Lost – Not in Portland (03×07)

WARNING: Spoilers for previous seasons and this episodes

Does absence make the heart grow fonder? That’s what ABC was hoping by only showing us a hint of the third season of Lost last fall and now the show returns for 16 uninterrupted episodes all the way through the rest of the season. I’ve been very vocal about my displeasure with the track the writers have chosen in the third season, after a successful and highly rated start, the show began to languish towards the end of last season with the culmination of the hatch exploding and almost completely wiping away that story dynamic. The third season saw three of the main characters Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) captured by the Others whose intent is hard to gauge, but the first six episodes of the season were disappointing, focusing too much on the above trio than the rest of the characters stranded on the beach.

The biggest problem that the show faces, as address in a previous feature here at Entertainmentopia, was the fact that the writers and producers have weaved such a rich narrative full of suspense and intrigue we (the viewers) are beginning to lose faith that they can wrap everything up and deliver us some answers. So many more questions have been brought up over the last three seasons and there aren’t many answers to go along with them.

In this week’s return episodes we delve into the back story of Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) and are given more questions, once again, with very little answers. The flashbacks do, however, show how long some of the Others made it to the island, how they were “recruited,” and how, it seems, they are kept in line through brainwashing.

Picking up exactly where the mini-cliffhanger left off back in the fall, Lost never fails to impress on telling a good story through the use of present day action and flash backs usually related directly to the character in focus for the episodes. For the first episode focusing on one of the Others, the look into Juliet’s seemingly normal past is interesting when you compare it to her current actions and her position on the island. Her final conversation with Jack, after successfully completing Ben’s surgery, was the clincher telling us exactly how long she’d been on the island and her motivations for doing everything that she has.

So does this new “second season” make up for the tedious start to the overall third run of the show? No, not yet at least, its going to take a lot more time to really get the viewers hooked back into the show and its really going to take some effort from the writers to stop dangling the carrot in front of us, as they have for over 50 episodes, and let us take a big bite to really get into it again.

Even disappointing Lost is still must see TV, but it would be a lot nicer if the show reverted back to its water-cooler, first season roots that had us all abuzz about what the monster was, where the tail section went, and what the hell was in that hatch? While the spring return of the show wasn’t anywhere near the best episode the series has done, it was better than all six previous episodes this season and the glimpses into the future look good, lets just hope there’s some substance when we finally get there.

Written by Erich Becker
Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!