Is anyone else getting a sense of desperation from the Lost powers that be? Here is this week's jabberjaw.
Last night's episode was teased as revealing some major connection between two characters. Most viewers likely anticipated that they would finally reveal that Jack and Claire are half-a-siblings, something that just about everyone has been speculating about since Season One. Really, this was probably the least satisfying "shocker" of the series. Everyone thought Jack's dad was Claire's father, so when it turned out to be true, it was a huge "Yeah, and...?" moment. They didn't even add any sort of bizarre twist to it. Very disappointing.
Next week's episode promises to reveal how Locke ended up in the wheelchair. I anticipate that it will be dramatic and meaningful, but this pre-emptive reveal essentially removes all the suspense from the episode. Up until now, every Locke-flashback episode has had the additional tension of "Will Locke become a paraplegic in this episode?" See, e.g., "Will Locke get shot by the con men, or perhaps get hit by a car as he chases after Peggy Bundy?"; "Will Locke get shot by the undercover sheriff's deputy?" But now, we know that Locke-of-the-past ain't gonna be walking by 11:00 p.m. next Wednesday. It's a really dumb way to tease the episode, especially when they could have teased it just as effectively by simply creating the possibility of explaining how Locke became wheelchair bound.
The theme of the previews during the latter portion of this season has been specific, concrete promises that, as I said, give the impression of a network desperate to get people to tune in the following week. If the episodes themselves were compelling enough, this cheap baiting wouldn't be necessary. And it makes me feel like a chump for watching the show, like I'm a mule following a carrot on a stick (or a polar bear pressing the right sequence of buttons and switches to get a fish biscuit). To be sure, viewers of serial mystery-based shows are undeniably carrot-chasing mules, but the networks don't have to call attention to that fact.
In conclusion, Lost is increasingly dumb. But there were some good things in last night's episode and I'm going to grudgingly keep watching. At least until the end of this season.