Friday, January 08, 2010

Lost Season Three Revisited

Season 3 cast
Season Three continues the epic storyline with Matthew Fox, Josh Holloway, Evangeline Lilly, Henry Ian Cusick, Terry O'Quinn, Michael Emerson, Elizabeth Mitchell, Dominic Monaghan, Emilie de Ravin, and many many more.

The first time I watched Season three, I felt that it started off VERY poorly. It in no way felt like it had come off the high point created by the end of the previous season, "Live Together, Die Alone." It almost felt like the series had lost focus.

Looking back, my issues probably stem from the fact that the "mini-season" was a sham. The story is left hanging mid-stream, and doesn't provide any reasonable conclusion or cliffhanger to wrap the "mini-season" up. Perhaps it was just a misnomer, perhaps the people who decided upon that name just didn't care and wanted a cheap answer to explain why they were airing 6 episodes and then taking a three month break before returning with new stories.

If I had some control over the show, I would have put the Jack centric episode, "Stranger in a Strange Land" as the "finale" and started the season off with the Desmond centric episode, "Flashes Before Your Eyes." Desmond's episode is by far the most notable and fantastic episode of the season, it features Flashbacks from my favorite character of the series.

Even though I found "Stranger in a Strange Land" incredibly weak, with an unnecessary and boring flashback, and seemed to only exist to give a guest starring role to irrelevant-but-somehow-notable actress Bai Ling, the episode at least had a half-way interesting on-island story, with some relatively crucial and interesting information provided to the audience. And no, I'm not talking about explaining what Jack's stupid tattoo stood for, which the producers claimed that hard-core Lost fans cared about for some reason. "Stranger in a Strange Land" also provided a real conclusion to the Hydra Island storyline, with Jack finally accepting his place with the Others and traveling off into the horizon, shrouded in shadow as the episode ended. I found this ending leaps and bounds more exciting than "Kate, RUN!" which served as the actual "cliffhanger" of that mini-season when it first aired.

However, with all the trash talk I give towards "Stranger in a Strange Land," it is not the biggest crime that the season thrust upon the viewers. This season introduced people who I would consider the least developed "main" characters EVER introduced into a popular television series in at least a decade. Niki and Paulo, two people added to the regular cast at the start of Season three have no real introduction, they're just *there* one day. "Wait, who the hell are these people?" is what went through my mind the first time I noticed them on screen. They never really develop beyond frustrating, annoying, and terrible characters. I do almost feel bad for the "Brazilian Tom Cruse," who was introduced by the heads of the series as a huge player to the show, only to bomb horribly. Their arc was only marginally resolved in their final episode, "Expose," which turned out to be a really fantastic dark episode.

The season really picks up after "Flashes Before Your Eyes" (aside from my previous mention of the terribly pointless "Stranger in a Strange Land"). From that point on the season is terrific and almost reaches the quality and consistency presented in Season one.

The season finale, "Through the Looking Glass," is riveting, exciting, and shocking. Charlie, a character that I pretty much despised most of season two, and even the first episodes of season three, was fully redeemed in the end. I finally feel like he's grown completely into his character, and his reaction when being beaten by Greta and Bonnie is wonderful. The season ends in something that I can only compare to some mobster's baseball bat slamming into my gut after I neglected to pay someone protection money.

The best episodes of the season were "Through the Looking Glass," "The Man Behind the Curtain," and "Flashes Before Your Eyes." The worst episodes of the season were "Stranger in a Strange Land" and "Left Behind" (side note: why the hell don't they shower and change their clothes at the Barracks before heading back?).

The final season returns February 2nd.

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