Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lost: Second Impressions III

The finale of Season 1 was exciting stuff, had a great momentum, and we would have continued straight on into Season 2 if the disc had worked.

A couple of weeks later we managed to watch the opening three episodes of Season 2 in a row. This is something I've wanted to do for a while - my memory of watching these week-by-week was that they were a bit frustrating in the way they replayed the same events from different points-of-view. Watched in sequence ..., well it was good fun but the repetitiveness was still there. And perhaps that's a part of the explanation for the start of the huge drop-off in Lost's audience during Season 2: a slow, repetitive start followed by a huge dose of mythology (with buttons to be pushed and Dharma Initiative orientation films to be watched).

... Also, my advice is never to play a drinking game where you have to scull every time Michael yells either "WALT!" or "They took my boy!"

Based on reading a few 'Favourite Episode' lists that are floating around the net, we decided to skip forward to the highlights of Season 2. This meant we missed out much of the Dark Charlie, and the long con with the guns stuff.

Instead we skipped forward to the one-two punch of Shannon's spotlight episode followed by 'The Other 48 Days'. Shannon is still a favourite character, and her spotlight episode goes to great lengths to make her sympathetic and someone we're willing to root for. And then Ana-Lucia shows up. Unfortunately, Shannon may be a sympathetic character but she's not iconic in the way Jack, Kate or Locke are - therefore: bye-bye Shannon.

(Is it worth noting here that I like Ana-Lucia? I'll go into that in more detail if it seems relevant.)

The Other 48 Days, which I thought would be terrible given that most of the characters it developed are now gone (although at least one of them will return in Season 6)
was great, actually. Really rewarded rewatching - even though some of Goodwin's behaviour bugged me now that he's been fleshed out as a character in subsequent episodes. It just seemed to me that his conversation with Ana-Lucia should be much more reasonable and less darkly villainous ... but it wasn't really a deal-breaker for me.

In our next re-watch session we sat down to the very character-centric The 23rd Psalm, an Eko flashback episode that I found moving and involving.

This contrasted with an episode I thought I was really going to enjoy: Meet Henry Gale. The introduction of Henry Gale into the show is one of the pivotal moments of Lost, but rather than being character-focused, it's an episode about people shouting at each other and using torture as the option of first resort. So, it felt plot-heavy and not particularly insightful. Pretty great Sayid performance though.
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