Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"Lost" in Thoughts: Season Four Mega-Finale

I know it's been several days since the 2-hour season four "Lost" finale has aired, but I've had time to rewatch it, cogitate on it, and read a little commentary here and there. Here are my (for the moment) final thoughts on the episode and the season.

  • A big question regarding the Oceanic Six and the big "lie". Wasn't it reported in the (fictional) media that all the bodies of the passengers and crew of Oceanic 815 were located at the bottom of the ocean in the (fake) airplane? I seem to remember one of the TV reporters saying something like they'd counted all 88-odd irretrievable and unidentifiable bodies under the water. So then just the presence of the Oceanic Six (really the Eight because they did mention two other crash survivors that subsequently died) throws the cover story into question.

  • Some commenters have wondered how anyone could've moved the island before and the the ice/glass barrier that Ben had to break through (and subsequently cut himself) still be intact. My theory is that the same subterranean tunnel he disappeared into a few episodes back in the barracks to summon the Smoke Monster also leads to the Frozen Donkey Wheel room. Being that the barracks were cut off to him, he knew there was another entrance behind the Orchid "vault" and got in that way.

  • By the way, for those who don't know, "Frozen Donkey Wheel" is the term the producers of the show teased us with a month or so ago as the key to the season finale. And that's literally what the big thing was Ben turned to move the island - a Frozen Donkey Wheel.

  • Having everyone refer to Locke as "Jeremy Bentham", even among themselves, was a little silly as they all knew him better as John Locke. Especially Walt. But you kind of have to assume in some of those scenes they actually did say his name but the producers wanted us kept in the dark. So it was almost like a censor *bleep* - you know the *bleep* didn't come out of the guy's mouth, it was a bad word so you imagine what the bad word was (c'mon, you know you do). For most cases "Jeremy Bentham" was a *bleep* for John Locke.

  • Unless of course the body in the casket is Locke's long-lost clone Jeremy. Then all bets are off.

  • The first rule any person should know if they're dumped in deep water is to remove pants and shoes for easier swimming. Sawyer, being the cool Knoxville dude he is, only removes his shirt. Whatta guy.

  • I thought after viewing the episode for the first time, "Christian Shepherd" had whisked Michael away at the last second before the explosion. After seeing it again, I'm not so sure. I think in fact Michael is dead. So then why did Hurley tell Walt he was probably still alive? I know at that point in the episode we hadn't seen the boat blow up, but still... Maybe he's in that that kinda alive state that Claire exists in.

  • Speaking of Claire, listen to her speak to Kate with no accent. Creepy. Is Dream Claire appearing to Kate like Dream Horace appearing to Locke? Horace was indeed dead, but sorta a ghost. Is that Claire, too?

  • According to my count, eleven of the people on the island make it back to civlization at some point: Jack, Kate, Aaron, Sayid, Hurley, Sun, Ben, Locke, Desmond, Frank, and Walt. Seems strange that at this point we're supposed to believe the Oceanic Six don't hear from Des/Penny and Frank for three years...

  • Also still seems strange nobody goes to see Walt when they get home. Especially Hurley. He just shrugs when Walt questions him about it, so there must be another reason besides, "Sorry dude, we forgot..."

  • The Keamy dead/not dead fake-out was just wrong, wrong, wrong. In the clearing after Richard Alpert shot the mercenary while fighting with Sayid, to be in character Ben should've come up to the body and shot him a few more times, or stabbed him personally. We see now how emotionally headstrong Ben can be. Even if Keamy's eyes were starting open, someone should've - would've - checked his pulse to confirm he was dead. As it turns out, the boat would've blown then and thrown the whole plot into chaos, but it would've been much simpler to somehow have Keamy escape into the jungle and show up later at the Orchid station. As it was, having him "come back from the dead" smacks of B-movie horror flicks.

  • Locke also should've at least attempted to transfer the heartbeat monitor to himself when Keamy was dying. There would've been a few seconds interruption in the signal but it would've been better than no signal at all. Another bad characterization move for plot expediency.

  • Just an idle thought: was the Looking Glass station transported along with the Lost Island and the Hyrda Island? I just keep thinking of poor Charlie, still floating dead in that communication chamber...

  • I smell a bit of a rat in Sun's offer to assist Widmore. I just don't buy she's become as ruthless as her father in the interim time since buying controlling interest in his company. Her offer to join forces sounded more like baiting a trap. I wouldn't be surprised if by this time she's working tacitly with Ben and Sayid.

  • I firmly believe Jin jumped off the boat before the explosion and, like most of the other boat survivors and Daniel Faraday and his Rafties travelled with the island in its jump and all make it back to the island. The mix of Freighties and Losties now continue the struggle vs. Locke and the Others.

  • So Where Are They?

    Good question. Where is the island now? Did it move to another physical location in an ocean somewhere on Earth? That's possible, but it's also possible it moved forward in time - just like the bunnies did (although on a slightly larger scale). Trouble with the time thing, while it buys them some...ahem...time, it doesn't get them off the hook with Widmore. Assuming he's at least somewhat aware of the island's abilities, he simply has to wait till it shows up again in the same coordinates he originally sent the freighter. So it must've moved physically, and ahead in time.

    How far ahead? Not the full three years that the Oceanic Six have been back in the world. There needs to be time for all the "really bad stuff" to happen that Locke apparently tells them about. I'm thinking the logical amount would be, oh, say, 108 days?

    Of course I could be wrong and they went back in time to the year April 8, 1516 at roughly 11:42 pm...

  • So Where Does This Leave Us?

    Where do we start next season in the timeline? According to the timeline on Lostpedia (a very well-done resource for all things Lost) the island jumps on December 30, 2004 (my birthday!) and the Oceanic Six are rescued about a week or so after that. Over the span of the next three years, through the fall of 2007 the events of this season's flash-forwards occur. Ben and Jack talk in front of Locke's coffin sometime around September of 2007. The island and all its inhabitants have disappeared and the "present" time has caught up to the chronological beginning of the flash-forwards. What will be next season's main time period, and what will be the flashbacks and flash-forwards?

    I think a show like this has to be able to ground itself into a narrative reality, and with all the time-skipping Lost has done (both real jumping and narrative jumping) you have to have a "present" or a "now" for the general viewing public to hang on to. Up till now this has been easy... it now becomes a bit more difficult.

    I'm guessing they pick up the "present" storyline a while after the Oceanic Six return home. The biggest gap that we haven't seen detailed much is the time after Nadia is killed and Sayid joins Ben (Oct 2005) and before Jack begins seeing his father and drifts away from Kate and Aaron (Aug 2006). There are a couple of incidents that happen in between then (Sayid's first assassination mission, Kate's trial) but that's a lot of time for Locke to surface, take the identity of Jeremy Bentham, and start appearing to the Oceanic Six folks (and Walt). This could lead up through the events we saw with Locke's death and beyond.

    I'm thinking the island reappears the same "time" that Ben does - October 24, 2005. That would be about 300 days after they left (298 to be exact - I was SO hoping it would turn out to be 324 days after they left...i.e. (4+8+15+16+23+42=108) x 3, for the third jump the island's made. I know, I'm such a LostGeek). So if we pick the story about the time the island jumps back, we can see the "present" on the island and on the mainland at the same time.

    Just a thought. But the show really does have to have a "now" to keep everything balanced.

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