Continuing the countdown to Lost’s final episode. Here’s my top 12 so far:
#12 – Two for the Road
and number #11 is……..
Some Like It Hoth
I never really liked season 5. This is actually the only season 5 episode on my list. Even though this season set up a so far awesome season 6, I feel actually watching season 5 is like watching an entire build up to something awesome (Juliet detonating the Jughead). The writers could have done so many awesome things with the time traveling angle, but instead, they just kind of made each episode hinge on the next, which kind of sucked. Could I have chosen a more important season 5 episode (like The Variable or The Life and Death of Jeremy Benthem)? Sure, but those were not episodes I thought ruled. This episode ruled. It was a fun episode to watch.
Out of all the freighter folks that joined the cast, Miles is clearly the most interesting. He’s not the most important like to the story, like say, Daniel, nor is he the most charismatic, like say everyone’s favorite pilot, Chesty McGee, but Miles is certainly my favorite of the new crew. Perhaps its his awkward mannerisms, like asking Sawyer if he wanted to get a beer after burying a newly-dead Juliet. Perhaps it’s his sarcasm, he doesn’t even need to dole out nick names like Sawyer to get across his brand of smug arrogance. Nope, Miles is pretty much what the island needs, a everyday kind of guy who’s stuck in this impossible situation called Lost.
Okay, so he can talk to the dead, maybe he’s not that everyday. Whatever.
You don’t really have to know too much about Lost to enjoy what this episode has to offer. Sure you have to know that Miles can read the dead, and sure you have to know that they’re time traveling, but that’s it.
Miles flashback is pretty interesting back story. It shows how he’s able to make a living, profiting the dead, and gives you a sense of his character, one that exudes complexity. He’s not your run of the mill use your gifts for pay one dimensional character. No, he has issues, baggage from a father he never knew. Some people don’t get how Ken Leung tries to portray Miles. Is he just socially awkward? Is he supposed to look so uncomfortable? Is it just because Ken can’t act?
The answer is yes, yes, and no. Ken can act. He’s made a career of shining in shitty movies (Rush Hour, Saw). Ken portrays Miles that way because he gets Miles. Here’s a guy who has grown up without a father figure, a guy who hasn’t had the compassion of father to help him become a man. Is he bitter? Fuck yes. How happy can you be when you realized you’ve talked to more dead people than your own father? Miles is a man on a mission, and that mission is to say fuck you world. And that’s where the money comes in, because he just doesn’t get the mourning thing. To him, the dead aren’t special, they aren’t people to be remembered. To him, dead is dead, just like how his father to him is dead. Why should he show compassion to people who can’t get over it? He got over his father.
It’s best summed up at the end when Miles confronts the man he conned. "If you needed your son to know that you loved him, you should've told him when he was still alive." That sums up Miles to a tee. Your baggage is your fuckin’ baggage. Don’t come to me for answers. I never had answers about my dad.
And that’s why I like Miles. He sees the world as clear cut as it should be. And this episode lays it on the line and lets the viewer know why Miles is the way he is. It’s a shame there weren’t more episodes to explore such a cool character.
And yes, when Hurley decides to rewrite Empire Strikes Back, the exchange between the two is fuckin awesome.