Monday, May 24, 2010
Lost Finale: My Spoiler-Filled Thoughts.
Okay, you’ve hurdled the Spoiler Warning Barrier. We don’t post guards at TIAH Blog, (standard “Comment Moderation” is sufficient for now), so I’ll assume you’re here of your own volition. If you don’t want LOST Spoilers, turn back now. There are other good Blogs out there. Tell ‘em I sent you!
Just to make sure you’re serious, I’ll throw out a few “Test Spoliers”.
Dr. Arzt blows up from some ancient dynamite!
Nikki and Paolo are buried alive with the diamonds.
Neil “Frogurt” is killed by a flaming arrow.
Allll righty then… You’ve gone past the older, secondary character, “Test Spoliers” I laid out, so you’re serious. Let’s go!
There are just MY thoughts. They are nothing more. They mean nothing except to me. Expect a rambling narrative (not unlike LOST itself) that offers little background for those not in the know. After all, I don’t have SIX YEARS to formulate this post.
In the beginning, there was a show about castaways – but no Gilligan or Doctor Smith. Six Seasons of the most compelling and suspenseful television drama ensue.
It started out as crash victims struggling for survival, led by the noble Dr. Jack Shephard, and, in the best tradition of Irwin Allen’s sixties television, became something bigger, wilder, more fantastic and bombastic than one could imagine. Warring civilizations. Parallel lives. Time travel. Heaven and Hell. And one of TV’s greatest villains in Michael Emerson as the wonderfully understated Ben Linus.
If you ever have the opportunity to see the first three or four seasons in succession on DVD (for the FIRST TIME, as I did)… just TRY to turn the damned thing off! You can’t do it. You must DRAG yourself away.
At the end of Season Five, in the superb episode “The Incident”, Jack (in 1977 – don’t ask!) proposes to detonate a hydrogen bomb, thereby destroying/neutralizing the pocket of energy that caused their plane (2004 – don’t ask again!) to crash on the island. If this works, the flight will land as it “should have”, and all of life will resume its course.
The bomb does not detonate. The energy is released, magnetizing everything in sight, and causing a chain to drag Juliet into the pit with the bomb. Before dying, Juliet repeatedly strikes the bomb with a handy rock… until it DOES detonate, and everything fades to white. We end Season Five.
We open Season Six with the flight taking place (and landing) as scheduled – and the Island destroyed, sunken underwater. But, we also find our survivors still on the Island (presumably) in 1977.
I can only figure that “The Incident” divided time into two parallels. The Island Timeline and the Normal Timeline.
So, Jack was right – but only half right.
Two timelines apparently co-exist. (A) The cosmic struggle between good and evil in the persons of Jacob and The Man in Black continues on the Island. (B) Everyone’s lives ultimately turn out for the best in the “Normal World”.
In “Normal Time”, Desmond and Hugo (who would seem to have some special ability to see beyond dimensions) assist everyone in repairing their lives.
In “Island Time” The Man in Black assuming the form of John Locke is defeated by Jack (…and killed by a shotgun blast from Kate?! Why didn’t he just turn into the Black Smoke Monster and doom them all?). Jack, who assumed the position as “Protector of the Island” from dead Jacob, plugs up the “Portal to Hell” with a rock and gets the “Water of Light” flowing again (Baptism metaphor?). Then, he dies of his wounds. By this time, he has named Hugo his successor as “Protector of the Island”.
At the end, we see what Desmond and Hugo have been up to in “Normal Time”. Everyone is gathered at a church for what Jack thinks is to be his father’s funeral, which was his original purpose for being on the flight. But, inside the church, he meets his father, finds an empty casket, and the two have a heart to heart.
At this point, I shouted out to Esther: “Jack’s DEAD! They’re ALL dead! It’s JACK’S casket!”
And, I was right. Much of our cast is gathered “here”. Those who died both before and after Jack! As Jack’s father, Christian Shephard (Something to that name, perhaps?), puts it: “There is no ‘NOW’ here! [This is] the place that you all made together – that you could find one another!”
And, so we are left to believe that this is Jack’s version of Heaven. A place he shares with Christian, Kate, Hugo, Sawyer, Locke, Sun and Jin, Sayid, Juliet, Desmond and Penny, Rose and Bernard, Boone and Shannon, Charlie, Claire, and Aaron. Yes, even Aaron – who seems to have died as a BABY and not the little boy raised by Kate! Oddly, Vincent (the “Dog of Death” – seen in a “final rest” with Jack on the Island) is not with the group. Maybe all dogs DO NOT go to heaven!
Ben, curiously, waits outside. I can only imagine it’s because he’s going to Hell – where I expect he’ll find his longtime rival Charles Widmore, as well as Martin Keamey, Mr. Paik, Ethan Rom., Mr. Friendly, One-Eyed Mikhail, Anthony Cooper, Nikki and Paolo, and others. Eloise Hawking is probably “on the bubble”.
I guess Sawyer somehow slipped into Heaven, despite his life as a grifter and murdering an innocent man in a case of mistaken identity. Or did Jack and Juliet’s blast wipe all that out, and result in his becoming a LAPD detective. Kate was on the run as a killer in BOTH timelines, and SHE was there too! Oddly, Michael did not join the group in Heaven. Was it for his killings, or maybe for selling his friends out to Ben? I’m confused about the entrance criteria – unless said criteria is born of Jack’s subjective view, and Jack is still pissed at Michael. Mr. Eko may have failed to make the cut for killing – AND for impersonating a priest.
Finding their “Own Heavens”, we’ll assume, are the more neutral characters of Frank, Daniel, Miles, Charlotte, Naomi, Walt, the DHARMA Folks like Dr. Chaing, Horace Goodspeed, and Roger Linus, Hugo’s family, Dr. Arzt, Neil “Frogurt”, Ben’s adopted daughter Alex, Danielle Rousseau, Goodwin and the members of “The Others Book Club”, Helen, Mrs. Littleton (Claire’s mother), Mrs. Shephard (Jack’s mother – Why didn’t SHE go to “Jack’s Heaven”?), Nadia, David Sheppard (if he even exists) and many more. Are little Ji-Yeon and Charlie Hume still among the living… if there ARE any living left?
Perhaps, Richard Alpert ended in a “Special Place” with his long-dead wife!
How ‘bout the PILOT of Oceanic 8:15 (played by Greg Grunberg)? Did he go to a Heaven reserved for the cast of HEROES?
We are also left to wonder WHEN did our principals die? When the plane crashed? When the bomb detonated? Each at his or her ordained time? Is Hell still “corked-up” by the Island, or did it release an army of Smoke Monsters to destroy our world, resulting in all these deaths? We NEVER DID see much of “our world”, other than the mysterious and “out-of-time-and-space church”, after the moment of Jack’s death scene. Maybe it’s ALL GONE! (Bummer, dude!)
While awaiting his fate, Ben did say that Hugo was a great Protector of the Island so, for all we know, things flourished after Jack’s sacrifice and one of Hugo’s successors fell asleep at the switch! (Double bummer, dude!)
And what did Charles Widmore want to accomplish in his war with Ben? SO MUCH was made of that for three or four seasons – and, even in the space of a two-and-a-half-hour series finale, it was never once addressed. Of everything, this irks me most!
Enough rambling, or I’ll become like LOST itself – posing too many questions without answers.
I can’t say the Series Finale of LOST was entirely pleasing – but, given the six-season buildup, I don't see how it could possibly please everyone. Let's just say it was better than that of THE SOPRANOS – and by more than merely a bit.
In a way, I think today’s TV sets itself up for failure by making everything so "Big and Important" that the endings couldn't possibly live up to our expectation.
Still, there remains no better ride one can take with contemporary television than a ride with LOST!