House Logo
Explore categories +

Evangeline Lilly (#110 of 30)

Lost Recap Season 6, Episode 3, “What Kate Does”

Comments Comments (...)

Lost Recap: Season 6, Episode 3, “What Kate Does”

ABC

Lost Recap: Season 6, Episode 3, “What Kate Does”

Hard not to feel let down after last week’s opener, sure, but hard to be surprised when “Kate” is in the title of the episode. Evangeline Lilly may have model looks but that means she also has model skills: she’s best when relegated to set dressing, like hanging off that limb last week. Her posture’s not forthright but almost diffident, trying to eek by in just about every scene. We all know she’s only got one play when she says she can be very convincing; and we know, thanks to Josh Holloway’s determined performance, that this despondent Sawyer won’t fall prey to her one-note ploys. Yet, thanks to what seems like a conscious choice to flip things by the writers this season, Kate isn’t quite so predictable. She at least tries to turn her back on Sawyer. But prime-time likes to have its prettiest share the screen as much as possible so they get a moment: each sheds some tears (Kate’s punctuate the scene), but it’s Sawyer’s moment—to grieve Juliet, to blame himself like always. Kate, on the other hand, nearly never accepts culpability (actual or contrived) for her actions. It seems like genuine self-doubt and/or self-critique are beyond her. And glib little me would love to make a joke about this being true of Ms Lilly, too, but that’d be mean. (Further, I don’t know her.)

So we’ll leave Kate. In fact, I was bored with her even before she kicked Claire to the curb. Seeing Ethan Goodspeed show up as the doctor was cute (no needles a flip of all those needles from before), but it hardly seemed to justify, or redeem, all the rote Kate junk of the 2004 non-crash story line. (Maybe we should call that branch 2004’? 2004-prime?) The 2007 island plot, in particular what transpired at the temple, was the good stuff this week. The big surprise here, lucky us, is that Jack sat smack in the middle of it—and I dug him as our proxy for once.

Lost Recap Season 6, Episodes 1 & 2, “LA X Part 1” & “LA X Part 2”

Comments Comments (...)

Lost Recap: Season 6, Episodes 1 & 2, “LA X Part 1” & “LA X Part 2”

ABC

Lost Recap: Season 6, Episodes 1 & 2, “LA X Part 1” & “LA X Part 2”

Though we got a glimpse of how good things would get early on with Jack looking into the mirror, tipping a hand to doubles, the real money came after that CGI plunge to reveal the foot, after the first commercial break: Kate, midair, hanging off a branch. There’s even a wide shot to show her in a space of branches, the frame all a zig-zag of lines around this lady. After last season’s record-skip start that saw our principals shuffled through time across the island’s 20th century, here we get time as a tree. It’s gnarled and knotty and nutty. It’s branching, manifest in the title of the episode, too, with that “X” sitting apart from the “LA” as a clever signpost of things at a cross, or overlaid, or collapsed yet separate. Every turn’s effect depends on a few different histories, including yours. Like any good soap opera, you’ve got to have your stories straight—and catch up is near impossible in the space of one episode. That fearless game of “stay with me” is what keeps amazing me with Lost. This show trusts its audience. However, it also asks a lot.

Yet my biggest complaint of the first night wasn’t the speed of plot—that’s the fun of the later seasons—but, call me crotchety, the frequency of the commercials. Were I not prone to front line fandom (I saw Avatar on opening day at the first IMAX 3D show possible after all), I would only ever watch Lost on demand/DVR. It’s such a compelling chiasmus—both twining and untwining the plot; that X goes along two lines—that I, like so many, get impatient and anxious. I need to know!

Lost Recap Season 5, Episode 15, “Follow the Leader”

Comments Comments (...)

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 15, “Follow the Leader”

ABC

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 15, “Follow the Leader”

When I was a young kid, probably around 9 or 10, I was on the town baseball team (and the town I grew up in was small enough to field a “town” team), despite all evidence that I should probably give up on my athletic dreams. I sat on the bench through most of the games, and once they were over, the next-older team of kids would take the field and we younger kids would have to make our own fun. This usually involved watching the next game, but it occasionally took on other forms of general kid excitement. One week, somebody said, “There’s a CAVE in the woods behind the park,” so, naturally, we being young boys, we went to take a look. The cave was more of a hole in the side of a big hill, dirt encrusted on all sides, but it yawned before us, dark and foreboding and slightly terrifying. The idea of what might be on the other side, what worlds might be opened up by entering it, was, honestly, more exciting than the actual expedition, which only revealed that the cave (or, more accurately, a tunnel) opened up in the field behind the woods. When I think about why I like sometimes shoddy genre entertainment like Lost, I think it’s because I want, more than anything, to recapture that sense I had as a kid growing up in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by empty space and millions of possibilities. What makes the show speak to me, more than anything, is that sense of standing on the cusp of something unexpected, torch lit, ready to go.

Lost Recap Season 5, Episode 14, “The Variable”

Comments Comments (...)

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 14, “The Variable”

ABC

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 14, “The Variable”

One of my favorite American novels of the last 30 years is John Crowley’s Little, Big, a book that straddles the line between realistic fiction and genre fiction, between the mundane and the miraculous. Briefly, it’s the tale of a large, rambling family in upstate New York who seem curiously devoted to a strange belief system that they refuse to spell out in its entirety for either their baffled new son-in-law or his son (the two point-of-view characters). The reader gradually grows aware of just what’s going on inside the giant home, Edgewood (a house with its own secrets), but everything fantastical is kept just off the page, as it were, until the climax, which seems more like a post-apocalyptic phantasmagoria than anything else. It is, above all else, a story about faith. About people in thrall to a force beyond their power that they’re not even sure they can understand or control. It contains some of the most beautiful writing I’ve ever encountered. And it reminds me a lot of Lost.

Lost Recap Season 5, Episode 13, “Some Like It Hoth”

Comments Comments (...)

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 13, “Some Like It Hoth”

ABC

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 13, “Some Like It Hoth”

Father issues are to the Lost flashback what cancer is to a diagnosis on House. There’s always a tumor somewhere on that show, and if someone has emotional trauma in their past on Lost, it almost always stems from their dad doing them wrong somewhere along the line. One could type up an exact recounting of whose father wronged them how, but that would take up the whole of this piece, and no one would want to read that. Suffice it to say that when Lost confirmed what we all suspected and let us know out front the parentage of Miles Straum, we longtime fans probably braced ourselves for another vaguely dissatisfying hour of a character working through a variety of complexes all linked to the man who walked out on them. Or, y’know, threw them out a window and paralyzed them. Whatever.

Lost Recap Season 5, Episode 11, “Whatever Happened, Happened”

Comments Comments (...)

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 11, “Whatever Happened, Happened”

ABC

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 11, “Whatever Happened, Happened”

When I was easing my way back into the TV criticism game late last year, I started thinking about how many shows on the air right now balance a sense of inevitability against the unexpected to generate their conflict. A large portion of the conflict on, say, Mad Men derives from the fact that we, the audience, know what’s coming for the characters, but they do not. We also know that the characters are on the wrong side of history, and that throws most of their actions into a new light. Or look at Breaking Bad, where we usually know the end before we know the beginning, and the ride is all about seeing how the characters try to escape the fate laid out for them but are unable to. There are shows like this all over the dial. All of it had happened before on Battlestar Galactica, and all of it would happen again. Even something as disappointing and all-over-the-place as Damages balanced its storytelling with flash-forwards that let us know (sort of) what was to come. I tentatively grouped Lost in with these shows after its fourth season, since its flash-forwards also offered this sense of inevitability, but it was only a supporting piece of evidence in my case for the new TV fatalism. Interestingly enough, however, Lost’s fifth season is practically all about inevitability and fatalism, in a way that very much casts a new light on events from earlier in the show. A show that purports to be all about the unexpected has become very much a rumination on the futility of trying to escape your predestined fate.

Lost Recap Season 5, Episode 10, “He’s Our You”

Comments Comments (...)

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 10, “He’s Our You”

ABC

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 10, “He’s Our You”

Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews) has always been one of Lost’s most under-served characters. If you go back and look at the Pilot, the revelation that he’s an Iraqi is played for friggin’ COMIC EFFECT, for God’s sake. Andrews’ performance is so solid (to the point where he’s one of the few Lost cast members to score an Emmy nomination, somewhat inexplicably) and his presence is so great that he’s been kept alive long after other characters the show had no idea how to service would have been killed off. Every season, the series tosses in an episode that pretty much boils down to, “Hey, Sayid used to torture. Isn’t that MORALLY AMBIGUOUS?!” and calls it a day. Without Andrews, most of these episodes would be complete yawns (only “Solitary” and “The Economist” are really worthy of his talents), but the actor has managed to save most of these by just gritting his teeth and pushing through the pain. Like, pretty much all I can remember about Season Three’s “Enter 77” is that the Sayid flashback was ridiculous (I think it involved a mystical cat?), but Andrews was SO GOOD that I liked it more than I probably should have.

Lost Recap Season 5, Episode 9, “Namaste”

Comments Comments (...)

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 9, “Namaste”

ABC

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 9, “Namaste”

At this point, midway through its fifth season, Lost is about as consistently good as it’s ever been. It’s not hitting the highs its capable of (no episode this season rivals anything like “The Constant” or “Walkabout”), but it’s also not sinking into the really stupid lows it used to alternate those highs with. It’s just a fun, poppy show, a blend of pulp, goofy sci-fi and basic character drama. I don’t know how long Lost can keep this up, but episodes like “Namaste,” written by Brian K. Vaughan and Paul Zbyszewski and directed by Jack Bender, have been among the most unbridled fun you can have watching TV. Lost, at its best, is just a terrifically good time, and “just a terrifically good time” describes most of Season Five to a T. When a title came up early in the episode reading “Thirty Years Earlier,” it made me giggle with glee because, c’mon, where else are you going to see that on a TV show?

Lost Recap Season 5, Episode 8, “LaFleur”

Comments Comments (...)

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 8, “LaFleur”

ABC

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 8, “LaFleur”

Let us now sing the praises of Josh Holloway and Elizabeth Mitchell.

Lost’s cast has always been there to carry us through the show’s rough patches. Even when the writing was especially weak or making the characters go through bizarre contortions just to push the various players into the right places on the chessboard, the actors almost kinda made you buy it. Now that the show’s plotting has (mostly) caught up to the actors and the writers are giving them subtler stuff to play, people like Holloway and Mitchell are proving week after week that they’ll make the most of what you give them, so just give them better stuff, and you’ll have a better show. Holloway, in particular, who had a tendency to get lost in the shuffle last season, has what might be his best episode in the series’s history with this one, where he manages to play his character, Sawyer, as both a man who is forced into a leadership role in an almost de facto fashion and a man who is content with himself and his place in the world. This dude should be a movie star.