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Friday, April 20, 2007

Lost: Catch-22

There's an interesting contradiction at work with Lost ... it's a show that has been highly lauded for breaking the format and mold of normal television shows. Instead of relying on tight, resolvable situations - it has a lengthy narrative with multiple twists and turns. Instead of featuring a a couple stars, it has an ensemble cast.

Yet, Lost works best when it sticks to a formula. I've talked about some of this before, but let's look at some of the things the last few episodes, including Catch-22, has in common with the last few episodes which have been equally sound. They have backstories which actually support the main plot. They use the mystery of the island to create tension and even an air of disbelief (something which has been somewhat lacking in the Otherville episodes). They manage to at least flesh out details of the island without being too obtuse about keeping the mysteries mysterious (like chasing Karl away).

When these pieces fall apart, that's when the show begins to feel unhinged. Even if the episodes feel similar in terms of structure, like all good formulas - when they work, they work well.

And so in Catch-22 we've Desmond wondering if he should let Charlie finally be sacrificed to get back into Penny's arms. This was, actually, the only part of the episode I didn't like. I never once bought that Desmond might actually give Charlie up. He's just not that psychotic. He had no evidence that Charlie's death would make any real difference - this isn't like seeing lightning strike and realizing a direct cause and effect. I mean, the title even sets this up as Desmond will fail no matter what he decides - but I never

How great was the scene with the helicopter noise though? It was spooky, it let us see a different angle on the island (apparently it can be found now ... but not safely) and served the story well.

See how this can all come together?

The next few episodes have a lot to live up to: Locke's new role in the Others, Juliet's upcoming betrayal, just how pregnant is Kate, just how doomed is Sun ... how long can Charlie not die.

It's good to be looking forward to it though.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I enjoyed how Sawyer and Kate and Jack didn't seem a completely high school. Sawyer appears to have some respect for Jack now that he's had his first taste of leadership and actually wants to be around him. On the other hand, Kate is totally mixed up about what she wants, but willing to satisfy her needs -- for sex or power -- when necessary. And Jack...well, Jack appears to be aloof. I think he's the big surprise of the end of the season. I think he's playing Juliet for the fool and biding his time until he can assert his power over everyone -- the Others and the Losties, especially Kate.