Lost in Thought: Don't Let Me Down


Okay, I guess my episode analyses are going to mirror one another somewhat, the way this season of Lost is at times mirroring itself, and the first season, and the series to date. There will be no individual writeup of last Tuesday's episode, "What They Died For", in advance of tonight's two-(plus-)part series finale, "The End", just as there was no writeup of the first individual hour of the season, "What Kate Does", following the two-part season premiere. Actually, my entry on "LA X" wasn't put up until later in the season, and is among the last of a handful of missing posts that have yet to be republished, but the way things have been going here lately even that fact will be reflected in a delayed post on "The End". My laptop has started acting hinky again, and the Internet connection has been at a crawl when it's been working at all, and my energy has been low lately, on top of all of which I've just come down with a cold.

Season 6 ends tonight and thus so does Lost as a whole, as you might have heard. Its finale airs at 9 p.m. EST on ABC, following a two-hour series retrospective at 7, and runs until 11:30; then, after the local news, the one-hour Jimmy Kimmel Live: Aloha to 'Lost' comes on at 12:05 a.m with cast members and creative staff. That's all true for the USA, at least; what reminds me of viewers outside our borders is that also immediately following the finale is a live online chat (just one of many, I'm sure) at the CTV website featuring my friend and Finding 'Lost' author Nikki Stafford.

Reviews of Iron Man 2 and 24 are sitting around half-finished, and the latter especially I'd like to get up before that show's own series finale tomorrow night, but right now I'll be lucky if these very words are online before the big event this evening. I really want to kick back and enjoy the last Lost as much as possible as television, ideally after catching up with comments from my clique at Nikki's blog, Nik at Nite, and Jeff Jensen's Totally 'Lost' insights for Entertainment Weekly.


Mario Perez photo © 2010 ABC Studios.


The subtitle for this installment of 'Lost' in Thought, however, a Beatles song that I just can't get out of my head, is not a reference to my own recent lack of bloggitude. No, I had the title slotted for my
episode analysis of "Across the Sea" in reference to Island Momma's desperate pleas to Jacob and Esau — until I realized that it perfectly summed up my and so many other viewers' feelings about "The End".

After the wildly uneven previous episode, overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time, I truly feared for
Lost's final few hours. The campfire scene in "What They Died For" went a long way towards assuaging those fears; as I put it at Nik at Nite, I can see given this episode how the next episode would be the finale. Jacob's conversation with the Candidates and Jack's assumption of Jacob's role was a nice, straightforward propulsion of the primary plot that followed well from last week's mega-flashback episode and the Candidates' recent Island adventures. But I still have the sinking feeling, based on what we've seen (or not seen) so far this season, on how little screen time is left, and on recent comments from the showrunners referenced in my last post, that the finale will leave unaddressed things that I feel should be addressed.

Here are eleven of the subjects that to my mind need to be covered for the narrative to wrap up in satisfying fashion. Not all of them require long-winded explanations; a few might, but in other cases a simple acknowledgement that
Lost's world just works this way or even an indication that yes, that is a mystery would suffice. Some are obviously related and others might be more related than we realize, but of course we have little beyond our own suppositions to go on.

2005-2007: We saw glimpses of the Oceanic Six's lives off the Island during this time, and know that the rest of the main characters lived a relatively normal life in the past during the equivalent 30 years ago. Did Jacob, Smokey and Claire, or Richard and the Others do anything significant in this period, and if not why the heck not?

The Numbers: I know we had them explained in "Lighthouse" as corresponding to the Candidates. But it's still unexplained as to why 4 8 15 16 23 42 were on the Hatch door and in the radio transmission, how they ended up as Hurley's winning lottery numbers if that was anything other than coincidence, and why, say, Kate's 51 wasn't among them.

Connectivity: How did these characters' paths cross so astoundingly in the original and altered timelines? Is their tangled web meant to be an indication of fate, an example of how everyone is connected, or an example of Jacob and/or the Island at work?

"Specialness": Walt has powers that seem to include willing things into happening. Desmond can not only survive bombardment by electromagnetic radiation but when doing so have his consciousness travel through time or perhaps across parallel dimensions. Miles and Hurley can communicate with the dead in different ways. Are there people with similar abilities all around the world? Is that just a fact of life in the universe in which Lost takes place? Are these abilities tied to the light that is within us all and if so tied to the Island?

Pallet Drops: Yeah... How did those work, exactly?

Eloise Hawking: When and how did she acquire the awareness she has, which clearly is not just limited to "book smarts" gleaned from Daniel's journal? How many spacetime cops like her are there?

Apparitions: Souls get trapped on the Island when they can't move on for some reason. Hurley sees dead people on and off the Island. Smokey can take the form of those who've died but has never been off the Island. There are still apparitions that took place on and certainly off the Island that aren't explained by any of these facts.

The Cabin: Was it ever one of Jacob's haunts? Did it serve a prison for Smokey, and if so, for how long? How does it move around, why does it appear when and where it does, what was up with Horace building it if that was indeed Horace, whose eye did Hurley see, and most importantly who or what was in there when Ben first brought John Locke to it, since we've actually never seen Smokey be invisible?

Weird Stuff: Even given time travel, healing powers, immortality, telekinesis, and necrotelepathy, wet backwards-talking Walt and comatose Sawyer's channeling of Wayne in front of Kate is some danged weird stuff.

The Island: How exactly does it travel through time and space? How does it stay hidden? How can anybody get to it? I'm not looking for mathematical equations but for clarification on the bits of apparently contradictory information that we've gotten on whether it exists fully in the same dimension as the rest of the world, how often it moves outside of turns of the Frozen Donkey Wheel, and what hides it from outside observers if a spike in the very energy that's apparently responsible for most of its unique properties is what revealed it to Penny's research team.

The Dharma Initiative: Its organizational history, fascinating though it must be, doesn't concern me as much as its presence on the Island as that ties into the previous questions. Why did Jacob let the Dharma folks flourish for as long as they did, and what led him to eliminate them if indeed the Purge was undertaken at his orders? Why would he let anyone come to the Island, beyond the need for a potential replacement, which wouldn't seem necessary if there were never anyone on the Island but him and his brother? Why did the Oceanic Six and friends need to recreate the conditions of their original crash if Jacob can bring people to the Island? Right now I'm not sure if Jacob summons particular vessels or just makes the Island accessible to those in the vicinity when he's ready for another batch of people to observe, and whether his actions, usage of an appropriate bearing, and outright accidents are the defined ways of ending up there. Apparently people have successfully escaped the Island to talk about its funkitude, beyond those given the secret knowledge of proper bearings by Jacob's followers, because the military and the Dharma Initiative, among others, made it a specific destination.

I've prioritized putting together one more round of free association in advance of tonight's episode, despite having more hopes and opinions to share along with some nifty links; my energy is low and there's no guarantee how long it or my Internet connection will hold out. One of the burning questions on viewers' minds is who David Shephard's mother will turn out to be, so once again I've opened up my consciousness to the universe and let the answer come to me by going with the next thing that pops into my head until arriving at an appropriate answer. You may scoff, but I correctly predicted that the mysterious Wallace named in the episode "Lighthouse" was actually Charles Widmore this way back in February. Ready? Enjoy and be edified!


David.


David Duchovny.


Gillian Anderson.


Wes Anderson.


Rushmore.


Rush.


Geddy Lee.


Harper Lee.


To Kill a Mockingbird.


"Tequila".


Pee-Wee Herman.


Herman Munster.


Monsters Inc.


Infinity Inc.


The Justice Society of America.


The Justice League of America.


Superman.


Batman.


The Joker.


Jack Nicholson.


"Jack and Jill".


Jill Sobule,
who must be terribly tired of having her song "I Kissed a Girl"
constantly associated with the newer one of the same name sung by...


Katy Perry.


Matthew Perry.


Friends.


"With a Little Help from My Friends".


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.


The Queen of Hearts.


Royal flush.


Straight flush.


Dire Straits.


"Romeo and Juliet".


Juliet!

So as most of us thought, Juliet is David's mom. Actually, as this didn't get uploaded until after the finale aired, you can change "most of us thought" to "all of us now know" and "is David's mom" to... well... however you want to describe it given what this season's flashes were revealed to be.

I hope this wasn't too anticlimactic.

Images for free-association segment are the intellectual property of, where applicable, with photographer or artist credits given to the best of my immediate research, ABC Studios, 20th Century Fox Film Corp. (2), WireImage [Jesse Grant], Touchstone Pictures, Rush or Mercury Records, Shipguy via Wikipedia, Time-Life Pictures / Getty Images, J.B. Lippincott & Co., Challenge Records, Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal Studios, Pixar Animation Studios / Walt Disney Pictures, DC Comics [Jerry Ordway, Mike Machlan, unknown colorist, Gaspar Saladino], DC Comics [Alex Ross], DC Comics [Michael Turner, Peter Steigerwald], DC Comics / Warner Bros. Pictures (3), W.W. Denslow, Getty Images, WireImage (2), Warner Bros. Television, Getty Images for NARAS [Larry Busacca], EMI Group Ltd. or the creators (Robert Fraser, Peter Blake & Jann Haworth, Michael Cooper), John Tenniel, Shutterstock, DPS Distribution Ltd., Warner Bros. Records (2), and ABC Studios [Mario Perez], used in good faith.

13 comments:

Teebore said...

As I mentioned on Nikki's blog, great post!

We're definitely on the same page with a lot of this stuff.

And what really bugs me about Darlton's (seemingly casual) dismissal of our concerns about some of this stuff staying unresolved, is that they seem to be missing the point: it's about the show, in the end, standing up as a cohesive narrative, one which the clues littered throughout it's body all add up to a complete story. We're not just whining that our pet mystery won't get solved.

I want to be able to argue and debate and discuss the show's themes and meanings and motivations, but at the end, the plot should stand revealed.

Anyways, hope you enjoy all the finale festivities (and the finale itself, of course) and I'll see you over at Nik's and elsewhere around the interwebs tomorrow!

VW: tartop: either a delicious addition to a tart, such as a dollop of whipped cream, or the shirt worn by a woman of loose morals.

Joan Crawford said...

Yes, pellet drops! I think the whole reason they started in with the food issue was because of viewers commenting on Hurley's weight and how it hadn't gone down enough for a dude who only eats mangoes. Solution = Ranch Dressing. I honestly think they hadn't ever taken it into account before then. I am also annoyed at the whole "If it doesn't matter to the characters, we won't answer it." Well, that sucks. We as viewers are aware of way more stuff than they are - of course they don't care about Naomi's bracelet or Annie - they aren't important enough to them. But they were pointed out to us, dammit!
And the numbers they're just magical. Thhbbbt. Lame.
The psychic! Now they say "Oh, he was just a scam artist." What? What?!
You know, it is so irritating because they encourage this rabid devotion and...attention to detail and then they drop the ball. Repeatedly. The production errors, this late in the game are, to me, inexcusable.

I think I am just in the anger phase of the grieving process...I still love Lost. :(

This was very funny, Blambo. Your absence had been forgiven in light of this quality work you have produced.

JW said...

Your thoughts echo mine to such an extent, I'm printing this out as I type to have with me while I watch the episode. And by the way, Don't Let Me Down is one of my favorite songs! Some months back I saw a Beatles tribute band that was really good, and "John" did it for me!

JW said...

Well, now I get to comment from the "other side".

As Nikki mentions, it was a bit of a polarizing finale. I, myself, felt a little let down, though I don't want to take away any warm fuzzy feelings others may have right now. I think it would have been nice had the questions you raised been addressed earlier, rather than having to deal with them in the finale - or leave them hanging. Ah well. In the end, the love you take....

Teebore said...

@Joan: You know, it is so irritating because they encourage this rabid devotion and...attention to detail and then they drop the ball. Repeatedly. The production errors, this late in the game are, to me, inexcusable.

Well said, Joanie! Righteous indignation! ;D

@JW: I think it would have been nice had the questions you raised been addressed earlier, rather than having to deal with them in the finale - or leave them hanging.

I agree; I think, expecting that the finale would do little-to-nothing in terms of resolving dangling narrative points, I raged about ad naseaum in the time beween "Across the Sea" and the finale.

As I result, I was better prepared to enjoy the finale on its own merits, and I'm doing my best to not blame it for failing to wrap up the show's arc, as really, it shouldn't have ever been put in such a position. The writers had 3 seasons of knowing exactly when the show would end to wrap things up, and they apparently chose not to.

Joan Crawford said...

Blam! A moment of your time, please.

So, on Kimmel last night, he mentioned that he thinks that Jack died on the second plane...no third. The second Oceanic flight when it was all shakey and Rose goes "You can let go now."

So...wait, what? They were on island (the real world) and then they blew up the bomb and flew onto the plane (still real world?) and then some time after being on the plane...Jack died (and started Waiting Room World)? Only Jack? I guess it has to be just Jack because Claire hadn't yet had Aaron and he was a baby in the church. How did Jack die on the plane?

Nothing makes any sense! I love the ending and I "get" it - the emotional stuff about life and all that happy horseshit but I don't get the time line. Do you?

Teebore said...

@Joan:

If Blam will permit me, perhaps I can help.

Kimmel is over-complicating things.

Flight 815 crashed. The events of seasons 1-5 unfolded. The Losties detonated Jughead. This caused the incident that led to the building of the Swan, and shuttled them back to 2007. Jack became the new Jacob, killed FLocke, died. Other characters died, or lived longer, but eventually, everyone died.

Together, the souls of the 815ers created a world in which they could work out their issues and ultimately, remember their lives, come together and move on. That world was the Flash Sideways.

It is a world outside of time (there is no now) but from the perspective of the "unawakened" time flows normally. Thus, people who died before and after Jack are there. From "our" perspective, as the audience, we began watching the events of that afterlife from the flight of Oceanic 815 in 2004, but the world had always been in existence.

All Kimmel was saying, I think, was that he thinks the moment when Jack's soul left his body and entered the purgatorial mass-conscious created Sideways world was when flight 815 (the sideways one) passed over the sunken island and experienced turbulence. From that point forward, Jack was capable of "waking up" at some point because his soul had entered that plane of existence, whereas before, Sideways Jack was just a placeholder waiting for his arrival.

I don't think Kimmel's comment is that important, and is only muddying the waters.

Joan Crawford said...

Babel Fish says: "Must look like the iron 鎚 and the nail is the same, forever turns toward the fixed point diligently"

I could think about that for the rest of my life.

And Google says: "The same as the hammer and nails to always strive towards the fixed"

Again, holy crap. If this is a Porn Lure - it is, to me, the best damn one ever.

Blam said...


The post has finally been updated with free association correctly if belatedly revealing the identity of David's mom.

I'm glad you enjoy my poetic pornographic spammers, Cup o' Joan, but I went to delete that message last night when it appeared; while the page never finished loading then, it did this morning when the connection came on.

Maybe you'd like to tell them that you have a blog?

Blam said...


I really appreciate the kind words, folks, and look forward to discussing further, but I'm dealing with a seriously stuffy, achy head — and if my focus and Internet connection hold out, I want to post at least the start of my analysis of "The End".

Teebore did a better job of answering Joan Shark than I would have, anyhow.

El Qué said...

I hope this wasn't too anticlimactic.

Hmm... Are you being self-deprecating or twisting Smokey's dagger into Darlton with that line? ^_^

I laughed at the long con they pulled on us, I cried at Claire and Charlie together again, I laughed at your awesome free association, and I cried again at the long con they pulled on us.

VW: lattere — An Italian coffeemaker.

nyrdyv said...

I was actually hoping for Jimmy Buffett to do a solo show in the last episode of Lost.

Cheers!

Steven G. Willis
XOWComics.com

Batcabbage said...

@Joan: I "get" it - the emotional stuff about life and all that happy horseshit...

Ah, Joan. I am so glad I exist in a world with you in it. :)

I'm surprised to find myself more satisfied with the finale than I thought I would be. I loved it. I cried like a little girl (Batkitty teased me - she's mean, and has a heart made of adamantium). I mean, I understand the concerns about unanswered questions (I have the same ones as all of you), but I find myself not caring. I suppose I'll examine it more in the inevitable rewatch that will happen in the Batcave sooner rather than later, but right now, I'm satisfied.

@Blam - free association: Pure. F***ing. Genius.

vw: bledhot - I bled. It was hot.