Sunday, June 01, 2008

There's No Show Like Lost

Well, the Lost season finale was just like this whole season has been: a totally mixed bag of WTFs?, absolute crap and really excellent stuff. Before the show I accidentally on purpose read a spoiler at The Fuselage which said that Locke was in the coffin. Guess it was correct. *pulls a face* And that's part of the reason I think this show has, or may be about to jump the shark.

Bring Locke back to the island? Dead? As in "Weekend with Bernie 2: The Return of Locke"? At least it was convenient that bearded-drugged-up-Jack was suddenly driving a hearse-like station wagon to the funeral parlour... IF resurrection is in the cards, as in Locke will come back to life, then this show has jumped several sharks imo. Over and over again tptb have said that "dead means dead", because otherwise the stakes and the drama is diminshed. Which I agree with. And I hope they do still. I think the "best" we can hope for is a Locke-ghost/apparition/wth ever in the style of Christian and Yemi. Or hey! more time travel shenanigans and then they go back in time and Locke's not even dead! Or he's reincarnated in some new child. Yeah. Not so much. Hopefully.

Best things about the ep:
  • Sawyer calling Jack "Sundance", which I guess makes him Butch Cassidy. ;) (Those two are still my favourite couple, wish they'd get more screen time together).
  • Claire visiting Aaron. I thought for a moment she'd go all "Ring" on Kate!
  • The whispers returning with Alpert's band of merry men and women.
  • Hurley challenging Jack about whether Locke moved the island. As in "Dude, you bonehead, you just saw the frikking island move!" Denial is not just a river in Egypt after all...
  • Charlotte and Miles. I'm really starting to LOVE Miles. "Yes, what do I mean?" Brilliant. And Miles permanent bitchface is also starting to grow on me. Guess I might look pissy too if I talked to dead people a lot. Charlotte is probably a Dharma-kid. She's also the worst liar ever. Second to Hurley, maybe.
  • Walt. Though why the hell he didn't ask about Vincent, I don't know. Maybe because Vincent has been written out due to excessive dog biscuit demands? I don't know.
  • Sun. Grieving and screaming Sun is great. But bad-ass Sun is awesome. I can't wait to see what she's up to with Widmore.
  • Penny and Desmond. Now that's a love story I care about, as opposed to the contrived and annoying "triangle".

But manoman, there were so many contrived scenes in this finale. One of my eyes is still lodged in the back of head I think due to all the eyerolling.

Holy contrived situations Batman!
  • Keamy taking his death-defying armour OFF while bragging about how it saved his life when Alpert shot him.
  • Keamy taunting Ben and for some reason thinking that Ben would care about the people on the freighter? The man didn't even come out of the house to save his daughter fercrissakes!
  • The hole in the fuel tank. I was shocked. Shocked I tell you. All to get Sawyer to jump off the helicopter. And make a big exit scene with kiss and whispered words to Kate, even though at that point in the story he should have expected them to just come back to the island with the freighter and pick him up! More interesting would have been a scene with Sawyer clamering out of the helicopter to stop the leak with his toe.
  • Kate trying to go down to the C4-room to pick up Jin. Why exactly? He's in a room with a bomb, and Kate is supposed to enlighten him that that's a bad idea? No, just a set up so we can see Jack tell Kate that he won't leave without her.
  • Cooling the battery to prevent the explosion. Hoookay. Well, at least it's convenient to give us a more dramatic scene with Michael and Jin talking about fatherhood. (Christian appearing to tell Michael he could "go" was excellent though.)

While the coffin-scene was well-done, I felt let down that this season ended pretty much the same as last season: we've had a glimpse of the future/now with Locke off the island, dead and "bad things" happening on the island. But we don't know how all that went down. So we'll get to see it in FBs/whatever next season. And Ben telling Jack that they ALL have to go back. Just like Jack told Kate last season, pretty much. I think the writers like the urgency and mystery a future-reveal injected in the show this season, so they'll use the same storytelling device again.

Actors for teh win!
It struck me while I watched the finale that this show is often saved by its awesome characters and awesome acting. The writing occasionally lags behind though. I love (or love to hate) and care about all the characters and enjoy every one's performance (except Kate when she cries... yikes, don't let her do that... her whole face is covered with the fake-tear stuff and imo Evangeline doesn't cry well). But hell, the stuff the actors have to work with sometimes is weak. Take the scene with Locke and Jack. A complete rehash of every other convo those two have had since the show started. "This island's great! Let's stay!" "No it sucks. We're going." *sigh* And Locke hasn't even told Jack that he used to be in a wheelchair! Come on! Tell him already! And he didn't tell Jack he was about to move the island. That stuff was maybe mysterious and stuff in season 1 and 2, but now, seeing it again for the umpteenth time? Not so great. Even though Fox and TOQ act the hell out of it.

Jack, Jack, Jack...
And now to Jack. I know a lot of people hate Jack. I think he's a great character. Sure, I'd want to punch him a lot were he real and I was around him, but come on! he's a pretty original character. Some people seem to think we're supposed to love Jack and think he's the hero of the story. I don't think that's true. He has NEVER been written as a hero, unless it's a very very flawed one. He tries so hard to help others and fix things, yet he is arrogant, narrow-minded and bossy and jealous and self-destructive to a t. That's the way he's been portrayed throughout the show. He was wrong about the freighties, he was wrong about Locke moving the island, he was wrong about leaving, he was wrong about so many things over and over. I'm telling you, we are supposed to be annoyed by him! But I am also intrigued. Because unlike Sawyer, who is written as the roguish Han-Solo type, Jack has not changed over the course of the show. Sawyer has gone from selfish and self-serving, through murder of an innocent man to murder of Locke's dad, to a place where he is heroic and brave and selfless. Jack is still the same hard-nosed, perfectionist, bossy, self-destructive jerk he was when he landed on the island. My bet is that the last two seasons is when we finally get to see jack go through his character arc and redeem himself and change, just like Jin and Sawyer and Charlie did for example. And I am dying for more Jack/Sawyer scenes! They have a total buddy-movie chemistry happening and I love it.

Frozen Donkey Ba... I mean Wheel
I'm going on and on I know. As for Ben moving the island... As anyone who listens to Damon and Carlton's podcasts knows, the code name for the "game changing scene" in season one (when the others take Walt) was "the bagel" (codenamed so people wouldn't know what it was about). S2 had "the challah". Last season's was "the snake in the mailbox". This season? "Frozen donkey wheel". Which is exactly what we saw Ben turn. Not sure if that merits a laugh or an eyeroll. Probably both.

Hope springs eternal
I really hope Jin and his abs are somehow alive though where he'd be (on island or off?) is a mystery. Supposedly there are rumours that Jin will be back. But then the guy who plays him was nabbed for DUI in Hawaii, and judging by what’s happened to such offenders in the cast before... he’s most likely a goner. I also wonder what happened to Faraday on the raft when the island disappeared... though he prolly went with the island. After all, they will need a physicist to explain all the techy-stuff on the show now I guess. What I don’t know is how they’ll get Kate to go back, especially if she has to bring Aaron. Unless someone kidnaps him or tries to kill him or something. Taking a child back to that island? Err? Bad parenting man! Or maybe Aaron will ask to be taken back there himself. Which would be freaky. And shark-jumping. But still kind of cool actually... I just can’t think that they’ll want to include a toddler in the cast. A baby stays still a lot and can be treated more or less as a prop, not so a toddler. My guess: Aaron will disappear somehow, whether it is to a babysitter or the island takes him or whatever... I doubt we’ll see much of him in S5.

And regardless what I rant and rave about when it comes to this show, I know I’ll keep watching it until the end. After all, that’s the only way to find out what the Smoke Monster really is, and why children can’t be born on the island and WTF is that island anyway? Really? So yea, I’m a slave to the myth and the tech and WTF-ness of Lost and shall remain so for 2 more seasons.

For next season I want lots of Miles, Charlotte and Faraday. Also I'm hoping that Lapidus the helicopter pilot comes back and teams up with Sawyer, because those two had some awesome instant chemistry. Like a gnarly father/son team. And more Sayid of course. Always more Sayid... and more Desmond hopefully. Wherever he went to with Penny. We will always need more Desmond. See you in another season, brutha.

Screencap of the awesome moment when Desmond finally sees Penny again, from the S4 Finale "There's No Place Like Home", thanks to lost-media.

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