Wednesday, May 12, 2010

TBG TV: Lost -- "Across the Sea"

There's really no point in adding my voice to the cacophony of critical negativity that's swallowed this episode like few others during its six-year run.

Don't get me wrong: I'd spent part of my lunch hour plotting my "piling on Lost" strategy. I was especially looking forward to pointing out how I didn't have an issue with the episode's all-out immersion in mythology and biblical allegories. "Across the Sea" was, simply put, an unwatchable hour of awful acting (even by "Hurley tries to cry" standards), poor production and uneven "reveals".

Instead, m'man Hansen posted
this link to his Twitter feed, which pretty much…yeah.

Speaking of Twitter, I posted the following to my own feed last night:

If tonight's Lost had been the very FIRST episode of the entire series, would you have come back for the following week? Me neither.

This prompted replies from frequently unwitting TBG contributor
Joe Reid and my former colleague over at Inside Pulse, Michaelangelo McCullar.

Right, but it wasn't the first episode. It had 6 seasons worth of show to reflect on and show in a different light. - Joe

That's a ludicrous question. - Michaelangelo

From where I sit, mine was a perfectly cromulent question. "Across the Sea" was THE prequel episode that everything we've been watching for the past six seasons has ostensibly been built upon. I concede the obvious point that the writers and producers couldn't have possibly envisioned an "origin" story back in 2004, but this episode – WITH those six years of history – was positioned as "chapter one" and it was an absolute mess.

This [episode] was a litmus test. People who have enjoyed the season, like me, dug it. People who are down on the season hated it. - Michaelangelo

On this point, I couldn't possibly disagree more. I'm far from "down" on this season. And, the litmus test was last season's time-travelling storyline. That was the point where the show's writers gleefully released their tenuous grasp on "reality" and went all-in on fantasy. For the record, I
freaking LOVED last season.

While I was leery of the potential for a time warp "reboot" with a dash of deus ex machina, I appreciated the writers essentially telling the fans that they could no longer dictate the direction of the show (Nikki and Paulo). Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof would be doing their show from then on, so like it or lump it, America.

Hey, it's the proprietor of my favorite
New York-centric blog and one of 300 people still watching V, Tom Daniels…! Chime in, won't you?

"Knew you'd hate it. I didn't love it either. I wish it had been earlier in the season but they had to do it eventually."

Did they? I mean, sure, the viewers needed the background, but the suggestion from the "42-Inch Television" blog linked above has merit: tighten it up and air it as flashbacks during the series finale. Save for the birth of the boys and the subsequent clubberin' of their natural momma, how much of this episode's first 30 minutes were really needed?

"I figured you'd hate it because of too many child actors." - Tom

I do hate them so, Tom. None of them act. They just take direction. They're like bipedal
Benjis from Benji the Hunted.


SHough610 said...

I'm glad you made a Simpsons reference, makes me feel less geeky for posting this: It's gotta be little Lisa Light Cave! LOST's Answer to a question NO ONE ASKED! (a tweet from a friend of mine that's funnier if read in Flanders' voice).

I'm reserving judgement on this episode until I've seen the last three. If I've learned one thing from LOST it's that there are very few worthless episodes (wave hello Nikki and Paulo episode and "Jack gets a tattoo" episode).

SHough610 said...

I also have a theory that MiB's name might be important. I know that Darlton are Stephen King fans and I wondered if the MiB is supposed to be Randall Flagg from the Stand

Tom said...

Not saying his name for the whole thing was pretty dumb... but I'm pretty sure they want to keep drawing out the Jacob/Esau parallels without actually naming Esau. It's also kind of foolish that the mother would be so cryptic about the stuff the boys were supposed to do.

SHough610 said...

I don't see this episode as a bad idea executed as well as it could be but a poorly executed version of a good idea. I think there's a lot of interesting ideas and reveals that could have been done. But instead we had the same problem that plagued Ab Aeterno (and the show itself) monotonous repetition that seemed to be filler. Okay, crazy smoke mom is worshipped by Jacob, MiB is getting shorted, I get it move on and show more to reveal these answers.

I love LOST, but I think the show desparately misses JJ Abrams, who could make an expository episode not seem obvious. It minorly agitates me that Darlton claim that there isn't time to answer all the questions the series has posed. There was, if you don't waste time on episodes like the Nikki and Paolo one and Jack's tattoos. But I guess I have to take Exposé and Jack's tattoos with the Constant and Deus Ex Machina

mathan said...

I kept hoping that we'd flash to a sideways timeline where something was actually happening.