Underappreciated 'Lost' Theatre: Tricia Tanaka is Dead
As promised, the theme of this week is Underappreciated "Lost" Theatre, in which I'm going to embed a few episodes that are often overlooked when discussing the best that the show has to offer. Now, one man's "Walkabout" is another man's "Eggtown," so naturally this week will be as subjective as any other similar analysis will be. But hopefully you'll enjoy a look back at a few of the hidden gems in the overall run of the show.
First up? "Tricia Tanaka is Dead," an episode that had the unfortunate distinction of airing after "Stranger in a Strange Land." Many people hadn't recovered from that episode when this initially aired, and the true impact of "Tricia" really only can be felt now, a few years later.
Let's take a quick look back at this episode, shall we?
Why it's overlooked
When looking back at Season 3, things really didn't truly starting clicking on a mythology level until the follow episode, "Enter 77." After that, it was seemingly one big reveal after another, with a short pause to bury Nikki and Paulo alive. As such, many people just remember "Tanaka" as the episode in which a meteor took out a Mr. Cluck's. Halfway between the mindbending "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and the show-changing "The Man from Tallahassee," it's easy to forget this little gem.
Why it's underappreciated
Because it sets the bar insanely high for all character-based episodes that followed. Because the climatic van drive around the valley is one of the purest moments of happiness in the show's history. Because you can't help but tear up a little at Sawyer's shocked reaction at Hurley's vigorous hug. Because the introduction of Roger Linus shows this episode still had its mind on its mythology and its mythology on its mind. Because David Reyes' assertion that Hurley not lose hope may end up saving everyone on the Island when all is said and done.
Season 3 is my personal favorite season. The latter half of the season contained a run of episodes whose quality has not been sustained since. But "Tanaka" reminded us why we should care about the people engulfed in these mysterious events. For that, we owe some thanks to this overlooked episode.
What's your favorite moment of "Tricia Tanaka is Dead"? Leave it below!
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