Wednesday, February 03, 2010

"Lost" Starts to End

I have watched the show "Lost" on ABC since it began, though I did drop about half of season two, when they corrected course and decided to aim towards wrapping up the story and not tacking on useless side plots. A five-season run for a TV show as unusually story-centered, meant to actually conclude, is a good experiment I hope is repeated. Three and five season (or just one story per season, as "24" has done) shows should be a staple in network TV and not an exception.

(And yes, I know there are enough side-plots in "Lost" to coat the wide side of a rhino. There's still a main story here of plain old sci-fi time travel and mythmaking, so shut up.)

Here's an image of one character, John Locke, who is now really dead but some other very old and nameless thing now is mimicking him and wants off the island they are all trapped on.

Poor John Locke, the real one, is still alive in another (apparently) parallel time line but is back to being in a wheelchair and looking very unhappy. Yes, there are two of everyone ... or most everyone. I think.

While there will surely be much talk of this last season, folks not yet acquainted might like to start watching old episodes. Here's a few thoughts as to why:

-- The show started in the waning days 2004, end of the first term of president George Bush. Terrifying images of a plane crash begin the show and chaos follows on the beach, one person even is sucked into a still-roaring jet engine which then explodes. Violent stuff - especially for a country still reeling from the sheer shock of four plane crashes in September 2001. The characters don't get along, often fighting about what the next step should be or shouldn't be. They've struck a strong cultural tone on the aftermath and recovery from disaster.

-- Beyond the tone, though, have been fascinating character stories, with an ingenious blending of time used as a narrative device. Ingenious because time travel is at the heart of the mysterious forces on this island. There have been some of TV's best acting and writing here, and it's been pretty smart and complex too. We should have more smart TV shows.

-- And it is fun too, despite all the seriousness. It's almost pulp fiction - jungle intrigue, romance, weird science experiments, psychopaths, ghosts, crime, nuclear bombs, even pirates, enough to fill three or four TV shows.

If you have read this far you're either a fan, or just curious about the show. So allow me to geek out with my current list of questions which might perhaps shape the final outcome of the show:

Can you "sideways flash" through time?

Why does the 'time-door' open into Tunisia?

If, as the current season opens with a shot of the island now underwater, why was there also a genetically engineered shark from the nefarious Dharma Initiative, created on the island now under... wha???

I want more time traveling pirates, because that's just good entertainment.

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