Notes on "Lost," "Reaper" and "Jericho," after the jump ...
This was the last of "Lost" before the writers strike, and now we wait until late April a new episode. And I have to think that the then-looming strike affected this episode. Two specific ways:
-- The incredibly long Michael flashback, without benefit of cuts back to the present. It was if the show knew it had to fit in a whole bunch of exposition and explanation, if this proved to be the last telecast of the season. When the flashback was done, we had been in the past for so long, I wanted Sayid to declare, "I thought I told you to talk quickly" -- or "What a long explanation that was!"
Of course, the explanation skipped over some key events, especially how exactly Walt and Michael got from the island back to the U.S. And even some of the explanation was deliberately ambiguous. Do we believe everything Zeke told Michael? I don't. And I still think it's possible that Ben has the resources to fake a plane crash. (I have been thinking that Walt and Michael went from their little boat to a freighter controlled by Ben, which took them stateside. And that the present freighter could therefore be Ben's. Not that I'm too paranoid.)
Then there was Ben's declaration that he "I will not kill innocent people" when at war. Are we supposed to forget that his murdering of masses on the island? Then there's my other problem with last night's show.
-- The somewhat flat cliffhanger at the end of the episode. The shooting was somewhat interesting but it wasn't a big "Whoaaa" moment. I was expecting someone amazing to step out of the bushes, or some kind of big event that would have us all dying to see the post-strike episode. This didn't cut it.
On to other shows:
After a strong telecast a week ago, "Jericho" was not as good this week. This episode was more about pushing the plot forward, and it did not do that all that well. The post-chase stuff with Hawkins on his cell phone, walking and declaiming, just wasn't effective. On the other hand, there were good bits about the nature of freedom and oppression; it's easy to see the citizens of Jericho as the people of Iraq dealing with their U.S. invaders.
Still, I've begun feeling pessimistic about next week's season finale (possibly series finale). As you know, the show made two endings -- one to use if it gets a third season, another to use if it doesn't. The indications seem to be that it won't get a third season, and I can't imagine a final episode that wraps things up in a dramatically satisfying way. Anything I could imagine would have to be implausibly tidy. But I hope I'm surprised.
Then there's "Reaper." Pretty good episode this week. Liked the use of the paintballs to spot the invisible soul. Really enjoyed the stuff with the apartment neighbors, even if we could all see they Are Not What They Seem. (That continues into next week, too.) The Sam-and-the-devil's-daughter stuff has really fizzled, though.