Friday, March 07, 2008

Lost Again

So. Lost is still awesome, although Doc Jensen thinks last night's episode was "subpar." I disagree, for a number of reasons.

The Opening. This completely subverts our expectations for an opening. So far this season, we've had only flashforwards (not counting Desmond's Dr. Demento time travel experience). So when Juliet walks in, talks about feeling like a "celebrity" to her "therapist," I'm thinking, "So Juliet is one of the Oceanic 6, wow." But then, Mr. Friendly pops his head in. "So Mr. Friendly is not dead? What th--? No, it's a flashback! You magnificent bastards!"

Michael Emerson. Although this episode seemed to be all about Juliet, it's really all about Ben. How did he get word to Harper Stanhope? (Speaking of whom — is she alive or dead? She vanished awfully quickly after Jack showed up.) Just what exactly are Ben's powers? Plus, I loved Emerson's range in this. He played his "date" with Juliet (We're havin' ham!) so perfectly, as the smitten, geeked-up nervous nerd he essentially is. And then reverted to the bug-eyed control freak.

VALIS. As it happens, I just finished reading Phillip Dick's VALIS last week, and I was delighted to see a close-up of Ben re-reading it. The show is saying, "Here's a hint, folks." There are two aspects to VALIS that might be germane to Lost (spoiler alert). One is that the main character, Horselover Fat, seems to be separate from the narrator (Phillip Dick), but the big reveal is that they are one and the same. The other aspect is that Fat occasionally shares consciousness with (or merges selves with) someone from the past, a 1st century Gnostic named Thomas. I think the latter is the most relevant, given the temporal consciousness-switching we saw in the previous episode. Or, just the acronym VALIS might be important: Vast Active Living Intelligence System, which is the book's name for God. (BTW, I don't really recommend VALIS; as a story, it is kind of inert, and religio-philosophically, it's just incoherent.)

The Whispers. They're back, and I'm glad. How long will it be before some geek decodes them, plays them backwards, and figures something out?

And, OK, still: Who is Ben's man on the boat? I've already hypothesized it is Sayid. Would that cause Ben to tell Locke, "You'd better sit down"? It might. Most people are guessing it's Michael. Would that be equally as shocking?

On the other hand, I share Doc Jensen's feelings about the episode-ending kiss. This couple, Jack and Juliet, has absolutely zero chemistry. None. I don't know if that's a function of the actors, Matthew Fox and Elizabeth Mitchell, having no chemistry (possible) or if somehow Juliet is messing with Jack's mind, Ben-fashion (also possible). But I just don't believe this couple.

UPDATE (3/13): Aaaaaand ... it's Michael. So much for the insights of my unconscious.

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