Man, it must be me. I was all excited that Lost was coming back, couldn’t wait to find out what was gonna happen — wormholes! conspiracies! polar bears! — and by about half an hour into last night’s two-hour series premiere, my mind was already wandering.
Oh, those first 10 minutes were indeed awesome. The clock at 8:15? *snort* The Dharma training film guy has a baby! Who is it? It’s gotta be someone we know, right? “The island’s hostile indigenous–” Hostile indigenous what? “It’s going to allow us to manipulate time.” I knew it! Jeremy Davies in the past! Locke gets time-jumped! Everybody gets time-jumped!
That’s when I started not caring. I didn’t realize that’s what was happening at first. I just wasn’t involved enough after that to give the show my undivided attention. Oh, look, Locke found the drug plane! Oh, look, it’s imaginary Anna Lucia! Oh, look, they’re back to making fire with sticks on the beach! Yeah, and…
The things I was thinking about were: Who wants Aaron’s blood sample?… I’m confused about where everyone is in time… Ah, flaming arrows — way to pick off the nonspeaking-role survivors and cut back on production costs.
In other words: I was thinking about puzzles, not about people. I realized that I’ve stopped caring about these characters as people and started being annoyed by them as collections of quirks. Yeah, we get it: Sawyer is the guy who makes up funny/mean nicknames for people. Cuse and Lindelof seemed so proud of this on the recap hour that preceded the new episodes. But don’t they realize that this is all that Sawyer is about anymore? And that’s really boring.
Because when it’s not about people, the puzzles are intriguing for only so long. Which is not very long indeed. If the puzzles — and the answers — don’t keep coming at a very rapid pace, then there has to be something else to be intrigued by… and the characters are not doing it for me anymore. Stuff keeps happening to them, but the stuff that keeps happening isn’t about them. Back in the day, when the flashbacks were driving the narrative, the intrigue was about people — who they were, who they are, who they are becoming. Of course the show could not have continued to flash back — well, unless the creators and ABC had been willing to end the show earlier — but those focus has not been maintained as the show has moved to being about puzzles. And that’s a shame.
I’ll keep watching… for now. I am curious to learn how the puzzles will be resolved. And I’ll likely watch these two premiere episodes again — maybe I was just in a bad mood last night or something. But it seems likely that I’ll be watching with only one eye from now on.