The Island Gives, the Island Takes Away

This week’s episode of “Lost” was called “Meet Kevin Johnson.” It ended on a soap opera-like cliffhanger, with Sayid making a dramatic announcement and the camera lingering on other characters giving meaningful looks at each other. And then another cliffhanger with gunplay. Which won’t be resolved until late April.

But “Battlestar Galactica” starts back up real soon to hold us over! And that kind of sums up the give and take with this episode. For every scene that delivers a “This is totally the best show on television” moment, you have to take another that makes you ask, “Whuh?” (And for every post on here about “Lost,” you have to take spoilers).

For instance:

  • Michael, like everybody who watches “Lost,” hates Michael, and he tries to kill himself!
  • …but fails every time, because the Island has some kind of control over him, even in Manhattan.
  • Driving a car off a pier? no into a dumpster while more hatch-like music is playing on the radio!
  • …and a really shockingly creepy comeback from Libby!
  • …but she got like 30 seconds total screen time in this episode, which seems like a waste for flying her out to Hawaii and everything. Plus there’s still no sign of getting more of her back-story with Hurley in the institution.
  • …also, Michael recovered from his suicide attempt within less than a week storytime, because of the above-mentioned Island powers..
  • Big Other Tom got officially outed, posthumously, clarifying that “You’re not my type” comment to Kate in season 3 that had some people on the internet speculating he was an alien or something!
  • …and they handled that pretty well, actually. It was just another aspect of his character, and they had him back to fist fights and telling Michael to “man up” instead of mincing around or becoming magically extra-sensitive or something.
  • A new Dharma location, with an appropriately creepy name and a cool Lord of the Rings-esque map and the location of Ben’s secret forces!
  • …leading to a betrayal that I saw coming from the first scene of the episode, when they showed Ben looking warily at the boyfriend with his arm around Alex’s waist.
  • An opening scene of like 10 minutes of a bunch of characters standing around telling each other “no more secrets” and explaining in detail everything that’s going on and everyone’s secret agenda!
  • …which was jaw-dropping only because this is “Lost.” On any other show, it would’ve been annoyingly clunky exposition.

But really, on the whole I was more impressed with this episode than annoyed by it. All of the episodes this season have been surprisingly solid, and this one had moments (especially when Libby was involved) that surprised me more than anything since the beginning few hatch-centric episodes of season 2.

I’d been hoping for no more than that the series would find its feet again, just so that it could limp to some sort of resolution for the various storylines, instead of imploding into an incomprehensible mess like “The X-Files” did. But this season has exceeded all my expectations, and it’s really delivering. Maybe not delivering on the answers, so much, but delivering on the potential of the premise.

The only question I remember being raised here: We saw two characters getting shot, one we don’t care about at all and one we kind of almost care about. Did they both die? And I guess a secondary question: Could they be setting it up for Alex to lead a counter-offensive against Ben and/or Jacob?

And what is the deal with Starbuck, anyway?