“I got a bad feeling about this.”
I wonder how many LOST fans felt the same way as the final episode unspooled with the sort of musical montage that usually ends episodes. Well, in the words of Sawyer: “Sonofabitch.”
They did it.
LOST ended nearly perfectly.
The-powers-that-be chose to end the story, rather than merely answer questions. Here we the viewing audience were, wondering how the lingering questions were going to be addressed, but it looks to me that show-runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse said, “Screw that, we’re closing all the character arcs.” After watching the characters finish their journeys, I’ll be damned if I can think of any nagging leftover questions that still seem to matter. I feel totally satisfied by the story. So what if we don’t know the original human name of the Man in Black. Walt was “special” because…well, because he was. Maybe all kids were revered because of the pregnancy thing.
Far more important to me, was the fact that the main characters reached some kind of closure. Almost everybody got happy endings in the Sideways universe, while events unfolded on the Island the way they had to. In a way, TPTB had it both ways: They gave the fans the sweet ending they wanted but also played out the brutal endgame on the Island. And on this show, it made total sense for Jack to die, yet still be happy. And the final funereal moments, when everyone was gathered in the church, made clever use of the concept of the hereafter to gather all the characters together no matter when they died. Everyone was dead. Some folks died before Jack (the Kwons), some long after (Hugo). “There is no ‘now’ here,” Christian told Jack. They all gathered because needed to be together. Jack needed all of them, and they needed Jack. And this was a true ending. As Jack told Hurley, “There are no shortcuts. No do-overs. What happened, happened. All of this matters.”
“We’re very close to the end, Hugo.”
As LOST winds down to its final precious hours, the bodies are piling up almost as fast as the reveals. The question is: Are the corpses and the answers worth it?
This week we saw Jack (Matthew Fox) step up and accept guardianship of the Island, prompting my new $64,000 Question: What took so damn long? I can understand if Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) wanted Jack to accept the job of his own free will, but…why did he wait so damn long to ask? Jack surely would have taken stewardship of the Island in exchange for letting everyone else get off. And the way Jacob casually dismissed Kate’s (Evangeline Lilly) question about why she had been crossed off the list – it was just a line of chalk on a wall and so the job is hers if she wants it – had me ready to scream. He was willing to give it to any of the candidates? Why let everyone go through so much pain and torture? Why all the mystical mumbo-jumbo? Why?
So, now we know… lots of stuff. Whether anyone likes what we now know is an entirely separate matter, but this was an episode that gave fans what we have been clamoring for: tons of answers. Maybe not the answers many of us were hoping for, but answers, nonetheless.
In one sense, it’s hard to criticize the episode that finally revealed: the origin of Jacob; the origin of the Smoke Monster; why Jacob and the Man in Black hate each other; who set up the “rules” for their conflict; the origin/significance of the white and black stones; why MiB wants off the Island so bad; where the donkey wheel came from and what it’s for; what Jacob is guarding on the Island; what job the “candidates” are being culled for; the identities of “Adam and Eve”; and the source of the Island’s strange powers.
Turns out, it’s a kind of magic.
Why? Why did Sun, Jin and Sayid have to die?
Simple. They gave their lives in service of the story. Because their deaths added to the drama. Because a higher power — the-powers-that-be behind LOST — realized that sometimes story threads need to be snipped rather than tied off. Because TPTB have set the endgame in motion, and after six seasons, this all has to mean something. Plus, the characters died heroic, self-sacrificing deaths — the best kind possible, I suppose.
Jin and Sun
THE A-TEAM’s Hannibal Smith famously loved it when a plan came together, and LOST the-powers-that-be reunited key characters this week as they position their players for the endgame. And that made longtime viewers the winners this week.
The most important development was the reunion of Sun and Jin, who have not seen each other (in the original timeline) since the explosion of the freighter Kahana at the end of Season 4! Let’s hope he can keep his vow: “We’ll never be apart again. I promise you.”
Libby jogs Hugo's memory
“Everybody Loves Hugo” is the kind of episode that every LOST fan can love: not only did viewers get to see old friends Libby and Michael again, there was some important new information.
Checking in on Hugo in the L.A.verse, we saw he is still a sad-sack, despite being a rich, philanthropic businessman. His mother still gets on him about meeting a woman. And then he does. And what a woman she is!
There was something off about Libby — as once again personified by Cynthia Watros — from the moment she appeared. And it was more than this strikingly beautiful woman crossing the room to talk to Hugo. She insisted that she somehow knew him. Or felt like she should know him.“Do you believe two people can be connected, like soul mates?” she asked him. Of course, we at home know they are connected, and are soul mates.
Widmore has his eyes on the prize.
While this week’s LOST certainly held my interest, it was not one of this season’s stronger entries. The primary focus seemed to be on explaining the other side of Sayid’s L.A.-verse story
– just how Jin came to be put on ice in the walk-in fridge at the restaurant (He was about to be iced!). But tucked into the framing story on the Island was the revelation that all the people whose names are not crossed off the list in Jacob’s cave must leave the Island together.
Well, give the-powers-that-be points for consistency, at least. Recall that all members of the Oceanic 6 had to return to the Island together. And course this admonition echoes the series-long theme of “live together, die alone.” Other threads picked up upon included Widmore’s and Ben’s warnings that “war” was coming to the Island; and destiny vs. free will, as when the Man in Black told Sun he wouldn’t ask her to do anything she didn’t want to. And was it just me, or did MiB hint to Claire that Kate’s name might have been one of those crossed off the cave wall. We did not see her listed back in episode “The Substitute.” And his casual mention after they are off the Island, “whatever happens, happens,” felt like tacit acknowledgment that Claire can cap Kate if she still wants to. Speaking of getting off the Island on that plane, Smokey cannot travel over water under his own power – apparently that’s why the Island is his prison?
Endless life's a beach for Richard
So how terrific was LOST this week? After all these years, we finally get the scoop on Richard — and it was worth the wait. We learned everything we needed: Who Richard is, whose death he has on his conscience, why he is on the Island, and what he is doing there.
It’s no surprise Richard insisted to Jack, Hugo and the others that they are all dead and the Island is hell — because from his perspective that’s all very true. What it boils down to is, Richard (Nestor Carbonell) is something of a modern Job: He’s a powerless pawn locked in the crossfire of a battle between higher powers he cannot begin to understand. Woes have been visited upon him for the amusement of others. Everyone who has wielded power over him has let him down or even outright betrayed him — from the doctor who scoffed at the idea of riding out in the rain to minister to Richard’s sick wife, to the corpulent priest who withheld God’s grace and condemned him to hell. There was Magnus Hanso, who instead of rescuing Richard from death by hanging ultimately condemned him by setting him on a course to a far worse living death. And then there are Jacob and the Man in Black, mysterious forces in human form who amuse themselves by using Richard. Only the poor guy isn’t a chess piece — he’s more like a ball they kick around.
You wanted answers to the big questions? How about “Where did the Numbers come from?” Now we know. They came from Jacob, who wrote the names of people aboard Oceanic Flight 815 on a cave wall. And the so-called magic Numbers correspond with the survivors – well, the survivors and John Locke, depending on how you classify him. Nonetheless, the explanation was suitably spooky; c’mon, names and numbers scratched into the stone of a nearly inaccessible hidden cave. That’s pretty cool. And hey, that scale was balancing one white rock and one black rock. The Man in Black pitched the white one into the sea. How many times have we seen black and white rocks – not to mention The Black Rock slave ship?
The numbers and the people associated with them are as follows: 4 – Locke. 8 – Reyes, 15 – Ford, 16 – Jarrah, 23 – Shephard, 42 – Kwon (but is that Jin or Sun?).
This leaves us with one gigantic question: What about Kate? What’s her number? Did Locke/Smokey simply not show her to Sawyer? Why didn’t Sawyer ask about Freckles? See below for my theory.