Blast from the Past 11 – It ends the way it began

Here we are – the final Blast from the Past post focusing on the TV show that is still being talked about years after the last episode aired.

LOST – Views from a Veteran – Season Six: Episodes 9-16

“There’s always a choice, brotha”- Desmond in “Happily Ever After”

Well, fans of the television show Lost, break out the cake and candles, as we are done! The epic saga of re-watching every single episode of Lost is finally complete.

The way this series ended leaves a lot of room open for debate, as not every little question was answered. We did not find out what the deal was with Walt, why Aaron was so special, what exactly the “rules” were, why Desmond was immune to time-travel, etc…

But for the most part, they really do not matter. However, for a show that spent so much time focusing on questions that never were answered, it does seem a little bit cruel. For a complete list of (most) of the unanswered questions, check out this video!

But, other than the huge list of unanswered questions, there are things about the final half of season six that were very well done.

Firstly, the use of Desmond in the flash-sideways timeline was a brilliant move. By having Desmond interact with most of the castaways created a much more sensible story than what was present in that universe (which we now know was the afterlife).

Secondly, the “awakenings” of all the characters was very touching, as we were shown flashbacks to some of their most important moments in the series. I have spoken to many people about the Lost finale, and they agree that while it was a little much at some points, they were necessary payoff for the characters. If you didn’t feel even a pang of emotion from any of them, you are officially dead inside.

That said – some of the awakenings hit an emotional cord much, much better than others. Case in point: Sun/Jin vs. Sayid/Shannon.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the episode entitled, “Across the Sea.”

Very much like the episode “Expose,” the opinion of fans for this episode was polarized. Honestly, I did not like the episode when I watched it live – it felt like a bit of a cop-out for the third last episode of the series.

I wasn’t that interested in the childhood of the MiB and Jacob, but I wanted to know how they manipulated the situations of every character on the series to further their own goals. I wanted to know more about the secrets of the island and why the MiB was turned into the monster, not about the MiB pining for civilization and the revelation that the key to the island is a mysterious golden light.

But, that is what is so good about Lost. No resolution on countless storylines allows people (like you and I) to discuss and analyze the show. After all, the enjoyment of television is being able to talk to others about it, and Lost DID that.

You will notice that I have not mentioned the finale in great detail, and that is because in the next part of this post is an exploration of the finale in GREAT detail, as well as the exclusive Lost DVD extra epilogue entitled “The New Man in Charge.”

Now, it’s time for the finale batch of “Lost-isms!” After a total of 123 episodes. Here are the final results:

We now have a grand total of 31 fights, with Ben & Sawyer and Sawyer & Sayid in the lead with three fights each, and Jack & Ethan, Sawyer & Jack and Sawyer & Pickett tied for second place with two. Bringing up the rear, with only one fight each are: Michael and Boone, Sawyer and Charlie, Charlie and Sayid, Sawyer and Ana, Jin and Mr. Eko, Mr. Eko and Sayid, Locke and Charlie, Locke and Mr. Eko, Ben and Sayid, Sayid and Mikhail, Kate and Mrs. Klugh, Juliet and Kate, Mikhail and John, Juliet and Charlotte, Ben and Jack, Locke and Jack, Ben and Keamy, Desmond and Ben, and lastly, Sayid and Dogen.

Keep in mind, for the fights, both characters had to throw a punch and connect at least once.

Ben has been beaten up nine different times, while Sawyer has said “Sonofabitch” on 36 separate occasions. But, neither holds a candle to Desmond saying “brother” a grand total of 49 times!

Finally, I will now end with the complete list of “Sawyer-isms”:

“Doc” took a commanding lead and is now the champion after being said an impressive 50 times! Coming in second is “Freckles” with 37 mentions. Coming in at a much distant third are “Sweetheart,” and “Hoss,” at eight.

Fourth spot belongs to “Boss” and “Chief” with Sawyer saying them both six separate times, while fifth place belongs to “Blondie” with five mentions.

The “Sawyer-isms” that are tied for sixth are “”Enos” and “Chewie” after being said four times, with seventh place belonging to “Sister,” “Frogurt,” “Dharmaville” for being said on three separate occasions. Meanwhile, eight spot belongs to all the nicknames that were said twice – “Sweetcheeks,” “Hero,” “Sunshine,” “Mohammed,” “Tattoo,” “Daniel Boone,” “Zeke,” “Sheena,” “Red,” “Chesty,” and finally, “Smokey.”

Tied for last place are all the other nicknames that Sawyer only uttered once. There are over 100 of them, so I don’t want to bore you with listing all of them (however, if you want the list, let me know and I can send them to you). Some of the best of the rest are: “Lardo,” “Mr. Miyagi,” “Captain Falafel,” “Stay-Puff,” “Croc Hunter,” “Sulu,” “Ponce de Leon,” “Mr. Clean,” “Tokyo Rose,” “Cool Hand,” “Moonbeam,” “Doctor Giggles,” “Captain Bunny Killer,” “Skeletor,” “Taller Ghost Walt,” “Bruce Lee from the Freighter” and “Quick Draw.”

 

A Finale Analysis

“I didn’t pluck any of you out of a happy existence. You were all flawed. I chose you because you were like me. You were all alone. You were all looking for something that you couldn’t find out there. I chose you because you needed this place as much as this place needed you” – Jacob in “What They Died For”

For the re-watch of the finale, since I already knew the ending to the story, I was able to keep an eye out for some references that didn’t occur to me during my initial watch, but gently hinted at the stepping stone answer.

Firstly, the ending has been discussed by countless people and will continue to be debated for a long time to come. People have praised it, and people have chastised it, but you all have to appreciate what they did. This is my attempt to explain it to those of you who are confused (I will get to the rest of the episode in a bit).

I’ve been told lots of random theories about the ending from friends, and this is my take on what makes the most sense.

Jack – “There are no shortcuts, no do-overs. What happened, happened. Trust me, I know. All of this matters.”

The quote speaks volumes. Just like they did with the nuclear bomb explosion at the end of the last season, they could NOT simply re-do the timeline and forget everything that we had seen on the island. Everything that happened on the island was important to their growth as individuals.

One of the most important things to realize about the flash-sideways is that TIME is RELATIVE.

Just because we were seeing them all together at the same time as the “present” time on the island, it does not mean they were happening simultaneously. With the flash-sideways universe (much better name than purgatory or way-station or stepping stone in my opinion), time no longer matters to you. When you die, time ceases to exist.

While Jack died in the forest, many survivors of Oceanic flight 815 lived many years and died at their own time. One example clearly illustrates this from when Ben and Hurley were talking at the church.

Hurley – “You were a real good number two.”
Ben – “And you were a great number one, Hugo.”

This hints that they lived many years after Jack’s final moments on the island, perhaps even centuries after. On the complete series box set (as well as the season 7 DVD set), there is a special feature (about 10-14 minutes long) about the Ben and Hurley years on the island.

The extra does not go into great detail, but you do finally get to see the final Dharma orientation video for the Hydra station, as well as answers to a few questions. I contemplated spoiling it for you here, but I decided against it. If you are a fan of Lost who has seen all the episodes, you owe it to yourself to watch it. Is it the greatest epilogue? No, but it’s good enough

Another note on the ending of the show – I would have preferred someone else in the Deus Ex Machina role, other than Christian Sheppard. I believe Desmond, as our guide through the time-space continuum, would have been an amazing fit. I can understand that Jack’s dad was an important character and helped connect many other character storylines throughout the show, it seemed like a bit of a cop-out.

But, that said, the conversation between them in the multi-faith church (did you notice all the faith symbols scattered across the room and in the stained glass window? See the picture above) had a lot to cover and I thought they did it relatively well. It involved a lot of careful wording to let the audience know what was going on, and while they painted with broad strokes as to not focus on any religion too much, it was a little heavy handed at times.

Here’s the entire church conversation between Jack and Christian for you to examine:

Christian: Hello Jack.
Jack: I don’t understand. You died.
C: Yeah. Yes I did.
J: Then how are you here right now?
C: How are YOU here?
J: [realization hits] I died, too.
C: That’s OK. It’s OK, son [hugs]. I love you son
J: I love you, too, Dad. Are you real?
C: I sure hope so. Yeah, I’m real. You’re real, everything that’s ever happened to you is real. All those people in the church. They’re all real, too.
J: They’re all dead?
C: Everyone dies some time, kiddo. Some have been before you, some long after you. (emphasis added)
J: Why are they all here now?
C: There is no now, here.
J: Where are we, Dad?
C: This is a place that you’ve all made together so that you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people. That’s why all of you are here. Nobody dies alone, Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you.
J: For what?
C: To remember, and to… let go.
J: Kate… she said we were leaving.
C: Not leaving, no. Moving on.
J: Where are we going?
C: Let’s go find out.

What I think you need to take from all of this, is that the theme of this season was all about letting go and moving on. Think about that for a second: Letting go, and Moving On.

Every main character from season one let go of their personal baggage and was able to move onwards. Below, you can see just how exactly the “main” Losties who were at the church in the end, were main characters from season one onwards.

Sawyer – Killed the real Sawyer and found love
Sayid – Embraced who he was and found redemption in love
Kate – Finally stopped running, and found love
Hurley – Found his purpose (helping people) and found love
Locke – Finally accepted that which he could not change and accepted help
Jack – Embraced his destiny and his true purpose, and yes, found love
Charlie – Embraced his destiny and found love
Claire – Embraced motherhood and found love
Sun – Became a more independent and self-sustaining woman, and re-affirmed her love
Jin – Realized that work was not all the was to his life, and re-affirmed his love
**I am not including Shannon or Boone, as their story lines were not as prevalent as the others**

Do you see a pattern there? Love.

While every character may not have necessarily found romantic love, I think it is more about finding a connection. To be “woken up,” it needs to be done by someone who had a profound impact upon your life.

These awakenings caused millions of people to cry. Therefore, here they are in order (for those interested).

1) Sun and Jin remember in the hospital
2) Sayid and Shannon in the alley
3) Kate, Charlie and Claire giving birth to Aaron
4) Locke in the hospital moving his toe
5) Sawyer and Juliet at the vending machine
6) Locke and Ben outside the church (not an “awakening,” but still very moving)
7) Hurley and Ben outside the church (also not an “awakening,” but very emotional)
7) Jack and Christian

Desmond – “No one can tell you why you are here but you”

Now, here are a few unanswered questions from the finale that were quite obvious to me upon viewing.
– Did everyone, when they were “awakened,” remember their deaths?
– Was Richard indeed aging (remember the grey hair?) because of Jacob passing on his duties to Jack?
– How did Lapidus survive being struck by a large door underwater in a submarine, make it to the surface on pontoons and wait for rescue for a day or two?
– How did Boone “awaken”?
– How did the cave turn the Man in Black into the Smoke Monster, if he was unconscious (or dead) and all that was down there is a pool with a cork in it?
– If Eloise in the flash-sideways universe knew that it was a type of purgatory, why didn’t she leave when she “awoke”?
– Why didn’t Miles, Farraday or Charlotte “awaken”?
– Why after Jack and Smoke-Locke’s battle did it suddenly stop raining?
– Why didn’t Jack bless the water in the Oceanic bottle before giving it to Hurley (like Jacob did for him, and his mother did for Jacob)?
– Wouldn’t Richard be more terrified by being on an airplane for the first time in his life?
– Why did Kate change from her dress at the concert (and the one she was wearing in the car with Jack), to another one in the church?

Hurley – “It takes as long as it takes.”

But with all the answered questions from the finale, and all the countless mysteries that were left unsolved, what did I think?

I believe that Lost ended the only way it could have – by focusing on the characters. Every main character had a few moments in the massive finale, and saw their personal stories get resolved before moving on.

Do not get me wrong, I love science fiction and was thrilled when they introduced time-travel, alternate universes, etc… into the show. But, what you always must remember is that Lost is a show about people. Granted, the people are in rather bizarre situations on an island with killer black smoke monster that can assume the form of the deceased.

One final note – for those who watched in the U.S. or did not see ads for what was coming up next on television, your probably saw something like this:

It was released that the producers or creators of the show did NOT plan this photo montage to occur. The final shot was supposed to be on Jack’s eye, and that was it. Fade to black and roll credits. However, ABC executives, in order to give viewers a chance to collect themselves and think before the news popped on, decided to place images of the Oceanic flight wreckage on the screen. These shots, however, led some people to believe that no one survived the initial plane crash and the entire thing was a lie.

It was not their intention, just an ill-fated decision by ABC executives. Everything that happened on the show still happened.

With all the good, bad and mysteries left unexplained, Lost was still a very impressive show. But, it was not perfect and they did stumble quite a few times … remember Jack’s tattoo episode?

Still, it was a hell of a ride.

Thank you all for reading these, and if you’d like me to do more series re-watches/re-caps, let me know in the comments below!

Starting next week … the novel returns!

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