Monday, January 12, 2009
LOST is back and just as 'god help us' crazy as ever. On January 21st, Season 5 will begins with two episodes Because You Left and The Lie served back to back. The dream weaving of a story line literally bouncing along the space-time continuum played out here is still working its magic on me. Here is some intrigue I discerned from having watched but no real spoliers.
The terrific opening of Ep1 hints at two themes that dominate the Island side of the story: the long history of hostilities between competing groups on the island and the mysterious source of the Island's power. The first five minutes are jammed with tricks and treats, hems and haws but I suggest you look closely at the guy mowing the lawn at the Barracks and the construction worker in the Orchid station. Plus, the new Dr. Martha.
Because time has cut the Island Losties free, they're bouncing uncontrollably through the history of the island, making the range of possible encounters with previous islanders endless. The conceit echoes the sketchiness of moving through history outlined in Philip José Farmer's Riverworld series. But it also plays heavy with the idea that interfering in the past -- like the hunter in Ray Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder" -- can have unimaginable consequences. The key to navigating these complexities seems squarely in the hands of Daniel Faraday. Spoiled newsflash: the story of the Island is already written in the journal Desmond helped Faraday start at Oxford in 1996. Holy time-warp, Transylvanians!
Ep 2's action is provoked as a consequences of lying. The lives back home of the Oceanic Six or City Losties are falling apart because they have fibbed. Uncertainty turn after turn is pitting them mistakenly (or not) in opposition to each other. Sun seems particularly at odds with Jack's plan and Hugo throws a real monkey wrench at Ben. Characters even appear from the great beyond with contradictory yet sage advice, and it's all just confusing as hell who to trust. Everyone's decisions seem flawed from the viewer's perspective. It's fun TV 'cause all you can think about is what the fuck would I do?
A few mystical notes. We learn why Richard sought out young Locke to administer the Tibetan Buddhist test for identifying a reincarnated lama/savior; plus, Ben appears surprisingly reliant on his own soothsayer, a familiar "druid" who's hoping to right the course of the story with devotional candles and an ancient astrolabe pendulum gizmo.
There's more but I don't want to ruin it for you with a monsoon of hoodwinks and half-truths. I'm starting to feel a little bit like Benjamin Linus myself, but then that's just the kind of spoiler I am.