Monday, April 19, 2010

The Sea Captain

According to IMDB and Wikipedia, Jeff Fahey (prior to 'Lost', at least) was best known for his starring role in 'Lawnmower Man'. I've seen that movie. Granted, I think it was in somebody's basement during Junior High, but I have seen it. Honestly, it's a second-rate adaptation of a fourth-rate Stephen King story. Starring in such a work is no doubt a more notable achievement than I'll be able to etch on my gravestone, but that doesn't change the fact that even Timothy Hutton's been allowed to star in better King vehicles. Jeff Fahey deserves better. The man has led a seriously remarkable life (summarized in a couple of paragraphs here)that I won't go into except to say that when the producers wanted to cast him as they prepared for Season 4, they had trouble getting in touch to offer him the job because the guy was somewhere in Afghanistan working in an orphanage.

I'd say that in the role of Captain Frank Lapidus, he's got a fantastic role, worthy of what he's got coming to him after a journeyman's career. When Frank's onstage, even with few or no words of dialogue, his presence alone can elevate the whole scene above a focus on a single person's (over?)acting and ground the viewers focus squarely within the island's frame of reference, not our own couches--we see not Mathew Fox and Josh Holloway (or whoever), but Doc Shepard and Sawyer. And Frank's a very sly audience surrogate, as effective as Jorge Garcia's excellent characterization of Hurley, but not as winkingly clumsy. I think that Fahey and Garcia are really the only actors on the show capable of pulling this off. For instance, I consider Josh Holloway's performance, especially in seasons 5 and 6, to be an example of an incredibly focused and versatile talent. But when he's not talking (as in way, way too many episodes this season)you can almost sense his chomping at the bit to get in the scene. Like a lot of TV actors, he's most comfortable when he's in motion.

So, from Jeff onto the Sea Captain (as Frank is so named by a redoubtable Lost blogger). What questions remain concerning Frank? What final outcome is most desirable for our grizzled blue-eyed adventurer with a knack for the ironic quip? Well, for one I don't want to see him die while say, Claire, remains alive for screentime. I vote for Captain Frank making it to the end. And while I know he's not been specifically designated as a candidate, the guy would be a shoo-in. Who'd vote against him? And if it came down to it, I think Frank would just turn to us and repeat his words when aboard 'Searcher':"Whatever you guys decide...I'll just roll with it."

I read one crazy theory that the Locke-thing is actually a total decoy and that Frank is actually the Man in Black, working through subterfuge and deceit to escape the island. Obviously there's a ton of evidence against this interpretation. But it would still be really awesome.


1. Will Frank die before the story's over

2. Will Frank ever have more than two lines of dialogue in any remaining episodes?

1 comment:

  1. Everyone has had their episode, their backflashes, except Frank.
    What a waste of talent.


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