Lost Season 2

This post is the second in a series of reviews of Lost.  Read the first here.

lost2Although the first season had a few flaws, I gotta say that Season 2 of Lost is much weaker.  At least from a writing standpoint.  As a viewer, it’s much more interesting.

As a writer, the thing I love about the first season is that a character comes front and center, we see a background story the makes this character three-dimensional, and then the current front-and-center story mixes with the background-three-dimensional story creating a fascinating and clever way of advancing the overall story arc.  In Season 2, it seems the writers attempt that again, but it comes with less of an impact.  Why?  Because the characters are already three-dimensional.  We already care about them.  I don’t like the character of Claire, but I’m invested in the fate of her baby because she had the fascinating flashback about the psychic and her struggles with her adoption decision.

As a viewer, Season 2 trumps Season 1 on almost every level.  In Season 1, the overall story is that people survive a plane crash on a magical island inhabited by other people.  The conflict is right in the plot: survival, teamwork, internal struggles, love triangles, fate vs. choice, us vs. them…  In Season 2, it goes far beyond that.  We have the introduction of more crash survivors, the introduction of a Dharma leftover, the introduction of The Others (and what they generally do to trespassers), and a mysterious stranger that we later find out is the leader of the bad guys.  This leads to all sorts of conflict oozing out of every episode: a hatch with a computer hooked up to an electromagnetic bomb, distrust and murder, the desertion of a survivor, the search for missing people, relative insanity, and the usual “magical nature” of the island affecting all of these things.

I know.  It sounds exciting.  But much of it is not.  As a writer, I don’t understand why some things were done, other than to simply create more conflict.

Charlie’s fondness for Claire was cute in the first season, but the writers decided to make them fight for no apparent reason.  Eko’s religious nature gives him faith (alongside Locke), so it’s no surprise when he starts building a church; he stops abruptly so that conflict can be created.  Sawyer, who’s been a pretty good hero for the majority of the series, suddenly cons everyone out of all their material (it’s explained, but it’s a stretch); he then just as suddenly gives it all back.  Plus, Jack – the calm doctor from Season 1 who only got upset if he promised to do something and his promise had to be broken – is now yelling at everyone for everything.

Like I said, it makes me want to eat lots of popcorn when I watch it, but it doesn’t inspire me nearly as much as Season 1.

For those comic nerds out there, here’s what I compare it to:

darkknight

Much like Season 2 of Lost, The Dark Knight is often emulated, and deservingly so; it kicks ass. But it's not exactly philosophy.

Season 1 is like Watchmen.  It’s carefully thought out, there isn’t a wasted episode and the jumbled way that the story is told adds to the current storyline.

Season 2 is like Dark Knight.  It makes for a kick-ass story, until you really think about it.

(A last-minute question to the writers: Charlie goes crazy and steals Claire’s baby.  Everyone hates him.  He’s barely heard from in 10 episodes, then the hatch blows up and everyone likes him again.  Why is he a good guy again?)

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6 Responses

  1. Lost sucks. Time travel is confusing.

  2. batman rules!!!!

  3. A lot of people didn’t like that time-travel thing in season 5. I know a lot of people who just tuned out. I think they fell into the same trap as a lot of successful franchises: they feel they have to show EVERYTHING.
    But I’ll get to that when I get to watching season 5. It’ll probably be mid-december.

    And yes, Batman does rule. Mostly.

  4. […] Read the second review here. […]

  5. […] Read the second review here. […]

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