Sunday, May 17, 2009

An Ode To Giant Feet and H-Bombs

Lost: The Incident
Season 5, Episode 16&17

Wow. Well, there you go. The fifth season of Lost, arguably the series' most consistent outing, goes out literally with a bang. But enough with potential spoilers...for now at least. I know I've been slacking my duties as the That's a Wrap! Lost reviewer, but I've just been too enamored with this season to want to really dissect it for criticism. So what I'd like to do today is not really break down everything that happened in the finale, but rather just mull over where Lost is, has been and seems to be going.

I've given the producers of the show a lot of shit in the past for being obnoxious about getting to the Goddamn point. It's not that I have a problem with a show being full of mysteries. Of course, I don't have a problem with a show being all mysterious-like. I was an avid fan of The X-Files for ALL nine years, so trust me I can handle cock-tease television. What I can't handle is BORING cock-tease television. I loathed the season one Lost finale because it pretty much boiled down to "people launch and sail a boat/other people blow up the hatch that we've been dicking around with for TWELVE Goddamn episodes." Sure, Waaaaaaaaalt got kidnapped, but that wasn't even the season cliffhanger! No, instead we get to see people looking down the hatch.

Seriously? Yeah. It's a HATCH! We could reasonably assume that there was a DUDE inside the damned thing...why leave THAT for the season opener? Now, I still contend that the best that Lost has EVER been was the first eight episodes. Back before JJ Abrams left to pursue other endeavors(like ruining Star Trek), the show was good on both "freaky shit" and "jungle surviving" accounts. It had so much potential that it was electric watching the show weekly. But then it just started to lose it. Part of that is just my fault. I was thinking about Lost constantly. I lurked on Lost message boards. Hell, I dreamed about the show(Let's just say my "Alien ship on the island" dream thankfully hasn't come true just yet)! I was obsessed with the show. Understandably it would be hard to come up with something that I, and all the other fans, would appreciate and no be disappointed with.

In some ways, the series has never, and can never overcome the sheer expectations that the fans have.

I say this(and mention the first season finale) because in a lot of ways it felt like the first season finale. Let's be honest, most of the finale was people trying to get to the Swan Station site. Shit, they were trying to blow up the fucking hatch...AGAIN...only thirty years earlier., why wasn't I disappointed? Well, part of me was. I had two major gripes with the finale and I'd like to get them out of the way right now:

1. Juliet's flip-flop back and forth over Jack's plan. It payed off in the end with Juliet and Sawyer sharing a final scene together that literally had me on the verge of tears(those two were so good with each other that I feel like punching Cuse and Lindelof for "killing" Juliet), but every time Juliet changed her mind on whether or not they should blow up the island or not, I cringed.

2. Just as I suspected(I attempted to temper my co-worker's excitement over the finale by telling them to expect this) the episode ended with the bomb going off and presumably the time-traveling castaways causing the incident.

That's it. Those are my only two genuine gripes. So how come I liked this finale when it so closely mirrors the season one finale? Well, things happened...that's one reason. In this case, Cuse and Lindelof were able to balance the mythological happenings with the dramatic character moments and in some cases tie them into one another. See: Hurley's introduction to Jacob.

A lot of things happened in this episode, and I feel that just listing them out would be a disservice to the great season. I want to say that I am overall elated with the season, it was the first season that felt like it knew where it was going from start to finish. This was the strongest group of episodes that Lost has produced back to back. Maybe not the greatest episodes, but in tandem the strongest.

I was upset to see Sayid(easily one of the best and under-utilized characters on the show) gut shot in a Dharma bus and I hated seeing Juliet laying at the bottom of the hatch banging on an H-bomb. Both of their fates seem written, but I'm holding out hope at least for Juliet. It stands to reason that exploding the bomb is what causes "the incident." And if the incident sends the Lostaways back to 2007, I don't see why Juliet can't go back as well. Sure, she was right next to the bomb when it exploded, but Sawyer, Jack, Kate and the rest were only a good hundred yards above ground when the Jughead detonated. If THEY don't die(and there wouldn't be much of a sixth season without our cast) can we really assume that Juliet died? I suspect that she will be missing for most of the final season, but I do feel strongly that she will return.

I hesitate to speculate too much on the 2007 shenanigans, but I was elated to finally get a clear villain for the show. Nameless-guy-posing-as-Locke-who-may-or-may-not-be-the-smoke-monster certainly does seem like a total prick(not many people can totally CON BEN LINUS like he/it did), kicking poor defenseless tapestry-weaving Jacob into a fire pit was a downright despicable thing to do, even if I don't know if Jacob is a good guy or not...

Of course, the first time we meet Jacob he's wearing white and his angry possibly-fake-Locke buddy is wearing black. Possibly-fake-Locke says something about the cycle repeating itself on the island that sounded just a BIT too much like Battlestar Galactica's, "This has all happened before..." mantra. I swear to Christ, I'll scream if Jacob and fake-Locke end up being angels or God and the devil.

I was worried that the final season of this show wouldn't have any surprises for us, aside from tying up loose myth threads. I am not worried about that now. Hell, I'm even glad that they waiting almost four years to show us the significance of the four-toed statue. Can we assume that Jacob and the real Locke are dead? What does this mean for the island? Many questions. The most pressing question among them:

Is it January yet?

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