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Friday, May 30, 2008

TV Watch: Lost, There's No Place Like Home (Parts 2 & 3)

There be spoilers here.

I think we can uniformly declare this season a triumph. Last season was something of a mess of subplots and the character development felt slow and clumsy. This season we've had mostly tight writing which actually feels like it's going somewhere and the flash forwards have managed to build on the characters in a meaningful way.

Even more than that - previous gambles by the writers like keeping Ben (he was originally slotted as an incidental character) have paid off quite well.

This two hour finale was, as expected, largely finishing touches to all the arcs we've been seeing with the closing gap between the flash forwards and time on the Island. This is all fine with me and they left us some fairly tasty morsels as well. Locke's assumption of power, while expected, is made even more interesting with the twist at the end, his use of an alias, etc. Jin and Michael got a great sendoff and I think we can expect to see them again in the Obi Wan Club along with Christian Shepherd and the gang. Does that include Claire, btw? I'm still at a lost as to whether she is dead or just kidnapped.

The island's "move" turned out way more interesting at the very end than I would have expected. Did it strike anyone else of having a certain spaceship kind of quality? While I've been going on and on about the Island being a kind of godlike character, the writers could easily be invoking that old Asimov "technology looks like magic" philosophy as well.

That's right people, I'm calling it right now. The Island? It's The Heart Of Gold. The Improbability Drive explains everything.

Now while the twist was neat and all, I'm a bit reluctant to get excited about a main theme for next season being "getting the band back together." Sure, Jack has a hard road ahead and all - but he's never exactly been my favorite character. Way more interested in seeing the closing acts between Widmore, Ben and the Island. I am a little confused as to why Locke wasn't provided the same protection as Ben though...

Great finale, though, and glad to be excited about the show again.


sterno said...

I've got all kinds of questions after that episode:

1) Why did Locke leave the island and, oh yeah, btw, WHY IS HE DEAD? :)

2) With the island disappearance, what happened to all the people who did get off the boat, and what happened to Faraday and the last load of evacuees

3) Jack mentioned going to the other island. What the hell happened to the other island? This suggests to me that the island is kind of it's own dimension that peaks through into our world in some fashion. So the "other" island is part of the island's dimension. This would also explain why, if you don't exit the island in just the right manner you get all messed up. It also opens up the question of where you can go off the island but still remain within it's dimension.

4) Faraday clearly knew what was about to happen and said that if they didn't get off, they never would. But obviously somebody was able to get off the island (Locke). I'm guessing though that he did that by moving the island as Ben did.

Tons of other questions, but that's a start :). Overall a great episode though I was totally confused when they kept referring to somebody I'd never heard of. I thought I'd missed an episode or something :)

sterno said...

Oh and one thing to consider about next season is that it may not quite be up to the point of getting the band back together just yet. Keep in mind that there's a lot of time that's passed between getting off the island and the scene with Jack drugged up and Locke dead.

Next season, it seems to me, will be focussed on the reign of Locke, what happens on the island that's so horrible, and what it has to do with Jack. Whatever happens must be pretty bad because it turns Jack into total self-destruct mode.

Very curious...

No one in particular said...

I can't wait to see what they do with Locke. The pseudonym he was using says something. Jeremy Bentham was a professor at a university (I can't remember if it's Cambridge or Oxford) and left his body to the school in his will. They have him taxidermed, and they wheel him in to every board meeting.

Regarding the other island, I would bet they're not completely separate. It looks like it disappeared as well, and there were dharma stations there also. If you'd like a geologic explanation it could be that the two share the same root but don't extend above the water as one mass.

People have always been able to get off the island. Alpert could come and go, and they had the sub. I think the concern might not be ever being able to get off the island, but the effects of going through the shift. This episode didn't include the whole Orchid station training video, but they do talk about both a physical and temporal shift. Don't forget that Ben was found in his parka in the desert three years in the future.

Josh said...

1) We get the impression Ben had a life outside the island, so that's not too odd ... but him turning up dead seems really odd in light of the conversations Ben and Widmore have had. I would guess that uou're right, we're going to get a lot of the "bad stuff" that happens next season, and that might explain why Locke no longer had the protection Ben has enjoyed.

2) Faraday will become a Lostie next year, I think. We still have big gaps in his character. I'm guessing we'll have full blown flashbacks for him, Miles and Char.

3) I think the bit of conversation with the pilot suggest the little island fled with the big one.

4) This is an odd one - but I think Faraday might have thought the mercs were still going to raze the place completely.

@no one in particular: the taxidermy bit is interesting, yes? We could be in for some Weekend At Bernie's style hilarity with Jack and Locke...

It will be interesting to see if they flesh out the role of death in the story better. Are these ghosts we see, echoes of people that the Island project or displacements in time? Did Ben mean to take Locke back literally, in the flesh ... or something else?

sterno said...

I just realized a fascinating parallel. The survivors who returned originally ended up on the island flying with jack's dad in a coffin. It would seem that in order to return they have to fly again but this time with locke in the coffin.

So a couple things to conclude:

1) Locke may be "dead", but is probably still inhabiting the island as jack's dad is.

2) It suggests that Jack's dad was on the island and perhaps even in charge of the island in the past. That perhaps his fathering Jack and all of that happened after he got off the island in some fashion. That maybe his fall into alcoholism was the result of similar circumstances as Jack.

Josh said...

A few points to support that:

Christian has been seen with a lot of the Losties. Perhaps simply being around him means that they get drawn into his destiny. People who haven't have other connections to the Island (in particular, Locke and Hurley).

"Jacob" seems to have chosen him as some kind of emissary/messenger. That can't be a coincidence, especially considering that he didn't die on the island.

It could explain why Jack is the "other leader" even though he never shows any faith in the Island.

Josh said...

Wait, here's a HUGE point to add:

We never found Christian Shepherd's corpse, right? So maybe The Island can revive the dead?

sterno said...

Yeah the island could probably pull that off, but I get the sense it's more of a hostly spirit type thing (Mr. Ecko, amongst others).

Okay this got my mind spinning again on to a few more questions:

1) Overall the island seems to be beneficial to various ailments and possibly death. However, at the same time, it's lethal to women giving birth. Why?

2) I'm still not clear on why they were concerned with kidnapping children and Walt specifically. Clearly Walt has later value to them as a hostage, but it didn't seem like that was the original intent of it.

Jeffool said...

Remember Nikki and Paulo? Remember what happened to them? Now, think Locke...

Josh said...

*shiver* ... to think Nikki and Pool Boy might be relevant ....

But it is an easier thing to swallow than a zombie Locke.