So, a day after I suggest that Lost has upped its game, I watch what is undoubtedly going to be remembered as one of the worst episodes in the show’s history. Me and my big mouth.
Across The Sea was a flat-out stinker of an episode, transporting Lost’s loyal viewers away from the real drama to fill in the backstory of two characters very few of us are particularly interested in at this stage. Focusing on Jacob and the (still unnamed) Man In Black – and keeping that a secret meant for some horribly contrived dialogue – might have made more sense at the beginning of this season, or even last season. To throw it in with just four episodes left, to solve two very minor mysteries of the show’s myriad riddles was a crazy decision. And one of the explanations was weak and unconvincing as it was.
Irritatingly, it raised even more questions the show has no hope of resolving by the end, in scenes which revealed a brand new component of the island’s strange powers. The scene where MIB claims he knows that turning a giant wheel powered by water and light will allow him to escape the island because he just knows, all right? was laughable.
I’ve no doubt there’s plenty of good stuff to come from Lost before the season is out, but that doesn’t excuse this shabby excuse for an episode which wasted the dramatic potential of the fallout from the previous episode’s events. Sure, we’ll get to find out what that is next week, but this week’s stuff and nonsense somehow makes it all seem less significant.
Across The Sea was disrespectful to the show’s characters and to Lost fans in general, who, let’s face it, have put up with plenty of longueurs throughout the show’s six seasons. The last thing they should be doing is making people feel the journey has been a waste of time. Perhaps we can console ourselves with the fact that we’ve seen the last bad Lost episode (fingers crossed) but it’s telling that Cuse and Lindelof could completely remove it from the DVD boxset and not only would it not be missed, the pacing of the final season would be vastly improved.