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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

TV Watch: Lost, What They Died For

Well, let's just get right to it then.

The Good
This episode probably had me more excited about the LA X world than most, and I'm hoping that whatever Desmond pulls off will be truly explosive for the finale (honestly, I'm half expecting a bomb to go off). The scene where Desmond beats the hell out of Ben to remind him who is was relatively awesome.

I'm rather liking Ben in general, actually. On the island, it is very tough to tell if he is just being his old manipulative self or if he has some long con for redemption. In LA X, his potential hookup with Danielle is both touching and mildly creepy. Ben's a complicated guy.

The Kinda Good
There were some sideways explanations here - which is I suppose better than no explanation at all, even though we are almost at the finish line. Is the pregnancy issue tied to the importance Jacob puts on someone being a mother? Are the powers of Jacob and Not Jacob actually tied to conversation, and that's why Not Jacob went ahead and just offed Zoe? It will be annoying if some of this isn't more fleshed out in the finale, especially the pregnancy thing which has been so core to the show - but I'm pretty much braced that we're not going to get a real good definition of the "sickness" at this point.

The Not So Good
The whole "why they died" speech and Jack getting promoted to protector gets lumped into what is a series of anticlimactic explanations which have been put out this season. Considering what has happened to these characters over the last few years, one might think they would have a more heated Q & A with the entity most directly responsible for it. That the island and the candidates "needed each other" fits well into what we know, but why Jacob had to do it by crashing a plane (killing a bunch of people), the actions of The Others, why it took so long to reveal the idea of "candidacy", etc. - nobody asks? I guess Kate kinda did, but who is listening to her anymore...

And Jack actually getting the promotion was about as exciting as, well, watching a normal person get a promotion. He was the obvious choice and the entirely scene seemed most ceremonial, even plot-wise. Maybe this all gets more detailed in the finale, but it seems like a small prize tied to a very long string at the moment.

I did like the "just a name in chalk" bit. Sometimes a cigar smoking chimp is just a cigar smoking chimp, people.

The Outright Bad
Ben and Widmore really deserved more air time. Well, more specifically - we deserved more air time to explain what has been going on with these two characters. Why do the rules apply to them? OK, I still don't know why the rules apply to anyone or anything, but the power dynamic between Widmore and Ben is the untold story of the island from the military, to DHARMA to The Others. And to have it seem that Widmore is suddenly good because he and Jacob had an offscreen chat is just downright annoying.

And if Richard is dead and does not make an appearance during the finale I will throw a chair in the general direction of Carlton Cuse. Not anything against him over Damon or anything, but I do believe he is taller and therefore easier to hit when throwing a chair several thousand miles.

Bottom Line
We are in the eleventh hour and I think we're about where most fans expected: the story is coherent (good), they don't have time to really reveal everything (bad), but all in all we should have one thing to comfort us:

I don't think there has been a bad Lost finale yet, and I honestly suspect this one will be the best of the lot.

If you can watch it out without a mental checklist of things left unexplained - it will probably be awesome. If the last episode was bringing the story to a simmer - we're certainly at a full boil by now. I think we're done moving the pieces on the chess board ... it is time to throw down.

My long shot guesses? SmokeLocke is throwing Desmond down Ye Old Tunnel Of Light. Or trying to do so. Also, my money is on the LA X world surviving, especially with the current kill rate on the island ... or by bringing LA X down there will be a chance of some kind of reunion.

Also for the last scene? Jack and something that appears to be Locke on the beach.


Steve said...

Random thoughts:


How it ends: I will say that right now I feel like we're going to get some sense of conclusion out of all of this. I mean there's a huge amount of loose ends we're never going to get an answer to. But the broad sense of why were they brought there and what the result of that was is getting dealt with.

I was right: I did call that the glowing vagina metaphor is protected from view and only the guardian can find it. Jack is now the guardian so he can find it. Though I have to say, I find this all a bit anti-climactic. This was telegraphed at the light house and it's like, yeah yeah, he's the chose one, can we get to the smite fest now? :)

Moebius: So, in the "right" timeline, all of the people brought to the Island were potentially good people living otherwise shitty unfulfilled lives. In the "wrong" timeline they all live relatively fulfilled lives. So it would seem that the existence of the Island's power set up a destiny situation where all of the candidate's lives sucked ass and were thus candidates for Jacob. The Island's a bit of a dick really :)

On your kinda good: You're overanalyzing :). Zoe wasn't important so Locke offed her. On the pregnancy, Jacob was just trying to be decent and not burden a mom/child with that responsibility.

The sickness: yeah not going to get anything there.

The widmore/ben throwdown: It seems like they were proxies for the SmokeLocke/Jacob battle outside of the island. But that's only a very vague sense of things and I do suspect this may not get explained very well in the few hours they have left.

Quoting you:

"If you can watch it out without a mental checklist of things left unexplained - it will probably be awesome"

Good because i've forgotten half the shit they should have explained by now, so I'll enjoy the hell out of it :). I suspect I'll never know why Sayid was killing somebody on a golf course, but oh well :)

So, now my prediction on how this ends. First of all we can safely say it's going to heavily involve the glowing vagina metaphor. I see three ways this plays out. I'm sure I could think of a million more but these seem the most likely:

1) Somebody other than Desmond enters the cave, likely Jack, and becomes something that can fight Locke directly. I see this as the least likely because it's been well established that going into the cave is bad for you. However, I leave it out as a possibility because the cave does have life and death going on, so it could create a white smoke monster or some such.

2) Desmond enters the cave version 1, as a climax to the end of the show and effectively neturalizes the whole situation. Light goes out but doesn't smite everybody. SmokeLocke goes away. The world is back in order and the Island is just another Island.

3) This is what I see as the most likely scenario. Desmond enters the cave but this time it would happen earlier in the show. In this version he becomes unstuck in time. Then he will be actively working in multiple timelines trying to shut this whole thing down. Specifically I expect that he'll appear back in the time where Jacob is about to throw future SmokeLocke into the cave and will talk Jacob down. Jacob will give his brother a right proper burial, the island and it's power will continue to exist, and the immediate threat will be gone.

Curious to find out though :)

Steve said...

Oh and one more followup thought on my #3 ending. The benefit of this approach is that if he's going through time it will set up a lot of opportunity to go through the whole time line of the show and sort out a lot of the little mysteries.

Josh said...

Well three would be interesting, but if handled poorly could lead to a bit of a Dallas ending :) Course LA X opens up such a possibility on its own.

So we know the Donkey Wheel tapped into The Light, and when turned it would release some of the power. Last time it was turned, the island moved and people started popping around time.

Wheel was there because being too close The Light is bad. Desmond, though, being the ultimate stopgap, is "immune to the unique electro... ", whatever. He can touch The Light.

Smokey seems to think that will destroy the island (assuming that is his plan) and, well, he's probably the closest thing to an expert we have. My guess is "destroy" may mean "removed from reality."

My guess is that the protector makes certain rules, and the island makes sure they happen. Remove the island, remove the rules. I'm hoping the finale will explain that at least a little better.

I still think LA X will survive because it is the only way to give half the cast a proper send off at this point (love always wins or some such).

OR something akin to your description of Demond's role in reversing Jacob's original mistake - and reality resets to some LA X / life less crappy hybrid.

Steve said...

Yeah I only see two ways to deal with Locke at this point. One is that they figure out a way to fight him, but given the rules of the game that prevent anybody from harming each other, it's not clear how that would play out. Though if that was all put in place by the guardian, presumably Jack can now CTRL+Z that.

The other is that the timeline is modified to prevent Locke from ever happening in the first place. Basically it's the nuclear bomb scenario but gone far enough back in the timeline to genuinely fix the problem rather than simply fragmenting the timeline.

Josh said...

Yeah it occurs to me that it can't be even remotely as simple as "the protector makes the rules", because if that were true Jacob could have a rule that Smokey was in fact a chicken long ago.