May 242010
 
Lostathon Logo

What I’m doing: Racing through Lost in an attempt to catch up before the season finale airs and I get spoiled all to hell.

What this is: These are my thoughts as I watch the episode.

What’s important: In an effort to avoid spoilers, note that I won’t be reading any comments made to these posts until I’ve caught up. Feel free to say whatever you like and discuss among yourselves, just don’t expect a reply from me for the next month or so.

Stating the obvious: There are spoilers in this post for any and all events through to the episode I’m making notes about. If you don’t wish to be spoiled, please stop reading now.

 

Jump to episode:
6×17: “The End”

 

Thoughts on Lost 6×17: “The End”

– Here we go. Don’t piss me off, Lost.

– The package to LAX – Jack’s dad’s coffin? Though Desmond was the one who called on that. And intercepted it it seems.

– Sawyer, re: Jacob: “Don’t sound like he told you much of anything about much of anything.” So so true.

– Maggie Grace in the credits, I think that was Shannon right?

– Ugh, Charlie’s gone all eyeliner goth.

– I half expected Charlie to shrug off a single tranq dart, he’s that loaded.

– Dog print. Vincent, huh? Rose and Bernard helped Desmond?

– Vincent looking a lot leaner now. Hard living on an island will do that. A new dog will do that too.

– Rose and Bernard look to be protected. Potentially remembered then dismissed in one scene.

– Richard looks pained but alive. Which works to a point, as I was wondering how the heck Dark!Locke could kill him.

– Sun’s still at the hospital. I bet I know what would make her feel better: A BIG CONCERT, LET’S BRING HER.

– Juliet, coming back just in time for the finale. (AND CONCERT.)

– Hi, big Sun main timeline retelling? I just watched two hours of flashbacks, I don’t need more thanks.

– Sun and Jin suddenly talking English. So it seems that as they remember, their minds and memories in the NoCrash!Timeline are melding.

– Jack wandering the hospital. I suppose we’ll find out before too long if Mike’s right in thinking Juliet is his babymama.

– I’m still pretty surprised that Miles is still around frankly. Unless he turns out to have a fairly significant purpose in the finale here he will have been largely useless to have stuck around this long.

– WTF, another wreck? Wait wut, Frank survived? Poor Frank, he’s such a plot device.

– Dark!Locke to Jack: “You’re kind of the obvious choice, don’t you think?” Thank you.

– There we go, Juliet the mom. No great surprise there.

– Sawyer: “That’s a hell of a long con, doc.” Well that’s certainly what I’ve been saying for five years.

– Light looks less glowy. Because it’s daytime or something else?

– Desmond seems to be living both timelines concurrently.

– Oh GAG ME WHAT SHANNON. Dammit Sayid! Weak. So weak.

– Hurley got to Boone already it seems. It also seems unlikely that the writers knew what would be Boone’s trigger thingie and copped out big time. I mean after all, Boone didn’t have a love interest and apparently WHAT ELSE IS THERE.

– Seriously, these “twu wub” moments are inviting my pizza to revist.

– Dr. Orientation introduces DriveShaft. Mike: “Who will be playing their one song.” Me: “‘You All Everybody’ in D minor.”

– Charlie sees Claire. I once more gag.

– Who are the other bodies in this light pit? Can’t be Smokey, we saw his body.

– And now Desmond becomes a monster and we spend the next three years finding out what he is.

– Oh okay, here comes Kate’s moment right? Aaron’s birth.

– Once they know, “We’re leaving.” Leaving for where? I’d say the island, but it’s kinda underwater now?

– This show is all nookie and babies!

– Charlie: “I brought a blanket.” Now send him to get a pen!

– I’m sure I’m supposed to be feeling something from all these moments and reconnections and I’m so totally not.

– A tree fell on Ben nooo

– Mike: “Island … Breaking up … Must get to my fortress of Jacktitude!”

– Speaking of, I think it’s kinda shit that Sayid can have his moment from saving Shannon but Ben doesn’t get his from Alex but from getting punched in the face by Desmond.

– Oh local news. “After Lost, learn how to survive a plane crash!” Land on a magical healing island preventing evil incarnate from being unleashed on the world and MAKE SURE everyone knows your name.

– Ah, there’s the origin of the cut on Jack’s neck that we’ve been seeing in the NoCrash!Timeline.

– Theoretically the end of Smokey, but we still have like 45 minutes of show left.

– Locke remembering by getting his legs back, far and away the best one I’ve seen yet.

– I know Sun and Jin are supposed to be all like at peace and shit, but they’re just coming off as kinda creepy and brainwashed right now.

– Kate to Jack: “You don’t have to do this!” But I do! I drank the water and everything!

– And Sawyer will run into Juliet and there’s their moments. Yup.

– Kate to Jack: “No, that’s not how you know me.” Mike: “You know me from all those times you told me I couldn’t do something and I did it anyway.”

– And of course Jack is the only one a) getting multiple moments, and b) fighting their inevitability.

– Yeah okay Hurley is Jack’s choice, I figured that.

– If nobody ever feels any different when they do this water drinking thing how do they know anything’s happening at all? I mean truthfully, I didn’t see jack shit – no pun intended – when Jack drank up. He didn’t even get a moment to show he was all invulnerable. And as Dark!Locke seemed to be entirely surprised when Jack punched him and he bled, there didn’t appear to be any detectable changes within themselves. So it’s entirely possible that Jacob did bugger all for Jack.

– Richard’s gotta be freaking his shit right about now, this is his first plane drive ever. (Oh but maybe not, we DID see him out in “the real world”.)

– Water’s flowing back in. Healing water? More importantly, when the light was out was there like 20 minutes of pure evil in the world?

– Local news reporter on the finale showing at The Bagdad. “Will the ending answer all their questions?” Dude the ending hasn’t answered ONE of mine!

– Dude I know you just got your legs fixed and all? But this isn’t the magic healing island and you just got out of SPINAL SURGERY about half an hour ago. And let’s not even talk about proper muscle tone needing to be rebuilt, even granting ongoing physical therapy to prevent atrophy, plus the whole center of gravity thing from being in a chair for the past four years. Oh but let’s not worry about that, it’s the finale!

– And it looks like Ben becomes Hurley’s Richard, which is good.

– Hmm, the Number One/Number Two exchange between Hurley and Ben. How far back to their memories of the other timeline go then?

– And Jack wakes up, certainly in a different location than we left him.

– Yay Jack’s tenth or eleventh moment this episode! Look at all the people I helped and saved I’m so wonderful!

– And Jack finally gets his hug from his daddy. If this show wasn’t 95% daddy issues we could’ve wrapped this up four years ago.

– Okay so this parallel timeline has been … kind of a heaven/limbo thing then? Are we about to watch the Aijira plane crash horribly?

– And Aaron is there as a baby so did he die just after birth or what?

– It’s like I get to watch Jack die but live at the same time, I don’t get to enjoy it at ALL. Denied even this.

– But then Vincent comes to keep Jack company until he dies and THAT part I find just ridiculously sad. Vincent. :(

– Jack watches the plane fly overhead and it’s like, that’s the longest take-off EVER.

– And he closes his eye? Yuup.

Overall thoughts.
<sigh>

Well.

Okay, so. First up, my Things I Need Explained list? Not a single thing explained. Seriously. Not a single thing MENTIONED. I wasn’t expecting all of them to be answered. I hoped, sure. Two and a half hours, they’d have time to touch on something, right?

Oh simple and naive girl.

I watched the two-hour preshow, which is the first time I’ve had any input at all from the creators of this show since I was an avid watcher during the first season. What I came away with was the laughable decree that it was a “character driven” show. For being a character driven show, maybe you should’ve taken the time to answer some stuff from the ridiculously huge pile of mysteries that you insisted on adding to season after season.

But that’s going to be a list for later. A very big list. There will be bitching.

Instead I’m going to focus on what we’ve been waiting six years (and six rather intensive weeks for some of us) to see: the last seven minutes.

So here’s how I see what happened. Let me know if you walked away with something different.

They’re all dead. They all died at different times, yet somehow they all created this limbo together so they could find each other after death, to come to terms with those deaths, and to move on to whatever comes next.

I don’t have a problem with this taken purely on its own merit without context. Unfortunately this show is the very definition of context. Earlier I laughed at the producers talking about how the show was so character driven, but I will grant you that this episode was incredibly character driven. And because of that, the characters are what I would insist – demand – be treated with the respect that in my opinion they were so often denied.

First of all there are the exclusions. I get that the Lostaways cliqued up and all but there must’ve been a hell of a lot of other people on that island who should’ve made at least some kind of impact on someone else there and been included. Scott and/or Steve? Arzt? I hated him, but the show certainly seemed to have enjoyed including him whenever possible. Any of the other 35-40 people on the island that Jack claimed to be all dedicated to leading and shit? I get that you don’t necessarily want them hanging around your happy goodbye scene and all, but you couldn’t have made the initial greeting scene larger and then pared the crowd down to your core as they took their seats? You’re already doing a tap dance on my belief suspension, was the idea of people disappearing in your ghost-filled mind meld limbo reality just too far over the line?

Penny was there, people. PENNY. Penny who nobody but Desmond gave even a tiny little care to. Penny, who only seven people in the entire church met, and I’m including Desmond and the freaking baby.

What about Faraday? You know, the guy who Jack was so devoted to following in the end that he set off a nuke? Frank, the guy who – we assume from the end – saved the ass of three of you sitting in this church? What about Miles, who Sawyer worked with closely for three years – so closely that in their little mind meld limbo, they were partners!

Oh, but maybe like Desmond said of Ana-Lucia an episode or two back, they weren’t “ready yet”. To this I cry “bullshit”. Jack’s dad makes it abundantly clear that there is no “now”, there is no time passing as we understand it. It’s expressly explained that the people in the church all died at separate times – some before Jack, some a long, long time after. So if there’s no “now” and no “then” and no real sense of time, then how can anybody not be ready right this very second?

Well maybe this was just Jack’s “group”, just the people important to Jack. Which I could perhaps understand – after all, the writers have gone to great lengths to make this All About Jack. But if that’s true then why was Ben outside the church? Why was he there at all? Jack never saw him, never seemed to be aware of him, so Ben was certainly not there for Jack’s benefit. Plus it was a whole “we’re going now” thing, like everyone was moving on together, just waiting for Jack to show up. In that case it sounds much more like a big party to which Jack is invited and not Jack’s private personal party, so why should the group be limited to just those that Jack cared about?

Then there’s the kids. Oh good lord the kids.

I’ll begin again with Walt. Whatever Michael may have done to be excluded from all this (and there’s more on that in a bit), it certainly would have nothing to do with Walt. Walt was an integral part of the island crowd when he was there. Locke especially took to Walt, and they even made a point of showing Locke going to see Walt when Locke left the island. Why is Walt not included in this gathering? Again I point to the justification that people have died at all different times, so it can’t have been his age. And it can’t have been his periphery involvement at the end there – Penny’s inclusion shoots holes all through that theory.

Sticking with absent children, let us consider for a moment Charlie Hume. I’ve singled it out several times now, but how do you justify the absence of Desmond and Penny’s son when Penny is standing right there next to Desmond? And what about poor terminally neglected Ji Yeon? How could Sun and Jin be ready to “move on” without their daughter? (Or would the counter question simply be “Why should they start caring about her now?”)

But let’s move on to the one child that was present, and that’s Aaron. Given that Claire was practically the only parent on the show who seemed to care about her child (albeit to a crazy sort of unhealthy level but hey), I’d be surprised to not see Aaron. And really, he’s a kid who was important to a lot of people. Claire, naturally, and Charlie who took on the primary father role. Then of course there’s Kate who raised him and Jack, who took on the father role for what turned out to be most of Aaron’s life.

And yet Aaron is a baby.

I can’t even begin to figure out how that worked.

Firstly we have to assume that the Aaron we see is in fact the actual Aaron, that this is his soul or his essence or his whatever that’s getting ready to “move on”. I think we have to do that, else the complete absence of Charlie Hume and Ji Yeon is even more reprehensible. (Their child meant so little they couldn’t even muster the concern to create a prop baby afterthought in this hyper realistic mind meld limbo? I’d rather believe Aaron is real.) Well firstly if he is real then what a pathetic sense of self to will yourself to be a baby for all time.

But maybe the Lostways created the image of Aaron, however it’s truly populated. The question still has to be “why an infant?” If we assume the plane landed safely, then Claire would finally get to meet Aaron, who is most certainly no longer an infant. But even if she didn’t for some reason, maybe she was so fixated on how Aaron looked that she couldn’t get around it. I still have to believe that between Kate and Jack, they would have the more solid vision of Aaron to draw upon, and their version would “win”.

There wasn’t a single instance of children in this, whether present or absent, that didn’t bother the shit out of me.

And let’s take a look for a second at another very noticeable absence: Michael.

You’re probably thinking what I was thinking: the island whispers. Michael pretty much comes out and says it to Hurley: The whispers are the people who can’t move on. Because of him killing Ana-Lucia and Libby, Michael will be forced to wander the island for all eternity.

Does that strike anybody else as grossly unfair?

Yes, Michael killed two people, and that was horrible. But the guy died trying to save the freighter and everyone on board and everyone who might want to be on board from being blown to smithereens. He failed, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

However Sayid? He’s welcome with open arms. Sayid, who tortured, maimed and killed countless people. Sayid, who killed the guardian of the temple which directly led to the slaughter of many of the island’s devoted followers. Sayid, who – much like Michael – was blown up in the service of protecting others. And yeah, Sayid succeeded (sorta) and Michael failed, but then Michael’s two murders were under extreme duress and to ensure the safety of his son; Sayid directly killed Nobunaga and his translator and indirectly killed dozens of others just so he could get his dead girlfriend back.

Then there’s Ben. Dear, dear Ben. Who is a ruthless mass murderer who killed his own father and gassed his own people because his daddy didn’t love him enough.

Ben and Sayid? The door’s wide open, come enjoy your lovely multi-denominational church. Michael? Enjoy your eternity of mumbling, hope that works out for you.

That may sound like a lot of real nitpicking, and I would be forced to agree with you. The thing is though, when you invite – and I’d even go so far as to say insist that – your audience to examine your work on that kind of a level you can’t be surprised when they start sticking their finger through every hole to see how it holds up.

And the answer for me is “not that well”. As I’ve said, and as I think has become increasingly more obvious as I’ve moved through the series, the characters on this show lost me some time back. I came into the finale hoping to find answers to plot, answers to mystery. None of that to be found. Just, surprise surprise, more questions, which I now know will never be answered. But that in itself is perhaps more liberating than I thought. Tomorrow I’ll do more notes (Big List, etc.) and then be done. Lost will be behind me. I come away with little more than a vague sense of achievement that I completed my objective to zoom through Lost and watch the finale with everyone else. I did what I set out to do and there’s something to be said for that.

As to the show itself, the word “disappointment” comes to mind. But by the end my expectations were set so low that I said my big hope was to not be pissed off. And whatever else I may have been, pissed off wasn’t it. Maybe all there is for me to take away is that a pompous guy finally shut up, some people managed to fly away, and a dog provides comfort to the very, very end.

It’s not much, but I’ll take it.

  • Goldie

    The only one of your questions I might have an answer for is Walt. I saw today that that answer will be on the DVD. Which, I know, sucks.

    As to some of the characters “not being ready”, apparently each person had to be mentally ready to move on. They had to be at a place where they could remember their deaths. Some just weren’t ready to move on for whatever reason. My guess is that it has something to do with the manner of their deaths and the feeling that they might have unfinished business. If the Losties created that world so they could find each other, maybe those characters that didn’t go with them have their own worlds. Their presence in that world was just a construct of the people who created it, images of people they had known. Which could explain Penny being there. She and Desmond were so strongly tied together that her world would be the same as his. Doesn’t explain where their Charlie was but Jin and Sun didn’t totally forget Ji Yeon. Sun was pregnant. If they are creating a “perfect” world for themselves, Jin didn’t get to experience the birth of their daughter and that would be a way for him to.

    Okay, I’m rambling on. I really only meant to give you this link: http://tomandlorenzo2.blogspot.com/2010/05/lost-end.html It’s another blog I read. They watched the first four seasons on DVD in a weekend or two, then started blogging with Season 5, IIRC. Anyway, they had a bit different of a take if you’re interested.

    • Jet Wolf

      If they do explain Walt in DVD bonus feature then I call shenanigans even louder than before. It’s just straight up poor writing, in my opinion, to leave such a blatantly huge plot hole and then not even have the decency to address it in your own show. I shouldn’t need to spend more of my time and money for an answer that should’ve been provided organically over the course of the creative work. It’s not like they didn’t have time.

      As to the church thing … Again, I just don’t see how it all adds up. If time is meaningless there, then how could anybody not be ready “yet”? Why couldn’t they keep waiting for those people missing?

      I argue that Ji Yeon is still missing, since she’s not yet a person in the Sideways. What Sun and Jin create the idea of her. Jin never got to meet his daughter – I just can’t believe he’d be okay with moving on still never getting to meet her. And Sun? She spent years with the little girl! Her detachment hasn’t made sense to me from moment one. I think at the end of it all, Sun and Jin are just shitty parents, that’s the only rational answer I can think to justify their actions.

      Penny and Desmond’s kid being missing is just utterly inexcusable as well. I find it sadly hilarious that for a show all about mommy and daddy issues they create the worst mommies and daddies.