May 25, 2010

Nobody cares about your LOST recap - SPOILERS

There's a saying amongst sportswriters, especially those who dabble in fantasy sports like Rotisserie Baseball...nobody cares about your fantasy team!  "Did you see Ubaldo Jimenez pitch 7 scoreless innings of one-hit ball the other day?  Even with leg cramps?" one cares.  With that being said, here are my thoughts on Sunday's series finale of Lost.  Spoilers abound below for those of you who plan on watching it someday.

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

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Sniff...sniff


Dave2 said...

Glad you enjoyed it. But even MORE glad I stopped watching after Season 2 now that I've read this. :-)

Verdant Earl said...

Dave2 - HA! I almost quit in Season 2 as well. Glad I didn't. that the entire series of Dollhouse is available to rent, are ya gonna give it another shot? ;)

savannah said...

maybe, just maybe, when this is on netflix instant queue, i might give a watch. thanks for the introduction to the series, sugar! xoxoxo

RW said...

This was a TV show then?

Paticus said...

I'm with you Earl, loved the finale for the most part.It was always really a show much more about the characters than any of the "wacky stuff" anyway.
I think Shannon & Sayid made sense. It seemed to me that Nadia was always much more a device that Sayid used to flog his guilty self with, and I think he actually loved Shannon

Verdant Earl said...

Savannah - The first 5 seasons are available on Netflix Instant and this last season will be in late August.

RW - Not at all.

Paticus - Dude...they were together for a heartbeat back in Season 1. Soulmates? Really?

Paticus said...

I guess "soulmate" might be a little strong, but I don't know, maybe they were. I was just glad to see Sayid happy for a change.

Verdant Earl said...

Paticus - It's a small point, so I kinda let it go when it happened. Seemed to me that it was only used as a way the writers could get Boone and Shannon back for the finale. But everything pointed to Nadia being his true love all throughout the show. I thought.

Slyde said...

if i was in the Lost-Purgatory, you would have been my soulmate..

Avitable said...

I wish people like Mr. Eko had been there, too.

Paticus said...

Earl- Yeah, I guess that's why we saw it differently. I never really saw Nadia as his "soulmate", not that I necessarily saw Shannon as his soulmate either, but it didn't stand out as much to me.
Avitable- Yeah, he did seem conspicuously absent(as did a few other people, but i wonder if the fact that Ana Luci=a was stated as being "not ready" was meant as a sort of blanket reason for anyone that might not be there. From a production standpoint, i heard that the producer's relationship with the actor who played Eko was not good, so I think that could be why he was not there.

Verdant Earl said...

Slyde - So why does this feel like purgatory now?

Adam - Yeah, Eko was an interesting character. Talk about your unanswered questions, eh?

Paticus - Another theory on Eko was that maybe he is still ghosting around the island, like Michael. Michael told Hurley that because he killed, he was doomed to roam the island. Eko was a killer too, even if he was on a path to redemption. So now he is only a whisper...

Water Logged Canine said...

I thought for sure they were all inside Hurley's stomach.

elizabeth said...

That was an awesome post. I stopped watching lost years ago - jumped back in to try to rekindle the romance I'd felt for it - only to be completely frustrated and left in the cold.

I think if I'd stuck it out... I'd be pissed right about now.

Verdant Earl said...

Gabby - It's not clear that they weren't.

Liz - Maybe. Or you could have loved it, like me.

Mrs. Hall said...

haven't seen the last episode yet but I've always read the spoilers before an episode. I can keep up better that way.


"a big ole horkin' statue of Jesus"

was the funniest line in this whole post. AND may be the name of my next blog.

Seriously, that was so funny!

Verdant Earl said...

Holly - I'll accept a nominal copyright fee for use of my phrase. You are most welcome.

Mrs. Hall said...


ANYTIME I SAW ANA LUCIA-the cackles on the back of my neck riled up and i pretended to blow an imaginary poisen dart, right into her neck because I hated that character so much.

stupid unkempt bangs!

ok. whew, got watch this thing!

Poppy said...

Your title says it all for me. I escaped having never watched a single episode.

And everyone dies in the end, that's life.

Verdant Earl said...

Holly - I dunno. There was a lot of Ana Lucia hate going around with the Losties, but I didn't mind her.

Poppy - I plan on living forever. Seriously...I have a team of shamans and scientists working around the clock on it for me.

Kate said...

Awesome recap Earl. At first I was frustrated with the ending.. the "they're all dead" thing seemed contrived to me. But I watched it a second time on the internet yesterday (our satellite dish is screwing up and our first viewing was kept popping out.. grrr), and I feel better about it now. Like you said, all in all, a very fun experience. Sure, things keep popping into my head.. (whitmore, the donkey wheel and tunisian desert, ecko, the temple dudes.. etc), but eh, it was a fun. I'll miss seeing those guys, especially Hurley, on the other hand, I'm glad to have my Wednesday nights free again!