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Lost: Season 5 - Because You Left & The Lie (Season premiere)

Lost: Season 5

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

INDIELONDON singles out notable episodes from our favourite television series for stand-alone reviews. On this occasion we take a look at the two-part fifth season premiere of Lost: Season 5 entitled Because You Left and The Lie.

What’s the story? Because You Left – Several of the Oceanic Six survivors come to grips with their need to return to the island… on their own terms.

The Lie – Hurley (Jorge Garcia) and Sayid (Naveen Andrews) are hunted down by the cops. Jack (Matthew Fox) and Ben (Michael Emerson) try to bring everyone together as a team. Kate (Evangeline Lily) recieves help from an old friend to hide the truth.

Was it any good? As season premieres go, this fifth season opener had everything – everything except sense. The writers have pledged that while this fifth, and penultimate season, will make our heads spin, those that stick with it will be rewarded with a strong payoff. The early word from this reviewer is that you may require a lot of patience.

The answers that seemed to have revealed themselves at the close of season four have already been replaced with something altogether more baffling, and while there’s still a keen sense of fun in trying to work out what the hell is going on, I’m not sure how long everyone will indulge the latest developments.

Digging a little deeper: For diehard Lost fans, seasons 5 and 6 represent the home straight. Yet, if this two-part opener is anything to go by, the end has never seemed further away.

Both Because You Left and The Lie had to do with time travel, an icky concept at the best of times because it seems to give writers the opportunity to make it up as they go along. Heroes, for instance, got into all sorts of trouble by introducing the concept – so much so that its creator, Tim Kring, has now decided to turn back time and start again with its upcoming fourth season.

Lost, meanwhile, is attempting to exhilarate and baffle in equal measure. Its answers have seldom seemed like such a closely guarded secret and a lot of what happened over the course of these first two episodes struggled to make any sense at all.

Firstly, there was the island itself. An opening sequence, for instance, found members of the Dharma Initiative locating a dangerous energy source that would have hugely serious repercussions for everyone (the world included?) if the drilling team were to continue drilling. The trick was to harness the energy source effectively, or so we were told.

Skip forward to present day… as the island’s remaining inhabitants attempted to get to grips with the bright lights and shifting time-scales caused by the repercussions of Ben’s decision to “move” the island at the end of season four.

Still further forward, meanwhile, and the Oceanic Six – now separated – were attempting to come to terms with their decision to lie about their ordeal on the island, while contemplating a return to save those they left behind.

Over the course of the ensuing hour and 40 minutes, we watched as all manner of strangeness followed. Hurley, for instance, was visited by the ghost of another island victim – on this occasion, Ana Lucia Cortez (Michelle Rodriguez), who warned him not to get caught by the cops.

Locke (Terry O’Quinn), meanwhile, endured the worst of the island’s shifts through time – finding himself shot by a member of the Others while in the past, and then coming to the rescue of Sawyer and company when they were about to be dealt with by a new group of mystery island inhabitants (soldiers?). In between, he was also told by another member of the Others that the fate of the island lay in his hands… and that he would have to die in order to save it and get the Oceanic Six to return.

Physicist Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies, pictured above), on the other hand, attempted to get his (and our) head around the time travelling device by doing his best to explain the rules. When he spoke, things almost made sense.

Off the island, Jack is now working with Ben to round up the Oceanic Six and get them back, Kate has teamed up with Sun Kwon (Yunjin Kim), who now wants to kill Ben, and Hurley has handed himself into police custody for the alleged murder of three people, rather than face a return to the island with Ben. And all this takes place three years AFTER the island was moved.

We could go deeper and explain every little key moment… but if you saw it, you’ll get my drift; and if you didn’t, well you’re as in the dark as we are at this moment in time.

Lost continues to enthral because we want to know its secrets. But it also has to be careful not to alienate people too much at this point. It’s both clever and fun so long as the pay-off proves as rewarding as its writers insist that it will be.

If not, then it’ll be viewers wishing they could pull off their own time-travelling trick… to get back the hours they lost taking part in this journey.

What did you think?