I used to be an avid fan of the ABC drama LOST
. Unfortunately, the show jumped the shark at the end of season two only to rapidly decline in quality over the course of season three. Last wednesday's episode (season three, episode 18
) was so lousy that, for the first time ever, I gave up on an episode part-way through. The awful and increasingly cliche features of this episode include
- Pointless flashbacks: The episode had 20 minutes of Sun-Hwa Kwon's flashbacks just to find out that her husband Jin becoming a gangster was basically her fault.
- Answers to mysteries that have already been solved: In this episode, we discover from two seperate incidents that the island has mysterious healing properties. Thus, the mystery whose answer was first deduced in the first ten minutes of season one, episode one received yet more overwhelming confirmation.
- Character damage control: Apparently Juliet went from zero to psycho a little to fast in the previous episode, so in this episode they made a point of bumping up her human-to-lizard ratio a bit. In a rare burst of human empathy, Juliet even demonstrated facial expressions!
- To be fair, there was one good element in this episode, which was mobster Jin getting in a fight with Mikhail and winning. I was expecting Jin to "pull a Worf" and get completely humiliated by Mikhail, but it never happened.
Of course, the real reason for the general decline of LOST over season three is that the show's producers have been systematically deconstructing the "mythology" of seasons one and two. For example, the Others were invisible butt-kicking forest ninjas in seasons one and two, but over season three they've gradually settled down to become regular, relatively average people who live in nice houses and join book clubs in their spare time. And yet, LOST hasn't hit rock bottom quite yet; we still haven't gotten an episode in which all of the flashbacks are from the polar bear
's point of view.