The “LOST” withdrawal symptoms are setting in. For this, our first of about thirty Wednesday nights without a new episode, Jen and I take a look back at the last twenty two. ||| SEASON THREE felt like two separate seasons, largely due to the experimental, six-episode “pod” that aired last Winter before a two-month break. That first set was well-written and laid the groundwork for the Others we’d grow to know and love, but it’s safe to say it made for a shaky, slow start.
But once “LOST” returned to the full slate of familiar characters, elegantly folding in a great bunch of new faces, the magic was back. And unlike the ill-fated tail section survivors (Ana Lucia? Mr. Eko? Remember them?), the Others turned out to be mysterious and compelling. Now, loyal “LOST” fans will always put the original cast first. But we dare say that Elizabeth Mitchell’s Juliet and Michael Emerson’s Ben stole nearly every scene they were in. Mitchell, in particular, would get an Emmy Award. If we could give out Emmys, that is.
Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Jin, Sun, Charlie, Claire, Hurley, Lockeâ€¦ all our old friends charmed us, and experienced real growth this season. Sun’s role in Jin’s tortured life as a Korean hit man was fantastically done. The answer to the question of how Locke ended up in his wheelchair did not disappoint. We learn Jack and Claire are half-siblings, and that Sawyer and Locke both owe their conflicted lives to the same con artist. And Locke’s evolution from hapless, bumbling pawn to pivotal leader was great to watch.
Now, we’re not the biggest fans of the ‘love triangle’ business. But we gotta admit, the Kate-Sawyer-Jack subplot brought us great moments of both the sweet and steamy variety.
Meanwhile, the underlying mysteries of “LOST” started to surface. The DHARMA Initiative, the healing properties of the Island (and its paradoxical threat to pregnant women), and in the last few weeks, the mysterious Jacob and hints at some of the larger powers at work.
We’re not able to forget the stakes, either, as we bid a bittersweet farewell to Charlie. Once again, the writers brilliantly make us fall in love with him all over again before killing him off. Meanwhile, not every new character was welcomed with open arms. Season 3 also gave us Nikki and Paolo, a pair that never did fit in and vanished as suddenly as they appeared. Their Hitchcockian, spider-bite send off wasn’t very sentimental, but it was hilarious.
Desmond’s “flashes” were also an interesting development, and definitely started to push “LOST” into tried-and-true science fiction territory. We’ll have to wait and see whether Charlie’s death (or the concussion Charlie administered in the canoe) puts an end to his visions.
But the season finale, and the mind-blowing twist the creators called “the snake in the mailbox,” truly showed the brilliance and ambition of the “LOST” universe. In a show where anything can happen, they still do something that no one could’ve imagined. We see Jack and Kate in a flash-forward rather than a flashback, alive but not quite well off the island. And Jack wants to go back.
We long had visions somewhat troubling visions of the last episode of “LOST” being a rescue and a warm and fuzzy stroll into the sunset. Inevitable, we figured, but we hoped for something more. Well, Season Three closes with that long-awaited rescue already made… and a lot, lot more story left to tell.
Season three of “LOST,” frankly, is one of the all-time best seasons of television. And that makes the nine-month wait for season four even harder. But now, more than ever, we’re hooked.