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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

‘Lost’ blogging: wibbly-wobbly, tiny whiny

[spoilers]

Still not caring so much about Lost.
Widmore, on the Island, 50 years in the past, with an H-bomb.

That sounds like a really bad game of Clue.

I’m just not seeing anything to care about anymore here. All of a sudden Daniel’s in love with Charlotte? Just as she’s about to keel over from a time travel-induced brain aneurysm? (Who didn’t see that coming?) Or maybe that’s why Daniel pretended to love her, because he knew she was about to keel over and he wanted to make her last days happier? But this is my problem: If either of those possibilities is equally plausible — and I think they are — then there’s something wrong with that. We’re in a situation where the characters are ciphers, and can be shuffled around according to the needs of the increasingly twisting plot, instead of according to the needs of themselves as characters.

There’s a kind of story that can do that, and get away with it. But it’s not what Lost has been, and it’s not the story I’ve been onboard with for years now.

The only thing that’s remotely interesting to me at the moment are the most trivial bits of trivia. Penny and Des’s baby-in-the-future is named Charlie? Awww. Widmore funded Faraday’s research? Okay. But the Others all of a sudden speak Latin? Since when?

It’s so sad to have a show you’ve been riveted to in the past suddenly disappoint. *sigh*



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  • stryker1121

    It was pretty obvious even last season that Daniel was in love w/ Charlotte. I don’t think this was any convenient revelation to help along the plot. Last night’s episode was very good after the disappointing premiere.

    I don’t understand your ennui (or whatever) w/ the show. Last season was much more focused than the previous two years–there’s an “endgame” showdown coming between Ben and Widmore and the show is moving toward that eventuality. Put simply, I’m enjoying Lost now more than ever.

  • Wow, I don’t think I could disagree with you much more. I think the first few episodes of this season of Lost have been fantastic. I thought last season was amazing, and they’re just picking up right where they left off.

    Re: Daniel and Charlotte, I’ll echo what stryker said. They made it quite obvious last season that he was in love with her. That did not come from nowhere.

  • JT

    I thought last night’s episode was incredible. So many pieces of the puzzle are coming together, such as why Richard was present at Locke’s birth and visited him when Locke was a young boy, asking him to choose the compass. Furthermore, the woman pointing a gun at Daniel was named Ellie, possibly short for Eloise – i.e. Eloise Hawking, the woman working with Ben, the woman Desmond is traveling to L.A. to see, maybe Daniel’s mother herself.

    Thing is, I don’t see the characters on the show as chess pieces that are manipulated at will to further the plot. I think they are more realized than most shows (including Doctor Who and Torchwood) thanks to the flashbacks that we’ve had these past 5 years. And their actions are consistent. And I think this show is better than it has ever been.

  • eric-jon rössel waugh

    Don’t mean to play the echo game, but Daniel’s crush on Charlotte has been pretty well signposted since the characters were introduced. In fact, that’s the only reason I can figure out why she’s there as a character.

    The show is still pretty much on turbo, coming out of the end of the previous season. Maybe you need to go back and rewatch some of that? It feels like you’re overlooking something.

  • shawnp

    “Penny and Des’s baby-in-the-future is named Charlie? Awww.”

    As in Charles Widmore, her Father?
    heh.

  • Ryan

    I feel no need to echo everybody else, other than to wonder if you watched the last season? Most of your problems with the show seem to stem from missed character cues. Daniel has been fairly obviously attached to Charlotte for quite some time now, and most of the characters are not cyphers in the least; the only ones who seem to be are Richard and Ben.

    Heck, even Charles Widmore is coming more into focus.

    Also, Widmore had nothing to do with the H-bomb on the island…that was left by the US military…

  • JoshDM

    If you’ve been paying attention, Daniel Faraday has been eyeing Charlotte Lewis every single scene we’ve seen them together. He crushes on red heads.

    Meanwhile, what’s up, Chuck?

    Charlie Pace

    Charles Widmore

    Charlotte Lewis

    Charlie Hume

  • Ryan

    All of them from the British isles too, I believe. (Not 100% sure on Charlotte)

    Insteresting…

  • JoshDM

    @shawnp

    “Penny and Des’s baby-in-the-future is named Charlie? Awww.”

    As in Charles Widmore, her Father?

    More like “as in, Charlie Pace”, but see my prior post for an odd revelation.

  • I absolutely disagree – last night’s Lost was the best time travel TV episode since Dr. Who’s “Blink.”

    Even the Latin bit wasn’t that far out of left-field – remember, we’re seeing the Others from over 50 years ago.

    The last 10 minutes of last night’s episode was one of those rare moments on TV when things came together logically. It all started to make sense. Compare it to Heroes, which ripped itself to pieces last fall.

  • Chris

    Mary Ann,

    I stood by you when Heroes tanked earlier this year but you are in your own world on Lost.

    Daniel’s feelings for Charlotte have been hinted as far back as midway through last season and especially in the finale when Daniel moved with pressing interest to get Charlotte off the island and back to the freighter. You could see the sadness in his face then when she said that she was staying.

    You just saw a young Charles Widmore, who didnt even hesitate to kill one of his own. You know he is an Other. The question is will we see what he became before he left the island and why he became that man. Knowing Lost they wont leave these topics alone.

    Daniel knows whats happening and as far as being apart of the audience you know what is happening to Charlotte. You saw him explain it one year ago, the effect is random, not everyone is effected the same way but if you cant find a Constant you can eventually die. We also were shown someone who had the same experience as Desmond and is still trapped as the mind of a three year old because there father isnt alive in the present.

    Finally it shouldnt shock anyone that the Others speak Latin. The Others have a man that is ageless have had people who can understand multiple languages and have a leader who has a secret room in his secret room that is covered in ancient civilzation languages. There is a huge four toe statue. They use Hindu teachings to find there leaders when they are still children. And too top it all off they have a leader who lives in a cabin that only a few selected can see. Why are you suprised that the Others would learn a dead language that is called the language of the enlightened and use it as a way to secretly communicate to each other when they are in harms way.

    If I have to say there is a underlining reason that Mary Ann has suddenly fallen off the band wagon of Lost, it’s most likely that this series is experimenting with time travel in a way that is giving her beloved Dr. Who series a run for its money and I have a feeling she really wasnt expecting the show to go down this road fully even though it’s pretty much been set up to go this way over the course of the past 2-3 seasons.

  • Ryan

    Er, I watch Dr. Who, and Lost is not giving Dr. Who a run for it’s money.

    Lost is categorically better than Dr. Who in every way. In terms of character, in terms of plot, in terms of dialogue, in terms of effects, in terms of acting…et al.

    Dr. Who is a fair enough show, and I enjoy reading the posts about it here, because they generally add some meaning and metaphor to the show, that I don’t think the writers themselves would have thought of. However, despite having powerhouse actors like Christopher Eccleston, and David Tennant, my enjoyment of Dr. Who is often tempered by it’s inane plotting and writing.

    Torchwood has been a pleasant improvement on both counts…although the acting is not as consistently good on Torchwood as it is on Dr. Who.

  • Althea Webb

    There isn’t really any comparison to the time-travel of Doctor Who and Lost. Different reasons, different science, apples, oranges. What’s the prob? We ain’t talking (known) physics either way. They’re both fun.

    As for character development, Lost has had some ciphers, but we’ve had years of exposure to the regulars, we know them now. Sometimes I don’t get the motivation, say, of Kate, but for heaven’s sake I don’t always know why my friends do what they do. We know why Sawyer and Locke are the way they are – justified or not; people faced with life challenges don’t always become ennobled by them.

    As for the speaking Latin, that actually is unfortunate. It was never mentioned before, so it does come across as a way-too-convenient contrivance. Good one, but icky.

    So, MaryAnn, looks like you’re outnumbered here. But you can be the different drummer, we’ll be fine.

  • Chris

    One more thing, sorry but it bothers me when people totally get there facts wrong, if you want a perfect example that Daniel and Charlotte were going to have a love story, I suggest you go back and watch last year’s episode “Something Nice Back Home.” In it you’ll find a scene where Charlotte, Dan, Jin and Sun go to the Dharma medical station. When they arrive Dan goes in first to make sure it’s safe. Jin comments to Sun in Korean that he wonders if Charlotte knows Dan has feelings for her, Sun replies she’s a woman of course she knows which causes Charlotte to smile which exposes to Jin that she knows Korean. Later on Jin threatens to kill Daniel if Charlotte doesnt fold to the fact that she does know Korean.

    Look as far as the time travel thing, let me reclarify. I’m not saying there time travel scenarios are the same. I’m saying that Mary Ann holds Dr. Who, with very high respect and probably likes Lost for it’s characters, not it’s science and may see Lost as a show that is stealing ideas when in fact they are offering there own spin

  • Mike

    When I read that you thought Daniel’s love for Charlotte came out of the blue, I wondered if that was the difference between growing up a cute woman (you) and growing up a geeky guy (me).

    But I agree, I am somewhat less interested in the show.

    I’m finding it hard to care about so many characters. When I unpack the box of exposition in my head as I sit down to watch Lost, I’m always miss-laying a nut or bolt, or finding the French language assembly instructions instead of the English ones. Sure, I can figure it out, it will still support my books when I’m done, but I don’t want to put that much effort into a T.V. show. Give me the “Wow!” without the work.

    Can somebody tell me how many characters have appeared in more than three episodes of Lost?

  • Ryan

    but I don’t want to put that much effort into a T.V. show. Give me the “Wow!” without the work.

    Um, there is plenty of reality TV on these days…don’t blame the show for being intelligent though, many people enjoy watching television that makes them think.

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