It's always tough for shows to follow up premieres, especially if your show has an incredible premiere, and especially if that show is Lost. Luckily, Lost is able to keep the momentum moving, even if it's not quite as energetic as last week. Kate is a character that is almost universally hated on Lost, and I'll admit that, on occasion, I'll cringe a little bit when I hear a Kate-centric episode is approaching us. However, the focus on Kate is actually somewhat interesting thanks to a superb performance once again by Josh Holloway as Sawyer and the sideways-flashes, which continue to frustrate as much as they intrigue.
Part of me expected this to be your typical "Kate runs away from the cops" episode, but it was quite the surprise to see the Kate and Claire reunion last well beyond the taxi cab ride. The parallels between each universe continue to appear, as we see that Ethan ends up being Claire's doctor when she goes into labor, and even though Kate and Claire clearly do not know each other in this parallel universe, Kate is still helping Claire and her son. Kate has made it clear, between last season and the beginning of this one that she is on the Island for no other reason than to find Claire and reunite with her. The fact that the writers have found a way to unite these two characters in both the normal, straight-forward story-line we've come to know and love AND the alternate universe makes everything much more interesting. I have to give many props to the writers for setting up the universe this way because it's really bringing up some interesting points. The way that Claire said the name "Aaron" just came to her is almost a sign that these two realities are going to have to merge at some point and become one. They're related to each other in ways they don't know yet and Juliet's phrase "It worked" may end up being the phrase to remember this season.
I actually enjoyed the scenes off of the island. Unlike the flashbacks from the third season, and some of the flashforwards we had during Seasons 4 and 5, we know that there's a point to these flashes besides character development. It's almost like an entirely separate show, which doesn't make the transition from on-island to off-island so abrupt and unwanted, if that makes any sense at all. At times, it's difficult to phrase thoughts on this show because the plot has become so tangled and confusing.
Claire's return on the island follows a pretty chilling description of what is infecting Sayid, or what is supposedly infecting Sayid. After watching Sayid be tortured by Dogan, the new character who's motives are still a bit murky, we're given hints that Sayid is no longer the same man he used to be; the same old Iraqi torturer we've grown to know over six seasons. This Dogan character is interesting, and I'm looking forward to seeing more scenes with him. What really makes me curious is whether or not this "darkness" that spreads throughout each character is an offshoot of the Man in Black or if it's the man himself, or maybe it's something completely different? All I know is that it's certainly a step closer to understanding the dynamics of this Island, though part of me, unfortunately, doubts that we'll learn everything. Either way, the idea that Claire may be "infected" is a scary thought, especially since she and Sayid are characters we've known since the very beginning. Seeing them play villains would be just as crazy as it is seeing Locke play a "villain."
It was pretty cool to see Arlo from Season 3 return. For those of you who don't know, Arlo is played by the actor who plays Mac on It's Always Sunny In Philidelphia. In the last episode he was on, he didn't have too much screen-time, but he got more lines at least. The show runners made him a cocky and irritable character, and he pulled it off. It was pretty cool to see him, if only for continuity's sake. However, Claire killing him was great. It was a bit shocking, considering it was Claire doing the killing.
Evangeline Lilly had some good episodes the last couple of seasons, but she's definitely not my favorite character (and I'm assuming she's not the favorite of others either). This episode was about middle of the line in terms of her acting. Her interactions with Claire are what made the episode so powerful, and I have to say, Sawyer just about steals the entire episode from Kate, even though it's a Kate-centric episode. His grief over Juliet has lead to some great scenes so far from him. Who knows, maybe an Emmy nod is even going to come his way, although I'm pretty doubtful it would happen, especially with the way the Emmy's seem to focus on Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn.
Overall, besides the Locke/Ben group on the other side of the island, we got a good focus on just about every character. Jack got some great scenes with Dogen, Kate and Sawyer and Claire all were able to step up into the spotlight again, and even Miles and Hurley got a couple of lines in. With so much going on in this final season, I would think it'd be difficult to keep the focus on everyone, but so far, it's going very well. I think it was a given that the show would lose some of its energy coming off of the premiere, but it was still a great hour of television. I just hope that we can get some of the intensity back that was missing the last two hours.. and seeing as it's involving Locke and his people, I have a feeling we'll be seeing some tension arising. I have my fingers crossed.
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