Lost Season 5 – Jack Off Drugs And Island Bound
As if we needed any further reason to plant our asses on the couch for additional hour per week, Lost has come back for it’s 5th and penultimate season. The 2 hour premier, made up of two episodes Because You Left and The Lie did supply quite a bang to jump start my enthusiasm for the show again. While I don’t classify Lost as a television program as much as I do “digital crack” I think it managed to fulfill the fix more efficiently than Jack taking a trip to the hospital pharmacy.
One of the major successes that Lost has had over its run is how it’s managed make a slow transition from intense character drama with a touch of fantasy and mystery to a full blown sci-fi/fantasy program without losing a beat.
One of the major shortcomings of any fringe genre is when the focus is on the events, the technology, the magic and the fantasy rather than the drama itself. With Lost, so much time has been spent developing the characters over the past several seasons we can now enter this next phase of the program with a built in “I actually care” factor.
While the shift in genre was cause for the loss of some of the early fans, those that have stuck with it are being rewarded as all of the intense background study on our island castaways over the last several years comes full circle to bring us to a pay off over these final 2 seasons.
While it’s certainly debatable, I believe we can officially proclaim that season 5 is giving us a sharp change in the format of the program. The flashbacks/forwards are now gone-well, sort of since we’re basically now following two story arcs happening 3 years apart. Confident that we know these characters, it can now begin to generate intrigue and action around them at a breakneck pace without fear of losing our interest.
I did have a substantial concern going into the premier that this new direction, taking so much of the show’s focus to the characters’ struggles on the mainland, was going to start to dull the edge and possibly break the entire show down. This is obviously not the case. We did get an outstanding 2 hours to start season 5.
I was afraid the entire “move” of the island in the finale of season 4 was going to be a cheap plot device. Now we see that this was only the start of a major development that is driving the story forward. The care with this show has been built is letting us swallow whatever craziness the writers are prepared to throw us at this point.
So what did we really get in these two hours?
A series of unfortunate events: almost all the characters have now been given a monkey on their back the size of King Kong which serves to give them motivation to return to the island. While the specifics are different for all of them, it simply comes down to, as episode 2′s title puts it, “The Lie.” Per Locke’s warning at the end of season 4, the lie is destroying their lives seemingly to the point of no return. Now they all have strong motivation to get the hell out of dodge and back to the island…probably permanently.
Ben Linus: Savior or Schmuck? I vote schmuck. Michael Emerson is a brilliant actor. It’s never been more impossible to read the true intentions of a character from week to week. The little rat-bastard can’t be trusted. Hugo nailed it in episode 2, subjecting himself to jail on murder charges rather than trusting him. Gotta love hating this guy. Now the question is how many weeks before they spring the old Ben Linus on us?
Sun and Kate, the thrill killers: if there’s anything that’s not thrilling me right now is the handling of these two at the end of last season and now through the beginning of this season. There is just something unsettling, and dare I say “uninteresting” about a bad-ass confident Sun. With Kate, the character just seems entirely out of the element that made her interesting to begin with. Also, while key to the story, is anyone else not looking forward to having a toddler drag down the action of the show? Maybe we can bring Claire back in just long enough to babysit the little rugrat when the time comes.
Jack Off the drugs and alcohol and getting back to his old self? But which old self? I love the fact that they spent 3 full seasons building up Jack as the unwavering hero and protagonist of the show only to spend all of season 4 tearing the sonuvabitch down a few notches with his questionable judgment in his final days on the island as well his incredible fall into addiction once they were off. Really a brilliant roller-coaster ride with Jack so far. Bravo Matthew Fox.
Locke still in the box: We have a living breathing Terry O’Quinn as John Locke in the program as we jump back and forth now between the two time lines, but at what point do the writers have to face bringing the guy back from the dead without crossing the threshold of ultimate cheese? All this time we’ve been watching the show play a game of “Good Locke, Bad Locke” with us, do we now get “Good Locke, DEAD Locke?”
Daniel Faraday, your friendly neighborhood physicist. Can’t say much about Jeremy Davies’ portrayal of Faraday on Lost since Season 4 other than the fact that he has quickly become one of the best, most intriguing and most entertaining characters on the show. That’s not only my highest praise for Davies, but also for the writers in successfully being able to continue to inject new characters and angles into the program in successful ways.
Sayid and Hugo, my official prediction. When the show comes to a close at the end of season 6, I believe that Sayid and Hugo will be the only two characters that don’t end up on the island and they will spin off into their own series. Tentatively titled The Fatwa and the Fatman, it will feature the unlikely pair sharing an apartment in downtown L.A. getting into a myriad of crazy misadventures.
Sayid, a cab driver by day and CIA hitman at night will struggle with his conscience and moral objections to violence each week when given his assassination target while Hugo continually struggles with his weight and mental illness issues. A large number of episodes will center around Hugo being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being inadvertently pinned with Sayid’s government sanctioned crimes. Dominic Mohaghan will star as the ghost of Charlie who appears to Hugo regularly as his spiritual advisor and moral compass. The pilot episode will center around Sayid’s first CIA assignment to hunt down and kill Walt.
That’s my take on Lost this week. Let’s all dig in and try to enjoy this ride that JJ Abrams helped put us on, shall we? I give the first two episodes of Lost’s new season a my Dharma seal of approval.
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Mike “ScuzzBuster” Broda is a film critic and editorial writer for Deviant Knowledge, an entertainment/leisure blog.