Soap Opera Weekly: Night Shift 3/5/09

Last night’s episode of LOST saw the end of uncontrolled time travel, but marked the return of a mistake from the past: concentrating way too much on new characters viewers don’t care about. The show was devoted to watching Sawyer, Jin, Juliet, Miles and Faraday integrate into the DHARMA Initiative. And it was certainly less than compelling; I’m hard-pressed to recall much of what went on (which is why I take notes). The storyline oscillated (in a very controlled manner) between 1974 and 1977 (I guess the-powers-that-be wanted to leave 1973 to their lead-out, LIFE ON MARS), and revealed how our friends ingratiated themselves to Horace and the DHARMA peeps. The most significant development saw Sawyer settling down with Juliet (who even looks good with hideous ’70s hair; Sawyer looked wimpy) — just in time for Kate to show up! How soapy! Sawyer adopted the identity of “James LaFleur,” but using a fake name is nothing new for our slippery pal James Ford, right?

The highlight for me was probably the glimpse of an enormous statue that most likely only had four toes. (C’mon, like there was another colossal statue on the island?) Oh, and Sawyer made a crack about Richard Alpert’s eyeliner (Seriously, the guy appears to be bordering on Capt. Jack Sparrow territory!) Sure, it was nice to see Reiko Aylesworth (ex-Rebecca, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Michelle, 24) get a job, and Doug Hutchison’s (ex-Sebastian, GUIDING LIGHT) hair as Horace made him look almost as scary as when he played the mutant Eugene Victor Tooms on THE X-FILES. This is the third time Horace has appeared: He was there when Ben was born by the side of the road in Oregon (and later brought Ben and his father, Roger, to the Island) but ironically missed the birth of his own son. Horace also appeared to Locke in a dream, acting out the building of Jacob’s cabin. You know how I like to point out in these blogs whenever Patrick Fischler (Jimmy Barrett, MAD MEN; ex-Jimmy, PUSHING DAISIES) makes an appearance on any show? Well, here he played DHARMA security guard Phil alongside Kevin Rankin’s (Herc, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS) Jerry. Phil and Jerry were supposed to be watching polar bears, heh-heh. I assume they were tethered to the Frozen Donkey Wheel. Aylesworth’s Amy was able to give birth in the camp, which seemed to indicate that whatever was keeping women from delivering on the island in the 21st century hadn’t happened yet. In 1974, Faraday saw a little red-haired girl that he believed to be Charlotte, but Ben previously had claimed that Charlotte was born in 1979, so was that really her? Finally, the episode synced up with the end of “316” by wrapping with Jin delivering Jack, Hurley and Kate to Sawyer. Worst. Episode. This. Season.

Now that I think about it, disappointment was a recurring theme this week, because Monday’s HEROES was also severely weakened by repeating an unpopular old trope: namely, Claire gets a boring boyfriend. Yes, the episode was consumed by Claire trying to keep Danko from holding a fish-fry with Aqualad Alex. It would have been easier to send him to Albuquerque, like she wanted. However, I have to admit it was nice to see Sandra stand up for herself. She’s sick of being lied to by her black-ops-loving husband and heroine-wannabe daughter? It’s about time she showed off some skills. Granted, cobbling together a fake ID doesn’t compare to regenerating from knife wounds or hunting psycho-killers, but it was Sandra’s determination that counted. Among the character insight gleaned: She married Noah because he was dangerous and handsome, and she bought into his bad-boy act. But it’s different to actually be married to an international man of mystery.

•Does anyone else think “Rebel” is really Nathan? (I think questioning his mother was just a red herring.)
•The best part of Sylar’s story: hearing Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” played over those flashbacks.
•How oblivious is Danko, that he still doesn’t know Nathan can fly? Or that Rachel — whom he assigned to watch Noah’s house! — can teleport? Perhaps he’s just blinded by his hatred. I wonder when we will get his backstory; I’m guessing a powered person was responsible for the death of someone he loved, and now he wants revenge. Or else he has a power himself and is consumed by self-loathing. Yeah, that’s it!

Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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