Pilot: This is what I hope Whedon will never come to. Pity JJ Abrams, he of the mind that gave us "Felicity", "Alias", "Lost" (the early seasons) and even sometimes "Fringe", has his name, and stamp of approval, attached to this formulaic, repetitive trope.  It is filled with good looking YA/A&F catalogue models-esque actors that can't really act (?yet) and are written stupidly annoying (sometimes annoyingly stupid). Charlie is no Felicity, Sidney Bristow (somehow her last name makes it complete) or Olivia. The handful of solid character actors are wasted, yet their screen times are possibly the best of the pilot: Giancarlo Esposito, Elizabeth Mitchell, Tim Guinee and Billy Burke. The show has potential, just like "Flashforward" had too, so let's see how it goes over another few more episodes. I do hope they re-focus the attention more on the adults rather than the teens, and also they better do some explaining regarding the new rules in this world. The conspiracy part makes sense broadly, but I fear it will just get convoluted as the show proceeds.

Episode 2, "Chained Heat": Annoyingly stupid Charlie continues to pervade the show, and just when you think her character is going to evolve she just slides back down to being stupidly annoying. Equally annoying was the further seeding of the Nate/Charlie relationship. I wonder how many more episodes to go before a love triangle develops? Maybe Nate or Danny will end up being gay/bisexual! Or Nate will be related to Nora. Speaking of which, this show is turning out to be like a RPG with main quest, side quests and side quests of side quests. Giancarlo Esposito and Elizabeth Mitchell are the only two actors/characters worth watching. Esposito's Neville is possibly the most complex character  in the show and may perhaps be a better villain then the currently one-dimensional Monroe; Mitchell's Rachel (come on, you can't possible think that they'd only hire her and make her a regular for only flashbacks right? unlike Tim Guinee...) is fascinating in the plot development area: who is she? why is she there? what does she know? The new opening narration is annoying, I hope it is not a permanent fixture and without Jon Favreau, the action sequences by Charles Beeson was too messy. Still intrigued by the A-plot and the premise, the role of the amulets/pendants and now, who is Randall?

Episode 3, "No Quarter": Boring. Horrible characterisations. Charlie's characterisation is all over the place: Danny. Save the rebels, Danny can wait. Fight, fight, fight! Risk my life for strangers. Dad is a coward! UGH! The three main leads for this episode: Charlie, Nora and Miles were so boring. And again, Charlie is so annoying!! I wish I could reach in and slap her. Twice! The absolute waste of bullets throughout this whole episode contradicts the whole philosophy unless Monroe has the magic amulet and it makes bullets (all kinds of bullets for him). And, does a Marine grade sniper have night vision? The interesting bit is actually the flashbacks. Perhaps this show may be better if it was set in the past with occasional flash forwards to whet the audience's appetite. The big reveal for this episode is so anti-climatic. Unfortunately, no Elizabeth Mitchell and minimal Giancarlo Esposito. Thankfully, we have Mark Pellegrino guesting, and Monroe is getting interesting. The only thing I am interested in is why electricity died. How is it controlled now (and I'm sure a dead iPhone batt can last 15 years, either that or they invented wireless charging)? The thing is, are the answers worth the tedious wait? I am going to wait till November sweeps and see how it goes. Or earlier.

Note (6 Nov 2012): Was away for 2 weeks and when I was back, there was no strong urge to catch-up on this series. Just reading about it online did not make me feel like I want to catch it, and now that the BIG reveal is out, it seemed kind of a let down. The show seemed to be evolving into more of a quest/mission-oriented series in restoring power ("let's look for all the pendant/amulet thingys!"), but however characterisations are so poorly done, especially Charlie, that I do not really care about any of them. Therefore, sadly, this is the first show of the season I am giving up on.


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