Thursday, January 22, 2009

Guys...When Are We?

As regular Zandervision readers know, I am a huge fan of Lost. So unlike other shows, which I write about when I feel like it, you can expect a Lost recap every week, if perhaps not so soon after broadcast or so lengthy. But a lot went down on this action-packed, time-jumping, alliance-shifting premiere. So let's get to it.

A classic Lost season premiere opening with music from a record and a morning routine. I didn't recognize the song this time, but I guarantee Doc Jensen at Entertainment Weekly, the biggest Lost fan on the planet, will let us know tomorrow. Instead of introducing a new and soon-to-be-awesome character like Desmond and Juliet, this time it's someone we sort of know: Dr. Marvin Candle of the Dharma orientation videos. After recording a video for one of the stations (I can't tell them apart), he finds out his team has found the Frozen Donkey Wheel, which he says should never be released (way to go Ben). Also in the Orchid...Daniel Faraday! How did he time travel his way in there? And why? How are we still not at the opening credits?

Well, it seems the left-behind islanders have, like Billy Pilgrim, come unstuck in time. It takes blown up hatches and crashing African drug planes to give them any sense when they are. But there is one constant on island life: someone is always trying to shoot them. Ethan shoots Locke, Desmond pulls a gun on Faraday, and those flaming arrows put an end to poor Frogurt (does anyone remember how he got the name Frogurt?). We don't know who the shooters are (or why a 12-year-old wanted to cut off Juliet's hand and keep it as a pet), but they certainly cut down a lot more nameless 815ers by setting their hair on fire. Looks like Hurley's lie is becoming more truthful.

So much for Locke as Leader of the Others. He's now too busy following Alpert's advice to become Jeremy Bentham. So are the rest of the Others traveling in time too and just hiding? Or, like ageless Richard Alpert, can they move around in time as they please? Speaking of Alpert, does his mastery of time make him a. Jacob, b. The king of the island, or c. Just a guy who wears too much eye make-up?

Faraday got a chance to shine as the only one who understands what's going on, but blew it by not explaining anything. Poor Charlotte, already suffering the nosebleeds of too much time travel. Where's her Constant? There's gotta be a polar bear around somewhere. Faraday got his Constant in Desmond, in whom he planted a memory to find his mom at Oxford. As for Sawyer, he just wants a shirt (so the writers can point out that he isn't wearing one). Only a matter of time before he and Juliet start hooking up.

Back on the mainland, Jack and Ben manage to spend most of two episodes inside a funeral home. How long does it take Jack to shave, really? Ben was surprisingly minor this week, spending too much time with Locke's corpse and too little time messing with people. It is cool to see he's built up his own network of white-haired minions off the island, helping him pull off...what? What happens in 70 hours? And why does it involve the ghost of Desmond's time travel dreams (who I'm guessing is Faraday's mom)? But the real question is why Sayid turned against Ben. Sayid is always right, so Ben must be up to something. I wouldn't have it any other way.

The mainland was really the Hurley and Sayid Show. I'll forgive Sayid for being unconscious the entire second hour because of how awesome he was in the first, taking out two hit men Bourne-style. There's a lesson in how to pack knives into your dishwasher. Hurley got some great bits as well, summarizing Lost's four seasons in a couple of minutes (as soon as I find it on Youtube, I'm posing it) and buying an I Heart Shizuhs shirt, when not chatting with Ana-Lucia. It's too bad Hurley had to go and get himself arrested, cause he and Sayid made quite the team.

This season so far seems like a pretty radical shift from the past four years, splitting the cast in two and spending so much time off-island. Even bigger, there's no longer a single character focused on each week. Kind of sad to see such an important part of the show disappear, especially if it means an end to episodes like "The Constant." Still, if you count all the question marks in this post, you can tell Lost once again asked about ten times as many new questions as it answered. And that's why we love it. The on-island stuff may be a bit more intriguing for now, but there's a ton happening on both sides of the time divide. This may not rank among Lost's best-ever episodes, but it got the season off to quite the breakneck start.

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