Wednesday, May 19, 2010

TBG TV: Lost -- "What They Died For"

Three Things I Dug:

A Glass of Lemonade: The brief scene with Dark Locke and Ben sitting on the front porch of a home smack dab in the middle of the former Dharma Initiative community was wonderfully performed. On the one hand, there was Locke -- now the embodiment of evil -- offering up the island to Ben if he agreed to kill "some people" as casually as one would broker a trade of baseball cards. On the other hand, watching the manipulative, self-serving wheels turning in Ben's head was like seeing an old homicidal friend again. The dialogue was sparse, but succinct and it's good to know that the endgame -- to some degree -- will feature more of the complex Locke/Ben dynamic.

Welcome Back, Ben: My favorite Ben moment of the week had nothing to do with killing, betrayal or any of his other defining characteristics. Early on, as Richard is helpfully filling in the plot gaps for Widmore and Zoe, Ben shoots his former right-hand man this sideways look of incredulity. Ben's always been about holding the upper hand and it was good to see Widmore bring out the worst in him. Oh, and the killing and betrayal! Glorious! Not since the climactic scene of Superman II -- when Lex Luthor realigned with General Zod after a brief, whispering allegiance with the Man of Steel -- has a backstabbing been more instantaneous. Take that, Widmore! And, goodbye, Zoe! I'm sure the writers would've kept your annoying character around longer, but they ran out of objects for you to pop out from behind.

Sideways: While I'm still not entirely on board with one man (Desmond) serving as the Oceanic class reunion coordinator, I'm appreciative of the monumental leap forward in plot. Weird, though, that for all the "Oceanic character connections" that were established via flashbacks in the first few seasons, almost all of them were red herrings.

Three Things I Didn't Dig:

Desmond Beats Ben: It wasn't so much the particular scene, as it was the reason behind it. Desmond's trying to get all the sideways characters to remember their respective island experiences. But, what's with the...randomness of Desmond's methods? He plays love connection with Hurley and Libby; he runs over Locke in a parking lot; he nags Claire in a law office lobby. I dunno. Overthinking? Probably.

Creepy Boy Jacob: Yeah...the fewer reminders of last week's episode, the better.

Last Week's Episode: With a week's worth of hindsight, I'm having a harder time even understanding the point of "Across the Sea". During this week's fireside chat (where Jacob's terrifically d*ckish "your lives sucked, you were all flawed" exposition was delivered) everything about the light at the center of the island and the sketchy origin of the smoke monster was revealed. Even with the extra bit of background on both points -- and these are the MAIN points as we careen towards the climax -- I still don't think most of last week was even necessary. Jacob's speech this week could've easily stood alone.

The Verdict: I didn't have room to mention the sideways return of Rousseau, which had me smiling from ear-to-ear. Just a hell of an episode and the right amount of momentum has been generated for EVERYONE to be bitching about the series finale on Monday morning. I kid. See y'all, Sunday night!


Tom said...

I'm pretty sure "Across The Sea" is Cuse/Lindeloff's version of a creation myth. The Island is Eden and the "light" is the source of life in the world. Asking "where did the light come from?" is like asking "what was before the big bang?" There has always been the light, there has always been a guardian of the light, the light absorbs evil, and a body being thrown in to the light gave the absorbed evil energy a chance to escape.

It's a cop-out, but I think that's what you're going to get. It gives them a chance to use "it's magic" as some of the explanation.

Aaron C. said...

And, I'm *totally* fine with the magicky "answers". I guess I simply didn't need the additional contrived layers that made up most of "Across the Sea".

For me, actually seeing "the light" last week didn't make Jacob's exposition this week any more or less relevant.