Let’s get this out of the way first: We enjoyed watching Sayid and Hurley participate in Weekend at Bernie’s 3; we got a kick out of the visual references to No Country for Old Men and Magnolia (and less so The Da Vinci Code stuff at the end); and, of course, we laughed our heads off when a startled Hurley tossed a Hot Pocket at Ben. But as much as we’d like to say the highly anticipated season five premiere of Lost was all that we hoped for and more … we simply cannot. It wasn’t “Jack gets his tattoos” terrible, but the combination of “Because You Left” and “The Lie” has to rank as the worst season premiere the show has done to date. Here are our three biggest complaints.
Time traveling bunnies!
We’ll give creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse the benefit of the doubt and accept their statements about Lost always being a “time travel show”. There is proof of that anyway, since the Desmond-centric “Flashes Before Your Eyes” happened all the way back in the third season. And since they are way smarter than we are, they’ve certainly figured out a way to crack the entire thing so it doesn’t collapse under its own weight like a bad soufflé. But! We already see problems. If, as Daniel Faraday states, “you can’t change the past” and “if it didn’t happen, it can’t happen”, then how does Locke get shot by Ethan? We can assume the inconsistency that allowed Daniel to talk with Desmond occurred because Daniel has a whole book about time travel in his backpack (he probably found a loophole), but Locke and Ethan never met and Locke never got shot in the leg on the Island. Besides, during the time period when he would have gotten shot, Locke was probably too busy being scammed by his father for a kidney. You know what? Hold on, while we start convulsing on the floor …
Simon Oakland Syndrome!
Simon Oakland played Dr. Fred Richmond in Psycho. You know him as the guy who comes on screen during the final five minutes and tells both the characters and the audience exactly what just happened, in case they couldn’t figure it out for themselves. It’s always been the weakest part of Psycho—at once totally unnecessary and slightly insulting. But at least it was brief. On the season premiere of Lost there were three Simon Oakland’s: Dr. Pierre Chang (or Dr. Marvin Candle, if you wish); Richard Alpert; and, of course, Daniel Faraday, so talkative he appeared to be a blackboard and wig away from becoming Doc Brown. As we’ve gone over, the time traveling stuff is confusing to us, but that doesn’t mean we want to be spoon-fed. Messrs. Cuse and Lindelof should have dispensed with the formalities and just concentrated on moving the show forward … for now. Just a tip: When you have to explain the punchline to a joke more than once, the joke sucks.
Remember how bad the start of season three was? Of course you do! Our heroes were spread out all over the Island like a bunch of pick-up sticks and the show didn’t recover until everyone got back together. Well, at this point season three might be welcome. The characters on Lost are so diffuse right now, it’s as if they came shooting out of a spray nozzle. Don’t Messrs. Cuse and Lindelof understand that the only way Lost works is if everyone on the show is relatively together at the same time? (Or at least in the same dimension?) We hesitate to say wake us when they all get back to the Island, but … wake us when they all get back to the Island.