Monday, May 24, 2010

The (Mostly) UPS and (a few) DOWNS of LOST

(If you don't watch LOST or you haven't watched the LOST finale from last night - you might as well skip this post.)

I'm going to go ahead and give that episode an A. To me, it was a satisfying end to a six-year story. And I don't use the word "satisfying" lightly. So many final chapters leave viewers incomplete. One of the BEST series finales was Six Feet Under. I didn't cry for LOST like I cried in the last five minutes of SFU, this was different. But sweet. And well-done, imo. But let's start with the stuff I wasn't ga-ga over.

1. WHY DO THE WRITER'S OF LOST HATE FAMILIES?

My BIGGEST issue with the episode is what the realization that the castaways are all dead and now resided in a community-created spirit world is - what does that mean re: the existence of David Shepard? If Jack is dead and Juliet is dead, then how do we get a child from that union who's soul was not in the real world? Is David merely some device to help Jack deal with his Daddy issues? Once Jack was enlightened, did David cease to exist, because Jack sure didn't ask about him. After Kate touched Jack's face, he did not say, "Could you hold that thought a mo, I just gotta text my son and make sure he's OK." And as AWESOME as Sawyer and Juliet's reunion was, once again, the Mom who promised David she'd be back to the concert as soon as she could, DID NOT say, "Before we hit the church, James, can I swing by the concert and pick up my kid and my ex-husband's mucho pregnant sister." Nope. David didn't seem to be a concern for her anymore either.

So if David sorta no longer exists here - I'm sorry, but that's kinda a let down for me. It's not that I'm a huge David Shepard fan, but I am a parent and this show seems to have a real problem with parental responsibility:
Sun ditched her daughter to find Jin.
Jin chooses to die with Sun rather than go back and raise his daughter.
Claire strolls away in the jungle leaving infant Aaron on a leaf.
Kate leaves 3 -year old Aaron asleep in a hotel room to pass custody onto his Grandmother.
Dr. Chang ships Miles off to the mainland.
Ben's dad was verbally abusive.
Even Michael - who is standing out as the best parent on LOST, who killed to get his son back safe and sound - kinda blows it in the end by leaving the disturbed kid with a grandmother he's never met.

Summary: If you're a kid on LOST, hope you're resourceful b/c you're parents are totally going to ditch you.

2. WHO WAS THE SKELETON IN THE SHINY PIT?

When Desmond repels down the waterfall to the source of the light, there's a skeleton there. Who's skeleton was that????

Smokey and Mama Smash-A-Lot both have skeletons in the other caves. As far as we know, that light-place barfs up all the people who go down there. Jack ended up exactly where he started (which I LOVED BTW.) So whose bones? Who? Huh?

3. WHY DID SMOKEY BECOME SMOKEY AND JACK STAYED JACK?

Mama Smash-A-Lot told young Smokey that going down there was worse than death, and, true to her word, the pit stole Smokey's humanity and made him into a smoke monster. Why not Jack?

I get why it didn't happen to Desmond. The story had already established that Des was special and the rules didn't necessarily apply to him. But Jack, even though he was the new keeper, was still Jack. Why isn't he a smoke monster?

If I had to answer that question, it would be this: I am now inclined to believe that Mama Smash-A-Lot was also a smoke monster (even though the show never gave us a wiff of smoke or the chicka-chicka's) so when she told Jacob what would happen, she was speaking more of her own experience and not of an actual rule. Maybe because Smokey was so much like her, in basic attitude and sulkiness, maybe it had the same result on him. Maybe it wouldn't have happened to pure-hearted Jacob, just like it didn't to Jack.

That's the best I got there.

4. WHERE'S MICHAEL AND WALT?

Since we get Boone and Shannon back, and since we saw ghost Michael on the island this season, I would have liked to see Michael and Walt in the final reunion. That said - maybe they were there. I need to watch that scene again. (And I know Walt's probably 18 years old and 6'4" but honestly I wouldn't care or I wouldn't care if they recast the part.) I always thought Michael was a truly tragic character and got the raw end of the deal, in that people didn't seem to understand that the choices he made were out of desperation. I never really blamed the deaths of Ana Lucia and Libby on him. The Others had his kid, he did what he had to do. And I also felt that he truly mourned his choices and certainly redeemed himself in the end. It would have been nice for him to get a piece of LOST Heaven and be reunited with his son. That said - I do need to check the tape.

THE GOOD STUFF:

1. CASTAWAY HEAVEN

I don't know about you - but I liked the idea that their afterlife was like a big do-over button that takes the island and island-related influences out of the equation. It was like the Price Is Right's Plinko board. First time around we placed the chip here and drop it and it lands there. Second time around we placed the chip in the exact same place, and maybe it ends up in the similar place and you're still a pregnant girl flying to america to let someone adopt your baby (like Claire), or maybe it winds up on the other side of the board and you become a high-school history teacher who's doesn't kill your father (like Ben.) But I really loved the fact that the castaways didn't come into this world/existence with knowledge of their past -in that way it mirrored the fresh start they got when they landed on the island - and they needed help from one another to become enlightened. Ascend together - wither alone.

2. JAMES and JULIET

It think it's some kind of brilliant series finale' writing to have these past-life highlight reels that take us, the viewers, along for the emotional ride of their reunion. Really, really nice.

But the best of the best was Sawyer and Juliet, because c'mon, the way they were ripped apart at the end of Season 5 was just gut-wrenching. When they remembered each other it was like neither one could believe they found each other again and they were never going to let go. (Gush!) Also, how great is it that Juliet's final words (in death even, beginning of Sesaon 6) "It worked" did not refer to the bomb/time-reset but was a verbal leak from their spiritual reunion. You know how they say just before you die your whole life flashes in front of you? This was like, just before you die you're afterlife flashes in front of you. So Juliet passed over knowing she and James would be together again. (Double gush!!!)

3. ROSE AND BERNARD

Don't you just love them?! And I love that after Smokey threatens them, Rose tells Desmond "you don't have to do anything you don't want to." That lady has balls!

4. JACK'S FINAL MOMENTS

How great was it to see Jack go back to his starting point in the jungle and let his eye close? PERFECTO! Even better, Vincent- the best dog in the world - stays with him so he doesn't die alone. Bravo to you, writers. Bravo.

AND FOR THE REST OF THEM...

So Hurley is the new Jacob and Ben is the new Richard Alpert. Nice. I wonder how long they stayed there? Do you think Hurley had a new branch location of Mr. Cluck's brought over?

I LOVE that a whole group got off the island: Lapidus, Miles, Richard, Kate, Sawyer, and Claire. I didn't see that coming.

Richard got a grey hair. How do you think the rest of his life played out? Maybe he started a line of men's mascara.

I'm sure Kate stayed with Claire and Aaron. Kate probably became Auntie Kate or something. Let's hope between the two of them they could keep an eye on that kid in a grocery store.

I would imagine Lapidus still pilots. He seems to go back to that despite helicopter issues and plane crashes.

And what of Miles? I haven't the foggiest idea - but I do love Miles so. I hope he's able to find that never-seen girlfriend he seems to have in the spirit world and live a long, happy life. (Ooooh - wouldn't a Miles spin-off be AWESOME!!)

There are a million things I haven't covered, probably a half a million things I haven't even thought of yet. But right now I have to go watch the Jimmy Kimmel wrap-up I taped.

Your thoughts?

(Afterthought: I should say that during the scene at the concert where Desmond is speaking to Eloise, my TV got digitally jammed or something. I did not hear that conversation. So if you know what they said, PLEASE let me know.)


11 comments:

ang said...

I am still chewing through that finale. I loved it. I found it respectful. I'll have to see if I will cry more with SFU (Netfixing it baby).
I didn't really think that the group (L, C, S, K) really left the island. I kind of saw it as them being part of the "whole working my flaws/karma out" thing, although I can see your way too. Maybe it's the Catholic thing but I saw the island as kind of a purgatory (real and not real-perhaps an imagined consciousness of the souls who can't move on or a place where they hang out until they do). Purgatory could perhaps be wherever you died and where you hung out until you were ready to let go. It could be an island. It could be Six Flags.
I missed Michael too, but I do think he had already moved on and he wasn't a part of the built up place that the rest made for themselves. He was the best parent.
I agree with you about the family issues. I think the children were kind of devices for people to work out their stuff. It's almost like sideways world was afterlife part 1 where folks are all happy but not truly whole or realized. Remember how Desmond was trying to get Locke to let go. Heck, I don't know. I need to think some more.

Julie_c said...

I think the show wants us to go with the island stuff was real, but the Sideways world was more of a purgatory-type thing.

Jack's Dad told him, in the next-to-final scene, that some of the people died before him and some much later. I would imagine Hurley and Ben were last to go since they were watching the island. But I think the point was that linear time doesn't really apply in the afterlife - so they all came together when they all came together.

ang said...

Ack. I am still thinking. I am going with the super-Catholic version that the island is real because they did crash after all, but that it is also kind of unreal, like the whole thing is an allegory. As I think, Jacob brought them to the island-he basically killed them too by bringing them there. Would Jack have died if the plane hadn't crashed? Was he already "dead" when the plane crashed? I mean my head is hurting and I can't remember enough detail of the show(s) to support my thoughts. Drat. time for netflix.

Jamie said...

I really need to re-watch the episode so things sink in.

Not sure if this answers the David Shepard question but...

Christian Shepard said to Jack:
‘This is a place you all made together so you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people. That’s why all of you are here. Because nobody does it alone, Jack.’

David only existed in this alt-universe/purgatory (never in real life). If they all made the place then they all brought things to it that they felt they needed. Jack had a lot of daddy issues so maybe he created a son to help him work through these issues. Once Juliet was able to 'let go' and remember her life on the island she no longer needed/was part of the alt-world, it has served it's purpose and she found Sawyer again.

Also, the Smokey/Jack question you posed. I think Smokey became Smokey because he didn't drink the water and become 'special' like Jacob or their 'mother'. Jack had also drank the water so now he was just like them.

You make a good point, who's bones are those down there? Just another mystery for us to ponder.

Harold P. (Michael) was on the Jimmy Kimel live show and he said he believed Michael was still on the island believing he was still making whisper noises and talking with Hugo.

I can't exactly remember the conversation with Desmond and Eloise but I think she asked Desmond what was going to happen now was he going to take Daniel and I think he said something about not right now.

Oh and congrats on your second Wink book. I really enjoyed reading the first one at Shirley's house.

Jamie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie_c said...

Thanks Jamie - I like your explanation about David Shepard. It's probably what the writers' intended, but I still don't like it. I want the souls in the sideways world to have been connected on the other side - otherwise it's just a little too easy for me. It's like, at the time it was cool to think Jack had a son, but in the end it wasn't fulfilling to find out the son wasn't real at all.

But eh - whattya gonna do?

Re: Jack drank the water. You know, I forgot about that bit. You may be right about that. But even after Jacob drank the water his mother warned him about that place. I have a theory on that but I don't want to go on and on. that said, did you notice that Mother chanted over the water and gave it to Jacob. Jacob chanted over the water and gave it to Jack. But when Jack gave the water to Hurley - no chant. Did Jack not learn the chant? :)

Re: skeletons. I was discussing this with a friend and he said that there were two skeletons down there. I guess we can do nothing but guess about these two - which kind of bugs me. Why put them there at all?!?!? Do you want us to go mad?!?!? But if I had to guess, I would say the skeletons are wicked old and belong to the people who constructed the drain system.

Ang - I don't think Jack actually died until his eye closed at the end.

JET said...

Julie, yes I did notice that Jack didn't chant over the water. I figure the writers were running out of time and skipped it.

Yes, I believe they put the skeletons down there to drive as all mad!

ang said...

This episode sure is open to a lot of cool interpretation. I wonder why they didn't need/want faraday.
I wonder if the skeletons were there from other people who had to do or go through the same thing Jack et al did?
There is a lot to be said. I could spend forever on religious theory & history, allegory etc. I wonder why Eloise was holding on so hard? It's interesting that Aaron was younger when he "moved on" than when he was on the island.
I heard there will be some answers on the dvd.

Julie_c said...

Oh great! Now I have to sell out for the DVD!!!

Chicklebee said...

ya know what..... you can debate the last episode all you want, but.... the sad fact is.... IT'S OVER AND NOW WHAT ARE WE GOING TO WATCH@!?!?!?! What am I going to talk to you about when I come visit? I am going to be utterly lost without my Lost!!! [insert desperate weeping here!]

Julie_c said...

I'll find another show. I always do. But what will we watch together? That's the question.

Sometimes I wish I had Showtime. Nurse Jackie is AWESOME!!!