I have to admit it, earlier this season when the first new episodes aired. I worried that Lost may well have been one of those great shows that turned bad. The biggest problem for me was that the bulk of those episodes focused exclusively on Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and the Others, with very little seen of the many other castaways. Worse yet, the episodes just seemed drab to me. I can still remember the flashback involving Sawyer, which revealed that he had been in prison and that he had a daughter. For me the episode did little to increase my understanding of Sawyer and little to give more depth to his character (a character who is already pretty well developed, in my opinion). My ultimate reaction was, "So what?"
Worse yet, the producers seemed to be making some serious missteps with regards to Lost. Now I understand that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje wanted to leave the series for other projects, necessitating the death of Eko. And I can accept that. But I did not like the idea of one of my favourite characters arbitrarily being killed off by the Big, Black Smoke Thing. Personally, as popular and well loved as Eko was, I at least thought that he deserved a hero's death. Since he had to die, why couldn't it have been in an attempt to rescue Jack, Sawyer, and Kate? Or perhaps he could have sacrificed himself to save other castaways from the Big, Black Smoke Thing? Eko's death still leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
As bad as the death of Eko was the introduction of two new characters, Nikki and Paulo (played by Kiele Sanchez and Rodrigo Santoro respectively). Part of my problem with the two characters is that they just seemed to have appeared from nowhere. Granted, I realise that there are other survivors from Oceanic Flight 815 than the main characters, but how did these two go two whole seasons without so much as one line in an episode? Am I to believe these two simply remained in the background for two whole seasons only to one day decide to get involved in things and start taking part and even making suggestions to Locke and Sayid? I suppose that the producers can be forgiven for awkwardly introducing two characters--after two seasons I suppose they were bound to make that mistake one day. What I can't forgive is that neither Nikki nor Paulo seem the least bit interesting to me. To me the two characters are simply dull. Now it is true that Nikki and Paulo have not had much screen time. And perhaps after their flashback episode later in the season I will feel differently. but for now I can't help but wish that the two of them would be written off the show as soon as possible. Apparently I am not alone in this. From just surfing the web, it seems a majority of Lost dislike Nikki and Paulo.
At any rate, it did seem to me that the producers of Lost had, well, lost their way. Fortunately, with the return of Lost, this appears to have changed. Last week's episode, in which we learn about the past of Juliet of the Others, I thought was fairly good. The episode even had a bit of action, something which had been sorely missing so far this season. As to last night's episode, it centred on one of my favourite characters, Desmond. Furthermore, the episode was a welcome change of pace from the typical Lost episode (I would say more, but I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet). The preview for next week's episode also looks interesting.
Of course, I know that there are those who want answers to many of the questions posed by the series. Who exactly are the Others and what are their connection to the mysterious Hanso Foundation? Why are the lives of so many of the castaways connected before they reached the island? I can understand why many fans want answers to these questions, and I must admit I want them to, but I have faith that they will answer them in time. The fact is, I would rather the producers take their time in answering all of these questions rather than to answer all of them at once, leaving us with nothing interesting to watch on the show for the next two or three seasons.
At any rate, I have liked the first two episodes of Lost since its return. And while I must admit that two episodes may be too few to determine whether the show is once more going to be as good as once was, I must also admit that J. J. Abrams and his gang do have a good track record when it comes to this show. Prior to the third season, there were very few episodes of Lost I disliked and I can't say that they made any serious missteps. I do hope I am right and that Lost is back on track.