Tag Archives: destiny

Lost: A Show About Science or A Show About Faith? – Thoughts on the END of Lost’s Series Finale “The End”

Last night, I wrote a blog entry, in which I discussed some of the lighter aspects of Lost‘s generally feel-good Series Finale, “The End.”  In it, I, more or less, completely refrained from discussing the show’s controversial ending, and promised to tackle that issue exclusively in another post.  Well, I’M BAAACK . . .

One Man of Science.  One Man of Faith.  The Island wasn’t big enough for both of them . . .  or was it?

In the last season of Lost, there was much talk and broohaha about this image, and all the ideas it represents . . .

Light versus Dark.  Black versus White.  Good versus Evil.  Heaven versus Hell.  And while that dichotomy was certainly central to the battle between Jacob and the Man in Black . . .

 . . . our Losties, for the most part, resided somewhere in between.  Much like the rest of us non-television characters, their morality was covered in shades of grey.   For them (and for us), the REAL battle for control of Lost island was one that was a lot less clear cut, making it a lot less certain who we should root for.  And, ultimately,  it was this battle, that took center stage during the final half of the Season finale. (After they, you know, got rid of that pesky Black Smoke thing  . . .)

Jack v. Locke – The Man of Science versus The Man of Faith

Although Lost undoubtedly featured many characters and their respective stories of redemption, at its core were the journeys of two men.  When we first meet Jack Shepard, he is the quintessential Man of Science.  He’s a surgeon, and about as left-brained as a person can get.  There is not a creative or artistic bone in this man’s body.  So, understandably, when it comes to matters of faith or destiny, he’s a complete Doubting Thomas.  For him, if an explanation doesn’t appear in a medical reference book, it just plain doesn’t exist.

John Locke, on the other hand, is a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants, Man of Faith, guy.  He’s Mister “Nobody tells me what I can and can’t do.”  A guy who sees absolutely nothing wrong with signing up for a “walkabout,” despite being completely incapable of “walking about.”  Upon crashing on the island, he suddenly regains use of his legs, and, thereafter, becomes convinced that the Island is his Destiny.  He is absolutely certain that some higher power has brought him to the Island; and that he is, therefore, meant to remain and do great things there . . .

For the first Four Seasons of Lost, pretty much up until Locke’s “death,” we watched these two men battle it out with one another, arguing for the righteousness of their respective ideologies.  Neither man would budge an inch with respect to his position.  However, upon REAL Locke’s death, at the end of Season 4, things change for Jack Shepard.  During the last two seasons of the show,  Jack slowly evolved from a Man of Science into a Man of Faith. 

First, after escaping the Island as part of the Oceanic Six, he returns to it, believing he is meant to rescue the others who remained thereon.  In Season 6, when the Losties are once again ready to escape the island, this time on a boat, Jack jumps ship, convinced that the island “isn’t done with [him] yet.  Then, in the penultimate episode of the show, Jack LITERALLY drinks Jacob’s Kool Aid, and agrees to remain on the island, throwing away his promising surgical career in order to “protect” what, for all intents and purposes, was a Giant Lightbulb . . .

Scientific Answers versus Mystical Answers  – The SHOW About Science versus The SHOW About Faith

When it really came down to it, I think Lost‘s journey as a show, was similar to Jack’s journey, as a character.  Lost started out as a Show About Science (Science Fiction, perhaps, but, science, nonetheless).  In the show’s early seasons, many of the Island’s mysteries were explained through quasi-scientific means.  Flight 815 was initially thought to have been brought down, as a result of the Island’s unique electromagnetic properties, which were inherent to the Island’s location, but were also exacerbated by a Hydrogen Bomb buried beneath its surface . . .  These electromagnetic qualities also allowed the Island itself, and its inhabitants, to move freely through the time/space barrier and . . .  basically . . . time travel.

Those all important numbers, which Hurley chose in order to win the lottery, and which Desmond was forced to repeatedly punch into a computer screen to prevent the Island’s destruction . . .

Were part of the Valenzetti Equation, derived by members of the Dharma Initiative, to determine the exact point in time at which all human life would cease to exist.  The Dharma initiative itself was, more or less, a scientific research group, which took advanage of the island’s unique electromagnetic properties in order to experiment with various facets of human life, from a woman’s ability to give birth . . .

 . . . to psychology, subliminal messaging, and mind control . . .

Then, Season 6 came around, and like Jack Shepard, Lost had to go and get all “Faith-y” on us.  Island mysteries, like “why the plane crashed,” which had once been explained by science, were now explained as being part of the “Master Plan,” in a battle between the God-like Jacob . . .

 . . . and the Devil-like Man in Black . . .

 . . . for control of the Island, and, by extension, the souls of its inhabitants . . .

Supernatural, and biblical-type reasoning was now used to explain Island mysteries such as why MIB couldn’t escape the Island, why Richard Alpert wouldn’t age . . .

 . . . why Jacob and MIB couldn’t kill one another, how Locke became Flocke . . .

 . . . and who Adam and Eve were . . .

The Last Ten Minutes of the Finale Episode of Lost – Flash Sideways of Science (Time Travel) versus Flash Sideways of Faith (Purgatory)

So, I guess, it shouldn’t really have surprised me (but it DID!), that the final Lost mystery, the reason behind the Flash Sideways, ended up being a faith-based reason (preparation for the afterlife / purgatory) . . .

 . . . as opposed to a science-based reason (an alternate universe created as a result of Juliet’s detonation of the hydrogen bomb at the end of Season 5).

And, I have to say, that the fact that this promo picture, released just before Season 6 began, didn’t give the religious implications of the finale away to me, makes me more than a bit mad at myself . . .

I guess, when it really comes down to it, how you felt about Lost’s final moments (MULTITUDE of unanswered questions notwithstanding), really comes down to which side of the Man of Science / Man of Faith debate YOU fall under.  Me, personally?  I’m a bit more of a “science” girl.  So, I was a little disappointed that the Flash Sideways World did not, in fact, end up being the hydrogen bomb-created alternate universe I had initially envisioned. 

Plus, Flash Sideways World just seemed so PERFECT!   And because I’d truly grown to love these characters, having spent six years with them, I really wanted this world to exist FOR THEM!  Because, without it . . .

Ji Yeon would REALLY be an orphan . . .

David Shepard would COMPLETELY cease to exist . . . Oh, and most of the Losties would already be DEAD!

 . . . including THIS GUY!

But, putting my personal feelings aside, the fact that the Flash Sideways World ended up being purgatory makes sense, BECAUSE everything was so perfect there.  In essence, Flash Sideways World gave our main Losties the oppportunity to redeem themselves from wrongs they felt they had committed during their actual lifetimes .  . .

Jack Shepard had a bad relationship with his father, who degraded his worth constantly, and always chose his work over him, so in Flash Sideways World Purgatory he was a supportive and understanding father to his son . . .

During his lifetime, Sawyer was a con artist, who shunned justice.  So, in purgatory, he was a detective, who fought hard to protect it.

Sorry! I know technically I should have found a “cop uniform” pic of Sawyer, but I just couldn’t help myself . . .

On the island, Kate unknowingly abandoned Claire, and ended up raising her child, Aaron.  But in Purgatory, she guides Claire through the birthing process, and allows her to raise her own baby . . . And, as for Claire, she gets to keep her kid, and not become a skanky haired wackadoo.  YAY!

In the real world, Sayid’s murderous lifestyle resulted in the death of the love of his life, Nadia.

In Purgatory, he lets his brother marry Nadia instead, and, in doing so, probably spares her life.

In the real world, Desmond loved Penny Widmore, but her father’s disapproval of him kept the two of them apart.  In Purgatory, Desmond works for Charles Widmore, and has gained his utmost trust and respect . . .

In Purgatory, Hurley isn’t a loveable loser who won the lottery and STILL can’t accomplish anything.  He’s a loveable WINNER, who get’s the girl and is rich enough to employ the ENTIRE CAST OF LOST!

Purgatory Ben is a kindly history teacher who saves Alex’s future, by sacrificing his own personal success to ensure her entrance into an Ivy League college, instead of . . . you know . . . GETTING HER KILLED!  And Purgatory Locke is a pretty nice guy too, and Ben’s BFF to boot!

And, as I mentioned before, Jin and Sun, actually get to raise their kid Purgatory World.  Plus, they successfully ditch Sun’s Asshat Dad.

Matthew Fox probably explained the whole “purgatory thing”  best, in his post-finale interview with Jimmy Kimmel, when he said something to the effect of: “There’s a school of thought that, after you die, you go to a sort of ‘waiting place’ in which you encounter everyone who was important in your life.  Once you have reunited with, and reconciled with, these people, you can truly accept your own mortality and . . . move on.”  (And you just KNOW Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse fed him those words, because Matthew Fox may be smart, but not THAT smart!)

I’ll have to admit that when Christian Shepard (and if THAT’S not a “Man of Faith” name, I don’t know what is) . . .

 . . . . appeared in that Non-Denominational (or, rather, ALL Denominational) Church / Temple, OUTSIDE of his own coffin, and replied to Jack’s question of “How did you get here?  Aren’t you dead?” with . . .

 “How did YOU get here?”  . . .

I screamed at the television . . .

“YOU PROMISED THEY WEREN’T DEAD THIS WHOLE TIME, J.J. ABRAMS!  YOU LIAR!  I JUST WASTED SIX YEARS OF MY LIFE FOR YOU!”

But then, when Christian explained that, “Everything that happened on the Island was real . . . Everyone dies eventually . . . Some of these people died before you, some long after you .  . .” I calmed down a bit . . .

And in the penultimate scene of the show, when Jack stumbles out from the cave, lays down on the ground next to doggie Vincent, watches his fellow Losties successfully escape the Island on a plane, and, subsequently, CLOSES his eyes in death, just as he had opened them so many times during the LIFE of the show, I thought to myself, “What an appropriate ending . . .”

But then they HAD to show me this . . .

While the producers didn’t go as far as I feared they would, by showing me a heap of dead bodies lying amongst the wreckage, they showed me enough to make me wonder if I was being f**ked with.  And I couldn’t help but be reminded of ANOTHER intriguing, but unnerving, Open-Ended Series Finale that left me with more questions than answers . . .

(Special thanks to njean666 for this fabulous clip)

They never make it easy for us, do they?

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Hot Box Time Machine – Lost’s “Happily Ever After” Q & A

Tonight’s episode of Lost marks yet another chapter in the tale of our favorite Scottish time (and dimension?) – traveler, Desmond Hume.  This is our seventh Desmond-centric Lost episode. (For those nitpickers out there, I am counting the two hours of “Live Together, Die Alone” as separate episodes . . . basically, because I like the number seven, DAMMIT!)  To me, Desmond’s episodes have sort of a different feel than the episodes we typically see on Lost.  While all Lost episodes deal with themes of love, destiny, good versus evil, and science versus faith, Desmond-y episodes seem to express those themes in a more heady, philosophical way.

Desmond episodes = Advanced Placement Lost (for “gifted” TV watchers)

 Tonight’s episode was no exception.  During “Happily Ever After,” we definitely learned a thing or two about our hero, as well as the overall mythology of Lost.  Here are just some of the questions that were answered during this hour:

Why is Desmond “The Package?”

Desmond is The Package because he looks like this . . .

 . . . oh, and I almost forgot .  . . HE HAS SUPERPOWERS!

Superpowers?  Cool!  Can he leap tall buildings in a single bound, like Superman?

Ummmm  . . . no.  But he CAN be shocked with thousands of volts of electromagnetic energy without, you know, dying.  He can also toggle back and forth through time and alternate dimensions, without having to take a dip in a Hot Tub, or jump in a DeLorean with a young Michael J. Fox.

So what does that have to do with Charles Widmore?  Why does HE need Desmond back on the Island?

Two words: Course Correction.  If you recall (Of course, you recall.  Your a Lost fan.  You remember EVERYTHING.  And have the screencaps to prove it), back at the end of last season, Juliet detonated a bomb on the island back in 1974, in hopes of preventing Oceanic Flight 815 from ever crashing on the island.  Instead, her actions set off a major chain of events (i.e. that whole flash-sideways business) that left a lot of Losties extremely UNLIKELY to get laid in the foreseeable future. 

For starters, in Flash-Sideways World, Desmond’s not with his “soul mate” Penny, which means she can’t bear his child.

Charlie never met Claire . . .

No, I’m NOT taking about the bat-shit crazy version!  (NO ONE wants to meet HER!)  I’m referring to the  sweet, innocent, hygenic version from the first three seasons . . .

(Sidenote:  Was it me, or has Charlie’s hairline receded IMMENSELY since we last saw him on this show?  Perhaps hair loss is another side effect of living in Flash-sideways World, because Jack Shephard seems to be having the same “follicular” issues, of late.)

“I’m not LOSING my hair!  I’m just GROWING out my forehead . . .”

Speaking of Jack, in Flash-Sideways World, he and Sawyer never made out with / screwed (in a bear cage) Kate

Oh, the humanity!

Sayid’s not with Nadia.  Jin’s not married to Sun, so her and their child may DIE.  Daniel never met Charlotte.  Hurley never met Miles.

Catch what I did there?  Pretty clever, huh . . . 

As for Widmore, a permanent existence in Flash-Sideways World will undoubtedly result in the loss of his daughter Penny, his grandchild, and his son.  Oh, and did I mention that he will be stuck married to this scary biatch?

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, you and I would be stuck watching Friends reruns on Tuesday nights at 9 . . .  It’s a dystopian society, indeed!  And so, understandably, Widmore has hired Time-Traveling Desmond to merge the two timelines created by the bomb’s blast back into a single timeline, where they belong.

How the heck is Desmond going to do that?

One word: The Constant.  (well, that’s actually two words.  Sorry?)  Remember when Desmond was doing all those weird mind-warp time traveling things back during Season 4?  (During the episode conveniently entitled “The Constant.” )  Do you also remember how Daniel Faraday, who was experimenting with time travel at the time, had written in his journal – “Desmond Hume will be my constant?

(Presumably the aforementioned statement meant that whatever year it happened to be, Desmond would provide Daniel with the personal connection he needed to gain a necessary foothold in his current timeline)

“Oh, hey look!  Desmond is wearing a neon jumpsuit.  I MUST be in the 80s . . .”

Well, it seems that Widmore would like to hire out Desmond to be The Constant for everyone on Oceanic Flight 815 . . . well, at least everyone that mattered.  Presumably, Desmond will do this by making all of the passengers AWARE of the original timeline, the memory of which, as we learned today, lies buried in all of their subconscious minds.

How exactly is Desmond going to convince the other Losties about the original timeline?  Because if some stranger walked up to me and told me (with a Scottish accent, no less) that I was stuck in the wrong dimension, I would run in the other direction FAST!

I have one more word for you: LOVE 

Charlie (perhaps unwittingly) awakened Desmond to the existence of the original timeline, when the car the pair was driving, swerved off road and went underwater.  When Desmond tried to free Charlie from the drowning car, Charlie’s hand pressed against its window, revealing this message:

Of course, this was the same message, Charlie showed Desmond before dying during the Season 3 Lost finale episode “Through the Looking Glass.”  The message was intended to inform Desmond that the “rescue” boat that had been sent for them, was not sent to the island by Desmond’s lover, Penny.  Rather, it was a trap.  Seeing this message again, triggers Desmond’s alt-timeline memories of his love for Penny.  These memories come at him full force, later on in the episode, while he is receiving electromagnetic pulses to his brain during an MRI.  Likewise, both Charlie and Daniel Faraday began to recall THEIR alternate existences, upon seeing their respective Lostie lovers Claire and Charlotte in person.

Presumably, armed with the Oceanic Flight 815 manifest provided to him by former fellow alt-world time traveler, George Minkowski  (a chauffer and lackey for Charles Widmore in Flash-Sideways World) . . .

time traveling + NO superpowers = insanity, lots of nosebleeds, and a painful death . ..

Desmond will find all the Losties in Flash-Sideways World and attempt to trigger their memories of Real World, by tantalizing them with suggestions of lovers from another dimension . . .  which, leads me to my last question: 

Who’s YOUR Constant? 😉

Next week on Lost, we get to watch loveable Lostie Hurley talk to more dead people, make more dry (but hilarious) comments about the current state of the show, and (probably) eat some tasty treats along with way.  Awesome!

Until then . . .

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INCEPTION – The Film I Am Most Excited to See in Summer 2010

* Helmed by the esteemed writer, director, and producer of The Dark Knight – Christopher Nolan? CHECK!

* Features an all-star cast including, none other than: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard, Luke Haas, and Ken Watanabe? CHECK!

*Awesome Tagline: CHECK!  (Your mind is the scene of the crime.)

*Mindblowing special effects? CHECK!

(I should probably note that special effects typically bore me.  Most of the time, at least as far as I am concerned, they tend to be of the  “been there, seen that,” variety.  However, watching the above-pictured scene — you’ll know it when you see it in the trailer — literally sent shivers down my spine . . .)

*Highly mysterious script and plot, kept completely under wraps by all involved in the film?  CHECK!

(I’m a connoisseur of all things “spoilery.”  And I LOVE finding out the deep dark secrets of movies, and television programs, before anyone else does.  However, when film writers and producers tease me, and REALLY make me work for it, it secretly turns me on . . .)

* Post-apocalyptic plot concept that appears to raise mind-bendy philosophical questions regarding (1) the power of human thought (“What’s the most resilient parasite?  An IDEA”);  and (2) the way in which the seemingly insignificant choices we make in our lives can shape our destiny and that of the rest of the world?  CHECK!

(Sounds a little like that other program that I watch . . . right?)

Unfortunately, the producers of Inception will not let me embed the trailer.  (I came embarrassingly close to tears, when I learned this.)  However, I am providing you with the link to it, below (Just click on the video image, and then on the word “YouTube” when it appears).   

I STRONGLY URGE you to check it out, if you have not done so already.  You will NOT be disappointed, I promise  . . .

Inception hits both regular and IMAX theaters on July 16, 2010.  Will YOU see it?  Because I sure as heck will!

(P.S.  I’ve SEEN IT!  I saw Inception!  To read my in-depth, slightly spoilery review, click here.)

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Filed under Inception, Movie Trailer Recaplets, Summer 2010 Movies