Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Review: Lost 3.1: A Tale of Two Cities

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Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) is going Downtown.
From Wikia
Lost - Season Three, Episode One - A Tale of Two Cities
Written 14/2/14

It's Valentine's Day and I'm bombing out, so let's get back to Lost. The third season of the show is the one I know the least about - often considered, in various sectors of the internet, to be a misstep in the show's momentum. Not that it's particularly obvious from the season's premiere episode, which follows the trend of fantastic Lost openers and more or less blows our minds with new concepts for the following season. As part of a six-episode arc focusing on the captivity of the show's native :Love Triangle, A Tale of Two Cities promises a lot and, mostly, it delivers, give or take a few odd decisions which still won't make sense down the line.
     Jack, Kate and Sawyer, having been kidnapped by The Others at the end of the last season, find themselves in captivity in a station called The Hydra, which used to hold animals in captivity. While Jack is kept in a swanky underwater cell with glass walls, Kate and Sawyer are put in cages and forced to live on Fish Biscuits. We discover that The Others are much more techy than they appeared previously, living in a modern-ish settlement called The Barracks (ooh, yay!) in the middle of the Jungle. Among their number is the frustrated Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) who has been assigned by Other leader Ben (Michael Emerson, now a main cast member after his stint as "Henry Gale" last season) to soften Jack into compliance with their demands.
     The episode's flashbacks showed an obsessed Jack attempting to hunt down wife Sarah's new lover during the breakdown of his marriage, showing a malicious streak which would reappear in Season Four. This flashback was juxtaposed nicely with the interactions between Jack and Juliet in the main story, although it was weird as always that Jack just so happens to be thinking about the things we see in the flashback at that particular moment. It also made the episode feel very detached with Kate and Sawyer, both of whom had odd scenes of their own where The Others did various bizzare and wacky things with them.
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"Henry Gale" is now in full force as leader Benjamin Linus.
From Wikia
     The introduction of Juliet is really where the episode strikes its most triumphant chord, as her character provides a very different perspective to that of the other protagonists. Her relucant stewardship under Ben is one of the show's more well-developped relationships at this stage, especially as both Emerson and Mitchell are fantastic actors who have the skill to capture the layered hatred and fear that both of them feel for each other despite their working relationship. Plus, Juliet was the star of the trademark season opening mindfuck, this time hosting a book-club in a village which is only revealed to be on The Island when Oceanic 815 breaks up above it.
     A Tale of Two Cities is nothing special, then, where Lost is concerned. Neither, I fear, will be this next month or so, as the six episodes in Season Three's intial arc roll by in all their famed mediocrity. Although, I am perhaps missing out on one important factoid. This is in fact the only episode of Lost written by series co-creator J.J. Abrams, who basically had the concept of the show dumped on him after fellow writer Jeffrey Lieber was fired from the project. The fact that some of our characterisations are a little on edge and there are certain gratuitous scenes involving Kate and a shower show Abrams' involvement, but aside from that it's interesting to note how similar his style is to the rest of the show's norm.

Thanks.

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