WTF was that?
The Lost season finale was a boon to one subset of fans: those really, really curious about whether Kate was in love with Jack. For everyone else, it was at best a nod and wave goodbye from the characters people have watched for six years.
For anyone hoping for a decent conclusion to the storyline, though: you were out of luck.
I'm going to save the LA X stuff until the end - because it really was somewhat meaningless based on Christian's final speech. Emotional? Yes. But meaningless.
Obviously massive spoilers follow. Pretty much a blow by blow.
If you remove the LA X portions, you aren't left with much and most of it doesn't make any real sense. And I don't mean "doesn't make any real sense" as in "they didn't fully explain X was Y" I mean "doesn't make any real sense" like the way old bad television serials are put together.
We start with Sawyer inexplicably, but conveniently, figuring out that SmokeLocke needs Desmond - even though Widmore really described Desmond as a "failsafe". In one of those mystical Lost moments, Sawyer manages to run to point A on the island, have a conversation with someone, and get back to point B while another group was making their way to point C.
Remember back in like Season Two when everyone was trying to figure out how The Others got around the island so fast and easy? Simple: it's called convenient writing. For those scoring at home, convenient writing is not good writing.
Jack, having been at this protector thing for all of about ten minutes, decides the best thing to do is ... whatever SmokeLocke wants to do. So they lower Desmond into the light, where he sees some kind of underground temple with the skeletons of other people who went to the light, but did not become Smoke Monsters but perhaps died in some slave labor effort to build this undergrou...
Wait. What? What the... underground temple? OK, so Desmond has a "immunity to the unique electro..." whatever, we know he won't die. Who the hell is down in the crazy light building temples? Find out next time on Lost? Uh, no. Ignore the fact that Mother Dearest suggested anyone going near the light would suffer a fate worse than death - which would seem to make construction pretty hard, why exactly would "life, death and rebirth" need a sun pool? The entire underground temple was nothing but a place for Desmond and Jack to futz around - making no sense whatever with anything we've shown before.
So after Desmond pulls the plug, the island starts to self-destruct. In frustration with his poor job performance, Jack starts to beat Locke to death. And he can, because SmokeLocke is now corporeal. Why? Don't ask! Seriously! Why are you asking questions? What show do you think this is after all?
SmokeLocke beats Jack unconscious with a rock and runs away to his secret boat. While Jack naps, a tree falls on Ben who then explains his escape plan while he has nothing better to do. Jack wakes back up to nothing but mud and rain ... and still manages to hunt down SmokeLocke before he can get away. How? Don't ask! What the hell is with all these questions? The island did it, ok?
SmokeLocke beats Jack with a knife, but then Kate shoots him! How did she know where they were? Or manage to get there in time while she was helping save Ben? Who knows! Why would you still care? She got a funny line! Go Kate!
As soon as SmokeLocke is fatally wounded by a commercial break, the rain stops (Why? Seriously stop with the questions). Also, Ben is saved. Yay! Jack, Hurley and Ben run off to fix that thing that we don't even know what is while everyone else escapes.
Jack saves Desmond, plugs island, dies. Hurley and Ben don't. Everyone else gets off the island.
Then there was a puppy. Yay! Puppy!
And that was a wrap, people. Did you expect some great reveal when Desmond went to the light? Yeah, sorry. Or some great climatic battle between SmokeLocke and everyone else? Uh, no. Not really. Or maybe some really great ending to this whole candidate thing? Happens off screen between Hurley and Ben. Maybe they would have showed it - but they really, really had a lot of ads to get through.
Look, I had lowered my bar considerably for the finale. I didn't expect any complicated solution which explain everything ... or even most things. I expected one more layer of the onion pulled back which just brought everything together: the rules, the candidates, the island, etc. Leave some of it to faith, fine, but at least put a bow on it. At least try to tie things into a knot. The on-island events of the finale were a complete mess and simply not good writing. As someone who thought that bouncing theories around and paying attention to detail was part of what made this show great - it became quite clear that the producers did not have any great story arc. The island was the distraction, the show was really just playing around with the backstories.
Here is the great failure of the finale: you would enjoy the show more the less attention you paid. The message was: don't ask questions - just watch love conquer all and be happy about it.
So yeah, on LA X: so instead of an alternate reality, LA X was just a waiting room for some of the people on the island after they died. They might not be dead yet during the main story, but that doesn't matter. Which is why the LA X events are completely meaningless - they aren't actually related to the story. LA X was all epilogue, from the very beginning, and very strange structure wise since you haven't actually finished telling the story. At best you could say "Jacob did everything he did so that the gang could go to heaven" - which, fine, whatever. Except that it doesn't fit anything else from the rest of the show.
When I said that I thought LA X would survive so that the writers could have an out for a happy ending - I had no idea how far they would take it. This ending was pure fan service, watching characters fall back in love and leave in a warm white light. It demonstrates none of the aspects that made the first season great - including reasonable character development. Many fans probably enjoyed watching what amounted to a clip show followed by a curtain call ... but that doesn't make it good storytelling. The story deserved more.
OK, this has been too long as it is. Honestly, this episode and the show doesn't get any better if you try to analyze it. It only gets worse.
I still enjoyed the show in general, but I mark this finale my least favorite of any show I've watched.
Monday, May 24, 2010