Friday, March 5, 2010

Terry O'Quinn is a great actor, reason #652

Maybe a real episode review later, but maybe not. Or maybe my thoughts on season 6 so far. I worry that LOST is becoming more like Flashforward, in that Flashforward has some cool moments, usually starts & ends well, but is otherwise a mess that makes few emotional connections. Of course, the fact that LOST has made mis-steps before & corrected them gives me hope.

But I did want to say that "Sundown" reminded me of why I love Terry O'Quinn's work on the show. He's maybe in the episode for all of 5 minutes, but he makes them count. The moment that got me, however, was not his conversation with Sayid, as good as it was.

No, the moment that got me was when Sayid, Claire and Kate join up with Smokey/Locke's followers outside the temple.

There's a great shot of S/L's face as he looks at Sayid (satisfaction at the job this new follower has done, pride at the plan coming together), Claire (recognition of a trusted ally) and then he see Kate. You see a quick moment of surprise that hardens into a grimmer but almost-unreadable expression.

In about 10 seconds, Terry O'Quinn's facial expression tells us more about his relationship to these people and how his plan is going than 10 lines of dialogue could.

Even when I'm lukewarm on LOST, I have to recognize they have one of the largest and strongest ensembles on network TV, and the show either lets them or makes them do some pretty complex work. And that alone makes tuning in worthwhile week after week.