I find the viewing experience of LOST as we close down the show, and subsequently my thought process as I put together these blog posts, to be quite different than what it was like a season, two seasons, or however long ago. The constant mystery and speculation continues to disappear more and more with each passing week. It used to be you would have a million unanswered questions to wonder about, and we could go on and on trying to figure out what's going on, what does this mean, what does that mean, why does that bird know Hurley's name. It's just in the show's nature to be mysterious, complicated, and answers are usually only given once the entire picture has been painted. But it's different now. And it's not a bad thing, if anything it's a good thing because it means we're getting closure, but it definitely changes how one thinks about the show week to week. We're not left with week after week of 'WTF' cliffhanger moments. Instead, we're really just seeing the story laid out before us, and have to deal with the consequence of only being able to see the story 42 minutes at a time. I think it's definitely changed what I focus on each week. Before, I would just be asking question after question after question, excited that we had all these possible directions to go, wondering about every little unanswered thing. Now, we still have some unanswered questions, but they're much fewer and far between, and instead we have to focus on the story at hand, and think about what that means for the final ending of the show.
The Nemesis is a bad, bad man.
As has been said all season, the Nemesis is a man that deals in deception, manipulation, and corruption. His only goal is to get off the island, and he will say, promise, or do anything to anyone to make that happen. He successfully manipulated Locke in order to become him. He then used Locke to manipulate Ben into killing Jacob. He manipulated Sawyer, Claire, Sayid, even Jack, into going along with what he wanted. All the while he did this by promising to get them off the island, but making it clear that everyone had to go together. Now, I don't think any of us actually expected that to be true, but we still didn't know exactly what the Nemesis' plan was, although there was certainly some speculation as to his motivation. And if you had 'The Nemesis needs all of the Candidates dead in order to leave the island', then give yourself a pat on the back. The cat's out of the bag, his purpose is exposed for all to see. Whether he needs every one on the island dead is still unknown (but mostly irrelevant, since if he needs to it would just be a matter of time while he hunts everyone down), but what we can now confirm is that he needs each and every remaining Candidate dead. The caveat, though, is that he can't kill any of them. If you're not a Candidate? Fine, no problem, he will kill you, and quickly. But Jack, Sayid, Hurley, Sawyer, and the Kwons, can't do it. It's against the rules. But they can die. Similar to Jacob, the Nemesis just needed to find someone else to do it for him.
Well, he was somewhat successful in his plot, but he faces a bit of a problem now. He still has Hurley, Jack, and Sawyer to deal with, and they're probably all a little pissed off, and very aware of his intentions. So while they may have suspiciously gone along with what he wanted before, even though they didn't necessarily trust him, now he's shown his hand, and none of them are going to even remotely go along with anything he wants. The Nemesis wants to finish what he started, but he's going to need some kind of leverage to get it done. If you've tried to kill someone, and they now know that you tried to kill them, how are you supposed to convince them to put themselves into another situation where they have the opportunity to die again? All that power and influence that the Nemesis had is gone. He undoubtedly has another trick up his sleeve, but I would say Jack & Co. have all the control right now.
Was this a Martin Scorsese directed episode?
Killing off all those characters in the span of ten minutes made me feel like I was watching The Departed
. It didn't really hit me until everyone made it to the beach and came to terms with what happened, but what a heart-wrenching way to end the episode. We had three
deaths involving characters that have been with the show since Day 1, and another character that was at the very least promoted to the main cast this year even if he wasn't the most significant of people. One thing LOST is fairly consistent about is having people die after they've reached some kind of epiphany, or resolution, in their life. With Boone, he reached a point in his life where he was able to be content with his relationship with Shannon. With Eko, he was able to confront his brother Yemi, and come to terms with why his life played out the way that it did, and was not sorry for 'saving' his brother's life as a child. Charlie was able to redeem himself, doing something heroic, to try and save everyone else, before he died. It's not a set rule, and not everyone has had that sort of redemption before they died, but it's definitely a recurring theme.
This week was no different. Sayid, who was infected and joined Locke's cause, was compared to Darth Vader by Hurley last week. It turned out to be an appropriate comparison, as Vader was a man that worked for evil, but ultimately still had some good in him, which he was finally able to show when he saved Luke's life by killing the Emperor and sacrificing himself in the process. Vader originally turned to the dark side so that he would always be able to be with the love of his life. Sayid joined the Nemesis under the promise of being able to be with Nadia again, even if it meant joining the side of evil. But ultimately Sayid sacrificed himself to save everyone else. It was his redeeming moment, even though it meant not getting to see Nadia again. With Sun & Jin, it wasn't a moment of redemption, as much as it was a sign of their story reaching a resolution of sorts. Ever since the freighter, they have been apart, and once they discovered that the other one was still alive, they've been spending all of their time trying to come together once again. We finally saw the long-awaited reunion last week, and usually that's a bad sign in terms of your longevity on the show. I remember how concerned I was for Sawyer after he killed Locke's father, as that was his only real true purpose in his life, and once that was done, I figured he was a prime candidate for death, but he managed to avoid that fate. With Jin & Sun, there story has always been one of separation and reunion. It's fittingly tragic that they were able to reunite one last time before having to come to terms with their deaths. As for Lapidus, well, I'll call it karma for trying to kick down the door to his cage. You want to kick down the door? Now the door will kick you down.
I guess many of us have gone into this season expecting there to be some major character deaths, because it is the end of the show, there's no reason to hold back. It definitely doesn't make it any easier to accept. And to just knock them all off like that one after the other...brutal.
The Flash Sideways are still a mystery.
We had a very surprising lack of Desmond in the flash sideways world this week. For someone who seems to be so important he was noticeably absent in both storylines. I had thought that the way this was all going to come together was going to involve a mass meeting at the hospital (Jack, Locke, Sun, Jin, Sawyer, Miles, Claire), but apparently that's not exactly where they're headed. We've seen Desmond try and 'reconnect' people with the other world. Charlie showed it to Desmond, and Desmond showed it to Hurley. Desmond then hit Locke with his car, and while some people thought that he was trying to reconnect Locke by putting him in a near death experience, I wasn't so sure that was the case. Basically, I don't think that Desmond is trying to show everyone, because I don't think everyone matters. I think when it came to Locke, Desmond wanted to use him to get to someone else, that someone else being Jack. This was also his approach with Claire. He 'accidentally' ran into her on purpose, but he didn't do so to make her see the other world, he ran into her so that he could reunite her with Jack. Jack has run into Desmond, he's run into Locke, he's run into Claire, he's run into Bernard. All people from Oceanic Flight 815. He hasn't made the realization yet, but he knows there's something very strange about all of these people from the same flight from Sydney showing up in his life.
So we know that Hurley matters, and we know that Jack matters. Will Desmond try and show up in someone else's life? Sawyer, perhaps? He's the only other surviving candidate. And if he doesn't, does that mean Sawyer's not long for our world? And of course, the question that we know is not going to be answered until the finale, what does the sideways world have to do with the Nemesis, the Island, and our other timeline?
Let's get to some quick hits:
-Sorry, I'm going to nitpick for a bit, something I generally try and avoid, but Jin & Sun were my favorite characters once upon a time, so I was a little disappointed with how their reunion was handled. Now, I get that Jin & Sun just aren't the enjoyable, intriguing characters that they once were in the first two seasons. As I mentioned earlier, they've largely just been used as side characters, given a singular goal of trying to reunite with each other. I didn't expect their reunion to have the same effect on everyone that, say, their reunion in Season 2 after Jin came back from the raft. But, I knew that they were still able to give us a good, touching scene between the two, because we saw that in the flash sideways in Sun's hotel room. The one time we really get to see the best of the two of them is when they are together, sharing a moment. The rest of the time, they are quiet, and relatively isolated from everyone else, because that's just who they are. It's their culture, and it is only enhanced by the fact that everyone else is basically either American, living in America, or can and has been speaking fluent English for a long time. While Sun can speak English, it's not her primary language, and she's very much a Korean at heart, as is Jin. So they were always somewhat isolated from the rest of the group, and when they had to be somewhere by themselves, you just weren't going to get a lot of emotion from them. But this week, I thought the writers really missed an opportunity when Jin & Sun were in the cage together, talking about Ji Yeon. Having them converse in English really ruined what should have been a special moment for me. I'm a little conflicted, because looking back this was literally the only time we ever saw them have a conversation together in English, aside from the few brief lines last week. But at the same time, it just didn't feel as genuine, or heartfelt, as it would have been if they had been speaking in their native Korean. Like I said, it's nitpicking, but I do wish they would have given me that last great moment between the two of them.
-I'm still undecided regarding my feelings on Jin choosing to die with Sun rather than trying to live to be with their daughter. On one hand, it would be better for Ji Yeon to at least have one of her parents growing up than neither of them, but on the other hand, I can certainly understand the bond between Jin & Sun, and the idea of losing her, and not being with her again, compared to the idea of a bond with a daughter he's never even met and hadn't even seen a picture of before two days ago. I feel like he sort of wasted his life, but at the same time, I kind of understand why he did it. And then, way in the back of my head, where all my crazy theories lie, I wonder if Ji Yeon will still yet end up playing a role on the show (We never did find out which Kwon was a Candidate).
-I think the next time we see Miles he should be wearing a bright red shirt. Seriously, Sayid, Lapidus, Jin, and Sun all dead? Let's look at our remaining major characters, shall we? Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Hurley, Claire, Ben, Richard...and Miles. Can anyone tell me which person doesn't belong?
-Did Charles Widmore hire this guy to be one of his scientists?
Those bamboo stairs outside the plane were AWESOME. If I ever live in a house with a staircase, I am totally replacing them with bamboo stairs.
-I was sad at the lack of fish biscuits. It would have been so easy to get one too with all those people in the cage to help Sawyer!
-When Sawyer laid out his brilliant plan to infiltrate the sub, I thought he was doing his Jack Bauer impression. Only he clearly sucks at it, because watching him try and disarm that bomb was an epic failure. I knew Jack Bauer. Jack Bauer was a friend of mine. Sawyer, you're no Jack Bauer.
-I couldn't have been the only person to cheer when Kate got shot, right? But of course, because we had a bunch of dumbass scientists with guns instead of mercenaries, she only got shot in the shoulder and will probably survive. Le sigh. You could have just left her behind Hurley, no one would have thought any less of you. On the bright side, we know now for sure that she's expendable, so there's still hope.
-See Jack, here's the problem. Last time you wanted to put everyone in a situation that threatened their lives by letting a bomb explode, not only did what you thought would happen not happen, but the love of Sawyer's life, Juliet, died as a result. So when you put Sawyer in a similar situation by telling him to let the timer on a bomb count down to zero and telling him to trust you and that nothing will happen, I can't say I blame Sawyer for being a little hesitant about wanting to jump on board with your latest crazy plan.
-Jack and Sawyer are cool now, right? Jack inadvertently caused Juliet to die, Sawyer inadvertently caused Jin, Sun, Sayid, and Lapidus to die. I think we can all stop with the animosity and go back to being friends now, right?
-It was subtle, but I really liked seeing Hurley cry on the beach. He tends to be the comedic relief, so you don't get a lot of emotional scenes with him, but that was a really good one, in a sad kind of way of course.
-Hey Widmore, all of your people suck at not dying, and none of your plans are working. I must say, I'm incredibly disappointed with your efforts at doing whatever it is you're trying to do. Get it together man.
-I know it's not the same Anthony Cooper, but I really didn't feel sorry for the fact that he's stuck in a vegetative state. If that makes me a bad person, oh well.
-Great interactions between Jack and Locke in the flash sideways, exactly what you'd expect in scenes between those two. We saw more bleed over from the other world when Locke was unconscious talking about pushing the button, and wishing Jack had believed him. Jack even repeated the same line to Locke later on. Jack's not quite there, but he's getting close.
-Interesting last line from Sayid. Aside from confirming for us that he did not actually shoot Desmond, he told Jack "Because it's going to be you Jack" when he asked Sayid why he was telling him all of this. Hmm.
Okay, that's all I've got for this week. I was expecting a shorter write-up, but apparently it didn't work out that way. I'm very geeked for next week's episode, which looks to be a Jacob/Nemesis-centric episode, and I've been eagerly anticipating it since I found out what it would be from Michael Emerson a couple months ago. On the Chronologically LOST
front, you'll see that I still haven't posted anything to the site, although I'm working on an FAQ post for some regular questions I've been getting about the project, so I hope to have that up sooner rather than later. The project itself is coming along, I'm in the midst of working on the last major phase of the project. First part was getting every LOST episode ripped and encoded so that they were all ready to be used. Second part was going through each episode on a season-by-season basis and cutting up every flashback, flashforward, and flash sideways, and organizing them in chronological order. Now, the last phase is integrating all of the seasons into one master timeline, and making sure audio/video transitions are smooth, as well as dealing with any potential split screen sequences that pop up. That's what I'm working on right now. I think things are progressing nicely, and I'm still planning on kicking things off shortly after the show ends. I'll see you all next week, thanks for reading.