The 'Lost' Hour: Season 3 Review -- "Stranger in a Strange Land," "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" and "Enter 77"

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Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
Washington Post "Lost" Bloggers
Thursday, November 5, 2009; 3:00 PM

Join "Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney this fall to discuss "Lost's" third season. Each week, we'll assign a few episodes to watch. Then join Liz and Jen each Thursday at 3 p.m. ET to talk about what happened and how those early shows tie in (or not) to "Lost's" looming final season.

For the Thursday, Nov. 5th chat watch the season three episodes "Stranger in a Strange Land" (featuring Bai Ling!), "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" (featuring Cheech Marin!) and "Enter 77."

Liz and Jen, both obsessive "Lost" fans, have been writing their weekly dueling analysis of the show since 2006. When not debating the merits of Sawyer's hotness, Liz Kelly writes the Celebritology blog and Jen Chaney acts as movies editrix and DVD columnist for washingtonpost.com. For episode analysis, discussion transcripts and more, visit washingtonpost.com's Lost Central.

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Jen Chaney: Hello, amigos. Welcome to another "Lost" chat, one that brings us back to, among other things, the Bai Ling episode, which isn't as horrendous as my memory said it was. But, still, pretty bad.

Before we get into this week's trio of episodes, some of you may have heard that we now know for sure which "Lost" regular is the hold-out as a return cast member. It's

Maggie Grace

, who has not officially signed on to reprise her role as Shannon. Here's hoping she does soon.

Liz, over to you.

Liz Kelly: Afternoon. We should also qualify that there may be news here -- including the Maggie Grace thing -- that some consider SPOILERS. So if you're not up for that level of detail, this is not the chat for you.

I hope Maggie Grace gets her act together and signs on soon. I mean, sheesh, Elizabeth Mitchell is coming back for an arc and she's got a whole new regular gig going and everything.

And as the new season approaches -- were only a few short months away -- just wanted to remind everyone about the robut

"Lost" Time/Space feature

. Explore at your leisure and if you see something missing, let us know. We'll add it.

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Peoria, Ill.: I know I'm in the minority, but I really dig the whole Jack/Sawyer/Kate-in-confinement scenes in the early episodes of season 3. I think they're right up there with the best prisoner scenes in "The Count of Monte Cristo," "Shawshank," and (of course) "The Prisoner."

I also think these scenes came at exactly the right point in the show. As the audience, we were right there with the characters in wanting to get the heck off that crazy island, especially after getting stuck down in the hatch for that endless stretch of season 2. How best to antagonize us? Throw us in solitary and make us figure out how to earn fish biscuits.

Anyway, just had to get that off my chest. Really enjoy your chats!

Jen Chaney: I think the confinement scenes required an adjustment, just because it was such a tonal shift. We were used to an ensemble show, and suddenly they're all isolated. It felt a bit like things were stalled, although, to your point, that certainly mirrors where the characters were as well.

And I actually liked the hatch. After this most recent rewatch of season two, I was like, man, I really miss that place.

Liz Kelly: Yeah, the Hatch was such a cool little hangout pad -- nice kitchen, decent lighting, good sound system and a shower. Who wouldn't get attached?

It's interesting though -- I didn't view the Hydra scenes in the same way. We were anxious for the Losties to get off the island and the Hydra did expand their world, even if it was only a little and only so Jack, Kate and Sawyer could be locked up.

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Reston, VA: The first time I watched Tricia Tanaka Is Dead was on my laptop. Right when Hurley started to fly down the hill my laptop lost it's connection and froze on me. I was pretty much freaking out not knowning if the van would start. At the time, I was behind on episodes and I already knew the fate of Charlie but didn't know when it would be or how. In the minutes before the connection kicked back in I seriously wondered if that would be it for him.

Any moments for either of you ladies where you had to stop an episode midway through at a tense moment?

Liz Kelly: I think we've had plenty of tense moments when it comes to this show. But they usually come in the form of fist fights when Jen starts calling me names during our post-show analysis writing. One time she told me it was the worst analysis theory she'd read in 43 years. I was mad, lemme tell ya.

Jen Chaney: No one at the Post would ever curse at someone else or punch someone else. Ever.

Ahem.

If I may answer this question in a *serious* manner, I don't think we can afford to stop an episode simply because we have to file our analyses so quickly afterward. I have gotten a little emotional, but in terms of tension, I'm usually able to work through it. On more than a few occasions, when the "Lost" thud has punctuated the end of an episode, I've gone: "What??" Mainly because I wasn't ready for it to end yet.

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Liz Kelly: Another big step forward in this week's assigned episodes: We're introduced to McPatchy for the first time. Which gave John Locke reason to further display his slipping judgment by entering "77." I think for me that's been one of the harder aspects of season 3 to swallow -- John Locke just doesn't seem dangerous anymore. And I like him dangerous.

Jen Chaney: Well, he's just downright dumb. I loved when he said to Sayid: "I checked the whole house top to bottom." No you didn't, John Locke, you played video game chess! Let's be honest here.

Liz and chatters, did you notice in "Tricia Tanaka" -- during the discovery of Roger Workman, aka Linus -- that Sawyer appeared to find the plans for the runway? And referred to them by noting that Dharma was "trying to build a dirt road"?

Liz Kelly: Is that what that was? I thought it was a map of the rudimentary roadways the Dharmas had at one time running between the Barracks and the hatch construction site.

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Enter 77: Do you think Locke won the chess game by himself or perhaps with a little help from MIB?

Jen Chaney: In other words, was that was an intentional trap? Anyone who knows Locke's mind knows chess would lure him in. And being told to enter a code? Well, hell, we already know the guy loves to do that.

Is it possible someone -- or some force -- wants Locke to cut off communication with the outside world? And is that force MIB? Hmmm...

Liz Kelly: Yeah, I'm not so sure that Locke had help from the MIB in winning -- but I'm with Jen... he was definitely intended to play that game and someone was betting he'd enter 77.

Though it seems like communication -- at least from that station -- was already largely cut off. Although we shouldn't take McPatchy at his word, the Pierre Chang-voiced computer seemed to be indicating that none of the uplinks worked.

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Vienna, VA: The scene with Ms. Klugh confused me a bit. For the most part on the island it seems that dead is dead. Roger and the Dharma folks, for example, appear to be truly and most sincerely dead.

But Ms. Klugh seemed to choose death rather quickly, like maybe it wasn't all that permanent, even though Mikhail (ironically, given his 9 lives) was arguing that it wasn't necessary for him to kill her. I'm not sure if she was just really committed to her cause, or if she expected to survive somehow.

I don't think that being re-animated by the Smoke Monster (like Yemi and Christian) counts as a type of resurrection to them. In fact, the type of funeral they gave to Colleen looks like a good way to keep the dearly departed from reappearing later on at the wake. But I did kept expecting to see Ms. Klugh again this season.

Jen Chaney: Here is the translation of what Klugh said to Mikhail, according to Lostpedia:

Klugh: Mikhail. Mikhail! You know what to do.

Mikhail: We still have another way [out].

Klugh: We cannot risk it. You know the conditions.

Mikhail: There is another way.

Klugh: They captured us. We will not let them to get into the territory.

Klugh: You know what to do. That's an order.

Mikhail: We still have another way!

Klugh (in English): Just do it, Mikhail.

Mikhail: Forgive me. (shoots)

This makes me wonder if the "conditions" she refers to involved making sure that Locke -- and for that matter, Kate and Sayid, both Oceanic Sixers -- remains unharmed. Which would make sense to me.

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Burke, Va.: Lost wouldn't be the same without Hurley but in my opinion the Hurley-centric episodes aren't among the strongest of the bunch.

Liz Kelly: Maybe because Hurley doesn't have as sexy (for lack of a better word) past as the others? He wasn't a fugitive or a cocky rogue surgeon with daddy issues or even a randy con man. He was just a dude who worked at a chicken place. And rather than being loaded with drama, his flashbacks (at least so far as up to season 3) have tended to be more humorous.

I think his flashes forward in subsequent season are pretty darn interesting.

Jen Chaney: I'm also a pretty big fan of The Numbers and Dave, both Hurley flashbacks from previous seasons. Tricia Tanaka is probably the weakest of his episodes, I think. Although it did provide the opportunity to hear "Shambala." Which is great, because Liz loves that song so.

Liz Kelly: Indeed. It calms me.

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North Canton, OH: Looking back now, what are we supposed to get from the weirdness in Bai Ling about Jack walking among us but not being one of us? It feels unresolved. Was this one of the bad ideas that Darlton decided to leave behind?

Jen Chaney: It does feel unresolved. I mean, maybe it just emphasized the idea that Jack is not going to just become an Other, that he'll fight back. But yeah, so what? That episide just didn't further the narrative much.

Liz Kelly: Well, I think it could also be taken at face value... Bai said Jack is a leader, a great man. We know he believed that -- at least at that point in the show.

But yeah, in the final analysis, that entire episode was pretty much filler. And I could've done without the futuristic

Isabel

. She just didn't fit somehow and I kept wanting to scream "NO WIRE HANGERS!" at her.

Jen Chaney: Oh yeah! Nice reference, Liz.

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Liz Kelly: Alrighty -- things are a bit slow, so we're going to wrap up a little bit early today. For next week, we'll be watching "Par Avion," "The Man from Tallahassee," and the long-awaited "Expose."

Jen Chaney: I think Bai Ling scared everyone away today. That, and Liz's references to punching me.

Please join us next week for the great (and final) adventures of Nikki and Paolo! See you.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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