TV Time: Lost, The Office and more

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

After so much fan bitching about the first six episodes of Lost this season, it was good to see the show come back from its hiatus and reassert its greatness. The writers continued their obsession with Jack, Kate, Sawyer and The Others, once again leaving out the rest of the characters all together. That's not a problem for me, as I'm more interested in those characters than any other, though I'll be glad to get more from the likes of Locke, Sayid and Desmond in the coming weeks.

This week Juliet, the Others' fertility doctor and Jack-manipulator, got the flashback, and it was plenty juicy. We found out she was a groundbreaking fertility researcher (impregnated a male mouse and her infertile sister) in Miami. We found out that she was recruited by two men, including devious Other Ethan Rom, to work for Mittelos Bioscience "outside Portland." We found out she said no because her employer (also her ex-husband) wouldn't allow it, but then ex-hubby was conveniently killed by a bus. We found out that she basically came to the island (aka "not exactly Portland") against her will, right around Sept. 11, 2001. And when eerie Others leader Ben woke up on the operating table and demanded to speak with Juliet, we found out that he promised her she could go home if she helped Jack's friends escape back to their fellow castaways.

Along the way, Alex, presumably Roussaeu's daughter, helped Kate and Sawyer escape, but only after they helped her free her boyfriend Carl from a Clockwork Orange-style brainwashing chamber that flashed messages such as "God loves you as he loved Jacob." And when Pickett tried to stop Kate and Sawyer from rowing away, Juliet shot him dead. Teary-eyed Kate retold Jack's story about getting scared and counting to five through the walkie talkie. And Jack, after making Kate promise not to come back for him, finished the operation on Ben's spine.

So you want action? You want plot development? You want secrets revealed? I think this episode delivered in every way a Lost fan could desire, save for a return to the beach, which is slated for next week. I'm psyched about how this season is shaping up and intrigued about how they'll be tying up all these loose threads. It's exciting to know that we're in the downhill stretch toward an eventual conclusion, knowing that from now on we should be getting more answers than questions. As someone who just caught up with the show on DVD last fall, I was patient through the six-episode arc that kicked off this season and left many wanting more. Maybe I was giving the producers too much credit then, and maybe I am now, but I'm as excited as ever to see what this show has in store.

On to The Office, which suffered a rare dud last week but rebounded strong for Phyllis's wedding this week. As Michael awkwardly (how else?) tried to make Phyllis and Bob Vance (of Vance Refrigeration)'s big day all about him, Pam once again shied away from pursuing Jim. She chose instead to leave with a Casanova-style Roy, who paid Kevin's Police cover band, Scrantonicity, to play "You Were Meant For Me" because it's "their song." Jim about had a coronary when he saw Pam leave with Roy, then assured the audience that he's exceedingly happy to be with Karen. All the while, Dwight appointed himself bouncer and sought to oust any wedding crashers (and later, the ejected Michael), and Ryan made sure to knock the bouquet out of Kelly's hands and into the arms of Toby's hot date.

This was classic Office, stringing along the romance storylines while offering plenty of awkward or simply hilarious comedic moments. Michael got too much screen time, and his continuous embarassing moments became too much to handle. But other than that, the show was hitting on all cylinders, as it so often does. Thank God NBC execs weren't as quick to write this show off as I was.

Some quick thoughts:

-Friday Night Lights continues to be nearly flawless television. Every single week. Without fail. Watch it and help save it from cancellation! (NBC, Wednesdays at 8 p.m.)

-24 doesn't have me completely hooked yet this season, but Jack's emotional torture/hugging scene with his brother this week was another step in the right direction. As with Day 4, the show will likely be as thrilling as ever by the second half of the day.

-Heroes is getting better all the time. I'm obsessed with Horn Rimmed Glasses (aka Mr. Bennet) and I was sad to find out that my hypothesis that he was Claire's real dad didn't pan out.

-30 Rock keeps getting better and better. If they cancel it, I'll be nearly as sad as if they can Friday Night Lights. Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski—everybody's so good in this show, it's impossible to pick a favorite.

-I am kind of curious about what's going on over at Grey's Anatomy, but not enough to outweigh the marvelous Thursday comedy lineup or the final OC episodes.

-Speaking of The OC, it has been so up and down this season, but last night's earthquake seems to have set up a satisfying two-part finale. I'll be sad to see these characters go, even if it's probably time for them to evaporate into TV history.

-Sad to know that Bree will be out of commission for a few weeks on Desperate Housewives while Marcia Cross has her baby. She's always the best part of the show.

-Finally, is anything less envigorating than watching competitive snowmobilers do the same trick over and over again? And is it bad when you're rooting for gruesome accidents because they're the only part of a sport worth watching?

Disagree with any of my assessments? Anything I'm not watching that I should be? Let me know in the comments section.