Friday, October 27, 2017

LOST S1 E22: Born To Run

"Don't open it. Don't open it Mr. Locke.
Don't open that thing.
Just don't open it."

Season One of LOST continues to be an absolute joy to watch. That's no small task for a season running 25 episodes in length.

This writer kept asking himself why it is so much fun to watch. It's clear to me it is the combination of character, casting, location shooting coupled with the danger elements of its crashed-on-an-island-a-long-way-from-home-mystery premise that made it so compelling. The series just captures the imagination and taps into a kind of primal reality.

Spacerguy put it quite succinctly in a comment "Fresh, young, exciting with an element of danger and so totally lost." That is about as perfect a from the gut assessment if ever there was one.

LOST, Season One, Episode 22, Born To Run, keeps the proceedings moving fleet a foot with more thrills a minute than a dance between a snake and a mongoose named Riki Tiki Tavi.

Well, maybe not that exciting in this one, but the episode jockeys nicely between those interested in digging deeper into the island via John Locke's discovery of the handle-less hatch and those looking to run from the island via Michael's raft boat. The juxtaposition of those two threads is intriguing. Flight or fight. One wants to flee the island while the other thread wants to probe and dig deeper into its mysteries. Both are equally thrilling.

Highlight: There are not a lot of moments that spoke to me in Born To Run.

Walt's exchange with Locke regarding the dangers of the hatch which would inform so much of Season Two is likely one of the most intriguing elements. Locke's exchange with Jack over the hatch also rates.

Sawyer calling out Kate from usurping his spot on the raft may be a close second as reasonably tense scenes go.

Nevertheless, the squaring off between Jack and Locke becomes seemingly more pronounced here in Born To Run as sides appear to be more defined. The contrast between the styles of the two men takes even greater form giving us a glimpse of the shape of things to come.

Born to Run sees the story of the various castaways move ever so slightly.

"Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run" (Bruce Springsteen). The Kate flashback, which predates Whatever The Case May Be (E12), was either not compelling enough for this writer or sleep was getting the better of me. As a result, Born To Run, like The Greater Good is a slightly weaker entry than normal in the series, but things are about to propel to a head for the denizens of LOST.

Flashback: Kate.
Writer: Javier Grillo-Marxuach/ Edward Kitsis/ Adam Horowitz.
Director: Tucker Gates (The X-Files, Carnivale).

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

LOST S1 E21: The Greater Good

"Storm coming." -John Locke-

Boone Carlyle's funeral (Michael Giacchino's score is titled Booneral) takes place here in LOST, Season One, Episode 21, The Greater Good.

Following Boone's relatively unexpected death in Do No Harm after an untimely fall in Deus Ex Machina it all becomes rather apparent and sobering that LOST as a series is certainly more than willing to terminate one of its primary ensemble cast members when the story calls for it. It makes sense that one wouldn't survive such a fall. If this were the 1980s and The A-Team we might experience a completely different outcome. Given the large ensemble cast the episode makes it very clear others will die.

One of the aspects to LOST that this writer appreciated is when the series slowed things down for a touch of reality as it does here to pay respects to Boone and capture the genuine sadness of the castaways who somehow find a little solidarity in looking at their loss. If you're one of a select few survivors and one of you dies things tend to realistically hit home a bit and there is a genuine sense of loss portrayed in the entry.

The passing of Boone is handled with the kind of care given the birth of Claire's baby in Do No Harm. These are emotionally true moments that strike a cord and are executed with credibility throughout the series.

Though The Greater Good would refer to people working together for a common cause or a greater good, the episode highlights a theme of picking sides or pitting one side against another. The Greater Good is also known as Sides in fan circles.

Highlight: The moment John Locke informs Sayid he was the one who struck Sayid from behind with a stick while he was attempting to triangulate the signal. This event occurred in Episode 7, The Moth. It's another LOST question answered. More importantly, those character dynamics are in full play with Locke at gunpoint by Sayid whom Shannon is hoping will kill Locke believing he was responsible for Boone's death.

It's the final moments tied to this dynamic between Locke and Sayid that resonate. Locke thanks Sayid for believing him, for choosing his side. Sayid admits he allowed Locke to survive because he senses he may be the key to their survival on the island. He also proves that he was not played by Locke and demands to be taken to the real hatch.

Sayid the interrogator works his magic while we learn a little more about the former Iraqi Republic Guard in likely one of the least compelling flashbacks of Season One.

For a lighter moment it's hard to beat Sawyer lulling a baby with his accent.

The irony of The Greater Good is that everyone on the island isn't working for that and all have competing agendas. That kind of conflict generally makes for terrific drama. Unfortunately, The Greater Good isn't the greatest of the season, but still good enough.

Flashback: Sayid.

Writer: Leonard Dick (The Good Wife). Director: David Grossman (Desperate Housewives).