So season two of Lost has come and gone. What’s amazing is that my girlfriend and I finished it in about a week. That’s right: 24 episodes watched in one week’s time. What, do we not have lives? Yes, we do, but we don’t have much money. However, before moving forward I feel it’s necessary to let you, dear reader, know there are spoilers ahead. Then again, I’m probably the last person on the planet to watch Lost so I doubt I’m spoiling Lost for many people.
Season one ended with the gang opening the hatch; season two ends with the hatch’s status in question. This season we’re also introduced to a few new characters (some of who depart quickly) including Anna Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez). I was told she departed from the show within a season because of a DUI – a shame since her character was really beginning to develop and after watching her in Predators and Machete I believe Rodriguez is a competent action actress. The previous characters are developed further and more sexual tension arises between the island’s passionate trinity – Sawyer, Kate, and Jack.
Like my previous post on Lost I created a list of certain observations regarding the show. I feel Lost purposefully inserts various twists and fuzzy logic so the viewer isn’t aware of what will happen next or what’s actually going on. This ambiguity is what keeps me watching – I want to know more – and without it the show would be subpar. In essence, I’m just going along for the ride, not really trying to extrapolate on any theories I might have crawling around in my head. So here’s a list of my observations from the second season of Lost.
1. Punching: People are still punching each other all the time. Jack punches Sawyer, Locke punches Charlie, and even Hurley attacks Sawyer. This show is punch happy, like an old episode of Gunsmoke. I really feel all this punching isn’t good for the television watching audience; it’s possible it’s making its viewership more violent. Only time will tell.
2. Crying: Man, do people cry on Lost. The thing is, most of the actors aren’t actually crying – they’re going through the motions of crying but there aren’t any tears coming out. Sure, some tears do flow but it seems disingenuous; usually these tears fall right after the camera cuts to the character. Do I detect eye drops at work? I’ve heard this is a common method used in Hollywood but it’s obnoxious. Maybe it’s just the sign of a television actor – incapable of crying on cue; maybe the actors whom can cry on cue are the one’s winning Oscars or engaged in lucrative, rewarding careers. Then again, people like Brad Pitt are at the top of the A-list and I can’t recall a time he cried on cue. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
3. Michael: Michael was always a depressing character. In the first season I had a difficult time watching his back-story, experiencing his pitfalls and his losses. His love for his son, Walt, is without question but their relationship, at least at the beginning, was strained and distant. Over the course of the first season I saw them coming together and forming a genuine bond – until Walt was kidnapped by the “them” during the season one finale.
Michael’s zealous quest to reclaim Walt was difficult also but I understood his vehemence. He disappears into the jungle for multiple episodes and then returns, revealing a surplus of information about “them” – then he shoots Anna Lucia, Libby, and then himself in the arm. This allows the group’s captive, Henry (one of “them”) to escape. I went from liking, albeit pitying, Michael to despising him. As he pulls away on a boat (provided because he gives up his friends to “them” in exchange for his son and an escape vessel) I was hoping he’d never appear on the show again.
4. Mr. Eko: When the plane crashed in the pilot the plane broke into three parts; the show begins by following those in the middle section. In season two we find out what happens to those in the tail section. In fact, there’s a whole episode devoted to their first 48 days on the island, where we find out they were attacked frequently by “them.” This is where we meet Mr. Eko: a former Nigerian gangster turned Catholic priest. He’s quite, soft spoken at times, and very direct. He’s also devoutly religious. He’s an enigmatic character and I’m curious to see where he goes as the show progresses.
5. The sexual tension between Kate, Jack, and Sawyer: Will somebody fuck already?
6. Them: As the season progressed more information about the others arises. Evidently the man in the beard doesn’t have a beard (as we see when Kate and company find one of their research stations) and their whole existence is a charade. I’m certain they hold the answers to all the questions I’ve been asking but then more questions will come up – I’m not certain they’ll have those answers.
7. The music: When the group finds Desmond (“brother”) down in the hatch where he’s been pushing a button every 108 minutes for the last few years they also find his record collection (in addition to a kitchen and all the amenities of the industrialized world). Upon entrance they hear Mama Cass’ Play Your Own Kind of Music and now I’m addicted to this song (I thought I was done with Mama Cass and The Mama’s and the Papa’s a long time ago). You also hear Otis Redding and a bunch of other great music from the ‘60s and ‘70s throughout the second season. However, this topic now leads into…
8. The Hatch: What is the deal with the hatch? What is the Dharma Initiative? All of these questions are both intriguing and obnoxious. Obviously a six year long show will draw out the answers but Lost has a way of pissing me off with this. Why every 108 minutes? Why not every 110 minutes? You can’t even watch a good movie in that time. What kind of torture is this?
I am about to embark on the third season of Lost and I couldn’t be more angry with myself. It is a well crafted serial, always leaving on a cliffhanger but that doesn’t mean it’s actually a great show. It’s clever and well thought out but those qualities don’t qualify it as television’s best – at its best Lost is a quality piece of popcorn entertainment. I keep comparing it to shows like The Sopranos, Rome, or even Six Feet Under and keep realizing Lost isn’t in the same league as these. Whereas the formers took television to a new level, brought the cinematic into affluent living rooms across the world (and eventually into the homes of the less financially fortunate through DVD and the internet), Lost is a mainstream network television series, appealing to the lowest common denominator. My praise of Lost is based on its attempt at making something clever for a broad audience – a task network television has avoided on many occasions (look at CSI for a prime example). However, regardless of its excellence, Lost’s achievements can only be measured against those in the same confederation, shows which are more interested in selling detergent and new cars than shape visual media.
Then again, all of television is bullshit and we’re all dupes for watching it.
DAMN YOU LOST!!!!!