Jayme Blaschke and Mark Finn tell us if the first half of season 3 makes us count the days until the show returns, or if the show has bitten us on our collective patoot.
Lost rocks (mostly)
Bottom line: I want to be surprised. The second I figure out the formula, I get bored. The show still has me guessing, and I like enough of
the characters that I will follow it through.
I'm getting enough to sustain myself. Consider: Opening sequence for Season 3 -- suburbia. No, wait. It's an island. Hey, that guy looks familiar. Wait! It's the Others. And they aren't creepy or weird. At least, compared to the first two seasons we've seen them.
Now, while it doesn't answer the basic question (and because of ancillary merchandise, games, novels, and other tie-ins, I know we won't get the answer to that until AT LEAST season Five), it does give me enough to speculate on. These speculations continually shape and re-shape my pre-conceived notions.
What keeps me hooked is the characters. I care just enough about Jack, Sawyer, Locke, Hurley, Jin & Sun, and Sayid to want to see what happens to them. That element of melodrama is fine, just fine, as the flashbacks this year have all been pointed and directly related to the episode they appear in.
My biggest gripe with the end of 3.5 is the non-cliffhanging cliffhangers: Sawyer and Kate love each other. Uh, yeah, we knew that already. I'd prefer that neither one of them ever said it.
Jack, when presented with two options, picks a third one: get inside of Henry Gale and deliberately hurt him, forcing an escape. Jack is the most clueless since he (a) didn't see the other island, like Sawyer, and (b) doesn't know that Kate is tired of running, considering that's what she has done since he's known her. So, we KNOW he's going to have to fix Henry Gale up, since he won't willingly let someone die. Hence, not a cliffhanger.
The ONLY real cliffhanger was the tease in the form of the message on Echo's Jesus Stick. Was it meant for Locke? We just don't know . . . yet.
And with so many other characters left hanging, none of whom got a lot of face time (like Hurley), we're left with the muddled facts pieced together from episodes past.
Still, the buildup to 3.5's end was a lot better than the first six shows of season 2. Maybe it's that dreaded Sophomore Slump. Now that Lost is over it, we'll see more forward progress. -- Mark Finn
Lost sucks (mostly)
The show isn't planning ahead. They may want you to believe that, but I've yet to see any
evidence they have any clue as to what's going on beyond whichever season they're working on.
They're making it up as they go along. Lost season 3 is like X-Files season 7: If they have high enough production values and good enough acting, maybe the viewers won't notice nothing makes sense.
Characterization is not enough anymore. When they introduced the flashback of Kate and Captain Mal's romance, it really, really felt like it was cut from whole cloth.
"Hey, we need to show that Kate's tired of running this episode."
"Hmm . . . why don't we show that she got married and was happy, but had to run away because of her past?"
In some ways the show is verging on self-parody. When Captain Mal stumbled to the living room floor and Kate said "I drugged you" I deadpanned: "Oh shit. Not again!" and broke up the entire room of Lost devotees.
When obscure Firefly jokes get more of a reaction than anything else on the show, you know something's not quite right. -- Jayme Blaschke