written by: eddie and adam and liz. a wonderful sendoff for these writers. sarnoff has been with the show since season 2, rising from supervising producer to executive producer over the course of 5 years. eddie and adam started on season 1's 'born to run, and have co-written 4 episodes each subsequent season (with the exception of the truncated season 4). eddie and adam are responsible for much of the comic sensibility of 'lost,' as well as the larger universe (they developed backstories for all of the socks, bringing us nikki, paolo, frogurt, and arzt) and lobbied for years to bring in 'helicopter pilot frank lapidus.'
directed by: paul edwards, whose career with 'lost' began with season 1's 'what kate did.' his other episodes include: 'two for the road,' 'the glass ballerina,' 'par avion,' 'cabin fever,' 'this place is death,' 'the variable,' 'what kate does,' and 'the package.' he's described by jorge garcia as being an incredibly fast director who knows exactly what he wants and gets it very quickly.
cinematography by: stephen st. john, who has done several episodes in a row now. does he sleep? the color and lighting in the parallel was designed to take us from morning to afternoon, beginning with jack's wake-up (a shot meant to evoke the opening of the series - no eye-opening shot yet has managed to match the dynamic of that first image) and ending with the late afternoon-meeting at the docks. 
ok then: the shot of jack's eye opening signals that this episode is really the beginning of the finale. this was another stellar episode of the show, giving each character moments to shine, and hurling both the original and sideways timelines towards their conclusions. 
1. the overall parallel
2. the overall island
3. deaths
4. preboomer
5. final thoughts before the finale

1. the overall parallel
loved it. absolutely loved it. the opening scene with jack shows that the mysterious cut on his neck from the season premiere has re-opened itself. i can't imagine that this bodes well. since jack has stepped up to take jacob's place, i have an awful feeling that the price for taking on this responsibility will be that in order for all the redemed lives in the parallel to continue, he must give up his existence in it. this would truly be a tragic/bittersweet end to the series. i can image that he'll be faced with a horrible choice but will have to side with allowing everyone to stay with the loved ones they've so recently been reunited with in the parallel. it's going to be an emotionally wrought episode for a lot of reasons. 
david tells jack that his mother is going to be at 'the concert tonight.' is david playing at this concert, or is it the same event that miles is heading to at the museum? (how many concerts/fundraisers/events take place at this museum? this will be the third one!) is juliet david's mother? will saywer join miles at the event? will sawyer and charlotte have an awkward moment? will faraday and drive shaft be playing at this concert? will sawyer finally be reunited/meeting juliet and go dutch for coffee? will jack and sawyer become like ultra bff's? where is hurley going with sayid? will sayid end up with shannon? boone with mr. friendly? why isn't ana lucia 'ready' to be awakened yet? it is the same reason eloise felt desmond wasn't ready? 
the next section of the parallel showed ben confronting desmond for having run down locke - i loved how desmond casually said 'you want to wake up?' and just started wailing on ben - i wasn't expecting to feel such a thrill from seeing these characters wake up, but so far it's been exhilarating. the implications of having each person 'awake' to find themselves simultaneously in a new body, with a different life, with full recollection of the previous life is amazing. i wish a little more time could have been spent in the parallel establishing the rules of 'waking up,' though i'm sure the finale will focus on that in order for us to fully transfer our emotional connections from the characters in one timeline to the other. 
it appears there are different 'levels' of awakening in the parallel - and one of the most thrilling revelations was that hurley has been (perhaps?) entirely awake since kissing libby, and has conspired with desmond to get the rest of the oceanic survivors to wake up. 
the other, just beautiful moment of this episode was the payoff scene with ben and rousseau. earlier this scene season in 'dr. linus,' i felt that rousseau's absence was the only missing beat in an otherwise perfect episode - but i see now that they were saving it for the end. her presence at the end perfectly bookends her position as an introductory force (via the french transmission) in the island's mythology. 
not only that - the emotional resonance was compounded by seeing her 1) looking great 2) happy 3) and miraculously having an entire lifetime with her daughter restored to her. her off the cuff delivery of 'you're coming to dinner even if we have to kidnap you' was perfect. a big question here is: how awake is ben at this point? when he looks out at alex studying, is he crying because he's remembering his alternate history with her and her tragic loss, or is he just simply touched by the sentiment? when rousseau comes around to comfort ben, and he looks up at her, is he (in addition to forming a love connection) beginning to fully recognize her from the previous timeline? when ben talks to locke it doesn't seem like he's fully awake yet, but perhaps during that scene with rousseau he was experiencing some dawning revelations. 
at this point it became crystal clear that the ultimate message 'lost' is going to leave us with is one about love. that ben and rousseau would be brought together over their mutual love of alex is beautiful and totally unexpected. perhaps its 'cheating' that the alternate timeline was created in order to do this (and tie up many other narrative loose ends), but so far it's paying off in emotionally resonant ways that actually strengthen the themes of the original storyline.

i'm certain now that the point of having sun lose her english for two episodes was to foreshadow that both she and jin in the parallel will not only regain their previous island memories, but also their ability to speak english - very handy for a life on the run from daddy. 
it took all season for him to get here, but locke is finally ready to get out of the wheelchair - and it didn't even require him finding out that his father is a murderer! locke tells jack the crazy coincidences that led him to this point (they don't even know the whole story yet..) and jack says a phrase we've heard on the show twice before: 'do not mistake coincidence for fate.'
mr. eko first said this to locke in 'the cost of living,' after locke's amazement that mr. eko had a bible from the arrow station containing the missing piece of film from the swan station orientation video. 
locke himself said the phrase to desmond during the journey to the pearl station to find mr. eko in 'the cost of living,' the episode that killed him off. this was after the hatch disaster that seriously shook locke's faith, causing him to take mr. eko original words to heart. 
i can't help but wonder where locke and jack's parallel story will end. will we actually see locke on jack's operating table again? will we see locke take his first step, or at least see his toes wiggle (echoing the beautiful scene in the season 2 premiere in which jack restored sarah's mobility)? is there time to cover this? the penultimate episode has set us up with a momentum that feels like the events of the finale in both the sideways and original timelines will coalesce and resolve within a 24 hour period - as every finale of 'lost' has done. wherever it takes us, this story point is one of the triumphs of season 6 - that both a miracle and science can be responsible for allowing locke to walk, and that i didn't see it coming for 5 years. dudes, sunday, i'm ready to cry.

2. the overall island
we pick up on the beach the next morning, as stuff from the submarine washes ashore. the music cue, the photography, the feeling is much the same as the aftermath of the original crash of 815. in a nice reversal, jack sews up kate, the grief for sun and jin continues (though no love for lapidus!) and both resolve that they must kill locke.

there's a brief scene between jack and sawyer that establishes an interesting dynamic. sawyer realizes that he is, in part, responsible for the deaths of sun, jin, sayid, and lapidus. now he and jack are even. they both took huge risks, they both have blood on their hands as a result, and now they both must find a way to resolve the guilt.
the survivors are finally confronted by a physical manifestation of jacob, apparently made possible by placing his ashes in a fire.. hmm ok. it seems like jacob has been gradually working towards an ability to make himself visible to everyone and not just hurley and man in black - later, his appearance as a child is visible by sawyer.

so jacob has managed to appear in earnest, and the big question/answer powerpoint presentation we've been waiting for has finally occurred. jacob's explanation for why he brought them to the island is an echo of what he had already told alpert in 'ab aeterno,' but this had extra impact because he's actually telling it to the people who's stories and backstories we've watched for six years. 'i didn't pluck any of you out of a happy existence. you were all flawed. i chose you because you were like me. you were all alone. you were all looking for something that you couldn't find out there. i chose you because you needed this place as much as it needed you.' this alone explains why we've never seen any of the stories of 'the socks' or other background characters who were also on the flight. yes, dr. arzt, we know there were other people on the plane too, but the show isn't interested in them because jacob isn't interested in them, and he's not interested in them because they are not 'lost' in their lives.

the simplicity of the explanation for kate's name being crossed off the list was also beautiful - though interesting that kate and claire were likely crossed off for 'mothering' the same child. it's possible that claire wasn't crossed off until she went crazy and jacob said 'no thanks, already had one crazy mom protecting this island.'

and jack steps up. we knew this was coming for a while, and it was pretty much cemented in my mind when he took a 'leap of faith' off the boat and swam back to shore. this is what jack was meant to do. the show has framed itself again and again around jack vs. locke, and now, amazingly, we have megajack and smokeylocke battling it out in the final episode. how effin cool is that? i hope they grow into giants and fight each other like this:


some people have expresed doubt that jack has truly become leader because he didn't drink form the same wine bottle that jacob drank out of when taking his vow. in an interview, mark pellegrino, who plays jacob, revealed that in 'across the sea,' it was originally written that mother gave jacob water from the stream, and that in that episode it was changed to the bottle instead, thereby shifting the 'magic' of the ceremony to the incantation uttered by both of them rather than the actual water or wine itself.

3. deaths

the show is seriously cleaning house now. and i jumped at all the deaths. totally loved that zoe was killed for being 'pointless,' an act no doubt met with cheers across the geekverse. whether or not you liked it, you have to admit it's appropriate, and possibly the most honest disposal of a tangential character in the show's history. i really liked zoe and felt similarly about her death as i felt about charlotte's - each of them were specialists in something that could potentially reveal a lot about the island (cultural anthropologist and geologist) and both were killed before they ever got to really use their specialty. i was also hoodwinked by interviews given by sheila kelley, in which she had invented an entire backstory for herself, and purpose for being there, none of which (it turns out) was relevant to the show. ha!
richard took a hit to the neck from smokey that sent him flying across the dharma lawns. the best thing about richard's death(?) was ben's pause, slow turn, and sit down. is richard dead? just like that? can smokey kill him just like that? of so, why didn't he do it earlier? will richard pop up later and save the day, or is he finally reunited with isabella? in jorge garcia's podcast it's revealed that the language in the  script is ambiguous about whether richard has actually died. let's hope he's not, because the only way i can see him appearing in the parallel would be as the skeleton hanging in dr. arzt's science lab.
the other big death was of course widmore. we've been waiting for a widmore/ben showdown since season 4 built its entire story arc around their rivalry. when that scale is taken into consideration, this small scene in ben's dharma house might not be the most satisfying end to that conflict, but some questions about widmore have been answered: jacob did visit him and changed his goals toward the island. we don't know exactly when jacob visited, but i think it must have been before locke pushed the wheel and ended up in tunisia. at that point only locke knew that he was going to die in his efforts to bring back the oceanic 6 (thereby providing the man in black with a body to inhabit), and so widmore at that point wasn't knowingly assisting the man in black, but was doing everything he could to help jacob get his candidates back. an important thing to remember about widmore, though he was a stellar villain for season 4, is that he is originally one of jacob's people. for jacob to appear to him off-island is huge. widmore's background is established as a follower of jacob, up until ben manipulated him off the island. in the grand scale of things, protecting jacob's interests is a much bigger deal than a petty rivalry between himself and ben. which made ben's murder of widmore all the more surprising - we'd been totally taken by ben's absolutely truthful tearful confession to ilana - so, has ben turned back to the dark side?
i think ben is just surviving, and can't imagine that the show will actually have him kill someone that we like or are emotionally attached to. i also can't imagine that ben himself isn't conflicted about what he's just done, though he's been wanting to kill widmore more than anything else for three years. right now he has to prove himself useful to smokey just to stay alive, and he's done just that. i can easily see him flipping back when the opportunity arises. i can also see him doing a darth vader/throw-the-emperor-down-the-energy-shaft maneuver when the time comes.
4. preboomer
locke: because i'm gonna find desmond, and when i do, he's gonna help me do the one thing that i could never do myself. i'm gonna destroy the island.
(boom)
this preboomer is very very reminiscent of season 4's pre-finale episode 'cabin fever,' in which our original beloved locke was instructed by man in black himself (in the guise of christian shepard - with sidekick claire). locke leaves the cabin and tells ben, in the penultimate preboomer that he must 'move the island.'
this time around the man in black is wearing the guise of john locke, and once again he's planning to use someone else to do something he can't do himself - and he's telling ben his plan in much the same way it was revealed to us in 'cabin fever.'
locke also reveals to ben that desmond's purpose in returning to the island is to be a 'failsafe' in case all the candidates die. with this new information from widmore, locke seems to realize that desmond can be used to his advantage - what is it that desmond must do? rip the wheel out of the wall?

though the show has never fully answered what happened on the day that desmond first turned the 'failsafe' key in the season 2 finale, we do know that turning the key:
  • made a distinctive low frequency noise, that has not been heard on the show before or since.
  • turned the sky purple
  • exposed the island to the search efforts of both penny and charles widmore
  • imploded the hatch
  • 'unstuck' desmond in time
  • made desmond immune to the effects of a 'catastrophic electromagnetic event.'
i love this idea that desmond himself is now the failsafe. it's another example of how the show thematically repeats itself by raising the global stakes - by turning the failsafe key, desmond himself became the failsafe in the larger story. it also fit beautifully in with the idea that jacob's 'job' on the island is essentially the same as desmond's was in the hatch - and it makes perfect sence that both jobs would have a failsafe.
i have no idea what's going to happen on the show, but because the final image of the teaser in 'la x' was of the submerged island in the parallel, i think we can be pretty certain that we will in fact see the island destroyed in the season finale. that shot is essentially the same as seeing john locke in the coffin at the end of season 4 - it says to us that yes, a beloved character is going to die. now we'll find out how.

5. final thoughts before the finale
as i watch the tribute videos and compilations that people have put together in the last few weeks, it's really starting to hit home just how much this show has meant to me. at its best, it returns me to the childlike joy of pure escapism. it makes me feel like i'm twelve years old, watching the indiana jones and star wars trilogies on repeat. it makes me feel like i'm there, gawking in amazement, it rewards my attention, it address my incredulity, and when i least expect it, it wrenches my heart.
what i once thought was one of the weakest episodes of season 5, 'the life and death of jeremy bentham' took on incredible new meaning after we came to understand the truth of what was happening in that episode. my hope for the finale, is that once we've been given 'the big reveal,' we can look back on the latter half of the show with newly opened eyes - that when we sit down with a friend and introduce them to 'lost,' and we watch them go on this journey for the first time, we can assure them 'it's worth it.' that when jack shouts to kate 'we have to go back!' we'll know exactly what it was he had to go back for, and what he sacrificed to do it. though we obviously won't get all the answers in the final episode, what i'm expecting to get is the final narrative piece that explains the drive to bring the oceanic 6 back to the island (in my opinion, still the weakest section of the show). i need an answer that's bigger than the candidates, that's bigger than the light in the island - i'm happy to accept that whatever it is allows them to be 'found,' 'resolved,' and 'redeemed' in the parallel, but i want to know how. if that answer blows me away, i might start rewatching the entire series on monday.
there's nothing better than the feeling that the writers are still holding big cards in their hand. when they play their final ace tomorrow, will we find that they've been bluffing, or will they win the game? in order to balance the pilot episode, it must be spectacular on a level that matches, and possibly outdoes that initial crash sequence - what will they do? three years ago they landed a deal to tell the story on their terms. this final episode is their love letter to everyone - 
  • the characters, who we've seen explored in incredible depth over 6 years
  • the actors who have brought incredible life to those characters
  • the island of hawaii, making this the most cinematic television show ever shot
  • the fans, whose support has driven the show to an unprecedented level of detail
no other show has been as bold, and as brave as 'lost.' i feel like i've hit the last chapter of 'lord of the rings,' or 'harry potter,' and in my left hand is a thick, battered stack of worn pages, and in my right hand are the few remaining moments left to spend in this world i've disappeared into for 6 years. it has been an unforgettable journey. see you on the other side of 'the end.' 

6 comments:

  1. Burritoclock said...

    I thought it was great, and I really don't care what all these internet idiots thought. If you were still wondering about the numbers please go watch 2 and a half men.  

  2. Anonymous said...

    No post about the finale?  

  3. joelarue said...

    s'comin  

  4. Burritoclock said...

    Come on, it was 2 and a half times longer than a normal episode, so we should assume it will take 2 and a half times longer to get the last and final post... which I never thought about that's kinda sad huh?  

  5. Gareth said...

    something (or someone??) tells me it won't be the last LOST blog from Joe.... jussssss sayin....  

  6. christian said...

    Sawyer: Now we wait for him to come back.

    Juliette: For how long?

    Sawyer: As long as it takes.  


 

Copyright 2006| Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly modified and converted to Blogger Beta by Blogcrowds.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.