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Sunday, May 18, 2008

TV Watch: Lost, There's No Place Like Home (Part 1)

Honestly one of the better episodes we've seen in awhile, even with this season's strong return to the quality of writing we had in Season One. This episode mixed Lost's three great strengths: character development, mysterious island happenings and teasing the fans with knowledge. The last one has taken more of a backseat, thankfully, this season as much of this plot has been trying to keep track of who is with whom and how the Oceanic Six become the Oceanic Six.

But first, the first two parts. This episode not only gave us some great moments with the characters - it managed to balance it between Hurley, Jack and Sun and balanced it very well. Each character had some brilliant scenes that helped blend the life back home into a great backdrop. This is rare for the show as it usually provides a lot of focus on one character and handles a subsection of the ensemble in a side plot. Here, both island and off island time was shared well between the players. It gave the episode a rare epic quality that the show has lost touch with from time to time in recent seasons.

Second, we see a bit more of the Island and the Others ... although clearly this is mostly appetizer as the Orchid Station gets opened up a little more. What we're really seeing here is a closer definition of the war that the Losties stumbled into in the first place. My guess: first there was DHARMA, a somewhat well-intended organization out to save the world. Maybe when Hanso was in charge everything was peachy, but as Widmore started to take over, or have more influenced, and The Purge happened. What we have at the beginning of the show is a dysfunctional remnant of that union, with supply drops still occuring thanks to the odd time/space shifting of the Island.

So thirdly - our main question for this season seems pretty clear now. Six people enter a dinghy and head out for a nearby island (whose location will be handed over by Michael). The *real* question now is - what happens to the rest? Things don't look so good for Jin as it's hard to think of him leaving Sun behind (or vice versa). Some portion might remain with the Island as defenders (or get ... Claire'd? what's the verb for become a spooky extension of the Island without dying?)

So definitely looking forward to the two hour finale next week (we get a Grey's Anatomy finale this week).

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