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Thursday, February 24, 2005
TV Round-Up
Lost: In Translation
Maybe I'm just a sucker, but I never for a moment suspected Walt of being the one who burned the boat. When Locke went up to Walt and revealed that little fact, my jaw dropped. Not in the same way that it dropped when we saw Locke in the wheelchair back to start the series, but it was still a great moment. They got me on that one--hook, line and sinker.

Now, I've heard a lot of discussion on-line that Lost is losing some momentum. I would say, no it's not really. I think the last couple of episodes have been about establishing some things for the final few episodes of the season. A lot more is happening here than we're aware of and it may become clearer as the season progresses. A great example of that happened with tonight's flashbacks. The first time we got the backstory of Sun and Jin, we saw Jin come with blood on his hands, washing it off. Now, the series puts that in context--as we see Jin slowly come to understand what he's become in order to be with Sun. He's denied his father, denied who he is and where he comes from and is now working for a man who is the equivalent of Tony Soprano. He's become the heavy and he doesn't like it. The scene where he has to beat up the father in front of his daughter--to save the life of the man--was extremely well done. Yes, the first time we saw the little girl, we knew that Jin would have to commit a horrible act in front of her, but it still worked within the context. I also found the scene where Jin went back to his father and spent a day with him revealing. (It also brought up the point again that every male on this show has issues with their father). To see Jin ready to walk away from the path he was on in order to save his marriage to Sun was interesting--especially in light of the fact that she was planning to leave him at that point.

At one point in the episode Locke makes the point that the island is giving everyone a chance at a new life. And in the end, Jin steps away from his old life with Sun. Interesting that you had two people who were contemplating leaving their old life who are thrown together on an island and they still have to decide to go their separate ways. As much of an engima and a jerk that Jin has been, at least now we get some context as to why he was that way. Why he acts the way he does. It was some fascinating character work and some of the better work done in the show since 2005 began.

Meanwhile, others on the island are starting new lives. Shannon and Sayid are taking the first tenative steps to be more than friends. Walt and Locke admit that maybe staying on the island ain't such a bad thing. And we are starting to see Jack lose his place as the leader of the group. Interesting to that when Michael attacks Jin that Jack is really the only one who actively tries to stop it. Also of interest is Sawyer's desire to get off the island--to the point that he captures Jin and drags him through the jungle like a prisoner of war. I find it interesting that Sawyer got extremely self-righteous about his own torture but thinks nothing of what he does to Jin that is about the same. Of course, my thought is that Sawyer is inherintly selfish and he doesn't see what he's doing as wrong. It's just serving his own self-interest.

And Locke's point that the group is far too interested in themselves when the real threat is from outside is well made. Will it rally the troops in some way or further splinter them? It's almost like Survivor in a way, where alliances are built and then crumble. It's fascinating to watch and it makes me eager to see the DVDs and watch over from the beginning to see how my perceptiosn of people have changed over the course of the season. And again, I find it of note that Locke shows up with wisdom to dispense at just the right time and place.

Finally, for those of you who were watching carefully--during the flashback where Jin goes to deliver the message the first time, was that Hurley on the TV in the background?

Alias: Echoes
The worst part about Gina Torres being able to return to the show as Anna Espenosa is that it means that Firefly is still cancelled. Honestly, I wish Firefly were still on the air and that Gina was far too busy to return to Alias.

That said, the return of Anna Espinosa almost took the show back to its season one days when Anna was the perfect foil for Sydney and the two had a great, running rivallary (almost literally as the two ran and chased each other a lot.) As much as I've been off the Alias bandwagon this year, this episode almost won me back over. It felt like the show that I enjoyed so much in season ones and two. We had Sydney dealing with how her life as a spy affects her personal life. Also, we had the two main villians Syd has faced back in one episode, doing what they do best--giving our heroes a run for their money. I figured out that Sark's rescue was a ruse to get him to lead them to the new bad guys. And I loved that he was one step ahead of them, leading them on a wild-goose chase. I am almost willing to make a connection that Sark did that to distract the group while Syd and Nadia went after Anna. I think Sark is working with Anna somehow--though for what purpose I'm not quite yet sure.

And wow..Alias went back to its roots even further by--gasp!--ending on a cliffhanger. Holy cow...we've gone back to season one!

I have to admit, I did flinch a bit when they had to cut off the guy's finger to get the piece of the puzzle that Anna demanded in exchange for Nadia. And how cool was the fight between Anna and Syd in the boutique? That was the kind of Alias stuff I've missed--how the real world and the spy world kind of intersect at times.

Also of interest is that there are certain agents Sloane is not allowed to go after. Makes you wonder if the powers that be know he's got an agenda and want to thwart it.

See, now this is a good epsiode of Alias. As opposed to the sub-par episodes we've had all the rest of this year. I hope this is going to be the rule from here on out and not the exception.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 2/24/2005 08:04:00 AM | |
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