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Thursday, January 19, 2006
TV Round-Up
Lost: The Hunting Party
"The Hunting Party" feels like a big episode of Lost. But I'm wondering if that feeling of this is a big episode is a deceptive one. I mean, yes, we finally had a confrontation and conversation between the Others and some of the castaways, but did we really learn anything new or different. In fact, in the long run, did we just have a lot of suspicions confirmed. The Others consider this their island and they see our heroes as intruders. I suspected that but now we have that confirmed. And I had to suspect that the Others were not happy about losing the bunker when Desmond was forced to abandon it when Jack, Locke and company found what was down the Hatch. But now we get some idea of why they might be so happy--I suspect our heroes stumbled across a cache of weapons. As we've seen with the other hidden rooms on the island, it seems as if supplies and other things are stored in various places. But are there specific rooms for specific items--in this case, our heroes found the weapons store and now the Others are scrambling since their supplies are now limited to what they have on hand. That would explain "Zeek's" interest in the surrender of the weapons by Locke, Jack and Sawyer.

I do think this episode felt huge becuase a lot of stuff was unfolding on the island. After a lot of early season episodes establishing the tailies, we are finally moving forward and getting back to the original cast that we all knew and loved. Interesting that the triumbrant of Jack, Locke and Sawyer would all be the ones to go out looking for Michael. It's almost like you've got some kind of strange Kirk/Spock/McCoy vibe building here, though I'd argue that not one of them is quite the established leader/head of the trio that Kirk was. Jack seems to reluctantly accept his role as leader of this group, though I wonder how much of that comes from who he is and how he leads and the fact that he's the only trained medical professional in the group. In a lot of ways, he's been forced to become a leader because he's the doctor on the island.

We did get some intereting tid-bits. Locke knows that Sawyer's name isn't Sawyer. Jack lets slip that he knows Sawyer loves Kate. And at one point, Locke is ready to pack it up and head home becuase he doesn't think the group has the right to tell Michael he can't go looking for Walt. I still suspect the Others lured Michael into the jungle to bring out some of the rest of the group. Was it to reveal themselves and tell them to stay away? And do the Others really think that this group is going to be so complacent? Do they really believe deep down that by telling Jack and company to not come after them and to stay on their side of the island that they're going to do it? The Others seem to know a lot about the group and the dynamics and I can't really see how they think telling them to just leave them alone is going to keep Jack from coming after them or that natural curiosity won't take over.

But maybe this is their plan. If their plan is to create dissent and separate the group, it may be working--despite Jack's great idea to create and train an army.

In the flashbacks, we find out more about Jack, who I think is the writing staff's favorite character to do flashbacks for. I think part of this is that Matthew Fox cut his teeth on primetime melodrama with Party of Five, so he can do these scenes with no difficulty and make them feel authentic. Or maybe it was predicated on the fact that everyone wondered what happened to Julie Bowen's Sarah and they could get her in for a guest spot during this time and so they went with it. In looking at the storyline, I have to admit was fairly much predictable. Jack is called upon to do a surgery that is risky--but then again so was Sarah's. Jack is spending way too much time at the hospital while his marriage crumbles. Jack is attracted to hot daughter of his patient, even kissing her when the surgery fails and the father dies. Jack confesses to Sarah, who was already leaving him anyway. Tears are shed and Sarah makes the point of the whole Jack backstory for this time--Jack is all about saving people. Once he's saved them or fixed what's broken, he doesn't really know how to related to them. Interesting to see that the kiss between Jack and Gabriella and Jack and Kate was similiar. Indeed, I'd even say the two women have similiar appearances which may explain why Jack doesn't pursue things with Kate--a sense of guilt over what happened with Sarah.

So, Jack wants to fix things. He wants things in a certain harmony. Now, I found the way we got there a bit predictable, but there were some good ideas brought up along the way that I hope we'd see addressed. One is Jack's reputation as a miracle worker. That is what brings Gabriella and her father to him. I'd love to see more flashbacks that maybe deal with that issue. It's one of those unintended consequences that could make for some interesting character stories as the series progresses. The other is what led to the downward spiral of Jack and Sarah. How'd they go from the couple we saw in flashbacks earlier to the cold, barely talking couple in the flashbacks we saw now? I do know that with Julie Bowen being on Boston Legal, this complicates the abilty to tell more stories with Sarah, but I think that this is a storyline that could and should be developed, should they be able to get her back on the show.

Like I said, this episode feels like it's a big one. But it's a deceptive thing. I'm not sure if it was a big one or we just had a lot of confirmation of things I'd suspected all along. I will say that it has put some things in motion that could have some big pay off in the upcoming episodes.

But give "The Hunting Party" credit. Real or imagined, we had some forward steps of the storyline. And when Zeek called out in the darkness to the group, I sat up and was really paying more attention. Those two things alone re-energized me on Lost and really make me look forward to seeing where it goes from here.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/19/2006 08:58:00 AM | |
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