Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Televangelist: 'Lost' Season 6, Episode 11

Posted By on Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 2:42 PM

click to enlarge In the flash-sideways I'm wearing a fully-buttoned shirt?  That doesn't make any sense, Brotha
  • In the flash-sideways I'm wearing a fully-buttoned shirt? That doesn't make any sense, Brotha

Before I watched "Happily Ever After" (these titles have been right on the nose this season, haven't they?  One can only assume that upcoming titles "What They Died For" and "The Candidate" will deliver just that), I was planning on discussing a British gem of a series, "Life on Mars."  The show is about Sam Tyler, a Manchester police detective who has a car crash in 2005 and wakes up in 1973.  In the title credits of each episode he says, "Am I mad? In a coma? Or did I really travel back in time?"  Sam thinks that if he can figure out why he's in 1973, it will be his ticket back home.  Of course, things are not so simple.  There are clues and red herrings about what's really going on, and viewers are suitably engrossed and full of speculation throughout the show's run - a self-planned and extremely restrained (yet natural) sixteen episodes.  Imagine if "Lost" had been limited to sixteen hours of storytelling!

I bring up "Life on Mars" because as I finished the series last week, it taught me something important about "Lost": don't rush it.  I went barreling through "Life on Mars," desperately searching for clues, postulating theories, not finding satisfaction until the Big Reveal occurred (which is never entirely what one wants or expects) ... and then it was over.  And I thought ... "wow, I really did not pay enough attention to the fun of the rest of the show."  Coming into last night's episode, this is how I had begun to feel about "Lost."  I was exhausted from years of speculation, useless fillers, and finally edging closer to the resolution I've craved for so long that I haven't even been enjoying it.  "Happily Ever After" started off a little shaky, but in the end proved itself, as all Desmond-centric episodes tend to do, as part of the best episodes of the "Lost" canon. And really for the first time this season, I sat back and enjoyed it.

What a shock that Carlton and Damon wrote the episode - it's a pivotal point in the back nine episodes.  The flashes sideways were vexing me greatly - I presume they have significance, but the problem is that until we know what that is, we've been wasting out time with zero understanding.  In hindsight they might be pretty cool, but I don't care for it when my TV plays by those rules.  For the first time though, we have a glimpse of the significance of the alt timeline.  Faraday (yes, my sweet prince is alive!), Charlie and Desmond find that Love Conquers All when it comes to catastrophic electromagnetic events.  It appears that everyone is "waking up" to their other reality - only Eloise seems to know the truth, and stresses that it is "a violation" for them to figure all this out.  Faraday, the only character who always says interesting things (except when he's talking about Charlotte) threw us another clue - that the bomb should have never gone off.  Then why did Desmond echo the words Juliet dreamily said to Sawyer before her death: "Would you like to go for a coffee?" and then say "it worked"?  According to my understanding of Faraday (which may be flawed, granted), the flash sideways should have never existed from the start, and it didn't prevent "the disaster."

As any Harry Potter fan will know, "one cannot live while the other survives."  One of the timelines will have to end.  Who will be the ones to die?  Just remember Losties: no matter where we're headed, savor each moment as it happens.  Luckily, "Happily Ever After" turned out to be a good place to start.

Next Week: A ghost story!  Of sorts - Hurley sees dead people, which means ANY former characters are in play (as seen with a special appearance by Michael.  I'm still hoping for some Walt, too).

Musings and Miscellanea:

  • George Minkowski! And Claire with a bad weave!  As amusing as these cameos are, I'm thinking they must serve a larger purpose - to show everyone's lives coming together?  Once Desmond has the manifest ... will we hear Jack scream one more time, "WE HAVE TO GO BACK, KATE! Kate, we have to go back."
  • And who can forget Charlie and a little Driveshaft action?  I'm such a sucker for those parallel moments like with Desmond/Charlie at the Hydra Station versus those two in a sinking car, or Desmond meeting Penny where he met Jack "in another life."
  • Interesting Des is back with the "Brothas" in the alt timelines, even though I'm assuming he never went to a monastery in the flash sideways?
  • Faraday is just the sort of crazy musician I'd fall for (sigh).
  • "I don't want to set off a nuclear bomb, Mr. Hume ... but I think I already did." -- Faraday
  • Eloise is feisty as ever! How does she know everything?
  • Do you really do a shot of 60 yr old Scotch?  Don't you sip it in a manly manner?
  • How can this show such a garbage effects budget?
  • Finally, best chat comment of the night from Layla re: my "Lost chat only" away message: "Does Lost chat include making fun of Lost? As in, whenever I see giant, shimmering coils, I always run in between them instead of away from them, too."

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