Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"The Cost of Living"

So we have come to the penultimate episode of LOST for 2006 and again I am conflicted. There isn't really much more I can say without specific episode details. So...


ABC has been hyping that one of the survivors would die in this episode but I think most people knew who it would be. This episode followed the formula for killing off characters: the flashback was about the character, the character came to an important realization about themselves, and the character was arrested for some driving related issues during the hiatus. I'm conflicted because there were really only four characters that I still really cared about on the show and now that Mr. Eko is dead, there are only three: Sawyer, Locke and Desmond. And according to Locke, Mr. Eko's last words were that they were next. So I am bummed about losing Mr. Eko, but I guess the producers had to kill someone pretty important otherwise they would be accused of coping out. But why did the black smoke kill Eko? It didn't kill him when he faced off with it before. I guess I'm supposed to be excited that we got to see the smoke monster, but it didn't really explain anything.

I was glad to see that Locke brought some of the other survivors to the Pearl Station but are we really supposed to believe that Locke never thought that the other monitors might be linked to the other stations? I know he was pissed off the first time he was in the Pearl Station, but that doesn't explain a complete lack of common sense. Anyway, we get to see one of the other stations and clearly see a person with an eye patch. No big surprise here since it was in the preview, but I have heard an interesting theory on a couple of podcasts. The theory goes back to some clues we got in Season 2.

When the Tailies found the abandoned Arrow Station, they found a trunk with a radio, a Bible and a glass eye. The glass eye probably belongs to this mystery person, but who is he? For that we go to the Bible. The secret of this Bible is that it contained a short reel of film that had been edited out of the Orientation Film for the Swan Station. In the Season 2 finale, when Kelvin was telling Desmond about the hatch, he said that Radzinsky was his previous partner in the station until he killed himself. He also said that Radzinsky was responsible for the edits in the Orientation Film. So did Radzinsky really commit suicide or is he this mystery eye patch wearing man? For my money, that's a pretty compelling theory. Too bad we won't find out for a very long time.

Meanwhile on the other island, Jack is invited by Ben to attend Colleen's funeral. The strange thing about the funeral was the music playing over the loudspeakers. It sounded like a Patsy Cline. I'm not sure if it was, but it would be interesting because her music has appeared at least three times in Kate's flashbacks. Connection or red herring?

Before the funeral, Jack confronts Ben about his tumor and Ben nervously denies it but then confirms it for our benefit in a conversation with Juliet. So then Ben sort of tells Jack his original plan for "breaking" him and making him want to perform the surgery. I'm not sure if the producers are intentionally setting us up by making me doubt the sincerity of everything that Ben says, but I did like his comment about God and the plane crashing on the island.

Finally, Juliet secretly conveyed a message to Jack about a coup against Ben. She appears to be telling Jack to agree to perform the surgery but have an unforeseen accident. She implies that the Others want a change in leadership and that she will protect Jack. I sort of want to believe her, but all of the Others are liars. It seems like a very conveniently placed setup for next week's cliff hanger. My guess is that Jack will perform the surgery and the episode will end with the "complication." So we won't know if Ben lives or dies until February.

So this episode was very bittersweet for me. I'm really going to miss Mr. Eko. So long Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje.

UPDATE: I just wanted to respond to the comments this post received so far. First off, thanks to Kat for informing me that the song during Colleen's funeral was by Brenda Lee and not Patsy Cline. According to the Jay and Jack Podcast, the song is titled "I Wonder."

Secondly, I thought I'd clarify a few of my comments based on Roxi's questions. I grew weary of Kate during Season 2 because she always seemed to get the group in trouble most notably in "The Hunting Party" where she follows Jack, Sawyer and Locke when they go looking for Michael. She got caught and was used as a pawn for the Others to take Jack, Sawyer and Locke's guns.

I guess I liked Ben's God comment because it might have given some indication of his motivation. If he is telling the truth about when he found out about his tumor, I thought it showed that he is just as scared and as human as the Flight 815 survivors.

Despite everything the producers have said about plotting out the entire story for five seasons, they are definitely making up BS padding along the way. At this point, all of the Tailies are dead except for Bernard (who we haven't seen yet this season), Cindy (captured by the Others just before Ana Lucia shot Shannon) and the kids (also captured by the Others just after the crash). What was the point of developing their stories last season if they were all going to be gone by the beginning of season 2? Couldn't the same plot have been executed sooner by characters we already knew?

LOST has definitely lost it's edge. Although there have been some developments in this first part of Season 3, they have lacked any emotional impact. I am sad to see Eko go, but I wasn't as shocked or surprised like I was when Ana Lucia and Libby were killed. Nothing this season has been as cool as the light coming out of the hatch door after Boone died or when we found out that Locke was in a wheelchair before the crash. Nothing has been as creepy and disorienting as "Make Your Own Kind Of Music" playing in the Swan Station at the beginning of Season 2. Don't get me wrong; I've enjoyed parts of Season 3, but the stories haven't really been all that compelling to me. I might have pretty high expectations, but that is only because LOST was so very good in Season 1 and at times during Season 2. The producers really need to stop doing the marketing for the show and get back to making a great show. The marketing will take care of itself. Word of mouth made the show what it is, not some gimmicks like "Bad Twin," real-life Apollo candy bars or The Lost Experience. At this point, there probably won't be that many new fans to the show, so the producers should really concentrate on not losing the the fans they already have!




Kat Coble said...

My Closed Captioning said the funeral music was Brenda Lee

roxanne said...

You don't care about Kate?

Why'd you like Ben's comment about God?

That's nuts that all of the Lost characters who died were arrested in Hawaii. Sort of says something about how much the writers had "planned" out the plot in advance, doesn't it?

I'm losing faith in Lost! Where's the brilliant writing? When are all these clues going to mean anything? Sometimes I feel like they're wasting my time, then they do something like have Julliet give Jack a secret message and Ben confess the evilness of the Others, and I'm back again. But my dedication to the show won't last very long if they keep dragging this crap out!

Eric said...

The best part of Lost has got to be when Desmonds introduction in the hatch.