Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost: Take What You Need ... Leave the Rest ...

"Dude, in retrospect, shouldn't this
have been your first clue?"

My first thought after watching the Lost finale was ... this is like a bad magician doing slight of hand.

"Look at ... THIS ... don't look over there ... no no ...
look at this hand ... look at this hand ... nothing to see over there ..."

If you're looking at the hand they want you to look at, then the finale was stunning. A home run. It was touching and emotional and the kind of happy ending that everyone wishes they could have. Every couple was reunited. Everyone got what they always wanted be it love or luck ... health or happiness ...

But unfortunately there is that other hand ... and, let's be honest, that other hand is pretty full ...

In that other hand is the island and Jacob and the Man in Black. There's Hanso and Darhma and bunkers. There are the numbers and the statues and the hieroglyphics. That hand is full of all sorts of nagging questions and facts. It's as though we finished the world's largest jigsaw puzzle ... and, although the end result is breathtakingly beautiful, we still have half a box full of pieces that didn't fit anywhere.

If you went into the finale expecting an answer to every question that Lost posed, then you were destined for disappointment. That was never the nature of Lost. C.J. Cregg tried to warn us, "Every question I answer will simply lead to another question."

So having said that, I went into last night's episode with very low expectations when it came to the number of hard and fast answers we'd receive. Even so, 150 minutes later, we only had one solid answer ... the nature of the "side universe." We now know that, over time, each survivor died. "Everyone dies some time, kiddo," as Christian Sheppard would say. So the side universe was a sort of limbo ... a dimension of waiting where each soul slowly realized it's place. And, as the veil was lifted, they began gathering other souls to enter the light together.

It was beautiful ... and touching. Very emotional for me ... as I watched it and wondered if my Dad were somewhere ... living in a dimension where he drives his truck and lives out a life waiting for his family to join him. For me, the "Man of Faith" side of Lost is complete. A perfect circle that offers a very peaceful ending ... even for some very, very troubled souls like Benjamin Linus.

But ... what of the "Man of Science"? Well, that side is lacking quite a bit. So Jacob drew Oceanic 815 to the island so certain passengers could be candidates? So does that mean the other passengers were just collateral damage? Needless yet necessary deaths so that the handful of chosen people would be available to him? And the numbers ... the numbers, come to find out, were the numbers assigned to the candidates. But was that worthy of the back story of Hurley and the lottery numbers? Of the transmission of the numbers from the island? What of Walt and his "special powers?" What of Aaron? Wasn't he supposed to save the world at some point?

I expect the answer we'll be told over and over in the days to come will be ... those things don't matter. The things that matter are people and connections and relationships. Look at this hand ... look at this hand ...

And yes, as a life philosophy, that's great. But doesn't it feel just a bit too much like an easy out for an amazing story ... and it's writers who wrote themselves further and further into a hole?

In the end, I enjoyed it. I teared up ... and I can honestly say I think they offered the best ending possible for a story like Lost. I think Desmond should play us out ... because you know what he would say ...

"See you in another life, brutha ..."

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes ... again

The Doors - The End


  1. Stephalopolis1:06 AM

    Perhaps... Walt and Aaron are... wait for it... Hurley's candidates! *trombone fall*

  2. Stephalopolis1:17 AM

    Can't sleep.... up all night reading Lostpedia.... Remember that book that was released in bookstores? Bad Twin?

    "Sometimes evil has a familiar face..."

    Paul Artisan, P.I. is a new version of an old breed -- a righter of wrongs, someone driven to get to the bottom of things. Too bad his usual cases are of the boring malpractice and fraud variety. Until now.

    His new gig turns on the disappearance of one of a pair of twins, adult scions of a rich but tragedy-prone family. The missing twin -- a charismatic poster-boy for irresponsibility -- has spent his life daring people to hate him, punishing himself endlessly for his screw-ups and misdeeds. The other twin -- Artisan's client -- is dutiful and resentful in equal measure, bewildered that his "other half" could have turned out so badly, and wracked by guilt at his inability to reform him. He has a more practical reason, as well, for wanting his brother found: their crazy father, in failing health and with guilty secrets of his own, will not divide the family fortune until both siblings are accounted for.

    But it isn't just a fortune that's at stake here. Truth itself is up for grabs, as the detective's discoveries seem to challenge everything we think we know about identity, and human nature, and family. As Artisan journeys across the globe to track down the bad twin, he seems to have moved into a mirror-world where friends and enemies have a way of looking very much alike. The P.I. may have his long-awaited chance to put his courage and ideals to the test, but if he doesn't get to the bottom of this case soon, it could very well cost him his life.

    'Troup's long-awaited Bad Twin is a suspenseful novel that touches on many powerful themes, including the consequence of vengeance, the power of redemption, and where to turn when all seems lost.'"

  3. HEY ... that's not a terribly bad thought. The next generation arrives on the island ... Walt and Aaron and Ji Yeon will all go back ... meet Hurley and Ben ... and the circle will continue!!!

    It could be a spin-off ... a whole new show! We could call it ... "Lost Again" or ... "I Know What You Did On Lost" or "Lost - The Next Generation" ... the possibilities are endless!

    Didn't I warn you about Lostpedia? Everytime I go to that site, I end up with 20 tabs open because each page has a hundred links and I end up wanting to read them all. LOL

    I especially love their "theories" area ... where people debate back and forth ... it could be this ... or it could be that ... no, here's why it ISN'T that ... here's why YOU'RE wrong ... love it love it love it.

    Gosh, I never realized how much I'm gonna miss it. What show do we have left to obsess over now? Oh wait ... I remember ...