Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lost 5.15: Moral Compasses in Motion

One of the most satisfying, intellectually and emotional daring, and thoroughly brilliant episodes of Lost tonight - 5.15 - which is making me think it is well on the way to being the best series ever on television.

Among the many themes, spun and some resolved, most unresolved, that especially grabbed me -

1. Kate is the moral compass of the show now (with Sawyer a close second, for different reasons, see #7 below). She tells Sayid and Jack, in one incandescent moment: you can't right history by killing a little boy (to Sayid, about his shooting young Ben), and you can't right history by detonating a hydrogen bomb on an island inhabited by lots of people (to Jack). This, in addition to Kate realizing what was clear to her and us already, last week, that changing the history they know will mean they won't be together. So Kate speaks for ethics as well as true love. Jack, for his part, and in my opinion, has never really recovered from the Jack who was about to jump off the bridge in the Season 3 finale. He's lost his way, and he still has not found it.

2. Sayid, whom we haven't seen since he ran off into the woods a few episodes back after shooting Ben, comes out of the woods to kill the Hostile guy who was about to shoot Kate. I had been wondering when we'd see Sayid again - but that was a fine, kick-in-the-stomach surprise.

3. Resolved: Miles comes to see and understand why his father, Marvin Candle, wanted him (as a baby) and his mother off the island. Very satisfying. And it was fun seeing Candle trip up Hurley when Hurley tried to deny he was from the future. You gotta be lightning quick indeed and very well versed in all relevant history, if you're a time traveler who doesn't want to be outed.

4. Resolved: How Richard knew that Locke needed to get a bullet taken out of his leg - a very nice piece of time-loop resolved (and we get to hear about the time-traveling compass again).

5. But, unresolved: who has the real power now - in 2007 -- Locke or Richard or Jacob (whom we learn Locke wants to kill). And who is Jacob? Christian, Jack's father?

6. And ... Eloise recognizes her own handwriting when she reads the note she wrote in the future in Daniel's notebook - another nice bit of time travel writing. But ... I'd still like to know why Richard's people were able to save young Ben and not Daniel (because Ben was seriously wounded in contrast to Daniel who was dead? ok, but that should be made a little more clear).

7. Back to Sawyer: he's trying to get Juliet off the island, on a sub that will take both of them back to the U.S.A., in 1977. That's not going to happen, of course - but it was great to see Sawyer do that anyway. But, happy endings are hard to come by in Lost, and the scene of Sawyer and Juliet, now joined by Kate, shows that the Kate and Sawyer story isn't over yet, either - especially given Jack's willingness to let his story with Kate go into an alternate time line.

Two-hour season finale next week!

8-min podcast review of Lost 5.15

More Lost - see : The Richard-Locke Compass Time Travel Loop ...

and Lost Returns in 5 Dimensions and 5.3: The Loops, The Bomb ... 5.4: A Saving Skip Back in Time ... 5.5 Two Time Loops and Mind Benders ... 5.6 A Lot of Questions ... 5.7 Bentham and Ben ... 5.8 True Love Ways ... 5.9 Two Times and a Baby ... 5.10 The Impossible Cannot Happen ... 5.11 Clockwork Perfect Time Travel ... 5.12: Ben v. Charles, and Locke' Slave ... 5.13: Lost Meets Star Wars and the Sixth Sense ... The Problem with Baby Aaron and the Return of the Oceanic Six ... 5.14: Eloise, Daniel, and Obsession Trumping Paradox

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