DECEMBER 17, 2010
FOCUS: FREIGHTER FOLK
AIRED: FEBRUARY 7, 2008
All seasons of Lost play better in back to back viewings as opposed to spread out over 5-9 months, but S4 definitely benefits the most from this, because the whole Island part of the story takes place in a little over a week. Most episodes pick up directly where the previous one left off, and cover little time – it’s not like Season 1 where an episode could cover 3-4 days, or skip a few in between. “Confirmed Dead” is no different, picking up right where “Beginning Of The End” left off, as we meet Daniel Faraday for the first time.
I never shined to Charlotte, but otherwise I think the Freighter Folk were a terrific addition to the show, with Daniel, Lapidus, and Myles becoming some of my favorite characters. A big part of that was that they added humor to the show when everything and everyone was getting too caught up in the mythology to bother with such frivolities, but also they changed the dynamic in a good way. Unlike Nikki and Goddamn Paulo, who were forced upon us out of nowhere and never had much of a connection to anyone else, they arrived in a way that made sense to the show, but also managed to create interesting and likeable relationships with the existing characters.
Of course, it’s easier to like them in retrospect. At first I was a bit “who cares about these folks?”, because Lost had been away for a longer period (since 4-6 had shortened seasons, they didn’t premiere until January or February, which meant nearly 9 months had gone by since the previous season ended). Thus, I wanted to spend more time with the folks I missed, not these newcomers with their rather confusing flashbacks (I still don’t “get” Charlotte’s flashback).
It was also a bit frustrating at first because there was a lot of things we were being kept in the dark about. No answers were forthcoming, but more questions were being added – the man on the boat, what their “primary objective” was, etc. Again, in back to back viewings it’s fine, but when they aired, an episode like this was especially maddening, because it just dug the hole deeper without offering any answers to the previous episode’s questions. It’s no wonder the ratings steadily declined from the last episode on – it was just getting to be too much “work” for a week to week audience.
There are a few moments of the “old” Lost in this one though; such as a good ol’ fashioned Kate and Jack in peril moment (and a cute little argument about why she didn’t catch his “signal”), and even the return of Locke the weatherman, accurately predicting that a rainstorm was about to end. I also love the moment when he points out that if he had a kidney he’d be dead – it’s underplayed, but it’s probably one of the best “everything happens for a reason” lines in ages.
I was also tickled by Locke saying that Walt looked “the same, only taller”, which is of course a meta joke about the reason Malcolm David Kelley wasn’t on the show anymore. My advice for future serialized dramas that have child characters – hire an actor who has a lot of younger brothers that they could use to replace the older one if he got too big. If there was a Timmy David Kelley maybe this show wouldn’t have gotten so damn confusing and stupid at times.
Back to Lapidus – I wish they had given him a bit of a better “in” than simply recognizing that the dead pilot didn’t have a wedding ring on and thus couldn’t be his friend. Not a superpower like Myles, but maybe something more minute, like the way he had his shirt buttoned or something (his “power” is good attention to detail – hence his instant knowing that Juliet was not on the plane). A ring could have fallen off; plus, if the fake Norris had a ring himself, would he not have noticed? I also wish Lapidus had gotten his own episode; not only would it allow for far more Jeff Fahey (love that guy), but they could have come up with something cool and Lost-centric to explain why he wasn’t flying the plane (I can’t remember if he ever did explain why, but if so it couldn’t have been very interesting). His resigned “We’re not going to Guam, are we?” in S5 was my favorite scene in that entire season!
Tomorrow – Action Sayid!
Where are we?