May 12, 2010

LOST at Sea

 We'll call this hand "half-empty"

Sigh. I so wanted to be positive about this episode. I didn't want to join the chorus of people who cried foul at the answers the LOST writers shared with us as the series headed towards its swan station -- er -- song. 

And yet…

I give the writers credit for winking at the audience, having Mother Nature tell us that with so little time left we should stop asking questions because the answers will only lead to more questions. I once again applaud them for playing with our assumptions, and showing us that all this time the Man in Black, thought to be Jacob's brother, was indeed so -- but has actually been dead for many centuries. 

Yet the episode left me empty because it merely gave us glimpses of an answer without any real substance. Jacob has to protect the magical underground glow of the island? What is he -- a leprechaun keeping the Dharma Initiative from stealing his gold? And as for his brother, who they not only refused to give a name -- but took great pains to set up nine million different points at which normal people would have used his name, and still wouldn't go there -- "What are you two boys doing? Jacob! And you!" -- not clever, just lame.

Did the story fit into the mythology as we know it? Absolutely. In fact, it was very clever to have Mother Nature with two sons or "candidates" that she couldn't kill herself, and that she was only able to die at the hand of "He who we shall not bother to name" AFTER she had found her replacement… and that she was grateful to finally be done with the island. But the whole Adam and Eve retrofit with the black and white stones? 

Maybe I would have been fine with it if they had left it to the smart folks in the audience to realize that they were the skeletons the gang had discovered way back in Season One. To actual beat us over the head with it via flashback? That seemed more like a way to puff up the collective chestitude of the writing staff, saying "see, we had a plan all along" and I don't think that rings true. 

 Jacob. You look a bit under the weather.

Finally, just because you showed us that "HWWSNBTN" was standing there with the pre-frozen donkey wheel claiming that the folks he'd been hanging with for 30 years were quite smart and figured out that this was the way off the island… that neither means you've actually answered the question of its origin nor made any realistic explanation of why anyone in their right minds would make such a conclusion. 

It's not like we're all sitting there slapping our heads going, "Of course! How could we not have figured out that by attaching a wheel to the hidden underground shiny light, we'll suddenly be able to magically transport ourselves to Tunisia. Which reminds me…honey, did you call the wheel guy and make an appointment for this weekend? We're making that trip to Somalia next week and I want to make sure we don't encounter any problems."

 We're plumbers and know a ghost when we see one. Can we be of help?

Two episodes left… and now, a lot more work to do than I thought they'd have to make me feel good about this final season.

4 comments:

  1. I think you're being a little too hard on them for the adam and eve thing. Yes there are ALOT of hardcore fans out there who have been waiting for the adam and eve revelation for years, but there are also fans like my mom and dad who just watch the show and would be hard pressed to remember details from last season, let alone 6 years prior.

    I also felt that not giving MIB a name, his mother never picked one for him, added to the sadness of his character and, for me, intensified the parallel of Jacob/Mib to Jack/Locke.

    I've been quite a bit contrarian to popular opinion this year, ab aeterno massively dissapointed me, but across the sea pretty much lived up to my expectations.

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  2. I think it's safe to come to the conclusion that there is entirely too much history and mystery for the writers of Lost to address in only 6 seasons. Apparently they feel inclined to tell a little (barely) about Jacob and MIB but almost nothing as to exactly what is up with the island. Unless they turn the remaining 3 1/2 hours of this series in to a summary there's no way to cover it all. As things are winding down quickly I've had to accept the fact that they aren't going to explain every minor detail and, when they do explain some things, the answers may not be nearly as interesting as I'd hoped they would be. However they choose to end this show I can definitely say that is has been a fun ride.

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  3. Ha! I was wondering what you thought of this episode. I wasn't disapointed with the answers we got, I was more disappointed with timing. It seems like they should've shown this show maybe 3 or 4 episodes prior to tonight. After the big setup from the last episode I was just ready to move forward and it seemed like "Lostus Interruptus" for me, with info that wouldn't have hurt the narrative if they had given it out earlier this season. Also, I'll go with the sudden switch from Latin to English, but that seemed a little off since they usually did other episodes in Foreign tounge. It does seem like they have a lot to cover in these final episodes - I think we have to have faith that they will.

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  4. I do wish they had answered a few more questions, but there's still a little time for them to do so. I really did like this episode, and I'm glad they beat us over the head with the flashback, because I had completely forgotten all of it. Had my wife -- who remembers all and reads all about this show -- told me about the skeletons in the first season, I would've remembered them. But I would NOT have remembered the tiny pouch with the black and white rocks in it.

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