May 27, 2010

[TV] Finally Leaving The Island

Lost Black WikipediaImage via Wikipedia

Well it's been a good six-year run, but we're finally leaving the island.

There's something oddly fulfilling about getting to the end of a complex and well-developed series like Lost. A lot of network shows don't get to achieve the kinds of heights this show managed without getting cancelled mid-way. It's a shame more shows don't get the same benefit when you get down to it. In that regard, we should all be thankful things got as far as they did.

It's been a few days since my partner and I watched the Lost series finale together and I'm sure that we're still not done thinking about it. It was one of those kinds of endings that just sort of sits there in your consciousness long after the actual show is over. Heck, it might take a good amount of time before I've really made up my mind about a lot of what happened. Still, I feel the urge to at least attempt to write about how I feel about the end of this journey.

It's ironic to think that I started out not liking Lost all that. The first season did show a lot of promise for me but then the second season happened and I ended up quitting the show mid-way through the season. But through the years the show became more and more successful and ultimately the greatest irony was me getting romantically involved with a Lost fan. So I eventually decided to give the show a chance and I worked my way through 4 years of highs and lows just to be ready for this final sixth season.

And now it's all over and the finale has us all scratching our heads and wondering if that was the ending we were looking for.

Did I like the ending? For the most part I feel it was a good end to the series. Sure, it didn't answer a lot of questions posed throughout the series but I think Jacob's mother said it best when she stressed how more answers just lead to more questions. We'd never be done with the show if we got all the answers we thought we wanted plus the season would have been pulled in too many directions if it tried to address all of them. Although, there were some things I wish had never been answered this season like the reason behind Jack's tattoos.

In an attempt to keep this reaction somewhat organized, I thought I'd go more thematically in terms of key points I want to talk about rather than dissecting the episode chronologically in terms of events that happened in the more than 2 hour finale.

I wish Ben had gotten to be Ben again at the end - Benjamin Linus remains one of the greatest characters created for this show and it's no wonder that Michael Emerson won Emmy Awards for his depiction of the character. However ever since he killed Jacob at the end of the fifth season, he's been a bit of a let-down and has been largely dragged around the island by this group or that one. We started to see a glimmer of the old Ben in "What They Died For" in that scene with Charles Widmore, but we never got back to that. Call this shallow fanboy whining, but I really would have liked to see his old fire and ferocity come to light one last time. Or at the very least they should have given him a chance to outwit the Man in Black with his usual cunning and guile.

It sucks when you don't have a Constant - While the concept being a Constant is not new from a soul mate perspective, the show certainly gave the idea a bit of its own flair and thus endearing fans to the idea all the more. The finale really embellished in terms of celebrating constants by reuniting a number of them over in the flash-sideways universe. By the final scene in the church, one can't help but think that your passport to getting into the club involved whether or not you had a constant, to some degree. Even if we were a bit surprised by who those constants ended up being (poor Nadia), to require that you "hook up" before going into the light did seem a tad odd. I'm talking about you guys Anna Lucia, Eko, Miles and even Ben. Oh, and yes even Daniel with the silly fedora.

I'll never think of the term "long con" in the same way ever again - Lost was a game at its core, no matter how you look at it. Whether you're thinking along the lines of Jacob versus the Man in Black and all their associated "forces" under them or maybe just the writers versus the audience, someone was always playing someone else. The show put a lot of stock in the ability to con other people and this was not limited to everyone's favorite criminal / cop, Sawyer. Jacob played some pretty good games and so did the Man in Black. Jack tried a bluff of his own in the end but apparently that didn't quite go as planned. And Mikhail was really good at staying in the game despite electric fences and spear guns.

Desmond was cool, but not THAT cool - The sixth season really positioned Desmond as a major force driving the direction of the castaways both on the island and in the flash-sideways universe. Despite the major build-up in terms of him somehow going somewhere or using his ability to resist electromagnetism somehow, the culmination of his purpose fizzled as an elaborate party organizer in the other universe and a plumber able to unstop a drain on the island. On the bright side, at least he got back to Penny and that's all that matters. Being the ultimate constant was probably all the cool that Desmond could handle in his lifetimes on the island and in the flash-sideways reality.

Hurley and Ben: the unaired pilot - I think a lot of fans would agree with me that I'd love to see a show about Hurley and Ben running the island. Everyone loves Hurley since he was consistently the voice of the audience throughout the show and Ben is such a stunning contrast to the kind, trusting nature of the big guy. The best point was made in those brief moments of Hurley and Ben together as the island was shaking apart when Hurley stressed that no one could leave the island and Ben aptly retorted "that was Jacob's way of doing things." Yes, we all heard the pain and sarcasm in that statement. How would a Hurley and Ben tandem redefine the rules of the island? Yeah, I'd pay money to see that, although we know that will never happen.

Vincent (Lost)Vincent is God - Vincent, as the show's sole canine character, was often a deus ex machina device for the writers. He was able to warn against both boars and polar bears. He prevented an ill-conceived Michael-Sun romance. Vincent also managed to find the stash of Mother Mary heroin statues. He found the key to the Dharma van (with the arm of the driver included). It was pretty clear he knew Nikki and Paolo were still alive before they were buried. Vincent probably did even more than this and for all we know, he was the master controller of events on the island. And yes, he was one of the first and one of the last characters seen on the show. Besides, dog spelled backwards is god, right?

There's a lot more to talk about, but I think these are the big ticket items for me at this point. While the series finale did not answer everyone's questions, I still feel it gave us all a decent amount of closure for most things and it certainly gave us a sense of emotional fulfillment. There are only so many Constant revelatory moments that I can take in a single episode without at least getting a little teary-eyed and this finale made sure to remind us of how attached we've become to all these characters. I may have gotten into the show rather late, but I'm glad still got to experience it and share this amazing moment with the rest of the Losties around the world.

See you in another life then.

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1 comment:

Tobie said...

I love you.

And I love the fact you gave Lost another chance.
Sometimes, it takes a moment to realize how special something can be until that second chance is given.

You are my constant.

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