Lost: An Inventory of Bad Wishes

August 2nd, 2010  |  Published in this mortal coil  |  6 Comments


Al & I have been watching Lost via the Roku (and the iPad while we were on vacation). One way you can gauge your emotional involvement in a series is the eagerness with which you wish death on some characters. At six episodes into season 4, a list:

Wished Dead at Some Point

  • Jack: Stopped wishing him dead once his flashbacks and flashforwards started dirtying him up a little.

  • Kate: Stopped wishing her dead once we decided keeping her alive to suffer might be better. Perhaps the most willfully stupid character on the show, and the one most likely to provide fuel for the many, many plotlines that rely on someone doing something ridiculous on the basis of partial information. Our magma-hot loathing of Claire keeps us from actively rooting for Kate’s demise. We can only hold so much hate in our hearts at once.

Worth noting that Kate and Jack in combination were irritating from Episode One.

Actively Wishing/Wished Dead

  • Michael: Wished dead. Settled for him leaving. Not happy to see him back.

  • Charlie: Wished dead repeatedly and violently. Got our wish and resented that it wasn’t swift and unsentimental. The whole “arrow in the throat” vision was a cruel tease. The thought of him hanging around as “White Gandalf” Charlie makes me twitchy.

  • Claire: Hoped she’d be taken out with Charlie.

Never Wished Dead

  • Sawyer: Liked him from day one. Never wished him dead. Sometimes wish Kate dead for his sake.

  • Locke: Never wished him dead. We like Locke, even during his current (for us) Colonel Kurtz phase.

  • Sayid: Never wished him dead. Like the effect quantum particles, cosmic rays and the pollen index seem to have on his moral disposition.

  • Hurley: Never wished him dead.

  • Sun: Never wished her dead.

  • Jin: Never wished him dead.

  • Ben: Never wished dead. Great admirers of the “15-degree head-turn” thing he does to denote that his attention has shifted for some inscrutable reason. Kind of tired of seeing him get punched all the time.

  • Desmond: Never wished dead.

  • Juliet: Never wished dead. But do wish she’d quit looking like she’s in a perpetual state of thoughtfully sniffing International Coffees and thinking back to that little café in Vienna.

  • Juliet’s Sister: No opinion. Did inspire us to say “I’m gonna have a baby … cocksucker!”

  • Ana Lucia : Never wished dead. Did wish she would have stuck around and taken up with Sawyer or Jack, whichever would have messed with Kate the worst.

  • Mr. Eko: Never wished dead.

  • Walt and His Dog: Never wished dead. “Wet Walt” manifestations were creepy, though.

There are a few we don’t want dead (Bernard & Rose) less because we’re so attached to the characters and more because their deaths will waste valuable screen time with maudlin piano music and tragic stuff.

While I’m here, a few more notes:

  • With the flashbacks, I decided by the end of the second season that it felt like we were watching the eighth season of a show that had jumped the shark with a ridiculous “crashed on island” plot conceit some time in its sixth season.

  • Sometimes I laugh with delight. Sometimes I laugh because I’m delighted with the way the island is just this big vacuum in which anything can happen for no good reason except as an excuse to cause Kate to fly into a sobbing panic or start making out with someone, because those seem to be her two reactions to everything. Well, those and “tell somewhat static character only part of the story to activate the character for a minor plotline driven on the strength of the misunderstanding.”

  • The show could have been The Best Daytime Drama Evar.

  • Need to go see if anyone has done a comprehensive census of the the many survivor extras who appear now and then.


  1. gl. says:

    August 2nd, 2010 at 12:38 pm (#)

    oh, how i wish i could comment! but yeah, your wishes and mine were pretty aligned. especially charlie. geez!

  2. mph says:

    August 2nd, 2010 at 12:55 pm (#)

    Charlie, and Claire yelling CHAH-LEE in her … GRAR… VOICE!

    “CHAH-LEE” and “MY BABY!” over and over and over and over.

    Combined, they catalyze an alchemical process that produces pure suck.

    Goddamn that fool of a Took.

  3. gl. says:

    August 2nd, 2010 at 1:27 pm (#)

    also, i luuuurrrrrvvve desmond.

  4. mph says:

    August 2nd, 2010 at 1:31 pm (#)

    I loved Desmond a lot until he made it his mission to keep Charlie alive. Now that that particular issue is settled, I love him again. We just saw the “Desmond comes unstuck in time” episode — the one where he has to convince Penny to give him her phone number lest he die of a chrono-aneurysm — and I loved it partially because I care so much about Desmond in particular.

    We also loved that Desmond’s hatch-mate from his “Desmond in the hatch with his hatch-mate” flashback was The Kurgan in “Highlander.”

  5. sven says:

    August 2nd, 2010 at 1:33 pm (#)

    You asked what SF we’ll be watching next, gl.?

    …Y’all are pushing the needle of my “dammit I wish I was culturally literate” meter dangerously close to the red.

  6. mph says:

    August 2nd, 2010 at 1:55 pm (#)

    Well, Sven … you asked a few weeks back and I wasn’t sure what to say. Now I’d give your needle a nudge.

    The thing that keeps surprising me is that I never feel cheated, despite all the insane cheating going on. The show just does what it is going to do. Sometimes I find myself wishing it would wrap up a particular thread and I start getting frustrated, but a moment’s pause causes me to remember that I want the thread wrapped up because there’s some notion of “the good stuff” that I want to get back to. Or someone who isn’t dead yet who needs to be.

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