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Entertainment :: LOST Revisited - Season 3 (Part 2)
  submitted on January 18, 2010, 11:44 AM

With only two weeks left until LOST finally comes back on the air(!!!), I wanted to finish up my rewatching of Season 3, as well as get back into the swing of things as far as writing goes (My last legitimate blog post was two months ago? Yikes). I was able to find some time over the holidays to watch episodes 9-16, and my plan is to spend the remainder of my day off today watching the last 7 episodes of the season, and get a recap of those done some time in the next week or so.

If you want to read up on any of the details of any of the episodes from Season 3, I'd do a quick scan of what Wikipedia has to say. I went on there to do a little research, because I remember there being some criticism surrounding some of the episodes in Season 3, due to their generally pointless storylines and flashbacks that had little-to-nothing to do with anything on the show. Looking back, this was a result of the producers, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, having to tread water with the show, as this was before an official end date had been given. I read an article from the Washington Post back in January 2007 that discusses the idea going around that the producers were in the process of negotiating and end date with ABC, and then from the New York Times on May 8, 2007, when the end date was officially announced. So what does all this mean? Well, for starters, it means episodes like "Stranger in a Strange Land" (Jack in Thailand flashbacks), or "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" (Hurley's feel good episode with the abandoned VW van) were almost certainly created knowing full well that the writers had to kill time and draw out the show, coming up with whatever they could to give the show a longer shelf life. Damon and Carlton have an arc that the show is supposed to follow, but without knowing when the show is going to end, it makes it hard to be able to continue along that arc at the pace you might want. It also resulted in some characters showing up that, in retrospect, probably weren't such a good idea. I am talking about Nikki & Paulo, of course.

Granted, the fact that everyone watching the show hated them probably didn't add much to their longevity on the show, but I think the ultimate death blow was the decision to finalize an end date and move forward with the story. The end date of the show was first discussed in January, Nikki & Paulo met their demise on an episode in March ("Exposť"), and on top of that, the overall story on the show started to pick up right around that time as well, with Mikhail, the sub, the Others leaving the barracks, Juliet joining the survivors, Naomi, etc.

While we're on the topic of Nikki & Paulo, I might as well get my thoughts out on them now. Their introduction to the show was quite awkward, as we all know. Much worse than when Dr. Arzt made his ill-timed debut. After two seasons, we have a pretty good idea of who our main survivors are on the show. Characters are coming and going all the time on the show, which I totally understand, but as far as actual people from flight 815, we've got our group of people that everyone cares about. So when Nikki & Paulo just sort of start showing up and interjecting themselves into scenes, having dialogue with the main castaways, it just felt forced. If anything, they come across as Boone & Shannon replacements. Only none of us really care what they have to say, we just want them to fade into the background where they came from, and go away. If they were really worthwhile characters, they would have done something noteworthy on the island by now. So yeah, bad move by the writers. Again, I understand why they did it, because they had to sustain the show, but the whole idea really fell flat on its face.

...that being said, everything I just said was completely redeemed by the episode "Exposť". I remember the first time watching it, and I was honestly a little shocked at how it all went down. Just like that, Nikki & Paulo were dead, and not only that, but they way they died was just...awesome. But watching it a second time, what a truly fantastic episode. It became very clear to me that the writers were basically admitting that the whole Nikki & Paulo idea was a stellar failure, and decided to have as much fun with it as they possibly could. The whole episode is so over-the-top, I loved it. It played out like a big goofy murder mystery episode, and then on top of that, the writers pulled a Forrest Gump and used the flashbacks to throw Nikki & Paulo into numerous important scenes from the history of the show, just to really hammer home the point that, yes, these people were actually around since the beginning, and have actually done some pretty cool things. For example, did you know that Nikki & Paulo found the Pearl before Locke did? They're just that good. Paulo also sees Juliet before anyone else. They're also shown at the initial crash, with everyone else during Jack's "Live Together, Die Alone" speech, meeting Ethan, among other flashbacks. As long as you aren't taking any of it seriously it's all quite amusing. And their death? Outstanding. Getting buried alive has to be one of the more morbid ways to go, but to be intentionally buried alive by your peers who simply mistake you for dead? Hell of a way to go. Not as laugh out loud funny as Arzt exploding, or Tricia Tanaka getting hit by a meteor, but still one of the best deaths on the show.

I actually don't have any other large scale items to talk about, so here are some quick hits:

-Saw Cindy (the flight attendant) in Episode 9, along with the kids. I really wish we could see them again, or know what the story is with them, what they were told or what was done to them to make them so amenable to living with the Others. I honestly haven't thought about them in a while until I saw them in that episode.

-It's too bad those Thailand flashbacks were so terrible, because I did think the meaning behind Jack's tattoo was interesting. "You are a great man; a leader. But it makes you alone, and frightened, and angry" or as interpreted by Isabel, the Others' sheriff, "He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us".

-Something else to file away in the "will never be explained nor brought up again" files: After Juliette killed Danny, Ben spared her from being put to death, but she was "marked", or branded, on her back, with a marking, that looked like an asterisk. Never talked about again. Too bad.

-Is Karl an orphan? Are his parents dead or something? No one seems to like this kid or what happens to him, I feel bad for him.

-I already brought this up earlier, but Tricia Tanaka + Mr. Clucks + meteor = awesome.

-Weird to see Claire in an episode, just because I feel like it's been forever since she's been on the show.

-I know people hated on "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" because it was such a pointless episode, the main plot point was Hurley risking death to get a 30 year old VW bus up and running. I still think it's somewhat charming, and I am glad that they were able to work in the significance of Roger, and the van into Dharma lore in later flashbacks.

-Think we'll ever find out definitively if Mikhail's dead? I mean, the guy did basically blow himself up with a grenade, but he also had his brains fried by the EM fence, and was shot with a harpoon, and seemed to recover just fine from those. Interesting thing to note regarding the food drops. We saw the one food drop after the crash, I don't know that we saw another one after that. On a separate note, when Locke, Said, Kate, and Rousseau came across Mikhail and the Flame station, Locke was on the computer, and discovered some commands that he could enter into the system, including his eventual blowing up of the station. But one of the options was a food drop. Makes me wonder if the Flame controlled the food drops for the Swan. Still doesn't answer the question of where the food drops were coming from, since Dharma had been wiped out on the island, but it's just a little wrinkle in the whole process that I had forgotten about.

-Do we know how Claire's mom recovered from the car crash? As far as I know, the last time we see her, she's in a coma, Claire's visiting her right before she leaves for L.A., and then the next time we see her is at Christian's funeral after the Oceanic Six get off the island. It could just be that she woke up from her coma, but at the time it didn't seem like that was likely, but I couldn't remember if her recovery was ever brought up again.

-Quite the string of events in this grouping of episodes: Ben has surgery, Jack & Juliet are set to leave the island, Locke shows up at the Others' camp, Ben "obtains" Locke's father, Locke blows up the submarine, is introduced to his father, decides to stay with the Others, the Others leave the barracks, and Kate & Juliet get left behind.

-Evangeline Lilly is tiny. I saw her height listed as 5'6" or 5'7" somewhere, but I also read that Elizabeth Mitchell's only 5'9", and she towers over Lilly in some scenes. I guess I never realized how small she was.

-"Left Behind" has an underrated aspect to it. Hurley sets up Sawyer by telling him everyone was thinking of banishing Sawyer from camp for his general attitude and selfishness (not true). But it forces Sawyer to try and help others, and act the part of leader, something he was sort of expected to do with Jack and Locke gone from camp. It's good foreshadowing for later on, when he sort of takes charge of the group left on the island after the island moves.

-Something else I hope gets explained this season is regarding the reason behind Juliet's presence on the island. I know that pregnant women were dying, and Juliet was brought in because she "created life, where life wasn't supposed to be." While I understand that, there's still the explanation regarding why this happens to begin with. It's not the way things have always been on the island, something occurred to cause this change, and we need to know what it was. If I had to guess, I'd say the destruction of the four-toed statue and the inability to reproduce on the island happened at right around the same time.

-I do think this set of episodes brought us our first reference of Jacob as a person. I don't think he had been brought up before now. Interesting that it took three and a half seasons for him to be mentioned.

That'll do it for me. I'll have the third installment of my Season 3 Revisited thoughts up some time before Season 6 premieres, and I'd like to also to a quick rundown of where we're at heading into the season, some things we know, along with some things we'd like to know by the time May rolls around. Thanks for reading.

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