Thursday, 7 January 2010

Lost season 3 rewatch

Season 3 began with several different stories taking place and with the characters in different locations, one included this:

Where the different characters are; Kate, Sawyer and Jack having been taken by the others are on a different island all together and after the hatch imploded those who were there when that occurred are also separated, scattered in the jungle or happily back at the beach playing family time. Hurley is also on his own having been set free by the Others as a messenger for what has happened to Kate, Sawyer and Jack. This separation is one issue that was raised when these episodes were first aired as an initial six episode arc in October, with episode 7 airing the following February. This scheduling experiment showed that Lost is a show that really needs to be aired in one block with little or no gaps being best for viewer satisfaction, much like a show like 24. When it comes to rewatching these episodes without the long hiatus they become less problematic but I still think these opening six feel somewhat disjointed.
This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy these episodes, in fact I liked the Kate and Sawyer scenes a lot and it was good to finally see them fully consummate their relationship- I've always much preferred the pairing of Kate and Sawyer over Jack, the chemistry between the two is the main factor for this. The introduction of Juliet was also well done, as a character she is one like Sayid who I always forget that I like so much until they have their own episode and show how brilliant they are and after rewatching this season I am sad that she is only going to appear in a handful of episodes in season 6.
Back on the main island; not a good introduction was to Nikki and Paulo who never seemed to fit in. One story that begun in these six that was important for the rest of the season was that Desmond after using the hatch fail safe key now has the ability to see in to the future, seeing flashes of what is going to happen. One such flash suggests that either Claire or Charlie are in danger and that Desmond has to save one of them. Also important to other season 3 stories is that now pregnant had an affair just prior to the island implicating that sterile Jin may not be the father to her baby. One character also fell to the smoke monster, that being Mr Eko who as a character I liked throughout season 2 but did not really miss his presence in the ensuing episodes/seasons. Not sure why, perhaps it was because it was the line that ended the six episode arc but I still love it when Jack says 'Damn it Kate, run!' My favourite sequence from these first six is definitely when Locke in his sweat lodge has a vision of Boone wheeling him through the airport, visually it was superb:

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Why I have decided to look at the series in two parts is probably because the first six episodes seem to be discussed as a separate entity and because this is the season where the backlash seemed the most strong, it is also the season where they announced that there would be an end date after negotiations with ABC were successful, soothing the naysayers. This was also when Heroes first premiered and was the new TV darling although in hindsight that is a show that started strong and which hasn't seemed to recover since the writers strike and would also benefit from having an end date.
The season over riding theme was that of the Others and of one Benjamin Linus:

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My highlights of this story and the rest of season 3 when rewatching include:

  • The Ben centric episode 'The Man Behind the Curtain' (see above picture) was well executed making you feel equally sorry for and repulsed by Ben's actions and making you understand a bit more as to why he is the manipulative and insecure person that he is in the present. Heartbreaking scenes between him and his father on his birthday make his actions as an adult more understandable. Great casting for young Ben who we have seen since.
  • The introduction of Richard who seemingly at first seems nothing more than one of Ben's many pawns, that is until we see him looking the same age in the 70s, still don't know his story fully but he is definitely one of the more intriguing characters. He was also responsible for revealing to Locke which other Lostie his father also had a hand in ruining. 
  • The reveal that Locke's father is the man who conned Sawyer's mother when he was a child was one that I had guessed in season 1- I very rarely get this stuff so far in advance so was happy that it played out that I was correct. The scenes in 'The Brig' with Sawyer and 'original' Sawyer are also really heartbreaking and showed that Josh Holloway is a lot more than snark and abs.
  • It was also revealed how Locke ended up in the wheelchair and he was dramatically thrown from a window eight floors up. The scene that follows of Locke being made to get in to his wheelchair also introduced us to 'don't tell me what I can't do' but this time spoken by the hospital worker.
  • Another relationship link that had been hinted at in season 2 is that Jack's father is also Claire's father, this is revealed to be true in the Claire centric episode 'Par Avion'.
  • Jack and Locke's relationship really hit the skids when John blew up Jacks ride home, not a good move for repairing friendships. Nor is blowing up the communication station. Or throwing knifes in the back of the person who will 'rescue' you.
  • I'm not sure if I'm in the minority but I enjoyed the slightly more irreverent episodes like 'Expose' and 'Tricia Tanaka is Dead'. Especially the latter with the idea that there is hope for them all, even if it comes from starting an old VW camper- which will come in as a handy weapon later on in the season. We also get to meet Roger Workmen, if only they knew who's father he turned out to be.
  • I had also forgotten that perhaps the best and the worst episodes in this season are back to back, these being 'Flashes Before Your Eyes' and the infamous Jack tattoo origins episode 'Stranger in a Strange Land'.
  • 'Flashes Before Your Eyes' is probably one of my favourite all time episodes and really set up the new 'power' that Desmond has and what occurred when he turned the key. It was also a really nice twist on the flashback format, getting to see his life before the island with him having knowledge of his island life. From seeing him wake up covered in red paint (meant to look like blood), in Dharma like overalls and with a microwave sound that is reminiscent of a certain computer there were so many touches of brilliance in this episode. We learn a little more about what kind of man Charles Widmore is (that he likes art in his office by baby abandoning Australians), that he likes expensive scotch and that he really, really does not approve of Desmond being with his daughter. Seeing Charlie singing 'Wonderwall' "Because maybe you're gonna be the one that saves me" in this odd flashback hints at the reveal at the the end of the episode. Perhaps the most important person in this flashback is the jewellary owner Eloise Hawking, who as we now know is Daniel Faraday's mother and former island inhabitant. However in this episode she is just the woman who reveals to Desmond that he can't change what is meant to happen, that things have a way of course correcting, that he must go to the island and leave Penny, forcing him again in to reliving the moment that he runs away from the women he loves. This leads back to the present where Desmond reveals that it has been Charlie's life and not Claire's that he has been saving and that it doesn't matter what he does as it is going to keep happening over and over again, 'You're going to die brother'.
  • That is exactly what does happen, but not until Desmond has saved him a couple more times and when his death will impact on the rescue of all the Losties. It is Charlie's death in Lost that is the one that I have been the most saddened by as he was my favourite character from the off. The manner in which they deal with his death is probably the best goodbye a character has had so far, from his episode 'Greatest Hits' which had me all misty eyed at the end to his actual watery demise, which had me double misty eyed I think that it was an excellent send off and gave his character the redemption he had been craving from the start:
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  • Other thoughts regarding the finale, the Jack flashback that was not a flashback at all had me fooled, even at the end when Kate stepped out of the car I inexplicably and stupidly said 'He knew her from before?!' to realise two seconds later what an idiot I was. This flash forward had many a puzzling things but mainly who is in the coffin? A question to not be revealed until the finale of season 4. As far as a Jack centric story this was by far one of my favourites and yes I can be quite critical of the Jack episodes. The only thing bad was the road kill that he had stuck to his face. The part on the bridge reminded me of two separate things, firstly with the newspaper and the car The Beatles song 'A Day in the Life' springs to mind: "I read the news today, oh boy" and "He blew his mind out in a car". The other cultural reference is that it makes me think of 'It's a Wonderful Life' standing on a bridge and contemplating death, though this time he isn't saved by an angel but an island that won't let him die. Tenuous yes but the first pop culture references that I think of when I see this part of the episode. I have to give props to Matthew Fox who really does play Jack as a desperate and broken man very well. I also love the hints about Jack being a hero and people recognising him, at this point we think that this is from rescuing the woman on the bridge, it turns out he is famous for something so much bigger.
  • Other parts of the finale that I liked was that Hurley who had been told that he could be no use turned out to be the big hero on the beach, getting the VW camper, running over the Others and saving Jin, Sayid and Bernard who's chances of survival looked slim, especially as the would be rescuers of Juliet and Sawyer were unarmed. Also getting to see Alex and Rousseau reunited was good to see, though this happiness will be somewhat short lived in season 4.
  • Overall, I really enjoyed season 3 despite my favourite character dying, With the contact to the freighter made at the end of this season and seeing that both Jack and Kate manage to get off the island and that Jack is such a broken man it sets up for season 4 very well. 
Click to view full size image

Photos courtesy of Lost-Media

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