Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Keeping the Faith

When a show has been on the air for six seasons like Lost has, it’s inevitable that there will be a few episodes that just flat-out disappoint you. I don’t know about the rest of you, but last week’s episode, “Across the Sea,” was exactly that kind of episode for me. I even tweeted that I considered it “The Midichlorian Episode.”

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have regularly compared the audience’s demand for answers to all the various mysteries of Lost to the midichlorians of Star Wars. For those who still have no idea what I’m talking about, in the 1999 Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace, George Lucas came up with a extraordinarily lame explanation for what “The Force” is and how it works. Their point was that they could give you answers to all of the Lost mysteries, but you probably wouldn’t like them and the questions are more fun than the answers anyway.

So with last week’s episode, depicting the origins of Jacob and the Man in Black, I felt that the show crossed over into the territory of trying too hard to come up with answers that weren’t really necessary. Some of it was cool, but a lot if just didn’t work for me (the faux-mythic melodrama, the occasionally cheesy effects). It almost felt like a bonus episode that you would find later on the DVD. I was perfectly content with the information that we got from “Ab Eterno,” where Jacob explained to Richard that the Island was a cork. I also didn’t like the placement of the episode. We’re really at the end of the show now. Smokey/Fake Locke is waging war on the candidates and has killed half of them and so now we’re going to take a time out for an Island history lesson? It really disrupted the momentum of the show. We’ve been told all along that the focus of the show is the characters, not the mythology, and this episode, coming so close to the end, contradicted that.

But I’m not writing to just dump on the show I love. And I genuinely do love this show, even if this final season has occasionally left me frustrated. I knew going into this season that I had to let go of my expectations and let the producers tell the story they want to tell. I’ve listened to a couple of podcasts this week where the Lindelof and Cuse have discussed the polarizing response to “Across the Sea.” They’re general response is that they were pleased with the episode and that “this is what answers look like on Lost.” So I’m choosing to trust these guys and trust that there is a reason why they wanted to tell this part of the story at this point in time. There are only three and a half hours left in this story, and I want to enjoy them to the fullest. I’m still invested in Jack and Kate and Sawyer and Hurley and everyone else who’s left, and I want to know what happens! I still have faith that these last few hours will be thrilling, satisfying, and yes, probably a little perplexing too.  I can’t wait.  What are your thoughts on this season as we reach the end?  What questions do you still want answered?


  1. QUESTIONS and PREDICTIONS and RAMBLINGS before the last two episodes:

    1. The island is the Garden of Eden. Just different from what we grew up thinking it was.

    2. Why is Charles Whitmore so mad at the island/Mib? His wife's death was not due to smokey so why is he so obsessed with destroying it.

    3. The finale has to address why they were brought to the island- I think it is going to be partly to find a candidate and partly to make them "better people" in the world due to their unLOCKEd potential.

    4. What happens when you roll a dead corpse into the light river which made the Mib into what he is...could it bring someone back from the dead like Locke?

    5. If Jacob's ghost or what not is still around the island, then so must their mother- I won't be surprised if Allison Janney makes another appearance. Maybe she will keep the Mib from leaving the island like a Mother Earth/Gaia sort of thing.

    6. The alternate universe shows us how worse off the people are had they never gone to the island so the island makes them better (Sawyer seems to be doing alright in the alternate Universe but clearly Jack and Kate and even Hurley are better off having been on the island).

    I wonder if the people that dies while on the island (like Shi and Jin and even Sayid are really dead)-- but I am totally committed to this prediction.

    7. When is young Walter going to make his reappearance ad if so, what will it show.

    8. I never understood who all the temples were made to honor and why Jacob lived int he bottom of the broken one. Were those made to honor Allison Janey, the island, other "things" or does it even matter?

  2. We have the answer to alot of these, I think;

    2)Widmore is mad b/c he used to be the "leader" of the Island before Ben kicked him off. I think he wants to protect the Island but he also wants to reclaim control of it. There's never been any indication that he wants to destroy it (Island is not the same as MIB).

    3) Jacob made it pretty clear that he brings people to the Island to test them and see if they can redeem their past and demonstrate their capacity for good. Also pretty clear that alot of the Oceanic 815ers are/were Candidates.

    6) Disagree that the sideways world shows the characters as worse off. In alot of ways they are definitely better off.

    7) Locke (real Locke) visited Walt in season 5 back in the real world (and I believe Walt visited Hurley in the mental hospital in season 4 or 5). He seems to be doing well and I think the show is done with him.