Monday, May 24, 2010

My Five Cents: The LOST Finale...

Considering I only devoted six days-- not six years-- to this series, I may not be the best person to comment on the end of LOST and if I think it was satisfactory. However, since I have been a student of television and story-telling in general for almost twenty-six years, I feel worthy of weighing in nonetheless. I will try to keep my thoughts short, though, so I can share with you what some long-time, diehard fans thought about the two and a half hour epic episode that aired last night, as well.

Those of you who read my "Six Days of LOST" experiment ramblings may have noted that I was right about some things, wrong about some things, and left with many theories and points that simply went unanswered...or more specifically, through this "wrap up" was told those things didn't matter.

Any time a television show starts on one character, that is the writers and producers way of telling us we are following that particular character's journey...as much as we might not like that once we get to know the character. Jack awoke in the jungle, alone and laying on his back, and the camera stayed on him and followed him out to the beach and the burning wreckage. Jack struggled with control issues within his work, his family, and the structure of the new work and family he was putting together on the island. Jack felt he had something to prove to himself, but the show had something to prove about Jack throughout its course. Therefore it is more than fitting that the show should end on him, as well.

Sure, the other characters each had their own arcs, trials, and tribulations to get through in order to get where they were in the finale's last few moments. They all had to learn and struggle, grieve and accept, and yes, especially love before they could move on and find peace-- the peace that they could never find while alive.

Would I have liked to see Kate and Sawyer be the ones who were always supposed to find each other? Sure; that is what I felt the show was setting up from the very beginning with how eerily similar their characters were. But that would have meant Jack with Juliet, which the show did not properly showcase at all. In fact the few scenes those two shared mostly had to do with her performing emergency surgery on him, and then at the eleventh hour, they brought in Kate to help with that anyway. Without Jack and Juliet sharing deep character moments on the island, in previous seasons, most fans would find it a stretch to justify them being together in the end. The same way I can't justify Sayid and Shannon's pairing, but she's still dead, so I'm ultimately happy.

There was a little Sixth Sense moment, in my opinion, when Jin and Sun had their memories. They flashed to the two of them in that sinking sub, and that indicated to me that they were in some sort of "holding period" in the afterlife. Because you can't remember your death; even if you die in a dream, they say that means you've died in your sleep in real life. So far no one has ever woken up from a death dream and refuted that, so I believe it... Anyway, this moment didn't take me out of the episode as much as it had the potential, too, but I think it made me watch the rest of it a bit differently than others in my party.

I was super glad that Hurley got his moment to shine, though, because in part, let's face it, I'm just glad when I'm right about things! But I couldn't help but wonder where Michael, Walt, and Vincent were in Jack's tearful reunion inside the all-religion church. I guess they didn't mean much to him or his journey after all to not be represented there. Neither did Ana Lucia, Nikki, Paulo, or any of the Others, but I guess that makes more sense.

I didn't need the whole speech between Jack and his dad where once again we were beaten over the head with what was going on and what we were about to see. I think the empty coffin said it all: it was for Jack. It has always been for Jack. Everything has been for Jack-- to learn but more importantly to let go.

I really liked that the sideways world appeared to be some sort of purgatory (unless I'm completely misreading things and just ignorant about the Bible...which totally could be the case! It's been a long time since I read that book!), as well, because I really thought that's what the island was in the beginning of the series. I think so many people thought that that the writers had to throw in some little nod, even if it wasn't maybe what they originally intended. A lot of LOSTies criticized the use of the sideways world, saying it was unnecessary or boring or took too much time away from the island story line in which they were already so deeply invested, but I for one preferred that all season and was eager to see how it would play out. And I'm glad we did get to see everyone have his or her moment of recognition, even though Jack's was the main one that mattered.

Throughout the course of the show, Jack was always trying to live up to his destiny, and he always seemed to be at a loss for what it was. However, the moment I did enjoy from Jack's father came from when he pointed out that it didn't matter when any of Jack's friends had died; they all needed each other to remember, get through, and move on. The timelessness factor rang especially true, not only because of the elements of time travel the show had set up in earlier seasons, but also because it states so simply just how meaningless time really is when all is said and done.

I also really liked that in the original pilot, Jack died half-way through the script, and the writers kept their word and his destiny and had him die in this finale. Jack was always supposed to die. That in and of itself stays true to the theme that we can't really fight who we're supposed to be and what we're supposed to do. And that's something I believe in life, so once again, I feel validated when my beliefs are reflected in pop culture.

Six days or six years; regardless of what we go through or how we get there, we all end up in the same place anyway, now, don't we?

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