and Sawyer in the season premiere from a few weeks back. Jack's grand plan had seemingly failed and it cost Juliet her life. Even though he later recanted, when Sawyer proclaimed that he was going to kill Jack in retaliation, it was one of the best delivered lines of the series' run. Instead, that conflict is broken off as Sawyer's been mired in a lampoon of the grieving boyfriend. Last week, he tossed Juliet's engagement ring into ocean. This week, he stared blankly into space while sipping whiskey in his underwear. (And, where the hell did he get an engagement ring? The Zales Station?)
The Hugo/Locke Payoff: I dunno, y'all. The timing of the (alternate) "Hugo owns the company" revelation seemed awfully convenient. The problem, to me, is that the writers spent an ungodly amount of time establishing these "six degrees" connections between the Oceanic passengers in the first few seasons. Unless they plan on addressing most, if not all of them in the next 12 weeks, the occasional reveal will keep coming off as cheap pandering. Does anything in the alternate timeline even count?
"You ain't Locke": One of the more frustrating things from last season was the way Sawyer's character was written. He started out as the bad-ass de facto leader of the 1977 castaways. Once Jack, Kate and Hurley arrived, Sawyer spectacularly lost his con-man mojo as his Dharma kingdom fell apart. Now, with the brownest of the brown liquors on his belly and still overtly grieving his true love, Sawyer can once again read a few ambiguous verbal cues and proclaim Fake Locke to be…fake? Come on.
The Verdict: Decent, but I'm still waiting for this season to get out of first gear. Mysterious children traipsing through the jungle and Ben Linus, European History teacher aren't exactly instilling me with excitement for next week.