This is it: The End.
I’m going to try to get this post out of the way so that everyone has a forum to start discussing. (Most comments at a KB thread ever? Maybe, if you don’t count the 23 flavors of Dr. Pepper.)
Links and miscellanea
- A hip-hop tribute to Lost:
- Lost Slap Down, episode 16:
- According to Dark UFO, Zuleikha Robinson has confirmed that the character of Ilana was to be revealed as Jacob’s daughter, though this scene was cut.
- Jimmy Kimmel does a “unnecessary censorship” bit using Lost as his source material (NSFW):
- ESPN’s SportsCenter explains Lost via the 2007 New England Patriots (oddly, it works):
- The Wall Street Journal published this Lost apologetic from an editor of Chritianity Today.
- As some mentioned in the comments to my last post, the season 6 DVD will include scenes that did not fit into tonight’s finale, including the answers to some open questions.
- Cuse and Lindelof discuss their favorite episodes of Lost:
- Ingrid Michaelson riffs on Lost at a recent concert:
- Lost, recapped by cats:
- From Public Radio’s Studio 360, the Ballad 360:
- The Lost finale has been given a special exemption so that it will qualify for an Emmy, despite it’s 2 1/2-hour length.
- Here’s an article about TV-watching after Lost.
- These three Target ads aired during tonight’s show were brilliant, I thought:
- The LA Times ranked every episode of Lost (with the exception of tonight’s finale).
- Cuse and Lindelof were very satisfied with the finale. Were you?
I’m sure there were lots, lots more good features that I missed, as every media outlet had a Lost piece about the finale. Feel free to post your own links in the comments below.
Observations and speculations
I’ll be honest here, I’m approaching this fearfully. I’m not sure that I can really do a very good job blogging this episode right after watching it, before I have a chance to absorb it. And I’m not sure there’s really much to speculate about at this point. Whatever happened, happened, as they say.
But some of you would never forgive me if I didn’t proceed, so here goes.
- The episode opens with the luggage compartment of an Oceanic airliner unloading a packaged labeled “Christian Shepard.” Cut to Dr. Jack in his office in LA-X examining the x-ray of a skull, then cut to Jack-the-new-Jacob on the Island. These are your first clues that this one is basically a Jack episode.
- Next, it’s Dr. Linus fixing himself some tea (“Now there’s a gentleman’s drink!,” as Dr. Linus would say). Cut to Ben on the island doing something much more Ben-like—loading a gun.
- Sawyer’s up next: we see him in the LA-X PD locker room, looking into the mirror he smashed with his fist, cut to Sawyer, near a camp fire with Kate and Hurley, watching the smoldering remains of Jacob’s existence fade away.
- Then Kate, inside Hurley’s red Camaro, outside the church that will serve as the location for the culmination of the LA-X story. The Christian Shepherd coffin arrives and Desmond signs for it. It’s an austere, all-wooden coffin. Pretty basic, really.
- Desmond and Kate have a conversation in the car. Desmond is lucid, but Kate’s still in a fog. She doesn’t understand what is going on, but Desmond says what he wants is to “leave.” There’s an interesting parallel going on here. Recall that this particular church was where the Oceanic Six met up with Eloise Hawking, who gave them instructions via the Lamp Post (located beneath the church) on how to get back to the island. She was very particular that everyone had to go together. The LA-X story seems to be the same. In order to leave, all the important characters need to be gathered again.
- Back on the island, Jack and Sawyer have an interesting exchange. Jack acknowledges that he’s the “new Jacob,” but says he doesn’t really feel any different. Sawyer: “Well, doc, how about you come down off the mountain top and tell us what the hell the burning bush had to say for itself?” That’s a reference to Moses, for those who aren’t familiar with either the Bible or the Charleton Heston movie. But the burning bush didn’t really say much. This isn’t about expository answers, this is just about finishing the story. As Hurley puts it in the next scene, “That’s kinda true, dude. He’s worse than Yoda.”
- Things are familiar: Sawyer is off on his own mission, and chides Kate that he’s not even going to bother to tell her she can’t come. Jack has a clear idea of what he wants to do, but a very vague concept of why. And Hurley has a “bad feeling about all of this.”
- Back in LA-X, Hurley takes Sayid to the Flightline Motel. If it looks familiar, that’s because we’ve seen it before. Anthony Cooper stayed there during a Locke flashback, and Kate visited during one of her fugitive flashbacks. This time, Charlie is staying there, proof positive that in LA-X, Drive Shaft is not living the high life.
- Great Hurley moment: “None of this is ringing a bell, is it? You, me … a tranquilizer gun?” (He’s referring to an Oceanic 6 moment from season 4.) Hurley tells Sayid that he can make his own choice, “but if you stick with me, you’ll be happy you did.” We get a little glimpse of what a great Island demi-god Hurley must have been.
- Of course, Hurley didn’t really let Charlie make his own choice. No, he shot him in the back with a tranq gun. (It took me a while to realize that while Charlie had seen a glimpse of his real life, he hadn’t truly had his epiphany yet.)
- Another great Hurley line (responding to Jack and Kate’s existential mope): “This would be so sweet if we weren’t all about to die.”
- Sawyer let’s Not-Locke know that he’s not a “candidate anymore,” just before he smashes Ben in the face, steals his gun, and runs into the jungle. I figured Smokey just might take him out for fun, but he tells Ben that there’s no need to now. He’s not interested in killing just for fun, only with purpose.
- Not-Locke wasn’t really interested in the plane at all, apparently. He preferred Desmond’s sail boat.
- It was great to see Vincent, Rose and Bernard again—the Swiss Family Nadlers. Ever sensible, Rose and Bernard have a policy of not getting involved. They broke that rule by pulling Desmond out of the well, and it didn’t really work out well for them. I do have to admit that their house looked very Gilligan’s Island.
- And just in case you really weren’t paying attention when Not-Locke tried to kill everyone on the sub, we have the most evil moment yet when he manipulates Desmond by threatening to killl Rose and Bernard and “make it hurt.”
- It’s funny how Not-Locke starts getting a little freaked out that everyone seems to know about his plans. Sawyer knew that he was going to use Desmond to destroy the island, and Desmond knew something about a place with a very bright light.
- Meanwhile, Ben is keeping his radio tuned and keeping this fact from Smokey. Ben isn’t really interested in helping Not-Lock destroy the island.
- Richard wasn’t dead after all, but was simply tossed into the jungle. Later, we find out that Richard has his first gray hair, so he’s presumably aging, and probably could have been killed.
- Back in LA-X everything is starting to come together. Everyone is either at the benefit concert, or at the hospital. Or at the hospital, but on their way to the concert. Or whatever. Miles spots Sayid in Hurley’s yellow Hummer and calls Det. Ford to alert him about it. Ford tells Miles, “Enjoy your concert, Enos,” squeezing a Dukes of Hazzard reference in. (Sawyer repeats this nickname later on in the episode, on the Ajira plane.)
- When Juliet begins her sonogram of Sun, I knew that that would be Sun’s epiphany—the circumstances being so similar to the emergency sonogram in the Staff Station, along with the strong emotions. Once Jin had also had his epiphany, of course, they could both speak perfect English.
- Juliet introduces herself as Juliet Carlson. We had previously known her as Juliet Burke, but Burke was her husband’s name—the one the Others arranged to have hit by a bus so that Juliet could come to the Island. Carlson may have been her maiden name.
- In a pre-op room at St. Sebastian’s hospital, Jack tells Locke, “There’s always a chance that I could kill you.” Meanwhile, that’s exactly what Jack is trying to do to Not-Locke on the island. Also, “I’ll see you on the other side.”
- After finding out that he’s got his first gray hair, Richard says that he just realized that he wants to live, a callback to the scene where Jacob nearly drowns him on the beach near the statue.
- And Lapidus is alive too, which is good for whomever it was who said that if you don’t actually see someone die on Lost, you can’t be too sure what happened to them. The first body Miles and Richard see, incidentally, was the sub captain.
- Lapidus is the first to have the obvious thought that the plane doesn’t need to be blown up if it is flown away. Good for him.
- How’s this for a line that Not-Locke would come to regret?: (to Kate) “You might want to save your bullets.”
- Jack and Not-Locke’s confrontation was great, especially this part:
Not-Locke: Then what’s going to happen, Jack?
Jack: I’m gonna kill you.
Not-Locke: How do you plan to do that?
Jack: It’s a surprise.
- As many of us predicted, Juliet is Jack’s LA-X ex. The two seem to be on good terms, though. Sawyer and Juliet don’t immediately flash when they see each other by the hospital elevator, though.
- On the island, Sawyer and Jack talk about what Jack’s “surprise” might be, and Jack tells Sawyer he thinks Desmond is some kind of a weapon. Sawyer, the former con man, tells Jack, “That’s a hell of a long con, doc.”
- Interesting, Desmond on the island is confused about what is real: he is aware of the LA-X universe, but thinks that it is the real reality. And in LA-X, he is the one on a mission to get every one to “let go” of the LA-X constructed universe. But Jack tells Desmond, what happened, happened. All of this matters. (And I’m grateful for that. I would have been quite annoyed by an ending that wiped out the reality of everything that happened on the Island.)
- Hurley and Sayid continue their back-and-forth, this time parked in Hurley’s Hummer by an alley behind a bar. Hurley: “I’m not allowed to tell you about it. There are rules, dude.” Hurley sounds like an Island demi-god to me. Hurley tells Sayid that Sayid is a good guy. Sayid gets redemption at last.
- The guy who was beating up Boone, then pushes Shannon, is only on the screen for a few seconds, but I didn’t recognize him as anyone we know.
- Is it possible to be happy about Shannon and Sayid’s reunion when you were never that happy about their relationship to begin with? Almost.
- I really thought Crazy Claire was going to take Richard out. But no.
- Smokey has all of Locke’s memories, but, as Jack says, is “not John Locke. You disrespect his memory by wearing his face, but you’re nothing like him.”
- What bad luck it is that Juliet gets paged right before Claire goes into labor. But it’s not really luck at all, as everything that happens in LA-X happens according to a pre-constructed set of circumstances designed to re-awaken the characters’ consciousness. Kate was supposed to deliver Aaron (in one of the most preposterous TV birth scenes ever) because doing so would trigger memories of the same scene occurring on the Island’s jungle.
- I hope Daniel and Charlotte got to share a little more time together before moving on. If you know what I mean.
- There was something great about seeing Dr. Pierre Change MC the benefit concert.
- Down the cave into the light is a pretty creepy place really. The skeletons, the stalagmites, the weird ancient ruins. Desmond, apparently, wasn’t the first to try to go down there, but he may have been the first to survive it. In the end, the whole “light” thing will never really be much understood other than as weird, Island mojo.
- You know how, if you are having trouble with your computer and you call tech support, and they always ask you, “Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?” Yep, that was pretty much Jacob’s plan after all. It was a hard re-boot that made Jack able to kill Smokey.
- Still care about the Numbers? Desmond is sitting at table number 23 at the benefit concert.
- That fight scene at the top of the cliff was pretty good, I thought. When Locke nicked Jack in the neck, that was a nice little effect—the wound that keeps bleeding over into the alternate reality.
- Of all the epiphanies, I think I enjoyed Locke’s best. This episode managed to redeem his character. Locke was right about pretty much everything, according to Jack. Terry O’Quinn is such a good actor that he was quite hatable as the Man-in-Black, but Locke was always one of my favorites.
- Sawyer’s LA-X reunion with Sun and Jin was also a bright spot.
- I had to laugh when Lapidus gives Miles a diagram, a wrench and a roll of duct tape. Yeah, that should be all it takes to fix whatever. (Miles: “I don’t believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape.”)
- I guess the answer to the Kate-and-Jack-or-Sawyer question is Jack, even though they didn’t exactly end up together. That kiss was one of the sappier moments in a surprisingly sentimental finale. Kate and Sawyer’s cliff diving made me nervous. I know, I know, it’s just a TV show.
- That vending machine makes its third (at least) appearance. The vending machine gives the solution of how to fix what ails the Island: just turn it off and turn it on again. It was nice to see Juliet’s dying words (“It worked. We should get coffee some time. We could go dutch”) put into context. Well done.
- It seems like Jack was the candidate-most-likely-to, but there was a strong dark-horse vote for Hurley. Congratulations to those who predicted Hurley. I felt a little bad for Hurley, though. Drinking ditch water out of an old Ajira Air plastic bottle isn’t really idea. (I guess the Latin incantations were mere ceremony, by the way.)
- Here’s a very obvious one: Jack tells Desmond at heart of the Island, “I’ll see you in another life, brother,” the same thing Desmond said to Jack when they first met.
- Kate is finally able to fulfill her purpose for returning to the island when she convinces Claire to get on the plane. Claire paradoxically has a moment of clear sanity when she talks about how crazy the island has made her.
- I thought the writers were awfully nice to Ben. Did he really deserve that happy of an ending? I guess redemption was the order of the day. Still, if I was the Island’s reigning demi-god, I don’t think I would trust lying, scheming, murdering Ben as my number 2.
- Based on the religious iconography inside the church, I would guess that the Losties are all unitarians.
- Somehow, I knew that the coffin would be empty. I’m not sure how, but I knew.
- When Christian appears, he’s in his funeral clothes (we don’t get a view of his shoes, though).
- Christian gives the final reveal: the whole LA-X universe is a constructed reality, a post-death reunion of Island friends, gathering one last time before they “move on.” In a sense, it’s the purgatory, though the events on the Island all actually happened. All the people are dead, though some died before Jack, and some died “long after you” (e.g., those who left the island via the Ajira jet.) And now we know why there were so many crazy coincidences piling up like crazy in LA-X: all these things were meant to happen to bring the characters together and jar their memories. Once everything fell into place, the characters would gather at a pre-determined location (the church where Jack was to have his father’s funeral) and move on “into the light.” But first, they all needed to collectively remember, and let go.
- Is it surprising that Lost ended on such a religious note? Maybe, but Lost has been a very religious show all along (even if it is as non-denominational as that church). Among those who probably disliked this finale: staunch agnostics and atheists.
- And Jack returns to the spot where he first awoke on the island, complete with an appearance by Vincent, with Lost’s last shot (Jack closing his eye) mirroring the show’s very first shot. I liked the symmetry.
I enjoyed this finale. I thought it was a fitting, and mostly satisfying conclusion to a really great show. Sure, there are numerous loose ends, and there are somethings that, when we go back and watch it again, will seem like blind alleys. And there were some elements that were introduced awfully late. I blogged almost every episode since the end of season 1, and I have to admit, I’m a little bit glad to be free of that obligation. It’s a lot of work. But the show, right to the end was about very entertaining storytelling and I’m glad I stuck with it.
I’m interested to hear what everyone else thought. Did the finale live up to your hopes or expectations? Did you dislike it? If so, why?