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Lost season five episode reviews

Lost, Jeremy Davies, Henry Ian Cusick, Terry O'Quinn, Josh Holloway, Rebecca Mader, Elizabeth Mitchell

Season 5, Episode 1. "Because You Left" I loved every minute of this, but - let's be honest - it's a total mess of an episode.

The problem is: this episode tries to include every single character and advance their story in some small way. Lost never does this, and here's why: it's unsatisfying chaos. In fact, it felt like one of this innumerable clip-show episodes of Lost that I detest and avoid like the plague.

Highlight? The Sayid/Hurley action scene was superb but, like every other scene, it moved away from the characters just when things were getting really good. Bugger that!

The island scenes were fun. Time travel is always cool and I'm sure the ladies enjoyed seeing Josh Holloway shirtless for the whole episode. I, myself, was more than happy to see Elizabeth Mitchell and Rebecca Mader well established as the new heroes we can root for on the island. This is important. Except for Sawyer and Locke there is nobody from the original main cast left on the island at the moment. To Lost's considerable credit all of the 'new' characters trapped with them on the island are interesting and likable. The audience are invested in them. In all of them, I might add, I just picked Mitchell and Mader because they are crazy hot.

Season 5, Episode 2. "The Lie" Hugo takes centre-stage for this gripping episode, where he goes to hide at his parents, tries to help Sayid and does his best to defy Ben.

Because the focus is back on one character this is a much stronger, more satisfying episode of Lost than the season premier. Kate and Sun get some good screen time, but this is Hugo's story. We see how unhappy he (still) is with the lie that had to be told when everybody got off the island and we see how is does his best to come to terms with that.

Season 5, Episode 3. "Jughead" Daniel and the gang meet Richard in 1954, while Desmond runs around in the present day trying to find Daniel's mother.

Except for Locke and Sawyer (who has a minor role in this episode) all of the main characters in this episode are people who did not appear in the show during it's first season. For a start, none of the Oceanic Six appear in this installment, and all except on of the main stories are driven by new main characters: Desmond's quest takes up much of the story, while on the island everything that happens revolves around Daniel and Locke (Daniel is 'the leader' of his gang now and he's given the job in this episode of dealing with an atomic bomb, he also finds time in this episode to declare his love for Charlotte, while Locke gets a face-to-face with Richard and tells him all about his time travel exploits).

Lost has changed a lot. Jack, Kate and the gang are still the 'stars' of the story and I love them all very much. But my favourite characters on the show, now, are the newbies: Ben, Juliet, Daniel, etc. Daniel in particular. Poor guy. It was shock to nobody when he announced that he was in love with Charlotte. Charlotte, meanwhile, looks at him with much the same gaze that a woman gives a newborn puppy so I hold out no great hope for Daniel to sweep her off her feet anytime soon. Assuming that she doesn't die, as this week's cliff-hanger would seem to imply.

Season 5, Episode 4. "The Little Prince" Jack teams up with Kate to find out who is after Aaron, while Daniel and his crew keep time-jumping.

The time-jumping stuff is getting a bit tedious now, I hope they are not going to be doing this for the rest of the season. The mainland scenes were very good. It's always good to see Jack and Kate together in an episode. Especially when one of them is doing something to help the other. In this one, it is Jack coming to the rescue. Or trying to. In the end, he accomplishes nothing. But, what is important is that he was there for Kate and that will remain between them...

The storytelling is clever. Since the lawyer showed up at Kate's door we've been pretty sure that Ben was pulling the strings. It was the only thing that made sense. However, in the last minute the show very cleverly pulls as switch and makes us think, very briefly, that Ben is not responsible. It only lasted for one scene, but I have to applaud them: they fooled me.

Season 5, Episode 5. "This Place is Death" Jin and the French Group have some adventures, before he reunites with Sawyer and the gang. Locke meets Christian and leaves the island. Ben and a small number of others meet Mrs. Hawking. Charlotte dies.

I can't believe they killed Charlotte. Yes, it was foreshadowed and all, but still... I hope she'd be around for a while longer. Her final scene with Daniel was suitable tear-jerking.

Locke setting off to rescue everyone (and put an end to these annoying time-jumps is very cool) and it was fun to see Ben unsettled for once, by the arrival of Desmond. Desmond is somehow 'off-book' and that makes him very, very cool.

Best bit? Sawyer's joy at finding Jin alive.

Season 5, Episode 6. "316" The Oceanic 6 return to the island.

Wow. I wasn't expecting this. Sure, I know Jack and the gang would return to the island but I assumed it would have in the season finale/premier and the episodes between now and then would detail events leading up to the return. Hah! So much for that theory. This will teach me to try and guess what Lost is going to do next.

Playing to it's strength's the show delivers a chaotic and shocking episode through the eyes of one character (in this case: Jack). This is surely one of the reasons the show works as well as it does. Particularly with Jack who is - when you think about it - the one true classic hero that the show has. You can argue that Locke is more the hero, if you want, but - at the end of the day - Jack is that white American male who beats up the bad guys and stands a 50/50 shot of 'getting the girl' at the end. He's just like the majority of heroes in the majority of western action fare so, as a consequence, we are programmed to be slightly more invested in his journey than in anyone else's on the show.

Season 5, Episode 7. "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" Locke talks to everyone and attempts suicide.

The narrative structure of Lost is very daring. Forward, back, forward, back... You could watch these episodes in almost any order now and still get a cohesive story. One feels that events are being unveiled to us, in the order that they are being unveiled, merely to maximise mystery and enjoyment rather than to aid storytelling clarity. Not that clarity is an issue/problem. The show may jump around like crazy to - to it's considerable credit - it is always easy to understand/follow.

This is the episode where Widmore declares himself to be a good guy, and Ben apparently demonstrates that he is a bad guy by murdering Locke. I'm doubtful. Widmore has a proven track record of being evil. So has Ben, of course, but I'm still inclined to believe that he is trying to fix his past mistakes and do the right thing by the island. I'm sure we'll find, he had a compelling reason for killing Locke.

Season 5, Episode 8. "LaFleur" We follow Sawyer and gang from 1974 to 1977.

About a minute into this episode we are shown a glimpse of the statue for the first time. In all it's glory. It's an enormous moment. The ramifications of what we are looking at left my jaw on the floor. Where it has stayed ever since. Suddenly we can see that Lost is being painted on a very large canvas and - with this hint - we have every reason to believe that they are going to explore that canvas to every degree that they can.

Beyond that, it's a great episode. Action is split between 1974 and 1977 and there are many clever parallels. Sawyer is established, even more than usual, as hero/protector material and the conclusion is predictable and wonderful.

Season 5, Episode 9. "Namaste" Our heroes try to fit into life on the island in 1977.

There's a lot of running around and - despite the fact that I really enjoyed it - this is a bit of a wasted episode. It's just showing us the nuts and bolts of Sawyer getting his friends into the Dharma Initiative. And, to be honest, they could have skipped all of that crap and shown us what life was like for Jack, Kate, etc. a month after arriving.

But, I'm not complaining. It was a fun episode, with lots of fun moments: Juliet saving Kate was cool and Sawyer standing up to Jack was the absolute best scene in the episode. Ben's arrival was anticlimactic because I was waiting for it.

Season 5, Episode 10. "He's Our You" Sayid and Little Ben.

Superb. I love when I make predictions and Lost proves me wrong. I did not think that Sayid would try to kill Little Ben. I was sure of it. I predicted - during the episode - that Sayid would reject his past and try to redeem Little Ben. And, of course, I was completely wrong. Sayid shot him through the heart and I had to concede (to my friend watching with me) that I was utterly wrong.

I love Lost.

Also, I love this guest cast. Reiko Aylesworth, Zuleikha Robinson, Jon Gries, Doug Hutchison and William Sanderson are five of my favourite performers. The presence of one of them, alone, would make me excited to see any episode of anything. And Lost nabs all five of them in the same episode!

I love Lost.

Season 5, Episode 11. "Whatever Happened, Happened" Kate tries to save Ben.

The Hurley/Miles conversation was a bit forces, yes, but it was funny and it nicely echoed all the conversations I've been having with my friends all week. And, I suppose, it's the same conversation Lost-fans have been having all over the world: Can Ben die in the past? How does that work? Etc.

And, it's to the credit of the show that they can get non-sci-fi fans wondering this kind of stuff and - gasp - taking about it. Out loud. Nice work, guys.

This is our first Kate episode in quite a while. I like Kate. Not as much as I like Juliet or Charlotte, but I still like Kate. I'm aware, however, that there is a lot of Kate-hate out there. I wonder if this - heartbreaking - episode will get anyone back into the Kate camp?

Season 5, Episode 12. "Dead is Dead" Ben returns to the island to face up to his past sins.

A rollercoaster of a ride. I watched this with a friend and - as we watched - we occasionally made predictions about what might be about to happen next.

Every time: we were wrong.

Man, this is some show. For instance, I was convinced that Ben had killed Penny ages ago. I was sure of it. And, in this episode, I really thought we were about to see Ben meet his final fate.

Hah! So much for my theories...

Season 5, Episode 13. "Some Like It Hoth" Miles' story is told.

It's mild stuff. Very enjoyable, but a lot less frantic/eventful than the previous episode. Many of the key issues from last week are ignored, but it's a solid fill-in-the-blanks tale.

Season 5, Episode 14. "The Variable" Daniel returns to warn everyone.

Nice brain-twisting episode with a great performance from Jeremy Davies (despite wearing a comedy-wig in a couple of flashback scenes).

Season 5, Episode 15. "Follow the Leader" Locke leads Ben and Richard around the island, while Jack leads Sayid (but not Kate) to the bomb, and Sawyer and Juliet are led onto the submarine where they meet... Kate.

Lots of wonderful reversals in this amazing episode of Lost.

The best by far is the contrast in the two John Locke's. The one by the airplane is shell-shocked, wounded and confused, whereas the one we spent most of the episode is cock-sure of himself and full of purpose. It is the single most exhilarating thing about this episode. Locke is finally growing into the person he was meant to be.

Or something.

I just like it because the wounded, confused John Locke is flailing about and trying to make sense of it all and looking for someone to help him, someone to lead the way. When Richard first appeared out of the jungle, Locke (and the audience at home) attributed him with more power and powers than he really has. Locke constantly assumes that Richard knows more than him about stuff, and is constantly amazed to find out that Richard knows very little about these things. And, in this wonderful scenes, we see that Locke's salvation comes from himself.

I love that idea.

I love the idea that we can all save ourselves, if we just wait for ourselves to gain the knowledge.

The saddest reversal comes at the very end. Juliet and Sawyer have just declared their mutual love and optimism about their future together, when Kate is dropped on top of them. Boo hiss! Poor Juliet, my heart bled for her in that moment (and doesn't Elizabeth Mitchell look amazing?)

Miles' father went through a reversal when he decided (at the start of the episode) to accept that these (strange) people were from the future. Hurley was hilarious in that scene. And Miles himself changed his lifelong beliefs about his father when he was able to see firsthand the reasoning that caused his dad to banish them (he and his mother) from the island.

Locke and Richard went through two powerful reversals in the final minutes of the episode, and our perception of both was changed as a consequence. Richard kept quiet and looked very concerned throughout the episode - in both timelines. Yet, at the very end, when we have pretty much decided that he is a good guy, he drops a bombshell and voices concerns to Ben that Locke might be 'trouble'. What the frak does that mean? And does the ship-in-a-bottle clue mean they are finally about to tell us that Richard arrived on the Black Rock in the 1850s?

And while we were reeling from the shock of Richard's statement to Ben, Locke suddenly declared that he plans to kill Jacob. He what? Why? Is this some plan to set Jacob free? Or does Locke know that he's evil or something?

Either way, it's gonna make for an exciting finale next week.

Season 5, Episode 16. "The Incident" Jack carries a bomb, Locke gives Ben a job to do...

The only problem I can see with Lost at this stage is that it's hard to get fired up about the main characters goals when they've been proven to be wrong about important stuff in the past. Jack has a goal in this episode and Locke has a goal in this episode, and - to be honest - given their patchy track record with stuff, it's hard to... care.

I think I'm supposed to care. I think I'm supposed to be invested in what Jack wants. But, two years back, he was passionate about getting everyone off the island. And we now know that that was a pretty crap plan.

Now he wants to set off an atom bomb.

And there's no reason for the viewer to believe that this will work, either. And, instead of increasing the tension, it only served to increase my apathy.

Locke's goal in this episode had me mystified. Having seen the twist ending it makes sense, but for the duration of the episode it was a bit frustrating. Entertaining, but frustrating. And, to be honest, given Locke's patchy track record with these things, I found myself much more invested in Ben. In fact, I was completely invested in Ben for the duration of the story and really concerned for him at the very end. (That was a fantastic ending. Poor Ben.)

Back in the Seventies, I wasn't that pushed about Jack and his mission, but I was absolutely heart-broken for Juliet and Sawyer. Their story was/is amazing and wonderful and sad and romantic and a million other things.

But I must confess to being just as weary of all the in-fighting as Rose and Bernard. And while I loved this episode from start to finish, it was for reasons that had nothing to do with the engines that were driving the two plots.

Mark Pellegrino was a terrific Jacob. His interactions with all the main regulars were great. Short powerful scenes, which - I think - went a long way towards explaining the nature of Jacob.

Not that the episode really wants us to know very much about who he is. They script shows us a heck of a lot of the stuff that he has done.

But why has he been weaving all these threads?

Well, I guess, that will have to wait for next season...

Lost, The Incident, Terry O'Quinn, Josh Holloway, Elizabeth Mitchell

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