Monday, May 18, 2009

Lost - Season 5 - The Dharma Years (Part I)

This run of episodes has been the strongest Lost has been for me since the end of Season 2.





Introducing time travel is proven to be an extremely elegant way of getting a lot of backstory about people whose lives have been touched by the island. More importantly, by taking the pressure off people like Sawyer we've seen them blossom. From Sawyer's character arc lows in Season 2 (the long con with the guns) and Season 3 (he freakin' shot Tom in cold blood), he's now become a hero, a leader, a person to admire.

And all the people who stayed on the island now have a lot to lose. I'm totally invested in them.

Meanwhile, they've given Kate something interesting to do - seriously, giving her a mission that doesn't have anything to do with the boys and that goddamn love quadrangle will (I assume) make her way more fascinating to watch, and lead to further exploration of the island. I'm also in awe of the character transformation they're making Jack go through - his acceptance of the island is planned for him undercuts all the potential Jack-Locke conflict we've been expecting, and opens up many new areas of their personalities to explore.

Plus it's so nearly came close to unbelievable, top-moment-of-TV-everness with that cliffhanger between Sayid and Ben. I would probably have tried to have this show's babies if it had followed through on opening up an alternate timeline in which one of the lead characters never existed.

The show is totally recapturing the magic of Season 1 for me. It's ambitious, inventive, and driving towards the finish line. And I have to wait two more weeks for the next episode.


Anonymous said...

Season 5 is indeed awesome, but so it season 4. It got back on track thanks to the writers strike. Less episodes mean less fluff and more story direction, which was where season 3 suffered. 3 had some great episodes for me but they all revolved around one storyline (Desmond/Charlie). I think the world of the others and the backstory of Ben was important but would have worked so much better if the season was 5-6 episodes shorter.

But if you can get through season 3, and it does pick up as the season goes on, then season 4 and season 5 are both great and set up what will hopefully be an awesome finish. So I agree with you about people who dropped off should try and wet their feet again.

Also, have you tried Fringe?

hix said...

Totally agree with you about the strength of Seasons 4 and 5, Jarratt. I always felt 26 episodes was way too long to string out a season-length story, and (if I recall correctly) only came about because Lost was such a monster hit in Season 1.

(The O.C. also suffered, badly, from this effect.)

The weakness of Season 4, to me, was that the focus on Ben and the freighter people (especially the mercs) detracted from exploring our main characters. I enjoyed Season 4, but Season 5 is really scratching my Lost itch and has some fascinating character developments to boot.

I've read a lot about Fringe, including about the twists at the end of Season 1. Sounds good. Does it hold up as a series, or is it Dollhouse inconsistent?

Anonymous said...

Interestingly I'm mostly over the original cast of Lost and the ones I still love are they ones they mostly ignore. Sun and Jin. Faraday and Desmond are my favourite characters so I was interested in the new characters in season 4. I'm still unconvinced by Keemy as the main villain in season 4. He is more like a mid level boss, but the story was quite focused on developing him as the villain of the season. There are still some really nice beats with him though as the season goes on.

Fringe is an interesting show. It is certainly very procedural, which isn't often my thing. I mean Veronica Mars is procedural but it is also an ongoing soap opera serial or awesomeness. Fringe isn't like that. It is way more like X-Files, but unlike X-Files almost all the cases are related and connected in someway. The season has two major conspiracy related story arcs. I'm not sure whether one of them will continue but I'm hoping. At the midpoint of the season when virtually every episode fit together for the one hero moment of the show it was awesome.

I think in some ways it moves faster than Lost, but in others it is quite slow.

It does take a while to warm to the characters, and I think it is because they never have moments of pure cool. The show is quite understated in a lot of ways. But I think all the characters are solid and interesting. I do suspect that I am more likely to like the characters still in 2 or 3 seasons instead of going off them and wanting to move onto new ones though.

Season 1 is definitely an introduction, a world builder. But for the most part it is pretty good. I did find myself wanting to watch episodes of Fringe. Sometimes it was in the hope that the ongoing plots would be developed, which wouldn't always happen. It did suffer from 2 lengthy season breaks as well, so it is hard for me to judge the series as a whole as the second half was broken up.

hix said...

Good. Sounds worth checking out, but maybe in a wait for DVD kind of way.

I sort of agree with you about the original vs new cast of Lost. Juliet and Faraday, in particular, have brought new energies to the show. But I still love the damaged unpredictability of Jack, and seeing characters like Sawyer and Locke knowing more than Ben or Richard?


Jenni said...

Yeah, I'm still not convinced.

But I appreciate the shout out ;p