Controlling Interest

I don’t have much of interest to say about this week’s episode of “Lost” (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 1”), but that’s never stopped me before…

I’ve been really impressed with this season, and how well they’ve turned the series around. It’s gone from something that I watch just to see where it goes, back to must-see “I can’t believe how cool this show is” programming. Still, a lot of the episodes feel like characters being moved around on a giant island-shaped chessboard. People meet up, separate, and travel from place to place not so much out of a genuine motivation, but because the story just needs them to be in a certain place at a certain time.

Still, it’s good stuff. A while ago, I recommended that they just dispense with the new mysteries and spend the rest of the series just wrapping up the old ones. I’m glad to see they haven’t done that. Instead, they introduced the Ben/Widmore rivalry and put that on a low boil, while they work backwards from the end of season 3 and attempt to get it to hook up with the events of season 4. And they’re calling back to the old favorites (like the numbers), as well as giving some closure to stories developed in flashbacks.

Speaking of that, this is one of the few episodes where the flashbacks (or flash-forwards) are more interesting than the island-based story. Not a whole lot happened here, but Sun’s moment of retribution just kicked all kinds of ass, making me think they’re actually going to have a somewhat satisfying conclusion to the whole Sun & Jin story.

Also, I’m glad to see I was wrong when I accused them of just perfunctorily ending the Sayid & Nadia story. Instead of devoting an entire episode to it, they just let us piece together what happened from snatches of dialogue, and from seeing them together in the other characters’ flash-forwards. That turns out to be a lot more effective than any number of love scenes set to swelling music.

Watching the episode on the website doesn’t give a teaser trailer, so I’m going into next week’s episode completely oblivious. (Is it the season finale, or is that the week after?) Since we’re getting into The Orchid station and finally meeting the other Others, not to mention a ship loaded with explosives, I’m expecting no small amount of awesomeness. And most likely the deaths of a few more characters.

Frustrating things:

  • Since I was wrong about Nadia & Sayid, I could be wrong to assume that they’re done with Danielle’s story. It’s only been a couple weeks, but the longer they go without mentioning it, the more anxious I get that they’re going to drop that whole storyline and never give a resolution to the Black Rock/Numbers/Sickness business.
  • Michelle Forbes is usually the anti-Ted McGinley; when she shows up in a series, it’s a sign that things are about to get more interesting. I hope there’s more to her character than just being an Oceanic Airlines PR person.
  • They’ve been spending a lot of time on the Claire/Jack/Aaron/Jack’s Dad business, without actually saying anything we didn’t already know.
  • Things don’t look good for Jin. Seeing Future Sun administer a smackdown to her father helped make this a little easier to swallow, but I’m still holding out hope for a happy ending there. I hope that the Oceanic Six believe they’re covering up the truth, but that there’s more going on than even they are aware of.

Plus I wonder if next week is when we find out who was in the coffin.