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Thursday, October 05, 2006
TV Round-Up
Lost: A Tale of Two Cities
Interesting start to the third season of Lost. Early it looks like this season will be about discovering more about the Others and what their agenda is. I think we've been given some very tantalizing clues here in this first episode. So far, we know that they have a rather nice town somewhere in the middle of the island and that the two groups were infilitrated for some reason. Also, it seems as if the Others have some kind of contact with the outside world since they had a book club reading Stephen King (nice little shout out to one of Lost's famous, vocal fans).

I kept looking to see what Stephen King novel they were reading, but never could catch the cover. Was it the Dark Tower novels?

That would kind of make sense and be a really nice parallel.

And "A Tale of Two Cities" had that Stephen King novel vibe to it. (Of course, the whole show does). A lot of King's books take ordinary people and plunk them down into the most extraodinary situations and observes how they react. So, wait, does that mean King is an Other? Or part of the Dharma Initiative?!?

Each of the three captives is being put through some type of test. Sawyer is dumped out in a cage with an elaborate Rube Golberg like mechanism to get food. Kate is pampered a bit with a shower, a nice dress and breakfast with Ben (we find out Henry Gale's real name...or is it?) and Jack is put into almost sensory depravation. It's almost as if the Others want to find the way to break each of them in a way best suited to the characters. Sawyer doesn't like being caged, Kate is uncomfortable being a "typical girl" and Jack doesn't like to be out of control. Jack hates not knowing things and a lack of information really annoys him. Which is exactly what we see in his flashbacks this time. Jack is driven crazy by just who it is that Sarah chooses over him in the divorce. It even goes so far as Jack assuming that it could be his father.

Now, I have to say I'm glad Lost didn't go this way with Jack's dad sleeping with Jack's wife. That'd just be a bit much and it's not like we don't think Jack's dad is a jerk to start with. I did find it interesting that Jack shows up at AA and creates a fight with his dad. Knowing what we do about where this story goes, it's not hard to think that this incident could have begun the downward spiral that let to Jack's dad drinking himself to death.

It's also interesting that Jack doesn't really seem to appreciate what he has until it's taken away from him. In the flashbacks, it's Sarah and here on the island, it could be Kate. We'll have to see how this all plays out as the season goes along.

Meanwhile, we find out nothing about what is going on with the rest of the castaways. But I think this season premiere was about setting up the situation for Jack, Kate and Sawyer and filling in some more details on the Others. And it did leave us with a whole lot of questions.

Who is Juliette? What is her agenda? How did she get all the information on Jack and is the details that Sarah is happy true? Could it just be another bit of the game to try and win Jack's trust or break him for...whatever purpose they have in mind? Also, the fact that she looks a bit like Sarah isn't lost on me. I think that may be part of the manipulation of Jack being done here. Also, I'm not sure I believe for a minute they are out on some under-sea base since Juliette and Ben (Henry Gale) seem to get back and forth between island and this base quickly.

Also, I have to wonder who is in charge here and why? Also, we're led to believe Dharma's not really in charge of this project anymore by Juliette's dialogue with Jack (again, this could be just playing with Jack's head and ours). So who is in charge and why? What is the agenda of the Others? Could it be they're grooming Jack and company as replacements for themselves so they can leave the island? Are they just as trapped on the island as the castaways, although with better living quarters?

Oh Lost, I've missed you. Welcome back. I am going to savor the next five weeks and then I know I will have severe withdrawals when you're gone until February.

Oh and major points to Lost for having some nearly naked Kate scenes as well as Kate in the dress....that, my friends, is good TV!

Jericho: Four Horsemen
I am beginning to think that this show might have worked better as a limited series. As I watch, I'm still intrigued by some of the questions, but I think once they answer what happened, who attacked and why, my interest may wane severely. The show is walking a fine line becuase if they string out the answers too long, I'll get frustrated and tune out. But if they do answer them, I don't care enough about any of these characters to really stick with it beyond finding out what is going on here.

I think part of it is the internal logic of the show makes no sense. I loved how as soon as the rain stops, it goes to being sunny and nice outside again. And there was no residual radiation from the huge rain storm? Again, I say--huh? This may be my limited understanding of how fallout and radiation from a nuclear blast would work, but it'd seem to me that there'd be some risk to running outside as soon as the rain stopped.

Meanwhile, Johnston Green (the mayor) goes from a possible heart attack to the flu. Huh? Last week, (just a few hours before by the time stamp early in the episode) he's so sick he's passing out but this week he's leading the town out into the rain, punching out his opponent who is using the situation for political points (totally deserved by the way and one of the better scenes of the episode) and sitting around at the big honkin' BBQ the town throws in order to not waste all the food. Now, I hate to that guy, but surely someone in town would know something about making beef jerky or preserving it without having to refrigerate it. While the BBQ is nice because the whole town gets together and has a good time, it doesn't make much sense long term when you'd think they'd want to figure out a way to preserve the meat for the long term. Surely there must be a Boy Scout troop somewhere in town...

Meanwhile, Skeet is still Jack Bauer. He can do anything the plot requires. It wasn't quite as bad as it was last week, but it's still kind of annoying here. I mean, honestly, who knows how to open a flight data recorder and play the tape? Did I miss that day in school? Maybe it was during my senior year in high school when I had one of the worst cases of the flu ever. And was it just there to give Emily some sense of false hope that her fiancee is still alive that will only be dashed later in a ratings grabbing, Emmy worthy episode during sweeps? Because if they're trying to set up a love triangle between Emily, Skeet and Heather, they're not doing a great job of it.

I did like Skeet's plan to send out people in all directions to try and find out what is going on. And while the show doesn't pay much attention to its own internal clock, I am liking that we've only seen the first few hours of the aftermath. I will give it credit that the sense of isolation, paranoia and wondering just what the heck happened is nicely done in the show. Of course, we never get any report of what happened to the other three guys who went out. Did they find something? Or is it just Skeet cause he's the hero of the show? And for a guy who didn't want to stay in town just 18 plus hours before, he sure is a take charage and embrace the new life kind of guy. Of course, the world has just been nuked, so I guess that can cause you to make a few changes in plan.

And I knew that Hawkins was up to something...but we're still not sure what just yet. Is he preparing for the worst or is he secretly in on it? I'm still going with that he's in on the whole plot and was sent to town for...well, that's not clear yet.

Meanwhile, I have to ask--is there any single female in town that Eric is not sleeping with? And how does his wife not put this together? He's the most suspicous acting cheater we've seen on TV in quite a while but yet no one picks up on that vibe, except Hawkins and he's got secrets of his own. Oh yeah and I think Eric looks a lot like Peyton Manning with a beard...

posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/05/2006 07:23:00 AM | |
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