Wednesday, February 10, 2010

TBG TV: Lost - "What Kate Does"

Three Things I Dug:

Dr. Ethan: Obviously, the writers are building v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y to the inevitable "alternate timeline" Ben Linus fate, but if this gradual burn includes excellently delivered in-joke nods to continuity like Dr. Ethan Goodspeed, then I'll be patient. Bizarro Ethan slayed me with his bedside manor (he has some!) and his "I don't want to stick you with needles if I don't have to" line was a brilliant bit of business for those of us who remember his original storyline from several seasons ago.

Shut up, Jack: I'm kinda grasping for positives this week, so I'll gleefully acknowledge Jack getting mouthy with the (other) Others and the brief beatdown they unleashed upon him, afterwards. Back in season three, the original Others seemed content to get into Jack's head during the time he was their prisoner. Meanwhile, this new mystery group cuts right to the chase with their fists o' fury, poisoned gel-caps, etc.

The Cabbie: Perhaps, I took too much pleasure from an otherwise mundane moment, but when the corpulent cabbie escapes Kate's carjacking by opening the driver's side door and running away...I loved it. If years of TV and movies have taught us nothing else, it's that carjacking victims can never escape their situation, unless the carjacker lets them escape. I'm always appreciative of a simple, relatively unpredictable twist on a tired refrain.

Three Things I Didn't Dig:

The Clichés: Hated the lack of subtlety in the Sayid torturing scene. We even got a throwaway reminder from Sawyer that Sayid used to torture people just to set up the scene. Watching a great character follow the "dose of his own medicine" meme right down to the "whimpering victim" schtick was weak. Miles was equally wasted in a week where he was primarily used to fetch water or shooed away by Jack when he needed quiet time with Sayid. Also receiving clichéd character development votes: Alternate Claire's "It's coming!" stressed labor proclamation and Sawyer's tearful "I was gonna marry her..." development.

Enough with the Mystery: This is the final season, Lost writers. When Jack asks what's in the pill, I shouldn't have to wait through three commercial breaks to get a damn answer. Yes, I DVR'd it and was able to blast past the commercials, but that's not the point. The obvious retort is, of course, rhetorical: Would viewers rather wait 30 minutes for an answer or 3 years? But, when the answer is as predictable as the gel-cap conundrum, dragging it out only serves to jerk around the audience.

The Stolen Cab: For the second straight week, the writers roll out an absolutely implausible plot point. My jab about last week's empty airport restroom was only semi-serious, but the notion that Kate could jack a cab in Los Angeles, drive over to a body shop to get her handcuffs removed, drive BACK to the exact spot where she dumped off Claire, give Claire a ride and make TWO stops for her all without even a whiff of
bacon in the rearview mirror is lunacy. I lived in Los Angeles for 22 years and taxi cabs there never roam outside of downtown or beyond a five-mile radius of LAX. As oblivious as my people are, someone would've noticed a random cab roaming the distant suburbs. Guaranteed.

The Verdict: This was a bit of a letdown after last week's soo-POIB season premiere. I won't beat it up too much since we got a pair of significant revelations regarding Island Sayid and Island Claire in the final 15 minutes. But, at the same time, I can't fall in lockstep with everyone who loves everything about Lost all the time.


SHough610 said...

1) Next week is a Locke episode.
2) You know my feelings on Kate episodes. If this is all we have to see of her, great!
3) We get a Richard episode this season. March 23rd to be exact.
4) LOST is seriously overusing the "what's in the box?" mystery. They've gone to that well at least once a season and I'm tired of it.
5) The Claire reveal at the end (along with the traps she set) gave me an idea. Yes, this is a theory; I'm sorry, I can't help myself.

Remember the conversation the MiB and Jacob have during the beginning of the season finale last year?
"MiB: They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.

JACOB: It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress."

What if Jacob kept drawing in a group of people to try to prove the MiB wrong? I feel like we're on a loop (I hate to reference the 3rd Matrix film, but that's sort of what I was thinking). Just food for thought.

Tom said...

Ha! Asked the same cab question on Twitter.

Thus far the worst part of the series for me has been the ongoing dickishness of the Others. It's to the point of nonsense now. Using Aldo (the guard Kate's knocked out twice now) and the fact Ben sent everyone to the Temple kinda suggests Ben's Others and Japanese Guy's Others are the same Others. Enough already.

Tom said...

Oh, and I'm also curious as to what type of poison only works if you take it voluntarily.

mathan said...

I agree with Aaron about the cliches. Apart from Bizarro Ethan this week's ep typified everything I've hated about Lost since season two.

I also dig the loop theory.

@Tom - The island has some nutty rules attached to it. Remember the whole "you've got to kill your father to lead the Others" rule?

I really need to stop visiting these recaps as my disdain for the show grows exponentially from seeing other people's thoughts.