Lost: Got More Hits Than Sadaharu Oh

Best episode of the season so far? Check.

Awesome Sayid fighting scenes? Check.

Renewed faith in Season Six? Not so fast, young ‘un.

Let’s find out why, together, after the jump.

“Sundown” continued a growing Season Six trend in that the action on the island grew progressively more captivating, while the alterna-verse story remained stale, confusing and pointless.

This episode focused on Sayid, and served as a showcase for his all-around bad-assery, and….Oh, who are we kidding? We all know why we’re here. Let’s skip ahead to:

What’s Up With the Baseball? Oh, you mean the baseball that saved Sayid’s life? That baseball? Well, turns out, it’s a Japanese baseball! Who knew? You see, it turns out that Dogen got all liquored up in Osaka, and got into a drunk driving accident after picking his son up from baseball practice. The kid was about to die, when Jacob showed up, and offered to save the kid’s life if Dogen agreed to come to the island and never see his son again.

Presumably, then, the baseball is the very same one his kid brought home from practice that day. And we frothy-mouthed, answer-starved, Lost-fanatic baby birds were actually provided with an explanation for something.

Well, unfortunately, I deem that explanation: UNSATISFACTORY.

If we were introduced to a mysterious baseball in episode two of this season, only to be told it’s a maudlin (albeit life-saving) souvenir a few episodes later, then what was the point of ever bothering to show us the damn baseball in the first place?

In that way, the baseball is not unlike Dogen and Lennon. Why introduce two new characters (one of whom was admittedly kind of awesome), raise all kinds of new questions, and then simply kill them off a few episodes later? Why not just have Ben continue to be the leader of the Others? If we never see Dogen or Lennon again, their characters will seem exceedingly pointless. If we do see them in the alterna-verse, then it only further dilutes the already-fading emotional impact that death has on Lost.

But back to what’s important — the baseball. While I’m glad we got an answer about it, and very glad we got to see a slow-motion shot of it dropping on the floor, and very very glad we got to see Dogen fondling it pensively one last time, I’m not giving up hope that there’s more to be revealed about our cowhide friend. For example, it’s still possible that:

  • The very last scene of Lost will be Jack and Ghost Christian playing catch — with that very baseball.
  • The baseball is the key to integrating the two timelines, as that’s the ball that allowed the Yankees to win the 2004 ALCS in the alterna-verse, hence “putting things right” with the cosmos. Do you really think long-suffering Jack will be allowed to enjoy his beloved Red Sox winning the World Series, even in an alternate universe?
  • Richard Alpert is actually Shoeless Joe Jackson, doomed to roam the island in ageless purgatory until Major League Baseball allows him in the Hall of Fame.
  • All of Lost is actually one giant baseball allegory. You see, the island represents baseball, the pure game itself. The Smoke Monster represents the haunting spectre of steroids, trying to destroy this most sacred of institutions. And Jacob is Bud Selig…

(Pop Culture Has AIDS — your #1 source for Lost/baseball analysis. You can’t find this stuff ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD.)

Anyway, in non-baseball island action (if such a thing is even possible), we got a whole bunch of awesomeness, tempered by a tiny bit of Dirty Claire and her terrible acting. Any Lost episode where Sayid gets into multiple fights, kills multiple people and the Smoke Monster slaughters a bunch of Others is going to be OK by me. I also enjoyed the unexpected appearance of Lapidus and Ben during the Smoke Monster’s version of Kristallnacht. I’m hopeful that this is the last we’ll see of the temple, easily the worst set ever constructed for Lost.

Now, Sayid, Claire, Cindy, Kate and presumably Sawyer have joined Smoke Locke in his quest to get off the island, while Ben, Lapidus, Ilana, Sun Miles will try to stop him. Where’s Jack? Sitting on a rock, feeling kinda sad, kinda glum. Where’s Jin? Dead? TBD.

Over in the alterna-verse, do I care about Sayid’s brother’s dry cleaning business? No, no I do not. Tune in next week on Lost when Sayid’s brother gets audited by the IRS, and we join Sayid and Nadia as they comb through financial records, looking for inconsistencies.

I also don’t care whether Nadia ends up with Sayid, the dry cleaner, or the weird-looking school bus driver. Sayid has already found and lost Nadia so many times on this show that the impact of seeing them together or apart has been destroyed.

But for the first time this season, I found myself disappointed when an episode of Lost ended, and I’m unabashedly, rather than hesitantly, looking forward to next week (unless it’s another Kate episode).

Rose and Bernard Annoyance Level: 0! Can I get a witness? Lost without Rose and Bernard is like pregnancy without morning sickness. A weekend without Sunday night dread. The Star Wars franchise without the last four movies. Eden without the snake.

Hey! It’s That Other! While not technically an Other, Keamy is close enough. While his cameo was welcome, I’m not looking forward to next week, when we find out Ben’s lady butcher is actually a candlestick maker in the alternate timeline.

Answers: The baseball is Japanese. Oh, and within every person is a scale, and the balance is tilted toward good…or evil.

New Questions: How could Dogen keep the Smoke Monster out of the temple? Did Emilie de Ravin forget how to act during her season-long vacation? Hey, where’s Sawyer at?

Potential Lost Spinoff of the Week: “Dogen’s Heroes.” Tune in as Dogen returns from the island to coach his son’s Little League team. Can they make it to Williamsburg? Will Dogen torture each player during tryouts to determine if they’re good or evil? Will Dogen ever learn to like the taste of English on his tongue? Will the Smoke Monster help the opposing team by catching easy pop-puts and blowing them over the fence?

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Filed under Television Has AIDS, The Dilemma

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