Wednesday, May 26, 2010
LOST Series Finale - REVIEW (Spoiler Alert!)
SPOILER ALERT: I WILL BE DISCUSSING WHAT HAPPENED. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW, READ SOMETHING ELSE I'VE REVIEWED!
As expected... questions were answered. Plenty of questions. But, unsurprisingly, plenty were left unanswered.
I'm not even going to sum up the actual events themselves that happened in the finale since you're either reading this because you've seen it and want my opinion or you're never gonna see it. If you're never gonna see it because you've stopped or won't start, Lost isn't a show you can explain to a non-viewer without looking like a crazy person and making them even more disinterested in the show.
Anyway, I'll try talk about the island events first and then the flash-sideways events and try not to go back and forth too much... I might end up just writing my stream of consciousness.
I gotta say, from the beginning of the show, I never really liked Jack. In fact, I grew to despise him over the years to the point that I was surprised that I enjoyed watching Matthew Fox (Jack) in his movie, Vantage Point with Forrest Whitaker. Through the years I felt you had to be either a Locke fan or a Jack fan. Almost like choosing sides when really they were both the good guys to a certain extent while there were bad guys elsewhere. I think Terry O'Quinn (Locke) is such a good actor and the character of Locke was so well written that I just felt drawn to him. I liked his belief system. Those of having a purpose, a destiny, faith. He immediately was drawn to the island and was at home. I didn't like Jack on the other hand because he was almost opposite. A man of science that wants nothing to do with the island. He just wants to go home. I probably wouldn't be able to understand a viewer not at least preferring one guy to the other. Anyway, I digress. I should have left that for my complete series review later on. I'll probably paste it in anyway... What I was getting at was that in season 6, especially toward the end I came to like Jack's character again. Looking back, the easiest way to explain it, and you'll understand if you've seen season 6, is that he has become more like Locke was before his death. He was accepting of his 'destiny', he began to feel that connection to the island and understood that he was there for a reason. That for me culminated with him telling the smoke monster that "Locke was right about everything, I just wish he was still alive to tell him". I loved that.
Because of what the flash-sideways turned out to be, you could almost rate this finale as two episodes. One brought to end the story on the island and the other brought to end the season long alternate universe story. From the island side, I really liked it. It was an interesting choice of characters that got to leave the island. Kate got what she came for, Claire, which sets up the mother reunites with daughter happy ending. Even if the mother is a little nuts. I'm a big fan of Sawyer and whether you hated him at the start I think most people liked him and I think he deserved to get off after all the crap he'd been through. I didn't really care much about Lipidis and Miles leaving but I thought it was a nice touch letting Richard off the island since he was no longer immortal after Jacob died. He had that great line, "I just realised I wanna live".
I must admit, I had really low expectations as to what the hell the 'light' at the heart of the island was going to be. Mostly because I didn't have the imagination to dream up something cool so I just thought I'd be let down. When revealed, I didn't mind the whole 'stone pillar' thing that Desmond pulled out of the ground, while it would be easy to pick at it, I just took it for what it was meant to be... Something that turns the light off, destroys the island and makes Smokey human again. After years of one guy's theory being wrong and another guy's theory being right on various things, it was good to see Jack and Smokey both right and wrong about what happens when the light goes out.
Then the final battle... considering Jack was human, it was fitting that it came down to a fist fight instead of Smokey just exploding when the light went out. That would have been too easy. My favourite part of the fight was when Jack tracked him down at the edge of the cliff and yells out "LOCKE!" and there is the wide angle of the two of them on this cliff followed by them running toward eachother and right before the commercial break, Jack jumps in the air with his legs split like Michael Jordan and arm cocked back ready to lay the smackdown on Smokey. That was cool. Then they fought for a bit, Jack was stabbed and also had his neck sliced a little (explaining the bleeding in the flash-sideways yet not really making sense as to why) and finally Kate smoked Smokey. "I saved a bullet for you". I really wish Sawyer shot Smokey. Kate started off the show as a bad-ass but got too 'damsel in distress' as the year's went on. Nobody could have delivered that line like James Ford could have. After they said their goodbyes I thought the scene at the light where Jack passes on the job of island protecter to Hurley was great. Probably Hugo's best acting. I must admit, had me a little choked up. For me, I thought the conversation Ben and Hurley had after they rescued Desmond was pretty important because lets be honest, what the hell do you do on an island with no bad guy to protect the light from? Ben's pep talk was great. Hurley was the leader now. He can run the island like he wants to. 'Nobody can leave the island' was one of Jacob's rules. It was also a nice touch that Ben got to be the number 2. A job he once had, but never really had.
The flash-sideways... Purgatory? I'm gonna go with purgatory. But I'll get back to that in a minute. For most of the season, the writers had us thinking that this was just some kind of universe that showed us what life would have been like had not only the plane not crashed but also Jacob and the island not come into play. It wasn't as simple as the plane just not crashing because the bomb they set off also affected other characters lives. The most obvious ones were that Desmond never crashed his yacht on the island and Daniel faraday wasn't pushed into a life of science by his mum because she wasn't gearing him up to go to the island. Then toward the end of the season, they started to have these visions or memories of their life on the island. It wasn't clear to us exactly what they thought they were, but I thought they'd be under the impression it was another life and they'd embrace those memories. In hindsight, after the church scene I realised that when Desmond and Hurley had helped people have their 'awakening', it seemed as though they knew they were dead and that in fact they were in some sort of purgatory. Other than Jack, not too many people seemed that upset about it. Anyway, some viewers may not have liked that Jack's dad had to spell it out for him, as if to say that the audience was too dumb to figure it out, but it actually makes sense that Jack would need it explained because he is this man of science that doesn't hold much belief in these things. So anyway, if you buy the purgatory theory, great, they all go to heaven, happy ending and it closes with island Jack dying in the bamboo field watching that Ajira plane fly away. I liked it.
Something you might consider to be a hole in the purgatory theory. Hurley, Ben, Kate, Claire, Aaron, Desmond, Penny, Rose, Bernard and maybe some others I've forgotten, aren't actually dead yet. Explanation, Jack's dad says that "Some died before you, some long after you" to which Jack replies "but why are they all here, now?"... "There is no now, here." I think that kind of says that this state of purgatory is timeless. They're all meeting here after death. Remember Hurley's conversation with Ben, "By the way, you were a really good number 2"... "and you were a great number 1, Hurley." To us, on island time, Ben and Hurley are just beginning this journey but in purgatory they're dead and thats all in the past.
I do have a few bones to pick though... Christian tells Jack that "these are the people that were important to you on the island" (or something like that). Does that make this Jack's purgatory? Why the hell was Penny there? She was never on the island. Did they even meet? Where was their son Charlie? All this back story about Sayid and his true love Nadia, yet he ends up spending eternity with Shannon? Didn't they have, like, one picnic together?
Despite the holes, I still think everything wrapped up well enough. I'm willing to forget all the unanswered 'island' questions because I think, even though sometimes it wasn't obvious, this show was about the characters. Not about the island. They all had their stories told, you got that connection with them and watched most of them die... The 'lets all move on to heaven now' storyline was perfect because these characters you've grown to love have moved on to a 'better' place and has you feeling better about them all. As a little side note, it was good that Ben chose to remain in purgatory because he still had some repenting to do. Wasn't quite ready for heaven.
I thoroughly enjoyed my LOST experience, but this leaves us with just one more question... Will there ever be a show like this again?