Friday, March 13, 2009

3/13/09 - Lost: Season 5, Episodes 5-7

Thoughts on Episodes 5-6

1. 2 episodes without Jack and Kate. Glory glory hallelujah! Watching two episodes back to back without those two just reinforced my opinion that they have become the least compelling characters on the show. Especially in contrast with Locke, whose adventures and struggles are much more dramatic (as opposed to melodramatic) and whose character arc resonates much more strongly with the overriding themes of the show. I really wish that they would just leave Jack and Kate off-island with a happy ending so that I don't have to witness high-strung Jack making asinine arguments and moony Kate biting her lip in confusion over which man to string along. Blech.

2. One of the things I like most about Locke is that he is very different in demeanor depending on which other character he is dealing with. Like in real life, where one's persona/personality comes through differently depending on who you are with (subtly in some cases, dramatically in others), Locke's persona shifts depending on who is he is with. So, when he's talking to Jack, who has such a poorly defined sense of self/comfort in his beliefs, Locke comes off as calm, certain, and at peace with himself and his choices, because compared to Jack, he is. But when he's talking to Ben, Locke comes across as fearful and uncertain, because Ben's strategy of manipulating people is predicated on a kind of titanic certainty in whatever Ben is saying at any given moment. In the face of that kind of certainty, Locke's self-doubt flowers. So you have two dramatically different scenes: a calm Locke attempting to talk Jack into returning, and a frantic Locke flailing suicidally and questioning everything in his dealings with Ben. Both scenes make sense based on the way Locke is written and portrayed, which speaks to the breadth of scenes Lost is capable of bringing off.

3. Why did Ben have to kill Locke? Why not let him kill himself. My 2 theories: 1) he didn't know about Eloise Hawking before Locke told him, and once he found that out Locke became redundant for Ben's purposes; or 2) Somehow Ben thought that if he killed Locke, if Locke did not die of his own free will, that the island wouldn't bring him back. Ben wants the leadership position that the island wants Locke for, that much is clear.

4. I'm really glad that all the off-island nonsense is over. Who wants to hang around LA when you can be on the Freak Island?

5. Similarly, although the time jumping was fun, I'm glad that we've stabilized in the '70s Dharma era. The building time paradoxes were starting to make my brain hurt, and now things are stabilized I'm looking forward to the writers using the deposit of our heroes in the Dharma era to flesh out a lot of the exposition/mysteries of all of the leftover Dharma relics that have provided so many questions over the first 4 seasons.

6. So happy to see Juliet and Sawyer as a pair. They work together quite well. Although it was annoying to see the suggestion that Sawyer hasn't gotten over Kate. Really? They were only sporadically together over the course of a couple of months, and now Sawyer and Juliet have a 3-year (!) relationship. I would think that would be plenty of time to get over a not-worth-it Kate.

7. It seems clear that Ben is revealed to be more unequivocally evil. Amazing how many predicaments he's been able to talk his way out of so far, but how is he going to talk his way out of killing Locke to Locke's face?

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