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Lost: Season 6 - First two hours reviewed

A promotional shot from the approaching sixth and final season of Lost.

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

IT SEEMS inconceivable at this point that Lost will come to a satisfactory conclusion.

As the sixth and final season got underway on Sky1 on Friday night (Feb 5, 2010), the answers seldom seemed so far away. To make matters worse, a recap episode that attempted to condense the previous five seasons into 45 minutes only underlined just how absurd this programme has become.

Time travel, for all the possibilities it offers writers, can also raise suspicions that it can also enable them to get out of holes. Hence, season five’s decade hopping scenarios plunged the show into unwelcome territory, from which it has yet to recover.

The final act of that last season was the trigger of a bomb that was designed to re-set time and prevent the plane crash involving Oceanic Flight 815 from ever happening.

And, as season six began to unfold, Jack (Matthew Fox) and company were apparently on board that same flight, hovering over the fateful island. The plane rocked, through turbulence, and we held our breath. Not again… surely!

But they survived and the plane continued en route to Los Angeles. Jack looked unsure… we felt uneasy. Could this be the start of something new?

Alas, things couldn’t quite be that easy. The camera then panned down, through the skies, plunging below the ocean (using some poor CGI) and back to a submerged version of the island. Are we talking Atlantis here?

Seconds later still, another version of Jack was still on the island, still covered in blood, but no longer in the ’70s – rather, surveying the devastation left by another bomb and reflecting on what might have been. Could this be the real time scenario that would take us to the season end?

Again, Lost‘s writers proceeded to baffle and frustrate us. There are now two timelines running on the show in what can only be described, thus far, as a Sliding Doors scenario.

The first – most intriguing – is that involving the Oceanic passengers carrying on with life as though nothing happened. The second, more insane, is what’s still taking place on the island.

And it’s here that the show’s lingering problems remain. On the island, we have Jack, Sawyer (Josh Holloway), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Jin (Daniel Dae Kim), Hurley (Jorge Garcia) and Miles (Ken Leung) running around trying to make sense of messages from beyond the grave (“it worked”), trying to save the fatally wounded Sayid (Naveen Andrews) and coming into contact with another band of mysterious island dwellers (this time at a temple).

And then there’s the man posing as Locke (Terry O’Quinn), a mystical dark force who revealed himself to be the island’s black smoke monster. What is his agenda? Why did he kill Jacob? And then Richard (Nestor Carbonell)?

And what threat does he pose to the island’s remaining inhabitants now that he has found a way to break a decade-long true and get rid of his arch-nemesis Jacob?

More pertinently, do we care? Lost, in its purest form, was about the safety and security of the Oceanic survivors. Its primary focus – the thing that got us first hooked – was seeing whether Jack and co would survive… or find rescue.

Admittedly, the introduction of Michael Emerson’s deliciously evil Ben Linus gave us a worthwhile adversary and the early gamesmanship between The Others and The Survivors was fascinating and edgy.

But then came the time travelling element and all the nonsense that came with it. Lost lost its grip. It became silly. It felt like it was marking time.

And so, back to Season 6 and those first two hours. We really no longer care about what happens on the island because whenever we think we know what’s going on, the writers pull the rug out from under us.

Personally, I don’t care for more new characters (the temple dwellers with supposedly healing powers who managed to bring Sayid back from the dead). I also think that island life is highly absurd… and the longer the show’s characters spend on it, the more infuriating the show becomes.

Far better and much more worthwhile are the insights into what life might have been like had the plane never crashed. In this scenario, we had Jack making friends with the wheel-chair bound Locke and offering hope of a medical intervention.

We had Sawyer assisting Kate’s getaway from LAX and the resurrection of previously dead characters Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) and Boone (Ian Somerhalder).

It’s not yet clear what the writers are setting us up for with this alternative scenario… but the revival of key characters and the return to story origins only serves to provide one potent reminder: just how far from good, quality, human drama Lost has recently strayed.

Bringing the entire show back to provide a worthwhile conclusion that doesn’t make the previous five years seem like a waste of time would be the biggest magic trick of all….

What did you think?

  1. What? Are you kidding? This was a great first 2 hours? Everything Lost fans could want… intrigue, mystery, character progression, answers, more clues, returning characters. So far, so good in my opinion.

    Simon    Feb 6    #
  2. You echo my same view. I no longer care about the characters and the summary episode really showed me I’d been wasting my time. How come my family now laughs out loud when we spend five series on the edge of our seats?! Lost obviously now refers to the time I spend watching I can never recoup!

    Carl Pender    Mar 4    #