I really liked this week's episode of LOST, but not in a real substantive way. The show featured characters I've always liked or liked in this episode more than any others.
I've always been a big fan of Charlie's, so I was glad to see him come back. And I thought they did a good job of making him a mix of good and bad. In the past his character had some flaws, but was always a bit more the soft victim. This week he had a hard edge to him at times, though he did maintain his likability just enough. In some ways I think this "reverse Sawyer" bit should have been how he was written from the start. But I think they wanted Jack to play that type of role within the show, something I was never a big fan of.
Desmond has always been great on the show. I don't know who gets more credit for that, the writers or the actor, but he's been tremendous before and continued that in this week's show. It was nice to see a hint that he will play an important role.
Farrady has never been my favorite character. Maybe it's because he mirror's the show's model of being obviously intelligent on the one hand, but withholding so much of that information as to be almost worthless. Especially because when you find out what's been withheld, it doesn't seem all that worth of being kept a secret. It's a great skill of the show's writers to be able to keep us tuning in and wondering without really giving us much insight into what's going on. But I liked Farrady in this episode. He was a little more like us, totally in the dark and trying to piece things together, knowing that someone could easily help them along, but they refusing to do so.
My growing frustration with the show is with the way they've handled the "master plan." I do not for a second believe that they had any of the end of the show thought out when they started or even into the second or third season. There is just too much that was made to be important that has been cast aside. And if they bring it back, they're waiting a bit to long to do so, I think. It's really badly obvious if you go back and watch earlier episodes and see the importance that was put into Walt or the numbers or the healing power of the island (Rose, Locke).
To me, this has really reduced my interest in theorizing or guessing what's coming next. Keeping secrets is one thing, but they've used a bit too much misdirection* to keep me actively guessing. There's too little time left and too much discarded stuff that was supposed to be significant. I don't know that they can neatly tie i tall up without relying on a dream sequence explanation. I'm basically just along for the ride at this point. I still love the show, but not as sport so much anymore.
*--The "this is what would've happened if 815 hadn't crashed" thing is a prime example. That's what they set it up as, but that's clearly not what it is. Linus would not be a teacher with Locke if the plane didn't crash, he was already on the island. Locke would not be engaged to Helen if the plane didn't crash, they weren't together when he left. Jack didn't have a son before the crash. The creepy leader of the temple wouldn't be meeting Jack at the music school auditions. On and on.