Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Lost s05e08 - Discussion - A long time ago on an island far, far away

As I write this in 2009, Lost has been with us for over four years, and during that time as viewers we've become increasingly fond of the characters on screen. It's always been difficult to remember that in the timescale of the show Jack, Kate, Sawyer et al have only known each for 100 days. As the show resurfaces each year promising to be more epic than the previous season, the romances are distorted to Gone with the Wind proportions. Characters might get kidnapped and become physically distanced from their current loved one, but those between-broadcasts weeks only amount to a couple of days on the island. Jack, Kate and Sawyer might have seemed like an epic love triangle, but it's really nothing more than a holiday romance, a bit of fumbling under the peer with a few longing gazes at the burly man who runs the donkey rides along the beach.

What they've always needed is a timescale that reflected the shows grandiose lofty 'meaning of life' storylines. This week a fade to black, and a weighty 'three years later' finally delivered that.

But let's allow these posts some kind of semblance of structure, and follow the events as they panned out narratively, if not chronologically. The episode starts where Locke left off, and the island gets a brief visit to the very-past that's been hinted at but previously unseen. Juliet, Sawyer, Miles turn at a spectacle in the distance, and nerds everywhere get that funny feeling they normally associate to being near girls. Finally, after three years of teasing, it's the giant four toes statue! We're going to see the indigenous people of the island, it's going to be ama - FLASH! Oh, well that's that then.

Obviously their encounter with the confusingly scaled man of rock was going to be a brief one, as perhaps the era in island history is of such significance that the producers are leaving it until the next, final series. We do have enough of a visual reference to have a few stabs in the dark though, and to put those 'it's Locke/Ben' theories to rest. From the posture, and his classical education, Ferg reckons it's one of these chaps, the name of whom escapes me now. From the headdress it looks Egyptian. Is it Anubis, or some God of Fertility? The internet seems to think so. With the issues with childbirth on-island resurfacing in this weeks episode, I'd hedge my bets on his origin being related.

Who's to say this is even the time of Four Toes' heyday? He could have stood on the horizon for centuries, ignored by black rock survivors and then destroyed by these US army chaps who rocked up in the 50s. They brought a fucking hydrogen bomb, so I doubt preserving National Trust listed attractions was high on their list.

One thing we do know though is that preserving themselves is of a high-priority for the DHARMA crowd that we now find ourselves settled within. They've got a new Head of Security, and he's got some drunk portly Island-inhabitants to keep in line. When the Geronimo Jackson dancing (and possibly alternative love-triangle-'ing') troupe rock up in Otherville knocking on the door of this La Fleur chap, we're none too surprised to find it's Sawyer but with a slightly less bristly beard. He's had to keep his long flowing locks for the Davidoff retainer, but it's still quite clear that quite a considerable time has passed.

Back to the time-survivors, staggering about the well, and there's further time confusion. When they stumble upon mourning Daniel, how come recently deceased Charlotte has disappeared during the time-jumps? We know non-organic matter has traveled with them before, and I'm pretty sure Dan was clutching her quite tightly. Is this just a plot-hole in the pop-sci-fi that conveniently does away with the need for a lengthy funeral scene, or does her now non-existence and subsequent vanishing act fit perfectly into the Rules that govern the show? I'll go for a bit of both, but we won't be finding out anything about it for a while as time-traveling seems to have been paired down to the strictly linear variant for the time being.

As that paragraph moves to this one, I myself have suddenly traveled two months into the future. Due to my new flat's lack of broadband and a computer that my May 1st self would joke has caught Swine Flu, I was unable to finish this blogpost in my leisure hours. Not only does this one end a bit abruptly, but now I face the arduous task of writing up a review of three episodes that weren't actually very good. One thing that I do need to add was what gave the title to this post. My Lost-viewing partner Mark pointed out if the survivors landed in 1977 and were looking for a reason to go back on the sub to the mainland, seeing Star Wars in that Chinese Manns Theatre on day of release might be a pretty fucking good one. His other comment was that Sawyer will be chuffed once he arrives in 2009 to find that the entire population of East London approve of his lumberjacks shirts.

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