05 February 2008

Lost is Found

I've no intention of starting a weekly Lost feature here -- there are any number of excellent recap, analysis, and theory blogs, podcasts, and fora already out there -- but I thought that I'd post a few points (in no particular order) from my discussions with a few people in the days since the start of the long-awaited fourth season. There are spoilers, of course, for those of you who've not seen the premiere episode, "Beginning of the End", so proceed with discretion:
  • One thing I love about the show is the attention to detail. While some of the interconnections amongst the characters (shown in flashbacks over the past several years) can sometimes seem somewhat contrived, when little details are woven into the story unobtrusively, these are real treats. In the premiere, the opening car chase yielded a couple examples of details done well -- the chase was led by Hurley in the restored Camaro last seen in his flashbacks midway through Season Three in "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" and the end of the chase was captured on handycam by Randy, Hurley's boss (and later employee) at Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack and Locke's soul-crushing supervisor at the (Hurley-owned) Tustin, California box company.
  • All the speculation I've heard about the "Oceanic Six" includes Kate amongst them (along with Jack and Hurley), but I'm not sure about that. I had the impression that her whereabouts were known to Jack amongst very few in last season's finale. That would make sense, considering that she's still a fugitive on-island and still would be at the time of any rescue; it's entirely plausible that she's laying low and, with outside help, hiding from public recognition by not being "officially" rescued and recognized as one of the Oceanic Six. Bottom line, I think there are four of the Six still unknown rather than three.
  • Depending on who's doing the rescuing and orchestrating the cover-up (of who's survived on- and off-island), Oceanic might really be unaware that more than six survived. Thus, unlike some, I'm not convinced that the Oceanic lawyer who visited Hurley is a complete fraud (i.e., not working for Oceanic in any capacity). If Oceanic is not a party to the conspiracy but got an inkling that something was not right, presumably they'd want to dig deeper, starting with the Oceanic Six.
  • Regarding the cover-up, I take it as a given that there is one, even if it is only amongst the official survivors at the behest of some third party. We've seen enough groups in opposition (e.g., Penny Widmore versus her family, the Hanso groups versus (possibly) Widmore and/or Paik, Dharma versus the Others, etc.) to provide some credible off-island conflict to prompt a cover-up once some (but likely far fewer than all) survivors are "rescued" by one or another faction. Hurley's extreme caution over something as inconsequential as acknowledging that he met Ana Lucia and Jack's transparent concern that Hurley would "tell" their secrets points to a conspiracy of silence among those off-island about the then-current situation on-island.
  • It was Christian Shepherd in Jacob's rocking chair. I have no idea whose eye that was; it was probably Jacob's, but was certainly not Locke's (different color) or Mikhail's (confirmed dead in the last official podcast).
  • Hurley is now the second island resident (and first human!) other than Jack to see Christian on-island. Recall that in the final mini-episode before the start of this season, Christian had a heart-to-heart with Vincent the dog, telling him that Jack would waken soon and he (Vincent) needed to lead Jack back to the crash to help the survivors.
  • I thought the vision of Charlie in the interrogation room was an odd one. It was obviously supposed to resonate with the viewers who saw his final moments, but in-story only Desmond saw Charlie that way. While it's probable that at some point Desmond described the scene to Hurley in some detail (and Hurley's mind ran with it from there), I found the scene distracting because of that discontinuity.

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