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Friday, February 01, 2008
TV Round-Up: Lost
The Beginning of the End
And so begins the first of the final forty-eight episodes of Lost. (Or at least that's how many we're supposed to get...no word yet on if or how the writers' strike may affect that number).

And while we may have a long way yet to go before we reach the end of the story, if this episode is any indication, we're in for a heck of a ride--one that could equal or surpass the breathless, must-see excitement of the first season of this show. Watching this episode, you can feel a renewed energy to the show--one that built in the last half of the season last year and has carried over. I chalk this up to two things--knowing the end is in site and moving toward that and the fact that now the flashes to events off the island can be in the past or the future.

You could feel that energy and mystery of "when does this take place?" in the teaser of the show. And I loved the little trick the writers played on us, making us believe for a moment we'd see a Jack story. Instead, we got one on Hurley and what his life is like post-island.

It was interesting to compare Hurley's hopes on the island to what we see happen to him. Pre-island, Hurley felt cursed by events and the numbers that followed him, to the point that he was locked up in a mental institution and have an imaginary friend who followed him around. On the island, Hurley was free from the money and able to shed the imaginary friend and, perhaps, regain some of his sanity. He did get one moment to savor all this last night when he did the canon ball. In a way, this was almost like a baptism for Hurley. The look of happiness on his face, of contentment was a great moment. And then he came up and his world began to crumble. On the island, he finds Jacob's cabin--or so he believes. He's haunted by the voices and seeing Jacob. He makes the choice to follow Locke because of Charlie's message. Then we see Hurley off the island, where the weight of things is overwhelming him again, causing him to retreat. It's apparent that some kind of deal was struck or something happened that led to the rescue of six of the survivors--but what? We see it eat at Hurley, to the point that Charlie appears as his conscience. And we're led to believe that these flashes are taking place before the Jack flash-forward we saw last year.

And that brings up some questions. First of all, who are the six who leave the island? We have seen three of them, but who are the other three? (I am sure this information lurks in SPOILER web sites, so if you know, don't tell me...I prefer blissful ignorance). And what is the deal they strike? It must be something fairly big since we've seen it eat away at two of the survivors? To the point that it puts Hurley back in a mental institution and it has Jack desperate to get back to the island.

I have some ideas--the biggest being that a large chunk of the group is left behind. I also wonder if Jacob is somehow central to these six be allowed to leave. Or do these six make some kind of deal with Oceanic Air? And why do there seem to be two groups looking for the survivors? We can assume Penny's group has the agenda of finding Desmond. But what is the agenda of the group we've only heard on the radio and seen in the closing moments last night?

Of course, another part of me wonders just how many answers we'll get in these eight episodes and how many were intended for the back eight of the season. I wonder just where in the story we'll be left hanging this time....

Meanwhile, back on the island, the leadership struggle between Jack and Locke finally reaches a breaking point. One of the good things about having the end in sight is that this can finally move out of the kind-of holding pattern its been in the past couple of years. We had both sides conflicting, but with Locke killing Noami and his desire to stay on the island, it's reached a breaking point. And we've divided the castaways into two groups.

You've also still got Ben, who while broken and a prisoner is still pulling strings. I have to wonder if Kate really took the radio from Jack or if Ben managed to switch it. There was a look of surprise on Kate's face when it rang. Or at least I thougt there was.

One thing that interested me is how as each season starts, there's been some sense of mystery about some group of people. In season one, it was who are these survivors. In season two, it was who are the other survivors. In season three, it was questions about who are the Others. And now we've got questions about how are these people on the boat.

It should be interesting to find out the answers.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 2/01/2008 10:29:00 AM | |
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