TWO OF US RIDING NOWHERE: Before I say word one about Lost, I have to warn you: We're at a point in this show where you can't write about it or discuss it without spoilers. If good television unfolds like a novel, this show is more Harry Potter than All the King's Men -- a series of novels intended to be treated as separate units with their own beginnings, middles, and ends while spanning a greater unified arc. To the series so far -- The Island; The Hatch; The Others; The Wrinkle in Time; we add -- here's where the spoilers start, since giving this volume a name will reveal its premise --
Despite my annoyance at the show's frequent willingness to introduce us to an entirely new set of characters (hi, Sol Starr) who have been on the island all this time -- this time to a bunch of Others only one of whom we've seen before -- I have an acceptable level of interest in the doings at both Craphole Orthodox and Craphole Reform. It took me an awful lot of time to connect Not-Locke with his past on the show, but in retrospect, it gives a new sparkle to some of last year's scenes. I very much liked the scene of not-Locke shot, perhaps, as a thematically-appropriate nod to Apocalypse Now, with not-Locke-as-Colonel-Kurtz moving his face in and out of the shadow in the ruins, a groveling servant at his feet. And I am very much digging the Hurley who is assertive and taking charge while Sawyer broods, Jack dissolves into guilt, and Kate mothers. One question, though: How did they get the van and all its equipment to come with them? Also: how much trial and error did it take the temple crew to figure out the precise magical drowning time?
However intrigued I am by the tropical version of events (and Juliet's foot in both), it's the LA story that has me hooked. Juliet's "it worked" was really unnecessary (for us, not for Sawyer & company) because of the pleasant conundrum we received on the plane: what was Desmond doing there? Be he hallucination, discontinuity, or interloper -- an unstuck man sent to rejoin two strands of events that shouldn't have diverged -- his being there proved to a certainty that nothing didn't happen. The plane scenes also worked so well at showing us that the world in which the plane doesn't crash is not paradise (at least for the half-dozen characters who don't die in the crash, at the hands of the Others, because of fellow-passengers' suspicion, when buried alive, in the clutches of the smoke monster, in a freak antique dynamite explosion, in a hail of flaming arrows, drowned by a self-detonating one-eyed Russian, or crushed underneath a falling plane after surviving a fall in a plane) -- that we didn't need not-Locke's speech about it (which, as I said, I liked anyway).
And I'm a sucker for reunions. Boone, Cindy, Arzt, Aaron Burr, Charlie Hobbit, Marshall Whatshisname. I've rarely been so happy to see so many irritating people, and I wonder if we're going to see any of them again. But it made me think of who was missing. We know that Michael won't be back (at least Harold Perrineau said he wouldn't), and I don't know why Shannon wasn't there, but I would have expected to see the tailies -- Ana Lucia (who we saw at the end of Season 5), Mr. Eko, and Libby. Since there's some question about whether Libby actually was on the plane, I look forward to finding out if I'm just making too much out of nothing.
Nothing is irreversible.
Incidentally, I did not read any comments before writing this, and I haven't watched (and won't watch) the next-ons.