Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Calm Before...

Lost: LaFleur
Season 5, Episode 8

Now, THIS is how you make a classic Lost episode. I'm hesitant to use too much hyperbole (an unfortunate snap judgement of Daredevil being "better than Spider-man" has made me cautious of it) in my praise of this episode, but I think I can safely say that this will go down as one of the best episodes of this series.

As I said in a previous review, Lost fanboys have been rushing to claim every new episode the greatest ever. Any praise heaped upon this episode is justified. Fanboys gush away.

As always, spoilers after the jump.

Since Locke knocked the frozen donkey wheel back onto it's axis and escaped the island, we return to Sawyer and the gang where we left them last. One two more flashes and the group is back to living time in it's proper forward fashion.

Of course, we've known since the premiere that the group was going to end up in the glory days of the Dharma Intiative. Sure enough, the group is stuck in 1974. Groovy.

The episode itself didn't really have any large reveals. There were some fantastic hints at things that we've wondered about for a while but nothing earth shattering, which is fine.

Oftentimes I complain when Lost tries a simple character based story. Usually they are slow and bland like Jack's story in 316. But here the main concept is Sawyer's story melding into the Dharma Initiative, taking care of his people and falling in love with Juliet.

I've been critical of Sawyer in the past. His character was used mostly as a one-note nickname generator. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have stated that he is their Han Solo, except that I never hated Solo. I hated Sawyer. He was funny, sure, but everytime he became the likeable rogue the writers insisted on reverting him back to being a dick (See: The Long Con).

Our story is split between the "current" time on the island and a jump to three years later. Presumably the three years later stuff is where the timeline will stay, bringing everyone (except Locke, who seems to have only lived a few months in that time)into the same time frame. Three years older and hopefully wiser.

Here we Sawyer not as a reluctant leader, but as a leader. He's freed himself from the shadow of Kate, Jack and Sawyer. He's in love with Juliet and most importantly he's happy. He's gotten himself a spiffy new job as head of Dharma security and things seem good. Except Jin has found Jack, Kate and Hurley. Less than 24 hours after Sawyer admitted to letting Kate go, thinking that she would never return, she comes back. He's clearly happy with Juliet, he's made his peace with Kate leaving and never returning, but you can see the look on his face when he sees her step out of that Dharma van. He's happy but pained. Josh Holloway did more in that one scene to make Sawyer an empathetic character than any of the dialog the writers have ever given him.

Of course, we know that Kate and Jack are going to upset the happy balance on the island. I can honestly say that for the first time in the series history, I don't want anything bad to happen to Sawyer...

Some other thoughts

  • The four toed statue returns! Of course, we only see it from behind and just for a moment. It sorta looked like the Egyptian god(or Goa'uld if you prefer) Anubis, which would be interesting since...
  • Amy(played here by Reiko Aylesworth)'s late husband in the episode had an Egyption Ankh around his neck, making the symbol an official motif in this series(it also appeared on the Swan's countdown clock).
  • Speaking of Aylesworth, great seeing her on TV again since her untimely end on 24. Here's to hoping we see more of her on this show.
  • So the Dharma Initiative brokered a truce with "the Hostiles?" Interesting.
  • Loved the meeting between Richard Alpert and Sawyer. That's got to have some significance on future events in the series.
  • Juliet delivered Aylesworth's baby on the island! So what is the issue with pregnant women on the island and does it occur after 1977?
  • Comcast can suck a fat one since their DVR service doesn't work half the time. I missed this episode on it's first run. Thank God for

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