Thursday, January 22, 2009

Adam Savage on LOST Season Five

I'm so glad to be back in the world of Lost—and after seeing the season premiere, I can say it was worth the wait. Somehow the show always seems to get the exact right ratio of questions answered to questions raised, and last night's season opener was no exception. (Now, I'm trusting them here: If the series finale doesn't end up with some serious 'splainin', I'm going to be pretty angry.)

The beginning of this season of Lost reminds me of one of Kurt Vonnegut's favorite phrases: "Keep your hat on, we could end up miles from here."
I don't want to give too much away, even though it's aired, but I'm not sure I can hold out.   Okay, how about one spoiler. Just one. You ready?
Jack shaves that awful beard off.   Whew! Am I glad to get that off my chest. I HATE Jack's beard, which seems to have some kind of super-wussifying effect on him, like a reverse Sampson: Jack GAINS power with proper grooming. Thank goodness. Now he and the rest of the Oceanic Six can get back to the island, where they belong. It's disconcerting to see them out in the world—it's just not right.

The season opener adds a whole new dimension to the island's powers. We reconnect with everyone, on the island and off, and it's clear that they've bumped up the question quotient about six-and-a-half notches. Remember in Terminator how you had to wrap your brain around John Connor sending Reese back in time to romance his mom and thus become his father? Yeah, well, that was nothing.

Like Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse 5, our entire island-bound community of Lost-ites has become unstuck in time. While the Oceanic Six are three years in the future, the survivors on the island have no idea when they are, because they're zipping back and forth between the past and the future. But they can't change the past, because, as on-show physicist Daniel Faraday explains, time is like a string, and though one can move back and forth on that string, one can't create another string. It works well narratively, but I'm not sure if I totally buy it. Of course, Faraday might be lying to save the characters all the trouble of running into themselves and causing a temporal anomaly (or is that Star Trek?).

I love the time-travel thing. LOVE it. Clearly the writers have inculcated themselves with the canon of time-travel movies and literature and they've taken it on as a personal challenge. They teased it a bunch last season, but now it's taken over with gusto. Thankfully we've got Faraday—who clearly knows his stuff—as our tour guide through the space–time continuum. I can't wait to see when—and where—it takes us.

Jeremy Davies' Faraday is easily my favorite of the new roster of characters (though Miles' constant Corporal Hicks–like doomsaying is hilarious), but he's given a heck of a lot of exposition to do, and not everything he says holds up to scrutiny. For instance, why would you need to head on a specific compass bearing to get away from the island? Or why couldn't he just explain to Sawyer that the island was unstuck in time, instead of saying, "It'd be hard to explain it to a quantum physicist, let alone you." I dislike when characters aren't clear with each other in the interest in expediency.

Read the full article:  MythBuster Adam Savage on Lost Premiere - Popular Mechanics

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