Friday, 23 January 2009

Lost s04e13/14 discussion - Titanic 2: I'll take Korea Sun!

We’ve now all had about two weeks to watch, re-watch and generally digest the 2 hour (if you watch it being broadcast) finale of Lost, so here’s my final despatch of the Season, and year. First off, in general I loved it. Not as awesome as previous finale’s, but I’ll get to that later on.

Every Lost finale has to be the most action packed of the season. Whether it’s Artz/the hatch/the raft blowing up, hatch explosions, or all the shooting, dynamite and car collisions of last year... They’re always going to resort to the most easily crowd-pleasing events at a time when our cinema screens are doing likewise. And now, it seems, we get a one-man-fighting-machine every year too! After showing us “that break dancing thing you do with your legs.”, as Hurley put it, we now get a three minute punch up between old torture-hands Sayid and Keamy small-mouth. Pretty awesome stuff, were it not for the fact that ultimately he loses the fight and has to be helped out by the one male cast member who wears eyeliner. I foresee the very last episode of Lost consisting of nothing but three hours of Sayid going all ‘Kung Fu Hustle’ on a bunch of Widmore minions.

Another character who similarly has a dubious past that seems to have been rectified rather hastily is Sawyer, who this episode finally commits the act of martyrdom needed to push him fully into ‘acceptable poster boy’ for all the teenage girls watching. Aside from the future episode where he cradles a baby whilst riding a white horse along a beach away from the burning orphanage, I don’t see what more he could really do to stir get the chicks’ loins a-stirring, frankly. Juliet was drunk already when he Davidoff-ed his way out of the ocean. All he has to do is explain how he sacrificed his own survival for the good of his friends, and hey-presto, more island pregnancies! Oh, and in case you don’t have super-hearing he whispers “I have a daughter in Albuquerque, you need to find her. Tell her I'm sorry" to Kate. I quite liked the way this scene tied into the Flash-forward where Kate obviously goes to see the baby, to Jack’s annoyance. Having said that, on the helicopter, I think it would have been a funnier solution, and a return to the ‘badass’ Saywer, if he were to whisper to Kate, snog the face off her and then push Hurley out.

When, Sawyer-less, they landed on the freighter, it was nice to see that Hurley didn’t even get out to help with the re-fuelling. He is a fat bastard, which to some degree, must have come from being a bit lazy, so it’s nice to see that when it comes to a situation of helping-out-all-your-friends-or-you-may-all-die, he sticks to the character he’s developed for four years and stays put.

There’s no way Jin is dead. Michael is dead, and there’s a link about that later on, but no major cast member gets to leave on Lost without the audience getting to see it happen, or the internet becomes all a-flap with ‘theories’; the currency that keeps the show alive during these long summer months. He’ll pop up in Season 6 with Claire, in Jacob’s crackers cabin, or up Jacob’s ladder, or in his Creek.

Keamy is dead, his small mouth breathed it’s final breath and the boat blew up. Was anyone else surprised by this ‘revelation’, about that being the explanation for the iPod Nano attached to his arm? I think we predicted this three emails ago, and it seems sloppy for the show’s standards for them to think it wasn’t quite obvious. What I thought they would do was have the timing between Keamy dying and the boat explode lead to some big revelation about the differences in time between the island and the boat. I know people are saying ‘but wasn’t he miles underground, wouldn’t that signal have stopped as he went down in the lift’, which is a valid point. But in the world of SCI-FI, which is much more important than radio signals as it is MAGICAL, the two places were supposed to have been existing in some exciting way regarding time that Daniel just ‘ummed’ and ‘you see’-ed about all season.

Regardless, he’s dead, and Ben killed him, which was jolly dramatic. What I don’t get though, is Ben’s change of heart that the people on the boat are no-longer anybody to care about. Wasn’t he warning Michael four episodes previously about how ‘innocent people’ don’t deserve to die? I don’t buy it. It’s almost like he’s been built up now as this oddly moral character in the show, like Locke has but from the other end of the good/bad spectrum. So now the writers just think it’s great complex character development to have him do morally questionable things, as they know we know he’s on the road to salvation as A. Good. Person. and so every act of ‘bad’ he does on the way will have people theorising furiously. I just think it’s shock for shock’s sake, and that he’s just a bit selfish and a dick.

Ben does move the island though, and even has a little cry while he does so. As I mentioned in my last email, he did indeed ‘leap’ straight from The Orchid to the desert in 2005, at the cost of apparently never being able to return to the island. He spins the ridiculous giant Wagon Wheel one notch, and the whole place disappears from view in a way not dissimilar to dropping a new Widget into dashboard in Mac OS X. Is this possible in real life? No. Does it fit into any kind of theory, storyline or theme of the show so far? No. But I’ve been watching this show avidly for four years now, and have long since given up on any hope of some kind of logical, sensible all-encompassing solution it. It’s very silly, and it could well be marked as the final jump over the shark that the show makes.

For many viewers, I can see this being the point from which they lose complete interest in Lost. As far as they are concerned the main characters have gotten off the island. The island itself has disappeared. What more is there to say or do? Two more seasons of megalomaniacs using their huge multi-national corporations to chase down a few Oceanic 6 fugitives across the globe? I can imagine when the show does return in Spring 2009 there will be a huge further drop in ratings, as the ‘mysterious air crash survival’ show just starts to look like any other high-gloss crime and espionage drama on US screens. And then there’ll be a huge resurgence of interest when in 2010 they do go back to the island, at which point critics will probably point out that it’s just replicating the raw, exciting mystery of the first season...

But let’s keep positive. We don’t know how and when the next season will even be set. I think it would be foolish to continue the ‘now’ narrative on-island as when the island is moved. So much has been said in the flash forwards about the off(, and briefly on,)-island events that it seems we need to jump forward and pick up the story at Grizzly Jack recruiting everyone to return. That way we can have NBA Walt rejoin the cast, get to see what the Locke-lead Others are up to versus the army of children Sawyer has fathered in the three years past. Then I guess we’ll find out about Jeremy Bentham, Widmore etc in flash ‘back’s explaining more about the huge global conspiracy that keeps Jim Robinson in acting roles.

Because. They. Have. To. Go. Back. All of them. Even Walt. And Locke’s body. What about Jin’s exploded body? Is someone going to have to carry his parts on their back for Season 5, a la Chewbacca and C3P0, until they return and the island ‘cures’ him of being blown up? What about Michael? Jesus, I don’t want to be the one who has to sift through the ocean to piece enough of his remains to chuck into a DHARMA rucksack before their return.

Some links
Michael is not happy about his short return, and calls ‘racism’. Finally, my two obsessions meet:

They shot an extended scene of the Oceanic 6 Press meet-and-greet:

They also shot multiple reveals of ‘who is in the coffin’, to prevent spoilers:

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed these 13 emails picking through the minutia of a television show that probably should have ended after it’s first season. I’ll be back in January 2009 to do the same with the 17 that air from then. If anyone has any suggestions to keep this Lost thread alive during the summer months, feel free to send anything.

See you in another life brothers and sisters.

PS - Thanks Tom for the Jacob jokes. And Michelle for the ‘Davidoff’ thing, as being a heterosexual man I really don’t know what it is.

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