“Lost” comes back, disappoints everyone

That was a joke. “Lost” came back this week and made sweet love to my eyes, brain, and earholes.

I’ll be watching it a day late all this season thanks to my girlfriend’s stupid “education,” so don’t comment on this blog or e-mail me things like, “Can you believe that Ben just SHOT JACK?!?! OMGLOLROFL!” I will destroy you, swear to jebus.

Anyway, I got to watch the two hour premiere last night, and it was great. They have carried forward, maybe even increased, the accelerated pace from season 4, and a lot of titillating bits of information are being dropped in front of us. I’ll skip recapping the obvious and big ones, instead dwelling on a few of the neat little details that keep me enamored with this show:

~ Locke – transported to the past by the island’s time-skipping – got shot in the leg, climbing the same canopy-to-the-plane where he was temporarily crippled in season 1, for reasons never explained.  And now we have a reason.  This was the smallest, subtlest thing, but it blew my mind.  (In the words of the immortal J. Peterman, now THAT is interesting writing!)  It doesn’t even need to be explained logically, and I hope they never try; it’s just such a fascinating idea that something that happened to Locke “earlier” in time could affect him later on.  I had written off the season 1 incident as either a crisis of faith or the island manipulating Locke so Boone would die instead of him; this take on it is even more interesting.

Weirdly, though both members of my little viewing party caught this immediately (and stared at each other with gleeful astonishment), it’s gone almost unmentioned online.

~ This half-baked mini-theory was posted by someone else on a comment thread on the Lost-centric Dark UFO site, so I can’t claim it as my own – but I’m in love with it.  In the premiere, we saw a shirtless and shoeless (no service for you, sir) Sawyer step on a branch or something in a way that it stabbed his foot.  We were even treated to a close-up of him pulling the thing out, and then he grimly marched on without treating the wound in any way, or letting Juliet (er – dude, she’s a DOCTOR) do it.  Well… what if this leads to Sawyer’s foot getting infected?  What if he were to, say, lose a toe..?  And wasn’t there some juicy hanging fruit of a mystery about a certain ancient-looking four-toed statue on the other side of the island?  A four-toed Sawyer, traveling through time… hmmm.  Not saying it’s going to happen, but that would be an extremely satisfying resolution to that mystery, perhaps with shades of the “Jaynestown” episode of “Firefly” to boot.

~ I think it’s interesting that they’ve kind of transposed the flashback structure into a very natural time-traveling one.  Makes me reflect on what a key role time has played in the whole show, and how it seems to have been hinted at all along.  I do hope, though, that they aren’t finished with the character-driven episodes they’ve been so good at in past seasons.  As much as I love the exciting, multi-headed finales and premieres, the meat of “Lost” has been the great episodes that delved so deeply into the histories and psyches of Locke, Ben, and many others.  Even if they are done with the conventional flashbacks, I hope they find a way to keep giving us that kind of resonant, lingering storytelling.

~ I love the idea that Desmond’s failsafe experience has made him into a walking time anomaly.

I also love that the writers seem to be conversant with all the major time travel-oriented literature, with clear references and homages here and there to Vonnegut, Wells, and even “Back to the Future.”  “Lost”‘s turn to almost pure sci fi is fine by me, so long as they keep it grounded in good character-driven drama (long the show’s true stock-in-trade).

~ Doesn’t it seem like Jack is repeating himself?  He’s about to make his second trip to the island with a coffin in tow.  The circularity is fascinating.  More and more I wonder what the final scene of this show is going to be.  I suspect it will feel very familiar.

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