Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Lost: Season 3 Recaps

We are currently doing a weeklong tribute to my favorite TV show (or thing in general), the television series Lost.  For more articles about Lost week, click here.

(Editor's Notes: These episodes are judged on a curve.  Lost is my all-time favorite show and even at its worst, it's still better than pretty much anything I've ever experienced on television.  Additionally, Lost is a show that is built off of its mystique and mystery-if you haven't seen these episodes, SEE THEM NOW as they are the part of the best series ever put on television, and then come back and discuss as I get spoiler-y for the full series below).

A Tale of Two Cities (#3.1)

Review:  In re-watching the show, one thing in particular stands out compared to my first time visiting the show.  The first time I watched this show, I loathed Juliet.  More than Ben, more than Keamy, more than Michael (okay, maybe not more than Michael), I could not stand this blonde woman who had taken my beloved trio away from their beach-y home.  Try as I might in the subsequent episodes, I’ve never been able to recreate this vitriol.  I guess it’s because I can now see the woman trapped behind the façade, but I must admit that the façade itself was delicious and enigmatic.  The Jack off-the-island storyline was a little bit stretched (I can’t believe that Sarah would have slept with Christian, even if I would have believed it of the dirty old man), though I loved his emotional reaches on the island.  All-in-all, a very solid start to the season, and a better episode than I remembered.
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Chachi, for Karl, who would, let’s face it, be a solid source of nicknames for the future.
(Still) Unanswered Questions: That opening shot, which I have always loved, is intense for so many reasons, not least of which it’s the closest we ever get of a shot of this island.  Just how big is the damn thing?  It looks roughly the size of Kauai, which is probably true, but is it even bigger?  Will we ever know for sure?  Maps and descriptions on the show always seem to vary, though it seems impossible that someone like Ben never properly did some cartography.
Pause for Station Identification: The Hydra, with its instant ability to drown.
You’re on a Deserted Island: Is it just me, or has Jack suddenly added about three inches of bicep in the overnight since last season?  Is there a gym on the Hydra?
Best Line: “No, I’m a repo woman.” –Juliet, mocking Jack’s faux profession
Best Moment: Jack, asking if Sarah is happy, a moment he realizes that that was the only thing he ever cared about.
Episode MVP: Juliet, starting her Lost career off with a memorable bang.

The Glass Ballerina (#3.2)

Review: Sun turning into the Terminator is always the mark of a fine episode, and there’s enough malice hiding in this episode to make it a highly memorable ride.  It’s hard to remember how good the beginning of Season Three was, as it always seemed a teensy bit sloppy with those Hydra Island stories dragging on too long.  That said, this is tightly wound on and off the island, as we discover that Sun did in fact have an affair, and that the child could in fact be someone else’s.  Sun’s genius is the way that she always seems to take advantage of every opportunity presented to her, in stark contrast to Jack, Sawyer, even Sayid.  She’s the castaway that likely could have made it if she’d gone on her own the longest.  The rest of the storyline, that of Sawyer and Kate flirting and Jack being tormented again by Ben, is also solid, but it’s in Sun’s capable hands that this rests, and we should be most thankful.
Best Line: “If you wanted me to believe this you probably should have picked somebody else, besides the Red Sox.” –Jack, mocking the one thing more unbelievable than the Island
Best Moment: Jack, seeing the Sox win the Series is wonderful, but I think I’m going to ever so slightly give the nod to Sun taking out Colleen, a wicked surprise from the strongest woman on Oceanic 815 (give or take Rose).
Episode MVP: As stated above, Sun has to be considered the episode’s MVP. 

Further Instructions (#3.3)

Review: The return of the gone-too-soon Boone (and his hair) is always a welcome thing, and in one of the most surreal moments on the show, he has to be transported to the airport kiosk where he discovers the fates of the entire cast, at least for a few episodes.  This episode's off-Island plot for Locke is perhaps the least noteworthy, as it’s a storyline that we would never revisit after this episode (a recurring theme across Season 3 as the bulk of the mysteries off-island are all slowly solved).  It’s a little hard to swallow the significance of the epiphany when Eko will be dying rather soon after this, but I did appreciate the episode, and liked that John was willing to embrace the unknown once more.
Hurley Dude Count: 3, including one very funny utterance as death is stopped by a water canteen
Desmond Brother Count: 2
Really?!? with John: All right, I get that the Hatch imploded, but a Hatch that large would have left a considerably larger hole, or we would have had a portion of the hatch remaining (which, considering the shower was there, perhaps they should have just kept pressing that damn button).
Best Line: “Hairspray?  Now, I hate to be the one to point this out to you, but…” –Charlie, to a follicly-challenged John
Best Moment: The surreal trip to the otherworldly airport with Boone is the one thing that anyone remembers from this (though Desmond in tie dye should be).
Episode MVP: Locke, if only for that brilliant scene in the woods, where he proclaims he is a hunter, but once again, his destiny falls far short.

Every Man for Himself (#3.4)

Review: I oftentimes wonder if the writers of the show sat down in preparing Season 3, and made a list of the tiny minutia that they hadn’t already discussed on the show, and decided to build the background stories around that. I’m a fan of tiny minutia, but a throwaway line could have explained that Sawyer knew he had a daughter, and they could have focused on a more pressing mystery, like his continued search for the real Mr. Sawyer.  That said, the Island storyline is great psychological fun this week, as Ben torments Sawyer with a pacemaker that will make his heart explode and Jack has to figure out how to save Colleen with a squirming Juliet in the background.  On the Island, which we visit briefly, we get a cool little segment with the now omnipotent Desmond.  The episode’s finest moment is that look over the beach, though, as Sawyer feels even more trapped in his cage.
Desmond Brother Count: For the first time ever, our fraternal Scottsman doesn’t utter a single “brother” utterance despite appearing
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Costanza, Murgatroid and Punching Bag-who knew that a character as measly as Munson could be such a refreshing source of inspiration.
Really?!? with John: I’ve seen Alcatraz, and the Hydra has to be at least six times the size of it.
Best Line: “Is that art?” –Hurley, having one of his snappier and cleverer one-liners, as he comments on Desmond’s golf club in the air
Best Moment: Ben, looking onto the Island with James, and showing that they are so trapped, the cage is likely unnecessary.
Episode MVP: Ben, going to uncharted lengths to torment Sawyer.

The Cost of Living (#3.5)

Review: It was right around this time that I started to dread when certain supporting characters had centric episodes on the show.  First Shannon died in one of her centric episodes, then Ana Lucia, now Eko (and trust me, this paranoia is justified-there would be more characters who would die in their centric episodes in the future).  That being said, this is a doozy compared to the other two, and there’s not really a false note in the episode, other than that it still seems a little cheap to have killed a character with so much promise so quickly (this would happen a couple of times throughout the series, but never quite so egregiously).  I loved the journey that Eko took with Yemi, the way that Jack succumbs to Juliet so quickly, and the method that Locke journeys back to the world of hatches.  And those final moments-haunting, and so filled with doubt.
Hurley Dude Count: 2
Desmond Brother Count: Just once, to Locke
Main Character Body Count: And so we are far too briefly to bid farewell to Mr. Eko, the mysterious man with such promise, who is wiped out by the Smoke Monster.
Best Line: “Don’t confuse coincidence with fate.” –Locke, giving what would have been a great title for an episode.
Best Moment: Seeing Mikhail on the computer screen, and the glee on John’s face afterwards is really good, but I have to go with Juliet’s really creepy enigmatic movie with a killer message.
Episode MVP: Eko, learning that the man he’s confessing to is not his brother, but could well be the devil (and we would soon learn, kind of is).

I Do (#3.6)

Review: There are two parts of “I Do,” and it’s important to realize this when reviewing the episode.  There’s the early parts, where Kate is seen once again donning a new hair-do and lying to another man about her name and life story (again with the repetitive Season 3 storylines), and then there is the dynamite ending.  Sawyer and Kate finally get a leg (and a shirt) up on their portion of the love triangle, Jack decides to do the surgery, and in a spine-tingling moment (literally), Jack turns the table on the Others and allows Kate and Sawyer a way off of the island and back to their fellow castaways.  It’s harder to judge this episode than almost any other, because if the rest of the episode had kept as high as the ending, we’d be in for some of the best Lost pure action of all time.  As it is, though, it's hit-and-miss.
Hurley Dude Count: 2
Desmond Brother Count: Not a one, once again
Best Line: “Kate, damn it, run!!!” –Jack, giving us what we want-some high-flying action
Best Moment: The walkie wars-a killer ending.
Episode MVP: Jack, who finally grows a pair and decides to take the Others out in their own manipulative game.

Not in Portland (#3.7)

Review: We are given one of those episodes that just towers when you look at the Lost pantheon, not because of the intense amount of myths and mystery, but because it’s damn harrowing drama.  Juliet’s off-screen storyline hasn’t been visited yet, and thus feels fresh and uncharted.  We see a woman who somehow has become hard and rigid when she started out so full of hope and promise.  The journey that she would take to get there is still left open for future episodes, but this one gave just enough punch to be devastating.  On the Island (or, more correctly, on the Hydra), we see Jack at his action hero best, holding Ben’s kidneys hostage as Sawyer and Kate are escorted off the Island, first by Alex and then by Juliet.  The ending, with Juliet confessing that she’s just as desperate to leave this place, is a heartbreaker, but this episode most certainly isn’t.
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Sheena, amongst others, for the highly Amazonian (must get it from her mother) Alex.
Really?!? with John: First we had the plane full of models, now we have the cast of Others who are looking pretty model-like as well.  Between Richard, Juliet, and now Aldo (played by Rob McElhenney and his gravity-defying hair), it feels more like Jacob is a Ford scout.
Best Line: “Because you’re insufferable and you’re mean.  Well, you asked for the truth Mom.” –Edmund Burke, being cartoonishly evil
Best Moment: The creepy moments where Ethan and Richard confess to Juliet that they aren’t headed to Portland
Episode MVP: Once again, I have to give this to Dr. Burke, for the way she so effortlessly gives off the aura of both a woman of despair and one that shouldn’t be messed with.

Flashes Before Your Eyes (#3.8)

Review: To paraphrase Ms. Hawking, Desmond episodes have a way of “course-correcting” the show, and in this case, it’s exactly what we needed.  As we slowly discovered the secrets that lie over in Other town, we needed to get back to the destiny portion of the show, and boy howdy do we.  Desmond’s flashback is one long, continual loop, a nice change of pace for the show, and gets us to a world that’s not quite our own.  The thing I’ve always loved about this episode is the way it really throws free will into the Island plot, as it’s something we always question in the castaways actions-if they’ve already been here, do they have to stay with that decision, or is it something that has already happened?  The creepy moments with Eloise, who we would have to wait a few seasons before she’d get a name, are some of the height of Lost’s thriller cred.  The episode also really introduces that Desmond is the key to the secrets of the Island, and from now on, there’s really something untouchable about him.  All-in-all, a game-changer of an episode (that foreshadows the show’s truly biggest game-changer, “The Constant”).
Hurley Dude Count: 1
Desmond Brother Count: 5
Best Line: “People need food, they need medical supplies, they need…shocking amounts of pornography.” –Charlie, with the funny right out the gate
Best Moment: Eloise Hawking, telling Desmond he can’t buy the ring (followed quickly by the man with the red shoes)
Episode MVP: Sorry, Des, but it’s Eloise Hawking whose hypnotic performance keeps this one in the upper etches of the pantheon.

Stranger in a Strange Land (#3.9)

Review: In the long pantheon of Lost episodes, this is generally considered to be the worst episode of the series, and it’s kind of hard to argue with it.  The main story was a dud (did we really believe Juliet was going to be executed?  Or that Ben would die?), the other story on the Island was a bit of a failure as well (feuding Kate and Sawyer, the cheap vanishing of Karl), but it is the off-island storyline that is really miserable.  Bai Ling was either horribly miscast or completely unnecessary to the storyline, and as far as mysteries on the show, we would far rather have known why they took Cindy and the kids (nice cameo) or who made that statue than how Jack got those damned tattoos.  It also left us with a series of never to be answered questions, something the show sometimes piles up unnecessarily.  The ending isn’t bad, with the sweeping music and shots of the stars, but this is easily the lowest the series would ever go.
(Still) Unanswered Questions: Why couldn’t Jack get the tattoos?  What was Achira’s punishment?
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Sally Slingshot, one of my personal favorites (so much so that I sometimes call Alex this).
Really?!? with John: Bai Ling? Really?
Best Line: “What the hell is The Brady Bunch?” –Karl, proving he’s an Island native, to Hugo
Best Moment: The final scenes, with Karl and Alex looking at the stars
Episode MVP: I’m going to say Michael Giacchino, whose score haunts those final scenes, and is the saving grace of this graceless episode.

Tricia Tanaka is Dead (#3.10)

Review: There was no way that things couldn’t have gotten better after Stranger, and indeed, it was nice after that too heavy-handed episode to segway into a Hurley hour.  Indeed, this is certainly the funniest episode of the third season, and really the last light-hearted episode of the entire series.  I truly loved every second of the crew building and driving the car-Hurley’s overzealous attitude, Sawyer’s nickname palooza (including the legendary IHOP), and Jin’s attempts at English flirting.  Even Vincent gets a decent plotline in this one.  The only thing I wish the writers had had the courage to do was to end this with the car-driving; the welcome return of Danielle Rousseau could have waited one more episode.  All-in-all, though, I can’t complain-this was one of the best.
Hurley Dude Count: Hurley hits an all-time Dude high, never to be seen again, with seventeen.
Desmond Brother Count: The whole moping thing is not helping-not a brother to be found.
Sawyer Nickname Alert: International House of Pancakes-too, too funny (and inappropriate)
Best Line: “Well look at that.  Someone’s Hooked on Phonics.” –Sawyer, in a highly amusing anecdote, followed by “It’s only a matter of time before you’re killed…or worse.” –Hurley (seriously, there could have been twenty more-this is an hilarious hour of television)
Best Moment: Sawyer, trying to teach Jin the ways of women, has to be my favorite.
Episode MVP: For the second time (I’ll probably do it once more, if I’m remembering correctly), I’m going to cheat.  The maintenance crew of Jin, Sawyer, and Hurley (Charlie joined the crew too late to count) has to be considered a triple header for MVP for this episode.

Enter 77 (#3.11)

Review: I feel like Damon and Carlton spent a few episodes now giving the audience exactly what they wanted, after suffering through the cages and Bai Ling.  First, we get some wonderful comic relief with Hurley, and now we get a date with the mysterious one-eyed man from the Pearl video.  And it doesn’t disappoint-Mikhail is one of the meanest Others, and one that has no trouble shooting and killing the castaways in cold blood.  Sayid’s off-island storyline is again another throwaway one, with Sayid encountering another woman that he had tortured (which was far more compelling the first time we had this story).  We do get out of it, however, a haunting story about a cat and fireworks.  The ending is a tad bit disappointing (every time we encounter answers, they are thrown into the fire), but the scenes leading up to it are pure Lost thrills.
Hurley Dude Count: 3 (as he takes out Sawyer)
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Avalanche and Number One Draft Pick for Hurley (he’s so mean)
Pause for Station Identification: We get a far too short look at the Flame (which I have a feeling would have answered all of those unanswered Dharma questions).
(Still) Unanswered Questions: Bea Klugh-there had to be more there.
Best Line: “Why are we playing this game, when we both know that it has moved to the next level?” –Mikhail, indeed moving things to the next level
Best Moment: Bea and Mikhail fighting, before the shot
Episode MVP: Mikhail, the mad Russian Other

Par Avion (#3.12)

Review: I’ve always felt that there were never enough Claire episodes.  For a character that seemed ancillary, she’s always intensely likeable and was thrown a solid mystery late in the series.  I still think that she could have done a bit more sleuthing stuck on that beach (or in the Hatch, for that matter).  And I feel like we were cheated a little bit at the end of this episode, that it didn’t end with Claire’s toss of the bird.  But otherwise, this was that rare episode with a solidified character that answered a number of off-island questions we actually cared about, namely, did Claire know that Christian was her father (she did) and did she know she had a brother (she did not)?  On the Island, she discovers that the birds are flying on the Island, and could help get their message out (though at that point, shouldn’t everyone have come to accept that they can’t get off this Island by traditional means?).  Either way, a showcase episode for the often ignored Emilie de Ravin, and a nice diversion as they head off to Other land.
Get Out the Kleenex: Claire apologizes to her mother.
Really?!? with John: The tree-cutting seems like a stretch, even for people this industrious.  I’m just saying-if I ever get stuck on an island, I truly hope to be stuck with a skilled surgeon, a tracker, a trained fisherman, and a former interrogator with a monumental amount of knowledge in the way of electrical engineering.
Best Line: “No, I like dogs,” –Locke, after Sayid jokes about shooting Mikhail like a dog
Best Moment: Charlie reads Claire’s letter, summing up their (the castaways) complicated situation perfectly.
Episode MVP: Claire, particularly for the way she handles her father and mother both being thrown curveballs.

The Man from Tallahassee (#3.13)

Review: And now we’re talking-perhaps the biggest mystery left outstanding off-island at this point in the series, how Locke ended up in his wheelchair, is uncovered, and it’s a humdinger involving the Hannibal Lecter of deadbeat dads.  It may be the only episode of the entire third season to have a more compelling plotline off-Island than on, but both are terrific.  In particular, Ben and Locke together, really for the first time since the tables have turned, is always great watching, and I loved the way that Locke (and the writers) so easily dealt with the story of the submarine.  I could have done without the Jack saying he’s not with anybody (what a traitorish and uncharacteristic thing to say), but as a whole, this is a ripping good time.
Really?!? with John: He has betrayed you, ruined your relationship, got you in trouble with criminals, and essentially ruined your life.  Now he’s killed a young man, and you still cover for him-John, what are you thinking?
(Still) Unanswered Questions: As we get closer to modern day, there are going to be more of these-how did Anthony Cooper get on the Island?
Best Line: “No, John, we don’t have a code for there’s a man in the closet pointing a gun to my daughter’s head.  Though we obviously need one,” –Ben’s best of many one-liners (Michael Emerson is a riot when he wants to be)
Best Moment: The final creepy scene where Anthony Cooper is the Man from Tallahassee, tagged closely by Danielle’s look of joy as she sees Alex for the first time in 16 years.
Episode MVP: Ben Linus trumps John ever so slightly, as he enigmatically turns the tables and one-liners (whereas John loses this title by not telling those cops about his horrible father before he was thrown from that building-not O’Quinn’s fault, but more the writers)

Exposé (#3.14)

Review: By far the most infamous episode of the series for Losties, fans loathe this episode with a passion, but it’s time to admit this isn’t nearly as bad as most people make it out to be.  For starters, it’s fun to see Hurley, Charlie, Sun, and Sawyer as the headliners, rather than Locke, Jack, and Kate for a change.  Plus, it gives us an invitation to imagine all of the other 30 or so castaways who don’t have mainline credits and mysteries, but have stories of their own (wouldn’t you love to think that they all solved the Jacob/Smoke Monster thing years earlier but didn’t tell the other castaways who were completely in the dark).  Rodrigo Santoro is one of the best-looking guys to ever grace television, but can’t act worth a damn, though Kiele Sanchez can hold her own.  The rest of the plotline outside of Nikki and Paulo is all right, with Sawyer and Hurley taking turns rocking the house as the island’s resident Columbo and Jim Rockford.
Hurley Dude Count: 9
Main Character Body Count: Nikki and Paulo, both offing each other.
Best Line: “Crime scene?  Is there a forensics hatch I don’t know about?” –Sawyer, mocking Hurley
Best Moment: The killer last scene, with them both paralyzed in a Hitchcockian twist of fate.
Episode MVP: Oh why not-Kiele Sanchez deserves most of the credit for making this far more watchable than it has any right to be.  Hats off to Nina…err, Nikki.

Left Behind (#3.15)

Review: You can see the pain in her eyes, that beautifully haunting Ms. Austen.  It’s obvious that Kate loves Jack, not Sawyer-it’s been obvious from the get-go.  Which is why it was always more painful to see Jack with Juliet than Sawyer with Juliet.  This Kate episode seemed unnecessary as far as feeding the off-island fill-in-the-blanks, but I loved the pairing of Cassidy and Kate, both of them screwed over by Sawyer and his mind games.  The side story was even better in this one, with Hurley and Sawyer (always the start of something great) doing damage control after Sawyer’s issues from the previous week with stealing Nikki’s diamonds.  The Jack portions got a little heavy-handed (as they will for the next 5-6 weeks), but the rest of the episode was a lot more fun than I expect from a midseason Kate jaunt.
Hurley Dude Count: 8, mostly directed at Sawyer
Desmond Brother Count: 1, while hunting boar with Desmond
Best Line: “Your baby is less wrinkly than he was a couple of weeks ago!” –Sawyer, with Claire (don’t you secretly wish they had dated?)
Best Moment: Cat fight!!! (Juliet and Kate go to the mattresses)
Episode MVP: Sawyer, as he tries to bond with the baby, and is slowly duped by Hurley (only he could con the con man).

One of Us (#3.16)

Review: Juliet’s haunting blue eyes so icily guard her deep hurt and pain, so it’s always been a quiet revelation that the one time she completely let’s go is in this episode, as she peers up and sees her sister, the reason for her being on the Island in the first place, safe and sound and cancer-free.  In that instance, part of you knows that she will never make it to her sister and her namesake, but you keep hoping (and tearing up).  Elizabeth Mitchell is a damn fine actress, and really, in those final scenes, she shows off to the nth degree.  I love the way she looks so tired in those final scenes with Ben, as if she knows that she is leading another goose chase where she will get further from the goal of her escape.   The other storylines follow rather predictable lines, as Juliet obviously is able to infiltrate the camp, but those final scenes are so good it’s worthy of forgiveness.
Get Out the Kleenex: Juliet seeing her sister is just devastating
Hurley Dude Count: Just one (and honestly, I’m not sure to whom this one was).
(Still) Unanswered Questions: What was the Bazra incident?
Best Line: “See you in seven days,” –Ben, oh so creepy with his gas mask
Best Moment: Juliet getting to see her sister just trumps the empty stare as she builds her tent
Episode MVP: Juliet, oh so beaten down and on autopilot

Catch-22 (#3.17)

Review: This is perhaps the only of Desmond’s episodes that doesn’t invest in the Island’s mythology (instead advancing that other major plot point of rescue).  It is, therefore, the weakest entry in his episodes, though that’s still pretty good (Desmond, more than even Ben or John, has an unimpeachable roster of feature episodes to rely upon).  I particularly liked the very literal take on his calling everyone brother, and the wonderful scene with his ex-fiancée Ruth, where she calls him a coward (and in a way, he has been).  The on-island scene was delightful-Hurley paired oddly with anyone is always good for a mammoth chuckle, and I particularly loved the way he used his marshmallow-y wiles on Jin.  The Charlie reaction at the end was just, but I kind of thought it was realistic-Desmond has spent countless years looking for his beloved, beautiful Penny (could there be a more physically attractive couple out there?), I’d imagine he would have let Charlie die if it meant seeing her again.  The episode loses some points for not quite advancing the plot (in fact, it threw a big detour in it that would take an entire season), and for the silliness between Sawyer and Kate (both of whom have far better partners just tents away), but overall a generous gift, if not a spectacular one.
Hurley Dude Count: 14, a record for a non-centric episode for Hurley.
Desmond Brother count: 3, a surprisingly low number considering this was the source of the “brother-hood”
(Still) Unanswered Questions: What did Eloise Hawking have to do with Brother Campbell?  Another minute mystery that will never be solved.
Best Line: “What, you want me to make you a mix tape?” –Sawyer, going with one of the tried and true clichés of puppy love.
Best Moment: Desmond and Penny, on their first meeting (so romantic)
Episode MVP: Desmond, especially when he’s explaining how Charlie’s life is pointless.

D.O.C. (#3.18)

Review: There are so many things to love about this largely forgotten episode, it’s hard to realize that it’s actually one of those truly great ones.  People always talk about “Pilot” and “The Constant” and “Through the Looking Glass” and how brilliant they are, but they didn’t have the burden of having very little to do with the mythology of the show, and still being absolutely a knockout sucker punch of an episode.  That’s what this is-Sun and Juliet trekking off into the woods, ready to encounter either Sun’s impending death or her infidelity.  Off-island, we get to see Sun encounter her husband’s shadow life, and the sacrifices she made to make sure that he could keep his honor.  There’s so many small, gemlike scenes in this episode-Juliet’s walky-talky moment, Naomi’s many languages, the way that Sun stares longingly at Claire, knowing she will never have this joy.  It’s devastating, and yet so beautiful.  Yunjin Kim knocks this one out of the park, and sort of makes you question the purpose of the Emmys when they ignore work this fine.
Get Out the Kleenex: Several instances, including Sun finding out the baby is Jin’s, and Sun interacting with her invisible
Hurley Dude Count: 2
Desmond Brother Count: Not a lick-he’s a lot less fraternal than I had given him credit for.
Best Line: “I hate you,” –delivered so powerfully by Dr. Burke
Best Moment: Sentiment gives it to Sun’s joy at hearing of Jin’s paternity over Naomi’s shocking revelation of the phantom plane.
Episode MVP: Yunjin Kim completely rocks here, and just nails this one down to the floor.

The Brig (#3.19)

Review: Locke flashback episodes, which this in a way is, lose a teensy bit of their punch (with one big exception in Season 5), when they don’t go back to his off-island shenanigans.  That said, there’s something captivating and cathartic (and a teensy bit too tidy) that both Locke and Sawyer, the two men who completely need the Island, both are haunted by the same demon.  The episode, all things considered, gives virtually nothing in the way of advancing the mysteries of the Island, and actually adds a new one as Jack is in cahoots with Juliet on something (tangent time: can you believe that Kate didn’t punch Jack in the gut right when he said he wouldn’t tell her the plan with Juliet?).  The best moments are the quieter ones (Juliet & Jack’s brief convo, the interaction with Danielle).  We’d have to wait a week before we got some real action.
Hurley Dude Count: 1
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Apparently the nickname rule doesn’t apply to Locke-Tarzan and Bald Bastard are the best ones.
Really?!? with John: Kate, talking to Jack about how the people don’t trust her, after being sworn to secrecy by Sayid on the Naomi front and then just blurting it out
Best Line: “You missing those cheeseburgers yet?” –Jack, to Juliet, to which she replies “only every second”
Best Moment: Danielle, stopping by the Black Rock looking for dynamite, has to be considered the best moment over Sawyer’s murder of Anthony Cooper.  I love when people randomly run into each other on the Island.
Episode MVP: Sawyer, who is funny and hip, but also very real in the way he makes Cooper read that letter he’s been carrying around.

The Man Behind the Curtain (#3.20)

Review: The moment we thought would never come-a revealing portrait of our Island know-it-all, the man behind supposedly every curtain, and perhaps in a view of slight disappointment, we find out that he knows just as much as anyone else (or at least, at first it seems that way).  That being said, it may be the only disappointment of the entire episode-this is a strong one from the way that Ben betrays Locke at the end to that he is constantly disappointed by the lack of love on his birthday (despite the fact that he gives none to anyone).  I love the small things that he lies about, things that are “important” to him, such as lying about being born on this Island.  And I love the macabre, yet petty ways that he reacts to almost every single encounter (typically murder).  All-in-all, it delivers on nearly every promise it made. 
Hurley Dude Count: 1
(Still) Unanswered Questions: What volcano did Olivia lecture about?  And what happened to Annie?
Best Line: “Because you heard him.” –Ben, upon telling John why he had just shot him.
Best Moment:  The purge, a piece of lore in the world of Lost, has to be at the top, but this episode is full of great moments, from the birth of Ben to the legendary scene in the cabin to Ben shooting Locke.
Episode MVP: Come on, he finally revealed something.  I’ve got to go with the resident mastermind of the Island, Mr. Benjamin Linus.

Greatest Hits (#3.21)

Review: I remember watching a clip from Comic-Con of the “deceased” members on the Island, and Charlie got the most applause.  I think this episode was largely why they feel that way.  It’s hard to imagine, but the Charlie episode was, up-to-this point in the season, the best episode of the season.  Every flashback is so poignant as a man walks off to the slaughter.  The action, the suspense, the constant wit-this is a winner in every capacity.  Even Jack stops being annoying and starts taking some action.  We get the return of Rose and Bernard (always a victory).  Even the way that the episode ends (unexpectedly not with Charlie’s death)-this is a truly beautiful swan song for our resident Mancunian, and one of Lost’s finest hours.
Pause for Station Identification: The Looking-Glass, beneath the surface of the ocean, which has a short life on the Island (DHARMA stations don’t last long once the Castaways interact with them).
Signs of Things to Come: I love the way that Jack has trouble deciding what’s more important-getting off the Island or fighting the Others.
Hurley Dude Count: 2
Desmond Brother Count: 1
Best Line: “They know, Karl.  But thanks,” –Juliet, at her most sarcastic, as she’s betrayed by Karl, in addition to “I like you better since you got back, Jack.  You’re almost an optimist,” –Rose
Best Moment: Charlie, on the boat, as he hands over his greatest hits to Desmond.
Episode MVP: I feel little bad, as he’s been in the running for this title twice before (Pilot, Part 1 and Tricia Tanaka is Dead), but never received this honor.  However, as he becomes a human sacrifice the Island demanded, Charlie has his finest moment and is most certainly the MVP.

Through the Looking Glass (#3.22)

Review: This remains the all-time greatest episode of the show.  Its competition relies heavily on mythology of the Island or the Others, but this one relies on more conventional, but just as compelling mysteries, primarily-will they get off the Island?  It opens up a whole host of new questions-whose boat is it exactly?  Why do they have to go back?  But posing questions aren’t the only purpose of this installment-it’s a showstopper of an episode.  The way that they lead you on for the entire episode, making you think that this is another vestige of Jack’s horrible divorce to Sarah (until they sucker punch you at the end), the way that we finally get to be on the inside of a crazy person’s plans (Charlie), the way that Rose tells Claire to congratulate Charlie for his bravery-this is a marvelous piece of television, and one that will be remembered always in the land of the Lost.
Hurley Dude Count: 3
Desmond Brother Count: 2
Main Character Body Count: Charlie, drowned by Mikhail
(Still) Unanswered Questions: How did Widmore get to the Island?
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Hero, for Hurley (nicest thing he ever said)
Best Line: “For the aliens,” –Juliet, going just a little bit further with the mythology than Damon/Carlton were willing to go, coupled with “What did you do for a living before you became Moses?” –Naomi, to Jack and “We have to go back,” –Jack, to Kate
Best Moment: Not Penny’s Boat is one of the all-time greats (this may have been the biggest jaw drop of the entire series, give or take Mr. Bentham), but the final scenes, with Jack and Kate (who looks smoking, by the way), the “I love you” from Kate to Jack, Naomi being killed, Hurley driving the bus, Walt appearing to John, Ben holding Jack hostage with the walkie-it’s seriously a “Greatest Hits” of Lost moments.
Episode MVP: I’m going with Jack, just slightly over Ben and Charlie.

Best Episodes

1. Through the Looking Glass
2. Greatest Hits
3. Flashes Before Your Eyes
4. Not in Portland
5. Tricia Tanaka is Dead

Worst Episodes

1. Stranger in a Strange Land
2. Expose
3. The Brig

Multiple MVP's

1. Ben (3)
2. Juliet (3)
3. Sawyer (3)
4. Jack (2)
5. Sun (2)

Best Moments

1. Not Penny’s Boat (Through the Looking Glass)
2. Desmond Can’t Buy the Ring (Flashes Before Your Eyes)
3. "We Have to Go Back" (Through the Looking Glass)
4. Juliet’s Cue Cards (The Cost of Living)
5. The Purge (The Man Behind the Curtain)
6. Juliet Sees the Sister (One of Us)
7. Charlie Handing Over His Greatest Hits (Greatest Hits)
8. Jack Tells Kate He Loves Her (Through the Looking Glass)
9. Jack Asks if Sarah is Happy (A Tale of Two Cities)
10. Sawyer Teaches Jin English (Tricia Tanaka is Dead)

Have So Far Received MVP Status Every Season: Jack, Hurley, Sawyer, Locke, Jin, Sun
Number of A+/A Episodes: 3 (Flashes Before Your Eyes, Greatest Hits, Through the Looking Glass)

No comments: