After last week’s Jackless episode, it was virtually a given that this one was going to feature the two most gurning, tedious members of the Oceanic Six heavily, and indeed it did as Kate and Jack took centre stage in a bid to sort out the problem of who, exactly, is trying to take Aaron away from Kate.
It’s all about as dull as Lost ever gets (though mercifully, we’re still nowhere near the infamously terrible tattoo-rape episode) and thankfully, a lot of much more interesting stuff happens on the island as well. The sickness afflicting some characters seems to strike those who have been on the island longest first, so seeing Miles get ill second adds a particularly interesting twist, since he doesn’t think he’s been there before. Between that, his ethnicity, and his oft-used magical powers, the theory that he is actually the child of Chang/Halliwax/Candle (the guy who does the ultra-awesome ‘induction films’) seen at the start of episode one of this fifth series, has actually gained substantial weight.
As ever, the time-shifting is what makes the episode worth watching – indeed, the off-island shenanigans designed to get the Oceanic Six back together are particularly obvious, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find that the vengeful Sun, seemingly tasked by Widmore to attack Ben, was actually hired by Ben himself to ensure she got to the docks at the same time as the rest of them.
Of course, Sun needn’t be too concerned about vengeance, because Jin isn’t actually dead anyway. His return from the ‘dead’ was completely predictable, and for that reason it’s good that we got to see it relatively early on in the season. Everyone knows that on genre TV, death doesn’t mean a thing unless you see a corpse, and even then you can’t be sure. The consequences of having Jin back have yet to become clear, though it is quite hilarious that after spending months learning English, he’s now found himself amongst a group of French-speakers.
Speaking of which – one problem with Lost’s new penchant for connecting the dots is that we, as viewers, have been well-trained to do it ourselves. This means that when, after a good five minutes of screen-time, the woman in the French boat crew dramatically reveals that “my name is Danielle” – as in Danielle Rousseau – we’re already quite far along with that assumption. It’s not the first time that’s happened this series, and it can really suck the fun out of what should be cliffhanger moments.
Although this may be the poorest episode of the series, there’s still enough happening to keep it over. While the introduction of yet another group of mysterious, gun-toting island arivees makes me roll my eyes with the painful inevitability of it all, this is offset by the way we get to see a key moment of Lost’s mythos realised in the arrival (in the past) of Rousseau’s sciences team. Call me obvious, but I’m now hoping that one day we get to see the Black Rock getting beached inland by a storm, and the inevitable Losties Vs. Pirates fight that entails. Don’t pretend I’m alone in wanting to see it.
Check out a review of episode 3 here.