Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lost - Season Finale

Watching Lost is an exercise in patience that – so far – rewards loyalty with blow out episodes like last night.

While it’s not on par with the Season 3 finale of Jack yelling to Kate that ‘We have to go back!!’ which turned the entire show upside down and inside out (Frankly, what could match that? I still consider that one of the best season finales in television history), last night’s episode certainly kicked some ass, added to the Lost mythology and raised yet another series of questions while stirring in more mind bending confusion.

While that’s all well and good, the reason Lost continues to grab and keep our attention is the characters and our emotional investment in each of them. I even felt for Ben last night when he pleads for an answer to his ‘What about me?’

Heartbreak certainly seemed to be the theme last night, causing many of the characters into decisions they may not have made otherwise. I’ll hit on those during the recap.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

For the last time this year (how sad is that?), we all know the drill.

Read no further if you haven’t watched.

What Happened

A hell of a lot, actually. Rather than get bogged down in the details, let’s sum things up by running down how our Lost friends fared and the introduction of the chess master himself, Jacob.

Jacob: Yeah, never seen him before. He may have been in some of the flashback episodes, but I don’t remember him. One thing’s for sure, if he wasn’t in Lost before now the producers will be busy digitally inserting him on the DVDs.

Anyway, we meet Jacob in some dimly lit dwelling making his contribution to the AIDS quilt or a sweater or something before hanging out at the beach watching a ship passing by (visiting the island?). Another bearded dude shows up for everyday small talk like ‘Do you know how much I want to kill you?’ and ‘I’m sure you brought them here’ (referring to the ship) before sulking off. He isn’t given a name in the episode, so I’ll refer to him as Mr. Sunshine for all the cheer and goodwill he spreads.

Two notes here. 1: Anyone else think Jacob was Charlie when they first showed him? I was so excited for a few moments. 2: That boat passing by sure looked like the boat Richard Alpert was making last week. You know the one in the bottle? Was that the boat that initially brought The Ageless Wonder to the island?

While we have never met Jacob, our Oceanic 815 people sure have. Jacob shows up to help Kate as a little girl get out of a shoplifting dilemma (What was on that lunchbox? Anyone catch that?), visits Sawyer during his mother and father’s funeral, attends Jin and Sun’s wedding and wishes them well in perfect Korean while not even staying to enjoy the open bar, seemingly brings Locke back to life after he is thrown from an eighth floor window (the ‘accident’ that left him paralyzed), prevents Sayid from getting run down by the same car that kills his wife by pretending to need directions, helps Jack get candy from a vending machine which was nice, and shares a cab with Hurley.

While Jacob seems to be everywhere, never ages and in complete control, even he has his problems.

John Locke: And this would be one of them. During the hike to Jacob’s house, Locke spends a majority of his time provoking Ben; instigating him with comments like ‘All this time on the island and your reward is getting to watch your daughter die. Why wouldn’t you want to kill Jacob?’. Granted, that’s a legitimate argument and certainly sets the emotional stage for what happens later.

Let’s return to Locke near the end.

Kate, Sawyer, Juliette: They make their escape from the departing sub when Kate tells them about Jack’s master plan to detonate a Hydrogen bomb. Sawyer, initially reluctant, is spurred on by Juliette to return and stop the bomb from going off. Gotta admit, I felt for Juliette as she turned to watch the sub disappear. Another opportunity for her to leave the island missed.

Upon return to the island they run into none other than…

Rose and Bernard: Rose greets them with an ‘Oh, shit’ look on her face and an even more distasteful ‘They found us’ alert to Bernard. Turns out they decided to just camp out in the woods and stay out of the entire, messy Lost fiasco. ’30 years in the past and you still want to go around shooting each other,’ Rose says in disbelief.

It’s during this meeting that Juliette catches Sawyer looking at Kate in a way she doesn’t like at all. Heartbreak #2 stage is set.

Jack and Sayid: After removing the core of the hydrogen bomb, Richard helps them find a way out, then tells them ‘It’s all you from now on’. They attempt to escape Dharmaville, but a gun fight breaks out and Sayid is shot. Badly. Fortunately….

Jin, Hurley, PAD: Show up in a Dharma-mobile and help them escape. Jack tells Hurley to head for the Swan. On the way there they meet resistance from…

Kate, Sawyer, and Juliette: Jack and Sawyer have a sit down (‘Just five minutes,’ Sawyer asks, ‘You owe me at least that much’) where Jack admits that losing Kate is his motivating factor for wanting to prevent Oceanic 815 from crashing. ‘I had her and I lost her’. His reasoning being he would rather have never known her than go through the heartbreak of losing her. There’s that word again. Sawyer, ever the realist, points out ‘Doc, she’s right over there. You want her, then go get her’. Have to agree with Sawyer on this one, Jack. Kind of a wuss move to wipe out never want to meet someone as smoking hot as Kate just because it didn’t work out. Man up, you big baby.

Jack is still adamant about dropping the bomb and he and Sawyer get into THE most over due fist fight of all time. Both taking out the aggression and frustration over their past differences in a very man like manner. Juliette, however, interferes and tells Sawyer ‘Jack’s right. We need to blow it up.’

Sawyer, understandably confused, demands to know why Juliette has changed her mind. She confesses that he caught him looking at Kate. Sawyer counters with ‘I don’t care who I was looking at, I know who I love’. Good for him.

While we’re here, a special shout out to Juliette’s mother who planted the demented and illogical reasoning that just because two people love each other doesn’t mean they should be together. Way to emotionally damage your daughter and ruin any chance at a meaningful relationship she would ever have.

By the way, that’s officially the second open confession of heartbreak dictating someone’s behavior. Juliette and Jack are both ready to vaporize themselves because they’re weepy inside.

So where are we?

Kate, Jack, Sawyer, PAD, Hurley, Juliette, Sayid: All are united on a mission to destroy the hatch before it can crash Oceanic 815. At least they’re all working towards a common goal for once. Sayid is bleeding to death, Jack and Sawyer are beaten up, Kate obviously wants to tell Jack she still loves him and manages to do so the only way she knows how – by shooting people and blowing up a 200 megaton bomb. She’s such a romantic.

Sayid has rigged the bomb to detonate upon impact which must have been tricky as his hands were probably all slippery with blood. Once the drilling by that douche Radzinski starts going bad, Jack and company shoot their way to the hole and Jack drops in the bomb after everyone takes one last loving look at one another.

Everyone cringes…and…..

Nothing. The bomb never goes off. Instead metal comes flying from every direction, gets sucked into the drill hole, nearly takes off Dr Chang’s arm (who is saved by his son from the future – paradox alert!), and kills Phil the Weasel in the most satisfying death in Lost history.

Unfortunately, it also sucks in Juliette who is wrapped in metal chains. Sawyer – ever the macho man – grabs a hold and tries to pull her out. Kate tries to help, but it’s no use as Juliette can’t hold on and plummets into the Swan hole. Didn’t see that coming.

Special note to the Lost actors: Fantastic job by all of you. Sawyer’s despair, Jack and Kate’s unspoken (but so wanting to speak it) love for each other, Ben’s anger, and especially Locke who is changed, menacing and creepy even while maintaining his innate Locke-ness. Great work all around.

But wait, there is another group we need to catch up on.

Shadow of the Statue Group: Ilana (sp?) and her band of grumpy men are hauling a metal crate through the jungle. They befriend Pilot Frank and show him the surprise in the box. I immediately thought ‘hmmm, another hydrogen bomb, by any chance?’

Boy was I wrong.

They trek through the jungle, find Jacob’s cabin (??) Ilana says ‘Someone else has been using it’, notices a break in the ashes surrounding it and decides to burn the thing to the ground.

In a fantastic bit of timing, they catch up to Locke and Alpert’s group to dump out it’s contents onto the beach: Locke’s dead body. I know!!!

John Locke: Back to Locke again. Only he’s not really Locke. We can assume he’s some form of Mr. Sunshine reincarnated or the spirit of Locke with much of Mr. Sunshine thrown in to make things more interesting. We know it’s Mr. Sunshine because Jacob looks at him, looks at Ben and says to him ‘Looks like you found your loophole’ which refers back to the opening scene and Jacob’s reply to Sunshine’s friendly ‘You know how much I want to kill you’ chit chat.

Ben, for his part, finally gets to meet Jacob and wonders why he had to wait so long. Why he wasn’t deemed important enough to merit a Jacob sit down? Hurt, he explicitly asks ‘What about me?’

Jacob coldly eyes Ben and replies ‘What about you?’

In the third behavior defined by heartbreak, Ben stabs Jacob repeatedly. Talk about a crime of passion. Before he dies however, Jacob tells pseudo Locke ‘They’re coming’. Pseudo Locke appears alarmed by this news, but not enough to make sure he finishes Jacob off by shoving him into the fire. Ouch.

Juliette: Why are we back to a dead Juliette? Why it’s because she’s not dead, yet. She awakes with a bloody cough and finds herself next to Jughead’s brain. In one last attempt to get the thing to go off, she starts hammering at it with a rock. On her third strike…

…white screen.

Oh no!!!

LOST shows up on screen while I scream ‘NOOOOOOOO!!!’

What We Learned

- I know absolutely nothing.

- Jacob has had contact with Hurley, Jack, Locke (the real one), Sayid, Kate, Sun, Jin and Sawyer. Interestingly, not all the contact occurred before the Oceanic 815 flight. Sayid and Hurley didn’t meet Jacob until after they left the island. I don’t know if that’s important, but I think it is.

- Jacob and Mr. Sunshine don’t get along real well.

- Kate was a criminal from a very early age.

- Jack likes chocolate.

- Locke really is dead. Maybe. Or not. He could be party alive, but possessed.

- Juliette should never have come to the island.

- Chang loses the use of his arm during The Incident.

- Jacob is what lies in the shadow of the statue. Most likely in a newly knitted, form fitting, self made sweater.

- Rose and Bernard are the only well adjusted people on this show. And they took good care of Walt’s dog.

- Sawyer fights dirty. That shot to Jack’s crotch will be felt for generations.

- Jack does love Kate. Kate does love Jack. Sawyer may love Kate, but definitely loves Juliette. Juliette loves Sawyer, but is so messed up by her stupid mother doesn’t know how to deal with it.

- Lost can’t afford realistic looking submarines.

- Mother Faraday (Eloise) was the leader of The Others and not Widmore. Verrrrry interesting.

- Jacob somehow marked all the people he came in contact with: Touched Kate’s nose, handed Jack his candy bar, gave Hurley the guitar case he brought back to the island, handed Sawyer the pen to write his letter, touched Sayid on the shoulder which prevented him from following his soon to be ex-wife into the street to get run down by a car, wished Sun and Jin well at their wedding (Anyone remember if he touched them? Think he touched both of them on their shoulders, right? Shook hands?) and appeared to bring Locke back to life after his 8 story fall. Physical contact seems to be the common denominator.

- When everyone works together, they can accomplish anything. Except getting a hyper sensitive H-Bomb to go off.

- Ben lies. It’s what he does.

- He’s also bitter about how Jacob treated him.

- Richard doesn’t age because of something Jacob did to him. Considering Richard wears makeup, I’m guessing we may have a ‘Brokeback Mountain’ scenario to deal with next season. Brokeback Island?

New Questions

Man, where do we begin….

- Who – or what – is Jacob? Why did he select the Oceanic people and what are they being selected for?

- Did Juliette manage to set off the bomb? Or was everyone white flashied back to the present? Or was it simply the original Incident occurring while she lay dying at the bottom of the drilling site?

- If she did set it off, is that a good thing or bad thing? In other words, did setting off the bomb actually trigger The Incident, make building the Swan a necessity, make Desmond push the button, make Oceanic 815 crash, etc.

Or, did setting off the bomb ‘course correct’ something so the Oceanic 815 never crashed and the future has changed in which case why are we even having this conversation?

- On a related note, if they managed to set off the bomb and change the future will all my Lost entries disappear? That would be a pity.

- Where can I get a Drive Shaft ring?

- How does Jacob keep his beard looking so neat? Think he has one of those beard trimming things with the built in light?

- Who is Mr. Sunshine and why can’t he kill Jacob himself? He even had to use Ben as his murdering tool (pun intended as Ben is kind of a tool) instead of doing it himself.

- Is it even possible to kill Jacob? I mean, if his beard can stay perfect for centuries it must take more than a few stab wounds to off him, wouldn’t you think?

- If it is possible, do you think Jacob intentionally got himself killed by provoking Ben? Sort of like Obi Wan in Star Wars? Now that he’s dead he’s even more powerful?

- If the H-Bomb did go off, does it kill everyone on the island? I would think yes, but remember the end of season 2 where Desmond blew the hatch and we thought Locke, Charlie, Ekko and Desmond were dust only to have them fully intact (except for Desmond’s clothes) the next season?

Fun Fact: That season 2 finale where Michael betrays Jack, Hurley, Kate and Sawyer and Desmond blows up the hatch was titled ‘Live Together, Die Alone’ which is exactly what Juliette says to Sawyer before they attack the still-being-built Swan station. Ironically, she does die alone. Maybe.

- What’s in Hurley’s guitar case? Figured it was Charlie’s, but it was left for him in the cab by Jacob.

- Who are the Shadow of the Statue group? Ilana knew Jacob from before. We see her all bandaged up in a hospital and when he sits down she says ‘It’s good to see you’. Is Ilana part of some original island tribe that never ages and asks cryptic questions?

- And what happened to Ilana’s face that she was bandaged up that severely? Looked extremely painful.

- What did Jacob mean by ‘They are coming’? Was he referring to the crew led by Ilana? Or – as I suspect – was he actually referring to Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Sayid, Kate, Sun, Jin and Locke (even though he’s officially dead)? Are the ones he visited and ‘touched’ some elite army he has hand picked to fight some holy war?

- Was Mr. Sunshine (or his spirit) being held captive in Jacob’s cabin? I’m thinking the circle of ashes was a kind of spell meant to keep him in the confines of that area. That it’s now broken means he can move about as he pleases.

- Also, if that was the case, was the figure Locke saw in the cabin not really Jacob? Could it have been Mr. Sunshine using Locke to finally escape his prison to take control of the island and kill Jacob? That would explain that ‘Help Me’ Locke heard while things were thrown around.

- One final thought: How do we know who to root for? Is Jacob the good guy? Or maybe Mr. Sunshine wants to kill Jacob because Jacob is evil and kicks puppies around for amusement or doesn’t wipe down his gym equipment.

- Are all of these questions going to be answered in only 18 hours? Because that is all we have left of this Lost epic, my friends.

With sadness we have to wait until next season.

Today's distraction: Some random notes to make you think. The 'Friends don't let you do stupid things' really speaks to me.


thepowerof10 said...

Shit, I forgot today was Thursday before I clicked on your link. Oh well, at least this is the last of your posts ABC will steal from us for a while.

A Tribute: deer a train and basketball said...

That episode was ridiculous. I'm pretty sure when Lost popped up on the screen I yelled Motherfucker.