Here is another episode that many people hated that I absolutely loved.
When LOST decided to cast two actors as new characters but say they had been on the Island with the survivors for the entire time, the fans rejected the idea. Nikki and Paolo were the characters and they received a ton of heat for being there.
I never knew what cause people to hate these two so much. I mean, let’s face it, even though they were here, it is not like they were heavily used. They were background characters who received a line or two an episode. It is one thing if, because of Nikki and Paolo, other more popular and long term characters got pushed to the back burner, but that did not happen.
So when the decision was made to kill of Nikki and Paolo, few people were upset. However, many seemed to be bothered by them getting an entire episode devoted to them to tell the story of their demise.
Maybe it was where it fell in the season. The week after the magnificent “The Man from Tallahassee” was on may bot have been the ideal place for the show to air. However. if you give it a chance, Exposé works big time.
First of all, it is a mystery. We don’t know what has happened to Nikki and Paolo and some of our favorites (Hurley, Sun, Sawyer, Charlie) tried to figure it out.
Second of all, the way they did the flashbacks were awesome. Not only did we get a cool cameo from Billy Dee Williams, but also got several key moments from the series re-shot with Nikki and Paolo involved. The initial airplane crash, Jack’s “Live together or Die alone” speech, the Pearl Station, the waterfall were all shown from Nikki and Paolo’s POV.
Third of all, the episode allowed us to see some old favorites reprise their roles. We got Boone. We got Shannon. We got Arzt. It was really fun to see these characters once again in different manners than we had seen them before.
Fourth, the pay off is one of the best single moments of the series. Nikki and Paolo were not dead. As the fought over the diamonds that they had stolen, Paolo and then Nikki were paralyzed by the bite of a Medusa spider. But they looked dead, so Hurley and Sawyer and the rest buried them alive. LOST rarely got this dark and I loved every second of it. I couldn’t believe that they were going for it and I was sure something was going to happen to stop it. But it didn’t. And to make it even worse, Nikki’s eyes popped open at the last second so she would have known what was happening. By the way, Vincent knew what was going on as he was trying to uncover their not dead bodies.
And come on… “Paolo lies” instead of “paralyzed”… that is just some creative stuff right there.
There were several fun self-depreciating meta humor here too. When Nikki was on the Expose set and the creator of the show, Howard Zukerman, suggested that Nikki could come back next year, she joked that she was only a guest star and everybody knows what happens to guest stars. Boone and Shannon were fighting at the airport and Nikki said to Paolo, “Promise me we won’t end up like them.” Of course they do, both dead and buried on the Island side by side.
I really do love this episode and I will defend it to the end. It is a dark, humorous mystery (almost noir) that is a perfect send off to two of the most disliked characters on the show.