A domestic scene. A needle drop. At first familiar, “LOST” wastes no time disorienting then delighting us, and getting right to a central (and perhaps controversial) premise for Season 5: time travel. Jen and I will share our full reaction to tonight’s episodes on our podcast, but here’s our first take.
“Because You Left”
Jen: The opening scene of the fifth season pretty much left me speechless. I like it even better than the first glimpse of Desmond we got back in Season 2, and that’s saying something. The worker’s remark to Daniel, “Time travel… how stupid does that guy think we are?” verbalizes what the audience is thinking. They let you know right away that you’re in for a serious dose of sci-fi right from the beginning. No playing around. The reappearance of The Swan fuels the time-loop theory, as does Richard’s comment to Locke: “The next time you see me, I won’t recognize you.” I’m more convinced than ever that we’re going to wind up right back where we started, with Jack on his back in the jungle.
Ryan: There are rules. Time is like a record, or a street. If it didn’t happen, it can’t happen. Not only have we been taken straight into time travel, but we’re told up front how things work. Or should. I’m still not convinced we’re in a paradox-free narrative. I’m sure this development will drive some fans away (particularly those who believed the creators when they said “LOST” wasn’t a time travel show), but personally I’m happy to go along for the ride. Certain things just resonated. How Alpert observes, “What comes around goes around,” after Ethan shoots Locke. The compass that Alpert gives Locke (“It points north, John.”), which is one of the artifacts Alpert showed Locke as a young boy. The fact that Locke witnesses the crash of the Nigerian drug plane, when it was he who saw that same plane crash in a creepy Boone vision way back in Season 1. Come to think of it, from Daniel explaining what’s happening to Locke’s solo flashing, most of the best stuff happened on the island. Though it was good to see Desmond re-enlisted, we’ve done the “find me in the futurepast” before. And having followed the Oceanic 6’s long journey off the island last season, their mission to return now doesn’t seem as compelling.
Jen: Is Sun evil? I am convinced she ratted out Kate. She’s as good an actress as Libby. It’s going to be Sun and Widmore vs. Everybody Else. “The Lie” is in many ways a much weaker episode, in my opinion. Apart from Ana Lucia’s appearance and Frogurt’s untimely demise, nothing about this episode really lingered in my mind. I cannot take Cheech Marin seriously. I don’t buy him as a concerned father, and the scenes with him felt like too much comedy shoved into what’s supposed to be an intense, dramatic episode. The scenes with Sayid sacked out on Hurley’s couch reminded me of “The Princess Bride.” I have to admit, though, that Frogurt’s death is pretty great in a shocking, twisted, hilarious way. We’re expecting Nikki and Paolo, but we get Dr. Arzt. Loved it.
Ryan: Agreed. Frogurt’s death makes it all worthwhile. It was telegraphed a bit, since they made him overwhelmingly and instantly annoying, but still. Best “LOST” death ever. And I actually hope Sun’s newly vengeful character gives Yunjin Kim a chance to relish seething evil. Compared to all the mythology in Episode 1, Episode 2 was character driven. And while I love, love, love Hurley, a lot of the drama rang hollow. Maybe the opening scene just soured me? First, Jack is just finishing up what must be a heck of an explanation of why they must all lie — an explanation that, frankly, seems pretty flimsy considering the toll it takes. Then, Hurley spells out exactly how he won’t help Sayid someday because Sayid won’t back him up, foreshadowing that’s about as anvilicious
as any scene we’ve had to date. I did enjoy Hurley’s encounter with Ana Lucia, his 90 second recap of the whole series, and the flying Hot Pocket. But even the big reveal of Ms. Hawking didn’t hit me as hard as I feel it should have. The robe, the chalkboard, the old computer… the sequence felt like a mashup of Harry Potter and the Wizard of Oz. At least we now know the Oceanic 6 will spend only three days running around before heading back.
Notes & Notions
- Before he’s interrupted, Marvin Candle explains that The Arrow is to defend against and conduct surveillance on “The Hostiles,” the indigenous population of the island. Given the four toed statue, I think this brief mention suggests we’re going to get a lot of pre-DHARMA history this season.
- Daniel says that the time is dislodged in time, the way a record skips. I can only imagine that this doesn’t happen indefinitely… else this show may become entirely impossible to follow. As Charlotte’s getting the Nosebleed of Doom already, a timer seems to be set on solving the whole flashing problem.
- Lots of great lines. “By the way, Libby says hi.” Sawyer yells, “I’m the ghost of Christmas future!” Miles says, “That chick likes me.” And Sawyer’s nicknames, of course (Dilbert, Ginger, Whiz Kid), including one that Miles corrects (Mr. Wizard). Both Jack and Sawyer say, “Son of a bitch,” but only Sawyer’s utterance is separated by a span of, oh, several years. And the phrase, “God help us all,” first from Marvin Candle at the start of Episode 1, and then from Ms. Hawking at the end of Episode 2.
- Sawyer seemed a bit erratic, but entertainingly so, and he lets slip that he’s broken up over losing Kate. His reaction to all the flashing, frankly, seemed most realistic. Though I thought the slap he gave Daniel was a bit odd.
- Locke’s leg is injured once again. There seems to be a pretty explicit and unsubtle connection between Locke’s faith and resolve and his ability to walk.
- Music: “Shotgun Willie” by Willie Nelson opens the season. “Dream Police” by Cheap Trick plays in the gas station where Hurley gets his shih-tsu T-shirt.
- Locations: We see the famous Rainbow Drive-In, in a wonderful onymous cameo. The safe house is in Makiki (1818 Anapuni St.). The airport is inside the cruise ship terminal at Pier 2, at the Foreign Trade Zone makai of Restaurant Row. Hurley is pulled over by Ana Lucia on Waialae Ave. in Kaimuki, about two blocks from the gas station where Hurley gets his shirt and where Kate gets a call from Sun. Hurley’s dad meets Jack in an underground parking lot in Waikiki (below Niketown), and takes Sayid to Hawaii Medical Center East (2230 Liliha St.). And we returned to Kate and Hurley’s homes in Kahala.
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