Thursday, May 14, 2009

Let's get LOST! (Episode 16/17, The Incident)

If you haven't seen this week's episode of LOST yet...
Don't say you weren't warned. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk LOST!

So, are you going into withdrawals yet? It's going to be a long wait till 2010 for the next season of LOST, and then they will only have 16 shows left to answer soooo many questions. In typical LOST fashion, last night, for as many questions as they answered, it spurned at least a dozen more. My head is still reeling with the possibilities, and with the image of that bright white inverted LOST title screen at the end. How ominious! I'm going to be so sad when this show finally comes to an end. Until then, let us savor our final LOST discussion for this season. Since this was a two-hour show, I've super-sized my favorite moments; I couldn't pick just one!

I thought this was the most shocking moment of the night:
Jacob: "You found your loophole."
And we discovered - that's not John Locke - it's Esau (Jacob's enemy) using Locke's form!!! Locke is still dead in the box!!!
(Myself, as well as other fans on the web, have nicknamed Jacob's enemy "Esau", per the recounting in the Bible about the twin brothers with those names. We don't really know what his name is yet.)

None of us saw this one coming, but in retrospect, we should have! There have been lots of foreshadowing over several seasons, in the sense that we have consistently seen someone/something appear to people by taking on the form of the dead (Ana-Lucia, Mr. Eko's brother, Christian Shepard, Alex, Libby etc.). It's a commonplace trick on the island. So it should come as no surprise that Jacob's enemy can also perform that trick. I had always assumed it was Smokey and/or Jacob that was making those appearances, but now I wonder if it was Esau all the long? Why does Esau want Jacob dead? Why couldn't he do it himself? What was the point of Esau having Locke killed, then bringing him and the whole Oceanic 6 back to the island; how did that create a loophole for him? Why didn't Jacob answer Ben, when Ben was making his accusations and wanting answers about the way Jacob had ignored him? Is it because he already knew what was going to happen? What did Jacob mean with his last words when he said, "They're coming." Who are "they"? Argh!

I thought this was the most heartbreaking moment of the night:
Sawyer and Juliet confess their love and say goodbye before she gets sucked into the electromagnetic shaft. Sun seeing Aaron's dilapidated crib and finding Charlie's Drive Shaft ring.
Tied with
Jack: "Hang in there. Once we set off that bomb, it will save you."
Sayid: "Nothing can save me."
Tied with
Jack: "I had her and I lost her."
Tied with
Seeing Rose and Bernard in their happily ever after. (This was more of a heartWARMING moment than heartbreaking.)

Okay, would someone please tell me, when did this show become so incredibly depressing? Last night's season finale was filled to the brim with destroyed relationships, depression, hopelessness and suicidal talk. Detonating a bomb will kill everyone and wipe the slate clean...? The LOST writers need to dial a suicide hotline and get some help. Seriously. I'm worried for them.

I must give kudos though to Josh Holloway (Sawyer) and Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet) for their superb acting. I truly felt how awful that final moment was for their characters. Gut-wrenching! I also teared up when Sun saw Aaron's crib and then found Charlie's ring; it was a reminder of LOST episodes past, of happier days on the show, when we had moments of hope and victory. Those have been few and far between lately.
Case in point, one of my favorite characters, Sayid, is now begging for death. He used to be on a journey to redeem his past sins, and could always be counted on for a heroic victorious scene. But now that the LOST writers have given him his happily ever after with Nadia then cruely ripped it from him, there's no hope for his happiness. And then there's Jack. He's never been one of my favorite characters. I was mostly indifferent to him, until they started showing us his backstory, about his need to try and fix things, and his torment of always trying to be the best, be perfect, live up to his parent's expectations etc. I can (unfortunately) totally relate to those things. He has been presented with something that cannot be fixed - his relationship with Kate. Now he just wants to wipe it all away like it never happened - be it with vicodin or a nuclear bomb. How sad that he can see no other way out.
In fact, the only bright, happy moment we had in last night's show was seeing Bernard and Rose living out their "happily ever after". They are such an awesome couple. I didn't realize how much I'd missed them until they appeared on the screen. Rose brought a lot of heart to the show. (Remember the episode when she taught Charlie how to pray and have faith when Claire was missing?) Thank heavens for that bittersweet moment with Rose and Bernard. I hope whatever Jack/Kate/Sawyer do with the bomb et. al. doesn't run things for Rose and Bernard (or our other happy couple, Desmond and Penny).

And finally, here's the funny moment of the night:
Locke (offering Sun a canteen of water): "Drink?"
Sun: "Do you have any alcohol?"
Tied with
Rose: "It's always something with you people, isn't it?"

After watching this show, with its confusing revelations and depressing death-wish characters, I felt like I needed a drink too, so perhaps it made Sun's line funnier than it actually was. I loved Rose's observation, which was similar to the wink-and-a-nod comments usually given to Hurley, where they make a commentary on the writing or the show, or state what the audience is thinking. In all seriousness though, Rose makes a good point. It's always something with those people. Do they even know how to just be happy? Are they so damaged that they no longer have that ability?

It may sound like I'm really bagging on the show, but all in all, I thought it was another great finale. Entertaining. Engaging. I've said it before, and I'll keep harping on it until the writers listen, but I really need some hope, some victory, some promise of redemption for these characters. Otherwise, its going to become a tedious exercise to watch these people every week. I'm trying to trust the writers, and trust that they know what they are doing, but I'm still worried. I guess I'll have to wait until 2010 to find out.
Until then, here's a couple of pieces of trivia I found online that I thought were interesting:
  • Juliet hit the bomb 8 times before it exploded. (8 is one of the Numbers.)
  • The fish Jacob catches and eats at the beginning of the show is a "red herring". Get it? A "red herring."
  • When Ilana asks "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" Richard's Latin reply translates “He who will protect/save us all.”
And here are some nagging questions I have:
  • When we see Sayid and Nadia in the flashback, was the assassin really targeting Sayid, and did Jacob save him by delaying him from walking into traffic?
  • What's in the guitar case Jacob left with Hurley? Why did Hurley take it on the plane with him?
  • What is up with the ash ring around the cabin? Is it some sort of portal that Jacob and/or Esau were using?
  • Is Esau and the Smoke Monster one in the same thing?
  • Are Rose and Bernard the "Adam and Eve" from Season 1? (Credit to Laura for this idea.)
  • Are we going to see Juliet, Locke and Faraday in the next season? Are they all really dead?
  • In the episode from a couple weeks ago, why did Richard say he "saw them all die". Is that refering to something that's yet to happen?
  • The phrase "What's done is done" was repeated several times in the finale. The idea is similar to the other repeated phrase "Whatever happened, happened". Is this the rule the LOST writers are going to stick to? How will they rectify this idea with the mess they have made of the time line?
  • In the flashbacks with Jacob, all the Losties were all physically touched by Jacob. What was he doing to them? Cursing them? Why did he seem to "choose" them? Why did he bring them all to the island?

What questions are going to haunt you until next season? What were your favorite moments? Is this show bumming you out as much as it is me? Leave me a comment and let me know. We have until 2010 to discuss it. ;)


chandy said...

Totally cried when Juliet let go of Sawyer. I am one of the few LOST fans out there that really loved them as a couple. I hope there is some way that we'll see more of her.

Loved Hurley saving the day, yet again, in the blue VW van. He seems to always pull up at the right time in that old thing, heh?

I also told Joel that I had a hunch Rose and Bernard would be Adam and Eve.

I'm not entirely convinced that Jacob is dead (or that he is even able to be killed...) I just don't think he could be taken down that easily. And didn't Jacob and Esau reconcile in the end? Hmmm...

chandy said...

Oh yeah, and I think we know that life must go on in some fashion or another on the island after Juliet sets off the bomb...because haven't we seen Dharma initiation videos where Chang's arm is messed up and he says something like "since the incident"? I don't remember where or when I've seen that, but I swear I'm not making it up...

D.L. White said...

Good points, Chandy! :)

I really appreciate how Sawyer has moved on from his con-man, selfish days and has matured into a good guy, whose not afraid to love, and stand up for what's right, protect others, etc. (Now if only they could create a character arc for the rest of the characters like his!) I thought Sawyer and Juliet were a waaaaaay better fit than Sawyer and Kate. I think it showed in the final scene last night. Real chemistry.

That's why I think Jack and Kate are a good fit too (in an albeit dysfunctional way). I always think about that scene, when Jack is talking to her on the walkie-talkie, after he's risked everything to help her and Sawyer escape, and he tells her to never come back for him. He sacrificed everything, including being with her, for her own salvation and safety. And he still loved her (even though he saw her and Sawyer getting it on in the cages). It's that whole thing "If you love something, set it free." I sooo cried when he did that.

I agree - life has to go on somehow, because the Swan gets built. And you're right about Chang and the training films. I guess the real question is - was the incident because of the drilling, or was the incident in fact the nuke? I think one of the characters brought that up last night, that by trying to avoid the incident, maybe they're CREATING the incident. (Ouch - just pulled a brain muscle on that one!)

chandy said...

Ummm...words...words...too hard...

Let's just focus on Sawyer's incredible good looks. There, that's better.

Laura said...

I'm in agreement with you both, Sawyer and Juliet were the heartbreak of the night, maybe even the past several episodes.

Miles is the one who theorized the h-bomb may in fact BE the incident, I suspect he could be right.

I also agree that Esau has been "shape shifting" and appearing as dead people on the island. That explains A LOT about what's been going on... Yemi died in the drug plane crash and appeared to come back to life, Christian is the same, but Claire was seen with Christian so I don't think she's dead. I have no idea what's up with her.

I'm now wondering if Ben has been working for Esau all along, as Ben thought he was with the "good guys" but was easily convinced to kill Jacob. I'm not sure about that, I'll have to rewatch some stuff from this year.

mikeo75 said...

Count me as one of the many who just didn't "get" the whole Sawyer Juliet thing...I mean, i "get" get it...but it felt sort of contrived because of the three-year jump in time.

Anyways, maybe I'm losing my emotional ties to the characters in the show, because I didn't cry for Juliet, I didn't cry when we saw the DS ring...

The last time I cried in this show was Charlie dying. That was a gut-wrenching moment. Juliet...egh...I am maybe just not a big fan of her.

As far as what you say Davina about the show being depressing...I think you are right, but that depression was NEEDED in order to give them motivation to blow that bomb up. And even then, the reason being "Kate" for two of them was a stretch.

Good recap, I did love the Rose and Bernard part of the episode, and seeing the dog.

D.L. White said...

The fact that the "Locke" we've known thru the second half of the series, from the minute he was resurrected after the plane crash, has actually been Esau, really turns everything on its head. The fact that all the apparitions of the dead people might have in fact been Esau also puts a completely different spin on things. The revelation of it all was just sinking into my sleep-deprived brain today...

Mike - I do think it was a detriment that 3 years passed that the audience didn't get to see, so we were forced into accepting things that seemed rushed in our time. I kept constantly forgetting that it had been 3 years for the characters, so it was entirely plausible that Jin now speaks English, Sawyer and Juliet have developed a relationship, etc. even though it didn't seem that way to us. I've found myself having a hard time staying emotionally connected to the show too.

And I don't mind the depressing turn to drive the plot, per se. For example, I thought Season 3 was oppressively sad, with the Losties separated, and some of them in the very hands of the Others, caged up, without options. But that season ended with a great victorious fight and some awesome moments (like Charlie's sacrifice). There was victory over evil and their circumstance, and heroic moments. I didn't feel that in this season finale. It was desperate and sad. But then again, maybe this whole season and it's tone is setting things up for the final act... I'm willing hold my breath and wait and see. :D

Shawn White said...

Re-watching LOST finale now...

Richard mentions to Locke that he is "forever young" because of Jacob. If Ben did kill Jacob, is Richard going to dissolve into a pile of dust, or start aging? I wonder what that effect will have on his character now if they are tied together.

Laurie B said...

My husband and I spent the fall and early part of winter rewatching the entire LOST series. Wow, I love this show! Today we saw a trailer for a new movie called "Percy Jackson and the Olympians". It's about the, I believe, half human children of the gods who live on Earth, in hiding.

Maybe that's what the Others are, offspring of the gods. I believe Jacob and the fake Locke (Esau) may be gods and the people who came on the second plane with Locke's body and the Others, who have always been on the island, are some kind of offspring or protectors or warriors for the gods. They are certainly strong enough warriors to be. It would explain why they fight for the island so hard and seem to have always been there.

The Smoke Monster may be a god as well. He's just not named yet. The Others said they didn't even have a name for him.

Jacob and Esau may have been banished to the island for some reason. The island is certainly not of this world. I realize Jacob can travel between the island and mainland but maybe he can't go back to Mount Olympus. I think Esau was inside the cabin and kept there by the ash ring. When it was broken he was able to escape. We never saw him off the island in the flashbacks. It may have indeed been him who Ben was talking to.

It's also possible that the Losties who have survived and been key characters are actually offspring in some way. We know at least Miles and Charlotte were born on the island. The only two we know for sure weren't , are Ben and Locke. We saw their births on the mainland.

My biggest question for the final season would be...who are the good guys in this story?

D.L. White said...

@Laurie - my friend thinks the island is Atlantis, and the inhabitants are demi-gods, similar to what you explained. I think it's an interesting and plausible theory about the Others. I can't wait to see how it all plays out and what answers they end up giving us! Thanks for commenting! :)