Lost In Transition

“Lost” fans we’ve still got about 5 months to go before our schizoid TV series returns to the airwaves, but bits and pieces about Season 4 are beginning to bob to the surface. At the Comic-con International convention in San Diego today, the show’s chief producers will officially announce the return of the character Michael. Did someone cue the crickets? I distinctly heard a cheep, cheep right after I said Michael. Wait, there it is again!

Don’t get me wrong, I love “Lost” — but I can’t stand Michael, or his equally whiny son Walt. Michael was last seen at the end of Season 2 when he betrayed his castaway cohorts to “escape” the island. He also blasted away Season 2 additions Ana Lucia and Libby for good measure (let that be a lesson to wayward actors who like to party too much after hours!). We’ve seen Walt a few times in cryptic passages connected to the equally cryptic Others, but the whole Michael/Walt storyline had pretty much fallen apart. Now they’re coming back — wahoo.

Annoying characters aren’t always a bad thing, in fact they can help shape the tone and direction of a show. Michael’s backstory is one about a struggling artist who falls in love with a much more career driven woman. Their marriage crumbles just as Walt is coming into the world and Michael’s life spirals out of control. Actor Harold Perrineau brings a high level of intensity to his role, but his efforts to win over his now adolescent son are slathered in melodrama. That’s not Perrineau’s fault, lay that one on the keyboard of the writers. In fact with Michael back maybe the writers can make the show’s main hero, Jack, likable again. Man has he become a pathetic drag of late.

Now that everyone knows that “Lost” has an official expiration date (May 2010) I really think the best days could be ahead — hopefully a lot less water treading. I’m hooked, and I’m on board ’til the end. So welcome back Michael — and could someone please do something about those crickets.

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