Lost 5.16 / 5.17 – The Incident

This season of “Lost” has been one of the best (if not the best) in the history of the series. The season finale? Not so much. While we’ve been hearing for weeks that the finale would prove to be a game changer – prompting many to even wonder how the show could go on – I just don’t see how anyone could come to that conclusion. Was tonight’s finale really better than the flash-forward of Season Three? Hardly, and though it may have changed the series more than we think, we still won’t know anything until Season Six starts up in 2010. After all, the show may have ended with a literal bang, but it felt more like a whimper with that fade to white.

Tonight’s episode also had way too much going on for me to even attempt my usual format, so instead, I’ve decided to break my recap down into more general ideas so that I can discuss each one in a little more depth. Hopefully it’s not too difficult to follow along and will make it easier for commenters to address certain topics without having to go into too much detail. I apologize in advance if it does the complete opposite.

1. Jacob – He certainly wasn’t at the top of my list of questions I was eager to see answered, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed by the lack of explanation we received for Jacob. Apart from the fact that we know he has some kind of magical power (including Richard Alpert-like immortality and the ability heal), Jacob remains shrouded in mystery. Oh yeah, and now that Locke’s convinced Ben to kill him, we may never find out who he really is, where he’s from, and how he was able to leave the island so frequently throughout the last 30 years. Which brings me to…

2. Jacob’s Flashbacks – Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof have always had fun trying to connect each character to one another, so it was cool to see Jacob pop up throughout the Losties’ history. Even more important, however, was that he seemed to always do so during a crucial moment in their lives. Okay, so I’m not exactly sure what significance paying for a stolen New Kids on the Block lunchbox has for Kate, but the others all made perfect sense. The funeral of Sawyer’s parents; the death of Sayid’s true love; Sun and Jin’s wedding; and the list goes on and on. The most important of the bunch, however, is Locke’s crippling fall from the apartment building. Many people called in to question how someone could possibly survive such a fall around the time that original episode aired, and now we know the answer – Jacob revived him. Which brings me back to my first point: just who the hell is Jacob?

3. Rose, Bernard and Vincent – The writers have been promising all season that we’d eventually get to see what happened to the beloved secondary characters, and as it turns out, they’ve been time jumping with the rest of the survivors all this time. That was pretty much a given, but the fact that they were able to do so without anyone the wiser is pretty impressive. Apparently, they’ve not only decided to retire in a nice beach house since the “flaming arrows three years ago,” but they’ve also become hippies in the process. I could have done without the whole “All We Need Is Love” speech that Bernard delivered, but seeing as this is probably the last time we’ll ever see him or Rose again, it was an admirable send-off for a couple that could have easily been excised from the series after Season Three.

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“Lie to Me” beats “Lost” premiere

I’m stunned.

Lie to Me pulled in 12.4 million viewers and a 4.9 rating/12 share among the 18-49 demo, but lost a substantial amount of viewers over the course of its 60 minutes. I guess people were waiting for Tim Roth to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Lost’s two-hour premiere averaged 11.4 million viewers but grabbed a 5/12 in the 18-49 demo–just barely topping Lie to Me.

Lost’s premiere was down 25 percent from last season in the prized demo, but had more competition in the form of whatever-is-on-behind-American Idol. Surprisingly, the one-hour clip-show of Lost fared fairly well against Idol, raking in 8.4 million and a 3.3/9. Lost’s numbers are expected to go up dramatically thanks to those people in your office who are running around with their hands clasped over their ears screaming, “Don’t tell me! Don’t tell me!” because they’re going to watch it tonight on their DVRs.

This is a classic battle between a procedural show and one with a serialized format. It sounds like “Lie to Me” lost a good portion of its viewers throughout the hour, so it will be interesting to see how the show does next week. Many people watch the premiere of a new show (especially one with as much pub as “Lie to Me” received from Fox) and decide then if they’re going to return the following week. Sounds like more than a few people decided midstream that it wasn’t for them.

  

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