Lost: The Package Did Not Deliver

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Oh Lost, what a rollercoaster you've put me on this year. The ups, the downs, the excitement, the nausea. With last week's Richard-centric thrill ride chugging along as one of the season's best, it was time to go back to the end of the line and wait.

"The Package" was one of those Lost episodes that washes away from the mind as soon as that final deep chime and title card pop up. I think it was when Sun, running through the high grasslands from Smocke, smacked her head Keystone Kop-style into a tree--a stationary one at that--that I first furrowed my brow and realized "The Package" was not going to be another "Ab Aeterno."

And it was when Jack diagnosed Sun with temporary aphasia--a tree-trunk induced lack of language skills which renders her spoken English non-existent--that my face firmly met my palm. I fully understand the double standard I set by being okay with smoke monsters, dead characters returning, and time travel, yet put off by the soap-opera device of aphasia, but really? Save that for As the World Turns. Who knows, maybe she's just lying again.

It's also gotten to the point where Jin and Sun, who I used to love dearly, have been stripped down to a very simple tale of impossible love. Things were interesting before when Jin was a hitman for Mr. Paik and he did despicable things for love. Things were interesting before when Sun was having an affair and Jin suspected nothing. Things were interesting before when Sun was pregnant on the island and her life and her baby's life were in danger. But it seems that their storyline has dragged on to simply Sun shouting, "Have you seen my husband?" and Jin demonstratively stating, "If Sun is on the island, I must find her" over and over again.

I also prefer the two as separate characters, not lumped into one as a couple as several of their centric episodes have become. Yes they're Lost's power couple, but weren't things more interesting when we got each of their points of view on their relationship? When they were dealing with more than just logistically being apart? I really like the Kwons, especially Jin, but I don't think the writers are giving them their due.

Claire seems to also have fallen by the wayside of the writers, and they don't seem to know what to do with her. All of a sudden she's docile as a pussycat and not the feral wild child who AXED A GUY IN THE STOMACH. Zombie Sayid isn't that much fun either, and Ben is firmly on the defensive. Some of the characters, once so rich and complex, are being crammed into holes too small for their well-developed past.

Another problem: The moments that are supposed to "wow" us just aren't doing it anymore either. Sun and Jin not married in the side-flash? No biggie. The return of Mikhail as a translator? Whatever. These aren't horrible things, mind you, but at some point the fact that the writers want us to be impressed with these things that just aren't that impressive is going to wear on us. Even Desmond's return at the end isn't really an OMG moment... it just gets us excited for next episode. Anyone else feel this way?

Next: V Invades Lost!

Nothing I'm about to say hasn't already been said about that annoying graphic in the bottom-right corner that was pimping V's return during last night's broadcast (NJ.com's Alan Sepinwall, with his East Coast head start, beat most to the punch), but WOW! Whoever was responsible for that mess should be fired, or at least demoted to cafeteria duty at ABC. Those of you who illegally downloaded a screener without the pop-up, consider me insanely jealous.

Not only was a bright red "V" in the corner annoying, but the actual moving parts of the countdown kept drawing my eyeballs to it. And, as any user of DVRs can tell you, having a clock telling you exactly when the episode you are watching is going to end is a horrible disservice to viewers. When Sayid does his Solid Snake/Navy SEAL swim up to the submarine, we all knew we were about to step into cliffhanger territory because the damn clock told us. The fun of cliffhangers is not knowing when we're on the edge of the cliff, but that clock doubled as both a signal of the beginning of V and the end of Lost.

But that's not even the worst part of the whole thing. The stupid promo actually blocked off incredibly important information during the actual broadcast when Sun was showing Jack her written responses to his questions. Sure, with a bit more concentration we could all tell what she wrote despite the V logo blocking it, but it wasn't easy. And trying to read around it certainly didn't help the atmosphere of what might have been a touching moment.

We've seen ABC try so hard--pathetically hard--to try and make V and Lost BFFs. But these cross-promos, which are little more than V annoyingly siphoning Lost's popularity, are having the opposite effect on me.

This is in no way the fault of the Lost staff. It sits squarely on the shoulders of ABC's marketing department or whoever is in charge of this garbage. Unacceptable. I asked ABC for comment on the situation, but they haven't gotten back to me. Shame on you, ABC.

But alas, why focus on the negative? Why not focus on a DESMOND EPISODE NEXT WEEK! At least, I'm guessing it's Des-centric based on the bagpipes all over the sneak peek we got. But as any fan knows, Desmond episodes hands down have the best batting average for being great episodes. Plus it's titled "Happily Ever After," which is somewhat foreboding as--gulp--it could mean someone dies. I'm fully expecting someone to eat it hard next week, and I hope it isn't Desmond.

BONUS LINK: Check out this funny Richard Alpert picture!

User Contribution News

Hooray! There was almost universal agreement that last week's episode was a good--no, great--one. Or as user pichikin said, "@#&%$ awesome!" Several people even said it was far and away the best of the season. I have no problem with that. It was fantastic. I also forgot to point out Nestor's fantastic acting, he really carried that episode on his back well.

I also went over a bunch of episodes that I considered "special" as they took a different turn from their respective season's storytelling structure. Snuffles929 mentioned both parts of "Through the Looking Glass" and a few of you mentioned "Ji Yeon" as other special episodes, the former introducing the flashfoward and the latter using split times when we were supposed to think they were occurring in the same time. Absolutely true, but in both those cases, the sheet was pulled off at the very end in an "Aha!" moment! Whereas the list I mentioned had us knowing they were going somewhere different almost immediately. I'm nitpicking, sorry.

Coldgluegun: I was secretly hoping someone would get annoyed with the "Team Jacob" thing. I won't do it again.

MarkkuJuntunen noticed that in "The Incident," the old ship approaching the island (when Jacob and MIB are first seen chatting on the beach) is doing so in gorgeous weather, and wonders how it can be the same ship (The Black Rock) we saw last week crashing on the island in the storm. Well sir, I think you just answered your own question.

Hovabyte: you wonder how I showed more restraint over my review of "Ab Aeterno" yet placed it higher in my list over "Recon," which I was very excited about. The simple answer is this: varying degrees of hangover on the days I wrote the stories. We all have our weaknesses, and a glass of McCutcheon Scotch is my poison.

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. Your opinions will differ from mine.)

"The Package": Not the season's shining moment, but not its worst either. Okay, almost its worst. A side-flash that didn't impress a whole lot and on-island action that sputtered a bit. Let's put this one near the end.

1. "The Substitute" Ep. 4
2. "Ab Aeterno" Ep. 9
3. "Recon" Ep. 8
4. "LA X (2)" Ep. 2
5. "The Lighthouse" Ep. 5
6. "Sundown" Ep. 6
7. "LA X (1)" Ep. 1
8. "Dr. Linus Ep. 7
9. "The Package" Ep. 10
10. "What Kate Does" Ep. 3

Your Homework:

We all know that some major deaths are coming to the show. Who do you think will die, and who do you want to die?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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