Sunday, 27 May 2007

"Gotta keep those lovin' good vibrations a-happenin' with her"

It's been too long. Over a month since I last posted. Not good enough, is it? More posts to come this week, I promise.

What can you say about Lost (tonight, 10pm, Sky One) that hasn't already been said? Very little, as a matter of fact. Sure, it's one of the most erratic, independable, frustrating shows on television, but I'm still watching. Why? Well, curiosity for the most part, but also because when it's good, it's very, very good. Blessed with arguably the best ensemble on American network television right now (Heroes aside), the writers seem to struggle to strike a balance between character development and the wiry machinations of a plot seemingly spiralling out of control.

Tonight's feature-length season finale, however, is one such example of the Lost team getting it completely spot-on. The heart of the show is in its flawed, intrepid characters like troubled doctor, Jack (Matthew Fox, above), troubled ex-con, Sawyer (Josh Holloway), troubled rock star and ex-smack addict, Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) and troubled murderer-on-the-run, Kate (Evangeline Lilly). Yes, of course, they're all troubled by something or other from the past that we learn about from the show's incessant flashbacking. It doesn't take the brain of Britain to figure out that all these people, with so many demons to make peace with, are obviously on the island for a reason. That plane crash was no coincidence. We'll have to wait until 2010 to find out that reason (the show was recently given an end-date of three seasons down the line), but the finale to season three throws up a few tantalising glimpses of what lies ahead for our castaways, whilst asking more and more intriguing questions.

I don't want to give too much away, as most of the fun with Lost comes in not seeing the plot twists on the horizon, but to be honest, not a hell of a lot happens in the way of plot tonight. Things are played out in a gripping slowburn, the director and writers slowly ratcheting up the tension inherent in the situations the gang find themselves in. At the end of last week's penultimate episode, Charlie had managed to get into the underwater signal jamming station, only to have guns pointed in his face by two previously-unseen 'others', while Jack was to lead the rest of the crew up to the radio tower, leaving Sayid (Naveen Andrews), Bernard (Sam Anderson) and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) to blow the shit out of the 'others' coming to take away the women (people unfamiliar with the show, you can stop scratching your heads, it won't do you any good). I can say that all three story points are tied up in such a satisfying way that you will welcome the inevitable closing scene rug-pull with open arms. Just when you think that everything's going to work out fine...

The ending also possibly opens up a whole new angle for the show as it enters the second half of its lifespan. Again, I won't give too much away, but Matthew Fox gets to do some gut-wrenching emoting from behind an implausibly full, Grizzly Adams-style beard. It also signals that the end will not be a very happy one. Here's to Lost becoming a bleaker, better show in the next three seasons, full of bad vibrations and earth-shattering reveals.

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