Like solos in a jazz showcase or operatic star turns, the flashback stories on Lost serve as chances for cast members to get a little one-on-one time with the viewer. They flex a little character muscle, show some emotional range beyond survivors panic, and, with luck, deepen the trust between island inhabitant and audience. Some actors like Terry OQuinn use their chances brilliantly, appearing to lift the series single-handedly away from the monotonous island isolation; others, unfortunately, only get exposed for the ensemble fillers they are.This season, Lost followers were most likely awaiting some debut back-story psychology from Season 2 newbie Ana-Lucia, played by Michelle Rodriguez. Ana-Lucia is the de facto leader of a group of wreckage victims from the tail of the plane until recently not even known to the main cabin troupe and a few weeks ago, it was her itchy trigger finger that bumped Shannon from the show. Last week, Ana-Lucias former life as a chip-on-her-shoulder cop, shooting victim and cold vigilante came into focus. How did Rodriguez do?Television may prove to be a more hospitable arena for Rodriguez than the movies, where her Girlfight cachet mainly led her down a path of stereotypical tough-chick roles. Shes not the most nuanced actress, but she has a mesmerizing hard-shell stillness to her beauty that allows emotions like sadness, fear and vulnerability to course across her face like wind over jagged rock. I was initially wary of Rodriguezs contributions to this fascinatingly uneven hit shed been all confrontation and steeliness till now but her solo turn had heft. Welcome to the jungle, Michelle.
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