The 2-hour season finale for Lost last year was some of the best television you’ll ever see. I re-watched it a few days ago and it was great stuff. And yet, I had a feeling that season 3, which premiered this week, would reset the clock again. Introduce a few more characters, change all the usual assumptions, but leave more questions instead of answering the existing ones.
Turns out it was even worse than that. Frankly, the start of season 3 was junk. Clearly the writers are making stuff up as they go along, and that drives me nuts.
When I think of epic story, perfectively woven together from beginning to end, I think of JRR Tolkien. After reading the collection of original manuscripts and commentary by his son Christopher Tolkien, I was surprised that for the first half of Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien really didn’t know where he was going with it. It was chapter by chapter, and characters changed or story points were rewritten as he went along. But there came a point where I think the vision must have clicked for him, and at that point everything came together and the result was a work of fiction that will hold up for centuries.
The suspension of disbelief works on me better than many people. If I feel like the creator of a novel or film has a real vision I’ll overlook the small problems and fall in love with the story and characters. For Lost, the dialog and pacing of each episode is technically brilliant, but the overall vision is missing, and I don’t think it will resolve in any meaningful way. Instead, the ratings will slowly decline until the show disappears in the same pattern of X-Files or Alias before it.
So I may have to sign-off of Lost for a while. I did the same thing in the middle of season 2 when it got slow. Perhaps I’ll just read the synopsis and then join back in for the season finale every year. I’m afraid every time I watch it I’ll compare it to what it could have been, and only think of executives trying to milk the show for as many seasons as possible. I don’t want to be dragged along with them. Thanks anyway.