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Emilie De Ravin (#110 of 10)

Lost Recap Season 6, Episode 6, “Sundown”

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Lost Recap: Season 6, Episode 6, “Sundown”

ABC

Lost Recap: Season 6, Episode 6, “Sundown”

Well, cool. There were some risks taken, some serious crazy, and some killings. Brutal fucking murders, even. A ruthless episode that started slow and crescendoed somewhere beyond Apocalypse Now with this new Kurtz I’m calling Dark Locke not a raving nobody stuck in his temple of doom but heading out into the jungle, ready, smiling at his good fortune to gather a crowd and, it seems, pull the wool a little over a lot of eyes. That is, this week was a big step forward towards real consequence and conclusion. Not only that, we got to see the end of that goofy odd couple, Dogen and Lennon, and we didn’t have to really deal with Jack. Bonus: Kate’s looking a fool, and useless, a sheep forever and hardly clothed wolf-like.

But Locke’s that reversed, and easy, or more: not just a wolf wrapped in a smile but a smoke monster aching to wreak havoc. And, like a good chess player, he parried and fell back and then struck from a new angle to topple the other side. Of course he chose the arrival of darkness as his deadline.

Lost Recap Season 6, Episode 5, “Lighthouse”

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Lost Recap: Season 6, Episode 5, “Lighthouse”

ABC

Lost Recap: Season 6, Episode 5, “Lighthouse”

After seeing four by Dorsky (more later, non-Lost fans), helping my bud Brian haul some keyboards, and fixing a supremely late dinner sandwich, I settled into the couch with the DVR for what amounted to a pretty basic episode with very few answers. But I guess I can’t expect the show to live up to the promos, cuz that’s what promos do: They whet the whistle. In any case, this lighthouse was cool, but hardly a revelation. Just another component in Jacob’s all seeing all knowing apparent benevolence. Okay, so Jacob’s been watching these “losties”—in particular Jack—for a while now; not too big a surprise given we’ve seen Jacob alive (and seemingly well) in the days of man’o’wars and unstylish smocks. Nor should it surprise that Jacob wanted the lighthouse inoperable after all. No, the biggest scare was: Is Jack going to fuck up Hurley?

Of course Jack wouldn’t hurt Hurley. Lindlelof and Cuse don’t want to lose even more good will with their audience. Besides, Hurley’s got to stick around to talk to Jacob’s ghost or spirit or whatever. What made the scene shake, though, was how uncool Matthew Fox was: He really got wild eyed. He really sold Jack at the end of his rope. But you’d like to think a dude who was willing to admit he came back to the island because he was broken and was wrong about just about everything since that return (and knows it) had already hit rock bottom. But no. The pile-on continues. Jack’s almost a Job. (I don’t want to admit the links between Shepherd and who in the bible was a shepherd, or simply what a shepherd is, just yet—but, there, I gave the thought a thought.) And don’t get me started on the off island junk of this episode, though there were wrinkles in the otherwise cornball “dad issues” plot. —The main wrinkle, of course, being not Jack’s memory problems, and that mysterious scar on his torso, but Dogen showing up at the recital hall; but that was too vague to draw any conclusions from at this point.

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

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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”

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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 4, “The Little Prince”

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Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 4, “The Little Prince”

ABC

Lost Recap: Season 5, Episode 4, “The Little Prince”

There’s a deal we make, we Lost fans and appreciators. We agree to watch the show and find it generally enjoyable, and the show agrees to keep giving us our weekly fix of obscure symbolism, time travel weirdness and big plot twists. But there’s a devil in the details (isn’t there always in deals of this sort?): Once or twice per season, the show hands over to us a Kate (Evangeline Lilly) episode and leaves us grumbling. And with “The Little Prince” (as with last season’s fourth episode, “Eggtown”), we got us our Kate episode for Season Five. Fortunately, “Prince,” written by Melinda Hsu and Brian K.Vaughn and directed by Stephen Williams, was nowhere near as boring as “Eggtown,” but it was still a step down from last week’s terrific “Jughead.”

Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 21, “Greatest Hits”

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Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 21, “Greatest Hits”
Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 21, “Greatest Hits”

Lost, as both a show and cultural phenomenon, is indebted to so many different sub-genres of popular fiction that it’s to be expected viewer enjoyment will fluctuate from week-to-week depending simply on which color of the spectrum it chooses to paint with. Most often herded into the “ghetto” of sci-fi/fantasy, I’ve always found the show most effective when it adhered closest to the premise established in its groundbreaking first season: a group of people from all over the globe, brought together on a deserted island, working together to survive in the face of hardship and unexplained phenomena. I’ve often ridiculed the characters on this show for their lack of depth, yet I still appreciate it when the show takes a step back and allows its cast to inhabit their surroundings and play within the group dynamic in a way that has nothing to do with evading a giant smoke monster, hurtling over supersonic force-fields, or conversing with Jacob the demigod-cum-ghost pirate. There have been recent high-points to be sure (most recently the Sun and Jin episode “D.O.C.” which had all the stiff-upper-lip heartache of an O. Henry story) but, by and large, sometimes it feels like the show has simply lost interest in the drama inherent in its own set-up.

Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 16: “One of Us”

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Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 16: “One of Us”
Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 16: “One of Us”

Another episode of Lost, another con-artist in our midst.

One of the more persistent criticisms of the series is that almost half the plotlines involve some a protracted con, either in the literal, grifting sense of the word or simply in the form of casual misdirection. A con is the perfect metaphor for almost any serialized drama, but it’s especially apt for this one. We build a trusting relationship over a long period of time and let ourselves be lulled into a false sense of security, only to have the rug pulled out from under us. When done sparingly and for maximum effect, this can be quite cathartic and bracing; who doesn’t appreciate a good twist? But as Lost’s modus operandi it’s hard not to feel betrayal and restlessness as the show repeatedly returns to this overdrawn well.

Last night’s episode, “One of Us,” found the show lamely contorting itself to justify some of the incongruities and plot holes that have accumulated over the past three seasons, capping its gyrations with the umpteenth reminder that nothing it tells us should be taken at face value. Solving the mystery of Lost has less to do with careful attention to the clues than it does sifting through the mounds of double-speak and ulterior motives that allows the show to unburden itself of its closely guarded mythology, only to immediately cast a pall of suspicion over any revelation made. If ever there were a show that warranted the expression “consider the source,” this is it.

Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 6: “I Do”

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Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 6: “I Do”
Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 6: “I Do”

The way the promos at the end of last night’s episode of Lost hyped next year’s uninterrupted string of 16 new episodes you’d think the show’s producers had brokered world peace or found the cure for cancer. Coming at the end of an episode where little happened outside of the final 10 minutes, the flash-edited advertisement finds the show crowing about somehow accomplishing the unfathomable feat of airing over a dozen new episodes ... Without a single repeat… Or a week off in between ... Not even one! Swear to God.

Never mind that 24 has done the same thing for a few years now. And please ignore the cost of such an unimaginable achievement… namely the show’s nearly three month absence from the airwaves, starting next week. Clearly Lost is quite proud of its new broadcasting model, and I must admit that the serialized show should benefit greatly from the momentum that comes with four straight months of new programming.

Now it’s just a question of whether anyone will bother to come back to watch in the New Year.

Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 4: “Every Man for Himself”

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Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 4: “Every Man for Himself”
Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 4: “Every Man for Himself”

One of the things that makes Lost such a trying viewing experience is its frequently lazy narrative shortcuts. So when a plot point is introduced that stands out as especially difficult to believe, the skeptic in me has a tendency to jump down the show’s throat, only to be retro-actively corrected down the road. Never one to provide easy—or direct—answers, Lost often plays upon viewer distrust, giving us the answer we expect to see, only to conceal its true motives (think of the episode where Locke believes the “Pearl Station” is nothing more than an exercise in social control). But if nothing else, Lost does eventually reward the patience of viewers, even if it means getting around to resolving story-lines we’ve long since forgotten about (welcome back to the show, Desmond) and delivering the information in frustratingly piece-meal fashion.

Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 3: “Further Instructions”

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Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 3: “Further Instructions”
Lost Recap: Season 3, Episode 3: “Further Instructions”

After sitting passively behind a computer for nearly a season, what a relief is it to see John Locke back to the way we fondly remember him—as a wide-eyed, knife-wielding, face-smeared madman.Wednesday’s episode, “Further Instructions,” reunites us with the remaining Lost cast members (omitted from the last two weeks’ episodes) and finds the show less in mythology-mode and more focusing on Locke’s propulsive descent into madness and redemption. It’s no coincidence that Terry O’Quinn spends much the episode looking like he’s stepped off the set of Apocalypse Now. Having survived last season’s hatch explosion, Locke returns to camp alone; a changed man, temporarily rendered mute and once again willing to let the island “speak to him.”