Thursday, October 13, 2005

TV Review: Lost: "Everybody Hates Hugo"

The fourth episode of Lost's second season aired last night at 9:00 pm, and I must say, the storyline is now moving at a good clip. I was really worried after "Adrift," the second episode, that we were going to be in for a long haul, watching for weeks without new developments. That anxiety is gone now. Which is really good. I'd hate for Lost to get old.

So what happened in last night's show? Well, most importantly, Kate (Evangeline Lilly) took a shower. (Mmmm, Kate...shower...) Even better, she seemed to be inviting Jack (Matthew Fox) to take a shower. Unfortunately - as usual - he refused her flirtation. What's up with this guy? No wonder she kissed Sawyer last season. I know some people on the Net think Jack's gay. I could see that. I know he was married to the woman he saved from paralysis, but that didn't seem like a happy marriage. Maybe he's still in the closet. Could be. After forty days on a desert island, I can't imagine any red-blooded hetero American male not trying to make time with Kate.

Anyway, what else happened? Well, Rose's husband Bernard is alive after all (and played by that great, highly underrated actor, Sam Anderson). More to the point, he's with a small and very defensive group of Flight 815 survivors, including Michelle Rodriguez, who live in a second underground facility. Strangely (and we had no explanation for this...), these survivors have seen their numbers dwindle from 23 to about three. Wonder what's going on. But these guys aren't the Others, despite the fact that they seemed awfully violent last week. The preview trailers promised the Others for next week. So we'll see.

Hugo's story was okay, but nothing earth-shattering was revealed (or did I miss something?) Jack and Sayid (Naveen Andrew) took a trip under some floor grating but didn't find anything to speak of, which means that the survivors will be plugging in numbers on that 1980s computer for the near-term. No other developments...

I enjoy Lost. I think it's one of the best shows currently airing on television. But (and you knew there was a big 'but' coming, so-to-speak, especially in an episode about Hurley...) I also feel that we haven't really re-engaged with the whole cast yet this year. I realize it is difficult to service such a large group, but Maggie Grace, Malcolm David Kelley, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim and even Dominic Monaghan have been pretty darn underutilized. I guess I shouldn't complain, since the general plotline does seem to be moving more quickly. But there hasn't been one episode yet that has adequately featured the ensemble.

I have a suggestion: ditch the frickin' flashbacks. Michael's flashback episode was dire. Hugo's was only so-so. We know enough about these characters now that we don't need the flashbacks. Instead, develop the story. Tell us more about the island. About Dharma. If the flashbacks can't be "lost," then scale 'em back. Big time.

I also think that after last week's ferocious climax with the "purported" Others, Lost is guilty of playing the audience for suckers. I have a friend in Chesapeake, Virginia named Chris who would probably term the show a "cocktease" (his term for The X-Files.) I could understand such a moniker. I mean, there's been no appearance of those tree-rustling monsters from last season! If Lost has a big, fat flaw, it is certainly that important ideas appear to be dropped like hot potatoes from week-to-week; left perpetually unexplained. At this point, the creators would need seven seasons just to answer the riddles of the monster, the polar bear, the disappearance of Walt, the computer, the numbers, Desmond, etc.

But hey, I'm being waaay too hard on Lost. It does boast an element which makes it truly inspiring: Terry O'Quinn. I loved him on Millennium, and last night I screened The Stepfather (from 1987) for my current book, Horror Films of the 1980s. He was absolutely terrific in that movie as a psychotic, family-murdering guy named Jerry Blake. He's good on Lost too. Somehow, O'Quinn (along with Naveen Andrews, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing a few months ago...) adds a real element of class and gravitas to this series.

Next week, we supposedly get the real Others. Stay tuned.


  1. my wife got me hooked by watching season one on dvd. now I like it more then her. Can't believe you have not seen Stepfather it's a classic I saw it in the theater. cauwel3

  2. I actually saw The Stepfather on video back in the late 1980s, but it's probably been 15 years at least since I saw it. When I write my books I go back and watch EVERYTHING, even if I've seen it before. Because, you know, the memory plays tricks on you sometimes. I'll be screening Stepfather 2 tonight or tomorrow.

    I love Lost too. Sometimes I get frustrated with it, but I still love it...

  3. is terry Oquinn in stepfather 2 ??

  4. Yeah, Terry O'Quinn stars in Stepfather 2. He escapes a mental asylum, changes his hair color (to blond) and picks another family to terrorize. O'Quinn DOESN'T star, however, in Stepfather 3.


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