Author Topic: Suffering Through Lost  (Read 13774 times)

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Offline nacho

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Suffering Through Lost
« on: May 17, 2010, 12:31:03 PM »
Here we go... Time to marathon six years of TV!  Just like my TNG thread:

http://www.greatsociety.org/forums/index.php/topic,3946.0.html

Except, this time, Poppy is along for the ride...and it's actually a show that's watchable.

Most of the time...

For me, it's the first viewing of Lost since these episodes aired, besides a mini-marathon of the first half of the first season when they first came out on disc in 05.  

Right out of the gate, two things are wildly different for me.  Watching episodes back to back removes the blue-balls wait for...nothing.  An element that was especially frustrating during the mid-season doldrums in seasons two and three.

Watching these with season six under my belt tells me that, yes, there was a plan of sorts.  An outline at least.  Either season six is the most masterful retconning ever performed, or they had a general idea about who would end up where in six years.  Now, so many of the little "huh?" moments are clicking... And things that seem weirdly convenient (I'm looking at you, Locke!) now have such a deeper meaning.

Anyway... We made it through six episodes late last night before we passed out in the early AM.

The pilot, as before, was wildly addictive.  Still, six years later, a seriously captivating hook.  Poppy was caught up in storyline and characterization and, yeah, it hit me again, too.  

There was much discussion, actually, about how Lost is a modern day Twin Peaks.  

(The complicated intelligence, and high-grade tension is something we'll sadly lose at times in the next two seasons.)

Tabula Rasa

After the pilot, we start out with a Kate episode.  Back when Kate episodes were good.  Season one Kate is fun because we get all these cool reveals and actually care about her. Meanwhile, we begin the tradition of forming cliques and not actually sharing important information.  Something that became infinitely annoying as the show carried on, but, again, I think it'll take on a different aspect with the sixth season in mind.  We now know why it's in the interest of the powers that be (I can't spoil anything for Poppy) to have the castaways not get along...

Walkabout

The Locke episode -- and his big reveal.  Knife-throwing, mysteriously evil Locke was so much fun in the first half of the season...and, again, season six has me watching things closely.

White Rabbit

Jack's ghost dad had Poppy freaking out.  The gravity and tension of this episode hides the fact that the first Jack episode is a flashback snorefest. (And, of course, there's Adam and Eve.  If Poppy survives 118 episodes, I can't wait to see her reactions...)

House of the Rising Sun

I was always bored with the Sun and Jin episodes after the first couple (since they're living a soap opera in the flashbacks), but they take on a new light now.

Though this is the first episode where a character kind of goes against who they are, with Jin's wild attack against Michael.  It's a clumsy way to paint Jin as a problem, and seems unnecessary. Especially since the audience is thinking it's some sort of jealousy over Sun, as that's been the whole dynamic since the pilot.  

The Moth

A Charlie episode.  Hey, Nubbins -- YOU ALL EVERYBODY!!!

This episode is the first big Woah! ending as Sayid gets clobbered while trying to triangulate the signal. Poppy debated calling into work sick, brewing a pot of coffee, and staying up till dawn.

I just realized, putting this post together, that we very neatly ended at "act one" for the first season.  Next up is Confidence Man, a Sawyer episode (Poppy thinks he's dreamy) that sets act two in motion.  

Offline nacho

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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 12:31:33 PM »
Oh, and no spoilers.  This is Poppy's first time!

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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 12:59:09 PM »
Sawyer's not dreamy.  He's pretty.  Biiiiig difference.  Charlie's far more attractive.

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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2010, 01:04:43 PM »
Cruising through the episode lists, I realize where things went wrong with season two and three... Lost excels when it has a short season.

We get the 24 episodes of season one, which are all okay because it's gothic Gilligan's Island and everything is new.

Season two, where things start to go wrong, is another 24 episodes, with season three at 23 episodes.  So you get those middle episodes that can't advance the story because there's not enough story to fill 24 episodes.

Then season four (which I loved, but you hated, right, Nubbins?) was only 14 episodes, and I think it ticks along just fine. 

Season five was only 17 episodes...and back to the complicated density of a show that should not be loved by millions.

Season six is 16 episodes (with the two hour premiere and the extended finale).  So far, it's been a fantastic season.

I've long argued that American shows should do the British thing -- 10 or 12 episodes, packed with storyline.  It leaves you wanting the next season instead of sitting around wondering what those ten episodes in the middle of the season were all about.

By the way, for the sake of killing time at work, I went back and found all my old Lost threads.

Surrogate season one threads:

Matt watches Lost

Tyson watches Lost


Season Two: Henry Gale's not the boss of me!

Season three: The Idiot Ball

Season four

Season Five

Season Six


Offline nacho

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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2010, 01:13:43 PM »
Sawyer's not dreamy.  He's pretty.  Biiiiig difference.  Charlie's far more attractive.

A hobbit lay here...

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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2010, 01:30:13 PM »
Sawyer's not dreamy.  He's pretty.  Biiiiig difference.  Charlie's far more attractive.

A hobbit lay here...

Merry always was the sexiest hobbit!

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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2010, 11:45:18 PM »
Confidence Man

Again, I'm sitting here seeing all the season six stuff.  The small nods and the larger stuff.  Such as Locke's advice to Sayid.

So a Sawyer story.  Poppy's happy.  And Sayid goes off the chain and decides to wander off in search of his soul.  Sawyer does great loss of blood woozy acting and Kate shows us that Canadians lack intelligence.  Shannon and Boone are the useless duo and the Jack-Sawyer dynamic begins in earnest...

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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2010, 01:23:36 PM »
Solitary

Sayid finds the mystery cable and ends up being tortured by crazy Babylon 5 stars while also flashing back to how he tortured his childhood friend in Iraq.  Meanwhile, Hurley builds his golf course and we get our first real big mysteries -- Rousseau's "Others," the Black Rock (version 1.0), and the voices in the jungle...which is where the episode leaves off.

In my ongoing efforts to see if there was a plan for the series, and how they handled it, here's some trivia from this episode (which is the big reveal/turning point for season one):  The sci-fi theme (the time-shift, namely) was supposed to start out here.  Deleted scenes have Rousseau telling Sayid the research team's purpose.  The studio insisted that Lost veer away from all sci-fi influences in the first season, though.  No time travel, nothing magic.  Keep the idea alive that there was a very normal, human mystery (which is why The Others act so out of character compared to their portrayal in future seasons).


Next up -- a Claire episode, and things are about to get crazy.

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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2010, 05:57:01 PM »
Spoilers, Poppy!


Offline Cassander

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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2010, 01:52:33 AM »
i'm becoming more convinced with each passing day that you are involved in some kind of voluntary experiment designed to test the effects of the human brain to superficial suffering.  is it at Virginia Tech or William & Mary?
You ain't a has been if you never was.

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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2010, 09:11:21 AM »
Lost is terrific the second time around...

Now, my TNG marathon...yeah.  I was strapped in a chair at Virginia Tech with my eyes held open.

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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2010, 09:52:08 AM »
Okay!  With the knowledge of The End under my belt, just about everything in the first season is different.  The skeleton of the grand plan is definitely there, and knowing what I know has changed my attitudes about the characters dramatically.

It's almost like watching the show for the first time...

Raised by Another

A Claire episode, with the awesome psychic stuff -- knowing the plane will crash, etc.  The real highlight of this episode is the cliffhanger -- Hurley's 11th hour discovery that Ethan isn't on the manifest and, of course, creeptastic Ethan Rom confronting poor Charlie and Claire as they work their way back to the beach party.

(The great flaw in this episode, as we learn just a few episodes later, is that Sawyer's name shouldn't be on the manifest either...)

All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues

And, now, we have our first repeat flashback.  Jack again.  With some powerful scenes in the flashbacks.  Matthew Fox surprising us with moderate acting skills!

On the island, there's the awesome chase where Ethan has almost superhero-like powers and beats the shit out of Jack, for those who do not appreciate his moderate acting abilities.

The Hatch is revealed...

Since Poppy keeps seeing Twin Peaks parallels, it occurred to me that The Hatch really is parallel to Laura Palmer's killer in terms of how it's handled in the first two seasons.  The same technique...

Whatever the Case May Be

Another Kate episode.  This time, she strips down to her Victoria's Secret underwear and gets wet.

This is probably the first really weak episode.  In flashbacks, Kate has organized a convoluted double-cross bank heist all to rescue a toy.  Yeah, it's explained in later flashbacks, but it's sort of roll-eyes at this point.  On the island, Kate goes crazy over the guncase that she and Sawyer find at the magic diving hole.

Meanwhile, in further roll-eyes moments, Sayid dismisses the whispers he heard in the jungle and refuses to take a group back to Rousseau, saying that she's insane.  Ooookay... But... Well, okay.

The only big point in this episode is moving the beach camp closer to the jungle, where it'll stay for six seasons. There's also scraps of the (at this point nixed by the studio) time travel plot, which I didn't notice the first time around...but now see is what remains of an attempt to go sci-fi from the start (Sayid's comments about the tide).

Hearts and Minds

A Boone flashback!  Oh, Boone, how we hate you and your incestuous, scantily-clad, mouth-breathing sister.

On the island, Hurley wants to learn how to fish and Boone has an acid trip.

Meanwhile, island weirdness abounds as Sayid discovers that compasses don't work..

Important things here is the first non-airport line crossing of the characters.  Sawyer being arrested while Boone is also at the police station whining about Shannon.  Also, for me, lot's of sixth season foreshadowing stuff here.  Locke and Jack...

Special


WAAAALT!!

I hate Walt.  And this episode delivers!  But we get a good cliffhanger when Claire stumbles out of the jungle.

Homecoming

In flashbacks, Charlie's a comic loser puking on copy machines.  On the island, Claire can't remember anything. Ethan pulls more superhero shit, but Charlie eventually blows him away. 

Outlaws

Ah, good.  A Sawyer episode.  And an origin story.  The death of his parents, and his quest to avenge them...only to be played by Robert Patrick.  LOL.

On the island, the battle between Sawyer and the boar that dominates the episode should be comical (and is), but also has a poignancy that is so perfectly... "Lost."  Though I'm glad it was Sawyer.  It takes a strong actor to pull off that sort of script without it devolving into a comedy episode.

There's also the awesome encounter between Sawyer and Christian at the bar.  Terrific.

...In Translation

It's this episode that starts act three.  Locke's impassioned speech about "them," the unnamed menace, is the first time we truly feel an us v. them dynamic.  Sun reveals to all that she understands English, and that weighs on her relationship with Jin.  We finally feel sympathetic for Jin as we learn his backstory.  The batteries in Hurley's discman die, so we lose that last hold on civilization. Michael's raft is sabotaged and not only does Locke know who did it, but he seems to know why.  Walt's "specialness" is not lost on Locke.  Also, this sets Walt up as Not Quite Right for the audience (especially after Special where it's implied that Walt has some sort of sixth sense).

And I just realized... We don't ever get flashbacks from Jin, outside of this episode.  And the Wiki confirms... This is the only Jin-centric episode.  After this, he shares flashbacks with Sun, and she has her own, but we don't get him anymore.  Well, I guess we get him in the sixth season, right? But not as storyline flashbacks.

Poppy is away tonight and tomorrow... But, come Sunday, it's time to finish season one! Up next:  Numerology, boating holidays, Hatches, and WAAAAAAALT!!!!

 


Offline nacho

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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2010, 02:15:51 PM »
Well... Continuing the marathon on my own now that (sob!) I'm a bachelor again. 

I powered through the last of season one.  Numbers, where we learn all about the numbers that will be with us for six years. Deus Ex Machina, where Locke kills Boone (as a "sacrifice to the island") and we get the famous light from the hatch scene that had us all leaping out of our chairs, Do No Harm where we lose the critically wounded Boone and all the characters get just that much deeper, The Greater Good,  and Born to Run, two cool-down episodes with Sayid and Kate, and then we move into the finale that had us all screaming"WALT!":  Exodus.  The art of the cliffhanger redefined.

Heavily addicted by that point, I loved the summer between the first and second seasons.  The hatch was open, the Others had Walt, Jin was on the first of many exploding boats...

I've also powered through most of season two.  Now, season two, watching normally, was all about the doldrums.  Those middle episodes that seemed to drag until we hit the super finale arc in episode 19 where Michael reappears from the jungle, then, in episode 20, blows away Libby and Ana Lucia, freeing Ben.

By far, the most memorable aspect of season two the first time around was Michael Emerson's performance as "Henry Gale" -- Ben Linus in disguise.  And once we find out he is one of the Others, it's just wild.  The final episodes are a roller coaster, driving hard into a showdown and firmly cementing Emerson in the credits.  He probably saved the show for me.

The second time around -- watching all of these back to back -- and I see that the second season is really meant to be taken as a whole.  The slow episodes suddenly make sense, and are even very good overall.  The doldrums weren't noticed at all... And, again, as I noticed during the first season, the second season does help flesh out and further the mythology that's slowly being scrapped together.

Season three is the final test.  The old thread is titled "the idiot ball," since season three has some of the most glaring sequences where characters go against everything rational simply to fill a plothole or get a writer out of a corner.  But, again, that was the impression watching week-to-week, and with holiday breaks.  How will it manage watching back-to-back?

So I'll pick up this marathon tomorrow with season three.


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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2010, 10:29:11 PM »
Season three!


A Tale of Two Cities

Opening scene -- Elizabeth Mitchell in a tank top.  THANK YOU LOST! (will return after a masturbation break).

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Re: Suffering Through Lost
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2010, 08:44:17 AM »
So...ahem.  Long Elizabeth Mitchell break!

Season three has me worried.  I remember the cages, I remember the storyline with the Others and the Dharma Initiative going off the rails.  I remember Locke being an idiot, and endless scenes with Jack seething from inside a fish tank.

Certainly the season three premiere is the let-down premiere, compared to the pilot and the season two opener.  Jack's in the fish tank, Sawyer has been turned into fish biscuit comic relief, Kate seems to have had the fight ripped out of her and becomes weepy and womanly all of a sudden.  There is a clear shift in storytelling and characterization all around.

Emerson's Ben Linus is more Bond villain than anything else at the start of this season.

I was so troubled by season three that I've blocked most of it from memory!  So here's my chance to storm through it once again and see if I can chart the course of the idiot ball.