(Led Zeppelin, In My Time of Dying)
My brain feels like a little pat of butter that’s been sitting out for too long on a picnic table in the middle of July, and when you open it up, it just sort of slides out and no longer really resembles butter at all. Anybody else feel that way?
I want to start by saying that I thought last night’s finale was great. Really, really great. I definitely have some bitching to do, but overall, I am really happy with the way the story came to a close.
I was wrong about some things, and I was right about some things. For instance, I’ve been saying for a very long time that Jack would be the one to save The Island. In the words of Locke/Esau (whose name we never learned, btw), “that seems like a rather obvious choice,” but I was right about it nonetheless. I was also right about Juliet being Jack’s baby mama, as well as Juliet and Sawyer deciding to go dutch on some coffee. Also, both rather obvious, but I take what I can get. I was right that Jack would fix Locke’s legs, and I was right that Driveshaft is a terrible band. I also said (though not on this blog) that Richard and Lapidus were not actually dead because we didn’t see them die, and on this show, when someone dies, you know it definitively.
I was wrong about Jack being Jacob. That was a big one, though Jack did take Jacob’s place, so I will take half credit. I was also wrong about Jack and Locke sitting on the beach at the end of the show. That was a big one. No credit whatsoever.
But here’s a big one that I was right about. Back at the beginning of the season, when Juliet had her “We should get coffee sometime, we can go dutch” moment right before she died in Sawyer’s arms, not only did I claim that we would see that scene play out in the LA sideways-reality (which we did), I also said that each character was going to have their own “awakening” or “realization” moment, and that we were going to see them all. We saw Juliet’s in the season premiere, and we would see them all before the season was over. Well, I looked for that just to prove that I said it, and I can’t find it. But I know I said it. And I am taking credit for it now.
I love that the show ended with Jack’s eye closing. I think when the producers said they knew how they wanted to end the show since season one, that is what they meant. And though I think that making the LA sideways-reality some sort of purgatory, with Desmond ferrying the souls across the river to their afterlife, might be a bit of a copout since they have been saying all along that The Island was not purgatory, I still really liked that aspect of it, and had they not said that all along, I do not think it would have been a copout. Though technically, The Island was not purgatory. The Island was reality, and the sideways-reality was purgatory. So, you win, writers. Well done.
I believe that the final scene, in the church, was Jack’s “moving on” moment, and Jack’s alone. His “The 5 People You Meet In Heaven” type of moment (despite the fact that was a TERRIBLE book, a real steaming pile of shit, I’m talking to you, Mitch Albom!). I believe they all experienced their own moments like that, but we only saw Jack’s. That’s why Ben wasn’t going inside. Ben was pretty much a dick to Jack from the moment they met, and if I were Jack, I wouldn’t want him in my moment either. The entire LA sideways-reality, that was everybody’s purgatory. Otherwise, Jack wouldn’t have known about Locke’s girlfriend Helen, or even the fact that Locke was in a wheelchair to begin with. But the church moment, that was Jack’s. Everybody there had some impact on Jack. Claire’s baby was there, because he helped Kate raise him for a time. Penny was there because she saved the O6 when they were floating in the raft. Not all of them were on Flight 815, nor were they all supposed to have been. It was the culmination of the most important time in Jack’s life that we got to see, not an 815 reunion.
I thought this was a great way to wrap up the LA sideways-reality. I really enjoyed seeing everyone experience their “awakenings.” And it seemed clear to me (though I could always be wrong) that their “awakenings” in LA corresponded to their deaths in the Island-reality. For example, Locke’s occurred pretty much immediately after his body (Esau) was killed on The Island. Locke died at Ben’s hands in a seedy motel room, but his body was finally put to rest last night back on The Island. And that actually sort of falls in line with what he said to Jack at the airport in the season premiere, when Jack told him the airline lost his father. “They didn’t lose your father, Jack,” Locke said. “They just lost his body.” And it was not until Locke’s body was finally put to rest that he was able to have his own awakening moment.
Now, as Jack’s father told him, where they were did not correspond to a “now” or a “when.” Not all of those people died before Jack, and not all of their “awakening” moments happened due to a corresponding event in the timeline of the reality in which they actually died. But I do think they experienced them at their actual death. Sun and Jin were hit with the awakening moment together, as they died together. And we saw Jack experience his as he died on The Island, lying in the same bamboo field (I think) he woke up in after the original crash of Flight 815. Granted, Charlie and Claire did not die at the same time, nor did Sawyer and Juliet, but like I said, the LA sideways-reality was not on a strict timeline, according to Christian Shephard.
And now, for some bitching. And since I have been almost as big of a fan of this show as anyone I know, I feel like I can take this opportunity to get a few things off my chest.
1. I think that while Desmond’s LA story this season was part of the very fiber that held the show together, his Island story was a complete throwaway, and I think that is a real disservice to this fictional person. If he were real, I would apologize to him on behalf of the writers. Why did Widmore bring him back to The Island as a “failsafe,” someone who could withstand the electromagnetic energy, if that electromagnetic energy had basically nothing to do with anything involved in the resolution of the show, and if Jack could do the exact same thing (which he did!!)?? It almost seemed like they knew they needed to bring Desmond back because he had previously been made out to be this amazing special character, and then had absolutely no idea what to do with him once he got back to The Island. Waste of a resource, in my opinion.
2. Where was Widmore during the concert last night? Why wasn’t he even sitting at the table with Eloise, watching their son Daniel convulsively play classical piano with a subpar Britpop band?? I can’t believe that, as much as they played up the Ben/Widmore, Widmore/Desmond conflicts, we didn’t get a proper resolution to his character after Ben shot him on The Island last week.
3. Seasons 4 and 5 were so damn good, and the geek in me (read: me) was so captivated by the time travel stuff. Why not use that in season 6?? I really, truly, do not have a problem with the flash-sideways/purgatory thing. I actually like it. But they shouldn’t have just left the time-travel stuff alone with no explanation as to how it plays into the overall picture.
4. No Mr. Eko in the finale?? WEAK!!
Speaking of Desmond’s Island story, really, what was the point? He goes down the well, pulls the stone out of the hole like a stopper in a bathtub, then passes out. Ok, it was bright and electromagnetic, I guess. But then, Jack goes down the hole, puts the stopper back in the hole, and passes out. So, if Jack could do it, then what the hell was Desmond’s point of being there at all?
I did enjoy the fact that Jack realized that once Desmond went down there and pulled the stone out, subsequently putting out the light, that it would take away any immortality that Esau/Locke had. When he punched him and made him bleed, that was great. That fight was awesome, but it really could have all gone down without the one scene of them running toward each other and jumping up in the air, like some cross between the Matrix and the Lion King. They could have beaten each other up for awhile, Locke could have still given Jack the Christ-like wound on his side (where he noticed a scar toward the beginning of this season and asked his mother about an appendix operation), and started to press the knife into his neck (right where his LA counterpart kept having a mysterious wound appear all season long), and it would have seemed just a bit more, well, I don’t think “realistic” is the right word to use with this show, but you know what I mean.
I like that there was obviously some amount of time that passed with Hurley and Ben in charge of The Island. I really like that idea.
And when Jack was lying in the bamboo field, just before he died, and he saw the plane fly overhead, at first I thought the inference was that the entire LA sideways-reality was a flash before his eyes, culminating in his “awakening” moment in the church. But after thinking about it, I think it was the beginning of the “special place they all created together, so they could find each other” like his dad told him. He saved The Island, and in doing so, he saved all of them, and when he died, they all were able to start the process of finding each other and being together.
As far as series finales go, this one ranks waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of Seinfeld, and is probably tied with Sam Malone’s “Sorry, we’re closed.” at the end of the Cheers finale (which still gives me goosebumps) for one of the best ways to end a truly great show. I wish it wasn’t over, but it needed to end, and I will probably get a lot more work done now.
I never thought they were going to tell us where or what The Island was, so I wasn’t particularly disappointed by not finding out. But I did have some questions that were not answered.
Questions I Had That Were Not Answered:
1. The numbers. Come on!! Why those numbers??
2. Who built the four-toed statue?
3. What was Jacob’s brother’s name??
And I have some new questions that I will never know the answer to:
Questions I Will Never Know The Answer To:
1. Why did Jack have a son in purgatory?
2. Why could Desmond jump between the two realities, which we now know were life and afterlife?
3. Why did Eloise Hawking also know what was going on and why was she able to just hang out in purgatory?
4. Why did Frank Lapidus keep chucking the walkie-talkie across the cockpit after talking into it every single time? (Seriously?) Lapidus, man. Button your shirt up, for fuck’s sake.
5. What was it like when Hurley and Ben were in charge on The Island together, and how much time passed while they were there??
6. Where did the plane go when Lapidus took off with Richard, Kate, Miles, Sawyer and Claire in the back?? Did they ever make it back to civilization??
Spinoffs I Would Like to See:
1. Richard Alpert adjusting to life in America, after living on The Island for the last 200 years of his life. I can just imagine him freaking out during that airplane ride, after Lapidus took off from Hydra Island. (I know, he’s been off The Island before, vising Locke a few times, recruiting Juliet, etc. Just humor me. It would be funny.)
2. Hurley and Ben run The Island. Duh. This would be a no-brainer. Think “The Odd Couple” crossed with “The West Wing.” Hilarity ensues.
3. A documentary on the cinematographic elements used during the scene when Sun slowly unbuttoned her shirt in the hotel room with Jin. Should have won an Emmy. Probably could have even gone for the EGOT.
4. “108 Proof.” The after-effects of going down into the well of light in order to remove that stone go horribly wrong, transforming Desmond into a 40-foot tall radioactive monster who time-jumps back to Scotland and terrorizes the townsfolk for years until Daniel Faraday’s grandson (Faraday played by Nic Cage, grandson played by Zac Effron*) realizes the only way to stop him is to lure him to the MacCutcheon’s distillery and make him drink the entire supply. Soundtrack by Driveshaft.**
* – This movie will SUCK.
** – See above.
One last thing. After the entire run of this show, and especially after the last two seasons when Locke has been the really bad guy, just take a look at the smile on Terry O’Quinn to the right there, and tell me if there’s not a sweeter, more damned refreshing smile in the six seasons this show has been on the air. That smile warms my heart.
If anybody has any insight on any of my questions or comments, or if I misinterpreted anything, now is your (LAST) chance to leave it in the comments. It’s been a great run, and I appreciate everybody who has been reading, especially when I wasn’t really writing. Thanks.
Now go watch Friday Night Lights. It is now the absolute best show currently on network TV.