Saturday, February 16, 2008

LOST season 4 episode 3 (spoilers)

This episode revealed two major things: Sayid is one of the Oceanic 6, and is working as an assassin for Ben in his post-island life; and there is some kind of time distortion operating on the island because when Jeremy Davies has a rocket sent from the ship to the island it takes far too long to get there, and the time-piece inside is 31 minutes off from the one he already had with him.

I have little to add to add in terms of discussion or reviewery on this one. I thought the episode was great -- not as good as the one before, but better than the season opener. A friend of mine who I got sucked into Lost said she did not care about the post-island stories, but I very much do, especially this one, which I suspect is the other half of the story we are now watching -- I wonder if "The Economist" is Lt Daniels, or someone above him, someone Ben is hunting down because of whatever horrible thing happened on the island that lead to only 6 people getting back and Jack to meet with Hurley to keep whatever they did secret. The post-island time builds a tremendous amount of slow burn tension about whatever story is lurking between the two time periods we are experiencing, something I imagine will be part of the season four finale.

There are only 9 more episodes until that finale. The season was supposed to be 16 episodes long. Eight were filmed before the strike. Post-strike, news is we will get only five more this season -- five more episodes that will condense the intended unfilmed eight and culminate in whatever basic material was going to make up the season four finale before the strike happened. I was initially dismayed by this -- I felt that, because of its smaller season, Lost should have been able to fully recover from the strike unaffected. Considering season five does not start until 2009, eight more episodes did not seem to me to be out of the question -- I thought maybe they could do them in the fall for example. Having to change your story for reasons external to that story reminds me of one of my least favorite things -- fill in artists in comic books. I think the problem may have to do with the expense of Lost, which films in Hawaii.

Three things made me feel better about this. The first is that NBC demanded Aaron Sorkin put some action into his West Wing. He did so under protest, but the results, the kidnapping of Zoe Bartlet, are some of the best TV I have seen. Second, while the second episode of this season was so action packed I thought it would be horrible to have to condense something like that, this third episode had sequences that, while I enjoyed, could have been condensed without really damaging anything. The whole Hurley tied up thing -- it reminded me that while I love Lost, and would never really complain about stuff like this, condensing material might work as well. Carlton Cruse said that season for was high-octane, and that the revised season four would be super-high octane, and maybe that will be great actually. Third -- the Lost writers know what they are doing, and I have some confidence that they will handle it gracefully.


neilshyminsky said...

I think I was more fond of this episode than the last. Maybe because a lot of Sayid's lines on the island were drenched with irony - like the one about how he would never trust anything Ben has to say. The moment he spoke it, I knew that Ben had to be the person he was calling on the phone. And the fact that he was working from yet another list? That's just great.

My big question, though, is which 'friends' Sayid is protecting. Did Ben mean the other Oceanic Six or the people on the island? And does the fact that Ben is there mean that transportation between the island and the outside isn't as difficult as Jack seems to think?

dr zombieswan said...

Geoff!!! Hey!! I was browsing Ximena & Jason's book on Amazon (I think they've gone into second edition) and thought, "I ought to google the other cool reviewer of this book and see how he's doing." I just "friended" you on facebook, but this is my secret identity. :) I'm going to add you to my blogroll.

It's so cool that you've been publishing so well, and that you kicked Oxford's butt. (Presumably). And you're already publishing your dissertation!?!?!!! You so rock. I have to add things to mine, although I do have a publisher who is interested. Anyway.

I'll be back....

James said...

So, Oceanic 6 = Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid and two others (though presumably not Others). I originally thought it would be Michael and Walt, since who says they all have to return from the island together, but it feels like they're doing a reveal per episode when it comes to the 6.

I flippin' love Lost.

Geoff Klock said...

Neil -- good point

Dr Z -- Thanks. Keep the comments up.


neilshyminsky said...

Another 'Oceanic Six' question - are all six necessarily survivors of the crash? I was suggesting to my partner that I can't see why any one of Jin, Sun, and Desmond would stay behind, (or else there'd be seven) but she countered that they could all be rescued on a technicality - Desmond was never on the plane, so he wouldn't be one of the six. That would strike me as incredibly lame - even if he was the survivor of a boat crash, I'd think that the nickname would stick to him. But Oceanic Six could, of course, also relate directly to the suit and settlement against Oceanic, which would at least plausibly excuse Desmond from the designation.

Or, of course, any one (or more) of them could die... damn, this whole two time-frames thing has made this show that much more agonizingly wonderful.