More mys­ter­ies with a sig­nal twist

Lost 8.30pm, Seven

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

DE­SPITE ac­cu­sa­tions that Lost is aptly named be­cause it stretches cred­i­bil­ity and has in­ci­den­tally lost 500,000 or more view­ers from its early hey­day ( it is still watched by a re­spectable one mil­lion or so Aus­tralians each week), for the faith­ful this saga about a bunch of plane crash sur­vivors ma­rooned on a mys­te­ri­ous is­land still packs a punch.

Lost is unique in that it lay­ers its mys­ter­ies. Have we seen that flash­back be­fore? Is this what hap­pened last time we passed this way or have things been sub­tly altered? Is the is­land sen­tient? Can it heal spinal in­juries and kill preg­nant women?

And in the in­ex­pli­ca­bly hos­tile con­flict be­tween the sur­vivors of flight 815 from Syd­ney and the mys­te­ri­ous oth­ers, a bunch of longterm is­land res­i­dents with apart­ments and bot­tled orange juice, who is re­ally on which side? Is Juliet a dou­ble agent or does her ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship with Jack, leader of the crash sur­vivors, mean she has juiced her al­liance with the fan­tas­ti­cally evil Ben, leader of the oth­ers?

Off­set­ting the diet of unan­swered ques­tions are end­less, of­ten beau­ti­fully re­alised flash­backs that tell us more about the char­ac­ters than we could glean from their be­hav­iour on the is­land. We know, for ex­am­ple, about the for­ma­tive ex­pe­ri­ences of Korean cou­ple Sun and Jin- soo Kwon. We know Sun was black­mailed into her fa­ther’s debt by Jin’s mother. We know Jin’s fa­ther is a poor but honourable man who wants with all his heart to spare his son the in­dig­nity of hav­ing a poor, lowly par­ent such as him.

Tonight’s pow­er­ful dou­ble- episode sea­son finale adds a new ( or is it?) string to the Lost bow: the flash­back that is a flash- for­ward. No names, though, for fear of spoil­ing the sur­prise. In­deed, the twin episodes can be seen as the res­o­lu­tion of a tril­ogy that be­gan last week.

Char­lie was told then, be­yond any doubt, how and when he would die, and he be­gan a note about the best things in his short, trou­bled life to be sent to Claire.

This in­volved him in a quest to en­ter ‘‘ the look­ing glass’’, an un­der­wa­ter sta­tion that is block­ing all sig­nals from the is­land, pre­vent­ing res­cue. Though there are twists and turns on the way, Char­lie even­tu­ally makes it, and fans may find his fi­nal mo­ments dig­ni­fied and al­most un­bear­ably mov­ing.

As usual, more mys­ter­ies pre­sented than re­solved.

But one mys­tery is out of the bag for good: the se­ries has been re­newed for an­other three sea­sons. This means more mys­ter­ies, more clar­i­fy­ing flash­backs and more tests of faith un­til at least 2010.

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Ian Cuth­bert­son

Cast­aways: Des­mond ( Henry Ian Cu­sick) and Claire ( Em­i­lie de Ravin) in Lost

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