My friend Keith Marder may have had the best line about last night's episode, "Across the Sea": He "knows why episodes of 'Lost' aren't posted on Twitter. The show has a lot more than 140 characters."
More detailed observations after the jump.
Since I haven't written much about "Lost" of late because I always seem to be catching up on episodes way late, I should start by saying I have enjoyed a great deal of what it has been doing with the characters and their parallel/reconfigured lives. And yes, I was sorry to see Sun & Jin go (or at least go according to one time line), although their departure was pretty well done. The show seemed to be revealing serious information and leading us toward a strong conclusion, which I have guessed will find Jack sitting on the beach, as the new Jacob.
But as watchable as last night was in many ways -- I love Titus Welliver -- in others it was a considerable irritant. More damn characters, for starters. And toying with us by deliberately not having Welliver's character mentioned by name. (I guess I have to give up clinging to the idea that it's Esau.) But the bigger problem was that the episode was a prolonged and not very explanatory flashback which disrupted the rhythm the series had established in the episodes leading up to this one. By choosing not to have the information revealed in the context of the modern characters -- or integrating selected flashbacks into an episode -- the show stalled dramatically, and did so even as we are closing in on the conclusion. Can everything really be resolved in 3 1/2 remaining hours, including commercials? (One hour next Tuesday, 2 1/2 for the finale on May 23.) I don't expect it to answer all questions in the end, but to offer enough enlightenment -- and a clear course for the surviving characters -- to be emotionally acceptable. Still, why raise more questions now? And why do it in such a clumsy fashion?