Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Review: Lost 2.22: Three Minutes

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We finally meet Walt again. From Wikia
Lost - Season Two, Episode Twenty-Two - Three Minutes
Written 23/11/13

 The last time we spent an entire episode on The Island was The Other 48 Days, whichwas a fantastic episode filling in a massive gap in our knowledge about what the fuck had been going on. Three Minutes shares a similar purpose, although this time for a character who we had pretty much left for dead and who by this point has made himself very unpopular. Michael's plot arc over these two seasons is an odd one in many ways - he's the only parent, the only African-American, and is embodied by this repeated idea of a father desperate to be with his son despite knowing very little about him.
      In the present, we see the preparations for the funeral of Libby and Ana-Lucia, as Jack prepares to use Michael to hunt down The Others a few miles down the coast. Michael is on-edge and is strangely specific about the people he wants involved in the trek - Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley. This leads former interrogator Sayid to believe that Michael is setting them up, and so he suggests his own involvement be secret. At the funeral, a ship appears on the horizon - it is the Elizabeth. In flashbacks, we see the events of The Hunting Party from Michael's point of view - captured by the Others and given a deal - gather the four names together, and get to leave the Island with Walt. He also meets the girl from Claire's dream, who is confirmed to be Alex, Danielle Rousseau's daughter.
     Like last week, we're working on an action-y plot so there's very little explicit character development, but the divulsion of Michael's journey from concerned father to nervy turncoat was worth a look. It's fair to say that the two aren't exactly inconsistent in character, and so my focus is more on the look at The Others we get to see. (Those of you unspoilered, skip to the next paragraph.) In the later seasons we see that behind this fascade, the Others are quite a sophisticated and organised group of people. It makes their actions here look exceedingly strange, especially as it would be easier for the Others (and later Jacob) to just be open and honest in their dealings with the Survivors instead of resorting to deceit, manipulation and murder.
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Eko takes over at the Hatch. From Wikia
     A problem which overwhelmed quite a lot of this episode's impact, really. The Others' plan relies on the Survivors' demonstrated reactionism guiding them to retaliate against a supposed attack by them, but their ridiculously specific demands for hostages mean that even if Michael wasn't a guilty, nervous mess, they'd probably guess that something was up. There is no reason for Michael to not just tell the Survivors about his predicament, and had he done so them they might have had the time to work out how to save everyone and defeat The Others there and then.
      Unlike my ragings at the end of the fifth season, this antepenultimate episode leaves me with very little to say at all. The season began with a lot of promise and some very good characters, but I think the writers must have been far too used to the slow-and-steady stories to write a show that managed to be hard-hitting and well-developed at the same time. A lot of the mysteries presented by the second season would later go on to be picked up, but in my present hindsight their appearance here seems strange and inconsistant with what would come later - especially in the character of Michael - the man once willing to organise an operation to save a man from a cave-in, who attempted to build a raft to leave the Island, who is now so dodgy and desperate that he follows enemy orders in a way less subtle than a Dalek's stag do.

Thanks.

NEXT WEEK: The first part of the finalé, as Desmond helps us repeat the phrase, Live Together, Die Alone.

2 comments:

  1. ["There is no reason for Michael to not just tell the Survivors about his predicament, and had he done so them they might have had the time to work out how to save everyone and defeat The Others there and then."]


    Why would you assume that? Why would you assume that all Michael had to do was tell the castaways about his and Walt's situations with the Others and they would immediately have a perfect solution?

    Because Jack and the others have never given any hint that they would have successfully solved the problem of Walt's kidnapping.

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    1. One of my few beefs with Season Two's Other storyline is that there is a marked lack of communication between different people and factions, and that it's this lack of communication which causes many of the character dilemmas.

      Here we see Michael's motivation to follow The Others' plan and betray his friends - they've told him he'll get to see Walt again. But Michael has no reason to trust that this is true, and for all he knows he could be betraying them for nothing. It's lucky for him that Ben is honourable when things are going his way.

      Jack and the gang likely would not have come up with the perfect solution, that I will grant you. The side-plan to attack the decoy base nearly gets Sun killed. But had Michael returned to the camp and told them all about The Others' plan, they would have the upper hand. They now know that whoever he is, Henry is a valuable hostage, and they know that The Others want three specific people for reasons which aren't really explained.

      Seeing as Walt was becoming a thorn in The Others' side anyway, it doesn't seem unreasonable that with this information, the Camp could request a trade-off with Ben and Walt on one hand while preparing a possible counterstrike on the other. Like I say, it's not perfect, but it makes less sense for Michael to orchestrate the messy set of murders he does to save a man who might not even give him what he wants.

      Thanks. :D

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