Friday, February 01, 2008

LOST Season 4 Episode 1 (Spoilers)

The first episode of LOST season four was solid. I have no complaints. The teaser to the the first episode of season four was not as striking as the openers to season's one, two and three, but it was not bad. This did what I want a Lost episode to do --

Introduce a bunch of random mysterious stuff: Why the Oceanic 6? Did only 6 people make it back? Kate, Jack, Hurley, and three more (one of whom may be dead)? Did Hurley make it back some other way, since he went with Locke -- he apologizes for that, which suggests they have not talked much since then, a period which would include the ride home, if they went together. What does Lt. Daniels from the Wire (!) want with Hurley? What is Charlie's status? What did they do that day that Jack is afraid Hurley will tell someone about? Why is Jacob communicating with Hurley now? Why did Naomi not tell the ship she was attacked? What is the status of the "rescuers?" My brain can see this is all dumb, but I love it. It is an irrational addiction.

Have great character moments: Jack firing the gun, the castaways choosing sides, Hurley telling Clare about Charlie, Hurley and Charlie, Ben worried about his daughter. And that patented LOST emotional King Lear rain, which is ridiculous, but which I have come to love. Got a serious moment? Here comes the shower.

And the whole thing of course moves us just the slightest step forward, which many people hate, but it is genius because it allows LOST to do so much that no other TV show can do -- tell a variety of stories (practical survival, ghosts, time travel, four guys fix a bus, Alfred Hitchcock presents [Paolo and Nikki]) because the "rules" are never clearly laid out as they are on Buffy. You cannot have a Buffy episode where everyone just fixes a truck.

Really the best thing about the new "flash-forward structure" (really still flashbacks, just with a newly established present) is that I now care equally about the two time periods, just as I did in the beginning. The show is refreshed, not an easy thing to do three seasons in. There was a while there, when the connection between the Island story and the flashbacks was often just thematic, and I would tune a bit out and be eager to get back to the island. Not any more.

I will say that I found myself a little less emotionally involved in this episode than in episodes past. I attribute that to the fact that I know this is all just going to stop, for no narrative reason, seven weeks from now, with no word on when it will return.


brad said...

I'm one of the Oceanic 6! Can some one please make that into a T-shirt.

Madd_Hadder said...

I found myself very affected by the Claire and Hurley moment. This episode reminded why I fell in love with this show in the first place!

P.S. I hope you do this for all the new episodes. The main reason I decided to watch it on on television this season as opposed to DVD is so I can read your thoughts each week.

Geoff Klock said...

Brad. HA!

MH -- I do plan to do that. I also sort of want to go back to the beginning and do an episode by episode analysis. We will see.

Stefan Delatovic said...

In seasons past I've been able to save up the first six or seven episodes so I can kick the year off with a nice mini marathon.

I watched the first season in two days and have tried to replicate that experience each year, but cannot keep the patience going.

This year I've watched episode one immediately and immediately want to see the next one. Not to mention the strike-enforced break on the horizon. Alas!

A few months ago I sat down with my girlfriend - who had never seen the show - and we watched all three seasons all the way through. I relished the experience to watch the whole series through again, remembering things I'd forgotten.

There was a little disconnect as we started. She was fond of leading-man Jack while I was seeing him through a 'evolved into a jerk' lense - and the reverse was true to Sawyer.

I spent the entire run waiting excitedly for her reaction to the season three finale, which I loved. Sadly, she enjoyed all up until then, where she felt flashing forwards sucked the tension out of the island timeframe.

I think 4x1 redeemed it a bit. Both timeframes were compelling.

Marc Caputo said...

I liked the scenes with Hurley at the institution; we got to see an extra depth to his madness, not to mention getting tricked by the writers. When the other patient says to him, "There's someone staring at you", we're believing that Charlie is really alive. When it is revealed that Charlie isn't there, we're sad because we love Charlie, we got rooked and because Hurley's slide into insanity now includes inventing people to herald his hallucinations.

Outstanding. Seven more weeks of this WILL NOT be enough - but if it does go fast, then I'll be at the S4 opener of Battlestar Galactica with only 2 weeks of emptiness...

James said...

I wouldn't write Charlie off as Hurley's creation just yet, marc. I'm pretty sure all the 'ghosts' in Lost so far have had the suggestion of being more than mere hallucinations - Geoff seems to be going with the theory that they're incarnations of Jacob, which makes perfect sense to me. Maybe he's communicating with Hurley now because Hurley has seen him, and maybe he was visible to Hurley because he has increased in power with Locke's help - just who's face was that in the window anyway?