Saturday, March 08, 2008

LOST -- season 4 episode 6

[A lot of these posts come from conversations with others -- Jason, Ximena, Brad and Chris. So thanks.]

Season four has been spectacular, which makes this less than perfect episode feel worse than I think it actually is. In a flashback we learn Juliet had an affair with the married Godwin, and that Ben had a kind of giddy crush on her, which turns into a snarl of "Because you're MINE" at the end. In the present time Jack, Juliet and Kate hunt down Davies and C.S. Lewis (Juliet has been commanded by an Other) because they are going to a new station to possibly release a toxic gas that will kill everyone. Turns out they are just making it inert so Ben cannot use it. Ben tells Locke about his man on the ship (which we don't hear) and about how Charles Widmore is the man who sent the freighter -- and Locke lets him out.

My main problem was that, especially given the reveals we have gotten this season, the reveals here we not that shocking because they merely made explicit what had been implicit, rather than twisting us around with something NEW. Four times.

One. Ben snarl was pretty exciting -- you really see this character lose it, which it interesting. For all his super-manipulation he is clearly very emotionally immature which makes sense given what we know of his background. That was the point of the Ben Juliet flashback -- but it took me a minute to realize it. They episode played like revealing that there was a failed romantic thing between Ben and Juliet was something I did not know, but it had been so strongly implied for such a long time ("I guess I'm out of the book club" being one of my favorite LOST lines) it seemed redundant.

Two. Similarly, I thought the Jack and Juliet kiss was weak, not only because it pales so much right after Desmond and Penny, whose love TRANSCENDS TIME (I love LOST). For more than a year romantic thing between them anyway I kind of forgot they had not kissed before. Brad pointed out that one good thing you can say about it is the episode clearly establishes that the conflict that is coming is Ben versus Jack.

Three. Charles Widmore is the guy who sent the freighter. Brad called this last week, and again -- it was pretty well implied with his buying the Black Rock diary or whatever, and being insanely rich (plus that actor almost always plays psycho-businessmen).

Four [sort of] -- is there any chance that next week's episode will, as the preview narrator says, show us a face we never thought we would see again? Because, it seems clear who it has to be. I vaguely hope there is some kind of Marvel Zombies style fake-out coming, and what we know about who has been hired this season is a red herring, and that it is something nuts, like Mr. Eko. Brad pointed out that most lost fans have not noticed the actor's name in the opening credits every episode even though we have not seen him yet, so my objection may just be a little unfair. If I was watching six or seven shows and not reading Wikipedia entries on LOST this would be a real surprise. My fault I suppose. Brad said that when he appears again, he better have changed in a really surprising way.

The other thing about this episode that bothered my was Locke. Maybe this is also unfair, because he is only of my favorite characters, but he seems to be really degenerating. No plan, no cabin, dictatorial in a less than awesome way, and now this -- it is a little hard to remember because we saw the event nine months ago, but didn't Ben shoot him and leave him for dead in a pit of corpses literally TWO or THREE DAYS AGO (in island time)? The AV Club thinks that Locke releasing him means whatever he told him must be so compelling that it was WORTH letting him go but I cannot see how that could be. I keep hoping this is part of a Locke master plan, but I do not know. It just feels like Locke flip flops a lot -- a quest (season one), frustrated by not knowing what to do next (season two), on a quest (season three), frustrated by not knowing what to do next (season four).


Anonymous said...

I feel silly pointing this out but Jack kissed Juliet, not Kate.

Geoff Klock said...

no, thank you. I fixed it now.

Ultimate Matt said...

Locke is one of my favorite characters as well, but I'm loving him this season. I think we like him for different reasons - I like the fact that he plays himself off as this strong, confident guy, when he's very clearly unsure of himself and starts to lose his shit when he doesn't know what to do or feels confused (no unlike Ben). The actor and the writers play it so well that I enjoy wondering what's going on in his head whenever he's on screen. Watching his precarious hold on a position of authority he's clearly enjoying but is stressing him out privately has been fun to watch for me.

Casey Malone said...

One thing I think this show did rather well is ratchet up the tension through happy-endings and good feelings.

Basically, Jack and Juliet get together with a kiss, and it turns out that the people on the boat (C.S. and Daniel at least) are actually here to do good.

But still, we know that eventually everything goes wrong. Jack and Juliet don't get a happy ending - Jack ends up in love with Kate and hitting on her in some LA parking garage.

All my Lost friends seem to be disappointed in this episode - after The Constant (The best episode of LOST since the Pilot), and a very reveal heavy season, that's hard to live up to - but with the standard flashbacks, more details about the others and our first view at one more Dharma station, this was a solid episode that really felt like LOST.

Stefan Delatovic said...

This episode wasn't so bad, it just had a very hard act to follow.

Frankly, if every episode was as good as The Constant I'd have to stop watching lest my brain implode in an explosion of pure awesomeness.

I'd say The Constant was the best single outing since Walkabout, season one's first Locke-centric episode, in which his past lack of forward momentum - physically and in a broader sense - was revealed.
"Don't tell me what I can't do!" That was the moment I realised I loved LOST.

This week I saw as further evidence of the new LOST status quo since the final number of episodes was quantified. Even with a quiet episode, there was still a sprinkling of mythology and a few answers.

This episode certainly added some clarity to Ben's chracter. His history with Juliet was pretty obvious, but it was interesting to watch this mastermind's stunted emotions in action.

Question: Are 'the sickness" that's been referenced in the past - particularly by Rousseu - and the eye-bleeding time travelling fatality evidenced last week, one in the same? I hope so.

I agree that Widmore was always going to be an evil billionaire. Actor gave it away.

James said...

Alan Dale (psycho-billionaire from 24, the O.C., Ugly Betty etc.) is best known in the UK for his 8-year stint in Australian soap "Neighbours", so it's pretty funny to see him in all the glossy US dramas.

Does he strike anyone else as an odd antagonist for the show? The "amoral capitalist looking to exploit the island for cash" is an extremely mundane angle in the context of the Lost universe. Obviously there's still a million ways it could play out, it just surprised me a little.

Locke's an elusive one to be sure. He usually manages to pull it back when he's looking weakest, but I was pretty aghast that he kept his word to Ben. "See you at dinner" was a HILARIOUS ending beat though.