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Saturday, February 16, 2008

TV Watch: Lost, The Economist

This season continues to show that it can maintain a decent pace both on and off the island and in what is supposedly it's final season, we're being thankfully spared a lot of moon eyed nonsense surrounding certain characters (*cough* Kate *cough*). We even got some solid evidence that the island is out of sync timewise with the rest of the outside world (and as a plus, that Ben's bearing ... or at least some bearing ... is indeed the "safe route" into the island). That the "violet sky" event temporarily synced the island with the outside world fits in that a) the island could be "seen" at that point and b) it was that event that "unstuck" Desmond with the normal timeline.

Events in the flashforward continued to scope out the mysterious conflict we've seen the Others refer ... naming themselves as "the good guys", generating lists, etc. Interesting that people other than the "Oceanic Six" may be out in the world, so we might have to assume that more than six (or seven) people make their way off.

Sayid's role as an assassin reminds me of Locke's task to kill his father. Do we essentially have a global game of TAG with two competing lists? To be honest, we've only seen one side go around killing people.

What remains to be seen is whether or not the pace will result in a conclusion which offers enough of an explanation to satisfy. It is still frustrating to watch characters simply not ask questions which seem perfectly reasonable. What's with the payload, Dan? Why are you guys after Ben, Miles? What happened to Miles, Sayid? Who do you guys work for? Etc., etc.

For a bunch of people waving guns around - these guys don't seem to always get much done. So far this season is giving me some confidence and a reason to keep watching, but we'll have to wait for a while to see. With the WGA strike past us, we will get nearly a full season apparently. If we miss three episodes, however, that's a decent chunk of time cut off the plot. Last week long time CT bud Clamatius mentioned a rumor that there might be an extension for more seasons. I would kind of hope for a compromise - I'll be fine with this season ending with a cliffhanger if instead of new seasons, they wrap the whole thing up with some kind of off-season TV movie instead.

We'll just have to see.

Your homework: What exactly does that time gap mean for the Losties? How much time has gone on in the real world?


sterno said...

So far as I understand it, they are contracted for 48 episodes. This 48 was to be broken into a few mini seasons. So, this mini season will be shorter than it was originally intended to be, but not quite so short as it might have been with the strike ending.

They are apparently planning to make up for the missing episodes by simply adding a few more to the next mini season. I believe each mini season is 16 episodes.

sterno said...

Oh and as for the time being out of sync, I don't think it effects them too much. My sense is that the island is continuously out of phase with the world, not that time actually flows differently, etc. It appears that the flash event temporarily brought it back into phase, but now it's back out of phase.

Unknown said...

Yeah, I'm with sterno. What's with the "last season" stuff? This is #1 of a set of 3 16-episode seasons, last I heard. I know the WGA strike messed things up, but did it kill 32 whole episodes of the show?

Josh said...

You guys are right - I was off by half a mini-season or so. In TV time, most shows get 22 epi's or so a season, so they're chopping two into three.

An extended season 5 or 6 would be grand.

Island time wise, though - what would we consider "out of sync", though? There was a 31 minute difference between when "Regina" claimed the missile struck and when it actually did (if IIRC the scene right). Apparently advance screening had this at 31 seconds, but whether that was an intentional plot change or simply a prop error is unknown.

So spatially, Regina thought that x = x. Temporal wise, it would be x + 31 minutes. The rocket didn't take long for Regina to say it had hit the spot. For the sake of easy math, it would have been about 30 seconds.

Here's why I think the time difference is because of the flow of time - Dan measures the difference not with a timer ... but with clocks. Now, the clock Dan has in his hand came from the same place that the rocket's came from. So if the Island existed in a place in time, Dan's clock would be the same as the rocket's. They'd both be, at most, equally out of sync. However, if time flows slower on the island, it would show a time on the rocket's clock which would have the additional time that has been spent outside of the island.

Two things break that all apart though:

1) Regina didn't see any "slowness" of the rocket. From her perspective, the rocket landed in 30 seconds.

2) There's no indication of any kind of odd doppler problems with communications outside the island. Dan's voice isn't moving at a speed different than those hearing him (we might assume).

Why does this feel like one of those "if a fly hit your windshield while you were driving at the speed of light" type deals? :)

Other factors:

The rocket probably did not follow the "safe bearing", which is why Dan thinks to warn the pilot.

Still think back to Hurley on the beach listening to the "oldies station".

There's the common theme of items being out of time and place - the Black Rock, Tunisian Polar Bear, drug smuggler's plane, etc.