‘Lost’: Season 3 Review

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‘Lost’ is doing a good job at making their seasons work as “building blocks,” if you will, where the succeeding season expertly uses the foundation of the previous season and everything it established. The show nicely layers things and ups the ante of the show’s problems, mysteries and characters that feels natural and within line of the universe of the show, given what has been established and set up. Where season 1 introduces the characters and season 2 starts to unravel and establish the complexities of the island, season 3 revels in these mysteries and unravels everything to the point where it seems like a natural and fittings conclusion could be reached.

Therein lies the problem, though, season 3 ends with survivors getting a radio message to the outside world and getting their ticket off the island. The show even has a flash-forward to end the show of Jack all PTSD-ed of being in the real world, spilling himself out to Kate who seems much more in tune with the real world. But, the thing is, this is season 3 and I still have seasons 4,5,6 to work through before the actual end. Of course, me at this moment doesn’t think they’re off the island because I got three more seasons to work through, and this is the world of Lost where literally nothing is as it seems and left is right and up is down. It’s a shame because to me the show has expertly ratched up the tension and parsed out these mysteries and complexities of the island and provided well enough answers and solutions for a lot of what was dangled in front of us. I could totally see the show having another season, if the season 3 ending was modified, that brought home everything that we had been exposed to. Unfortunately, the show has 49 episodes to go, and in their current state at the end of season 3 I have to wonder how the story at this point could naturally stretch that long. Of course, I have yet to see or know really anything of these last few seasons, but how the show up to this point has driven so hard and layered things on top of each other to reach this sort of conclusion at this point with so many episodes to spare, I can’t help but being wary that the original plot and ideas that the writers had has ran out or really begun to as they presumably write themselves magically out of corners just to extend the series, perhaps due to outside pressure. I’ll obviously have further, more accurate judgment when I watch it, but my own suspicions and not so much nice things I remember hearing about the last few seasons have me on my toes.

While the preceding paragraph may seem like I was down on the season, it’s really just solely on how the end of the season sets up the rest of the show, knowing there’s still half of it to go. On the whole I really enjoyed the season, not quite to the level of the first two, but as I said it does nice work continuing and deepening the mythology of the island, most notably focusing on the “Others” and a lot of the background and expanding on the island. As a show that’s set on an island (outside of the seemingly more sparingly used flashbacks) their wouldn’t seem like too much of variety of sets, but the show throughout the seasons does a good job of never making the show seem too complacent by sticking around one area too much. Season 1 was around the main shore where they crashed, season 2 introduced the hatch as a major areas and then season 3 brought in the Others site. The first batch of episodes of the season do a good job introducing and setting up what the Others are and are all about, so they can play off as the main adversaries, with faces this time, and remain a credible threat throughout the season.

A lot of the credit for this goes to Michael Emerson as Ben Linus, the leader of the Others, who simultaneously with the flip of a switch play a strong, powerful leader who demands attention just how he uses the tone of his voice and someone who radiates the sense of a subdued man, but rules with an iron fist to the flip side of his character who sometimes seems like a scared child and someone over his head with what he’s embroiled with and the consistent devilish actions that need to be taken to maintain this power. I was less enamored by Elizabeth Mitchell’s character who often just seemed to be a new person for Jack to pine over or give him an interest, since they locked off Kate and Sawyer (for now, at least), and she just never seemed believable to me as someone who was supposed to be a villain when the show wanted you to think she was a villain, or as one of the good guys when the show wanted you to think of her as a good guy, but I guess that’s some of the intent. I’ve also never really liked Jack all that much, due to the classic character trait nature of him assuming he’s the leader and his whole holier than thou schtick that he’s always right and when something doesn’t go his way or he’s not the one in charge he become all mopey about it. This season, though, provided some nice dimensions to his character and shades him with some actual complexities beyond his tribulations of being the tall, dark handsome leader of the group who always gets his way. I’m very interested in the side of him who can’t cope without being on the island or tied to it in some way (seemingly straight-laced him of all people) when he’s “back” in the real world, but again I don’t know how much that would be explored since I don’t think it’s real, because, you know, the whole half the show still to go thing.

I’m having a ton of fun with the show and I can’t even imagine how nuts I’d be going over it if I actually was watching it week-to-week way back then and had to actually figure out and let my brain rattle around theories of what was going on on the show along with everybody else in real time. I’m kind of blessed and cursed that I get to binge it all and big revelations or cliffhangers don’t mean much to me because it’s only a matter of seconds until I get to push play on the next episode. It’s obviously a huge detachment, especially with this show and what kind of show it is, following in the public opinion wake and it being done to form an opinion that isn’t clouded by it, but I’m trying my best to suppress anything I’ve heard. Still, I feel like I could be entering murky waters up ahead, but I’m still excited for the show good or bad to see what they can knit out of what seems to be a an ever decreasing amount of yarn.

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