Thursday, May 25, 2006

LOST recap: Live Together, Die Alone

Now that we know that it's not just a 'snowglobe'...
Now that we know that you can get off the island...
Now that we no longer have 'the button' to deal with...
How does the show change?

Where do we go in season three? I've said it before, but it bears repeating: imagine the show without Dharma (Namaste and good luck, as Kelvin says); without Desmond, without the button, without the hatch, without Henry Gale.
And remember that these things didn't exist a year ago.
But they did in Season Two, and thank God for them. Because of them the season was deeper and richer than Season One, full of twists and turns. Everything, and everybody, was up for grabs.

Now imagine the show without Michael and Walt.When the electromagnetic pulse blows at the end of the episode, Michael looks like the wrath of God has come down upon him. His weary confession in the woods, his admission that he would have killed Libby even if he didn't have to. Michael's season was one of desperation and irrationality. And what does life off the island hold for him? How do you move on from that? What do you tell your boy, after all you've done to get him back. How can you ever look him in the eye knowing you murdered for him?
And that horrible look of regret he flashes Jack and the gang as he drives away. Notice that after that look, Michael never looks back. But Walt does.

On the other hand, when the pulse hits Henry, he looks straight into it, and he is pissed. Henry clearly holds a powerful position among the Others, even if he's not the 'Him' that he spoke of in the hatch.
I haven't read too much into the map that we see Kelvin painting on the blast doors, but I do remember one thing: it mentions that Alvar Hanso has a son on the island. Henry has to be that son. And maybe he's leading a rogue group of scientists who are rebelling against his father's work. Maybe they really are the good guys.

And will we be following Penny as she tracks down Desmond, with the Hanso Foundation fighting her every step of the way? Will we again be leaving the island for the regular narrative, not just flashbacks?
(How many people thought they'd just gone to commercial when you saw that frozen wasteland pop onto screen?)
Will this be good or bad for the show? Has some of the mystery been taken away?

Enough questions. Let's deal with what we saw.
Jack Bender was back in the director's chair for this one, and he's good. He's real good. So is Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond. Schmaltzy 'I'm winning this race for love' moments aside, the flashbacks worked and were just as entertaining as things that happened on the island.
What's with that bird, by the way? And why did it say 'Hurley'? And that 'Colussus of Homer Simpson'? Da fug?
Anyway: LOST is all about guilt (that's why I was so quick to jump on the Purgatory bandwagon, a spot I begrudgingly relinquish after this one), and it was the overriding theme in this episode again.
Michael's guilt of course. Desmond's guilt, for prison, for Pen, and finally for Kelvin. John's guilt for Boone.
But for John and Desmond there was a bright shining moment of connection, of purpose. That was maybe the best moment of this episode: That radiant beam of light uniting two men and giving them the strength to go on (by the way, I'm not going to overburden you with this: but Desmond's moment with the gun and the bottle was his Gethsemane, and there was a ton of Jesus symbolism revolving around him in this one.)

There was a lot of cheesy sci-fi fun here as well, especially Kate and Sawyer twitching after being hit with the darts. It's to Bender's credit that the scene doesn't come off as goofy as Pippin and the palantir in Return of the King. Oh, and speaking of the world of Tolkien, what a great Two Towers cliffhanger: Mister Frodo's still alive, but he's in the hands of the enemy.
Or, if you prefer, Luke, Han, and the princess all just got put into Carbon Freeze.
Is it September yet?

LOST Episode 2:23, Live Together; Die Alone: A

No comments: