here's some things i'm going to start paying attention to when critiquing episodes of 'lost:' who wrote it, and who directed it.
this week was written by damon lindelof
and elizabeth sarnoff
. damon is of course responsible for the grand arc of the show and co-wrote many of the best episodes. i wonder if there's been a shakeup at 'lost' because of the bad press the show was getting last month. damon and carlton used to only co-write with each other - now they have broken up and are involved in nearly episode as co-writer.
elizabeth sarnoff usually co-writes with christina kim. i think their best episode was last year's 'two for the road,'the climax ep of the season.
'left behind' was directed by karen gaviola
, who seems to have directed for just about every show on tv, but has only done one other ep of 'lost,' last year's lackluster 'the whole truth,' in which sun discovers she's pregnant.
like the much maligned 'columbus day' episode of 'the sopranos,' this week's 'lost' was mostly setup to something larger. we are building to the climax episode. a lot of seeds have been planted and the big season plot points are coming in about 5 episodes.
let's look at the show history and the way that a season is plotted out. the season climaxes all happen around episode 20:
season 1: boone dies
season 2: michael shoots ana lucia and libby
so a typical season's 3 act structure is
act I: eps 1-6
act II: eps 7-19
act III: eps 20-24
a detail i find mildly cool is that next week's episode is called 'one of us,' and it deals largely with juliet - last season's episode introducing ben was titled 'one of them
so, my reactions to this week's installment:
i thought it was a very good bridging episode, which exists largely to get our favs from one place to another, and to set up conflict once they arrive at their destinations. we have jack returning just as sawyer gets comfortable as the new leader.. and it looks like sayid is going to apply his interrogation techniques to juliet..
unlike some, i really enjoyed the connection between cassidy and kate, and the inherent irony to come in kate's future relationship with sawyer. it was subtle and understated - i'm sure casual viewers (and those who missed the 'previously on lost' segment) never even put together that cassidy was connected to sawyer. a weaker show would have made this glaringly obvious. the seed for this crossover was planted when sawyer sat at the same diner and was served by kate's mom in season 2 ep 13, 'the long con.'
i'm guessing that there is a larger reason for connecting kate to cassidy. at some point soon there will be a scene in which kate discovers she is pregnant, and sawyer will have a second chance with kate to make right the wrongs he did to cassidy (anonymous million dollar donation to his kid aside).
a guess: there was an alterior purpose in the others capturing kate and sawyer - they wanted kate to get pregnant. they put kate in a tiny dress, they let her get out of her cage, and they made no attempt to stop then from doing it - it's like the others masterminded a full scenario for them to artificially fall in love. when ben conned sawyer and took him to the mountaintop it was as if he was egging sawyer to admit he loved kate. we still don't know how all of the fertility/pregnancy/children issues tie together with the others.
we learned the true purpose of the sonic fence, which was maybe the only bit of real mythology we got this week. seeing it in action was pretty cool though, and nicely set up by the previous episode. course, the question is, why can't smokey just go over it too?
damon/carlton have stated in the podcast that we won't see locke again for 5 more episodes - hello climax episode 20! so whatever is going on with where the others fled to, locke's father, and whatever ben and locke are up to is going to be THE BIG THING that propels us into the season finale.
my guess is that we are going to be shown a bigger piece of the four-toed statue puzzle, and that wherever they are fleeing to has to do with the ancient history of the island.
i just looked at the timeline and the calendar - so far, the entirety of season three has happened in just over two weeks
! we will not get to christmas by the end of the season (it's 'currently' december 13th), so it doesn't look like we'll be skipping any days coming up. if the show is looking at a 6 season run, at this pace the show will finish at the end of march, 2005. or there'll be some crazy time thing. in any case, i'm very curious about what they'll do with christmas, as 2004 was the year of the tsunami, though the island is pretty certainly in the pacific, so would probably be unaffected.