Letting Go

SPOILERS SPOILERS and MORE SPOILERS
And so, Sunday night, LOST came to an end.  In short, I loved it.  Was it perfect?  Of course, not, but I loved that it wasn't 150 minutes of crappy boring exposition — I will gladly trade a few less answers for a well-told story about characters I care for.  In fact, for a story that has relied so much on plot twists and guessing, I thought the finale was incredibly character driven.
Showdown.  So, Desmond uncorks the Island mojo (which ironically is what both Jack and Flocke wanted but for different reasons) and Smokey becomes mortal and so be killed — I didn't see that coming and liked that.  The scene where FLocke goes to the cliff with the ladder was just gorgeous.  The long shot of Flocke & Jack diagonally on the ledge (like a balance) was fantastic.  Twice Jack couldn't beat up and old man, so clearly being Island Protector doesn't give you any ninja skills, though the look on Jack's face as he kicked Flocke off the cliff was priceless.  I was amazed they wrapped that part up as soon as they did – I thought it kept the pacing of the ep brisk..

Sacrifice.  The scene with the getting-more-Christ-like-every-minute-Jack and Hurley at the mouth of the tunnel was heart-rending — even if you knew it was coming.  And Michael Emerson deserves yet another Emmy as Ben got in the perfect — oh, it's not me getting chosen…again — look as Jack passed on the Protectorship to Hugo.  When Kate implored "Tell me I'm going to see you again…" I nearly lost it. (no pun intended) — strangely also when Jack told Des "See you in another life, brother."  Because old Des was wrong wrong wrong about being able to escape this life and go to a happier place.  I like to think that he got back to Penny and little Whatshisname.
Sideways.  Okay — not a parallel world of atomic-bomb generated otherness, but one of a "purgatory/transition zone" – which was a surprise to me, though in some ways you can see how the whole season was pointing towards it (especially if you think about Jack’s wounds).  If the Island was about figuring out your past and your life, that transition world seemed to be one of coming to grips with your life issues before you can move on – to let go — as we'd heard several times over this season.  When Dad asked Jack "Why are YOU here?” it hit me in the gut.  The church scene was a little too much beach-reunion-y slow motion hugfest, but I'm alright with it.  Note: Kate’s line of “Christian Shephard… really?” might have been the best of the night.
I liked Juliet's and Sawyer's reconnection.  And didn't she look great in her evening dress?  Ahhh Juliet.  I'll miss her.  Actually, Kate looked pretty good in hers too.  Must have been nice to play dress up after all those seasons in dirty t-shirts.  Similarly, I did like the fact that Jack-Kate weren't each others’ epiphany.  Jack's was the coffin and his long-term father issues (hence the made-up David – sorry kid) and Kate's was the baby.  In a roomful of "constants”, it was nice to see that while they were together, they weren't "together" like that.

The scenes with Ben and Hurley and Ben and Locke outside the church were excellent and poignant.  I didn't even notice that Walt and Michael weren't there as some have — and I didn't really care.  Michael’s a whisperer and Walt's well — someplace else.  Since they hadn't really gone back to him in several seasons, his absence had no meaning to me.
The End.  When Jack washed up where the corpse of Jacob’s brother had a couple of millennia ago, I knew that the last shot was going to be Jack's eye.  Obvious perhaps, but I loved it.  I’ve always been Jack-centric (in all the “Which Lost Character Are You?” quizzes, I always come up as Jack) and so I thought it was really fitting.  Also his being able to see Ajira316 fly away and smile, meaning he knew he’d “fixed” it, so he could let go.  And if you had Lupidus, Miles, Claire, Kate, Sawyer and Richard in the “Who Flies Away on the Plane” pool, I applaud you.
9 Stars not 10 for:
Sayid and Shannon.  Since they NEVER talked about Shannon and only about Nadia Nadia Nadia for three seasons, this pair had the least emotional and "real" feeling awakening.  It felt like a cop-out and that they really couldn't find anything else for Sayid to connect with that didn't involve, you know, a main character.
Baby Aaron at the church.  Does that mean he died as a baby (bummer)?  Or was that the one she just had in the transition world and if THAT Aaron was just as false as "David", then why take him along — wouldn't that be like taking a long a cuddlier version of the creepy squirrel-skull baby?  Of course, no one would recognize some other actor if the "real" Aaron was grown up.  And if you're going to bring in the babies, where was Penny and Des' baby?  I guess they hadn't had one in the transition world yet — a little murky, but small potatoes, I suppose.
I know a lot of the hard science fiction folks will grouse about the very spiritual nature of the conclusion and the lack of details on the nature of The Light (is it electromagnetism or soul-juice?  Or both?), and the lack of a blueprint for what “bad” things would have happened if Smokey had gotten on the boat and the Island sank (do all our soul-light banks dry up?) – as well as the holes in the machinations of the Dharma folks and Charles Widmore.  And you know what, I didn’t care.  As plot points, they were interesting and some ended up being red herrings.  I guess I wasn’t looking for an itemized list of “answered questions” any more than I wanted George Lucas to de-mystify The Force with midichlorians, and in the end it didn’t matter.

What mattered was that even as really flawed people, they saved the world through striving together – some died pointlessly, some died heroically, and some lived a while and then died.  And in the end, we all will close our eyes and move on.

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5 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. Yikes! Had to scroll through that fast – we don't get it until tonight. They kept us up to date with you guys for the whole season then make us wait 2 or 3 days for the final.

  2. Nicely written, Steve. The more I've reflected on the finale, the more I like it. I had mixed feelings once it was clear the sideways world was "way-station-afterlife", but my disappointment with that has given way to deeper appreciation for the kinds of character-centric resolution that came about. I like how the issue of "why are we here" and "destiny" came down to choice. Jack chose to become guardian, not because someone told him to. After all the wrestling with whether or not something 'larger' loomed beyond what he could see, and the head-butting with Locke in the hatch and beyond, he realizes he can – must – choose to stand for something, regardless of the cost. And when he finally made that choice at the end, there was an air of humility about him. Very Kierkegaard-esque (given the allusions to Fear and Trembling, etc.).

  3. That was a great synopsis. I have never watched the sow but got a good feeling for the show and the ending episode from your post. I have heard so many varied responses. I think you and Grouchy have the right idea….looking at is as a story…a good story…and not tearing it apart, bit by bit, and analyzing every moment of it. The people that did that ended up pretty disappointed.

  4. ashbylane — yes, I think this season — and I suppose the whole show revolved around 'destiny' versus 'choice' — and dealing with what you can and can not control. The survivors didn't choose to be brought to the Island — but what they did after that was very much their own choices. It reminds me of when Gandalf admonishes Frodo for wishing The Ring had never come to him — you can't always control your circumstances, but you can control your reaction to them.

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