Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lost 1-4

It has been almost seven months since the last new episode of Lost aired but it seems less. The show has been syndicated since the Fall and ABC showed the last three hours of the last season a week ago (for good measure Sci-Fi showed the same episodes Monday). That gives a good overview of the series in general and gives me a chance to look over the entire series to this point.

No question about it, the first season was the best. The novelty of the flashbacks hadn't worn off and we were still meeting the characters. the structure of the show was different, also. More characters were featured in each episode and the episode wasn't totally centered on the character getting the flashbacks. At least 2/3s of an episode was taking place on the island instead of in flashback.

Also, the show's options were still open. It was still about a large group of castaways, most of them anonymous, stranded on an island where strange things happened. They acted like you would expect - they set up housekeeping, they argued, they formed romances, and they tried to get rescued.

The second season got off to a good start. We knew that other people lived on the island and they gave us some hints about them. The mysterious hatch was interesting. And at least a couple of the tail-enders were interesting (until they were killed off). On the other hand, the flashbacks got longer and repetitive.

The third season was divided in two with three of the cast being held by the Others. This was a low point for the series. The episodes blur together. The show was on the decline until a couple of episodes into the second half of season three (3.5?). Once Locke made contact with Ben things started happening. The feel of the show changed. It gained a new urgency that carried into season four.

Having the episodes in syndication, you can pick and choose which one you want to see again and which ones you want to skip. This is different from watching on DVD where you already decided to watch the show and it is a good measure of how good an episode is.

I noticed that I am much more likely to watch anything from season one and I am likely to turn off episodes from season two and three where Jack gets the flashbacks.

All of season four is worth watching except possibly the Desmond episode (too much flashback, and it feels like a filler episode). Some of the episodes are flashbacks. Some are flash forwards. We find out what happens to the Oceanic Six after they leave the island Ben predicted this at the end of season three when he pointed out that none of them were happy in the outside world. Sure enough, Kate is the only one whose life isn't a total disaster. Back in island time, something happens every episode. They are no longer trying to keep the show going as long as possible. Now they have a goal in sight.

Going into season five we will find out what happened after the six left and watch them going back to fix things.

I do have a couple of complaints about season four. The body count was too high. With both Alex and her mother dead, will we ever find out their backstory? I assume that the Others are from the Black Rock so at some point we will get their backstory. Do they stay on the island in order to keep their immortality? How did some of them get off after the island moved?

The producers have promised that they will have a satisfying wrap-up. We will see.

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