Sunday, March 4, 2007

LOST Season 3 Episode 9 (WARNING: SPOILERS)
“Stranger in a Strange Land”

So last week was Desmond, this week it’s Jack.
Now, I’m not necessarily against spotlight episodes. (And, by Lost’s nature—with each episode having flashbacks centering on one character—each episode is, in a manner of speaking, a spotlight episode.) It’s just that we seem to be losing sight of all the other characters, not to mention the plot.
Sure, we see Kate and Sawyer, but what about Locke, and his plan to get Jack and company back? What about Sun (who did, after all, shoot another person dead)? Then there’s the little matter of Des’ lady love, Penny, picking up the electromagnetic anomaly that was the hatch implosion during season 2’s finale.
I only point this out because Lost is the kind of show that may have difficulty attracting a new audience, given the complexity of its story. It’s also a show that at the moment, seems to be losing some of the less faithful (and less patient) portions of its core audience.
Now, it’s always been my firm belief that the best Lost episodes are those that give us a deeper, better insight on the psychology of the characters (through the flashbacks), while at the same time, advancing the plot of the story taking place on the island.
The thing is, at the moment, the island story is moving at a snail’s pace, and I feel the show should step it up, considering all that doomsayer talk surrounding its flagging ratings.
Come on, people! This show is still one of the best on the air today, with one of the best ensembles, and some of the sharpest writing around.
Sure, I love Bai Ling, but did we need to see more of Jack again? I mean, we’ve brought in Paulo and Nikki but these two have done little more since their introduction than be two more pretty faces stranded on the island. And while we have yet to learn more about Paulo and Nikki, we are then sucked into the lives of Alex and erstwhile boyfriend Karl. We also make the acquaintance of the new sheriff in town, Isabel (played by Diana Scarwid, fantastic as Jaye’s mom, Karen, in the sorely missed Wonderfalls).
So, so many players. And will some of them end up deader than disco even before we really get to know them?
And perhaps because of the Cecil B. DeMille cast of thousands, sometimes it seems the focus of the show gets too diffuse; though we do learn more about specific characters, the main story gets sidetracked. We also need to ask ourselves, was what we learned about the character truly significant in the larger scheme of things, or was it ultimately a character note to add to that person’s bio?
I bring this up only because I want the show to have firmer footing than it has right now. I want Abrams, Lindelof, Cuse, and company to end the show according to their plans, and not because ABC decided to pull the plug due to ratings.
I think it’s safe to say that window when Lost burst into the social consciousness as a phenomenon is shrinking (if it hasn’t already disappeared). The Lost team needs to make what we, the hardcore fans, already know, glaringly obvious: that this is a great show.
Of course, there will be hiccups, there will be lags. No show is perfect, after all. Peaks and valleys and all that. But what needs to be done is to minimize the hiccups and the lags, keep the peaks high and the valleys shallow. Episode in, episode out, we need to kick a$$, gentlemen.
Let’s get down to it. A little over a dozen episodes to go till season end.
Dazzle us. I know you can.

(Originally posted 022807)

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