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Thursday, November 17, 2005
TV Round-Up
Lost: The Other 48 Days
So, we "super-sized" Lost for this?

In 65 minutes (actually less removing commercials), we find out what happened to the survivors from the tail of the plane during their 48 days on the island. Not a huge batch of surprises here since Ana Lucia pretty much gave us a timeline of what happened in the last couple of episodes. I'm not sure if knowing on which day the Others would show up and terrorize the camp of this grou of survivors helped or hindered the suspense. In a way, it was almost like going into Episode III for the first time--knowing that Anakin is going to fall to the dark side and instead of getting caught up in the story unfolding, you keep wondering, "OK, so is this going to be how he falls?"

Basically, we find out that it was like Club Med over on the other side of the island for our heroes and pretty much a battle for survival on the other side of the island. They had their own version of Ethan, who was spying on the group, but for what purpose? We sort of had the idea that the Others were interested in Claire and her baby in season one but we weren't sure just why. But now, it seems as though the Others want to have all the children from the flight for some reason. Is it an attempt to win over new recruits for the wacky Dharma Iniative program, whatever that may be? Or could it be that they train the kids from a young age to perform the tasks such as hitting the buttons and following orders blindly? A conditioning, if you will, so the children become little more than robots who won't think outside the box, question orders or learn how to stand up to and question authority.

And it appears that the U.S. Army has possibly been involved since Ana Lucia finds an Army knife on the island. Which, yeah, I guess I can go with that, but I think the whole governmental conspiracy thing was done to death on The X-Files.

In a lot of ways, this was the Episode III of Lost. We knew where things had to go for the survivors from the tail of the plane, but we didn't necessarily know how they got there. It was interesting to see why this group had dug a pit to hold prisoners and just how the Others invaded the camp. We got a lot of focus on Ana Lucia, seeing her slowly accept the role as leader and how the burden of leading this group has fallen onto her shoulders. It's an interesting contrast to the arc that Jack's storyline has taken. Ana Lucia won't allow herself to be seen as weak in front of the group becuase they need her strength and assertiveness in order to survive. Or at least that's how she sees it. She eventually does allow the events to overwhelm her and lead to an emotional release--right before Jin, Michael and Sawyer show up. At this point, Ana has become a bit more hardened and less likely to trust anyone--probably becuase of her own failures and misplacing of trust. We see that she suspects Nathan of being the traitor and is prepared to cut off a finger to get him to confess. Then, out of left field, she figures out who the real traitor is. I am guessing she figured it out when he wanted to take the radio and contact help. So, why not take some help with you to fend this guy off should he turn out to be what you think he is? Here we see the contrast between our group of heroes and this set of survivors--when they were confronted with who and what Ethan was, they were able to band together and fight a common enemy. On this side of the island, the group doesn't trust one another and so it's up to Ana Lucia to be the action heroine of the story.

Certainly, I think we can all agree that this group had a hard time in their first 48 days. Now that we've seen how both groups have lived, it should be interesting to see what happens when they meet. I can see how the tailies would be a bit bitter that our group had had it almost Club Med like in comparison. But I can see our heroes being a little bit annoyed that they've brought the spectre of the Others down upon them. Maybe it was going to happen, but is the two groups merging speeding up the process for Jack and company having to deal with the Others?

Also, I find it interesting that so far this season, we've only covered about five days of time on the island. Going back and re-treading the same group multiple times hasn't helped that much. I guess what I'm saying is--yes, these five or so days are huge, but I think it's time we actually pushed out of this week from hell and started having some new things happen. And now that we've got through the establishment of the other group and the two tribes are merging, maybe we'll have some forward momentum to the plot.

Veronica Mars: Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner
I hate to say it, but this was the first disappointing Veronica Mars episode of the year. It just lacked the zip and zing of the first few episodes this year.

Not that it was terrible, mind you. It just didn't quite live up to the standard set by the first six or so stories this year.

Duncan comes to Veronica with some disturbing information he's found from the files on Meg's hard drive. Meg was baby-sitting a kid who was being abused and working with social services to report the parents. Duncan asks Veronica to look into it and Veronica does, working with a couple of families who are a bit controlling of their kids and seem to be those parents who think kids should be accessories and not actually kids, but there isn't much sinister going on. It's creepy but not necessarily abuse. Veronica investigates several boys, stealing homework of theirs to compare handwriting samples. She and Duncan then break into Meg's house and get the notebook that Meg references in her e-mails. Seems it could be a girl's handwriting and before you know it, we find out it's Meg's little sister in danger, being locked into a small room off her closet while Mom and Dad are out at church. The family returns home to find Veronica and Duncan red-handed in the room and Lamb shows up to arrest them. In the end, Lamb come back, finds the room and lets Veronica and Duncan go without a word and the show closes with Lamb's car outside Meg's house. It does make me wonder if Lamb will use this secret that he's uncovered to secure his position further in the community. Or if Veronica now owes Lamb a favor for looking the other way and when or if he'll call the favor in?

Meanwhile, Kendall finds out she has no way to continue the lifestyle she's used to now that Dick, Sr has fled the country. She goes to Logan to see if he'll be her sugar daddy and then even tries to seduce Duncan into being her sugar daddy. I have to admit, this plotline was a whole lot more intriguing to me becuase it makes me wonder how far Kendall will go to insure her lifestyle of trophy wife. There is a kind of weird bit where Dick, Jr tries to get chummy with Kendall once their mother releases the trust funds for he and Beaver.

And Steve Guttenberg lays out his plan to incorporate Neptune and have Keith be the chief of police for him.

I have a feeling a lot of bit hints were dropped about where things could go this season and beyond during the episode. This may be one that gets better on second viewing when we see what exactly was being set up and get the payoff to it. I do admit I found the whole plotline of Logans asks Veronica for help to be intriguging but it never went anywhere. I am guessing from the preview that this plotline continues next week.

But for now, I didn't come away from this episode loving it like I have other episodes this year. Which is OK because even a great show is entitled to a just OK episode every now and again. Let's just not make a habit of it....

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/17/2005 07:26:00 AM | |
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