Sunday, May 30, 2010

The End

So it's been a week since the series finale. There are two reasons why I haven't written an episode recap before now. One is that I feel like there are 300,000 different people out there who have posted their thoughts already and I'd just add to the noise.

The second is that I'm not quite sure how I feel about said finale yet. Before the last episode aired, Cruse and Lindelof essentially said that if you like Lost for the people and the relationships, you'd like the finale, but if you liked Lost for the mystery and you're expecting every single question to be answered, you'd be disappointed.

Put me in both camps. I loved the show for both of these aspects, and I feel if that Lost was missing either one it would be inferior to what it was.

Immediately following the finale, I felt that I liked it. As time has gone on, however, I've become more annoyed at certain mysteries were never addressed, let alone resolved. But then that annoyance is calmed as I realize that some of these questions just don't matter. And then I get annoyed because I feel like I'm being manipulated into thinking that.

This makes it hard for me to cohesively put down my thoughts on Lost as a whole. But today I figured I might as well give it a shot, so here goes.

Reality A

1. Desmond's ability to withstand electromagnetic power means he can remove the plug at the bottom of the Light well. Esau wanted him to do this so Esau could leave the Island. Jack wanted Desmond to this so that Esau could be killed. Turns out both were correct.

2. Kate kills Esau.

3. Lapidus is able to fly himself, Miles, Sawyer, Claire, Kate and Richard off the Island. They probably make it.

4. Jack is injured during his fight with Esau and is dying. He passes the Guardian position on to Hurley, and then replaces the plug in the Light well.

5. The ensuing electromagnetic energy shoots him out of the Light well, where he stumbles back to the bamboo thicket and dies. Vincent is there.

6. Hurley guards the Island for an unspecified amount of time. Ben is his second in command for a while. It's a good time.

Reality B

1. This entire reality is a place in the afterlife constructed by certain of the Losties so that they could find each other after they'd died. There is absolutely no precedence set in the Lost universe that deals with anything related to this concept.

2. Desmond gets the ball rolling for most of his buddies to realize where they are and get them prepared to leave the aforementioned construct.

3. Eventually, a lot of characters from the show end up in a multi-denominational church where Christian is in charge. The only three people there that were not on Flight 815 are Penny, Desmond and Juliet.

4. From Lostpedia: "Christian explains that they are real, Jack's life was real, the people in the church are real. Jack becomes upset, but Christian reassures him, explaining that "everyone dies sometime, kiddo. Some before you, some long after you. When Jack asks why everyone is here now, Christian responds that 'There is no now, here', and that this is a place they all made together to find each other, because the most important part of Jack's life was the time spent with these people. They made it so they could find each other, remember, and 'move on."

5. They all move on.

I enjoyed the concept that, in the Lost universe, there is life after death, and you end up with your loved ones eventually. Seeing Penny and Desmond, Sawyer and Juliet, Sun and Jin, etc. was awesome and very touching. (The Sayid and Shannon relationship is dumb and I refuse to accept it.)

So on that front, I liked the finale. I liked that most of the people ended up happy and with the ones who mattered to them (but are we sure no family members were important to these people?).

I also believe that we have been given the answers to many of the mysteries of Lost, in a roundabout way that requires some work to decipher. For example, the Others.

We know the Others were formed as Jacob attempted to actively meddle in the affairs of those on the Island. Richard was his intermediary, and for a while, things may have been good. But eventually, the Others lost their way. Jacob's list of candidates were used to target new arrivals to the Island for kidnap, torture and other manipulation. Their actions are merely examples of how arrivals to the Island eventually succumb to evil and kill each other, as Esau and Kidnap Mom believed is inevitable.

Jacob likely became disenfranchised with "his" people and eventually abandoned them altogether, leaving them wide open for guidance and manipulation from Esau. In one way, Jacob caused his own death... as he neglected Ben, he created the conditions whereby Ben became angry and easily able to be controlled by Smokey.

Now, not all mysteries can be solved this way. Christian left Claire a music box in Reality B. This is never referred to again. It's a mystery with no answer.

Other questions in this category: why the infertility issues on the Island? What was the deal with Walt? What exactly was the deal with Sayid and Claire after they die and are "claimed" by Esau?

Now, if I think about it long enough, I become frustrated that the Lost writers clearly introduced mysteries without giving them an accompanying answer. I doubt even Cruse or Lindelof know the answers to the above questions.

Yet, I think I'm okay with this. Creating a network television show is far different from writing a book or filming a movie. The writers dealt with uncertainty as to whether Lost would exist past a single season. They had to work with actors leaving the show and cutting their character's storyline short. They wrote some episodes in as few as two weeks.

Yet, even with all these limitations, they set the bar really high. Higher than any TV show before them. And if they didn't quite clear this bar, they at least created a work that was highly entertaining and engrossing.

I'll take that. It was a good ride, and I don't regret watching a minute.

Over the next few weeks I'll tackle a few of the bigger mysteries that we've only recently been given the means to answer.

As always, feel free to contribute your own thoughts.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ESPN explains Lost

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Across the Sea

Much better, Lost. I admit that my love for backstory probably inflates my opinion of this episode, but even without that, this was a pretty well-done story.

Dragging index: 1 out of 10. I was enthralled pretty much the entire time.


Reality A

1. Jacob and Esau are twins, and I feel even more validated calling Esau Esau. Man in Black just makes me feel like Will Smith is around here somewhere, playing a Johnny Cash cover. It's a bad name.

2. Jacob and Esau were born to a Latin-speaking woman who shipwrecked on the Island.

3. Real Mom was unaware she was carrying twins, and only had a name ready for Jacob. After Esau is born, Real Mom asks, "Can I see him?" and not "Can I see them?"

4. Kidnap Mom kills Real Mom and raises Jacob and Esau as her own children. They are kept from even knowing the rest of the world exists, and for around 14 years they only have each other and Kidnap Mom as company.

5. Young boy appearing to Esau/Locke in the jungle? Jacob.

6. Jacob can't lie, and Esau is a natural deceiver.

7. Jacob and Esau discover the rest of their people, wrecked on the Island with Real Mom.

8. Kidnap Mom keeps to her xenophobic ways and asks them not to make contact with the men. She shows them the Light, which she says is the source for all Light in the world. No one can take anything from it, or it will be extinguished. Kidnap Mom has been the Protector of the Light for a long time, and one day she'll bestow that responsibility on one of her kidnapped sons.

9. Esau sees his dead Real Mom; Jacob cannot see her. Real Mom informs Esau that the men are his people, and that Kidnap Mom killed her. Having acquired this new information, he leaves, and wants Jacob to come with him. Jacob refuses, and a fistfight ensues. Jacob wins.

10. It's Kidnap Mom who creates the conditions whereby neither twin can kill the other.

11. Esau lives with the men for 30+ years. Jacob visits, and they play Esau's game, which looks more like checkers than backgammon. Lostpedia says it is Senet.

12. Esau is building the Frozen Donkey Wheel, and plans to harness the Light to get off the Island. The specifics of this plan are fuzzy, but Esau's convinced it will work. He believes he is special.

13. Esau and his people build the wells in the locations of electromagnetic weirdness.

14. Kidnap Mom finds out about Esau's plan to leave, and pleads with him to stay. After it's clear he has every intention of completing the Frozen Donkey Wheel, she knocks him out and somehow kills all of his people, burning the village. She also fills in the well.

15. She bestows the work of Protector of the Light on Jacob, who was under the impression that she wanted the job to go to Esau this whole time. She says it's always been for him, and he complains that he doesn't want it. In the end, he accepts, and drinks some wine that Kidnap Mom has blessed in Latin.

16. Kidnap Mom tells Jacob to never go down the tunnel to the light, and that doing so will bring a fate worse than death on him.

17. Upon discovering his men are all dead and the well is filled in, Esau wrecks Kidnap Mom's camp, destroying the tapestry she was weaving. She arrives at the scene and Esau stabs her in the back, killing her. Kidnap Mom thanks Esau with her dying breath.

18. Jacob arrives, refuses to listen to Esau's explanations, and a fightfight ensues. Jacob wins again. I'm seeing a pattern.

18. Jacob, knowing he can't kill Esau, and also knowing that going down the light tunnel is bad news, determines to subject Esau to this unknown fate. Messing with powers he doesn't fully understand? Great call, buddy.

19. Esau floats into the light. An earthquake happens. Smokey comes roaring out of the tunnel.

20. Jacob finds Esau's body not far away. It is dead for dead.

21. He buries Kidnap Mom and Esau in the caves. Lost explicitly tells us that they are the Adam and Eve Jack and Kate found in the pilot episode of the series. I feel really talked down to.

Reality B

1. Absolutely nothing.

Phew. That's a lot of questions answered. Some of my thoughts:

1. Jacob is really naive and trusting. I imagine this has changed since 1600-something, but it affects my perception of who he is.

2. How messed up are Jacob and Esau psychologically? They're raised by Kidnap Mom, only to find out she killed their real mother. That alone is enough to cause major issues for anyone, but then Esau kills Kidnap Mom and Jacob turns Esau into some smoke monster abomination. Good grief. Any therapist would see either one of these guys as a giant bag of money.

3. Was Smokey created from Esau's soul? Or had Smokey already been in existence, and merely combined with Esau's soul to become what he is now?

4. As Protector of the Light, Jacob is obviously allowed access to the Light to stay alive for a really long time and bestow the same gift on others (Richard). Also might have allowed him to bring Locke back from the dead after getting pushed out the window and falling like 20 stories.

That's it. One more episode before the series finale. My faith is restored, and I feel like these last few hours will be amazing.

Let's do this.

Smokey to star in Lost spin-off series

Ah, The Onion. You are so brilliant.

BURBANK, CA—Executives at ABC announced Monday that the network will premier a new Lost spin-off series this fall based around that show's popular smoke monster character.

Enlarge ImageThe smoke monster, a fan favorite.

The new series, a half-hour family-oriented comedy called Where There's Smoke, is touted by ABC as the new anchor of its Thursday-night lineup.

"Somewhere between the smoke monster's first appearance on Lost— when it was depicted as a strange unseen force uprooting trees—and that episode in season three where it grabbed Mr. Eko and smashed him against the ground until he was dead, this character became the breakout star of the show," said Stephen McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment. "And that's exactly why we're so excited about Where There's Smoke. We get to see the monster's light comedic side in a show about life, love, and good friends having good times."

"Because after all, Where There's Smoke, there's laughter," McPherson added.

Just awesome. Captures everything stupid about spin-off shows and ABC comedies in general.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Candidate

I am annoyed. I was underwhelmed enough with "The Last Recruit" that I didn't even bother writing a post on it, and "The Candidate" was even worse, in my opinion.

Here's what we got from Tuesday's episode:

Reality A

1. Esau maybe really kinda does want to kill the candidates maybe.

2. Maybe he can't kill them directly so perhaps he's kinda hoping to get them to sort of kill each other.

Reality B

1. Locke is responsible for his paralysis and his father's vegetative state. Locke feels really, really guilty about it.

2. Christian left Claire a music box.

That's it? Really? With two episodes to go, that's what they give us?

The whole thing kinda cheapened Sun and Jin's deaths in my view. It's like the writers realized they'd written a crap for crap episode, so they threw in 10 minutes of Sun and Jin tragically dying just hours after being reunited to tug on our heartstrings and make us forget what we'd just watched.


In other news, the Lost series finale will be 2.5 hours long.

I'm hoping these last 4.5 hours of Lost will be mind-blowingly awesome. Abrams, Lindelof, Cruse, etc. all set the bar ridiculously high, and now they have to clear it.

Because no one wants to see this on May 23.