I can’t believe Mr. LeShade was actually the Cobra

I’ve been re-viewing Lost during my evening workouts over the past month or so, and tonight I made it through the infamous Nikki and Paulo episode, “Exposé.” I’m pretty sure it’s the third most reviled chapter of the series, right after the finale and the one with Bai Ling. But you know, I actually thought it was a pretty good episode.

The whole Nikki and Paulo thing was meant as a sort of sly response to viewers who demanded to know why only the main characters ever took part in the major storylines. “Because,” the creators were telling us, “these background characters are dumb and don’t matter.” I love that the duo appears in only a few episodes and that their plot line was clearly planned out from the start to be entirely self-contained — not to mention nasty, brutish, and short.

The reintegration of these useless characters into pivotal scenes of the series was really well done; the plot line wrapped cleanly (and kind of horribly) at episode’s end; and it even managed to propel the survivors’ B-plot forward with a few uncouth revelations.

All told, I found it to be a much better episode than most people give it credit for. That one with Bai Ling, though… man.

7 thoughts on “I can’t believe Mr. LeShade was actually the Cobra

  1. No, most sane fans revile Nikki and Paulo, but love Expose. Seriously, it was a classic whodunit, and while the characters themselves were poorly introduced crap in a sea of the finest characters ever to be put on a television screen, their story was a fantastic injection of awesome into the pre Catch-22 doldrums. Plus Billy Dee.

    And yeah, Stranger in a Strange Land had some decent on-Island moments, but man, those flashbacks were shit.

    I still think Jack asking Ana Lucia to form an army is the absolute low point of the show.

  2. I have never seen a full episode of Lost. It seems like a primetime soap opera with a hi-def shakey cam. Is it worth watching?

    • Basically, after the finale… no. Even knowing that the finale disappointed pretty much everyone won’t really make it that much better. You might as well watch, what, the first 3 or 4 seasons? The second half of the show won’t answer of the questions you might have had, anyway.

      And for me, that was the whole appeal of the show. The mystery, the mythos, all that stuff. Because the characters, the acting, the dialogue – if you compare them to the truly good stuff we’ve seen from premium cable – they just pale in comparison.

      On the other hand, I’ll admit that I’m a TV snob, and Lost is the only non-premium show I’ve watched in its entirety (besides Seinfeld), so that might count for something. There’s a greatly compelling quality to the show, and the cast is so huge and varied that, even though I didn’t like pretty much any of them, the focus was shifting from character to character so often that it didn’t really matter.

      • I would hesitate to say that “the finale disappointed pretty much everyone”. I think it would be better to say that the people that disliked the ending are a very loud and vocal contingent that drown out those that don’t have too much of a problem with it.

        Anticipation is a tough thing to live up to. In recent years, we’ve seen a number of long-running serial dramas end and almost all seem to get saddled with the perception of having weak endings. LOST, Battlestar Galactica and The Sopranos were all loved during their run but left many fans with bitter tastes after. I’m not sure it is the fault of the show as much as the fault of unreasonably high expectations hefted on one or two hours of television by fans who have spent the last six years waiting for this moment. I think LOST’s last show matched the tone of the series well. Some things were answered, some things were not and other questions were presented. That’s how LOST worked during its entire run – why should the ending be any different?

        I would be really interested to see a response to the ending of LOST by a cultured TV viewer new to the series that watched the show in rapid succession rather than waiting on it for more than half a decade.

      • Oh, that person is me. I watched all of Lost during season six and caught up to the show with about five episodes left. And I thought the finale was fine. Not perfect, but as reasonably comprehensive as a show like that

      • Oops, cut myself off. “…as a show like that could get.” Not having a significant investment in the show myself, I was not disappointed by the questions left unanswered.

      • As someone who did watch the show week by week (after a DVD binge for the first two seasons) with a high degree of commitment , I thought the amount of resolution was fine but the manner of resolution was disappointing. I specifically remember sometime around season four, the showrunners had an interview where they wanted to crush some rumors and said that the characters weren’t dead and in limbo. They certainly wouldn’t do something so blase. Oops.

        But to give them some credit, I don’t think they really could have lived up to the promise of the first few seasons. Midway through the series they floundered for a while before they finally figured out how to end it, and that only lead to more convolution.

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