Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Lost Room--The Comb and the Box

Somewhere about the thirty or forty-five minute mark of Part Two, The Lost Room finally got interesting.

Framed for the murder of his partner by Martin (Dennis Christoper, Angel), his supposed ally, Miller continues to search for the Objects in order to rescue his daughter. His search leads him to the Sunshine Motel, in Gallup, Texas, where there is no Room 10 (you have to use the Key to get there), and Room 9 is home to mysterious goings on that have literally driven people insane. While Miller forges an uneasy alliance with Kreutzfeld (Kevin Pollak), who's trying to collect the Objects to cure his son's leukemia, Martin makes an even uneasier alliance with the Order, who want to collect the Objects in order to communicate with God.

Miller also hooks back up with Jennifer (Julianna Margulies), who wants to destroy the Objects because they and Room 9 drove her brother insane. But it's Room 9 that brings them the first information about Anna, when they use Objects in tandem to bring back a woman trapped in the room since 1966 as a result of her experimentation. She tells Miller she's seen Anna.

The introduction of a few more characters, most notably the leader of the Order, played by Harriet Sansome Harris (another familiar face--she was Frasier's nutty agent Bebe, and played Dr. Sally Kendrick, aka Eve, back in Season One of The X-Files). The Order seems willing to stop at nothing to acquire the Objects, and have built a religion around them. In addition, there's an Object tracker, Suzie Kang (Margaret Cho), who won't have anything to do with them, but seems to be making a nice income off of telling people where they can be found. We also learn about a few more Objects--a comb that stops time, the watch box, which dampens entropy, and a Polaroid photo which, when taken to the right spot at the Sunshine Motel, shows Room 10 exactly as it was in 1961, just before the objects changed to the Objects. It also shows a man in the room. Miller thinks the man himself is actually the Prime Object, and thus a new quest is begun.

This episode gave a stronger sense of the conspiratorial nature of the Objects and those wanting to collect them, making these groups feel more intrinsic to the plot rather than just the obligatory shadowy cabals. The Objects themselves start to make more sense, as well, as their seemingly random powers start to form pieces of a larger picture. Though the beginning had some painfully trite moments (Martin and Helen sitting at opposite ends of a really, really long table, for example--and please, who has a table like that in real life?), the story finally began to take off. I still see no earthly reason for the sheer weirdness of Harold Strizke (aka the Guy With the Comb), though. Unless they provide a really good explanation for his behavior later, that was just over the top. The only thing I can think of right off is that somehow the comb made him odd, but the Objects don't seem to have that kind of effect on other people.

In any case, I hope Part Three lives up to the promise of the last three quarters or so of Part Two. Back to the DVR...