Oh my god. There are so many things wrong with tonight’s episode. But I loved it. I absolutely loved it. “Exposé” will, I predict, ultimately become a conversational litmus test for “LOST” fans: either you loved it, or you hated it, and either way, you’d be right.
Was it filler? Sure. It certainly broke the “island mystery” momentum. Was it cheesy and campy and full of shout-outs and knowing winks? Absolutely, about as subtle as a Mack truck. Did it feel more like a punchline to a joke with a three-month wind up than the usual “you’ll like them when you get to know them” song and dance? Maybe.
But as with many great TV shows (from “The X-Files” to the shortlived “Firefly”), sometimes the rare episodes that break the mold and get a little weird are the ones you remember the most. The creators, the writers, the cast… they all clearly had fun with “Exposé.” And that mutual enjoyment really came through.
Off the top of my head, I can think of only one solid “development” in island time: Sun learned Charlie was her kidnapper. We knew Sun would find out eventually, but I wouldn’t have guessed it’d be Charlie that told her… in a reflective, quiet conversation no less. The more Charlie “gets his affairs in order,” the more I’m doubting my assertion that his predicted demise was actually a guarantee of longevity.
So, compared to the feast that was “The Man from Tallahassee”? Story wise, “Exposé” was barely a nibble.
Everything else was a creative exercise. And one in which I can, again, find many things to nitpick. But with the episode opening in a strip club, with stolen orphanage money, and a Billy Dee Williams cameo, I was stunned out of my skepticism and dropped my guard completely. They had me at “razzle dazzle.” The whole conversation about guest stars, character deaths, and improbable reappearances was so over-the-top, I practically fell off my chair.
The care put into recreating scenes from earlier episodes, presenting them from another perspective with an almost childlike “they were there the whole time!” feel, actually impressed me. (Jen, not so much.) From the crash, to Jack’s “live together” speech, to their trek into the jungle, it was at once disorienting and heartwarming… like a little retrospective to remind us of those heady, early days. Like “The Other 48 Days,” but with a sense of joy rather than dread.
I got a rush seeing Boone and Shannon again. (And I guess Boone was finally outed.) I loved that Nikki and Paulo judged them, the same way a random airport couple once judged Sun and Jin. And having Boone emerge from the flames to ask Nikki for a pen was brilliant. A moment that was like a little gift to those of us who’ve been with “LOST” since day one.
It was great to see Dr. Arzt once again. And Ethan. And the drug plane, too. It has been quite a ride so far, hasn’t it?
But the big “gotcha” was revisiting The Pearl, and specifically the scene from Episode 3×05, “The Cost of Living.” When we first see Paulo come out of that bathroom, we were apoplectic at how ridiculous it is. It was so random, so awkward… well, of course it was a clue. Suddenly, they couldn’t have been more obvious.
Indeed, how perfect were the links between “Exposé” the episode and “Exposé” the soap opera? Right down to the twist ending. So, the much maligned Nikki and Paulo are dead. Or are they?
This whole madcap caper apparently unfolds as Jack, Kate, Sayid, Ben, Ethan and friends get down to business at the barracks. And I do hope we’ll rejoin them next week.
Notes & Notions:
- Nikki’s belated acknowledgement of Thanksgiving was a nice touch. Christmas can’t be far ahead.
- I expected Paulo’s splattered spider would draw more spiders to take down Nikki, but the “monster” sound that preceded their arrival had to have been significant.
- Bookspotting: Sawyer was reading “Evil Under the Sun,” by Agatha Christie. Thanks, but… we’re going to need a few more literary shoutouts this season, considering we’re going to have to read even more as we wait for Season Four to begin in 2008.
- Locations: The strip club was Club 939 on Keeaumoku. Of course we saw the Convention Center cum airport again (didn’t we?). Can’t place the dead director’s house, though. Could be anywhere.
- “Exposé” discussion at TheFuselage.com and Lost-Forum.com