Tuesday, March 9, 2010

TBG TV: Lost -- "Dr. Linus"

Three Things I Dug:

Em-MEE! Em-MEE! Em-MEE!: For more than two years, Henry Ian Cusick's performance in the Lost episode "The Constant" reigned as the single greatest acting achievement during the show's run. Last night, Michael Emerson needed just 60 minutes to put the bar out of reach for anyone else in the cast -- sorry, Daniel Roebuck! Ben's exposition-at-gunpoint to Ilana was simply a phenomenal finish for a character who's been completely obliterated and can now, finally, begin his resurrection. As I told m'man Sam over Twitter last night: if Ilana had shot Ben, after all that, I'd have jumped through the TV screen.

The Geek in Me: I'll concede that the alternate-universe "flash sideways" thingie lacks the context of the greater storyline. Consequently, many of the Bizarro stories have felt inert and superfluous. But, I'm willing to look the other way during weeks when we're given such a barrage of nods to the primary story's continuity. Alex! Ben's dad! Ben and his dad were on the island!

"Not Yet": Those words were uttered by Nestor Carbonell's "Richard" character as Jack and Hurley were pressing him for details on his mysterious past. I can't help but think this was a wink and a nudge to the hardcore fans who know Richard's story is scheduled to finally be told on March 23. I wasn't all that keen on Richard's scenes in this week's episode, but it really did seem that the writers were having a little fun by dropping enough hints to increase the anticipation for the upcoming "Richard Reveal".

Three Things I Didn't Dig:

"You're in high school?": While not as obviously unconvincing as the cast of 21 Jump Street infiltrating seedy high schools, Tania Raymonde didn't win me over in her "alternate Alex" role of spunky high school senior. It probably didn't help that she was forced to keep up with Emerson in almost every scene she was in, but she really looked ill-at-ease and more than a little out of place.

One More Island Connection: It's WAY too late in the game to casually throw out revelations like this week's involving Frank Lapidus and how he was supposed to be the pilot of Oceanic 815. Ben's disinterested "well, the island got you anyway" reaction mirrored my own disinterested reaction. Destiny, fate and crazy co-winky-dinks. We're six seasons in, writers...I get your mission statement.

Dyn-O-Mite!: The submarine/periscope scene at the very end of the episode is getting killed online, but I thought the Jack/Richard tete-a-tete was much more absurd. Jack's still a doctor and I'm pretty sure the Hippocratic Oath prevents him from blowing up immortal men with dynamite. He was obviously up to something and -- as we found out while the five-minute dynamite fuse burned out in the background -- Jack's NOW a believer. The whole sequence seemed especially self-aggrandizing for a character who doesn't need help becoming more unlikeable.

The Verdict: Equally as awesome as last week's episode, but in an entirely different way. If any of the remaining nine episodes can merge the performance of "Dr. Linus" with the whiz-bang-boom of "Sundown"...oh, I'd better not jinx it.


SHough610 said...

Lapidus was actually revealed to have been expected to pilot 815 until he missed it.

I liked the episode a lot going in and loved it more and more as I got some time to chew on it.

One of the big nods to continuity on the island is that Ben's Machiavellian coldness is a result of being put in the pool at the temple after he was shot.

I don't think this is a spoiler but Darlton claimed that Widmore is the "big bad" of the show.

Joe Reid said...

We've known that Lapidus connection for over a season, though. What had me far more nitpicky was that they've completely dropped the whole "Sun came back to the island to kill Ben" thing. I know that was far from your favorite part of the story, and yes, now that Jin is alive I can see where the murderousness would fade, but either give a nod to the fact that Sun's new tarp-hanging buddy was the guy who, up until a few days ago, she was ready to murder, or just keep them seperate.

Liked the Ben parts of this episode, had very little patience for everything else.

That Bootleg Guy said...

Wow, really? Huh...I completely missed the Lapidus thing the first time around, I guess.

Tom said...

My only issue with the episode was the final interaction between Ben and the principal. I'm pretty sure Ben still had the upper hand in those negotiations. I expected him to demand the principal do both things, not back down.

Joe said...

I thought the same thing Tom. I figured he'd get the job and make the Principal write the recommendation. When he went back into the office at the end, I thought he might have been going in to write the letter for her & put the Principal's name on it.

With Widmore being back, I wonder if it's possible he is the mysterious "Wallace." Darlton already said that Desmond wasn't Wallace.