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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Televangelist: 'Lost' Season 6, Episode 16

click to enlarge "We're very close to the end, Hugo"
  • "We're very close to the end, Hugo"

I dreamed about "Lost" last night for the second week in a row following an episode.  It's clear that even given my critique of the show (and this season's failings in particular), it still resonates in me, and that I still have palpable response to it.  Last night's "Why They Died" was a perfect example to me of what "Lost" should have been all along.  Let's imagine for a moment that the writers had been contained to 3 seasons total.  We wouldn't have gotten all of the time travel stuff, the Freighties or possibly all of the Dharma backstory (as Curt Holman has pointed out, just the rusted old Dharma junk is enough), and it would have lead to tighter storytelling.  An episode like "Why They Died" is one where almost every second counted, where the story moved forward visibly and emotionally, and where, finally, some Questions Were Answered.

At the start of the episode I told one of my friends, "I just really need Widmore to sit down and tell us everything."  And shockingly ... this nearly happened!  He did reveal a key point about Desmond to MIB, and then suddenly, the Sayid-i-fied Ben killed him.  Later, Jacob held court at a campfire for the gang to gather around for Revelation Time: "Let me tell you a story - you were all sad, lonely losers without much of a future, so I brought you here to see if you could save this crappy CGI toilet of light."  And Kate still matters-but-doesn't it seems - her "becoming a mother" had her named crossed out, but as Jacob casually said, "you can have the job if you want it."  (although there were other parent-candidates: Sawyer, the Kwons, Claire, Micheal, etc).  But in any case, were those ... answers?

There are still a host of arbitrary rules governing the Island, and still a plethora of questions to be explained that may never be (and in many cases now, that's ok).  There's a notion in fan communities that every Desmond episode is a winner (just like every Kate, Sawyer or Kwons episode is typically a snore-fest), and though this episode might not have been classically a Desmond-ep, he WAS busy acting Jacob-like in bringing our Sideways Heroes back together, so I'll give the win to him.

However ... I'm disappointed that the Smokey Monster and the Man in Black are one and the same.  Perhaps I am alone in this, but I really hate Jacob.  Everything that happened to him is his own fault - and maybe it's naive of me to assume this, but if he hadn't had such Oedipal issues with his mother, he and his brother could have possibly worked out their differences, right?  Instead he flushed him down a glowing toilet, so that the nameless MIB emerged as one of the most murderous (yet oddly charming) creatures to ever be.  And now he has to be destroyed?  I favor the Man in Black because even as a boy he sought out truth, knowledge and freedom.  And for that he has to die?  What kind of message is that?  One theory I read is that Smokey cannot leave the island not because he is bad, but because he's too important. I prefer this idea.  But I guess we'll find out, won't we?

So here we are, folks. On Sunday at 7pm EST for two and a half hours we'll presumably learn why the Sideways Timeline matters, how the island sinks, what happened to Vincent and how you kill a smoke monster.

Musings and Miscellanea:

  • "I am making a citizen's arrest!" - Ben to Desmond, channeling some Barney Fife.
  • "I lived in these houses 30 years before you ... otherwise known as last week" - Miles, taking Sawyer's quip-happy role.
  • Did Jacob really bring Widmore back?  I find that doubtful.
  • Is Richard really dead? I love how, after "Ab Aeterno," Richard is no longer a big deal.  Just like a red shirt, he stands around uselessly before getting Smoked.  I will miss him in those button-downs, though, if he's really gone.
  • Who do we think Jack's ex-wife is?  I'm still betting on Juliet!
  • I thought the Ben-Alex storyline was sweet (almost to the point of cloying, but my heart is not that cold).  And was Rousseau hitting on him?  I love Ben and hated to see his character so neutered in this season.  But now he's buddies with the Smoke and off killing folk again.  Is he acting as a double agent?
  • Will we ever find out MIB's real name?  At this point I couldn't care less, although this feels like "Sex and the City" to me, where we learn Mr Big's real name in the series finale.  Spoiler: it wasn't Phineas!
  • Thank God: BYE bootleg Liz Lemon!
  • And hi Ana Lucia - as a crooked cop, it seems that "she's not ready yet" to join the ranks of the Reformed.

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