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Thursday, October 06, 2005
TV Round-Up
Lost: Orientation
Not to be down on one of my favorite shows, but if I have to revisit the scenes just as we get inside the hatch from one more person's perspective, I am going to scream. I mean, I love Lost and I love how we have this great balance of characters and perspectives, but I swear if we have scenes next week where we see Hurley coming into the hatch for the first time, I'm going to lose it. Because there are so many other mysteries that we could concentrate on. Or maybe, just maybe we could advance the plot some more.

And by more, I mean more than this dribbling out one small detail that is supposed to be a huge revelation.

I guess my biggest thing was--last year the third episode focused on Locke and had a revelation where you came away going, "Wow, that is pretty cool." So, when I saw that this year's third epiosde would focus on Locke, I guess I was sort of hoping the pattern might repeat itself. Instead, the flashbacks continue the late season tradition of not being really all that self-contained. But I have to keep reminding myself, it's all about the journey and not the end destination (though it'd be nice to think both could work hand in hand). In the flashbacks we see this time, the seeds of Locke's past continue to grow. Locke is angry with his father for coming into his life and bilking him of a kidney. Apparently my theory that Locke loses uses of his legs due to the surgery was extremely off, but hey, I've been wrong once or twice before. Instead, we now see that Locke is kind of obsessed with wanting his father to give a damn or say he's sorry or pay somehow for what was done. Locke wants and desires something--to the point that he's obsessed about it, sitting outside the old man's house late at night and into the wee hours of the morning. (Makes you wonder how he got that career with the box makers) Along the way, he meets Helen who helps him to slowly start to put the past behind him and live in the present. Let me just say--to forgive and move on can be hard and I can understand the roadblocks Locke has in this. It does make me wonder if the reason Locke was going on his walkabout last year was some kind of spiritual, final burying the hatchet with the past thing. And where was Helen in all of this? Does something tragic happen to her when Locke loses the ability to walk? Again, the flashbacks tease us with details, daring us to fill in the gaps with what we know. But I am not sure I want to do that since they could take an abrupt turn at any time into a whole new area of interest and character development.

That said, we do get some answers back on the island. Locke and Jack watch a training film. Desmond believes he is saving the entire world every 108 minutes by typing in a series of codes and hitting execute. Locke believes whole heartedly this is the case while Jack is a bit more skeptical. In the end, the two men's worldviews will come into conflict as time runs out and the machine appears to be ticking down to--well, whatever. In the end, Jack pushes the button, gives them the correct code and...well, we're not sure. I am kind of leaning with Jack that this is some kind of pyschological test that is being done on the subjects. Or could it be that the the big mean, invisible monster is somehow controlled by the code and the sequence? Were the times it rumbled and roamend times when Desmond overslept? Just a thought. But we'll wait and see. And their area of the island is Area 3? So how many areas are there? And is the other group in a different area, being tested in a different way?

And does it have to be Jack and Locke who push in the codes each time? I mean, I get the two sides of the coin dynamic we're going for here--man of science, man of faith. But couldn't we get some of the supporting characters a chance to do something here.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the island, Sawyer, Jin and Michael find what they think are the Others, but instead turn out to be the survivors from the back of the plane. I will admit I pretty much called that Ana Lucia was thrown down there with them to see what they knew. You have to admit--it's a pretty good tactic. But also, I have to wonder--how mistrusting is this group and why? The way I see it, they've already got a pit dug and rigged up to be prison cell. Why do that if you don't already have other prisoners? And what happened to those prisoners? I can't believe they dug out a whole cell just for Jin. Also, while we react as our heroes do to the other side of the island people, I have to wonder how strangers suddenly showing up in our group's camp would be greeted. It would probably depend on who they encountered first.

Veronica Mars: Normal is the Watchword & Driver Ed

I wanted to comment last week on the new season of Veronica Mars, but by the time I was able to do so, it was almost time for the new episode, so I figured I'd wait and go the two for one route.

I have to admit, going into the new season, Veronica Mars was the one show that seemed to have a huge disadvantage. Why? The show was clearly set up in a 24-like manner to have a season-long story arc and central mystery. So, when it was all neatly and effectively wrapped up to end the first season, I had to wonder--OK, can they do it again?

So far, that answer is a resounding yes.

As I watched the first two new episodes this year, I found myself thinking about 24 and its second season. It was a new day but months later and things had happened off-screen. We had some of those details filled in, but not a huge amount. With Veronica Mars, the new season picks up three months after the cliffhanger and we tantalizing get details of the situation in Neptune. I like how the events of last season are affecting this year--from the way the Veronica/Logan relationship was handled to why she's now dating Duncan again. I find it interesting also that the character relationships are in a state of flux--ever changing and dynamic. Last year, Weevil was on Veronica's side but now he mistrusts her. But, in the end, he's still willing to help when needed.

And I love that the central mystery is more than just one person's death. Instead, it's the bus that plunged off the cliff. Even now, it's easy to look for clues in the dialogue by Logan that maybe the target was Veronica and she was somehow saved by Lilly's ghost. And the tension that was in the first episode continues as we find out the busing patterns in Neptune. I have a feeling the answers are far more convoluted and earth-shattering than we've been led to believe.

Meanwhile, we have some new characters, most of whom I like. I have to say there has to be more to Steve Guttenberg and Charisma Carpenter's new characters than meets the eye. So far, they're pretty one-dimensional. But give credit--so was Aaron Echols the first time we met him last year and we all see where that went. I have a feeling there is more to this mayoral race than meets the eyes and I have to wonder why Woody wants Keith to run for sheriff so badly. There are other agendas playing out here.

And you know what--I'm hooked.

Also, it was a nice cameo by Kevin Smith in last night's episode. A fun little poke at his first movie, Clerks. And in a few weeks, new Veronica fan Joss Whedon steps in front of the camera. That should be fun. Wonder if he'll have any scenes with Charisma Carpenter?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/06/2005 08:11:00 AM | |
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