In recent weeks, I’ve received quite a bit of heat from people on Twitter over my passionately vocalized opinions towards the FOX hit Glee, including suggestions that I simply stop watching the show should I continue to approach it with such bitter cynicism. I could understand their reaction, simply because I’m not very funny, thus rendering these frequent attempts at snark essentially null and unworthy of being brought up. But I just cannot quit Glee. There’s a certain charm to its wild tonal and character inconsistencies that make it one of the most worthwhile television experiences this season. Though I always vocalize solely my frustrations over the show’s utter incompetence and idiocy, those same factors may be what I love about the show so much, because, pardon the pun, no show brings me as much glee as Glee. Read the rest of this entry »
One who has frequented this blog may have noticed the lack of episode reviews for Dr. Linus and Recon. And one may ask himself (or herself), how could someone, after going a whole month without missing a day of posts, go two, almost three, weeks without posting anything? When episodes are getting fed to him every week, why isn’t he writing about them? Why isn’t he picking apart the trivialities of the episode, pointing out what was awesome, what fell flat? No new theories, no revisions to theories, nothing? Two weeks?
I swear, there’s a good reason I haven’t typed anything up in the last two weeks.
The aforementioned reason can be summed up into one word: Meh.
While Dr. Linus was a nice redemption story of a consistently intriguing character, I wasn’t impressed. Michael Emerson was superb as always. The further implementation of Miles’s sarcastic humor was a welcome addition to the show dynamic. While the end slo-mo of the Losties reuniting was overdone (Where’s Jin?!?!?!), the score’s comment on how the Island, the beach they lived on for the first four seasons of the show, is their home – that stroke of genius absolutely saved that otherwise painful series of hugs, smiles, and introductions.
Dr. Linus was definitely a parallel episode to Sundown. While chronologically the episodes don’t fall on the same date, as far as themes and ideas go, Sundown and Dr. Linus were one and the same, reflecting bad and good respectively. Sundown followed Sayid’s descent to darkness, being consumed by the evil within by the end; in Dr. Linus, we witnessed Ben, one of the baddest, most manipulative men on the Island, transform before our eyes into one of the good guys. Both episodes ended with sides being taken, the teams well-defined. At the end of Sundown, I was left wanting so much more, and that epic prelude to something more epic stuck in my head all week. At the end of Dr. Linus, I wanted the same thing – more – but for an entirely different reason. I was let down. After all the incredible plot progression of Sundown, the epic it foreshadowed, the epic it delivered, Dr. Linus didn’t live up. It was straight-forward, it was stand-alone. In my opinion, all the lavish praise directed toward it was unearned. I was let down.
And I’m sure the general opinion of Recon has been well voiced. I enjoyed the episode – it probably featured the best flash-sideways story (at least premise) of the season thus far. But at the end of the day, it felt purposeless, it felt like a let-down. The horribly flat ending didn’t help the episode’s case at all.
Don’t get me wrong, as episodes by themselves, Dr. Linus and Recon were fine hours of television. Lost always is. But when put in the context of this being Lost’s final season, that we are closer to the final hours of Lost with every episode, they disappoint. It being the final season, every episode should be a “The Substitute,” a “Lighthouse,” a “Sundown.” Three very different episodes, fantastic in very different ways. But fantastic none-the-less.
The last two episodes have been very character-centric. Hell, the season has revolved around the singular characters, and there’s nothing wrong with that; in television, characters should be the most important element. However, character development, character growth, that can all happen without pushing the story to the background. Every week, we’re promised our questions will be answered. Can you name a single question that has been answered within the last two weeks?
At this point in the season, the weakest link is undoubtedly the flash-sideways. We’re almost halfway through the season, and in the context of the show, we still have no hint of the flash-sideways mattering. I have faith that it will matter. But there hasn’t been any gratification, no clues to munch on. The flash-sideways are just there. And while they function very similarly to the flashbacks of Lost’s first three seasons, it’s completely different. I’ve been rewatching Lost in preparation for when it all comes to an epic end Sunday, May 23rd. The flashbacks are there to expand the characters, for experiences to reflect on and off the Island, for the core of these characters, their motivations, their fears, their histories, to resonate throughout the story. The way they were implemented was very structurally sound – as characters experienced events on the Island, they recalled similar experiences in their life off the Island. In the acting, the editing, the directing, you can see how they are reflecting on their lives before the crash. Around Season Four, with the flashes being pushed to the future, they became much more about advancing the plot rather than fleshing out the characters. This continued on through Season Five, in which many episodes didn’t even have a true centricity, the story instead choosing to focus on the big plot picture. But now, in Season Six, we see them trying to return to Season One structure with these flash-sideways. The stories are straight-forward, not particularly consequential in the big picture. At the moment, it really just feels like a device for the writers to have fun with the What If? scenario and bring actors back to shoot a cameo here, a cameo there. They don’t feel important – It’s not like the Islandverse characters are reflecting on their LAverse selves, and vice versa. It’s two different realities, one of which doesn’t feel all that relevant to the season, to the series. I’m sure that in the end, it’ll all make sense, it’ll all be justified. But I can’t just strap in and enjoy the ride if the puzzling circumstances of character connections are constantly on my mind, if the end isn’t even barely in sight. When these alternate backstories are proposed, backstories it took these characters three seasons to build up, and you just know that every question concerning the differences of the realities, every opened plot, is not going to be resolved. At the end of the day, I just sure as hell hope the writers know what they’re doing.
I feel like that missing plot of an episode can be traced back to the flash-sideways, the fact that at least a third of the episode, probably more like a half, is devoted to these flashes. While we could be delving into the mythology of the Island, answering questions, advancing the plot in a less minute fashion, we’re instead getting Sawyer feeling all alone. And while these function well for analyzing the true cores of these characters, couldn’t we get by without them?
Thankfully, we are getting a break from the LAverse (at least I think we are), with the long anticipated Alpert-centric episode AB AETERNO. My only hope is that it doesn’t disappoint. I don’t need Lost to become infamous as the show that pulled a Heroes.
I suppose some explanation is required for my blogging absence for the last few days. But on the other hand, not really. I got lazy. After four straight weeks of blogging without a single missed day, I got lazy. I had trouble thinking up compelling material to last the week, and with the four digit length of my posts, it’s kinda a pain to type one every night. So I gave myself a four day break. That’s beside the point.
The point is LOST. All this season, no episode has been like another. “The Substitute” was mythos-heavy, mind-blowing madness. And while “Lighthouse” still contained a little bit of insanity, it was primarily a very well done character study of Jack. So what is “Sundown”? We didn’t learn a lot about the Island, or Smokey, or Jacob. We didn’t gain much insight into Sayid’s character via the flash-sideways. It did however, move the plot along at an epic pace. They’re coming. And by that, I mean week after week amazingness is upon us. Sundown.
And thus I return to recap and review the amazingness of the on-Island adventures of Jack, Hurley, and Ghost Jacob in “Lighthouse.” Hopefully, this will kick yesterday’s (two days ago, actually) entry’s ass with its epicness.
So, as I said yesterday, a HUGE part of the awesomeness of this episode was the nostalgia factor. Callbacks to Season One, especially “White Rabbit” (as seen in the flash-sideways as well as on-Island amazingness) are prominent throughout, and every time something was mentioned or referenced from earlier events, I just wiggled around in my seat in joy, a gleeful grin transfixed on my face. Awesome.
How fun was it seeing Locke and Ben working side by side as high school teachers in Lost’s flash-sideways world. Well, imagine that as a spin-off series.
Though the show’s executive producers, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, insist they are opposed to any continuation of the series past May’s finale, that hasn’t stopped one Lostie from penning his own spin-off of sorts. Terry O’Quinn, who plays Locke/Smoke Monster, tells me he is shopping around a bible for a TNT-type show that would pair him back up with his real-life chum and on-screen foe, Michael Emerson (Ben) – as suburban hit men juggling family issues. Though Terry asked me not to spill show specifics, he has spoken with Lostcreator J.J. Abrams about the project and says, “I really hope this works out because Michael would be in his prime in this. We’d play kind of awkward partners.”
“It’s very sweet of him,” says Michael. “I’m all in favor of it. Any reason to work with Terry again.”
Once more, holy crap. While lacking the mythological mind-bending theory-generating madness of last week’s endeavor, Last night’s episode was epic in an entirely different sense. So let’s not stall any further and jump into my recap / review of “Lighthouse.”