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Thursday, March 03, 2005
TV Round-Up
Lost: Numbers
Going into Lost this week, I was thinking a lot about the article I linked to yesterday. Specifically, I kept coming back to one of my favorite series from the 90s, The X-Files. Like Lost, The X-Files was considered a genre show, but it was so much more. Because of the freedom of its concept, The X-Files could have a story that socked you in the gut with an emotional punch or was spot-on hilariously funny. And there were times when an episode would find that balance between dark, gritty drama and a quirky, wry sense of humor. One of the great examples of this is "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" which deals with some really dark issues but yet writer Darren Morgan makes you laugh out loud so many times that you forget how dark the story is going.

And that is what was happening here with "Numbers." Let's face it--this storyline was really, really dark. But there were some light moments in there to keep you laughing and not think about how dark is really is. It's almost as if David Fury had Darren Morgan on speed-dial or was channeling him here.

At long last, we get to find out a bit more about Hurley. Until now, Hurley's been the tension breaker, the comic relief on the show. I'd also argue that it's Hurley, not Jack, who has become the moral compass on the island. It's been Hurley who points out what's right and wrong and has been the voice of reason at times when it's needed. And now we begin to see what it was that brought Hurley to the island. Hurley won the lottery, using a series of numbers that he thinks are cursed. Seems the guy who used them before he did gained but at a high price and now he's gained but bad things are happening to people around him. Grandpa dies, his brother's wife leaves, the new house burns down, people plummet to their death. On paper it's not really anything that makes you want to laugh out loud and say--now, that's funny. But in the context of the show, the situations and circumstances lead to some humor. And it also leads you to feel a lot of empathy for Hurley. Because he's a good guy who's trying to do the right thing. He made a bad choice and the consequences of it are pretty negative . Again, it reminds me of Clyde Bruckman, an insurance salesman who had psychic abilities but would see only people's deaths.

You could feel threads coming together in this episode. Hurley sees the numbers Sayid stole from Danielle and recognizes them as the numbers he used to win the lottery. He then becomes obsessed with finding Danielle and sets out on his quest to find her and ask her where the numbers came from. He eventually does find her, only to hear that the numbers were being broadcast by the tower until Danielle changed the message. The signal lured Danielle and her ship to the island, where everyone died and Danielle slowly went crazy. In the end, Danielle admits that maybe the numbers could be cursed and Hurley hugs her in gratitude.

Again, I go back to my theme of the island seems to be giving people what they most want or need. Jack needed closure with his dad, Boone had to realize that Shannon dying wasn't the end of his life, and Hurley needed someone to tell him he wasn't crazy. And they've got all that. Now, the question becomes--you've got what you want, now what is the price? Was the price being stuck on the island? I think that idea is too simple. In a lot of ways, the island itself has become a character on the show. And I think it's giving things, but the reckoning will some come due to the players involved. For those who gained a lot--such as Locke or Jack--the price may be high. Is that what drove everyone in Danielle's camp over the edge and killed them all? The price of getting what they wanted. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, Locke enlists Claire's help for a special project--building a crib for her baby. It's good to know that someone is thinking about the logistics of a newborn on the island. And it was nice of Locke to do something speical for Claire on her birthday. But I did get a strange vibe that Locke knew it was her birthday before she told us. Anyone else get that?

Also, I have to admit I loved Charlie's reaction to Hurley's secret. And Hurley's summation of the premise of the show was hilarious as well. Good stuff and it makes the next six or so weeks seem a lot longer.

Alias: A Man Of His Word
I'm pinching myself to make sure I'm not dreaming because I've actually enjoyed Alias two-weeks in a row. That hasn't happened in I don't know how long.

Interesting to see a storyline where Jack is put in charge of a mission and must now jeopardize the health and safety of Sloane's daughter in order to complete the misison. And how Jack does it and then defends himself to Slaone with the usual, "The ends justified the means" arguement that Sloane used. Also, Jack's use of Sloane's "faith" in why Nadia couldn't die was a nice little dagger as well.

I think if you were a new Alias watcher, this one might have been a bit confusing. They did a good job of giving a short explanation of the storyline until now, but there were nuances to it. I know--I'm shocked as well...Alias had nuancs. From Sark's demanding the Vaughn be the one to open Lauren's casket to Sark's escape in the end, it all worked. I also liked how Sark kept his word to Sydney and gave her Anna. Of course, part of me is a bit saddened to see Anna taken into custody because the past two weeks have proven how good the show can be with her on the loose. I love how Anna's loyalties change seemingly from moment-to-moment. And I didn't buy that she wanted to work with Sark for a minute. She had some other agenda there and I think Sark recognized it. She'd sell him up the river in a second if it helped save her own neck. It's sad to the type of rogue-element character taken out of play, at least for now.

Of course, I guess the up-side is that we get Sark back in play. And you know, I have to agree with Sark--I don't see why the CIA let Sloane be in charge of the new APO given his track record. And in the end, we had more mysterious hint-dropping by Jack and Sloane. Seriously, those moments only need the Snydley Whiplash moustache and a twirling of it to be complete. I hate the waiting games we seem to be playing to find out what the real agenda by Jack and Sloane is.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 3/03/2005 08:47:00 AM | |
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