Serial Watcher – Lost – Episode 1-11

Last week on A Case of the… Lost, Matt Basilo suggested to eliminate the character flashback as they became more of a burden on the storytelling rather than a helpful device. On the whole I tend to agree with him, especially after last week’s useless Hurley flashback, but this week proved that there might be hope for the flashbacks after all. The key, though, is to use them in a more moderate way. Not every episode needs a flashback – hell, I wouldn’t mind weeks or months without any flashbacks, as long as the ones that we do get are good, like the one we had this week with Sayid.

We already knew that Sayid has changed his ways from his old Republican Guard days. Yes, he was already sensitive back then, but it was rather easy for him to torture or kill. On the island we met a different Sayid – one that is more reluctant to do these things and only uses torture when he absolutely has to. At first it seemed like it was the loss of Nadia that made him that way, but this week we learned there’s another reason. Sayid was captured by an Iraqi whose wife he tortured as a soldier and was in a situation where he had to beg for his life. The woman’s good heart set him free, even after he admitted to being the one who tortured her and I guess that moment was the final catalyst to the change in attitude he went through. That was a good use of the flashback device, unlike other’s we’ve seen lately.

Back on the island we’ve had something that’s a very rare commodity on this show – an answer. Yes, we actually had an answer to a mystery. Of course, in classic Lost it’s a secondary mystery and not a major one, but beggars can’t be choosers.

On their quest to rescue Jack, the trio of Kate, Locke and Sayid stumble across a small isolated farm house that turns out to be another Dharma station, this one called “Flame” and is Dharma’s communication hub to the outside world. The person occupying that station? Eye Patch Man. Patchy first made a brief cameo in the early part of the season, on one of the Swan’s video monitors and wasn’t heard or seen again until this week. Turns out his name is Mikhail and he’s one of The Others. At first he pretends to be the last living member of the Dharma Initiative, after everyone else was killed by the “the hostiles” but Sayid is no sucker and is quickly on to his real identity. While Locke gets sidetracked by the Flame’s computer, Sayid and Kate fight Mikhail and manage to take him down. However, that computer still attracts Locke and that enables Mikhail to get away and almost kill him. Sayid and Kate also discovered Mikhail’s partner – Ms. Klugh. The result is a standoff between Mikhail who has a gun pointed at Locke and Kate & Sayid who hold Klugh. This ends with Klugh urging Mikhail to kill her, and after a long discussion in Russian, he does it.

But as we know, nothing on the island is meaningless and the computer chess game Locke was playing was actually just a front to the communication system, presented, in video, by the lovely Dr. Candle from the orientation films. A series of questions lead to the final one – “Has there been an incursion of the station by the hostiles?” While Kate and Sayid pack up whatever they need, including Mikhail, Locke stays and gives a positive answer to that question. If there’s anyone who didn’t see where this was going, they’re probably blind. The only thing missing was Dr. Candle saying “This station will self destruct in 5 seconds”. Of course it took longer than 5 seconds, but Flame had a self destruct mechanism that was turned on when Locke answered the question. Now the explosion will probably attract The Others, but that’s left for next week.

The secondary plot this week was the battle between Sawyer and everyone else for Sawyer’s stuff that became public property when he was captured. Hurley hustles him into a game of ping-pong and kicks his ass. As a result not only does Sawyer not get his stuff back, he also can’t use nicknames for any of the lostaways for a whole week. At the end Hurley almost lets it slip that he was in a mental institution, and he also tells Sawyer his name is Hugo. If you remember, on the raft Sawyer was reading everyone’s letters and when came across Hurley’s letter, which was signed as Hugo, he wondered who the millionaire is. I wonder whether he’ll remember that and make the connection that Hurley is the loaded one. This was a fun and light storyline that offered some tension breaking scenes in this highly intense episode, including the funniest moment this show had in a long time when Sawyer turns to Nikki and asks “Who the hell are you?” It was nice touch.

All in all, this week’s episode was much better than the previous one. It both advanced the plot and provided and more useful background story to one of the lostaways. And have I mentioned that we had a freaking answer to a mystery??? I want more of that.

Last week on A Case of the… Lost, Matt Basilo suggested to eliminate the character flashback as they became more of a burden on the storytelling rather than a helpful device. On the whole I tend to agree with him, especially after last week’s useless Hurley flashback, but this week proved that there might be hope for the flashbacks after all. The key, though, is to use them in a more moderate way. Not every episode needs a flashback – hell, I wouldn’t mind weeks or months without any flashbacks, as long as the ones that we do get are good, like the one we had this week with Sayid.

We already knew that Sayid has changed his ways from his old Republican Guard days. Yes, he was already sensitive back then, but it was rather easy for him to torture or kill. On the island we met a different Sayid – one that is more reluctant to do these things and only uses torture when he absolutely has to. At first it seemed like it was the loss of Nadia that made him that way, but this week we learned there’s another reason. Sayid was captured by an Iraqi whose wife he tortured as a soldier and was in a situation where he had to beg for his life. The woman’s good heart set him free, even after he admitted to being the one who tortured her and I guess that moment was the final catalyst to the change in attitude he went through. That was a good use of the flashback device, unlike other’s we’ve seen lately.

Back on the island we’ve had something that’s a very rare commodity on this show – an answer. Yes, we actually had an answer to a mystery. Of course, in classic Lost it’s a secondary mystery and not a major one, but beggars can’t be choosers.

On their quest to rescue Jack, the trio of Kate, Locke and Sayid stumble across a small isolated farm house that turns out to be another Dharma station, this one called “Flame” and is Dharma’s communication hub to the outside world. The person occupying that station? Eye Patch Man. Patchy first made a brief cameo in the early part of the season, on one of the Swan’s video monitors and wasn’t heard or seen again until this week. Turns out his name is Mikhail and he’s one of The Others. At first he pretends to be the last living member of the Dharma Initiative, after everyone else was killed by the “the hostiles” but Sayid is no sucker and is quickly on to his real identity. While Locke gets sidetracked by the Flame’s computer, Sayid and Kate fight Mikhail and manage to take him down. However, that computer still attracts Locke and that enables Mikhail to get away and almost kill him. Sayid and Kate also discovered Mikhail’s partner – Ms. Klugh. The result is a standoff between Mikhail who has a gun pointed at Locke and Kate & Sayid who hold Klugh. This ends with Klugh urging Mikhail to kill her, and after a long discussion in Russian, he does it.

But as we know, nothing on the island is meaningless and the computer chess game Locke was playing was actually just a front to the communication system, presented, in video, by the lovely Dr. Candle from the orientation films. A series of questions lead to the final one – “Has there been an incursion of the station by the hostiles?” While Kate and Sayid pack up whatever they need, including Mikhail, Locke stays and gives a positive answer to that question. If there’s anyone who didn’t see where this was going, they’re probably blind. The only thing missing was Dr. Candle saying “This station will self destruct in 5 seconds”. Of course it took longer than 5 seconds, but Flame had a self destruct mechanism that was turned on when Locke answered the question. Now the explosion will probably attract The Others, but that’s left for next week.

The secondary plot this week was the battle between Sawyer and everyone else for Sawyer’s stuff that became public property when he was captured. Hurly hustles him into a game of ping-pong and kicks his ass. As a result not only does Sawyer not get his stuff back, he also can’t use nicknames for any of the lostaways for a whole week. At the end Hurly almost lets it slip that he was in a mental institution, and he also tells Sawyer his name is Hugo. If you remember, on the raft Sawyer was reading everyone’s letters and when came across Hurly’s letter, which was signed as Hugo, he wondered who the millionaire is. I wonder whether he’ll remember that and make the connection that Hurly is the loaded one. This was a fun and light storyline that offered some tension breaking scenes in this highly intense episode, including the funniest moment this show had in a long time when Sawyer turns to Nikki and asks “Who the hell are you?” It was nice touch.

All in all, this week’s episode was much better than the previous one. It both advanced the plot and provided and more useful background story to one of the lostaways. And have I mentioned that we had a freaking answer to a mystery??? I want more of that.

Sir Linksalot: Lost

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