Beware! For there be mild spoilers ahead…
Better, Lost, better. It’s almost as if you can sniff the end-of-season finale episodes coming, and realise you’ve got a couple of episodes to get us interested again. So out, as they did last year, come all the stops to try and wipe from our minds the 15 or so episodes of tedium that preceded all of this.
For starters, the flashback segment was relevant, interesting and genuinely added both to the understanding of a character and the plot of the show. How many times can you say that this season? No emotional yearning, no bullshit meandering, just well written TV, and an episode with some clear thinking behind it.
Lordy lordy, it almost started to answer some questions too. Fortunately, it quickly realised its error and left far more in the air as usual, but for once, you could actually imagine caring about what happened.
Secretly, Lost has been creeping up with a good episode or two in the last month, throwing a few little titbits to feast on (the outside world thinking everyone’s dead, someone parachuting onto the island). And while there’s a lingering fear that some of this has been dreamed up in another of those clearly prolonged script conferences that precede cashing ABC’s cheque for the next season, at least it’s started to bother again.
Jacob, for instance, has the potential to go both ways. Earlier on in this season, we caught a glimpse of eyepatch man, only for his character, when we finally met him, to turn into a two dimensional dullard. Jacob? The jury’s out, but at least the jury’s actually sitting again.
The next few weeks, as season three closes, are vital in many ways for Lost, as never in recent memory has a TV show lost the confidence of many of its viewers so spectacularly. And while any excitement has to be diluted by the shuddering thought that there’s three more seasons to go, it’s small pockets of quality such as this episode that go some way to justifying us keeping the faith.