Lost: Le Demon Blond

Skullbaby! Skullbaby! Skullbaby!

He’s all we have. So join us after the jump, won’t you?

INT. PSYCHIATRIST’S OFFICE – DAY

A large, creaky, somewhat menacing plume of black smoke lies on the shrink’s couch. The nebbish psychiatrist nervously adjusts his tie and gulps as he scribbles in his notepad.

SHRINK

So, you obviously feel like your mother abandoned you…

SMOKE MONSTER

No, you’re not listening to me. She was crazy. Really crazy. There were…incidents.

SHRINK

A lot of people think their parents were insane. They’re actually just transferring…

SMOKE MONSTER
(billows menacingly)

I said you’re not listening to me. She caused me undue growing pains. She didn’t care about me! She was really fucking crazy!

SHRINK

And you just can’t let go of your anger about that, can you? Even though it’s been…many years.

SMOKE MONSTER

No! I can’t let it go! She really hurt me!

SHRINK

And do you think that might be way you murder people indiscriminately?

SMOKE MONSTER

I…I never really linked it in my mind, but…

SHRINK

And do you think that might be why you feel the need to constantly “judge” people? Because you feel like your mother judged you, and deemed you unworthy?

SMOKE MONSTER
(sobbing)

I never really felt like she loved me. She made me feel so…so…dirty.

SHRINK

I’m so proud of you. You’ve really made a breakthrough today.

SMOKE MONSTER
(rips the shrink’s legs off)

FADE OUT.

And just as Smoke Locke did, Lost’s Season Six also made a breakthrough with “Recon,” as for the first time, the off-island action was something more than filler, something more than a minor annoyance. It was like Bizarro Lost, as I actually found myself waiting patiently during the on-island scenes until we could return to Cop Sawyer. Why haven’t the show’s writers made the flash-sideways consistently this compelling? Why did we have to sit through Kate delivering Claire’s baby, Jack’s bastard son tickling the ivories, and The Tale of The Dry Cleaner Vs. The Loan Shark?

The nagging questions in the back of our minds (“Where is all this headed?” “What the fuck is the point of the flash-sideways?” “There are only 9 episodes left, goddamnit! Answer some fucking questions!”) seem a little less important when an episode is just flat-out entertaining.

Maybe we should just chalk it up to Sawyer being Sawyer. Josh Holloway’s delivery of his final “son of a bitch” of the night, when Sawyer tackled Fugitive Kate, was absolutely priceless. Also, between Charlotte and Widmore’s con woman, Zoe, Lost met its quota of women in low-cut tops. Good on you, Lost.

And if you thought Sawyer watching Little House on the Prairie made for compelling television, just wait until next week when we find out that Richard Alpert spent 1981-1987 off the island so he could keep up with Gimme a Break. What does Sawyer like about Laura Ingalls? Is it the freckles? The nickname?

“It’s sad, really, how little you actually know.” With that line, though, Charles Widmore brought all those nagging questions back from the dark recesses within us. Because it raises an important issue — Lost’s problem with the unreliable narrator.

We are all desperate for answers from this show — but who’s going to give them to us? Who can give us some exposition that is remotely trustworthy? Any character in a position to give answers has given viewers countless reasons to doubt their credibility. Widmore? Ben? Jacob? Smoke Monster? Richard? These are our remaining island authority figures, and all of them have either lied extensively already or explicitly given us reasons to distrust them. And past characters like Dogen and Ellie have suffered from the same affliction.

Lost established the character of Ben as a liar early on, which freed the writers to give us information they could then retract as needed. But by surrounding Ben with so many others liars, thieves and killers, they’ve taken away any semblance of solid ground. And the resulting disorientation is part of what makes Lost, as a mystery show, great. As we near the endgame, though, how are viewers going to know when an answer is actually an answer, instead of a misdirection or red herring?

Widmore implied that he wasn’t the one who sent the freighter (at least that’s how I read that line), or that the freighties weren’t sent with the kill order. But we, the viewers, know that Widmore sent the freighter and turned Keamy loose, don’t we? And if we don’t, do we know anything? Is the Earth still round? Is the sky still purple?

It’s a given at this point that we don’t know who’s good and who’s evil. But we also have no idea who’s even capable of telling the truth about that, or anything else.

Rose and Bernard Annoyance Level: 0! An episode of Lost without Rose and Bernard is like a swimming pool without child urine. A hot tub without VDs. A pond without scum. A lake without the depressing, inadequate feeling that it should be an ocean. An ocean without that haunting memory of the one time that wave hit you and your bathing suit fell off.

Hey! It’s That Other! It’s Charlotte. What, you thought they’d give us a Sawyer/Juliet reunion this early in the season?

New Questions: So, um, who’s the Smoke Monster’s mom, and what were his “growing pains”?  How many times in one episode can the producers convince Josh Holloway to take his shirt off? And does he wax his chest? Is Jin actually being paid for this season? Will Cuse and Lindelof ever treat their compulsion to keep introducing new characters?

Answers: Uhhh….next week looks promising?

Potential Lost Spinoff of the Week: In a groundbreaking network drama, cops and partners Miles and Sawyer always have each other’s backs. Until they realize what they really want is each other’s backsides. NYPD Blue has nothing on the controversial new ABC Emmy-bait, “The Denial Detectives.” What happens when the one person you can really trust looks at you in a whole new way?

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Filed under Television Has AIDS, The Dilemma

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