Friday, February 27, 2009

The Lost Watch 5.07

Ahoy-hoy, boys and girls out there in Interwebland. With the launch of this new website/blog factor, a grave and serious responsibility has been bestowed upon my humble shoulders. It has been left to me to discuss, dissect and discern all that my brain can process based on the greatest of all modern treasures.

I’m speaking, of course, about Lost.

Rather than prattle on forever about the goals of this blog, we’re gonna just jump off the desk and get to the Island.

Tonight’s episode, “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham,” was not the balls-craziest of Lost, considering how balls-crazy the show has been, not only forever, but especially this season. It was though, in my opinion, the most Lost-ish feeling episode of the season. It harkened back to other “different” episodes like “The Other 48 Days,” a listing journey following a certain person through a specific period in Lost-lore.

The good? Every second that Charles Widmore or Benjamin Linus stretch across the screen is visual crack-cocaine for me. Charles’s scene with Locke (suffering from yet another leg injury – maybe there’s something in this…) presented the greatest argument for Widmore’s case for the Island. True, Charles Widmore has never outright tried to murder John Locke. Have we ever caught him in an outright lie? Have we established that Widmore has anything personally against our castaways, other than Desmond and Ben, of course? Charles Widmore finally drew the line in the sand – who do you trust, him or Ben – and that line is one huge question mark.

Speaking of Ben: doesn’t it seem like the more genuine and sympathetic he appears, the more dangerous he really is? Almost every time Locke and Ben sit down for a chit-chat, Ben does something crazy to leave Locke for dead. And always, Locke escapes certain death through twists of fate/helping hand from the Island/Jacob. This time, Locke was not left for dead – he was plum murdered and then re-hanged – and we know that a few days later he rises from the waters of the Island like an AquaJesus; Jedi-robed, ironically smiling, breathing and generally living. I think there’s something to the fact that Ben can’t seem to completely kill Locke. The Island wouldn’t let Locke kill himself (it wouldn’t let Michael or Jack kill themselves in their post-Island lives either), but Ben could since we’ve already established that Locke has a penchant for bouncing back from bullets to the abdomen and time-travel-causing brain aneurisms.

Michael Emerson, by the way = fierce. Always.

This chapter in the Locke story keeps bringing me back to Christian Shephard. Did Jack’s dad know about the Island before he went to Australia, or did he really just go to see Claire? Did he maybe find out about it in Sydney? Was his landing on the Island as destined as Locke’s return, or was it accidental? Is Christian as alive now as Locke seems to be?! Before tonight’s episode, I would have argued that he was more akin to the Ghost of Christmas Past, stepping in to guide and teach, but not to interfere physically. One triumph of this season is the reconfiguration of Christian Shephard, and like every other time the powers-that-be at Lost turn the show on it’s ear, I’m left stunned and anxious for more answers.

I dug the scene with the younger Shephard, too. It was fierce. It was harsh. "Your father says hello," sent chills down my spine. Incidentally, some of my favorite moments are when our heroes (typically Jack) are finally let in on secrets we've (the audience) known all along. Sawyer met Christian in an Australian bar. Claire's his half-sister, so Aaron's really his half-nephew. I'm a fan of these moments of breaking what I always get to fearing will become an endless bit of dramatic irony. The meeting was exactly what I imagined a reunion between Jack and John on the mainland.

And that was overall, how I felt this episode ran; a little predictably.

I appreciated the more traditional “Lost” feel of the episode, but I didn’t think much was shocking. All of the performances were excellent, however, I think considering the momentum that every episode has built up through now, “Jeremy Bentham” spun in place.

Everything – and this seldom happens in my relationship with Lost – happened precisely as one would imagine it would. Of course Jack welcomed Locke the way he did. Kate's reunion with John happened exactly the way I would think. Hurley's hilarious reception of Locke was fantastic (and like most Hurley moments, stands out as my favorite of the episode), but not altogether surprising. I expected Abaddon to get blown up, decapitated and shot any second he was on screen (after all, he's pretty badass on Fringe...I love you, J.J.). Even Jeremy Bentham's death isn't half as shocking as the way John Locke ends up in a wheelchair (the first time).

Also, I’m ready to see the whole group back together and maybe I didn’t have as much patience for this back story as I generally would because it’s at least another week of waiting for that moment of Lost happiness. You know that the gang getting together again will be one of those rare Hurley-driving-the-Scooby-Mobile moments of utter, giggling joy, and I am so excited I can hardly move. This was a cool episode – inarguably an important episode – and had I been power-watching this season on DVD, it would be a jewel of an episode given the intensity of the early six episodes. But I'm watching it on TV, where I have an endless week to wind down from my Wednesday night Lost hangover, and come the following Wednesday, I'm ready again for more balls-craziness.

More than anything, I think this was the first episode where I noticed receiving more answers than asking more questions. I didn’t walk away from the TV with my head reeling from what I had just seen. I walked away ready for it to be next Wednesday already.

Maybe I’m just weird…

As usual, next week looks crazy, so hopefully installment dos of this blogging experiment can be equally, or at least as proportionately, crazy.

Until then, keep twiddling those dials,


PS -- Can you believe Hosea won Top Chef? HOSEA?!?

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