Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lost recap: KABOOM!

Oh, fellow Losties.  Only an incredibly frustrating episode like last night's "The Candidate" could push me out of blogging hibernation.  So let's get right to it.

Sayid, Jin, Sun.  Dead.  (And apparently Lapidus too!)  Sayid's death felt appropriate and earned.  He has spent the last two seasons wrestling with light and darkness, and with his final act he decided once and for all that he wanted to be one of the good guys.  I had no problem with that.  I would still like to know what the "infection" was that Dogen referred to, but I guess that mystery will remain unresolved.

Sun and Jin's deaths?  I had three major problems.  First, (and this applies to Sayid as well) the show has spent the entire season trying to get us to believe in this sideways world that was apparently created when Juliet detonated the bomb.  It finally clicked for me during the Desmond-focused episode from a few weeks ago.  I'm invested in it, I believe it's real, and I believe it's relevant and even critical to how the grand saga of Lost will end.  So now that they've won me over on the sideways world, they have created a real dilemma.  How am I supposed to take these deaths seriously?  They're not entirely dead!  In fact, moments after Sun and Jin's watery demise, I saw Jin alive and well in the hospital on his way to visit Sun!  I think I'm of the mind that unless you die in both realities, I'm just not going to accept that you're really dead.  Second, their deaths were not in any way emotionally satisfying.  This poor couple has been separated from each other since season four.  They were finally reunited as almost an afterthought at the end of the last episode.  And now they've been killed off.  If the show doesn't even care about the Kwons anymore, how am I supposed to care?  Third, did they suddenly forget that they were parents?  "I'm going to die with my wife" is a noble sentiment, but it simply doesn't ring true when there's a child back in South Korea.  Did you notice that neither of them mentioned Ji Yeon in their final moments?  I think it's because the writers knew it wouldn't be believable if they talked about her!  As tragic as Sun's death would be, they would BOTH want Jin to escape to take care of their daughter.  I just don't buy it any other way.

The only other thing I can say about it is this: over the last six seasons, this show has reduced me to tears and puddles of emotion on numerous occasions -- Charlie's death, Desmond's phone call with Penny on the freighter, Sawyer losing Juliet, Jin telling Sun why he has to go on the raft to save her way back in season one -- but last night's deaths did not move me.

Unfortunately, I have one other significant frustration with last night's episode.  The episode finally confirmed that Fake Locke/Smokey is a real bad guy.  But I always thought he was a bad guy, so why did they spend so much narrative energy trying to trick us into thinking that he might be morally ambiguous?  It just seems like they wasted alot of time.  At least now Flocke's agenda is out in the open for the last few hours of Lost that we'll ever see.  Here are a few lingering questions to ponder going forward: what have Richard, Ben and Miles been up to?  What role will Desmond and those pockets of energy play in the endgame?  Will Sawyer now feel the weight of responsibility for the deaths of Sun, Jin and Sayid the way that Jack does for Juliet?  Sideways Jack and now Sideways Locke keep flirting with an awareness of the Island reality but they haven't quite broken through -- what happens when they do?  For my sake, can we please get a Sideways reunion of Claire and Charlie?

I really like what's going on with Jack.  In Sideways World, he is confessing to Locke that he has to work on letting go, and in the previous episode we saw how he was reaching out to Claire and how his relationship with his son is already blossoming.  On the Island, he admitted to Hurley that he is learning to trust other people and that he doesn't have to try and fix everything.  I think that while other characters will choose to "cross over" to their sideways life, Jack is going to have to make the tough choice to forsake this alternate life where everything is pretty good to take his place as Island protector.  Remember Sayid's last words, "Because it's going to be you, Jack."  There are just 4.5 hours left of Lost.  Despite last night's hiccup, I'm still looking forward to a satisfying conclusion.

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