Sunday, February 28, 2010

The 2 Paragraph Review: The Substitue & The Lighthouse

So after the Kate episode Lost silenced me somewhat. My fervor after the premiere faded a bit and while I was happy with the Locke episode and while I was happy with the Jack episode, I wasn't overjoyed. I wasn't thrilled. Neither episode contains amazing revelations, revelations I feel every episode should now have. Every conversation seems to be: "I need you to do x." "Why do you need me to do x?" "Because I told you to do x but you have to make sure y does x with you." "But how should I do that?" "Just trust me?" "How can I trust you?" and it gets all very painstaking for me when even characters who are no longer of consequence, such as Sun, are asking the question "What makes you think I'll go with you?" of a character who is also not of consequence seemingly to make sure the dialogue has at least three questions in it, often ones that receive vague answers or no answers at all. Every conversation should not feel like pulling teeth, and there's something about these back and forth dialogues, particularly between the main cast and the new others that really aggravates me the first time around and detracts from the overall quality. This was all until I watched the episodes again, however, and realized that many of my gripes are resultant from the fact that I can't watch Lost the way it's meant to be watched, in sequence, many episodes in one sitting, without interruption. These dialogues are only aggravating when you know you have to wait a week or more to get the actual answers.

While The Substitute wasn't about Richard and monster-Locke the way I wanted it to be, it offered several great scenes between Sawyer and Locke and, when watched in conjunction with The Lighthouse, really advances the mystery of the numbers and offers an interesting insight into the world of Jacob. Terry O'Quinn is delivering an amazing performance and being able to see his range as a result of the "alternate reality" juxtaposition, as well as the small ways this aspect of the plot is advanced, are wonderful to see. Josh Halloway has slowly and subtlety proven himself to be one of the best actors on the show. Sawyer has been through some fantastic changes from the first episode until now and he may very well be, in terms of quality of writing and the marriage of that writing with his performance, the most finely constructed character on the show. We can always count on Jack for some of the best episodes, however, and The Lighthouse is my favorite of the season so far, apart from the premiere. Filled with homages to the first season, as well as exploring Jack's father-son issues from a new perspective, really breathes a bit of life into the show's main character who has been a bit dormant for two seasons. Seeing him struggle, hearing his pain, seeing him bash the mirror as he did his father's coffin, his reaction to his message on his son's answering machine and his subsequent conversation after the recital are all truly powerful moments completely resultant from the quality of the writing and the performance. Nowhere else can an audience experience this level of attention to detail from both story and performance. If Lost continues down this path, it will secure itself as the best show in television history.