Wednesday, April 7, 2010
TBG TV: Lost -- "Happily Ever After"
Three Things I Dug:
Desmond!: Another Desmond-centric episode, another knock-it-outta-the-park performance from Henry Ian Cusick. I'm willing to overlook the slapdash explanation of how Desmond ended up back on the island ("Remember that time Ben shot you? Yeah, we kidnapped you after that. Fortunately, Mr. Widmore's got a submarine stocked like a state-of-the-art medical facility with personnel to match!") in exchange for the assortment of believable layers to his character this week. The rage he displayed in the opening towards Widmore was pitch-perfect given their history together. The flash-sideways "right-hand man" Desmond was appropriately cold...to a point. And, the Desmond that brought reality and bizarro-reality together was equal parts skeptical, accepting and -- of course -- mysterious. If this were 1996, America would be comparing his performance to the assortment of Eddie Murphy characters during the dinner table scene in The Nutty Professor. Maybe.
Desmond & Penny, 4ever!: To put it mildly, Lost has been a bit...inconsistent when it comes to relationship development. The Jack-Kate-Sawyer triangle often devolved into soap opera pap. The Sun/Jin chemistry has been all over the map, with the path of their current storyline serving as mostly an inevitable annoyance. The writers backed into believable love interests when Elizabeth Mitchell's performance carried the Juliet/Sawyer plot of season five. But, all parties (the writers, the actors, the guy who drives the catering truck) NAILED the Penny/Desmond dynamic from day one. Put it this way: I was almost rooting as hard for Penny and Desmond to be together in the flash-sideways world (They shook hands! They're getting coffee later!) as I was the first time they reunited.
The Inside Bits!: The boat on the wall of "Sideways Widmore's" office -- with Desmond staring at it intently -- was nicely done, but the scene where Desmond (finally!) gets to sip some of that 60-year-old scotch had me gleefully exclaiming to my empty living room: "He got the scotch!" You're such a dork, Aaron.
Three Things I Didn't Dig:
Charlie?: He was an odd choice for "ground zero" of the forthcoming flash-sideways disintegration. During his four seasons as a regular character, Charlie never carried the kind of sway that would make you believe ANY version of him could conceivably be the voice of reason. I mean, of all the Oceanic passengers who are going to be scared straight by a hallucination...it's the smack-addict?
Daniel?: I'm nitpicking now, but I could've done without the contrived shots of Daniel Faraday-Widmore lurking in the shadows, back to the camera, ironic d-bag hat cocked to one side. He just happened to be within earshot of every conversation that Desmond was having, but far enough away not to be noticed?
George?: An omnipotent limo driver, huh? Deus ex machina much, Lost writers?
The Verdict: This was like the Richard episode from two weeks ago, except the near-universal praise was actually deserved.