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'Lost': Hurry up already!

April 12, 2007 | 12:20 pm

Julietlost_2Even the extremely worthy concept of delayed gratification has its limits, already.

Every week, ABC's promotions department teases bits of "Lost" in commercials that make you think some of the island's many secrets are finally going to be revealed. And every week, viewers get duped.

Three seasons in, what viewers need is information, lots of it, and quick. Patience for the show's ever-spiraling enigma is rapidly wearing thin as evidenced in softening ratings.

While Wednesday's episode of "Lost" was probably one of the stronger hours, focused again on how Juliet, the most sympathetic of the Others, came to be trapped on the island,  the series' warying stall tactics remained in full force, leaking answers in drips and drabs.

Juliet it turns out was brought to the island to help cure pregnant women on the island, all of whom become afflicted with a fatal illness that kills them before they come to term.

Now, per Ben's wishes, she's infiltrated the plane crash survivor's beachside camp as Jack's new trustworthy pal.

Sayid, the spokesman for viewers it seems, pressed Juliet for the goods: "I want to know what you people are doing on this island. Why are you terrorizing us? Making lists, kidnapping children? I want to know everything."

Her non-answer: "If I told you everything I knew you'd kill me."

In an episode that aired a couple of months ago, the survivors thought to be kidnapped and killed by the Others in season one, reappeared very much alive. "We're observing," they told a stunned Jack, who was being held prisoner at the time.

But did Jack grill them with any real-world questions? Say "What happened to you?" "Where have you been all this time?" "Who are these Others?"

Of course not. Instead, Jack's classic "Lost" response was an angry "Get out of here!"

After the recent double whammy -- a pointless-in-every-way Nikki/Paulo episode and a Kate episode only slightly less pointless – getting into Juliet's head was a welcome relief. If only the remaining five episodes would speed the drama up. Last month's powerful Locke episode shouldn't be the exception, it should be the norm.

One other thing becomes crystal clear. "Lost" is in dire need of an end date, a deadline the show's writers can shoot for to bring things to a close. Otherwise it will be something like Oceanic Flight 815 – doomed for a crash landing.

(Photo courtesy ABC)