Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lost - "The Man From Tallahassee"

The show really has been about John Locke all along hasn't it? After all he was the one who kept things going in Season 1 after the initial excitement of the first few episodes. In the early days of the show, it was all about who brought down the plane. Was there a terrorist on board? Or had the plane crashed for more sinister reasons?

But Locke was the one who focused on the island, and for better or worse took the show into its second act: the mysteries of the Dharma Initiative. And if Locke could never live up to the image he wanted to create for himself that was no big deal. So he wasn't a mighty hunter, just a crippled box-company employee who enjoyed games. That just gave us a better sense of his character and what drove him. The back story about his con-man father (the real Sawyer?) was genuinely interesting and had lots of nasty twists.

Which brings us to the latest episode of Lost. This episode convincingly restores the show to its former grandeur and it's all thanks to John Locke. It had everything you could ask for, including a surprising twist that actually was surprising.

I still don't understand why Locke felt like he needed to blow-up the submarine. It's not as if anyone is going to make him leave the island if he doesn't want to go. But we'll leave that for the forums at Television Without Pity. Everything else worked fantastically and I have high hopes that the writers have written themselves into a good spot. The rest of the season should be smooth sailing.

The good:
  • Kate coming to rescue a Jack who has clearly moved on. He doesn't even feel like part of the show anymore.
  • Jack confessing his deal with Ben AND his motivation for going (Kate and Sawyer).
  • Ben and John in every scene. The manipulations were great and the "because I am in a wheel chair and you're not" gave them something they could work with dramatically.
  • The return of the guy from Suddenly Susan who recruited Juliet in her flashback.
  • The fact that they really did have a submarine.
  • The fact that we really did find out how Locke ended up in the wheel chair. That was a heck of a fall.
  • The flashback with Locke's bad dad worked very well.
  • Sayid recognizing Alex and telling her that her mother is still alive.
  • Rousseau seeing Alex returning from the dock.
  • Ben's story about the magic box. It makes you want to believe that there really is a magic box (I'm guessing there's not actually a magic box).
  • Locke's dad at the end: he is the man from Tallahassee?
The not so good:
  • Sayid getting captured was lame. What part of guarding the door did he not understand?
  • Rousseau's continuing disappearing act. Do something will you!
  • Blowing up the submarine! Again I ask, why?
  • Jack's character has not benefited from the good vibe of the last few episodes. His head is still in the shark tank.
Loose Ends:
  • Will Rousseau reunite with Alex?
  • Will we discover the nature of the barrier to the outside world?
  • Will we see Penny and her team searching for the Island?
  • Will we see the magic box?
  • Why has Ben lived on the island his entire life?
  • Is the man from Tallahassee the real Sawyer and what will James (our Sawyer) do when he finds out he's on the island?
  • What happened to Walt and Michael if you cannot leave the island by boat?