Is Lost Losing its Way?

The day I never thought would arrive has just busted down the door, punched me in the face, and called me bad names. Brace yourselves: Lost may be slipping, and is in danger of falling out of that must-see tier of shows with last night's episode "What Kate Does."

Let's get this out of the way first: We all have super-duper-sky-high expectations for Season 6, thinking it will be hand-delivered on a velvet-lined platter by a lingerie-clad Evangeline Lilly (or lingerie-clad Josh Holloway) and redefine everything we know about TV. That's an unfair assumption to put on anything, and because of that I blame myself for not liking last night's episode.

But what's going on here? So far, Season 6 of Lost looks nothing like the previous five seasons of the show, and that's a bad thing. When did Lost become a borderline fantasy program? When did these characters, once so fully fleshed out, revert to cookie-cutter stereotypes? When did the off-island "backstories" become so mundane? In previous seasons of Lost, if something was boring in one part of the show, you at least had the option of paying extra attention to another part of the show. For example, the on-island drama of Season 5 more than made up for the off-island banality of Season 5 (just get back to the island).

The problem so far with Season 6 is that there's little to care about on the island and little to care about in the alt-flashes (flash-sidewayses). Before, they used to work in unison, but in last night's episode, they seemed like individual stories with zero relation at all.

We saw Kate run from the law in an alternate timeline last night, but here's what we learned: Claire isn't the smartest woman in the world. Seriously, who gets in a car with the same person that just abducted you at gunpoint? You are going to make a horrible mother, Claire. Anyone can argue that there is some cosmic force making the Oceanic 815 survivors trust each other in this alternate reality, but to me it felt forced. I'm with TV.com user GiulioCaim, who last week wrote in the comments section that the parallel universe stories are potentially a great storytelling device, because it lets us see the characters without the influence of the island on their destiny. But so far, we're 0 for 1 on alt-flashes showing us anything.

NEXT: It's Always Sunny on the Island! >>

We also saw Rob McElhenney of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia reprise his role as the Other Aldo, and because he's such a big star now, get a much bigger role than his character had before. While it was good to see an Other with a bit of personality for once, it just seemed out of place.

The on-island drama remains as kooky as it was in the premiere, with goofy temples, hackneyed dialogue, and magic pills. This is my biggest problem with the current season. The writers have kept the temple and this other group of Others out of sight for five seasons (probably because it reveals too much when it comes to the show's mysteries), and now they're pulling the sheet off for the big final season. And to tell you the truth, I am pretty disappointed. It's kind of like figuring out that a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat through a system of secret compartments... once it loses its mystery, it's not as fun to watch.

Also, Jack won't give Sayid the pill because he doesn't know what's in it, but has no problem swallowing it himself to prove a point? Ummm... okay. Also also, enough with the Doc Arzt cameos. Also also also, why on Earth would ABC use that footage of Claire popping out of the jungle with a gun (the episode's WTF moment) in a promo, thus spoiling the big surprise?

Enough complaining, let's talk about the one shining moment from the episode. Sawyer, who up until about 30 minutes into "What Kate Does" was just a repeat of his jerk self from Season 1, really nailed it in the scene with Kate on the pier. He made what otherwise would have been just a sappy scene incredibly watchable. Josh Holloway should have a long acting career ahead of him.

I've said before that it's the mysteries of Lost that keep me hooked on this show, and it's possible that I'm upset not only that the mysteries are being resolved, but that they're being resolved in a way that I'm not too fond of. I haven't given up on the show or anything, but I do have an eyebrow raised for the first time in my Lost-watching existence. I'm just frustrated, guys.

Of course, this could just be a case of the curse of Kate-centric episodes, which for some reason aren't always that exciting. But there is a trend in which the episodes that follow Kate-centric episodes are ridiculously awesome. "Walkabout" and "The Constant" come to mind. Here's hoping that trend continues and Lost bounces back next week.

The Lost Season 6 Episode Power Rankings
(I'll be keeping tabs on each episode, ranking them in terms of quality each week, right here.)

"What Kate Does": While the season premiere gave us TONS to think about, this episode was pretty bland, giving us very little to theorize on and pretty much nothing in the backstory/sidestory. I'm left thinking, "What was the point of this episode?" So it's off to last place for "What Kate Does," and I suspect it will stay there for a while.

1. "LA X (2)" Ep. 2
2. "LA X (1)" Ep. 1
3. "What Kate Does" Ep. 3

Theory update: No new information has derailed my theory from last week, so everything stays the same. Boring, I know.

Comments (143)
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You know what's funny? This show has always been average. Nothing more. It's been getting considerably worse and worse as it's gone on. I remember watching the first 3 seasons and thinking... why do people love this show so much? The flaws were already there, it's just becoming more and more clear.
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Yea Kate episodes are always aweful. But so far I don't find the season that bad. I'm actually liking whats going on. Findig out a lot more about the smoke monster and why some people were brought to the island. And Lost has always been a science finction show how else would you explain everything?
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@addicted44 - i completely agree, i hate the Kate episodes. Especially the ones in the first season.
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I agree bad episode, one of the worst I have seen from the show but at least it wasn't as bad as Stranger in a strange land
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Totally agree.
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Bring back 4400 even if you have to call it 3999
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happens to many good shows, really, writers have only so much inspiration. "lost" is typical - one good season, and it just goes from bad to worse since then - just like prison break, heroes or californication.
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i think lost has lost it's way since season 2 started. season 6 has just made a bad show even worse.
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sonisoe please do us all a favor don't speak of things you clearly don't know anything about... It makes you look dang stupid y'know...

As for the article i am kinda on the agreeing side, but i still think Lost has the potential to good as one of the most mysterious tv shows, also i didn't see the Claire popping out clip before, therefore i am happy, i am wondering what she has been doing on the island for so long...
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They're going to mess up the flash-sideways non-crashing reality and then towards the end some how, the characters will have a choice of continuing with one life or the other. so, the other side needs time to mess thinks up, three episodes is hardly enough, sawyer will be trying to play hurley like a fiddle and sun will probably find out that she is pregnant by that english teacher of hers ect. so it needs time since all the characters are no longer on one Island together, LA is a big place and it's easy to drive to another city, if not another state. What I want to know is what's up with Syeed? Is he dead and now jacob is in there, or the black smoke can divide itself and posses two bodies, or maybe the characters can't really die whille their alternate selves still live in the side-ways whatever timeline, so he's, I dear say, half human/ half zombie...that's what I want to know????
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hmm.. ok, i don't know what to say to this article.

i don't agree at all. i thought the last episode was great. not only did kate get her minute of great acting, but i believe to have found a possible way this all might end some day.

the flash sidewayses you describe as having zero relation at all seems to me to be a very big part of the plot. let's wait and see how it will turn out.
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This isn't Prison Break, and Lost isn't about "Finding People". Stop commenting on shows you don't watch.
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the series shouldnt be this long in the first place anyway, how long should it be anyway about finding lost people ? it was only a matter of time that it would lose plot... just like prison break, it got ridiculous after 1.5 or 2 seasons with that dumpster prison
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LOL! 1 Episode after 5 seasons of extraordinary Show and people found a loophole for LOST! what Kate dose was a good episode BETTER than anything was aired that night! Okay it was not as we imagined Season 6 will be, but it was great and I have Faith LOST WILL Satisfy any true FAN in the end.
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Lost isn't losing its way... Don't worry.

Kate episodes always suck. This one was bound to suck.

Its my constant.
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Fire the children writing the articles. Seriously, fire them.
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Is Lost Losing its Way? No - now quit pushing your wild opinions on the rest of us. Next!

P.S. All those people going on with their BS about Lost losing it after Season 3, you're not the only ones who punked out because you couldn't wait for the action and booms and pretty colours. It swung right back into its old ways just a few episodes in - and the same thing can happen here. Christ, you people need to pick up a dictionary and read up on the word 'Patience'.
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I have to agree, I mean there is nothing going on they have no goals. It is frustraing to see such a great show end so anti-climactic like.
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NEVER !
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Of course after 5 seasons of buildup the reveal is going to be a disappointment. Unless they somehow revealed that its all real and there really is a magic healing island out there, there's no other possible scenario that would be truly satisfying after all this time. Lower your expectations and get over it.
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Lost became a terrible show in season 3, at which point, I stopped watching it. If you haven't noticed, Lost became stupid after NBC extended it's life by 4 seasons.
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" When did Lost become a borderline fantasy program?"

Season 3 when Demond started time-traveling. Did you see season 3? By the way, Damon Lindelof invited those who thought this episode was "filler" to watch NCIS: LA instead. We can't see the big picture, so how do you really expect to judge this piece? What's going on in 2004B is important to 2007A. They've stressed that patience will be rewarded.
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Oh noes, they've put fantasy in a fantasy tv show!
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Hey nimrod, it doesn't matter! It's not like LOST needs to get picked up for another season. Let the finale play out and quit whining.
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it's BECOMING a "borderline fantasy program"!?! Maybe you've forgotten that in the pilot yet (and in the earlier episodes of season one) we've seen an island with a monster, a polar bear, Jack who see his dead father and other fantasy stuff...
by the way, it's very ridiculous that you have so definite opinion after only 3 episodes (beautiful episodes in my opinion)...ridiculous...we'll talk about it in other some episodes or at the end of the season

(sorry for my english)

bye
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Are you LOST your mind with only three episodes?
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I thought episode 2 was quite good actually. Yes, the on island and off-island stuff seem quite individual and un-related, but personally I enjoy them both. I felt that the whole Claire/Kate thing was kind of cool. But yeah, I have some dissapointments about the season so far too. The premiere was good, but not mind-blowing like it should've been, and some of the characters are losing their touch, for sure.

I'm looking forward to seeing how Darlton and crew will progress the season. I can only imagine things will get better.
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Well hey now. The first episode of this season was a disappointment. But the second got better, How Kate would still run from the law if the plane landed, and the whole fountain of youth introduction at the temple. THATS how Richard stays young. I think each episode will get better and better, its just been awhile so its picking up slow, i have faith in this show.
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i don't get what you guys see in this show anyway. it started out kinda good, but then it just got stupid after one season. i'm all for paranormal/mystery shows, but they've gotta make some kind of sense, at least in their own reality. LOST is just annoyingly badly written, in my opinion.
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i agree with several guys here , tv.com is now a hate-fest for almost all television shows but better off ted or friday night lights (both being cancelled)
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Have you LOST your way? After 5 seasons, would you expect anything less? I know that before it all ends, we are all going to know Why! If you've come this far and are wondering, the you have made a fool of yourself for 5 seasons. Should've been watching Desperate Housewives and had your world explained to you on a weekly basis!
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You are 100 percent correct about this season. But let me add to your points.

1.) This season is suffering because NOTHING is happening. Ask yourself this...what do these characters want? What are their goals? They don't have any. There is no progression whatsoever. Jack and co are just sitting in the temple. They're preparing themselves against what? Nothing. The season premiere had them running around, ringing bells, shooting fireworks. Then Tuesday night...they're just sitting there. Sawyer is sulking. Kate is...uh...following him. No one has any goal or drive here. So WHO CARES.

2.) Why would Kate in the alt time line care about Claire? She's a wanted woman! WHAT KATE DOES is get the hell out of dodge not go to a hospital.

3.) All of these cutesy little moments of introducing past characters in the alt time line is DUMB. It's something I would expect to see on a YOUTUBE fan video. Are we supposed to endure these little 'jokes' the entire season? it works for one episode, but not 18. 4.) It's obvious now we will never have MANY of our questions answered. I feel like the producers ask these questions then hope we'll forget about them. So many questions and thoughts were posed in Season 5. We'll never get the answer to them. And that's just a big let down. It's just being a bunch of bullshi**ers. And who wants to listen to one of those? Fact: we will all be disappointed by seasons end. Not because of the way it ends but that we've all been cheated. Sorry. I've loved this show through and through. But it's clear to me now, the producers have been writing this out of their butts. And they've only asked questions to keep us watching. It's INCREDIBLY disappointing to now realize they never knew the answers themselves.

These guys need to go back to film school and review the SETUP/PAYOFF notion of writing.
More+
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No, I actually loved the last two episodes...you NEVER get the entire picture until the end of a season; have you never watched this show before??? What did you expect to see? Did you start moaning and complaining when they didn't show how the rest of the Oceanic 6 made it to the plane in the episode where they come back? And stereotypes? What are you even talking about?
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I agree that TV.com is the one losing its way, about a year and a half ago I could actually get on here and read interesting unbiased articles on programs I loved. Now everytime I get on it seems to be the same writer gripping over and over about how bad shows are. Ok its supposed to be a NEWS article, not the personal opinion of one individual. That's what the comment section is for. completely unprofessional journalism. BTW I believe this is the same writer who writes all those reviews favoring Gossip Girl... nuff said.
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I don't agree with the article. Many things are happening. Aaron is on the verge of being born outside the island. There seems to be an evil Claire and perhaps an evil Sayid. And we see Ethan, I want to see Juliet.
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Mr Surette, I am sadenned by your short-sight.
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Did you actually just ask " When did Lost become a borderline fantasy program? " When has it NOT been a borderline fantasy program? A magical living island where....actually , I can stop right there. "Magical living island" thows the whole show headlong into the realm of fantasy. All it's missing are elves and dwarves.

In addition, you cannot start accusing the characters NOW of making questionable judgement calls. Had anyone shown a glimmer of rational thought during these series, Jack and Kate would have been shot by the other 815 survivors ages ago. Every single time they decide to do something "for everyone's good", they end up making the situation worse or getting someone killed.

I'm a huge fan of creative and "out of left field" writing, but this show has gotten so twisted around itself that there is no way that the writers can possibly make any sense of the incomplete storylines they have dangling. Time-traveling donkey wheels, indeed.
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Short Answer: No...................................................................... Long Answer: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
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Short Answer: No Long Answer: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
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Wow You're dumb. Just because an episode it's not heavy mythological doesn't mean the all show sucks now. TV.com is showing again how much is biased against Lost!
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This poor writer...he obviously hasn't understood the show's title....it's LOST...you are supposed to be LOST. If you can't handle it, you shouldn't watch it. But then again, LOST is a show for intelligent minds, so that kinda strikes some people out. I'm surprised this article was even published. Is there a way to give writers a rating? I would definitely give this writer 0 out of 10
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Stupid, moronic, pathetic article. In other words: classic Tim Surette. Dear tv.com, it's YOU who's losing its way.
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The show will get better way better starting next week. Some people who have seen the first 9 episodes rated "What Kate Does" as the worst of the 9, but after that the rest scored much higher.
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Seriously, after three episodes you're saying it's losing its way? Just wait, at the end of the season you'll probably say it was the best season of all.
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How is Rob McElhenney such a big star now? The last non-Sunny thing he did was his first appearance on Lost. And it's not like IASIP is any more popular outside of the internet community. This episode went well beyond my expectations. I'm skeptical of Kate episodes but this episode's ability to focus on other characters (Sawyer, Claire) at the same time made it worthwhile. Plus, seeing Ethan off the island made me question what actually happened in 1977 in that timeline. If you're ready to give up on the show after one episode, I don't know how you've made it this far. What made you keep watching past Stranger in a Strange Land?
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lol kidding right? :|

show is great

one "not very good episode" is nothing!

i believe in season 6! let's see how show ends and then talk about it!
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I couldn't agree with you more. Lost has lost a lot of its charm. I'll still watch it, but it'd have been so much better to see it sign off with a season as good as Season 1
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Seriously Gus? After two episodes? Seriously?
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add a commentIt is too soon to say "Lost" is losing its way. I don't think the first two episodes were the best season premiere of the series but I think they showed inteersting things and hey, the flash-sideways are neccesary in my opinion. In a parallel universe Juliet must be alive so the flash-sideways are welcome to me.
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u r an ignorant man who has probably never seen lost b4 ever.
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