LOST and Found

May 24, 2010

Short note on the finale…for those of you saying that the entire series was purgatory, I’m sorry but you’re simply wrong. The sideways “timeline” was definitely portrayed as a purgatory, but their time on the Island was a real experience. Christian Shephard said it himself, “these people were the most significant people during your life and some of them died before you and some long after you”. When they died, they experienced this “sideways timeline” until they were ready to let go and remember the experiences that led to their ultimate death. Once they accepted death, they could move on.

Now for my final blog, which doesn’t really summarize the finale, but instead focuses on the journey a number of the characters took over the past six seasons.

I’ve mentioned many times that perspective is everything and I believe it’s one of the most critical elements to this show’s success. What better way to view yourself from a different perspective, than to literally lose yourself on an Island for six seasons? Each character was given an opportunity to start over with a Tabula Rasa (clean slate) and some had an easier time letting go of their past than others. In any event, what kind of show would LOST be if the characters hadn’t been given a chance to find themselves and feel a sense of redemption for the past struggles and choices in their lives? LOST only ends once. Anything before that is just progress.

Jack Shephard – From a man of science to a man of faith, I don’t feel that any other character on the show experienced as much of a transition as Jack Shephard. He spent most of his life seeking his father’s approval and trying to live up to his expectations. This behavior conditioned Jack to be the type of person who constantly had to prove himself and fix everything around him. Unfortunately, this behavior also created distance between himself and the people who were closest to him and he rarely took the time to sit back and observe others or take into consideration what they might be thinking or feeling. He displayed leadership qualities and his intentions were always good, but his stubbornness only hurt those around him and he could never understand why. Fortunately, his logical and scientific approach to resolving issues changed as the seasons went on. Unfortunately, the experiences he endured to learn and change were not easy ones. People died and he blamed himself as he struggled accepting their death. His plans and promises were not always what people wanted and as he pushed against acceptance and letting go, he turned to drugs and alcohol to ease his pain. When faced with no other choice, he finally started to let go and to listen while taking a back seat to others. One of the most significant moments was when he put his father’s shoes on Locke’s dead body before boarding Ajira Flight 316 back to the Island. Season 5 had him finally putting his faith in destiny, which led him to the detonation of Jughead and Juliet’s ultimate death, but this season has shown him as a much calmer person who often trusts his feelings over his logic. He was in a much better place at the time of his death. He accepted the responsibility of becoming the new Jacob without fully knowing what the job entailed and then passed the role onto Hurley when he knew he had to sacrifice himself for the Island and for his friends who he was able to see fly away on the plane above him before closing his eyes for good.

Kate Austen – A woman on the run for killing who she thought was her stepfather, but turned out to be her real dad. She could never come to terms that the evil man, who physically abused her mother, could really be her father. She constantly lied to and used everyone around her and could never stay in the same place for too long. Her time on the Island started with much of the same behavior, but because there wasn’t anywhere to really run to, she grew close to a number of the other Oceanic survivors and developed relationships. She also struggled with her romantic choices. Her wild side, and the side she believed was in her blood, craved the bad boy Sawyer, while the inner Kate longed for someone who could provide stability. In the long run, nothing changed her as much as becoming a stand-in mother for Claire’s baby, Aaron, whom she cared for when she got off the Island as one of the Oceanic 6. Her role as a mother kept her in one place and she only left when she realized that she needed to go back and rescue his real mother. It was an extremely risky and unselfish act, but she was determined to do the right thing and reunite Aaron with his real mother even if it costs her own life. In the end, she was successful and even offered to help Claire with a role she was extremely nervous about. Sure, we didn’t get to see exactly what ended up happening once she left on the Ajira flight, but it was the biggest life changing experience she ever had. I actually liked her character in the end.

James (Sawyer) Ford – In his thirst to avenge the death of his parents, he ended up becoming very much like the person he longed to kill. A con man with an almost complete disregard for the people he hurt along the way. I say almost because he struggled with doing the right thing even before he arrived on the Island. He withdrew from a con when he found out the family he was conning had a child, he conned a prisoner out of money he stole so that he could send it to his daughter, whom he never met, and he truly felt guilty after killing a man he thought was the real “Sawyer” in Australia. On the Island, he quickly made enemies amongst the other survivors with his “take care of myself” philosophy, but his forced proximity to them along with their common fight against The Others, soon had him discovering that he cared about these people and it was the first time he felt like part of a family. However, it wasn’t until he killed the real Sawyer (John Locke’s father), that we really started to see a change in his behavior. The revenge he sought for so long left a bittersweet taste in his mouth and he quickly started thinking, “what now”? He had spent his entire life with that one goal and now he didn’t know what to do. With the help of some time travel, he quickly found out that his experience as a con man came in handy as head of DHARMA security from 1974 to 1977 and he also fell in love with Juliet. He was no longer a loner and his life was renewed. Unfortunately, things went sour again when he was challenged to overcome Juliet’s death and this final season has seen him drift back and forth between self-survival and helping his fellow castaways. His inability to trust Jack led him to make a hasty move with the C-4 unLocke placed on the sub and this led to the deaths of three people he had grown very close to – Sayid, Jin, and Sun. The short conversation between him and Jack in “What They Died For” was a huge moment for both of them. Jack could have blamed him for causing the sub explosion, but instead chose to say, “I’ve been wrong before”. In the end, James was able to fully relate to the way Jack must have felt when he inadvertently caused Juliet’s demise and he has become a better man through all of his experiences. Similar to Kate, we don’t know what happened once he left the Island, but the experiences, especially his love for Juliet transformed him forever.

Hugo (Hurley) Reyes – He spent a great deal of his adult life blaming himself for the “bad luck” around him. I guess it started when he blamed his weight on the death of two people when he went to a party and walked out onto a deck built for 8 people, but actually had 23 at the time it collapsed. His guilt led him to time in a mental institution, but it wasn’t until he won the lottery while using The Numbers, that he felt he was cursed. The lottery winnings only seemed to bring more pain into his life…his grandfather’s death, the meteorite hitting Mr. Cluck’s and killing Tricia Tanaka, etc. Initially, he felt that crashing on the Island was just another occurrence in the string of bad luck and he really lacked a lot of self confidence. However, as time went on, he began to view his curse as a gift. He also began to accept that his ability to see and speak with dead people was a blessing and could actually help others. This final season has shown him becoming more confident in himself and even stepping into a leadership position or at least a position where others relied on him for his abilities and his honesty. In the end, he accepted the role of the Island’s protector from Jack and we don’t know how long he remained in that role before passing it on to someone else.

John Locke – Perhaps the saddest story of them all, John Locke spent his entire life trying to prove that he could do anything he wanted to and, like Jack, he also wanted love and acceptance from his father, but it would never come. He was always a man of faith and even though his faith was challenged numerous times before coming to the Island (father stealing his kidney, losing Helen, becoming paralyzed after his father shoved him out a window from 8-stories up), he still fought to prove that he could do anything. His faith also made him “amenable for coercion”. In other words, because he was so willing to believe in achieving the impossible, he could be easily manipulated by those who dangled opportunity before him. This is how his father was able to con him out of his kidney and, more importantly, it’s how the Man in Black (MIB) conned him once he reached the Island. I believe that, as a result of his sudden ability to walk again, he was led around by the MIB to do things that he might have otherwise questioned. His faith and belief in the beauty/magic of the Island caused distance between himself and people like Jack who thought he was crazy. No one knew that the MIB was posing as various dead relatives to eventually serve his purpose and desire to get off the Island. Whenever Locke would stop and question something, he would have trouble walking again and this led him to believe that he was there for a reason. He went so far as to leave the Island in an attempt to bring back the Oceanic Six (O6) and believed that he needed to kill himself in order to make it happen. His death off the Island, which actually happened at the hands of Ben Linus, was an act of faith, which WAS the catalyst for bringing the O6 back to the Island, but he had been duped and his death was in vain. He is the only character I feel has learned more in the flash sideways timeline and I’m grateful we’ve been given the chance to see him with Helen, letting go of his guilt for his father’s vegetative state, and having faith that Jack can “fix” him. As the finale revealed, the sideways timeline was more of an awakening (purgatory) where people learned to accept their lives for what they were and let go. In the end, Locke was able to accept his limitations, realize that he did all that he could for his fellow castaways, and move on knowing that he could accomplish anything.

Sayid Jarrah – A product of his environment, Sayid was never given much of a chance to become anything other than an Iraqi torturer, but he struggled with who he really was his entire life. His biggest flaw was listening to other people tell him what kind of man he was and that he would never amount to anything more than that. As viewers, we saw from the beginning that Sayid had a softer side. A side filled with love, compassion, loyalty and courage. However, he was repeatedly challenged with various choices and he stumbled a number of times along the way. Whether it was torturing Sawyer, losing Shannon, or working for Ben after losing Nadia, the love of his life, he fought himself and tried to choose the path of good. The turning point came when he seemingly died and was “taken” by some Island force this season. Dogen gave him a “test” to determine which side of the scale he tipped toward. When he determined that Sayid was essentially evil, Sayid became angry and resisted this, but when the MIB promised him the one thing he thought he could never have back, Nadia, he helped MIB infiltrate and kill all The Others in the temple. Fortunately, as he slipped even deeper into the dark side, he was tasked with killing Desmond. I say fortunately because Desmond’s words impacted him more than any other. He simply asked, “What are you going to tell her [Nadia] when she asks what you did to be with her again”? Sayid knew that she wouldn’t approve and deep down, he knew that he didn’t approve of his actions either. As a result, in the heat of the moment when the C-4 was about to detonate in the sub, Sayid sacrificed himself in an attempt to save everyone else around him. When given no opportunity to think or weigh his options, his scale tipped to the side of good and he made the ultimate sacrifice. He finally listened to himself and realized he was good. Hurley echoed these exact thoughts in the sideways timeline and it started to hit home for Sayid, but it wasn’t until he and Shannon saw each other that he was fully awakened and remembered that he was a good man and a great friend to so many people.

Jin-Soo Kwon and Sun-Hwa (Paik) Kwon – The Korean version of Romeo and Juliet, these star crossed lovers had two very different upbringings. Destiny provided them with the opportunity to meet and fall in love, but the other “stuff” in their lives was trying to push/pull them apart. Jin was a good man who sacrificed his moral judgments to go to work for Sun’s father, an extremely corrupt man, so that he could marry her. Unfortunately, this changed Jin considerably and even though he hated who he was becoming, he couldn’t find a way out. This put a lot of strain on their relationship and Sun turned to the comfort of another man. At the time they were boarding Oceanic 815, she was going to run away from him and his intentions were to try for a fresh start. She couldn’t bring herself to go though and they ended up on LOST Island together. This fresh start was difficult for them at first, but they eventually began to see and feel what they had initially felt for one another and found their love again. They even conceived a child on the Island, which is something that had been impossible for them beforehand because of Jin’s fertility issues. Then, they were torn apart. First, when The Others blew up the raft and then when Jin was seemingly killed when the Charles Widmore’s freighter exploded, Sun thought she had lost him forever. She got off the Island, had to lie about how he died, gave birth to their daughter, Ji Yeon, and then discovered he was still alive. In the meantime, he was stuck in the mid-1970s, but nothing was more important to either of them, then finding one another again. The reunion that was three years in the making was short lived when they died together in the sub explosion and many viewers have questioned his choice to stay with her instead of trying to save himself so he could go be with Ji Yeon. I thought the scene was beautiful and that his choice to stay with her and die together showed just how far they had come. Damn the writers for showing their hands drifting from each other after they drowned. [sniff] I guess they had to find a way to make us really hate the MIB/unLocke. Anyway, when they finally awoke in the sideways timeline, they knew that they had created a beautiful daughter together and would remain happy together in the afterlife.

Charlie Hieronymus Pace – He was an innocent and naïve kid who looked up to his older brother, became a rock star, and fell victim to the seduction of drugs. At heart, he was a good guy and just wanted to create music, but his demons, mostly in the form of heroin, got the best of him. Ironically, the Island where he eventually died also saved his life. Early on, John Locke helped him kick his drug habit, but the Island challenged him by leading him to Eko’s drug plane with the Virgin Mary statues full of the heroin he craved. He eventually overcame his addiction on his own due to his desire to be with the woman he was falling in love with, Claire. She had pushed him away once she found out about his addiction and didn’t want him anywhere near her baby, Aaron. His death became a true hero’s story and is perhaps one of the greatest deaths in television history (my opinion). Desmond foresaw him dying a total of five different ways. The first four were drowning trying to save Claire, getting struck by lightning, having his head smashed against the rocks in the ocean, and an arrow through his neck, which ended up in the neck of his guitar instead. When Desmond told him about the fifth way he foresaw him dying, the part he focused on more than anything was that Claire and Aaron would get on a helicopter and leave the Island. With this in mind, Charlie decided to accept his fate and went so far as closing himself into the Looking Glass communication’s room so that Desmond could survive and so that he would die to make Desmond’s visions come true. He could have gotten out and sealed the door from the other side, but he sacrificed himself with the belief that Claire and Aaron would be rescued, which didn’t exactly happen, but that’s another discussion. Even while the room was filling up with water, he was so calm and accepting of his fate that he thought to scribble a warning on the palm of his hand letting Desmond know that the freighter was “Not Penny’s Boat”. His death scene is still one of the most beautiful, yet saddest moments on LOST. His full awakening after Claire gave birth in the sideways timeline was one of the more emotional parts of the finale for me. Seeing their little family together again and seeing them realize that they would always be together truly made me feel good.

Claire Littleton – Claire was a young woman who didn’t get to know who her real father was until she was becoming an adult and she was the driver in a car accident that left her mother in a coma. An unexpected pregnancy frightened her and when the father of the baby left her, she turned to a psychic to help her determine what to do. The psychic scared her even more by telling her that danger surrounds the baby and after struggling to convince her to raise the baby herself, he eventually convinced her to board Flight 815 to meet with a family in Los Angeles. As we all know now, the psychic must have foreseen the plane crash and knew she’d be forced to raise Aaron herself. Little did he know how much she would change during her time on the Island? She was forced to grow up very fast and even though she was scared, she adapted to motherhood pretty quickly. We’re still not clear with what exactly happened that night she walked into the jungle with her dead father (Christian Shephard), who was actually the MIB, but there was obviously quite a bit of manipulation going on and it was all that more significant that she felt “left behind” from everyone else. Three years later, she was a crazy woman, but she started coming back around and with Kate’s help, I’m sure she learned how to be the best mother she could be once they left the Island. I already mentioned her awakening with Charlie and how beautiful that was.

Michael Dawson and Walt Lloyd – Michael’s son (Walt) moved away from him with his ex-wife and her new husband to another country when he was only a child. He barely put up a fight because of his financial situation and he regretted it every day. When Walt’s mom died and his stepdad didn’t want him anymore, they were thrust back together and faster than you can say “awkward father/son reunion”, they crash on the Island. Michael slowly learns how to be a dad while Walt slowly starts to appreciate him and come to terms with his special abilities. In any other environment, it may have taken the tow of them years to bond or they may not have grown close at all. By the time Walt was taken away on the raft, they were as close as any father/son could be and we got to be annoyed by Michael’s repeated yells for, “WAAAALT”! That put aside, they were given a chance at bonding and they embraced it, so much so that Michael made some other poor life choices that resulted in the shooting deaths of Ana Lucia and Libby as well as the decision to leave the Island without the rest of the castaways. Walt was never able to forgive his dad for what he did to save him from The Others and they grew apart again. Michael found redemption by boarding Widmore’s freighter and eventually sacrificing himself in an effort to make up for all the pain he caused. When John Locke saw an older Walt in NYC soon after, he explained how his father sacrificed himself and this made Walt proud again. Unfortunately, we never did find out anything specific with regards to why Walt was so special, but we did learn about Michael’s outcome and unfortunately he seems destined to spend his life as a ghost whisperer on the Island. I thought his redemption should have counted for a bit more, but I guess the writers saw otherwise.

Ben Linus – Born two months premature while his mother and father were hiking, Ben‘s mother died at childbirth and his alcoholic father, Roger, never let him forget it. Roger blamed his wife’s death on Ben and basically treated his son like garbage. When they joined the DHARMA Initiative, it only became worse and Ben felt secluded and unwanted. Along comes the MIB in the form of his deceased mother and the manipulation begins. I know we don’t know for sure that MIB appeared as his mother, but I’m going to safe it’s a safe bet. Although he’s has a few small moments of showing a good side on the Island, he has really been quite the evil manipulator from the start. The eventual path he chooses is to kill his father and purge all the members of the DHARMA Initiative so that The Others (Hostiles) can take over, then he leads them for years under the lie that he speaks to Jacob. Eventually, he starts to lose faith in the mysterious Jacob and when MIB disguises himself as his dead daughter, he agrees to do anything that unLocke wants…specifically he kills Jacob. This season, the Ben in the sideways timeline shows a bit more of his good side. Namely, he takes care of his elderly father, chooses to help a student (Alex) instead of bribing the principal for his position, and confronts the man (Desmond) who ran down Locke in a hit and run. When we see in the finale that he actually ends up being Hurley’s # 2 man on the Island, it seems that perhaps he had more of a chance to redeem himself as he lived out his life on the Island, but he just wasn’t quite ready to forgive himself for everything he had experienced and decided to remain outside instead of joining the others in the church. I guess he still needs more time.

Desmond David Hume – Desmond spent the majority of his life running away from challenges and was deemed a coward by many people. He left a woman named Ruth a week before their wedding day in 1994 and joined a monastery. He felt intimidated by Charles Widmore and allowed himself to be influenced by Charles’ opinion of his worth and pulled away from the love of his life, Penny. He was dishonorably discharged from the Royal Scots Regiment. Similar to the way Sayid would listen to other people’s opinions of him, Desmond listened as well and fought to prove that he was more than what everyone said. Unfortunately, this pushed Penny away even further and a boat race to prove his worth to Penny’s father found him stranded on the Island. It was during his three years in the Island that he really struggled. At his lowest point, he read a simple letter from Penny and found renewed strength and renewed desire to be with her again. They would eventually be together again and became the favorite LOST couple of many viewers. He is a different man these days and he special electromagnetic and consciousness time traveling abilities have made him a very controlled and Zen-like person. One thing is for certain…his undying love for Penny spans multiple timelines and knows no bounds. We didn’t see it, but I’m sure Hurley and Ben found a way to get him back off the Island so that he could be with Penny and his son Charlie again. We saw Penny and Desmond in the church at the end, so they eventually passed on as well.

Mr. Eko – It might seem odd that I throw him in here, but the more I think about Eko’s death, the more I realize just how significant it was. Back after his death episode aired, I wrote this, “I’m starting to think that “free will” vs. “fate” will ultimately be what makes or breaks all of the characters on the show. Think about Eko’s decision before he died. He stood up for what he believed when the “Island” (Yemi/Smoke Monster) wanted him to confess his sins. Sure, you can argue with me and say that he died, but don’t forget what he felt and experienced when he died. He was walking happily with his brother to a better place.” I still feel the same way, but now that we pretty much know that the MIB was posing as his brother, we realize that it was a test and Mr. Eko passed on the good side. When MIB realized that he could not be manipulated, he disposed of him. Eko made no excuses for his past. He stuck to his beliefs and trusted in the fact that he did what he did with ultimately good intentions in his heart. His redemption was fulfilled very early on due to his self-confidence and his attitude that he makes no excuses for what he did during his life. I don’t think he knew what the consequences would be with the smoke monster, but I do think he was willing to accept whatever came his way. I think that Eko’s death and walk into the light with his brother was an early indication of how LOST was going to end.

Richard Alpert – He’s had 140 years to repent for the sin of accidentally killing a doctor who was a complete douche bag. Not that the doctor’s personality makes killing him okay, but I think Richard can finally be forgiven and be allowed to join Isabella on “the other side”. He left the Island with the others on the Ajira flight and I’d like to theorize that he aged pretty rapidly after that and passed on. I’m not sure why we didn’t see him in the church, but he was originally from the late 1800s, so maybe it was completely different for him. I have to believe that he was eventually forgiven for his sins.

Me – LOST premiered on September 22, 2004. I didn’t start watching it until the summer of 2005, but was caught up before Season Two began and couldn’t get enough. We all have significant people and experiences that come and go in our lives at different times and the people I have met and the experiences I have shared during the past six years have changed me in ways that I find very difficult to put into words. Fortunately, as silly as it might seem, there were a lot of LOST character experiences that mirrored events and situations in my own life and this television show, along with some of my blog posts, actually helped me through some highs and lows. There have been some books that have made me feel similarly and maybe some moments in a couple of movies, but nothing has ever had as strong an impact as this silly little show has. It’s funny, I used to hate when different people would compare me to Jack when the show first started. I resisted that label and felt that I was more like a Desmond at heart. Regardless, they were probably partially right and I have been, not so secretly (read my blogs), rooting for Jack to change and he eventually did. So have I. This show is about perspective, individual change and redemption, never giving up, and knowing that nothing is irreversible and that it’s never too late. No matter what obstacles might lay in your way, you always have a choice. Free will does still exist.

I know I left quite a few characters out of the mix, but these are the ones I felt most compelled to discuss. Please feel free to add any other character analyses in the comments below.

So that’s it. I’m signing off and saying goodbye. I won’t stop writing, but it won’t be about this show any longer. It has been a privilege watching LOST and trying to make some sense of it all for myself and for those who happened to stop by and read my interpretations. It is truly the best book I have ever watched!


Measure of Last Resort

May 19, 2010

Before I blog about this week’s episode “Across the Sea”, I have a little more to say about last week’s episode, which has created quite a stir in the LOST community. A lot of fans have been bashing the episode and some people have gone so far as to say that it has ruined the series for them. My opinion is simple…I feel that fans reacted more to what the episode was NOT instead of what the episode was. It was a brilliant story with excellent acting. It was NOT the story of the island’s origin. It was NOT an episode that dealt with the Egyptian mythology or how Tawaret was built. I was personally hoping for all of those things and with only a few hours left in the series, the episode left me a bit deflated because I realized those stories would not be told. However, with a second viewing and with my hopeful anticipation for that other information put aside, the episode really blew me away.

Now onto this week’s episode…

Desmond Is Unique

We’re not sure exactly what Charles Widmore said to unLocke after he told him that Desmond was a “measure of last resort”, but we know what unLocke plans to use him for. His ability to withstand the effects of electromagnetic energy will be quite important in the finale, but I’m just as interested in his abilities in the sideways timeline. First he wakes Ben up by beating the snot out of him and telling him that he’s trying to help Locke “let go”. Then he turns himself in so that he can orchestrate Kate and Sayid’s escape (with the aid of Hurley and Ana Lucia). I really liked the way he asked Kaye and Sayid to trust him and promise him that they’d do something for him if he helped them. This concert at the museum that everyone is going to is going to be some reunion.

Don’t Get Freaky

Jack’s neck is bleeding again, just like in the season premiere. Why? Who knows, but it’s nothing a nice bowl of Super Bran for breakfast with your son and half-sister can’t cure. Jack will be headed to the concert too because David is performing, but he seems to react a bit funny when he learns that David’s mom will be there too. David makes him promise not to get freaky and then Jack gets a call from Desmond who claims to be from Oceanic and says that they’ve found his lost cargo (Christian’s coffin).

Danielle Kidnaps Ben

In a nice little twist, Alex’s mom makes an appearance and they have Ben over for dinner, but not before he protests and Danielle says, “You’re coming to dinner even if we have to kidnap you”. Excellent line! After dinner, Ben learns that Alex’s father died when she was only two and Danielle explains that Ben is the closest thing she’s ever had to a father. Ben’s emotions in this scene were excellent and there was a nice moment between Danielle and Ben as he blamed the onions for his tears.

Time To Let Go

Locke’s visit to Jack in the office can be summed up with the reuse of some favorite lines from episode’s past. Locke says that maybe this is happening for a reason and Jack counters with the suggestion that Locke might be mistaking coincidence for fate. Regardless, Locke has seen enough to know that he’s finally ready to get out of his chair and walk again.

30 Years Ago or Last Week

Miles was in the episode just long enough to deliver a couple of very funny lines including the comment about “being in Dharmaville last week, otherwise known as 30 years ago” and then calling Ben’s room behind the secret room, the secreter room. This is before he split on his own for fear of unLocke killing him.

Evil Ben is Back

Granted, we still don’t know exactly what he’s up to, but Ben definitely has his evil flag flying high. After explaining that the “secreter” room was where he used to summon the smoke monster and now he realizes that it was actually summoning him. The long-awaited confrontation with Widmore was short lived as unLocke slit Zoe’s throat and then Ben repeatedly shot Widmore after Charles spilled the beans to unLocke about Desmond. Ben’s motivation was that it was unfair for Charles to make a deal with unLocke that could save his daughter Penny when he has no chance of saving his own daughter. Loved his lines, “Can I get you a glass of lemonade?” and “Didn’t you say there were some other people to kill”?

We’re Very Close To The End

Jacob finally has a pow-wow with some of his island visitors and while I have to wonder why he didn’t just do this from the start, I also have to remember that everything happened for a reason and I don’t believe someone like Jack would ever willingly choose fill Jacob’s shoes unless he had the experiences he’s had. I think the Q & A session with Jacob and the gang was perfect. Not too much information, but just enough to satisfy me in terms of why them.

…And Found

I find myself with less and less to say about these episodes as the series winds down. Maybe it’s because I’m tired or maybe, and more likely, it’s because I said all I have to say. I’m only going to write one more blog and it won’t be a recap of the finale. It will be character focused like I anticipate the finale will be and I hope that by analyzing each character’s journey, we can all find something to take away with us. Jacob said he chose each of them because they were flawed and alone. He said they needed “this place” (the Island) as much as it needed them. Well, I believe the reason many of us watch the show is because we see little pieces of each character’s flaws in ourselves and we all want to learn and grow from experiences, even if they are not our own. We have all been LOST. Now it’s time to be found…by ourselves.

Sunday…The End!

A Means To An End

May 12, 2010

Before tonight’s episode began, I jotted down a few things that I was hoping to maybe learn a little more about. My notes included the island’s origin, Egyptians and Tawaret (statue), brothers and bad twin, rules of the game, Adam and Eve, and corruption versus goodness of humanity. Well, in true LOST fashion, they left a lot open for interpretation, gave us new questions that I don’t think will ever be answered, and only answered a couple of questions. Did I like it? Yes. Could it have been a hell of a lot better? I’m undecided right now. This show is more a sum of its parts to me and this episode was a means to an end.

BIB (Baby in Black)

The episode started pretty strong with a young pregnant woman named Claudia making her way to shore and into the jungle after a shipwreck. We’re not made aware of the year, but it feels like a VERY long time ago. A mysterious unnamed woman I’ll call “Mother” finds her and helps her to her camp to treat her wounds and tells her that she got to the island by accident just like Claudia did. Claudia then goes into labor and Jacob is born and swaddled in a white blanket. Moments later, she delivers a second child, but hadn’t selected a second name so didn’t know what to call him. I’ll call him Baby in Black (BIB) because he is conveniently swaddled in a black blanket. As Claudia is recovering, she asks to see the children and Mother takes a rock and kills her by crushing her skull. I have a feeling these kids are going to have quite the interesting life ahead of them.

KIB Finds A Game

For the record, KIB means Kid in Black. Why can’t they just give him a name? Frustrating! Anyway, KIB finds a game on the beach. The game is called Senet and it may be the oldest board game known to man. It dates back to ancient Egyptian times and due to the elements of luck combined with the Egyptian belief in determinism (fate), it was believed that a successful player was under the protection of the gods. As a result, Senet boards or game pieces were often placed in graves along with other objects for the dangerous journey through the afterlife. I thought this was pretty interesting seeing as how Jacob eventually buries the bodies of Mother and MIB along with the white and black pieces (stones) from the game, which Jack still has (as far as we know).

Bad Twin?

I have to admit that the MIB didn’t seem to be all that evil as a kid. Sure, he kept secrets from the woman he thought was his mother (finding the game) and he often dreamed that there was something more than what was on the island, but wasn’t his imagination being stifled by his mother and wasn’t she lying to him? Also, the ghost of his real mother appeared to him for a reason. She showed him the truth and helped him understand where he originally came from. He believed there was something “across the sea” and he was right. Shouldn’t he have been allowed to go if he wanted to? Perhaps if we had been given some solid or reasonable explanation by Mother, her actions would make more sense. She is as “evil” as the MIB is based on her actions in this episode.

If The Light Goes Out Here, It’ll Go Out Everywhere

We’ve all seen stories and real-life examples of how man’s quest for power (and winning) can destroy things as big as entire civilizations and as small as a “friendly” board game. The light in the cave of water symbolized power and when it is obtained for the wrong reasons, it can only create negativity. As we witnessed, MIB was killed in the light and darkness was unleashed in the form of the smoke monster that retained his form and his memories. Now the only thing keeping that darkness from leaving the Island and shutting out the light in the rest of the world is Jacob’s replacement.

Redemption or Revenge?

Mother attacks MIB in the well with the (unfrozen) donkey wheel after he explains to her how he’s going to leave the island with the assistance of the greedy, selfish, untrustworthy villagers. She deceives him, yet again, by embracing him and allowing him to cry on her shoulders as if they are resolving years of friction, and then she shoves him against the wall knocking him out. After that, she carries him out, buries the well beneath dirt and rocks, and somehow kills all the villagers while burning their town. So…when MIB wakes up and sees all of this, he becomes enraged, destroys her camp, and waits for her to return so he can sneak up behind her and stab her with the now infamous dagger. She killed his mother, lied to him all those years and now destroyed his dream of going across the sea, but he still wept while she lay there dying. All that and in her last words after he asks why she wouldn’t let him leave, she says, “Because I love you. Thank you.” It was almost as if she wanted him to kill her.

Even when Jacob sees him standing over Mother, MIB tries to explain his actions by saying that she was crazy and “burned them all”. He’s trying to rationalize and justify his actions and some of us viewers are left struggling with why what he did was so bad. When it looks like Jacob is going to kill MIB next, he makes a choice to not kill him and instead sends MIB into the glowing water cave and here’s Smokey! Mother had explained earlier when she passed her protector duties on to Jacob with a drink of wine that he should never go in there because it would be worse than death. Well MIBs body died, but now he is trapped on the Island forever, unless he can find a loophole.

Adam and Eve

I’m still wondering if Jack still has those stones. I have mentioned them in many previous blogs and I don’t think they’ll be brought to light again, but I’m satisfied with the identities of the skeletons, even though we don’t know what their friggin’ names are.

The Young Boy In The Jungle

We now know for sure that the boy we’ve seen a few times running around the jungle taunting unLocke is young Jacob. I have to say that I’m really not sure what to make of Jacob. He’s actually very simple-minded and naïve. It’s almost as if Mother’s manipulation of him as a child formed his lifelong beliefs of protecting the Island. He doesn’t share her belief in the corruption of humanity though. He believes that there is good in everyone and it was actually MIB who shared her belief that “They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.”

Why No Definitive Answers

I know I probably sound like I think I know it all or something, but I actually think I understand why the writers are portraying things the way they are and not answering everything definitively. We (as viewers) are in the same position as the characters on the island have always been. What do we believe? Can we really make our own choices or are we destined to some pre-determined fate? Can we blindly believe in something we don’t understand simply because we have faith that we’re doing it for the greater good? What if we’re wrong? The writers really can’t give us the answers anymore than Jacob can tell people what they should or shouldn’t do. If they end the series with a definitive answer to life’s basic question of fate versus free will, they would be accused of establishing a new cult or religion. I think they are going to leave that and other questions a bit open-ended while focusing on the changes within each individual character. Isn’t that really why most of us fell in love with this show in the first place? We, as fans, will have to demonstrate a bit of Negative Capability in order to fully embrace the conclusion of this brilliant series.

Next week’s episode is titled “What They Died For”. This title makes a lot more sense after the recent deaths of Sayid, Jin, and Sun. It’s the penultimate episode before LOST weekend begins.

We Did Exactly What He Wanted

May 5, 2010

I’m quite certain that there were many tears shed during tonight’s episode and I imagine that the emotional highs and lows will continue as we view these final three episodes. There was so much straight forward action in this episode that I feel a recap is more appropriate than a deep philosophical analysis.
Let’s get right to it.

Do you ever feel like you’re running around in circles?

After Sawyer provides some humor by disarming the “dough boy”, Widmore threatens to kill Kate (who is NOT on the list) and our heroes find themselves back in the cages at the Hydra station just like in Season Three. While Sawyer and Kate experience some déjà vu in the cages, Jack wakes up in the outrigger and finds himself on the shores of Hydra Island with unLocke and Sayid. UnLocke explains that they are here to rescue Jack’s people, so that they can all leave the island together. When Jack tells unLocke that they are not his people and that he doesn’t want to leave, unLocke says that he hopes he changes his mind and tries to convince Jack that he should trust him because he could kill them all, but he hasn’t. As we come to find out later in the episode, he can’t kill them because it’s against the rules to kill a candidate. He can kill Kate though and I thought for sure he’d use her as leverage to get Jack to leave. I still believe that Jack will be faced with the decision of saving Kate or sacrificing her…maybe in the finale.

I’m Not Meant To Go

Sayid cuts the power to the pylons, which allows unLocke as Smokey to wreak some havoc on Widmore’s men. Jack frees everyone from the cages and Sawyer thanks him for coming back, but Jack makes sure they realize he’s only there to help them leave and that he’s not meant to go. The group heads to the Ajira plane where bulletproof unLocke takes out a couple of guards, steals a watch, and disconnects some C-4 that Widmore had rigged to the overhead bins of the plane. He decides it’s not safe to try the plane and that they should take the sub instead. There is a brief mention of Alpert who set out with Ben and Miles to blow up the plane and sub, but all they say is “Screw Alpert”.

4 Minute Warning

Sawyer privately asks Jack to help get everyone on the sub and to keep unLocke off because he doesn’t trust him. Jack agrees and shoves unLocke into the water off the dock, but when Kate is shot by Widmore’s men while boarding the sub, Jack has to help her get in. Claire and unLocke are the only two left on the dock and now Mr. Bulletproof is using Widmore’s men for target practice. Sawyer comes up to get Claire, but he makes the choice of leaving her because he doesn’t want to risk having unLocke get on board too. They quickly dive while Lapidus has the sub captain by gunpoint and Claire is left on the dock watching her “friends” leave her again. UnLocke comforts her by simply saying, “You don’t want to be on that sub.” He secretly stashed the C-4 in Jack’s backpack with the watch he stole as a timer. When Jack tries to retrieve some first aid materials from his backpack he finds the bomb instead and the countdown is just under 4-minutes.

Nothing’s Going To Happen

As Sayid examines the bomb, everyone is in a panic except for Jack who realizes that this was exactly what unLocke wanted all along. He wanted to get all of them in an enclosed space and leverage their emotions against each other. Jack tries to tell everyone that unLocke can’t kill them and that nothing’s going to happen as long as they leave it alone. Jack explains that since unLocke can’t kill them, he’s trying to get them to kill each other. Sawyer does not want to hear any of it and when Jack says, “Trust me. We are going to be okay”, Sawyer replies, “Sorry Doc, I don’t.”

Desmond is Alive and (in the) Well

Sawyer’s emotions get the best of him and he detaches a couple of wires that seemingly stop the countdown, but then it starts again and is even more rapid than before. Sayid then proves that he is just like Anakin and that there is still good in him. He grabs the bomb and tells Jack that Desmond is trapped in the well and that he’s going to need him. Jack asks him why as Sayid starts running away with the bomb and he replies, “It’s going to be you.” He quickly gets through a couple of doors and the bomb goes off, blowing a hole in the side of the sub. Sayid dies a hero and just like Charlie he manages to deliver an important message before he dies (that Desmond is alive in a well on the island). I imagine that “it’s going to be you” means that Jack is the replacement for Jacob.

I Will Never Leave You Again

Soon after the sub starts to sink, water is flooding everything and Lapidus is seemingly killed when a door blows open and knocks him on his back. Meanwhile, Sun is trapped behind a heavy cabinet and some steel that bent to trap her against the wall. Kate is hurting from the wound and Jack hands Hurley some oxygen and tells him to help her escape. Jack, Sawyer, and Jin all try to free Sun, but even once they move the cabinet, they can’t pry her free from the steel. Then Sawyer gets hit in the head by a pipe and is knocked unconscious. Jin convinces Jack to leave with Sawyer and the other oxygen tank while he stays behind to try and free Sun. She protests and wants him to go, but he just keeps repeating that he won’t leave her and that he loves her. They hold each other as the familiar “Life and Death” music composed by Michael Giacchino plays in the background and as the sub sinks deeper in the ocean, a close up shows their hands grasping each other and then slowly drift apart as they drown.

Finish What I Started

Hurley, Kate, Jack, and a still unconscious Sawyer reach the beach and their emotions overwhelm them as they realize what has happened. Meanwhile, back at the dock, unLocke tells Claire that the sub sunk. She is dumbfounded and asks if they’re all dead to which he replies, “Not all of them.” As he leaves, she asks where he is going and he simply says, “To finish what I started.”

You Can Let It Go

In the sideways timeline, Locke wakes up in the hospital and Jack says he’s going to be okay, but also tells him that he’s a candidate for a new surgical procedure that can help him walk again. Very interesting words used since the episode is called “The Candidate” and we all assumed that we’d be talking about the person that replaces Jacob. Anyway, Locke politely rejects the offer. Jack protests and says, “I can fix you.” Locke repeats, “No thank you” and we come to find out later on that he doesn’t feel he deserves to be fixed because he was piloting a small plane when it crashed and ended up crippling his father, Anthony Cooper, who seems to be in an almost vegetative state. Before Jack discovers any of this, he does some research trying to find out how Locke came to be paralyzed.

This leads Jack to Bernard Nadler, the dentist and husband or Rose Nadler, who jokingly tells Jack that he remembers him from Oceanic Flight 815 because Jack was flirting with his wife. Bernard gave Anthony Cooper’s information to Jack and that’s how Jack was able to see what happened to him. In the final scene between Jack and Locke at the hospital, Locke becomes very emotional while telling Jack what happened. Jack reminds Locke that he told him that his father was gone and he returned the favor by expressing that Anthony Cooper was also basically gone and that Locke can’t bring him back (fix things) by punishing himself. Jack tries to convince Locke that he has to “let it go” and that while he has trouble letting things go himself, he thought that maybe Locke could go first. Locke says goodbye and as he rolls away, Jack says, “I can help you. I wish you believed me.” The last words definitely made Locke pause for a moment.

I Wish You Had Believed Me

You may remember that we first saw these words back when Jack read the note that Locke had put in the envelope for Jack to read after his death. It was at that time that Jack finally started to believe and we heard these words spoken a couple of times tonight as well. Locke mumbled a couple of things in his sleep like, “Push the button” and “I wish you had believed me.” These were both sure signs that he is having some memories of the island as well now. There should be no doubt that island-Jack is a true believer now.

Catch a Falling Star

I’m not quite sure what the purpose was for the awkward scene between Jack and Claire at the hospital. Jack eats an Apollo bar and Claire wants to know why Christian, whom she never even met in the sideways timeline, wanted her to have the music box so badly. The music box plays the song, “Catch a Falling Star”, which has been referenced in Claire stories since Season One, so maybe it was just another reference to that and a way to set up the fact that she’ll be staying with Jack at his place now.

Next week’s episode is titled “Across The Sea” (Two players. Two sides. One is light. One is dark). Finally, the Jacob and MIB back-story we’ve been waiting for.

After that, we’ll see “What They Died For”; the penultimate episode before LOST weekend begins. The finale (The End) is now scheduled to run 2.5 hours from 9 to 11:30 because so much material has been shot and they just couldn’t cut it down. Yes!