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Up to a certain point in the series, I loved Lost. I loved the characters, I loved the storyline, I loved the attention to detail, and I loved how everything clicked together. I enjoyed how a seemingly minor plot point in one episode would prove to be a major development three episodes later, and I particularly liked how the history and mysteries of this island would go from "a little odd" to "downright bizarre" over the course of the first two seasons. Then... season three rolled around. I mentioned in my review of season two that some fans will point to a particular season and say "that's when it started going downhill", and for me, season three is the one. I'm still a fan, but that "love" has turned into "like."
Review by Chad
Added: August 30, 2009
Standard disclaimer: I'm going to be spoiling the shit out of seasons one and two, so if you're reading this without having seen those seasons for some ungodly reason, you may want to stop now. Also, while I won't be presenting any major spoilers for the third season in this review, I will be discussing some of the events that lay the groundwork for this season; after all, it would be sort of hard to talk about the season at hand without pointing out where the story goes.
Once again, the storyline for this season picks up immediately where it left off last season. Jack, Kate, and Sawyer now find themselves being held captive by "the others", and they discover a shocking secret: those others aren't the savages that everyone thought them to be. Instead of living in tents on the beach, they have themselves a nice little town set up on the other side of the island - a town complete with honest-to-goodness houses, a park, running water, electricity, the whole nine yards. The kicker? Ben is the leader here. Yes, those boys had the leader of the others held hostage all that time and they didn't even know it. Whoops. Anyway, what do the others want with these lowly commoners that we have come to know and love? Keep watching, it's a doozy. Meanwhile, John Locke is still attempting to communicate with the island, Sun finds out that she is pregnant, Mr. Eko starts having visions, Desmond realizes that he has psychic powers, and as always, more secrets of the island are revealed.
The main problem with this season is that it's almost entirely dedicated to "the others", and those people simply weren't very entertaining. It's interesting at first, don't get me wrong: you will undoubtedly be interested once you first see the arrangement that they have on their side of the island and when you see how they are treating their captives. There is definitely potential here, but it just goes on for way too long and runs out of steam long before the main focus of the story shifts... and when it does finally shift, the others are still the main focus, just in a new environment.
Another problem that I had with this season was that it seemed like the writers were running out of ideas. Take, for example, the episode in which two castaways who, up until the episode in question, had a total combined screen time of about five minutes throughout the entire series. Just to show how insignificant they were, the filmmakers had to shoot new footage showing them on the beach immediately following the plane crash. They then receive their very own episode, where they are the stars and the "main" people of the show serve as mere backdrops to their story. We learn about their past, we learn what's been going on with them while they were on the island, and then... they die at the end of the episode and are completely forgotten about. This entire episode could have been scrapped and it wouldn't have affected the season in the least, but there it is for our viewing displeasure. This is by far the worst of the mess, but it's certainly not the only example that I could come up with: points are brought up only to be forgotten about, rules are made only to be broken, and the season as a whole was littered with sloppy writing.
Now, with all of that said, I did enjoy the season to a certain extent. The general formula hasn't changed (combine current events on the island with a look at the castaway's lives before they came to said island), and yes, the characters are still damned entertaining. Also, even though it does have the aforementioned faults, there was some strong writing on display from time to time, and there were a few episodes that were downright amazing. If you've stuck with the series for this long, you'll certainly enjoy a fair chunk of the material on display here, but no sane viewer can say that it's anywhere near the level of quality as the first two seasons. I guess there's only so much that can be done with this concept, and this must be the season where the well started to dry up.
Overall, it's an average season, and I truly hope that it picks up in season four. There are some important ramifications to the Lost universe in this season and there are some exciting events that take place, but for the most part, this season was just a little above average. I'll be checking in on the next season, but if it's worse than this - or even on par with it - I think that I'll be tapping out before season five. 6/10.
- added 09/05/2009, 12:45 PM
Just finished season 3, and I have to say that I
disagree with Chad. Yes there was some shameful
filler, and yes the story spent a little too much
time on 'the others' rather than our friends on
the beach, but as the storyline advances the
writers really can't keep focusing solely on the
crash survivors. It would just get tiring. That
said, I felt that this season really only suffered
in some of the middle episodes. The first few
episodes contained one of the biggest shockers of
the series, and the last handful of episodes were
amazing - even drawing out some tears from yours
truly. After the finale, I can't wait to jump into
season 4. Not quite on par with the first two
seasons, but definitely not as bad as Chad is
making it out to be. Fairweather fans will
probably hate it, but for those true Lost fans,
it's just a little different.
- added 06/30/2010, 09:14 PM
I'm going to go polar on both of you; this is my
favorite of the three so far. One was
entertaining, but it was mostly all character
introduction; this worked because those characters
were great great characters. I really didn't like
season 2 because the character focus was lost for
mere plot exposition. Season 3 finally balances
the two where it needs to be. I will agree that
I'm not entirely keen on the others' storyline
compared to the wtf-supernatural stuff from season
1, but even so, there's some great stuff found