Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lost - "Recon," Ctd & "Ab Aterno" Preview

Hello everyone.  I have to be honest, I wasn't jazzed about "Recon" as I thought I was going to be.  I enjoyed the Sideways Sawyer stuff, but I couldn't get that "up" about the on-Island story.  Perhaps this was a bit of great expectations for the episode, but from what I've seen from other Lost bloggers around the interwebs, I wasn't alone in my feeling.  Here are my slightly disappointed thoughts on "Recon."

*I thought Sawyer-as-cop was actually really fun.  I enjoyed the play on his most famous con (the "Pigeon Drop"), and the use of LaFleur as the signal for Miles and crew to arrest his conquest.  Similarly, it was great to see Charlotte back and have her go out, sleep with, and "investigate" Sawyer.  She is, after all, an archeologist, so her digging and finding out what kind of man James Ford really is was playfully brilliant (and how amazing did Rebecca Mader look?).  I was glad to see that Miles and Sawyer were still buddies, as well, working on a beat similar to their Dharma days.  But the thing that I took away most from the Sideways story was when Sawyer punched is reflection in the mirror.

*I had previously posited that regarding the characters' looks into reflective surfaces "seemed to reflect (no pun intended) the character's subconscious realization that while things aren't perfect, they are better than they could be. In essence, they have learned something from their 2007 life."  However, after this week, I had a different thought.  Sawyer's anger though, seemed to me, to be a realization not that things could be worse, but that something is unfulfilled.  Like he knows that somewhere out there, something bigger than killing Anthony Cooper, is waiting for him to discover it and complete the man he is supposed to be.  If anything, his search for Cooper is actually distracting him from finding his true calling.  It's the duality of free will and destiny again.  It is Sawyer's destiny to fulfill some greater purpose, but he needs to make the choice to unburden himself with to her goals and desires to achieve it.  The contemplations in reflections for these Sideways characters is their acknowledgement that they are supposed to be doing something "more."  Or it's just a cool, artistic motif.

*As far as the on-Island stuff went, there were some interesting moments (Claire attacking, then apologizing to Kate; Sayid's indifference; Smokey's "I am the smoke thing" to Sawyer), but nothing that made me say, "Wow."  If I had to pick something to write about though (which I guess is kind of the reason I have this blog, right?), it would have to be Kate's despair at realizing that her whole reason for coming back to the Island may have been for naught.  I am not one of the many Lost viewers out there that hates Kate and Evangeline Lilly.  On the contrary, I find her to be rather compelling, especially for someone who, at the beginning of the show, was an acting neophyte.  Anyway, I thought she played the devastation Kate felt particularly well, as well as the confusion I know I would have felt if Smokey then came and apologized for crazy Claire.  I think she'll eventually get Claire to come back to the light and be able to rejoin mother and son.

*Lastly, we get to the part of the episode that really tanked it for me.  The end.  OK, I get Sawyer playing both sides against each other, and I certainly get Sawyer telling Smokey the truth (Smokey is much more deadly than Widmore, being a smoke monster and everything).  I think the battle could be epic in scope, once we figure out who is on what side.  However, what I hated was Sawyer's plan to escape, and the lameitude of the plan was summed up by Sawyer's final line, "No, we're gonna take the sub."  Seriously?  Sawyer knows how to pilot a sub?  And seriously, that is the big cliffhanger line not only until the next episode, but probably for two episodes until we see Sawyer again?!?  You have got to be kidding me!  Listen, I know that not every line can be Shakespeare, but the whole Sawyer-Kate exchange at the end was just so full of melodrama that I expected Evangeline Lilly sitting just off camera and as soon as the director yelled, "Cut!" she just burst out laughing.  Let me interject that this has nothing to do with Josh Holloway's performance.  He's probably number three on the show behind Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson -- Holloway did whatever he could with that dreck.  But the dialogue just yanked me right out of all the action.  This was not what I was expecting for the last season, and certainly not what I expect of Lost's writers.

Quick Hits

*I did totally dig Claire's despair when Kate asked about the Squirel Baby: "It was all that I had."  Heartbreaking, and perfectly delivered by Emile de Ravin.

*Kate is clearly still on the run in the Sideways timeline.  I guess she didn't get that far with Claire's credit card.  Was cool that Sawyer was the one who ended up apprehending her after he let her go when they got off Oceanic 815.

*I guess one other major point is that Sawyer promised to get Jin and Sun off the Island.  This should be major, but as I have come to believe we'll never get the Kwons as a major focus at any point in the remainder of the series (obvious sarcasm), I really have nothing left to say about this.

*Does Widmore really think that travel sonic fence is going to stop Smokey?  Oh no.

*If I had to bet on someone or something in the locked door in the sub, my bet is on Desmond.  He's related to Widmore (by marriage) and we all know that "the Island isn't through with [him] yet."

OK, that's what I have.  Again, I'm sorry this has been so long in coming, but I was not very motivated by "Recon" to write about it.  On the other hand...

...tonight's episode "Ab Aterno" is guaranteed to be a something to write about.  This episode will, finally, give us the background on Richard Alpert.  All we really know about Richard is that he's really old, is consigliore to the Others, has some relation to The Black Rock, and wants to off himself because Jacob promised him a life of purpose, but he didn't get one.  Here are some of the major questions that may (hopefully!) get answered tonight:

*How old is Richard really?
*Was he a slave on The Black Rock?
*Why did he never try to become the leader of the Others?
*Why does he never age?
*Did he really see the Lostaways die in the past?
*Does Richard have a Sideways story?
*Did he really not know about the candidates?

These are just a few of the questions I came up with off the top of my head, and I am sure there are more.  We have been promised this episode for a long time so I have every faith that that the creators are going to deliver in a big way.  I know that there are a couple special guests on tonight but they might be a bit spoilery so I won't mention who.  Suffice it to say that if you like great actors from great (HBO western) shows, you will not be disappointed.  After tonight, we will be at the halfway point of the final season, so expect the show to barrel forward from here on out.  I am greatly looking forward to tonight.  Oh, one more thing!  Tonight's episode is actually six minutes longer than normal, so make sure your DVR is set accordingly!  I don't have any games to ref on Saturday, so I'll hopefully get my thoughts on "Ab Aterno" up this weekend.  Until then...


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