Monday, May 24, 2010

The Semi-Final Lost Recap

Semi-final because I am sure I will think of other stuff and reading other folks's takes may change my mind, but consider my mind blown.

After the break, of course:

First, whether you like or not what happened to LA (and I think it is ok--will figure it out at the end of this), they did a great job of finishing the Island business.  Predictable in many ways, less so in others.  The episode, in both planes of existence, had so many chill scenes (as the BS sports guy would say) especially with the awakenings but in other spots as well.

Ok, on to the recap:
The very end to start--ending with Jack closing his eye next to Vincent where he woke up six years ago--predictable and fitting.  Nothing wrong with going with what fits at all.

One of the running gags--that Jack is always wrong.  Nicely done.  Starts really with telling Rose on the plane that everything is going to be alright and then the plane crashes.  Turns out he was right a lot more than we thought, especially how to kill Smokey.

I watched the two hour preview/review/clipshow, and the key was this line said by Damon/Carlton: Asking for help and helping each other is the key.  And indeed, that was a constant theme.  Two guys to lower and raise folks into and out of the cave, Jack needed Kate's help to kill Smokey, Hurley needed Ben's help to run the island.

One point of trivia from the pre-show--only four scenes in the entire series not shot on Oahu?  Which ones?  Hmmm.

Anyway, back to the re-cap.  Starts with Christian's body, which was fundamental for apparently the entire series. Kate: Christian Shepherd?  Seriously?  The first of many lines throughout the night that yanks at us and the showrunners.  Anybody recognize the guy shipping around Christian's body?

Jacob didn't tell Jack much, although he figured enough out apparently.  I love the first and second references to Star Wars, one of the touchstones of the series, in the scene before the credits: "Jacob was worse than Yoda" in giving clear instructions followed by the line oft-repeated in the SW movies "I have a bad feeling about this."

Nothing is irreversible, Kate says.  Um, sure when you think of Island plugs which go out and in, but not death so much.  As we see later.  

Then we see Rose and Bernard and Vincent with Desmond: they have rules.  Again with the rules. So, the showrunners are into community, other help (as opposed to self help), and rules.  I know at least one political theorist that can make sense of this and it probably does build from at least one philosopher.   Anyhow, R&B don't like drama, but they get plenty when Smokey shows up.  Desmond is willing to play along, so they live (points to the aforementioned political theorist).

Smokey gives his word, which Ben already realized is meaningless.  Speaking of which, Ben is tailing along now for the promise of a boat ride, his only act of duplicity is holding onto the walkie talkie.  He makes no grand Snape turn here, but is on the side of the good guys as he pushes Hurley out of the way of the falling tree (as we see later).  I am having a hard time organizing my thoughts on this so excuse the jumbling.

Then the show proves repeatedly--if you do not see a corpse, the person is not dead---Richard and then Frank.  I was suspicious about both, but especially Frank since he was not  mentioned so much as one of the major deaths on the sub.  But he had to live as he was the only real pilot....

One last Sawyer nickname: "Easy, bigfoot" when comes back out of the jungle to encounter our trekking heroes.

And then some fine lines--"We are all going to the same place.  Then it ends." 

Alpert has his first gray hair and then realizes he wants to live.  Sweet.   And then Miles and Richard find Frank floating.  Convenient indeed.

When Locke and Smokey meet, they play with the audience: "So it's you.  The obvious choice."  Very funny.  And as we find out later, not the final choice.

But what is really sweet about this confrontation is that Jack confuses Smokey, who is now off his game just a bit.

Desmond is apparently the weapon, and Sawyer utters a great line: "Hell of a long con, doc."  Indeed.
"It does not matter" Desmond asserts, but Jack argues it all maters, no short-cuts, no do-overs.  Apparently not.  This really tells us what the bomb did--nothing.  More on that later, but here is a clear signal that Alt LA is not what we thought it was.

Desmond finds at least two sets of bones down at the bottom of the golden pond or the Well of Souls!  He pulls the plug!  And it works.  The island starts falling apart, and then we find that Smokey can ow be hurt!  So, Jack was right, but a big gamble.  And the fight there is like the other fights we have seen. 

[I am now watching this as Jimmy Kimmel show starts to tears: first joke--not all dogs go to heaven]

Lots of rain, again, by the way.

Big battle scene on the cliff, with Kate taking the shot.  And then Jack kicks him off the cliff  just like Smokey kicked Jacob into the fire.

James says goodbye: Thanks for everything. Hurley decides to stick around along with Ben.  "I am with you"

One last Jack and Kate kiss.  Very sweet.  Lots of love.  But she has to convince Claire to go.  Each has a role. 

Since Vincent is on the island, I know at this moment that the island will not sink. 

One last son of a bitch before the big jump--of course, Kate goes first because she runs and she runs.

Does Jack force Hurley to take on the role?  It seem so.  But then Hurley takes it with Ben.  Another misty moment when Hurley recognizes that Jack is dead.  Although he is not, but soon will be.

Jack does plug it up and gets Desmond out.  "I'll see you in another life, brother."  Oh my, oh my.

the guys on the other island get the plane together and go.  Nicely done, but the drama was really elsewhere on that--back with Jack, Hurley, and Ben.

LA:
The Sun/Jin awakening was super sweet--one of the biggest misty/chill scenes.  Wow.  And then they can speak English, which is damned convenient.  And Juliet is the one involved with an ultrasound again. 

One of the most loaded lines of the night by Jack to Locke: "If I fix you, that is all the peace I need."  And Jack does fix Locke, by killing Smokey and saving the island and realizing that Locke was right about most things.

The scene with Hurley and Sayid is great--you are a good guy, people can't tell you who you are.  And then we see Shannon with Sayid.  Another sweet moment. 

We see more of our fun characters popping up--Juliet, Charlotte, Daniel all at the concet

The best awakening yet--times three with Kate, Claire and Charlie.  Oh my.  Misty in the Spew tv room.

Now what?  Good question.

Locke: I hope somebody does for you what you did for me.

Finally, James and Juliet reunite over an  Apollo bar.  Of course.  So sweet.  Of course, we might have found this so sweet if we knew they were dead.  Oh well.  Still, "Kiss me James"  "You got it Blondie."

One last wonderful Ben and Locke scene: you were special. I forgive you.  Wow.

Jack is the last to be awakened.  At the church with his Dad.  And so they are all dead.  They did not all die at the same time, but their souls needed to connect with each other before the all went off.  And so, Alt LA was just the plane where the folks had to meet with each other and connect. 

And that was the big gamble--how do people feel that Alt LA or sideways LA was essentially dead folks having to bump into each other along the way to dying.  Not angels and demons like BSG but perhaps uncomfortably close for many.  Notice the Church was ecumenical by the way (spotted by Kid Spew) with Jewish, Christian, Islamic and other symbols.  Anyway, back to the big deal--the alt LA ending.  It was moving and not inconsistent with everything else (Well of Souls, thanks Mrs. Spew).  But does this view of ALT LA mean that half of this season did not matter?  Hmmm, I am not sure.  I think it did matter, as each character needed help to move on--that they needed to re-build the community that they had on the Island before they all move on.  But I am willing to change my mind after seeing how it is interpreted by others. 

[Random commercial observation--this Karate kid really looks like a kid]

[Snakes on a Plane 2 Electric boogaloo--fun bit by Josh Holloway during the JK show]

[Emilie has really short dress on JK show]

Heaps of answers:
  • Why did Jack take the job?  Because he had nothing left.  Which was not true, he had Kate and the rest of the Fantastic Four (thanks, totally lost).
  • Why is Sun's pregnancy and recovery so unproblematic?  She's dead already.  No problemo.
  • Locke's recovery: ditto.
One question
  • Is the plane so important, if they have a good boat?
Some conclusions:
  • Misty varies: Mrs Spew got misty with Charlie and Hurley; young Spew got misty with Claire, Charlie and Aaron. 
  • While the continuity editor may have had some mistakes, he was probably the hardest working C.E. in TV history (or so my wife asserted).
  • You can let go now--repeated many times.  I get it. 
I did enjoy the series with or without the finale.  I thought they ended the island stuff wonderfully--it was moving.  Great drama, comedy, action and character work.  The writing, direction, and acting was pretty terrific. 

The answers, my friend, are rules, asking for help, giving help, and redemption. 

More when I have time to think about it.  And your thoughts are most welcome.  As watching Lost is as much a community experience as either living on the island or being dead in LA is.

    6 comments:

    Steve Greene said...

    Nice work. Is it snarky of me to mention that they let us down on Widmore (i.e., explaining actions of last week). I was totally satisfied with the ending, but nonetheless feel an unfulfilled yearning for more narrative coherence.

    Wendy said...

    Great synopsis, as always. I'm so freakin' tired right now but HAD to see this!

    I'm still confused about some of the timing - so once they died on the island, they went over to "alt-LA" (a/k/a some kind of purgatory) and waited for ALL of them to come together before they could move on from there? Did Miles and everyone on the plan leaving the island die? (that's really confusing me b/c I saw Claire, Sawyer and Kate at the end but wasn't sure if I saw Richard, Miles and Frank though I guess I can go back and look). And how come Desmond died, when he seemed to have gotten out of the hole/cave? (We definitely saw him in alt-LA world).

    Can't think more right now - just want to bottom line it: I loved the series. I loved the ending (which I don't quite understand just yet but I'm not as confused as I thought I'd be). And I am very sad that it's over. And very satisfied :)

    Steve Saideman said...

    They end up in ALT LA whenever they die and that plane exists out of time, so you show up when the plane "lands" in LA.

    Richard, Miles and Frank may not have been in the church--because they were not part of the community. It takes a village/community to move on.

    Neither Penny nor Desmond were dead when Jack died but sometime down the road, hopefully after a long life together.

    Wendy said...

    Ah. Wow. I soooooo love it even more understanding that now. That was an amazing way to end the show. Enjoyed Kimmel's show and alt endings also.

    Discount coupons said...

    I really enjoyed the end of lost but feel cheated by the writer's a bit.

    Chip said...

    ok a month late but only got to watch the finale last night. Good synposis, and yeah, there's a nonrational timelessness of the altLA line, also that church is I believe the place where Daniel Farraday's mom had her basement laboratory, no?

    Also what did you make of that last scene, the aircraft wreckage on the beach?