Thanks to my brand new high-speed wireless connection – which, because it’s Australian, is still irritatingly slow compared to what Americans and Japanese and Swiss no doubt enjoy – I can thumb my nose at Channel 7’s decision to delay the screening of foreign TV shows for several weeks (which is still an improvement on what it used to be, which was roughly six months) and simply download episodes of Lost in the blink of an eye! God bless the 21st century, where a man is entitled to pluck whatever he pleases from the glittering flow of traffic on the media superhighway.  I really should download the first few episodes of 24, since 7 has no plans whatsover to screen the next season at this stage, and I’ve been told it’s back on form. Although the first four episodes of Season 6 were brilliant, and we all know what a fuck-up that turned out to be.

Anyway – here begins the penultimate season of LOST, and my first batch of notes and thoughts.

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BROTHAH

1. Marvin Candle’s “God help us all” at the beginning was hilariously cheesy.

2. Ben getting all eager and ready to cart Locke’s corpse out of the funeral parlour into “the van out the back” cracked me up.

3. The whole combat session at the motel was awesome – Sayid’s fight scenes are starting to rival Jack Bauer’s. When he threw the dude down onto the open dishwasher with the knives pointing up ABC may as well have flashed a huge OWNED sign across the screen. (Although it’s still not as good as Bauer’s coolest kills – when Sayid murders a dude by running up a wall, throwing his body down and snapping his neck, then we’ll see.)

4. Sawyer, if it comes to a choice between you and the noodle-armed geek walking around without a shirt, I think we all know what the answer is.

5. I’m straight. I will reiterate my worship of the female form as many times as you like. (Hottest new actress of 2008 – Rebecca Hall.) But after three seasons, I have decided that if I absolutely had to have sex with a man, it would be Henry Ian Cusick. When he walks out of the cabin pulling a knit sweater on over that shaggy hair – brrrough!

6. Daniel appears to completely contradict his own theory about the past being impossible to change, since Desmond wakes up with a new memory. I don’t know if that’s intentional or not but I’m starting to realise that the introduction of time travel is only going to grow more and more confusing as the season goes on.

Speaking of large changes, I think that in retrospect Lost will be clearly divided into two halves: Seasons 1-3 and 4-6. For all the wacky shit it involves, all the polars bears and smoke monsters and button pushing, the show was held together by a fairly simple premise right up until the end of season 3: ESCAPE. It was about a bunch of people who were just trying to get home. The infamous disinterest of the characters in solving the mysteries of the island is more than just a plot device to maintain the suspense – it’s arguably appropriate to the theme. The survivors don’t care about the island. They just want to get the fuck off it. The reason this was so frustrating to the viewers was because we knew it wasn’t possible. They weren’t on an ordinary island. The Natural Order of Things had been upset. They couldn’t just return to civilisation and somehow explain away all the crazy things that happened to them. There was no way the island could suddenly be filled with ICAO investigators and US Navy helicopters. It just wasn’t possible. That was, in fact, why the finale of Season 3 was so excellent – it was staggering to believe that they had actually made it.

And that was really the climax of the ESCAPE theme. It continued throughout Season 4, but in a different form, mingled with flashforwards and further exploration of the island’s mysteries, and stories (such as “The Constant”) that were almsot self-contained. Now the theme has become far more complex, and the show will change accordingly. If you could go back in time to 2005 and show “Because You Left” to a fan of the first season of Lost, they wouldn’t even recognise it as the same show. It would feel like a show with the same actors and locations, but a completely different story.

Lost is changing. There won’t be any more flashbacks or flashforwards, expeditions into the jungle, tense encounters with the Others,  triumphant string music pieces heralding to safe return of somebody to the beach camp. It’s still going to be a great show. But it’s going to be a very, very different show – and I’m looking forward to seeing how that will be handled.

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