Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Film on TV: LOST's "Across the Sea"

Dear LOST,

What the fuck was that? How drunk on self-importance and religion wine were you when you put this mottled excuse for an Island origin story together? You managed to say everything and nothing at the exact same time, withholding information in typical LOST form while atypically failing to tell a compelling, invigorating story. You told us there was a light beneath the island, a source for everything life and death. Great. What the hell does that mean? Are you going to add any clarification in the next three hours, or are you just going to continue talking in broad, comfortably undefined terms?

You told us that the Island has a protector, which we already knew. You didn’t bother to tell us who decided that, what powers that protector has (if any), or what happens if he fails to protect (as Jacob already has). You hinted that the Smoke Monster was created by throwing Man In Black into the well. Well that’s just super, LOST. Now what the fuck is a smoke monster? What is his purpose? What is his point? And why did you take an hour to tell a story you could have got across in regular ole LOST Flashback mode?

You wanted to be different, to boldly go where no show has gone before, so you benched your regulars and saddled us with quasi-capable kid actors, an annoyingly crazy Mom, and the two would-be island deities in adult form, but still talking and acting like children. You did that on purpose. I know. But why?

You took away 90% of what we love about this show (the character, the flashbacks, the survivor drama) and left us saddled with the B cast sputtering wooden dialogue as they wandered through hazy island mythology. Congratulations on doing what no other show has done before. That was very daring of you. Thank you for also showing us WHY no other show has done this before.

With “Across the Sea” you went even further to convince us that the last five seasons we’ve so enjoyed have really been about characters we barely know, and that you’ve scarcely bothered to introduce us to. This episode was a microcosm of your operating theory, but the only time the episode actually felt confident in this operation was when you gave us the Adam and Eve skeletons, winked and said “See? We’ve been planning this all along! Look how special we are!”

I got it, dude. You didn’t have to beat me over the head with old Locke dialogue to get your point across. You’re special. We know. So stop talking about it and start acting like it.

I know there was some neat stuff here. The Cave implications of what reality is, the power of words and lies. I get that the whole “button pushing thing” Locke and co were doing way back when is EXACTLY like what Crazy Mom, Jacob, etc. have been doing with the island – you do it because you think it’s important, but you never have any proof why. I don’t get what the hell that had to do with the Dharma Initiative. And I don’t think you’re ever going to tell me.

That used to be alright with me. I enjoyed the ride, accepted that a lot of this was allegory or symbolism and that the answers didn’t matter as much as how I read into them, and the thought your groundbreaking show created within me. I dealt with it because it was fun.

Last night was not fun. Last night was just frustrating. You dedicated a whole damn episode to answers, and gave us almost nothing (Jacob and No Name are brothers? GASP Whoda seen that coming?). Your “manipulative mom” story was lame, and unchallenging – we’ve seen it all before. We’ve even seen it here.

When you’re at your best, you blend excitement, mystery and mythology into entertainment brilliance. But at you’re worst, you’re a drunk or a stoner laying around blabbering about something you think is really, really important, and entertaining only yourself in the process. You were at your worst last night. You hit me with jibberish and told me it was the bible. At the same time you told me your gods were just men, and that the island (and what makes it special) is simply inexplicable. That’s worse than jibberish, LOST – that’s just lazy.

I want to believe. I want to keep faith in your ability to wrap this whole thing up in a satisfying way. But you’ve got a lot to do, LOST, and not enough time to do it. Last night was your chance to play catch up, your opportunity to sit us down, hit us with your thesis, and let your final act unfold with clarity and purpose. Instead you got drunk. Your pow-wow party sucked. And I really hope you make it up to us.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails