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Thursday, November 18, 2004
TV Round-Up
Lost: Solitary
A couple of weeks ago, I was proclaiming my fandom for former Buffy and Angel scribe David Fury after his brilliant effort in "Walkabout." Now, six weeks later, he returns with "Solitary" another solid, entertaining episode that had me on the edge of my seat, eyes glued to the TV and not wanting the show to end. How does this man do it? (I think some of the genius that is Joss Whedon rubbed off on him).

Part of what made this hour so great is the contrast between the two main storylines. Sayid's capture by Danielle (more on her in a minute) and his backstory were pretty heavy, so in the other plotline, we see the rest of the castaways struggle with the need to have some downtime and fun in order to relieve the unrelented stress of being trapped on an island with something that may or may not want to kill everyone. So, Hurley finds some golf clubs and sets up a course, which helps to relieve some of the tension on the island and may help draw everyone back into a community instead of two groups--one living in the caves and the other living on the beach. Interesting plotline and it we did have a nice moment or two with Sawyer trying to become part of the overall community by betting whether or not Jack would sink the putt. (Did we see if Jack sank the putt...I'm not 100% sure we did).

Meanwhile, Sayid is out exploring the island when he's capture by Danielle, who just happens to be the French woman on the repeating message that blankets the island. Danielle, played by Babylon Five's Mira Furlan, reveals a lot of information...or does she. She's been there for 14 years and has apparently found a way to have electricity on the island. She's kept the transmission running all these years, but the broadcast point is at a different location. She was part of a group that became stranded on the island and she's the only one left. There may or may not be other people or something on the island. And apparently we shouldn't go near the black rock because after her group went near it, things weren't quite the same. Now, how much of all this is actually true and how much of it is Danielle's been hearing voices for too many years while being alone on the island, I'm not too sure about. But that's part of the fun of the show really--we're not too sure if we have any more answers than we did at the start. Of course, that also made the X-Files fun for the first couple of years until you realized that Chris Carter and company had no clue where this thing was going and it collapsed under its own weight. But I'm cautiously optimistic to see how this all plays out.

During all this, we learn a bit about Sayid and his past. Nothing terribly mind-shattering, except that he helped the young woman in the picture escape and she may or may not be alive at this point. His flashback also brings into focus why he felt the need to separate himself from the tribe last week after his torture of Sawyer. And then, after he escapes from Danielle, Sayid hears voices in the woods--one of them that sounds a lot like Danielle, thus making us question if it was real or not. I am leaning toward it wasn't because she had too many things Sayid wanted--such as finding her, knowing that the transmission has a source on the island that can be stopped and she had the maps and information he went out looking for without him having to put in the time and effort. We've seen the island's effect on two people (well, at least so far): Locke and the pilot. So, maybe this is Sayid's chance to come face to face with the force at work on the island and we just got to see it this time around.

Time will tell, I guess.

It was great to see Mira Furlan getting a good role, though it was interesting that her character's name was Danielle with sounds a bit like Deleen, who she played for five years on Babylon Five.

The Amazing Race
And they're off...and a lot of them are really, really annoying.

I'm hard pressed to find a team that I'm really pulling for to win the Race in the first episode--unlike last year when I really liked Jim and Marsha right out of the game. And there's not really a team with instant reality TV break-out star status written all over them Charla and Mirna.

Instead, what we have is a lot of people to root against. We've got Lori and Bolo, who apparently think that yelling at each other and him calling her "bitch" all the time is effective communication and the signs of a good marriage. I guess if it works for you, but it is alarming to those of us outside...and it makes the scenes where they are cuddled up and saying, "Oh that's just how we are" seem very, very questionable. Then, we Adam and Rebecca, who were formerly dating but have hooked back up for the show. Now, I may be just slow here, but I don't think the Amazing Race is going to be the best way to get back together--because if you fought all the time when deciding whether or not to have McDonald's or Wendy's for fast food, imagine what's going to happen when you pull a move like not bothering to read the gas cap and find out what kind of fuel your car takes. Yeah, I see wedding bells in their future--maybe with Lori as maid-of-honor and Bolo as best-man. But the most annoying are Jonathan and Victoria. Apparently "married entrepreneurs" is a code word for "we like to scream a lot." Because every little thing causes them to erupt like Ray Lewis after making a big play.

"We are starting the race! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"
"We found a car! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"
"We are fighting like cats and dogs! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

Of course, what do you expect from a team that invovles an entrepreneur and a former Playboy Playmate. (I'm sure Hugh is lining up a follow-up pictoral even now...maybe it'll be a special Girls of Reality issue with Julie from this year's Survivor). And you can see just see Phil, who faced down the idiocy that was Colin and Christie last year with grace and dignity visibly flinch at the pit stop. All of these teams need to face elimination soon.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/18/2004 08:26:00 AM | |
Best regards from NY!
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