Monday, May 24, 2010

Digesting LOST

The weekend recap's gonna come later today. I'm still digesting and attempting to pass the LOST finale. It was definitely a lot to handle. Right now, my Facebook news feed has varying opinions on it -- everything from that it "fucking sucked" to that it was the "best finale I've ever seen." For the record, I fall closer to the "best finale" side of the spectrum, although I'm not willing to go that far. I thought it was good. Nothing incredibly groundbreaking, but after some thought, I've realized that it left me satisfied. They definitely could have done worse.

Sure, not every single question was answered, but you can at least use a reasonable theory to explain all of the big ones, and that works for me. With all the garbage near the middle of the show, the writers kind of wrote themselves into a corner. Yeah, they probably had to walk all over a few of their words to get out, but they tread carefully and were able to leave most of their previous work undisturbed.

And yes, I've also heard several theories as to what actually happened and what everything actually meant. So as not to post any spoilers on the front page, I'm putting them after the jump. Also, more Evangeline Lilly:

So when it ended, after Little George and I had sat and stared at the TV for the requisite five minutes, we tried to break it down. If you haven't watched the show, don't know how it ends, and ever plan on watching it, stop reading right now. If you want our analysis, here's what we got:
  • The original timeline is what actually happened. It makes sense, especially with the notion that you can't go back in time and change something once it's already happened. So yes, there actually is an island with incredibly strange properties and a glowing light that can all be explained by just saying "electromagnetism" to anyone who asks. After Oceanic 815 crashed, there was a group of people that survived and lived on the island. Some left and then came back. The island wasn't purgatory.
  • The second timeline never happened, at least not in the "actually happened on planet earth" sense. The second timeline takes place after everyone has died and consists of only dead people, and people who never actually existed in the first place, like Jack's son. Some people died on the show, and some people died long after the show ended. 
  • When Hurley and Ben were talking outside the church ("You were a great #1....You were a great #2...), we saw that after Jack died, Hurley and Ben spent time as the protectors of the island. Eventually, as will happen to everyone, they died. So did the people who left the island on the repaired Ajira plane. Once everyone was dead, they were all placed in this separate timeline so that they could go chill and get freaky with each other in the afterlife. Maybe my orgy theory wasn't so far off. I just never thought that the they-all-die-and-there's-an-orgy parlay would have ever paid out.
  • When they all met up at the church at the end, some people -- Michael, Ana-Lucia, Ben -- weren't there. They were the ones who weren't moving on to bigger and better places, because they were evil. To start with, they were all murderers -- Michael killed Ana-Lucia and Libby, Ana-Lucia killed Shannon, and Ben killed Locke and the entire Dharma Initiative. The scene with Ben and Hurley talking is Ben coming to grips with the fact that deep down, he's done some horrible, horrible things. He may have ended up on the right side of the fight, but in the end, the fact is that he, at one point, basically committed genocide. That's not gonna fly with the big man.
So those are the basics that we got out of it. If anyone has any different interpretations, go ahead and post them. Like I said before, the finale answered most of the questions I had, although, if this explanation is the one I'm subscribing to, I still don't really get why Hurley/Ben needed to protect the island after the smoke monster had been killed. Maybe one of you gets this. Or has an even better explanation for how to interpret the ending. But until then...I'll see you in another post, brotha.


  1. Well, smoke monster didn't always exist. Whatshername was already immortally protecting the island when Jacob and MIB's mom washed ashore.

    I was a little annoyed with a few omissions. Why was Claire's baby still a baby in the final scene? Like, he lives a full life, but nope! That was the most important time in his life, so back to infancy for eternity. And they could've done more there-- there was a lot of foreshadowing with fortune tellers et al in Australia that never panned out.

    Would've also liked to see a few threads wrapped up with Eloise and Charles' mission to the island. Thought that was pretty interesting. Could've done more with Daniel as well.

    So it wasn't perfect. Maybe even a little preachy. But really, people who are ANGRY about the finale really need to find better things to get emotionally invested in.

  2. I have lots of thoughts, though overall I thought it was an excellent conclusion. My biggest gripe, of course, is that Kate got to deliver the final blow. I thought it would have been way more poetic if it was sawyer who saved Jack (not to mention how generally worthless kate's character is).

    My biggest question, however, goes back to season 5. Did the bomb detonate? I guess we have to assume it didn't. The whole "fade to white" at the end implied to all of us that it did explode, but we now know that it didn't really trigger anything, and that the "sideways" exists outside of time. I just think that's interesting.

  3. My first shoutout on the couchwarmers, yes!!!!

    I was the source of "the best finale ever" comment and here's why: at its core, Lost lures you in with mysteries, but it is really about people finding redemption. The finale focused on those people and really emphasized how much we had grown attached to the characters. Instead of skipping over story and substance to try to answer every single solitary question, they focused on making a compelling character-driven narrative to end a show that was masterful at them.

    Now some thoughts: I like your theory about those who are evil not being there as Mr. Ecko would fit in that category as well (he was a warlord before posing as a priest), but isn't Kate a murderer too? I feel that the people left in the flash sideways reality can earn their way in, Ben said: he had some things to take care of. Maybe the alternate reality is purgatory and if he can make a go of it as a good guy and real father-type figure to Alex, he will get to move on as well.

    It makes sense too that Farraday would never be awakened because his "real" life was so lonely and horrifying (being killed by your own mother is not a nice realization).

    Also, there is an interesting theory on the web as to why no Walt anywhere to be seen (besides the fact the actor went thru puberty and became useless; was the actor's entrance into puberty the most costly voice drop since Johnathon Taylor Thomas?): because Walt got off the island so early in the game, his time there was not as important as everyone else's.

    I also like how they acknowledged that Jacob was not a perfect saint and that Hurley could change things, because he commanded the Others to do a lot of nasty things.

    A couple of answers/missed answers that annoyed me:
    -The source of everything on the island is a giant stone q-tip? Really? Why couldn't they explain all that aztec stuff? It would have been nice to figure out how the island came to be and how it got mystical powers.

    Most surprising person of the original cast to make it off the island:
    Sawyer: He had heroic sacrifice written all over him. Nice swerve.
    Least surprising:
    Kate. She is indestructible and I agree with Seth about her killing MiB.

  4. As far as the people who are in church who had done bad things: My take on it is that all the people who had done bad things in the past had to find redemption. Maybe Kate killing fake Locke (you know, and thus saving the world) makes up for her blowing up her stepdad. I'm gonna go ahead and say it does. The world is pretty important. I guess while none of the characters who moved on are perfect, they redeemed themselves for their past misdeeds and thus were able to move on.

    I also like your theory about Ben being able to move on eventually, but not yet, as he was the character who flip-flopped the most between good and evil over the course of the show. Maybe he'll find his redemption eventually and join the big orgy on the cloud after he works out all of his issues. I'd really like to think that at the heart of it, he was good, just completely misguided out of a sense of obligation to the island and a really fucked up childhood. My guess though is that his redemption will have less to do with Alex and more to do with his Dad (remember the purgatory timeline scene where he's taking care of his elderly father). We've got no way of actually knowing, but it's just a thought.

  5. The LOST finale is going to be broken down and analyzed for year and years to come.

    Good point about Kate. She was a killer as well. But if she gets to go upstairs, I think Eko should too. Sure he was a drug lord- but he became a man of god once he found is brother's plane. (one of my favorite story lines). Eko and Michael absent from the collective funeral, tacit racism from Lindeloff and crew?

    They answered all the BIG questions. Yes, they could have jumped from season 3 to 6. But I find it interesting that people theorized that the island was purgatory in season 1. Now, in season 6, we had a 'purgatory like' flash sideways. Gotta wonder if the creators used theories from season 1 to come up with the ending.

    The finale was adequate. I give it a 7/10 . I'm in the same state of mind as Sam. They wrote themselves into a corner. WOWing us furthter would have been nearly impossible. So a definitive answer is sufficient

    I didn't cry. I cried when Sun and Jin died. And basically anytime they play the 'emotion song' as i like to call it.