OH my gosh this is a good show! The benefit of living under aforementioned rock is that you get to be genuinely surprised by the twists and turns of the plot. I love the fact that I simply did not know what to expect from the show, and knew no details or spoilers at all coming into it. A few years back I wished I could be hypnotized to forget Babylon 5 so I could watch it all fresh again, but fortunately they paved the way for fully serialized arc-driven television and while I still revere B5 above all others, the quality of stuff like LOST takes the sting out. (not only that, you get your fix ...more on that later).
Okay, I totally did not see Locke's wheelchair coming. That was a sweet twist! I love how they use such small scale, focused things as signifiers for much larger issues. It's ... it's like really trusting the audience to get the concept of synecdoche and playing it for all it's worth.
In a collapsed or absent society (uh, man in a state of nature, I suppose the original John Locke would say) suddenly a pair of handcuffs opens up an enormous vista of possibilities and suspicions. Incidentally, in some ways that's what The Postman does, the postal uniform signifies the whole system of governments and society. Okay digression. Think about how free and easy people gave their trust in the moment of survival. But find a pair of handcuffs on the ground and everything is dizzyingly thrown off kilter. What are they doing there? Who were they for? Should we use them? Do we need them? What does it all mean??
They do this numerous times, and the small scale of the elements used makes it so effective. A golf bag. A wheelchair. A signal. A hatch buried in the mud.
Honestly, it's almost a nod toward the Lovecraftian. I mean this in the way that there's things Lovecraft's protagonist/victims are confronted with-- these absolutes from beyond the stars--which expose human fragility and reduce them to gibbering madness. Take away context, society and structure and something relatively mundane that you might pass by every day--an electrical cable snaking along the ground--becomes a terrifying emblem as effective as the yellow sign of insanity. "OH GOD" you think, seeing that long cable coming up out of the ocean "Where THE FUCK does that thing come from? Where is it going? How long might we have been here and never seen this? What could it mean?" The simple absence of a name from an "official list" explodes into a world of terrorizing possibilities.
Yeah, seriously I didn't expect the wheelchair thing. I've been a Terry O'Quinn fan from Millennium days and thought he should be getting Emmy nods back then. Well here he is giving us the jibblies with his stare (a look for which I believe the word "flinty" was created and misused for hundreds of years waiting for him) and being the baddest.
Gawd I hope their names --and honestly, Abrams has serious cajones naming these two characters--mean that Locke and Rousseau are on a collision course because
Mira Furlan! Yay! Delenn! She's so fierce, she's just perfect for this role. Her voice is so distinctive I wish I'd gotten it right away when we heard the message on the transceiver.
Wow. Polar bears in broad daylight. Take an animal out of its context and you have a wonderful creepy motif. The surreality and savagery of the bears makes daylight just as scary as night time--meaning the show doesn't have to be plunged into murk to give you the creeps.
Some things wear thin when you're able to view all the episodes at once though. As we've been mainlining them 3-4 episodes at a time this lost weekend, both of us have been kind of annoyed by the "something's missing go ask Sawyer he asks for something unreasonable in return he's not really all that bad maybe he is lather rinse repeat" confrontations. Also sort of annoying is Kate doesn't trust Jack, Jack's mad at her for not telling the truth but they really love each other trope. We get it. Move on.
But it's very watchable and compelling. I'm genuinely enjoying the ride, stunned that in an age of internet and perpetual geekery that I've managed to avoid spoilers for all the seasons so far.