Thursday, November 9, 2006

Lost Season 3 Finale

Last night Lost delivered one of the most captivating, yet maddingly frustrating episodes in the show's history. With scalpel in hand Jack (Matthew Fox) performed surgery on the villainous "other," Ben (Michael Emerson) to remove a spinal tumor only to intentionally cut his kidney and threaten to let him bleed out unless "the others" agree to let Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) go. If you want to know what happens you have to wait...until February 7, 2007! Next year!

In either a really ballsy or really stupid move, ABC listened to all those complaints about too many repeats last year and decided to fix the problem by airing no repeats this season. Instead, they're taking the show off the air for over 3 months and praying the viewers come back. The question is with ratings already slipping slightly, will anyone care when it returns or will they be too frustrated? I will be back in February and I'll tell you why. Despite claims to the contrary, Lost is still at the top of it's game.

A lot of viewers seem to think Lost is no longer the best serialized drama on television anymore and that title now belongs to NBC's Heroes. Heroes, while a great show, is only in it's infancy and has yet to even develop to a point where we can care about any of the characters outside it's gigantic"save the world" premise. It's still too early and there's so much going on to establish things, it has yet to settle into a groove. Even though Lost has been accused of just posing more questions than it's answered, it has actually answered alot of them at the end of last season and into the first six episodes of this one. The amount of information we're getting and advancement of storylines have been just right.

Just think of how much more we know now. We know "the others" were on the island for a while and saw the plane crash (they even had a village complete with a book club), We at least know there's an outside world that's aware of their plane crash. We also know the time frame as demonstrated in that awesome scene where Jack gets to see footage of the Red Sox winning the World Series. This debunks any theory of the island being some kind of purgatory or hallucination. I still stick with my original theory that everything, starting with and maybe dating before the plane crash, is a government experiment. We finally have some kind of culmination of the Jack/Kate/Sawyer triangle with Kate picking Sawyer. In last night's flashback (one of the show's best) we also discovered Kate left her cop husband out of guilt that she was hiding her criminal past from him. Plus, they killed off Mr. Echo (which was a wise move-he served his purpose). I don't know what more anyone could possibly want out of a season.

If the show is to continue, there still has to be some mystery and questions left unanswered. That central question is, who are "the others" and what do they want? The introduction of Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) further complicates that question, at least for Jack. The character is intriguing because she doesn't seem to be on the same page as "the others" even though she is one. The scene where she let Jack know she wants him to kill Ben on the operating table was shocking. I think the writers know where they're going with this, even if we don't have a clue.

Whether Lost will be remembered as legendary among television dramas is entirely up to ABC at this point. The time will come when they have a choice to make: give in to greed and let the show run well past it's saturation point or leave on top wrapping everything up clearly and crisply, ending the series on the highest note possible. The latter doesn't happen too often. The next season or two of Lost will really tell the story of its future. However, it's way too early for viewers to start losing their patience with a show that has, at the very least, earned the benefit of the doubt.

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