Giving Lost The Benefit of the Doubt

I’ll be the first to admit it, my Battlestar Galactica review earlier in the week took a lot out of me. It was an emotionally draining experience. I don’t find it easy to come down against shows that I usually really enjoy, but I had no alternative with their season finale. Really, I didn’t.

But, last night’s Lost seems to have brought me out of my funk and to the brink of madness. It was great, it was genius, it was well told… it had absolutely nothing to do with freakin’ series as a whole as far as I can tell. I liked the backstory, I liked learning about who Nikki and Paolo were, but the fact that the producers went back and showed us scenes from earlier episodes and focused on Nikki and Paolo in them was a little much. If I was a slightly bigger geek than I am, I’d go back and rewatch those episodes (like the pilot) to see if Nikki and Paolo are really there in the background. Though some will disagree, I’m just not that big a geek. Not that I am denigrating all you other geeks out there, it’s good to be a geek, but I’m still not going back and checking it out.

If Nikki and Paolo are there in those early episodes, I applaud the producers for thinking ahead, or, I would except that they (and this is a spoiler, but not too big of one because it happens in the first 5 minutes last night) they killed them night without ever telling us why they were there to begin with. So, then what’s the point in wasting my time on them? They seem to have been completely unimportant. It requires a leap of faith I’m not sure I’m willing to give the show anymore to state that there must be a reason for having included them all season long and now having killed them.

There was a time I’d have given Lost the benefit of the doubt on this sort of thing and said to you and everyone else that would listen: no, no, Lindelof and Cuse and the boys have a plan. They’ve done this for a reason, they had it worked out ahead of time and knew last year or the year before they were going to do this. I don’t think that anymore.

I still like the show, truly I do. But, I’m worried about it entering The X-Files territory. Scully only gets abducted by aliens because Gillian Anderson got pregnant and couldn’t be on camera for a while. It was actually a great storyline and became a huge part of the mythology of the show and worked out well. But, it wasn’t planned out from the beginning, it just happened. The Lost producers keep telling us though that they have a plan, that it’s all tracked out, they know where they’re going. I’m not sure anymore about that anymore.

That doesn’t mean Lost is not a good show, it just means that I am deciding that I can’t trust what the producers tell me, and I don’t like that. To build up these characters for a season and then kill them… there are two choices as to why this is happened, and we’ve gone through one: it’s going to come back in the future, their characters will figure back into the storyline later. Or, two, the producers are simply responding to the audience not liking them and decided to axe them, canceling out future plans for them and the producers will now scramble to make it look like it was always planned (this option has my vote). The third option, which is the same as number two except without the producers scrambling to make it seem like their plan is too far-fetched to believe. No way do they not play this off as always having been in the cards.

No? What do you think? Planned or not? Dead or not?

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