Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"Lost" recap: Yelling Smoke Monster in a crowded temple

On this week's episode, we learn that you don't tug on Superman's cape; you don't spit into the wind; you don't pull the mask off the ol' Lone Ranger and you DON'T mess around with Sayid -- no matter what timeline he's in.
Spoilers below. Don't click through if you haven't seen this week's episode.

So, I guess this week's episode, "Sundown," didn't do much to satisfy angry fans who complain that this season isn't offering enough answers. It was yet another example of "Lost" answering maybe one question ("Where did Dogen come from?" being the only query to get a satisfactory answer this week -- at least by my count) while asking a zillion more (What's going on with Island Sayid? Why was off-island Jin locked in Loan Shark Keamy's freezer? Is the smoke monster evil? Is Sayid evil? Is Claire evil? Is Miles EVER going to get a showcase episode this season?).
Look, I understand the frustration. This is the last season. People want layers to be peeled away, not added en masse.
I get it. I just don't agree. First, I don't think we can pass judgment on this season until it's over. "Lost" has always been a puzzle -- a particularly maddening puzzle, where the pieces don't seem to be adding up to anything. But they usually do. So I'm trusting that the show knows what it's doing. I'm trusting that we are getting answers -- we just don't know it yet.
In the meantime, I'm just enjoying the pleasures this season offers along the way. I count "Sundown" among these pleasures. Yes, there didn't seem to be forward movement but damn, was it creepy.
First of all, any episode this packed with Sayid action is worth watching. That first, wordless smackdown between Sayid and Dogen was simply breath-taking. Hiroyuki Sanada and Naveen Andrews are amazing to watch together, and I'll sit through many minutes of nothing to watch these guys tear each other up in a dungeon.
Then we got all that awesome off-Island action in Keamy's kitchen of death. Nobody uses a body as a human shield like Sayid. Nobody.
But the core of the episode involved Sayid and what I assume is his growing loyalty to the Locke Mess Monster. We see that Claire is completely under his power and, by episode's end, we also see Sayid headed that way, with his brutal murders of Dogen and Lennon. But what is the Locke Mess Monster? He certainly seems terrifying, and people do horrible things in his name. Yet can't the same be said for Jacob (or, if you want to get large with this, God)?
Whatever his end game, that final scene, with Locke Mess leading the temple folk -- and Claire, Kate and Sayid -- into the jungle was simply shivery. Fault the "Lost" team for their coyness if you must,  but you gotta admit -- they know how to ook you out.
Here are some more thoughts on "Sundown":
* If the final scene was the episode's creepiest moment, all the stuff with Claire in the pit ranks a close second. Her eerie rendition of "Catch a Falling Star" (the same song Christian sang to her and that Kate sang to Aaron) totally wigged me out. Ditto for the way Claire darkness immediately filled Claire's face the second Kate admitted to having Aaron. Eek!
* BTW, how dumb is Kate? Does she actually think Claire will be happy that she took Aaron? Yes, I know she's glad to see Claire and to get a chance at uniting Aaron with his mom, but didn't she seem a little too cavalier when she told Claire what she had done? Wouldn't she expect the mom of the kid she'd stolen to be just a wee bit pissed? Yeah, she had a good reason, but the bottom line is that Kate took Claire's child. This is simply not the way to make friends.
* There was just enough Miles in this episode to make me really hope there's another good Ken Leung showcase before the season is out. His description of Claire as "weird -- still hot, thought" was the episode's best line.
* We did get a little background on Dogen this week, and learned he ended up on the island in an attempt to save his son's life. It offered a window into the heart of this steely character -- and gave us some insight into the off-Island Dogen (and Dogen Jr.) who popped up in last week's Jack story. I hope this episode wasn't the last we've seen of Sanada, or of John Hawkes, who played Lennon. They're too good to be disposed of so quickly.
* OK, let's talk about the off-island story. Nadia is alive! She's also married to Sayid's brother. So what's worse? Losing the love of your life to death or losing her to a family member? The saddest part is that off-Island Sayid refused to be with Nadia because he felt he wasn't worthy of her. Original recipe Sayid never seemed to have that problem. Interesting.
* Also, was that the same picture of Nadia Sayid had on him in the original timeline? It looked different to me.
* Of course Martin Keamy is a brutal loan shark in his off-Island life. OF COURSE. It was nice to see him die again.
* Did anyone else think it was Alex trapped in the freezer? Seeing Keamy totally had me thinking that way, so I was stunned to see it was actually Jin.
* OK, have to point this out -- any "True Blood" fans out there notice that Sayid rocks the same black tank top favored by Erik on "TB"? I guess if you're the kind of guy who spillss a lot of blood, you want something sleek, fashionable and capable of camouflaging stains.
* Speaking of which -- D'oh! Sun shows up at the Temple ... to find that Jin has been there and left. Will they ever be back together?? Sob!
Well, that's all I've got. What did you think?


Anonymous said...

The photo of Nadia you mentioned is the same photo from season 2 when in the flashbacks, the CIA was trying to get Sayid to convince his friend to go a long with the suicide bombing. I forget the exact episode, but I am re-watching older Lost episodes in between the new seasons and I just watched that one 2 days ago. Check it out.

Enjoyed reading your post!

Bill Scurry said...

As much as I love what Terry is doing with it these days, I miss Original Recipe Locke. He wasn't finished being built yet, and had so many angles to explore.