Friday, November 10, 2006

Disclaimer: I know the many Lost fans out there will hate this post. In my defense, I want to say upfront that I'm also a huge Lost fan. I taped every episode of season two and held a Lost marathon over the summer. I write this because I'm frustrated.

So here goes...Like Locke last season, I’m having a crisis of faith after seeing Lost’s cliffhanger episode (since the next new episode won’t air until February 7, 2007). To briefly re-cap: Ben needed Jack to operate on a tumor on his spine, Kate continued to try to save Sawyer, Sawyer continued to lay around like a wounded puppy, and some of the free survivors buried Eko. It was a Kate-centric flashback about Kate getting married (What?!) but being unable to stay in a stable but boring life of taco nights.

For a character-driven show, it is not necessarily good to find the characters unrelatable, but that’s exactly what happened for me with Lost. I mean, I get some of their reactions. Kate has always cared for Sawyer, so of course she wants him to stay alive. Good enough reason to comply with the Others’ “request” to put a bag over her head and plead with Jack on their behalf.

Otherwise, Kate’s actions made no sense. She’s feisty enough to burn her father and spend her life on the run, but she remains trapped in a cage despite being able to climb out? Kate actually found a loving man and married the guy but then called the U.S. Marshall who’s hunting her down?

Sawyer gives up all hope of escape- after discovering that his heart wouldn’t explode or whatever Ben told him would happen if his heart rate became too elevated- just because he thinks he’s on a different island? He’s been living in the wilderness of one island for some 40-50 days- why not live in the wilderness of this new island rather than remain a prisoner who eats dog treats?

Only Jack did not disappoint; his actions remained consistent with his character. I’ll give the writers that.

It would be unfair, however, not to recognize the strong points of this episode. Kate’s flashback was poignant throughout. When the minister repeated her husband’s words about Kate’s honesty and forthrightness, I winced- especially when he called Kate by a fake name. Seeing how badly Kate wanted a stable life, and loving relationship, with her husband was painful, particularly when she realized that a stable life wasn’t for her. Kate’s fear would always keep her running, just as it led to her emotional collapse in captivity.

Lost’s strength has always been the flashbacks (i.e., character drama), but the plot (i.e., what occurs on the island) needs to become clearer to keep me watching- especially if the characters just become downright confusing. I know it’s a constant struggle to figure out how much information to give viewers while still keeping enough mystery to maintain suspense, but Lost is pushing its luck with me in season three. Get the plot moving already! I’ll be watching in February to see if that happens.

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