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LOST Diary: Season Two

May 10, 2012

I’m two seasons into my journey through the entire series of LOST. I found Season One to be riveting entertainment, and couldn’t wait to see where the series was going to go next. Here are my thoughts, without any overly heinous spoilers.

Season Two centered on the mysterious hatch, the survivors’ encounters with “The Others” and a few new characters integrated into the increasingly complex web of back stories.

The story picked up immediately where the previous episode ended; Locke, Kate and Jack descended into the opened hatch, and Michael, Jin and Sawyer were left adrift after their raft was destroyed by The Others and Walt kidnapped. The dual cliffhanger ending to the first season created great forward momentum for the entire second season that never let up.

As the primary storytelling vehicle of LOST is characterization, I’ll get right into my roundup of what happened in the second batch of episodes.

Four significant new characters joined the mix. Ana-Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez) was foreshadowed in a small first-season guest role and took on a much more significant role. Ana-Lucia was a former police officer and de facto leader of the survivors of the unaccounted-for tail section of the downed Oceanic 815.

Desmond Hume (Henry Ian Cusick), aside from being another character named after a philosopher (David Hume), is the first of a handful of recurring characters to have an impact on Season Two. Desmond turned out to have been shipwrecked on the island three years before and became the caretaker of the hatch and its’ confounding contents. Speaking of philosophical names, Danielle Rousseau, a.k.a. the “French Woman”, played by Mira Furlan (Jean-Jacques, anyone?).

LOST gained one of its more interesting new characters in Mr. Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a reluctant Nigerian criminal and drug-runner-turned-priest. Stoic, spiritual, and introspective, Eko is a kindred spirit of sorts with Locke, who as you know, is my personal favorite.

These characters all work well, and create some new interesting camp-life dynamics when they join up with the primary group of survivors. However, the undisputed gem of Season Two is the man who calls himself “Henry Gale” (Michael Emerson). Henry gets captured in the jungle in the second half of season and brought back to be kept in the hatch. Can he be trusted or is he one of The Others? That’s the big question during the breathless final stretch of the season.

As for the returning characters, they continued to struggle with the demons (mostly “daddy issues”) of their past while roughing it out on the beach. The primary story threads were Michael’s search for Walt, relationships with the newfound survivors, and getting acquainted with the hatch.

Locke, my main man, was a bit moodier this time around and experienced an intense test of his faith. The hatch, his obsession in Season One, keeps Locke occupied for most of Season Two but severely strains his faith by the end. The secrets divulged in the hatch lead John Locke to question whether he can justify continuing pushing a button every 108 minutes, a ritual which supposedly saves the world. It was an ambiguous concept yet deliciously riveting to watch John go through.

Sayid, my other favorite character from Season One, wasn’t given all that much to do in Season Two, but does get a few moments to shine when he is called upon.

Season Two is manages to best its predecessor ever so slightly, and that is saying something. The series keeps getting better and better and ended on its highest note yet. Michael Emerson as “Henry Gale” instantly improved the already fantastic cast of characters and I can’t wait to see how his character is further developed in Season Three.

In response to some of my gripes about Season One, I appreciate that some of the more irritating characters were either marginalized (Michael, Claire), or mellowed out a bit (Jin). Also, as I mentioned already here, the pacing never lets up. Not every episode is perfect, but no show I’ve seen can quite say that and LOST’s hit-miss ratio is admirable.

The story of the hatch seems to be pretty much played out at this point and the shroud of the Others has been peeled back a bit but, as is LOST’s modus operandi, there are always more questions than answers.

It’s been a great second act and here’s to the next batch of episodes.

From → Television

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