Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Lost 6x17-18: The End
While the finale lacked, as expected, any major revelations that tied up the numerous dangling plot threads from past seasons, it did present one major reveal, the one everyone is talking about, perhaps the show's most daring reveal: the flash sideways was, after all, an epilogue of sorts, revealed to be a purgatorial gestalt created by the 815ers after their deaths (whenever that may have been; apparently, time is irrelevant in the afterlife), a place for their souls to work out their issues, remember their past lives, and come together before moving on to another place. Sideways Desmond, rather than working towards some grand event that would somehow impact the island world, was merely doing his best to help the lost souls of Lost wake up and let go, facilitating their passage to another place. It was an emotional revelation, one built on character, that allowed characters long gone to come together and reflect on times past.
In the end, "The End" was emotionally stunning piece of character work that managed to adequately wrap up the sixth season's major narrative arcs (finding Jacob's replacement and stopping Smokey). Like the show as a whole, it presented some magnificent and thought-provoking ideas about personal choice, faith and the significance of life. In terms of resolving the overall narrative of Lost, a story that stretches back to the first season and encompasses everything in between, it failed, completely, but then, it never really attempted to resolve Lost's overarching narrative, choosing instead to bring the characters to a worthy resolution, and anyone paying attention to the shape of season leading up to the finale shouldn't have been surprised by that.
And so, for the moment, "The End" stands as an emotionally satifying finale to the series, one which managed to wrap up the narrative arc of the season even while it lays bare the changed priorities of Lost's storytellers, and the numerous dangling and unresolved plotlines that change left in its wake. "The End", then, reveals "Lost", as a complete narrative, to be a whole that is somewhat less than the sum of its parts.
Stuff Worth Mentioning:
Darlton promised a Star Wars reference in the first seven minutes of the finale. We actually got two: “He’s worse than Yoda” and “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
Whew. At least they didn't leave Richard's fate dangling.
Flocke's comment that Jack was the obvious choice to replace Jacob was clearly a nod at the fans who said much the same thing.
The motel Sideways Charlie was staying at was the same motel Kate and Anthony Cooper had previously stayed at, and was used by Sayid as a safehouse early in season four (it's where he killed that guy with a dishwasher).
Richard's insistence on blowing up the plane is SO four episodes ago.
Yay! Frank survived after all.
FLocke stabbed Jack where he had earlier had his appendix removed, just like, in season three, Ben shot Locke where his kidney had once been.
Hmm. Speaking of Jack's appendix, could the reason he got appendicitis on the island, requiring it to be removed, when the island always seemed to heal people, be that the island knew he would need to be appendix-less to survive FLock's stabbing in this episode long enough to turn the island's light back on?
At the concert, Desmond, Kate and the Shephards were sitting at table 23, which was Jack's candidate number.
I'll be damned: the fact that there is a volcano on the island DID come into play after all.
Sideways Kate's awakening was catalyzed by looking at Claire's vagina. I'm just sayin', is all.
This was pretty awesome:
When Sideways Locke woke up after the operation, right after FLocke had died, I totally thought FLocke's consciousness would be in that body, and for a moment, I think the creators wanted us to think that too.
Also, he moved the same foot, in the same manner that Island Locke did immediately after the crash of Oceanic 815.
Sideways Sawyer and Juliet got the Apollo bar out of the vending machine the same way Jack defeated Smokey: turn off the power, accomplish the object, and turn the power back on.
I'm thinking the fact that Hurley was anointed the new guardian of island by simply drinking some dirty water from a bottle, while Jake drank stream water from a cup after some brief incantations and Jacob drank wine after longer incantations is another example of how the guardian of the island creates their own rules and, meta-textually, a commentary on how stories/myths can get changed in the re-telling.
The cave spit Jack out in more or less the same place as it did MiB's body.
It's kinda neat to think that back in season three when the Others were forcing Kate and Sawyer at gunpoint to work on the Hydra runway, Kate and Sawyer were actually helping build the very thing that would get them off the island at the end (I would still like to know more about who told the Others to build that runway -- Jacob, or Smokey -- at how said indiviudal knew it would be needed in 2007. Yeah, yeah, Island Magic, I know...).
Can we chalk up some of the inconsistencies in the Sideways universe (Sun and Locke arriving at the hospital at the same time, Locke deciding to have surgery, and then having it, and fully recovering, on the same day) to the fact that it's a purgatorial gestalt created by the Oceanic survivors, and thus, not as beholden to the constraints of reality as we know it?
In hindsight, I wonder if the sunk island at the beginning of "LA X" was more than a red herring intended to draw our attention away from the true nature of the Sideways universe. Since life relies on the light at the center of the island, maybe the fact that the island is sunk and the light extinguished in the Sideways universe is a retroactive clue that the Sideways universe is something other than life/an afterlife.
The window of the church had icons from six major world religions, suggested the church was of universal faith, suggesting that while Sideways universe is being described as something akin to the Christian purgatory, it is actually multi-faith.
In the NYC Lost Live chat that Darlton participated in last Thursday, they said that Walt would appear in the finale. Which, I guess, technically, he did (old footage of him was seen in Sideways Locke's "flashes" when Locke woke up). That's not what we were expecting, and Darlton had to know it when they teased it. Dirty pool, I say, dirty pool.
The Sideways universe is a waiting room for the afterlife, a purgatorial gestalt that exists outside of time created by the souls of the 815ers to enable them to come together, remember their lives and move on to the next stage of existence together.
Presumably, Island Desmond switched consciousness with Sideways Desmond and saw this world, interpreting it to be an alternate reality in which the island and Smokey were defeated, and this is why he was so nonchalant about events on the island: he believed none of it mattered because of the other world.
Desmond was Jacob's failsafe because he was the one person capable of surviving the EM energy at the island's heart long enough to pull the cork and extinguish the energy, thus rendering Smokey mortal.
Juliet's last thoughts ("it worked") were presumably caused when, on the edge of death, she became aware of the creation of the Sideways universe. In that brief glimpse before fully dying (and realizing the truth of it) she believed she was glimpsing the parallel world they had intended to create by detonating Jughead.
Sideways Jack's neck wound was a bleed through between the two realities, caused by the tip of FLocke's knife cutting Jack in the neck before FLocke was shot by Kate.
Sideways Juliet is David's mom and Jack's ex-wife, as approximately 85% of Lost's fans predicted.
Sideways Eloise knows the truth about the Sideways universe because she's awoken, but isn't ready to move on yet (kinda like Sideways Ben, at the end). Still no idea how Island Eloise knew so damn much (beyond having Daniel's journal from the future).
Rose, Bernard and Vincent did travel back to 2007 from 1977 along with the other Losties in the wake of Jughead's detonation after all.
If there's a bit of the light at the center of the island inside of everyone, and if the light in the heart of the island goes out, the light everywhere goes out (as we were told) then did the entire world blink out of existence for the time that the light was out at the island (after Desmond pulled the cork and before Jack put it back in)? Or would existence end only when the island sank, once and for all, making the re-ignition of the light impossible?
Why wasn't Jack turned into a Smokey when he turned the island's light back on? Because he wasn't evil like MiB? (This is really just me pointing out, again, that amongst all the other dangling plot threads, a little more info about Smokey in general would have been nice).
Next Week: ......
No more Lost. But this probably won't be my last Lost post. We shall see.