SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen last night’s episode of Lost, make a small incision in your kidney and don’t stitch it up until you’ve finished watching it.
So: This is the first Lostwatch since the time.com folks turned on the Comments spigot, so I’m counting on you to do the lifting here. But here are my thoughts.
* First here’s a discussion topic: Lost fans are kind of like Sopranos fans. Both shows have good and bad episodes, both deserve their share of criticism, but both get hated on for their own virtues. The Sopranos is great, among other reasons, because it defies the normal TV expectations of closure and pat endings. And yet every season, fans criticize it for just that: The stories drag on! None of the feuds get resolved! When’s somebody gonna get whacked? Likewise with Lost. Is it cryptic, teasing, byzantine? Does it fold together endless stories and raise more questions than it answers? Yes–that’s the ride you signed up for. As long as the writing stays sharp, the characters stay genuine and the questions stay interesting, I’m fine with that.
* OK, the episode. Good to see a flashback that actually adds to our understanding of a character. Juliet’s history–longtime doormat, her trust taken advantage of–makes her announcement at the end even more curious. Is she betraying Jack, gaining her freedom by enslaving him to Ben? Does she have that in her? And the big question: if she was Other-napped because of her work as a fertility expert, is her work now done, and what was it? (By the way, I haven’t done the math, but at least one theory holds that, given the amount of time Juliet has been on the island, she would have arrived on 9/11/01. If not, it’s certainly close.)
* “The old Wookie prisoner gag.” I’ve been laughing about that since I saw the screener 3 weeks ago.
* The whole Clockwork-Orange brainwashing scene adds another twist to the question of what the Others believe. They repeatedly say things that indicate that free will is important to them–”I want you to want to save me”–but, clearly, they’re not above a little old-fashioned brain-frying.
* All in all, the episode did a good job of moving the story forward, if for no other reason than getting Kate and Sawyer off the island, thus getting us closer to reuniting the two-island storylines. (That would also provide a reason to keep Jack out of the action for a while in coming episodes, as has been rumored.)
* OK, one gripe. Alex–who I guess we now have to call “Alex Linus”–may be the worst performance now on network television. Like, Sofia Coppola – Godfather III bad. As Mrs. Tuned In said, “That woman makes Evangeline Lilly look like Judi Dench.”
* Finally, longtime J. J. Abrams fans: when Juliet’s evil ex got nailed by the bus, who out there thought of Todd Mulcahy getting run over on Felicity? Anybody?