The faces of “Lost” are, for the most part, but blunt instruments; there are almost no good lines (the title of this post, which sums up the series, being a rare exception); the story hacks through a fake jungle of televised emotion, stopping here for childbirth and there for murder, in a tedium of florid variations. “True Blood” has more respect for human life. Nevertheless, “Lost” takes on, through sheer enormity, the cracked majesty of any very long-running fictional enterprise, and is not without its satisfactions.
While composing this entry I was surprised to realize that Sawyer is my favorite “Lost” character. If you’d asked me last week, I would have said Locke. Certainly in acting terms Terry O’Quinn knocks Josh Holloway into a cocked hat. But maybe because Sawyer, unlike Locke, Jack, Claire, Ben, Desmond, etc., is required to undergo relatively few personality contortions—is in fact one of the flattest characters on the show—there is a delightful stability to him, a bland coolness pleasing to the palate. Sawyer is always Sawyer, pissed off, skeptical, and ready for a beer. At the same time, there is an unexpected sweetness to the life he makes for himself in Dharmaville, as revealed by the show’s most graceful flash-forward (season 5, episode 8), and a poignancy to its loss. He has another good line here, come to think of it. “Three years, no burning buses,” he grouses to Jack. “Y’all back for one day!”