|Locke and Jack...on opposite sides again!|
So what happened?
Jack died. And, yeah...some other stuff.
Well, there has been some debate about exactly what happened, although I can't honestly see why. Seemed pretty clear to me. The entire series of flash-sideways that dominated Season 6 weren't real. They were all in a timeless purgatory or limbo at some point after their deaths. They didn't necessarily have to all die at the same time and be in that limbo at the same time. There is no time there. No "now". I think some viewers missed that, even though it was said aloud by Christian Shephard there at the end.
Each character in the flash-sideways were living the life that they thought that they wanted. Hurley was a lucky lottery winner. Sawyer was on the right side of the law. Kate, still a fugitive, insisted she was innocent and in the right this time. Happy Jack had a family, and more importantly a son...someone with whom to work out his own daddy issues. Locke had a different relationship with his father, and a romantic relationship that seemed to work.
But they were all missing something. For most of them, it was that lost and true love from the island. Sawyer and Juliet. Kate and Jack. Claire and Charlie. Sayid and Shannon (really?). Hurley and Libby. It goes on. But some of them needed something else. Jack needed to fix things, in particular, he needed to fix Locke. Locke needed to let someone help him, in particular, Jack. Those two, and their struggles with each other, were the dominant thread that ran through the series. Once they each found what they were looking for and make peace with each other, they were ready to move on. So that's what that was all about.
As for the island-verse, or "real" story if you prefer, well...they had to wrap it up somehow, didn't they? It wasn't done with pretty little bows wrapped around boxes filled with answers, and I don't think it should have been. The conflict with Jack/Locke or Jacob/MiB (did Jack become Jack-ob?) was an ideological and spiritual conflict, even though it had to end in bloodshed. I have no real problem with what the writers did here. Hurley made much more sense as the new Jacob than Jack did. And I liked the final redemption of Ben as his number 2. Even though he clearly didn't feel like he had redeemed himself fully yet as he chose to stay in limbo at the end in the LA-verse.
So the way I see it, the survivors at the end of the show were Lapidus, Richard Alpert, Miles, Sawyer, Kate and Claire on the Ajira flight leaving the island. The new "Oceanic 6", as it were. Hurley and Ben, who were sticking around to protect the island. Desmond, who presumably will be allowed to leave the island to return to Penny. And Bernard, Rose and Vincent (the dog) living out their blissfully neutral lives in their island paradise. I'm not exactly sure why those two (sans the dog) showed up in limbo at Jack's de facto funeral, but I'll let that slide. Am I missing any other survivors? I guess Walt, Aaron and baby Kwon as well, if you wanna get technical.
So that's it. Some of them lived. Most of them died. What was it all for? Well, that is left up to the viewer to decide. I don't believe we needed all the answers. The journey was enough for me. We'll see if that opinion changes after I've had some time to thoroughly digest it all.
What worked for me?
I really liked the LA-verse conclusion, even though I may be in the minority here. I think that for a series that had as many interesting characters and storylines as Lost, we needed some kind of closure for these folks. And it was good to see that most of them wound up in a good place. The romantic re-attachments were all done fairly well, with the best of them being the connection between James and Juliet. Easily two of my favorite characters.
It made sense, to me, that the LA-verse was limbo. I hadn't really thought of it that way before last night, and I honestly thought there was gonna be some kind of merging of realities that was gonna take place. But this made more sense. I should have realized that the extraordinary set of coincidences surrounding those on the Oceanic flight were "too much", but I was honestly having "too much" fun. Normally I would have seen that coming. Especially since the rumor from all the way back in Season 1 was that the entire island-verse was actually limbo or Hell. They even referenced that rumor in the excellent Richard Alpert solo episode. I liked how the writers flipped that idea on its head.
I was glad that some of the characters made it. Jack, as the central figure in the show, kinda needed to die. His story was over. But what happens next for Hurley and Ben? Do they share a hut together, play golf and knit things for each other? How about Kate and Sawyer? Do they re-hook up after escaping the island? One wouldn't think so given their appearances in limbo with Jack and Juliet, respectively. That's weird, huh? In limbo, Jack was married to Juliet before doing the whole swap-a-roo. Swinging, man! And I always had a soft spot for Miles and Lapidus. I'm glad that they made it. Richard Alpert too. I wonder if his eyelashes will turn gray?
What didn't work for me?
Okay, when Jacob explained that the island was like a cork keeping evil or whatever from spilling out of a bottle, did they have to make that a literal story device? As in Desmond removed an actual fucking cork from an actual fucking opening that Jack had to actually fucking replace! C'mon! I think there may have been a way to tell that particular story a little better.
And speaking of Desmond, he just seemed wasted in the finale. His part, supposedly integral to the MiB's escape plans, just sort of fizzled for me. He was so positive that by doing the MiB's bidding, he was gonna reconnect with Penny and his previous life with her. Yeah, he was wrong. That was at odds with his LA-verse character who seemed to be trying to do the same thing, but in a less "it most certainly is gonna kill me" kind of way. And listen, I don't need ALL the answers to ALL the questions, but why they Hell would Charles Widmore bring Desmond back to the island if he knew that he was gonna be used like that? How was he planning on using Desmond? Doesn't make any sense.
Frankly, there probably are more "doesn't make any sense" moments than I care to admit in the finale. After Desmond popped the cork on that bad boy, Jack and Flocke seemed to lose their powers. They could hurt each other and others could hurt them, as evidenced by Kate saving a bullet for Flocke. And if they lost their powers at that point then how did Jack bestow the special cocktail onto Hurley before going back into the cave? And if all Jack had to do was re-cork that sucker to beat the MiB, why didn't he do it right away? I guess this way he was able to rid the island of that destructive force AND turn over guardianship to Hurley. I dunno...doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
I think it would have been cool if Smokey had "become" Jack at the end of the show. If you recall from the big mythology episode, the MiB didn't become Smokey. No, Smokey became the MiB. Took his form after he died. After Jacob killed him. As we saw with Locke, Smokey was able to absorb the memories and traits of those that he emulates. So it seemed clear to me that he/it existed before Jacob sent his brother down the rabbit hole. I just think it would have been kinda cool if a reluctant Jack all of a sudden had the power of Smokey behind him. That would have been a decent cliffhanger ending in my book.
I also wasn't thrilled with the HUGE emphasis on organized religion (especially Christianity) at the end of the episode. The whole "drink of my blood" ritual, Jack's Jesus-like sacrifice to save the world, them actually talking about the meaning of the character name Christian Shephard? Really? Did we need all that? They tried to diffuse it a bit by making the "church" at the end of the LA-verse storyline a multi-denominational place of worship. I saw Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist imagery there as well as a big ole horkin' statue of Jesus. I think we all knew that the show was about faith and spirituality, but they need to specifically make it about religion? There was plenty of religious imagery throughout the series, it was a little too prominent in the finale for my liking. What's a lapsed Irish-Catholic boy to do?
Overall, I was very pleased with the show. One of these days I'm gonna sit down and re-watch the series in its entirety with Gia. She skipped it the first time around, but she is interested enough to give it a try. Maybe I'll feel differently the second time around, but for right now...I'm satisfied.
Except that I'm gonna miss Hurley/Jorge Garcia. And I have a feeling that he's gonna miss us too.
|Photo Credit: Jorge Garcia and his sidekick from his blog|
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