Monday, June 21, 2010

LOST Again

Anyone who knows me personally, or has been following this blog, knows I am an überfan of LOST. I have begun re-watching the series, again. It has been a couple years since I last watched Season 1, and despite the number of times I've watched each season (at least 5 times each), I am still seeing it anew.

This time, I am noticing things about myself that I never noticed before.

What I didn't recall about the beginning was the story of the US Marshall. I mean, I knew it happened, but I attached little importance to it. Like many, I was used to violence and death in fictional media—and the character was not particularly likable.

Perhaps I was "desensitized" to the violence, a term usually used to imply that violent media makes violent life easier to stomach. I firmly believe, however, that most mature people are capable of feeling nothing about fictional violence, while maintaining a humanitarian horror for real violence.

Perhaps I am too pragmatically minded, seeing realistic on-screen gore as a quality expression of someone's artistic craft. This is closer to the truth. Without time to get acquainted with the characters, it is difficult to see them as anything but actors.

However, the US Marshall was pointedly not a likable character. No further development of him made him any more complex or likable. Therefore, I found myself siding with Sawyer—someone had to put the Marshall out of his misery. What's the big deal, why all the effort on Jack's part to keep him alive?

This time, I was intimately familiar with the characters. I cared about everyone involved (except perhaps the Marshall). I knew for instance, that Sawyer had just shot a man in cold blood not more than two days prior to shooting the Marshall. I knew that Kate had tried to save her mother from an abusive relationship. I knew that Jack had trouble letting go of his patients.

This time, I was surprised at how dark the whole tangle of events was. The deeper spiritual struggle of the characters was not apparent to me without the context of the full arc of each character, and the sadness that came with the notable deaths of Charlie, Juliet, Sun & Jin, and Jack.

To know that the tangle of characters was already deeply rooted from the very beginning is further proof of the genius of this series.
FEATURED MEDIA: Lost - The Complete First Season

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