LOST has been on a stellar run lately with last week’s Locke specific episode being a real capper and really raising the bar for the series. The word is that there is going to be one last season of LOST, and if that’s the case then we were destined for a bit of filler and this week we got it with Exposé. I can get into the story so heavy on some of these series that every little bit of filler ticks me off but I learned with this last season of BSG that if filler is done well it can be entertaining and a nice break from the suspense on occasion. Now, I’m not saying all the filler on BSG this season was great, but a lot of it was surprisingly good, but that’s another article all together. Now, what’s scary about filler on LOST is that the first six episodes of this season were mostly filler and a lot it was terrible, and it nearly destroyed the series. After watching the episode, I found that I had a good time with it and there were a few character moments that are sure to affect the series over the long term.
Many fans, your truly included, decried the introduction of Nikki and Paulo as castaways who’ve been on the island the whole time. When I first heard about them I tried to be open minded because as much as I hated the idea of the tailees I ended up liking Anna Lucia, I know a lot of you didn’t ever like her. But, when they started making minor appearances on the series, they just seemed so shallow compared to everyone else on the series. They weren’t very good actors and they just seemed to be on the series as eye candy. The only thing I enjoyed about them was Sawyer always asking who they were even though everyone else seemed to know them. So, when the episode this week started and it appeared to feature Nikki, I was extremely disappointed even though I knew her and Paulo’s story had to be told. She runs from the forest onto the beach and dies on the spot. I literally applauded. Her flashback also amused me as it was a scene from a campy T&A series similar to Baywatch or VIP which starred Lando, uhh I mean Billy Dee Williams.
In the flashback, Nikki and Paulo plot to steal millions of dollars worth of diamonds from the director of the series she just got killed off of. The plan goes off without a hitch and they are in an airport with plans to leave Sidney. Boone and his really irritating sister make an appearance in the airport that’s for no other reason than for the audience to go look it’s so and so! Then the flashback moves forward after the crash and ties to make some sense of why we haven’t seen much of Nikki and Paulo before. While everyone else is curious about all the strange things happening on the island, they are searching the island for the bag that had the stolen diamonds inside along with Paulo’s nicotine gum. They discover a lot on the island but they don’t care about it. They are the first to find the Pearl Station and the other crashed airplane but they are only interested in finding the diamonds. Paulo does eventually find them, but he hides them out of fear that he will lose Nikki when she doesn’t need him for the diamonds. She’s already hanging around Mr. Dynamite and his collection of poisonous bugs more than Paulo.
She eventually discovers that Paulo had hidden the diamonds and right away she wanted him dead. So, she goes and asks Sawyer for a gun and he refuses. Instead she gets a spider from Mr. Dynamite that causes near instantaneous paralysis that lasts for around eight hours if it bites. She flings the spider onto Paulo and it bites, and then she finds the diamonds only to get bit herself. She buries the diamonds and makes a run for the beach. Her last words end up being really funny. Sawyer thinks she said plywood while Hurley thinks she said Paulo lied, when in reality she said paralyzed. From here, the flashback catches up to the real world.
In the real world, Hurley and Sawyer take up the task of investigating Nikki’s death with a little help here and there from Sun, Jin, and Charlie. For a bit of comedy relief it doesn’t get better than Hurley and Sawyer working together on something. Did anyone notice the lack of nick names from Sawyer? I guess he’s sticking to the outcome of the ping pong match he lost to Hurley. At the beginning of the episode, when Nikki appears on the beach, Sawyer and Hurley are playing ping pong again with Sawyer still losing. In the forest, they find Paulo’s dead body and things really begin to get interesting when they find a radio used by the Others in Paulo’s back pack, careful though, don’t trip over that red herring. So, eventually a hole is dug to bury Nikki and Paulo together. I was really dreading the ending of the episode because I just knew they would come out of their paralysis just in time to stop the burial. To my surprise that didn’t happen and Nikki and Paulo did get buried alive! I thought I was twisted, but I know it for sure now because I thought the ending was hilarious, plus no more Nikki and Paulo!
This episode is done like a campy crime drama with Hurley and Sawyer playing the detectives. They even try a little cop talk here and there which is amusing. There are plenty of fresh double crosses in this episode with Sawyer even playing a part in the final one. He lied about every having talked to Nikki before because when she appeared on the beach he could tell by the grit under her fingernails that she had buried something important and he wanted first dibs. He did find the diamonds but Sun does a good job of making him feel bad about it and he pours them out into the grave that Nikki and Paulo are being buried in. Very classic noir to have the criminals buried with their loot don’t you think? Also, the character moment I mentioned earlier, comes when Charlie reveals to Sun that her kidnapping was perpetrated by he and Sawyer as a way to make the theft of some guns appear to be the fault of the Others. She’s extremely disappointed in Charlie and extremely angry at Sawyer which she displays with a quick slap across Sawyer’s face.
Overall, I ended up really enjoying the episode. The only important events in the major story arc in this episode were Charlie’s admission to Sun and a quick scene where Paulo actually hears Ben describe his plan to use Jack in detail. It’s no surprise it just further validates what we’ve been led to believe about Ben, that he’s a master manipulator. The episode doesn’t stand up to the previous mythology heavy episodes, but as far as filler goes, it was extremely entertaining. The question is, were Nikki and Paulo really set up so long ago just to appear in a filler episode or did the producers listen to fan complaints about them?