September 24, 2021

Xbox One X

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Gaming’s familiar faces

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What’s the statute of limitations on spoilers? I can’t be sure, so be warned: I’m about to spoil certain aspects of the final season of Lost. If you haven’t seen it yet, look away now.

I will be brisk, at least. In the final season of Lost, which I’ve been watching for the first time just now, a group of characters, who have spent much of the previous five seasons marooned on a strange island, start turning up in Los Angeles. Familiar faces – we’ve spent five years with these faces by this point – but now the details are all different. One of them suddenly has a teenaged son. Another’s toxic relationship with his father is now toxic in a different way. Some of them have different jobs – Sawyer and Miles: Supercops! is a spin-off I would have set the recorder for – and some of them are entirely different people. But they’re also, in some strange way, the same people they’ve always been. They stare out of the screen through the same eyes, they say their lines with the same weight and rhythm and intonation.

Lost gets a bit Cloud Atlas, in other words. In David Mitchell’s playful novel a handful of distinct souls are shuffled around through matryoshka’d stories that explore different periods of human history and different literary genres. The details change, and in the wonderful/awful/wonderful film version, the wigs and rubber noses are shared about, but the souls can always be traced and the same theme of predation remains.

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