Friday, February 1, 2008

TV Review: Lost - "The Beginning of the End"

Well, "The End" is going to take a long time if this is just the beginning - I'm told we still have 40-something episodes left to go. On the whole, the (abbreviated) fourth season kick-off was a pretty good follow-up to last season's finale. Not so much in terms of plot; there was really only one significant plot point here, that being the return of Locke and his division of the Losties into two new "tribes". Most of the rest of the action had no real effect - Naomi escaped and then died, but we thought she was dead already (although the rather hamhanded lies Jack and Kate gave the rescuers could come back to bite them). The various groups split up and left, but then they came back together again. Ben made more ominous pronouncements, but nothing we hadn't already heard. We had another glimpse of Jacob, but not really enough to say we know more than we did before. Oh, and Jack gets to have yet more beatdown action, getting in his shots on Locke just a few hours after turning Ben into hamburger.

Maybe more significant was the flash-forward segments. The switch from flashbacks to flash-forwards is very important here, because it means the Lost writers are now having to put some stakes in the ground - at least these people will survive, there is some significant group of six survivors, someone significant will die and no one will show up for the funeral, and so on. I am assuming that the writers are not screwing with us by showing things that could happen, but won't.

The best thing is just having that old Lost feel back. There was a period at the start of last season where I felt things went adrift, but this time around, I'm definitely getting that season one and two vibe - we've got dissension in the ranks among the survivors, we've got a smaller number of strangers in the mix (I'm kind of hoping we don't hear from the rest of Ben's troupe for a while), and a new big mystery to watch unravel (the agenda of the rescuers). So yeah, while I can't really say that we accomplished a whole lot this week in terms of answers, I'm still pumped to see how this little mini-season plays out - we're definitely off to a good start.

(It also doesn't hurt that I haven't really been too plugged into TV this season - most of my favorite shows {Terminator, Law and Order, Lost, The Shield} have late starts this year, and 24 was postponed until next year. So I'm definitely ready to get back into some of my old favorites after a fall that consisted mostly of football.)

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