Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Letting Go

And so, Sunday night, LOST came to an end. In short, I loved it. Was it perfect? Of course, not, but I loved that it wasn't 150 minutes of crappy boring exposition -- I will gladly trade a few less answers for a well-told story about characters I care for. In fact, for a story that has relied so much on plot twists and guessing, I thought the finale was incredibly character driven.

Showdown. So, Desmond uncorks the Island mojo (which ironically is what both Jack and Flocke wanted but for different reasons) and Smokey becomes mortal and so be killed -- I didn't see that coming and liked that. The scene where FLocke goes to the cliff with the ladder was just gorgeous. The long shot of Flocke & Jack diagonally on the ledge (like a balance) was fantastic. Twice Jack couldn't beat up and old man, so clearly being Island Protector doesn't give you any ninja skills, though the look on Jack's face as he kicked Flocke off the cliff was priceless. I was amazed they wrapped that part up as soon as they did – I thought it kept the pacing of the ep brisk..

Sacrifice. The scene with the getting-more-Christ-like-every-minute-Jack and Hurley at the mouth of the tunnel was heart-rending --- even if you knew it was coming. And Michael Emerson deserves yet another Emmy as Ben got in the perfect -- oh, it's not me getting chosen...again -- look as Jack passed on the Protectorship to Hugo. When Kate implored "Tell me I'm going to see you again..." I nearly lost it. (no pun intended) -- strangely also when Jack told Des "See you in another life, brother." Because old Des was wrong wrong wrong about being able to escape this life and go to a happier place. I like to think that he got back to Penny and little Whatshisname.

Sideways. Okay -- not a parallel world of atomic-bomb generated otherness, but one of a "purgatory/transition zone" – which was a surprise to me, though in some ways you can see how the whole season was pointing towards it (especially if you think about Jack’s wounds). If the Island was about figuring out your past and your life, that transition world seemed to be one of coming to grips with your life issues before you can move on – to let go -- as we'd heard several times over this season. When Dad asked Jack "Why are YOU here?” it hit me in the gut. The church scene was a little too much beach-reunion-y slow motion hugfest, but I'm alright with it. Note: Kate’s line of “Christian Shephard… really?” might have been the best of the night.

I liked Juliet's and Sawyer's reconnection. And didn't she look great in her evening dress? Ahhh Juliet. I'll miss her. Actually, Kate looked pretty good in hers too. Must have been nice to play dress up after all those seasons in dirty t-shirts. Similarly, I did like the fact that Jack-Kate weren't each others’ epiphany. Jack's was the coffin and his long-term father issues (hence the made-up David – sorry kid) and Kate's was the baby. In a roomful of "constants”, it was nice to see that while they were together, they weren't "together" like that.

The scenes with Ben and Hurley and Ben and Locke outside the church were excellent and poignant. I didn't even notice that Walt and Michael weren't there as some have -- and I didn't really care. Michael’s a whisperer and Walt's well -- someplace else. Since they hadn't really gone back to him in several seasons, his absence had no meaning to me.

The End. When Jack washed up where the corpse of Jacob’s brother had a couple of millennia ago, I knew that the last shot was going to be Jack's eye. Obvious perhaps, but I loved it. I’ve always been Jack-centric (in all the “Which Lost Character Are You?” quizzes, I always come up as Jack) and so I thought it was really fitting. Also his being able to see Ajira316 fly away and smile, meaning he knew he’d “fixed” it, so he could let go. And if you had Lupidus, Miles, Claire, Kate, Sawyer and Richard in the “Who Flies Away on the Plane” pool, I applaud you.

9 Stars not 10 for:
Sayid and Shannon. Since they NEVER talked about Shannon and only about Nadia Nadia Nadia for three seasons, this pair had the least emotional and "real" feeling awakening. It felt like a cop-out and that they really couldn't find anything else for Sayid to connect with that didn't involve, you know, a main character.

Baby Aaron at the church. Does that mean he died as a baby (bummer)? Or was that the one she just had in the transition world and if THAT Aaron was just as false as "David", then why take him along -- wouldn't that be like taking a long a cuddlier version of the creepy squirrel-skull baby? Of course, no one would recognize some other actor if the "real" Aaron was grown up. And if you're going to bring in the babies, where was Penny and Des' baby? I guess they hadn't had one in the transition world yet -- a little murky, but small potatoes, I suppose.

I know a lot of the hard science fiction folks will grouse about the very spiritual nature of the conclusion and the lack of details on the nature of The Light (is it electromagnetism or soul-juice? Or both?), and the lack of a blueprint for what “bad” things would have happened if Smokey had gotten on the boat and the Island sank (do all our soul-light banks dry up?) – as well as the holes in the machinations of the Dharma folks and Charles Widmore. And you know what, I didn’t care. As plot points, they were interesting and some ended up being red herrings. I guess I wasn’t looking for an itemized list of “answered questions” any more than I wanted George Lucas to de-mystify The Force with midichlorians, and in the end it didn’t matter.

What mattered was that even as really flawed people, they saved the world through striving together – some died pointlessly, some died heroically, and some lived a while and then died. And in the end, we all will close our eyes and move on.


Budd said...

Great review, Steve. I couldn't agree more. I noticed in a still that although Libby was there, she was standing off to the side kind of looking awkward. That was likely done on purpose. I think Penny and Libby were there because their soul mates were moving on and there happened to be other people going at the same time. I didn't notice baby Aaron, but yeah that is kind of weird.

SteveB said...

Thanks Budd --- I'd wish I'd thought of it when I was writing the post, but the assembly in the church was I think what Stephen King in the Dark Tower series would have described as ka-tet.

Januel Mercado said...

Yes, a well written review. Namaste.