Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Review: Lost 6.2: LAX, Part Two

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Oh, look, Emilie de Ravin's back.
Lost - Season Six, Episode Two - LAX, Part Two
Written between 2nd and 4th January 2013 

I don't know what I'm doing. I expected to be here sprouting vitriol - having fun. And yet I'm stuck with these first few episodes, which are pretty much 100% golden. It feels like a bit of a backhanded complement, but the beginning of Season Six is just too good. LAX Part Two built upon the premiere well, and as well as getting us comfortable with the idea of the Flash-Sideways and with the Man In Black, it left us with one of the series best cliffhangers ever. (And one of its funniest line deliveries, Naveen.)
     While Sawyer stays behind with Miles to bury and communicate with the dead Juliet, the rest of the 1977 team go over to the Temple, where they are assaulted by The Others. Hurley manages to convince Temple Leader Dogen and his translator Lennon of his credentials using a list of names that is found inside the guitar case he'd been carrying. Sayid is taken to a spring where he's held underwater, and even though he regains consciousness in the water, he seemingly drowns to death. While the others have a lot of questions for the temple Others, they are alarmed when Hurley informs them of Jacob's death. On the other side of the island, The Man In Black knocks out Richard and gives Ben a talking to, telling him that John Locke was a weak man and that unlike him, the Man In Black wants to return home. At the Temple, the Others are about to restrain Jack and Sayid magically comes back to life, uttering the immortal words, "Wot hoppon?"
     The focus was a lot more on the present this week, with the flash-sideways being put to the side somewhat. We saw a few scenes that were necessary to set up the next episode, but it rather wisely put the focus onto the Temple. I question the wisdom of throwing a lot more backstory in our faces at once what with the Temple and this other sect of The Others, but from hindsight I know that none of it will get a lot of depth so I'm not worrying too much. Dogen and Lennon are cool character designs in themselves, and I really wish that they had a bigger role in this series. After Ben basically spilled the beans on a whole gamut of The Others' mysteries, Dogen brings back their former mysticism if in a somewhat cheaper and more directly obstructive form.
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WOT HOPPON?
     Since this is from hindsight, I do have to point out that a lot of the mystic stuff from this episode is never explained. We don't know why the Temple Springs have darkened in colour, or how it works, and we certainly never get an explanation as to why they drowned Sayid and were then surprised when he woke up again. It presents an interesting parallel for Sayid's character - previously he had shot Ben Linus, who was then healed at the same spring, and now he had a similar wound inflicted by Roger Linus. But despite the clever character arrangement, it has just basically robbed Sayid of any further development this season outside of the Flash-Sideways, until his eventual unfortunate sacrifice.
     Despite me being annoyingly picky, I do think that LAX as a whole is a really good opener to the series. As possibly one of the first episodes of Lost I actually saw on transmission, it blew me away and it set the series up in a really interesting direction. The many mysteries it presented, despite the vast majority of them going unheeded later on, set the fandom alight and as a viewer experience it was a perfect way to start things off. Top notch.

Thanks.

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