Category Archives: LOST

Ep. 17 – The End

Unbelievable. It’s been a day since I watched the LOST series finale, and I’m still thinking this through. I might review this baby twice – one emotional review (the one you’re reading now) and one later on, when I’ve digested it all. It was just so much to take in – it was incredible. And I still don’t quite get it. I understand, but I don’t get it. Yet. Ah, such is LOST. It offers answers when you least expect them. You just have to look. That’s the great puzzle, isn’t it?

The Episode…

I love LOST finales. What they tend to do is set up something exciting, watch that situation play out in the first half of the episode and then switch to an entirely different, more complex problem. In Season 1 we had to hide from the others but ended up blowing up the hatch door, in Season 2 we wondered what information Desmond would bring and saw the hatch blow up, in Season 3 there was the fight with the others succeeded by the rescue, in Season 4 we wanted everyone on the boat but not on the boat. Season five appears to be the only exception: everything was in place right off the bat. Season six continues the trend set by the first seasons: smokey dies about halfway through the episode. But saving the island is what needs to be done next. It’s great – it always leaves you wondering what’s next and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

It turns out the cave with the light is a metaphor for the island – and the thing actually has a fail-safe key. It’s a cork. For those who don’t remember: Jacob told us the island was a cork. So now we know how literal we have to take that. Very, apparently. I like the symbolism – even if the presence of a crafted chamber inside a cave was a bit weird. Where does it come from? Obviously, this is one of those questions leading to another question and can be answered when you consider things for a second, but still. Then again, it’s those little moments that make LOST’s mysteries into LOST’s mysteries.

The Flash Sideways…

They were the obvious question going into the finale – and the segments that showed us the emotional end to this saga. The revelation – that they shared a subconscious space in which they were waiting to move on together – is nothing short of breathtaking. Obviously, it seems corny at first. But imagining being together in death is just such a wonderful though, in my opinion. So peaceful. It works even better on a second viewing: you can sense that these people are finding each other again, but that rediscovery is also final, and as they are doing so, they are actually already saying goodbye.

So, for me, the flash sideways make perfect sense. Things that seem strange and illogical finally seem right. Jack has no son. He created him to let go of his daddy issues. And him being a “dural sack expert” is just another way of him being told to quit counting to five – he can do it. It’s nothing short of brilliant, and it delivered such an emotionally gripping final episode that it sends shivers down my spine when I even think about it.

There were so many little things. The flash sideways noise being the noise of the Ajira plane taking off. Jack’s wounds. Sayid leaving Nadia. Locke getting his back fixed. Rose telling Jack “You can let go now” right after the turbulence hit. The final piece of the puzzle is so pretty you can just stare at the picture over and over again. Even if it’s corny. I don’t care.

In All…

My first reaction is that there could not be a more fitting end to this show. We got delivered the craziest bunch of broken people, and what better way is there to end the show than to heal them all. At the moment, I don’t get why people would feel cheated for not being told certain mystery elements. Granted, they are exactly why I got into the show, but experience has taught me that answers to questions can be pretty damn disappointing (Horcruxes, for example).

It’s going to be hard letting go. I always have one series that complete eats me up. Before LOST, it was 20th Century Boys. After LOST… I don’t know yet. After I finish one of these obsessive series, there’s always a period of mourning. I just can’t get into anything else yet. There’s plenty of things I want to watch, but just… not now. Not yet.

I’m looking forward to watching it all over again in a few months. If I’m up for it, I might write down the questions I have trouble finding an immediate answer for, and seeing what I can come up with. I don’t need the instant gratification of knowing what every little detail means. I’d rather open the pot and taste exactly what kind of island stew is brewing.

What a crazy trip it’s been. Thank you for a great six years, LOST!

Favourite Quote: Locke: We’ve been waiting for you.

Ep. 16 – What they died for

If it’s not clear to you by now, let me give it on a silver plate: the final episode will be an emotional roller coaster ride, with some awesome action in between. If you’re still in denial, thinking you’re going to get answers to all your questions – think again. What this season has been doing is different, more subtle: they’ve been leaving a bread crumb trail for us to follow. Yes, that means that when it is over, you’ll have to watch it all over again.

The Episode…

After a mythology heavy episode, this one really nailed the character counterpart: most of this episode was all about people trekking through the jungle, shooting each other unexpectedly, or being eaten by the smoke monster. And that’s what LOST has been doing at its finest for the last six years, so why complain now? The episode was a brilliant set-up to the final one. The pieces are in place (although some seem to be missing, like Desmond) – now it’s up to Jack and Locke to play their game of island chess.

On the flash sideways side, there was some pretty nifty stuff going on too. It’s taken a while, but it appears that the Losties will finally be meeting – at a concert, nonetheless. I love the idea of them gathering in one place, I wonder what that will mean? Giacchino also went all-out with some magnificent musical wonderwork, making the scene where Desmond meets Hurley unforgettable.

The Questions…

So Desmond is the fail-safe. What does that mean? It appears that Desmond is the emergency Jacob in case Jack fails. But what if the logic stretches out beyond that, and hints us to what the sideways universe might mean?

Look at it this way: Desmond seems awfully close to being Jacob in the flash sideways. He’s gathering everyone, showing them what it’s all about, trying to make them remember. Does this mean that the flash sideways are what happens after Jack failed to kill the man in black? Is Desmond trying to set everything straight again? I think this is an interesting possibility for the flash sideways – they would finally make sense.

In All…

I didn’t talk about so many things – Richard, Ben, Miles (where is Miles?), but with the final coming up, I’m trying not to overthink things and just see where they go. It’s going to be one hell of a battle in the end, and I have no idea what’s going to happen. I wonder how much excitement they can possibly cram into a series finale. I wonder if my head will explode?

Ep. 15 – Across the Sea

It’s the same typical thing with LOST fans: they spend years asking for answers, and when they finally get them, they throw a temper tantrum because, hey, their theories were wrong. And what plotline is more likely to be overtheorized? That’s right: Jacob and his nemesis, our very own Man in Black. This my review for “Across the Sea”, what may go down into history as the most controversial LOST episode ever.

The Episode…

So, apart from one throwback montage, there were no cast members to be seen in this episode. Obvious: it enrolls sometime around the birth of Christ. Interesting time to begin this, right? LOST finally opens the cupboard entirely, and shows us what started it all: an ancient myth, not quite unlike Cain and Abel (what we were already guessing). The myth shown in this episode is one of the oldes myths around – a myth about rivaling brothers – and, for me, it suits its purpose: it shows us that this story is as old as time itself. There’s no point in asking where the mother came from – because she also had a mother. That’s just the way the universe works.

What I am finding a bit hard to swallow is the following: in the last episode, we witnessed how the Man in Black killed three – or four – of our beloved friends. In this episode, however, we see that this evil wasn’t always evil, that it’s actually pitiable. I’m not sure whether I want to feel pity for this guy or not. I know this fits perfectly into the LOST idea of thousand shades of grey, but I’m not sure. The easy way out of this show would have been if there was ultimate evil. It might still happen, though. I’ll see where they take it.

On the other hand, Jacob was shown in a very bad light. He’s a crybaby, a mother’s boy, and obediently does what he’s told. Just like his brother, he’s not polarized anymore. Do I want this? How will I understand this when the show is over?

The Questions…

In general, the viewers seem to be in two groups about this episode. There’s the people like me, who think this episode did provide us with answers, and there’s the ones who feel cheated: that LOST created a mystery to solve another one. I think the problem with choosing a mythical path for your end-game is that you’re bound to reach the end of your logic, of your why-questions, and end up asking whether there is a God or not. Because LOST doesn’t want to ask this question (as it is a spiritual show and not a religious one), people are annoyed. Don’t understand me wrong though – they would have been more annoyed if a God actually came into play.

That being said, on to why I think this episode delivered. Obviously, the most visible explanation (who Adam and Eve are) isn’t the most important one. It was – in my opinion – executed with the sole purpose to give the viewership an immediate reward. But the best LOST rewards are usually so deep under the surface that you just have to dig a bit more to understand it.

What this episode delivered, in my opinion, was a sense of how this island works. The key lies in the Mother’s line, later uttered by the Man in Black: “It always ends the same”. There’s a mythical island, with powers you’ve never seen before (powers we have witnessed: the Swan, the Incident, Desmond’s flashes…), powers that seem semi-scientific but really go way beyond what science can understand. People want to find this island (the people who built the statue, the temple, the Dharma Initiative…), but they always wipe themselves out in the end. Someone else over at the SomethingAwful forums said it a lot better than me:

Jacob needs to find a replacement, he simply can’t guard the island forever because eventually he’ll grow so tired of it he’ll let the smoke monster leave just so it’ll end. If Jacob admits that the smoke monster is right, that humans are all evil, then he’ll have lost the right to keep the smoke monster from getting loose and destroying them. He’s been bringing candidates to the island since the early days of man, sometimes they study the island and build temples and monuments to their homeland’s gods and sometimes they try and learn the secrets of the island for themselves. Eventually they’ve all killed each other. They have never known more about the island than the characters we know so they aren’t really important. The smoke monster is not able to kill any person that Jacob has touched, marking them as a possible replacement. The people are able to kill each other though, which is the point of the game. If the smoke monster can get a candidate to kill Jacob and then get the replacement to decide the world isn’t worth protecting then the smoke monster wins.

Those are the rules to the game. Everything else can be brought back to that. Obviously it reeks of Deus ex Machina, but it’s a damn nice Deus ex Machina if you ask me – because it’s a literal one. How else can you explain the mysteries on this show? Did you really want to see Jack, Kate, Sawyer and everyone else going “Yes, I too have diabetes! That’s why crashed on this island! And that’s why Walt killed those birds!”?

Next Week…

Next week marks the return of our Losties, who apparently will be starting their quest to find Desmond. Is Frank truly dead? I hope not, but hey, what better ending would there be for this guy?

In All…

I liked this episode. It’s very hard to the take the LOST way of writing seriously if none of the characters we know and love are in it, though. We’ve come to expect a certain way of acting, of delivering strange lines, and it’s just weird to focus and entire episode on actors who aren’t used to this. We’ve never had anything like this before, and it was kind of alienating.

I think that in retrospect, we’ll look at this episode as a quick briefing to get into the season finale. All this stuff about LOST jumping the shark – three episodes from the ending! – will be forgotten once Hurley returns to the screen. It’s kind of the commercial break before the third act.

A long review – for a very, very intellectually tiring episode. See you next week!