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Lost Seeks Way to Sea, Black Rock

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Lost is a show of journeys, discovery, mystery, and myth. All of those themes came together wonderfully in yet another taut and well written episode this week.

The pacing is quickening and I feel as though I’m coming to the end of a great novel or a spectacular film. The fact that it’s the first season of a television show only increases my enjoyment as I’m confident there will be more to see, more to be revealed over time.

But it also brings the paradox of great dramas and great serialized stories: there’s got to be much more conflict, much more hardship ahead to keep me and the rest of the viewing audience interested.

There was a wonderful coalescing of the back stories as we were shown intermingled accounts of different characters within the same episode for the first time. Characters like Kate, Jack, and Walt are becoming all the more real, which makes seeing their pre-crash personalities wind their way toward the airport and their subsequent fates all the more strange and fascinating.

Meanwhile, events are coming to some kind of major head back on the island. The French woman is back – a little more sane, none the less creepy – with the warning that The Others are coming. Man, aren’t the vague, ominous warnings the scariest by far? The drug smugglers with the machine guns and helicopters are coming is just way less scary (or interesting) than The Others are coming: your three options are run, hide, or die. Throw in some black smoke that looks like the People of the Damned are having an old fashioned cook out, and you’ve basically got me glued to the sofa, eyes on screen.

You had me at The Others.

So while the French lady leads a group to find explosives at the Black Rock, our heroes discover a wrecked ship… at the top of a hill. It looks like some kind of pirate ship, so who knows what them thar adventures lie behind its hull. Or something.

And the raft has finally set sale with the fearless crew of Michael, Walt, Sawyer, and Jin. Among the touching moments: the rapprochement between Jin and Sun, and little Walt leaving Vincent the dog with a for once non-evil Shannon.

What will happen with the raft? What’s the deal with the hatch? Will The Others’ offensive be repelled?

Two-hour season finale next week, kids.

Get the dog walked, break out the TV survival kit, dampen the Noises of Madness from within, kick back and enjoy.

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  • The madness!!!! It’s getting tiring to have more questions than answers. Now we’re gonna be killed next week and have to wait a WHOLE summer to find out more questions… 🙂

  • Well, that’s what keeps you watching, right?

    Seriously, though: compare this with the excellent first season of Alias. The difference was that too many questions were answered. I was satisfied after Season One in many ways. The second and third seasons were very good, but by now that show has run out of gas.

    At the rate Lost is going, it’s got enough fuel in the tank to keep on going for a while.

    My greatest hope is that it keeps me/us guessing while continuing to strike out into new territory.

    That said, we may finish up this season without knowing very much about the hatch, the Black Smoke people, the “monsters” (security for the island, we’re told), or the true mystical nature of the island itself.

  • This is a show that looked appealing to me, but I’ve never seen an episode. At first, I had no idea there would be science fiction/mystery elements in the show. I just thought it was going to be another soap opera for beautfiul people, a fictional Survivor. So, ABC Marketing lost a chance to hook me by not revealing much of what the show was about.

    But once I heard more, it seemed like it was another show that just strings the viewer along ad nauseum, like Twin Peaks, like X-Files, etc… and I didn’t want to go through all that.

  • Jeff — You’re a big fan of 24, right? Doesn’t that show “string you along” with its plot twists and betrayals and so forth?

    I guess I just don’t quite see where you’re coming from. Perhaps you don’t enjoy shows that has some kind of mythic underbelly that gets unravelled and revealed over time?

    In any event, I would recommend that you go back and watch the first few episodes of Lost when you get a chance and give it an opportunity to work you over.

    This doesn’t get said enough: it’s a strong character-driven story, and I suspect that’s what keeps me and many others watching.

    The scene this week when Sawyer reveals to Jack that he had once met his father was a great great moment.

  • Eric, on the contrary, I do enjoy shows with a well-developed mythos. In fact, I prefer them to the standard run of the mill drama or sitcom. And I do enjoy shows where that mythos is revealed over time, and not all at once in some 90-second burst.

    Where I tend to grow impatient is when it feels like the show’s creators are deliberately witholding things in a transparent attempt to keep me watching over an extended period of time.

    I mentioned X-Files as an example, because I think that show went way longer than it needed to in getting at the conspiracy in the govt, I think it was years before we ever really saw an alien, etc…

    I’m not saying I think Lost is doing that, I know very little about the show. From what you’ve said, it sounds like something I’d like.

    When the show first aired, I made a snap judgment on how much time to invest in the show, as I don’t have time to watch a lot of TV. The show I watch regularly can be counted on one hand. I’ll probably look for it once it comes out on dvd.

    As for 24, I rarely feel like the show witholds things from me longer than it should. In some cases, things are revealed quickly, as events spiral into the next episode and get resolved. In other cases, things take longer to play out, but I’ve come to expect that by the end of a season, all will be revealed and the story will come to a usually satisying denouement. (The one exception being who was behind the attack on Palmer in season 2. That has never been resolved.)

  • Let me try a prediction:

    The raft sets sail just fine. Next season we get a couple of episodes of them drifting at sea and things get worse for them. They survive a storm. Just as it looks really bad, they spot an island!

    They put to shore and decide to spend some time there, resting and restocking supplies and exploring. We get scenes of the folks “back home” wondering what happened to the rafters, hoping they’re OK. Kate has an expression on her face that tells us she’s thinking of Sawyer.

    One day, Sawyer is hunting in the forest when he hears something rustling and thrashing around. He sneaks up and just as he’s about to attack, it stumbles into sight —

    It’s Hurley. They’re back where they started.

  • Mike – That’s possible, though I think that “reveal” would be fairly obvious once you see the rafters exploring a new island. I mentioned on another post that I think it would be very cool if the rafters get back to society. Then you could get into a complex situation where there is an ongoing search for the island… which will never produce any results (at least not for a long time).

    Then you’d have a mainland plot and an island plot cooking, with the island’s “intentions” spilling out into all kinds of weirdness/coolness.

    Jeff — In that case, I think you would very much enjoy Lost. You get tons of information and tons of reveals throughout the season. I’ve never yet felt bored or impatient watching it… which I very much felt as I got into Seasons 3 & 4 of X-Files. It was the one-off eps that really got dull to me. I wanted more about the conspiracy, and would often have to wait three or four shows to get any info (and this was on DVD!).

  • Eric,

    The scene between Sawyer and Jack was awesome. That’s the sort of stuff I was talking about in my comment over at Dumpster Bust about this show actually having me caring about the characters.

    Jeff–I definitely recommend the show. We’ll see what happens with the mythology–if they are fair in doling out explanations or if it devolves into another frustrating X-Files, but so far they seem willing to give some answers even while raising new questions. Most importantly, I so far feel like the writers actually know what they’re doing and where they’re going with the storyline, as opposed to The X-Files, which felt in the later seasons as if it was being made up as they went along.

  • It’s amazing how well developed the characters are for such a large cast. Hell, it’s amazing to have such well developed characters on television, period!

    Watching the finale tonight, I had such affection for the characters… it really raised the emotional stakes across the board. The acting is really amazing — just a great great cast.

  • Taipan

    Re: So while the French lady leads a group to find explosives at the Black Rock, our heroes discover a wrecked ship

    If you look carefully, Black Rock is not a place, but rather the name of the ship!

  • If I’m not mistaken, the audience doesn’t get this piece of information until after this particular episode aired.

    But it is cool to learn that it’s a ship and not a place.