Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost Finale: Live Alone, Die Together

I probably could've done without the light shining in through the church door. But aside from that, the Lost finale fulfilled my expectations as a conclusion for a truly unique and, yeah, I'd even argue great, television series. I wouldn't say that LOST was my favourite show ever, but it was certainly the one I spent the most time on --- hours spent discussing it friends, analyzing it on message boards, pouring over Lostpedia and writing big-ass blog posts about the show. So, to end things off, it only seems appropriate that we cover "The End" in one final big-ass blog post. I'll put my comments in a numbered list since I have a thing for numbers.

1. So, the ending. There seemed to be a bit of confusion about exactly happened in that church there, but it seemed fairly clear to me. NO, they weren't all dead from the beginning and the whole show was a dream. All of the stuff that happened on the Island actually happened. The alternate reality was itself the 'purgatory' or 'waiting room to the afterlife' or whatever you want to call it. It's almost like Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse got so tired of hearing the fan theories about how the Island was purgatory that they decided to actually feature a purgatory itself on the show. As Christian explained, the rules of the alternate universe seemed to be that everyone there was bonded together by the one defining incident of their lives, namely the plane crash and aftermath. They had all died at different times, but were all 'waiting' for simultaneously realize their fates and thus all be able to 'let go' and move onto the afterlife. Kudos to LOST for the multi-denominational stained glass window in the church to avoid any specific definition of what this afterlife was, though as Kate even chuckled at in the episode, having a guy named 'Christian Shepherd' was kind of a giveaway. Those who were ready moved on, and those who weren't stayed behind, like Ben (maybe to spend more time with Alex) or Eloise Hawking (to spend more time with her son) or Daniel and Charlotte (to spend more time with each other). If you need a quick sketch of what was going on there, remember the ending of 'Titanic' when Rose has that flash of herself as a young woman back on the boat with everyone crowded around the stairway and Jack taking her hand? It was sort of like that. It was her alt-verse, so to speak. Except presumably with fewer gun battles. The only part of LOST's ending I found to be really cheesy was that aforementioned bright light flooding through the church door when Christian left. That was a bit much. but I guess I can handle a little cheese if it occurs in literally the last minute of the episode.

2. If you're going to have a semi-cast reunion for the last episode, though, one can't help but notice who wasn't there. No Michael. No Walt. No Lapidus. No Miles, which was perhaps the most confusing since he was right there in the alt-verse. No Ana Lucia, since she somewhat arbitrarily was deemed 'not ready' by Desmond. No Mr. Eko, and man alive, did I ever think he was popping up. C'mon, they were even in a church! Couldn't he have been the priest presiding over this service or whatever? I guess whomever wasn't there can just fall into the Ben category of not being prepared to go into the afterlife yet. Also, going by the 'this was the seminal event of their lives' rule, I guess that explained why it was pretty much couples-only: Jack/Kate, Desmond/Penny, Claire/Charlie, Sun/Jin, Sayid/Shannon, Rose/Bernard, Sawyer/Juliet, Hurley/Libby. The only singles along for the ride were Locke and Boone. Or were they singles? Maybe when the two of them were out on one of those boar hunts or were digging up the Hatch, a look was exchanged and the sparks flew. Let's save that one for the LOST fan-fiction websites...

3. I really wish Michael had shown up just so he could've joined Desmond and Hurley as the guys in charge of rounding everyone up. Hurley was pretty laid-back about it. Desmond was a bit more aggressive (i.e. arranging a prison break and hitting Locke with his car*). Michael, though, would've been a bit too aggressive. Like, he would've run to Jin and started yelling, "Hey man, we're in an alternate universe! Don't you get it?! An ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLT!"

* = This

4. Terry O'Quinn will presumably get another supporting actor nomination at the Emmys this year, and rightly so (though John Lithgow is winning that Emmy in a walk, but that's for another post). O'Quinn has had a tough job this season, playing a character that was clearly not John Locke but needed some subtle shadings. If O'Quinn just played it straight up 100 percent Man In Black, or if he had played it just as 'Evil Locke,' it wouldn't have been as effective. Instead, O'Quinn made his character about two-thirds MIB, one-third John Locke to keep us all both on edge and at the same time making it reasonable that this disguise could fool people. I mean, the Others knew about seeing spirits and burned the bodies of their dead to make sure that MIB couldn't pose in their identities, and yet Faux-Locke was still so convincing that they marched him right up to Jacob's lair. O'Quinn played a third character in the alt-version of Locke, but then got a few more minutes to bring back the beloved original John once he started wiggling his toes and had his 'flashes.' Really tremendous work from O'Quinn this season, though I guess that's par for the course from this guy. When you think of LOST in the future, he'll be the first actor that pops into your head.

5. Hey, about that Other body-burning thing, if they had burned the original Locke's corpse and set it out to sea like they did to Paula "Trixie from Deadwood" Malcolmson's Other character way back in the day, would that have hurt the MIB's disguise or harmed him somehow? Or would he have reverted back to Titus Welliver mode? These are the kinds of outside-the-box ideas you have to employ when you're fighting a superpowerful crazy smoke monster.

6. Okay, so now that I've expressed how I liked the ending and the reveal of the alt-verse, here's where I pick out the inconsistencies! I would've loved to have gotten a brief 'history of the Island' in the alternate reality since we all saw it on the ocean floor and Ben and Roger Linus were there at one point in their lives. So it did exist in this purgatory world. My question is, why bother? If the alt-verse was something that, as Christian said, the characters created themselves as a 'place to meet,' did one of them decide that it would be fun to pretend that the Island had sunk after the atom bomb's explosion? That was probably Juliet's suggestion, after first slapping ghost Jack across the face for getting her killed in that dumb-ass plan to begin with. Maybe that's what caused their ghost-divorce.

7. I realize that the producers had to fill these little alt-verse side-flashes with drama, but as I mentioned earlier, there sure were a lot of gunfights, carnage and other strife for a purgatory. I mean, Jack got to live a pretty nice life still being a doctor and banging Juliet and having a son, but Kate was still a fugitive, Jin and Sun were still terrorized by Mr. Paik and never did get to be with their daughter, Charlie was a junkie burnout, Sayid was a killer, etc. It was probably great for them to see all their old buds back at the church, but the previous 20-30 years of their alt-lives leading up to that moment weren't all roses and unicorns.

8. Hurley as the 'new Jacob' ended up being a suitable end for his character given that he was Jacob's main conduit all season. As Ben put it, what Hurley did best was look out for everyone, thus making him the ideal candidate to be the Island's new protector. We can all presume that Hurley did a much better job than Jacob or his Mother did, and that he, Ben, Cindy the stewardess, the two kids from the tail section and the other Others lived happily ever after for many years. Hurley and Ben giving each other a shout-out in the alt-verse about this imagined time was a cool touch, if also for logistical reasons (since it showed that time was running differently here and that the various characters had died at various times). Ben as the 'new Richard Alpert' was another good touch, though I probably laughed for the wrong reason when Hurley said that Ben was a pretty good number two. I thought that was a subtle reference to the fact that Ben was such a great shit of a villain over the series. Or, I'm Peter Griffin and can't avoid giggling childishly at any poop reference.

9. Anyone else want to see the adventures of Hurley as Island protector, with Ben as his piece of, number two? Or see how Desmond got off the Island again? (I'm guessing Ben just showed him the frozen donkey wheel and Des took a ride to the Tunisian desert.) Or how the "Ajira Six" adjusted to getting back to the mainland? All sorts of little side-stories involved in that one; Richard adjusting to aging, Miles spending the millions he made from those diamonds he snatched from Nikki and Paulo's graves, Frank somehow trying to explain the plane crash to his bosses at Ajira, etc. I can presume that Kate and Claire ended up raising Aaron together, and Sawyer went back to raise his own daughter. Hey, Kate knows Sawyer's babymama, maybe they all arranged playdates and Aaron and Clementine ended up getting married themselves years later, like how the Will & Grace finale ended up. Sorry if I spoiled the W&G finale for those of you who were waiting to see it, all one of you. The bottom line is, there's plenty of material here for LOST-related novels and aftermath stuff, no matter what the creators say about the story being over. Will & Grace fans, sorry, that one really is over. Deal with it.

10. One complaint = all this time over six seasons and we never found out the origin of the 'Hurley' nickname? Ok, my theory, his dad was really into motorcycles, right? When he was little, Hugo tried to say the word 'Harley' but it came out as 'Hurley,' It became a family nickname and stuck with him forever. Boom, done, finito, I solved that mystery in five seconds.

11. C'mon, they couldn't have had the Man In Black turn into the Smoke Monster just ONCE more for old time's sake? I admit I was disappointed by seeing this big villain go down in such an anti-climactic fashion --- after all that, Kate shoots him and Jack kicks him off a cliff like a piece of trash? How was the bullet able to hurt him? And shouldn't Jack and the MIB not have been able to kill each other as per the Island rules? BUT, then it occurred to me that it made total sense since Desmond had turned off the energy source at that point, so the MIB had seemingly lost all of his powers. He was mortal again, so not only was Jack able to bloody him up, but Kate was able to put him down with one crack shot. Though, I guess technically, had the MIB lost all his powers, he probably should've morphed from Locke form back into his original form, but hey, the guest star budget was probably blown out enough in this episode that they didn't want to bother flying Titus Welliver back for one more guest shot.

12. And, one more great thing about that fight scene is that it included a JUMP PUNCH. My pal Dave and I have had a running joke about the brutality of the 'jump punch' fighting move ever since we saw it in a trailer for that immortal Frankie Muniz vehicle, "Agent Cody Banks." So it just about cracked me up completely when Jack and MIB took off in a dead sprint towards each other and Jack leapt off a rock to deliver a devastating jump punch. Even better, the show cut to commercial with Jack in mid-air so I had a few seconds to laugh and text Dave. His response was "'LOCKE!!!' Frankie Muniz would be proud."

13. Speaking of commercials, I dunno how many of you were watching the American feed of the show, but Target stepped up with a number of clever Lost-themed ads for its products. Like, showing the Monster flying around and then noting that Target sells smoke detectors for $11.99. Well played, advertisers. You were really on 'target' with that one. BWA HA HA HA! ("And that, children, concludes the story of why Mark never got a job in advertising.")

14. At the opposite end of the spectrum (and yet equally awesome) were a series of really, really cheesy ads for a local car dealership. It showed a guy running through a 'jungle' pursued by a 'smoke monster' until he finally comes across the dealership and is saved. When I say jungle, I really mean a thinly-wooded area that looked like the back end of a suburban public park. And when I say smoke monster, I mean a black dot superimposed over the screen. It was hilarious. Even better, the dealership's name was something like Dick Ice Chevrolet...the 'Ice' part isn't right but it was something similar to that, and the Dick is definitely true. I'd do a web search to find out the name for sure, but I'm afraid of what I find if I type 'Dick + Car Dealership' into Google.

15. Sawyer and Juliet finally get their "let's go for coffee" dialogue from the premiere in, though it was rushed in such a way that it felt like a bit of a shoehorn. I almost feel like their bit about plugging in the candy machine so it'll start right up again should've been the words that Juliet mumbled in 'LA X' since it not only would've been more mysterious, but because that dialogue was such a hilariously off-hand way of summing up what Desmond and Jack did with the light source at the heart of the Island.

16. Of the major characters, I felt that the only one who got minimized was Sayid. He spent most of his time as a zombified version of himself, only to suddenly have a change of heart in the submarine and suddenly revert back to being the normal, heroic Sayid trying to protect everyone from the bomb blast. And aside from his one centric episode, Sayid had very little role in the alternate universe. Even his death got the short shrift in the wake of the emotional Sun/Jin drowning scene, though I guess one could argue that Sayid really 'died' in the premiere. All in all, I just wish that Sayid could've had a bigger overall role in things since he was such a strong character over the rest of the series. Naveen Andrews' real accent was more apparent than ever this season, so maybe he just figured 'Oy mate, if I'm not going to 'ave a big role, I'm just gonna 'alf-ass it with me accent then, pip pip!' (English accent approximated.)

17. It was very interesting, though, that Sayid's true love was really Shannon all along. Part of me thinks this is because Maggie Grace was a former cast member and Andrea "Nadia" Gabriel wasn't, but Nadia's role in the alt-verse seemed to confirm Sayid's belief that the two of them were never meant to be together. So it's Shannon instead, and frankly, it's nice that in the end this much weight was given to a relationship that seemed to come out of nowhere when it developed. Literally, it came about due to Naveen Andrews suggesting that it would be cool and unusual to have a love story between an Iraqi soldier and a 'Miss America' type, and the writers agreed. Apparently, the writers also decided to base Ben Linus' manipulative abilities on those of Naveen Andrews, since damn, that's some good convincing. On second thought, maybe Naveen was cool about being sidelined for most of the final season after getting so much play from all sorts of women in the first five years --- Shannon, Nadia, Ilana, that assassin who worked for the Economist, and who knows what he and Rousseau got up to when she had him shackled up in her camp.

18. The guy who kind of gets the shaft in the Sayid/Shannon party, though, is Boone. He gets to sit around and watch Sayid mack on his sister for all eternity. Too bad Boone's heaven isn't a place where step-siblings can get it on without it being frowned upon by society.

19. Nice touch by the producers to put Grace, Ian Somerhalder, and everyone in the episode who had ever been main cast (plus important supporting characters like Penny, Rose, Bernard, Eloise, Christian and Pierre Chang) into the opening credits one last time. I think the only actual guest stars listed were the guy who played Charlie's brother, and the kid who played Jack's son.

20. Oh yeah, Jack and Juliet's son. My theory about David actually being the Monster hiding himself in the alternate reality ended up being, ah, just slightly off-base. As it turned out, David was pretty pointless. Was his whole existence in the purgatory just to serve as a vehicle for Jack to get over his daddy issues and for Juliet to be a mother herself? I guess he fulfilled his duty then, since Jack and Juliet seemed pretty cool about just ditching David to go up into heaven. (Though, in fairness, this is a problem that many parents of miscreant children will have when the Rapture comes.)

21. Juliet ended up being a pretty obvious choice as Jack's ex and the mother of his son since she was basically the only female character left who wasn't accounted for and you knew Juliet had to show up somewhere. Had my 'David is the Monster' theory been true, his mother could've been revealed as the MIB's actual mother from centuries ago who Allison Janney killed, which would've been a real Oh Shit moment of impending doom. This was still in play even into the final episode itself since Juliet was introduced to the alt-verse not as David's mother but as Sun's baby doctor. The writers should've taken that opportunity to hook up Juliet and Sawyer via that connection and then make a totally random choice as Jack's ex-wife. Maybe Bai Ling, as a shout-out to LOST's worst-ever episode. Or an even more random in-show choice, like, I dunno, Charlie's ex-girlfriend when he was a copier salesman. Or cast Neve Campbell as David's mother as a rib on Matthew Fox. So many options!

22. I can't tell who would have the larger bragging rights in the afterlife between Jack and Sawyer in regards to Juliet. "Hey Doc, I'm banging your ex-wife." "Oh yeah? Well I had a kid with the love of your life! And then we had an apparently amicable divorce! So there!" On second thought, Sawyer wins.

23. Loss of bragging rights aside, you know who was awesome this season? Jack. If Season Six did anything, it totally rehabilitated Jack's character and gave us a reason why this guy deserved to be the main character of the ensemble for six years. Once Jack embraced the Island and became a man of faith, he became 100 percent less irritating. Though, since the alt-verse turned out to have no connection to the atomic bomb, then it turns out that Juliet's death really was for nothing. Huh. Well, bad call on that one, Jack. Otherwise you were cool.

24. One of the big turning points is that over the first five seasons, Jack's leadership decisions were pretty much consistently terrible, yet everyone continued to listen to him and trust him regardless. In season six, though, Jack was on point. He figured out that as a candidate, he was special. He figured out that the MIB couldn't kill the candidates himself, thus why he had to try and trick them. And he was right about Desmond being a weapon sent by Jacob. After all, if Desmond doesn't turn off the light source, the Monster can't be killed. I guess after The Mother used the light source to create the rule that Jacob and the MIB couldn't harm each other, Jacob's own loophole around the rule was to have someone with super electromagnetic resistance turn the light source off. Smooth move, Jacob...

25. ...if a bit risky since, y'know, the Island actually would've been destroyed had Jack not put that stone back in the light source's hole. Maybe Jacob knew his brother fought like a wuss and anyone with an ounce of fighting skill could kill him and flip the light source back on in no time. Though Jack was getting his ass kicked by the MIB until Kate showed up. Perhaps that explains why Jacob was willing to let Kate be a candidate again last episode. "Yeah Jack, thanks for offering to be the Island protector and all, sure you don't want another crack at it, Kate? Or how about you, Sawyer? Even Hurley? Come on Hugo, you can use your gut for some Roy Nelson-esque ground-and-pound. That's right, I saw the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. I'm Jacob! I see everything! My lighthouse mirror gets Spike TV!"

26. Given that Jack's body ended up being launched into the same spot that the MIB did when he went down into the source light, part of me thought that we'd see a white smoke monster (a.k.a. Jack's transformed self) flying around the Island to end the episode. I can't decide if that would've been spectacular or lame.

27. The ending we did see was kind of predictable, and in fact many folks did forecast this as how LOST would conclude ever since Lindelof stated years ago that he already had the series' final shot planned out. Jack's eye closing, with Vincent there and even Christian's sneaker still hanging on the tree, was the reversal of how the series began and it was all nice and thematically fitting. Vincent being there is just more proof that dogs are awesome.

28. Though, in classic LOST fashion, they also gave us something else to over-analyze since the 'real' final shot was that odd look at the plane wreckage over the closing credits. Was that to set off speculation that Oceanic 815 did crash and the whole thing was just a dying Jack's fever dream? Or did the producers just want to show that original setting one last time? Argh, more theories! Lostpedia will run forever!

29. As one poster on the Television Without Pity message boards put it, "I guess Heaven is Evangeline Lilly in a tight black dress, right?" Damn straight, son. I think I'm allowed one shallow observation out of all these, right?

30. Okay two shallow observations: Rebecca Mader looked 100 times hotter when they got her out of the jungle and into formal wear. Though Lilly takes the overall prize since she looked great whether in flashbacks or on the Island in Kate's never-ending supply of tank tops and jeans. I think she shopped at the same store on the Island where Locke kept buying his dark-hued t-shirts.

31. Another interesting quirk of the alt-verse as an afterlife is that it gave us some final confirmation on who the worst villains of LOST really were. Ben, Ethan, Widmore and Eloise all got to live normal lives, perhaps showing that at worst they were just misguided about what was to be done on the Island. Keamy the heartless mercenary? He gets violently killed again. Mikhail the mad Russian? Violently killed again and loses his eye again. Anthony Cooper, awful father and murderous con man? Ends up a vegetable. Way to mete out the punishment, Non-Denominational Supreme Deity of Lost!

32. Ok, time for a general criticism of the season as a whole. As I mentioned earlier about Sayid, it seemed like the writers found themselves with too many characters and too few parts in the last season, as well as (ironically) too much time left to tell the rest of their story. Think about how much time the characters spent walking from place to place around the Island (or boating across to the Hydra) and you'll realize that the storytelling wasn't quite as organic as it had seemed in past years. Pretty much the entire Temple storyline was wasted time, as they ended up being just another group of Others who confusingly knew about candidates (while Ben or Richard inexplicably didn't). The more I think about the Temple stuff, the less sense it makes. Did Dogen serve any purpose aside from being generally cool and bringing a baseball to the Island so Hurley and Ben can play catch for all eternity? Was Lennon, his translator, the most pointless character in the history of LOST? (I vote yes --- I literally think the producers just thought it would be cool to have John Hawkes, a good actor, on the show but didn't think so far ahead as to actually give him a purpose.) Why was the seriousness of the Temple Others immediately undercut by having the Losties just wander out of the Temple whenever they liked it? Man, the more you think about that sidebar storyline, it was even more drawn out than Jack, Kate and Sawyer on Hydra Island in season three.

33. But onto my beef about the characters. As noted, Dogen and Lennon did nothing. Ilana was useless. Frank was useless aside from simply being the guy who would fly Ajira 316 away at the end. Miles had nothing to do but deliver snarky one-liners. Once we got Richard's flashback episode out of the way, he didn't have anything to do. Claire didn't have much to do, which made zero sense since a Claire-centric flashback episode about her three years of solitary on the Island seemed like a slam dunk. Literally two-thirds of Jin and Sun's dialogue this season was some variation on "I need to find my husband/wife." Widmore's presence on the Island ended up being pretty overblown than as a vehicle to get Desmond there, and Zoe got way too much screentime for an entirely extraneous character. Desmond himself had a lot to do in the endgame but was MIA for the first half of the season. A few years back, I think after the Michelle Rodriguez/Cynthia Watros DUI situation, Darlton were asked in an interview about how any other sudden character departures would affect the show's storyline. Their answer was that while every character was important and they'd hate to lose any more actors, but the mythology of the show was loose enough that they could fit several characters into various roles in the story. I now see what they meant. Pretty much any combination of surviving Losties could've been the final candidates, it was just a question of who would still be on the show at the end. As it happened, the cast apparently watched their drinking and driving, since nobody left and suddenly there was a big surplus of people by the sixth season. This was definitely a year that could've had some fat trimmed off. We had 18.5 hours of Lost this season that could've easily been a much tighter 15-episode run. Maybe I'm just getting used to short-season programs like "Breaking Bad" or "Mad Men" that manages to squeeze in everything they can into 12 or 13 episodes per year.

34. But, that being said, LOST is probably the kind of show where I'd rather have too much ground covered than too little. I'm at least glad we saw the Temple rather than have that hang over the series as a mystery, though we never really figured out its whole deal. I'm glad we got some answer to the Jacob/Man In Black origin, though that episode had its own flaws. Really, the onus hanging over the final season of the show was that it HAD to be spectacular and it HAD to answer everything. No show could live up to that kind of burden but I believe the creators did their best to fill in as many blanks as they could. As a would-be writer myself, I know first-hand that there's nothing harder than an ending, especially not with a show that has as many moving parts as Lost did. Overall, I liked this season and thought it brought the series to a satisfying end. And if you had to use your brain a bit to extrapolate some of the Island's history yourself, well, that's what the show is all about anyway.

35. And, as final episodes go, "The End" was pretty solid. Darlton's constant mantra that the finale would be all about the characters was a tipoff that it wouldn't be very Island mythology-heavy, but man, it certainly brought the emotion. Seeing all the old characters again in the alt-verse never stopped being cool, and having several of them have their memory flashes in this episode really brought all of those cameos to a climax. Watching the series again in the future, an otherwise average episode like "D.O.C." in the third season will have more impact when you remember that Juliet examining Sun is the moment that triggers Sun's memories in the alt-verse. I think the Claire/Charlie reunion was the one that moved me the most just because those two characters had been separated for so long and their relationship was such a big part of the first three seasons that it was good to see them finally together again.

36. Between this show ending and 24 wrapping up this season, I've inevitably been thinking about the final episodes of some of my other favourite series. Some have been tremendous (The Wire, Angel, Arrested Development, Extras, The UK Office, Star Trek: The Next Generation). Some have been generally satisfying (Frasier, Friends, West Wing, Cheers). Some weren't really finales at all since the shows just weren't picked up for another season or the creators just didn't want to continue (Veronica Mars, Deadwood, Pushing Daisies, Flight Of The Conchords, Blackadder). And some were just straight-up not very good (Buffy, Seinfeld). I'd put LOST's finale into that second category, though on a higher scale since those other series were all sort of running on fumes by their final days. LOST got to tell its story and go out more or less how its creators wanted, and did so on a pretty epic scale.

37. This has been said in other media outlets and by many involved with the show itself, but it might be a long time (if ever) before we see a show like LOST again on network television. In my personal case, with LOST and 24 both ending this season, I am currently watching a grand total of zero network dramas. I never got into any of the Lost knockoff sci-fi series that popped up over the last few years since, well, they all sucked, and I'm bored beyond comprehension with the spate of lawyer/doctor/cop/family dramas that overpopulate the network landscape (I watched the original Law & Order out of sentiment every once in a while, but now even that's gone). With networks getting even more conservative and focus-group oriented with their programming, I find it hard to believe that a network would green-light an absurdly expensive show about people trapped on a deserted island that ends up being a hard-to-follow sci-fi series. It was a tough sell in 2004, and it'd be an almost impossible sell now. Even if you weren't a Lost fan, you had to respect the uniqueness of a show like this being on modern network television. Though if you aren't a Lost fan, then you just really enjoy my writing to plow this deep into an over-long piece about a show you hate. So thanks, fan!

38. And, I'm spent. Geez, I really wanted to get up to 42 observations just so I could reach one of The Numbers. But that said, is there any other show that could even manage to generate 37 lengthy comments? This is the fourth straight year I've written a giant LOST-related piece for the season finale (episode recaps for S3, S5 and S6, and my "best Lost episodes ever" team-up with Kyle before the S4 finale) since this show fires up the synapses like no other. And they always seem to generate a lot of further discussion within the comments section, too, so thanks to everyone in advance for their own insights and theories about the show. What are we all going to fill my time with now? Does anyone feel like reading a novella-length piece about The Cleveland Show? No? Thank god, since I would've shuddered to write it.

39. And now I think I'm actually out of actual notes, so let's just stick to comedy. I missed all of Jimmy Kimmel's post-show interview with the cast, so I didn't see if they were all as drunk as the Cheers gang was on the Tonight Show following their finale back in 1993. But still, Kimmel's show is a great source of Lost-related comedy. Observe!

40. Great moment of unintentional comedy from the finale: Ben gets the jump on Sawyer while James is spying on the Man In Black at the well. The camera pulls back to reveal that Sawyer is hiding behind a single bush, like, 20 feet away from MIB. Way to be stealthy, Sawyer.

41. Great moment of unintentional comedy from the season: Daniel Faraday's hat. That never stopped being funny. I think that Charlotte didn't flash when she saw him simply because of that ridiculous hipster get-up that Dan was wearing. You can take a person from being a geeky scientist, but you can't take the geeky scientist out of a person.

42. Geez, the last thing I write about LOST is mocking a musician's hat? That's sad. And ironic, since that was also the last entry in my '42 observations about the Rock Of Love finale' post. You may have noticed that I've written about each candidate as it corresponded to his 'number' on Jacob's cave wall, so this is technically where I should be writing about Jin and Sun. However, their story ended pretty succinctly. So, uh, um....their love....was....the rock...upon which all of Lost was based. Wow, I can't believe I tied that back to Bret Michaels so well! And get well soon, Bret Michaels! Find a magical Island that can heal you! (p.s. Sorry Kwons, you guys get the honour of being in the post picture, is that cool?)


Anonymous said...

Great article. Thought the finale was excellent. Was it all a dream? A dog's dream? The fact that was so thought provoking showed that it worked on many levels. Bravo!

Hal Incandenza said...

Excellent post. Going to miss your Lost recaps.

Thought you'd be a little more pissed that they didn't explain the vast majority of the show's mythology--off the top of my head: significance of Egyptian monuments; why was there a light?; why did they time travel? Dharma's origins, the numbers (though we all knew that one wasn't going to be explained) and so forth.

The more I think about the finale (and I've thought of little else since it aired), the more I realize that, as a S6 finale, it was pretty great, but, as a series finale? Not so much. Seems to me that they lost track (deliberately or otherwise) of which mystery the fans wanted resolved and, in the end, elected to resolve the far simpler one (what was the alt-verse all about?) instead of the one the fans really cared about (the Island)...which seems like a pretty significant creative misfire.

I've read a few comments that suggest that the alt-verse was necessary because, otherwise, the show wouldn't get a happy ending, and that's not how Darlton roll(s), but I'm wondering if, even in light of that, it wouldn't have been wiser to scrap the alt-verse, focus more on resolving some island mysteries, and throw in intermittent flash-forwards (through which they could have, in the finale, effected a happy ending for some). I think that might have been more satisfying (as much as I liked the reunions last night--specifically: I flat our adored Sawyer and Juliet in the hospital (and may or may not have cried like a little girl)...even though, yeah, the coffee line was a little too fan-servicey--some of the shine was taken off when I realized that (a) Juliet had indeed died in the explosion, and (b) Sawyer might have lived for 50 or 60 years before seeing her again.

At any rate, I thought it was a strong finale and a relatively satisfying end, but I do think they could've done more...

Final question: if we had (got?) to re-do our 15 best eps ever, does the finale chart? If so, where? Taking it one step further, how many changes would you make to your list if we were allowed to incorporate the S4 finale, all of S5, and all of S6? I'll have to think about that, but, for me...not many.

Question Mark said...

Good question about our episode list. The Incident and The End definitely make it. LA X, LaFleur, Jughead, The Substitute are all strong contenders.

Yeah, I can't disagree that the tone of the show seemed to somewhat change in S6 and the creators just seemed happy to let fans infer answers than actually show them. But then again, when they actually did flat-out show answers, they seemed very on-the-nose. ("Hey Michael, you trapped souls are the whispers, right?" Or the Black Rock somehow destroying the statue.)

For example, some of the mysteries you mentioned can be explained by inference.

* Egyptian some point, ancient Egyptians were on the Island.

* The Light...either a vast well of electro-magnetic energy that caused weird things to happen, or a mystical energy source that, uh, also caused weird things to happen.

* Time of the weird side effects of said energy source, specifically caused by Ben getting the wheel off its mooring when he turned it.

* Dharma origins...I think they were exactly as they seemed, a science team devoted to exploring the Island's weirdness and/or harnessing it for themselves.

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Brilliant review... :)