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Live Together, Die Alone

Sean Sweany | Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Near the climactic end of the second season of “Lost,” the ominous Henry Gale, leader of the Others, remarked that his followers – prone to wearing fake beards and kidnapping children – are “the good guys.” This startling revelation led fans of the hit television show to question just how many groups of “Others” might exist on this paranormal island and what their motives might be.

Having recently begun its third season, the hit ABC drama “Lost” has become famous for a suspense-filled, mystery-driven plot that always seems to raise more questions than it answers. With both season two and the hatch done away with, the show’s creators have stated that the focus will now turn towards the mysterious Others – specifically who they are, why they inhabit the island and what they want with everyone’s favorite castaways.

As the start of the third season, Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) were held captive by the Others in separate prison cells and each faced various dilemmas. Most notable was perhaps Jack’s interaction with an Other named Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) and the emerging possibility of romance between the two.

Other romances will emerge on the island this season as well, possibly between Kate and Sawyer, Charlie and Claire or between new cast members. Recent hires Rodrigo Santoro (“Love Actually”) and Kiele Sanchez (“Stuck on You”) will emerge as a good-looking couple that managed to remain unnoticed in the background of the island for two seasons.

Although romance will play a big role in the third season (the show’s creators have dubbed it the “season of romance”), “Lost” will stick to the formula that catapulted it to fame. In true “Lost” fashion, this forebodes that castaways will die and that there will be enough plot twists and surprises to keep Hitchcock happy.

The first six episodes of season three will act as a mini-series that focuses the spotlight on the Others (although it won’t neglect the regular castaways and the events that have occurred since the hatch imploded). After this, “Lost” will break until February, when it will return without a hiatus until what will likely be another cliffhanger season finale.

As the phenomenon that is “Lost” enters its junior year, it is perhaps embarking on its most exciting journey yet. The show works so well because, at its heart, it explores humanity at its very best and very worst, allowing viewers to connect with the characters’ emotional fluctuations under the harshest of conditions.

With so many of the show’s characters having reached stages ranging from depression to disbelief regarding their conceptions of life, the resolution of these dilemmas should make for excellent television.

Fantastic, mysterious elements pepper the landscape of “Lost” through imaginative, well-written stories, making the character drama even more meaningful. Whereas season two dwelt mostly within the hatch, the current season will have a chance to explore the mythology of the entire island, from its polar bears to the smoke monster to a four-toed statue of a giant foot seen in the season two finale.

Insights into these mysteries keep the show’s fan base appeased and maintain a freshness and vitality to “Lost” that many other programs lack. Series co-creators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof seem to have struck the perfect blend of humanity and mythology in their show. Between writing, directing and producing what has now become a behemoth, Abrams and Lindelof keep busy schedules but seem capable of maintaining the quality and originality that make “Lost” special.

As “Lost” progresses through its third season, a continued focus on what has carried it thus far – character-driven storytelling in fantastic settings – will continue to bestow further success and acclaim. No matter who lives or dies on the island, “Lost” is that rare show that will survive.