Tag Archives: John Terry

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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Happily Ever After or Happy in the Ever After? – My Initial Take on Lost’s Series Finale “The End”

 

After six years, and a fun and enjoyable, if not exactly “informative” two hours, one of the most innovative, intelligent, and well-acted shows in television history, Lost, has come to its final conclusion.  And aside from an open-ended, and fairly controversial ending, and a few (OK . .  a LOT . . . of unanswered questions), I think the producers did a great job of giving fans what they wanted, at least on an emotional level.  After all, for what could sometimes be a fairly dour show (I mean, it did revolve around a plane crash, and I’d say at least a third of the episodes featured SOMEONE dying), this may have been the happy-go-luckiest season finale of all time . . .

See?   Look how HAPPY he is!

While, I would have to be absolutely effing nuts to attempt to do a comprehensive recap of this ENTIRE finale (I do work, you know . . .), I thought it might be fun, (for me at least, if not necessarily for you) to discuss some of my favorite moments from the episode, before I attempt to tackle . . . THE ENDING, which I plan to do in a separate post.  I’m going to try to break these down by character, so that there’s at least some organizing principle to this stream of consciousness mish mash of a so-called recap . . .

Vincent

So what if they never explained his island significance, his seeming omniscience, or how he managed to survive all this time (Are we actually supposed to believe he was with Rose and Bernard during ALL those missing years?).  So what if he never got reunited with his real owner (Walt).  He’s a cute dog.  And EVERYONE likes cute dogs!  So the fact that our little Vincent got some screen time during this finale, including being featured in the third to last frame of the ENTIRE show, was both adorable and awesome. 

Boone

Ian Somerhalder looked positively yummy during his half-a-second of screen time in this finale.  I thought it was funny / sweet that he was willing to get his ass kicked for the sake of LOVE .  . . even if it wasn’t HIS own love, but rather the love between his sister and Sayid.  I was also happy that he made it into the “temple / church” at the end.  Because some other Losties who appeared in more episodes than he did (cough, Michael, cough), apparently didn’t rate.  My one gripe is that we didn’t get to see his “realization of island life” moment, as we did with the other castaways.  Clearly, I’m a bit biased for Damon Salvatore Boone.

Lapidus

I’m starting to believe this guy’s sole purpose on this show was to fulfill the “Cooky Pilot” role.  Did you notice how Lapidus was MIA during most of the series, but was always conveniently on hand whenever any of the castaways needed to hop on a plane?  However, I was really happy he didn’t, you know, DIE in that submarine accident, along with Sayid, Jin and Sun, as I had initially thought he did.   If I were him, however, I would have been a tad annoyed that none of the other castaways seemed to give a damn about my mortality, until they needed a ride. . . .

Richard Alpert

Ditto on the whole, “YAY!  You’re not dead!” thing . . .  Other than staying alive, Mr. Guyliner didn’t have much to do during this episode, except for  .  . . AGE!  That’s right folks, once our Big Baddie was dead, apparently, Richard Alpert wasn’t immortal anymore.  He even got a GREY HAIR!

  For a few minutes there, I was worried that the centuries old Alpert would begin to decay and instantly disintegrate, vampire style.  He didn’t.  Alpert gets to get old and wrinkly, slowly and painfully, just like the rest of us.  Lucky him! 

Rose and Bernard

It was nice to see these two still alive and playing house (with their pet Vincent) on Lost island.  And, can I just say, that Dharma food must be REAL good . . . because Bernard was looking more than a bit on the tubby side . . . (Oh, and I’m pretty sure he and Crazy Claire share the same island stylist.)

Hurley

A few weeks back, I proposed a drinking game that revolved (among other things) around Hurley’s repeated use of the word “dude.”  Apparently, someone on the writing staff was listening, because Hurley LITERALLY said “DUDE” at the beginning or end of EVERY SENTENCE he uttered during this ENTIRE finale . . .  It actually got a bit annoying, toward the end.

 I was also amused by the “ceremony” in which Hurley took over the Candidate position from Jack of “Guarder of the Giant Island Light Bulb.”  Hurley looked as disappointed as Lost fans probably were, when Jack scooped up muddy water from a random puddle, put it in a used Poland Spring bottle, and told him to drink it. 

That’s it?  THAT’S what makes you The Candidate?  Drinking dirty water?  Haven’t ALL the Losties been drinking island water for six years now?  Who knew that Jack’s utterance of the classic phrase “Now your like me,” REALLY meant, “Now you’re suffering from an intestinal parasite, and a BAD case of Montezuma’s revenge . . .”

Jin and Sun

Tonight’s series finale was just FILLED with virtually identical sappy scenes in which two characters, who were “coupled” on the island, touched one another, and instantly “remembered” their island past.   This was inevitably illustrated by a “love montage” between the two characters, to the tune of overly dramatic music. 

Now, I’m a girl.  So, although I recognized their almost nauseating cheesiness, these scenes actually worked for me.  But if I had to choose my favorite of them, it would be the one between Jin and Sun, which was poignant on so many more levels than just the “We luuuuve eachother” one.

In this scene, Juliet, (I’ll get to her in a bit), is showing Jin and Sun their baby’s sonogram.  When  Juliet puts the gel on Sun’s belly, she remembers the same thing occuring in island world, and tears of happy recognition run down her cheeks.  A few seconds later, when the sonogram picture appears on the screen, Jin remembers seeing pictures of Ji Yeon when he was on the island.  Then the two look at eachother and collectively remember their Titanic ripoff on-island death scene, which resulted in their child being an orphan in island world, and also REALLY PISSED ME OFF. 

But this is Flash-Sideways World, so all is good!  Juliet asks the teary couple if they want to know the sex of the baby.  They answer in English, which, of course, they both just remembered how to speak, that they know it is a girl, and that her name is Ji Yeon.  Awesome!

Ben

Before, I tell you what I LIKED about Ben in the series finale, let me start with a little gripe.  The producers of the show teased that Ben was supposed to get some loving, before the series ended.   In Flash Sideways World, it was sort-of hinted that he would eventually find love with Rousseau . . .

 . . . but, ultimately, the producers didn’t deliver in this respect.  And I was sad . . .

In happier news, our resident flip-flopper, who seemingly has more personalties than United States of Tara, ultimately redeemed himself AGAIN during this episode.  Instead of covering his own ass and taking the easy way out, Island Ben agreed to stay with Hurley as Vice Candidate Protector of the Giant Light Bulb. We know he did a pretty good job of it too, as Hurley ultimately tells him in Flash Sideways World, “You were a great Number 2.” 

Speaking of Flash Sideways World, there, after Ben remembered his island roots, he apologized to John for basically making his life a living hell for many seasons of Lost.  “I was jealous of you.  I wanted what you had.  You were special, and I wasn’t,” he explained. 

Ultimately, Ben didn’t enter the “Temple/Church” with the rest of the crew.  And I don’t recall seeing Alex or Rousseau there either . . . but here’s hoping they all eventually found their way there . . .

Sawyer

Why oh WHY, were you completely dressed during this ENTIRE FINALE, Josh Holloway?

Excess clothing aside, it was fun to spend this final two hours with the World’s Sexiest Lostie.  And while, as a Skate fan, I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed that my side of the love square ultimately didn’t win out (Sawyer ended up with Juliet / Jack ended up with Kate), I have to say I ADORED this small scene between MY COUPLE!

Sawyer: “I’d invite you along, but then I would miss out on all the fun of telling you that you can’t come.

Kate: “Guess, I’ll have to overcome the urge to follow you anyway.”

Classic! 

Carlton and Damon, remind me why you didn’t put these two togther, again?  Oh, well . . . at least we’ll always have Bear Cage Sex . . .

Crazy Claire

So, it looks like Sane Claire is here to stay, and Kate’s willing to stick around and help care for Aaron, just in case she falls off the “Non-Loony Tunes” Wagon.  (Although I was a bit annoyed that they never explained “the sickness” Claire had, or how SHE was able to give birth on the island when no one else could, or what made Aaron “special.”)   I had to laugh a bit when the Losties invited her off the island and she initially replied, “Look at me!  The island’s made me crazy!  I can’t take care of a kid anymore!”

And if this wasn’t “The Happiest Series Finale EVER” I’d be inclined to agree with her statements.  After all, Crazy isn’t like a cold.  It doesn’t just go away after 9 days.  But, fortunately for Claire, Kate . . .

 .  . . agreed to help Claire be a mother to Aaron (and reteach Claire how to use a hairbrush).  Holding hands like school girls, the two hopped aboard Lapidus’ plane and left the island (and Crazy?) behind them for good.

In Flash Sideways World, Kate helps Claire give birth at a Driveshaft concert, and it is the CLEANEST, LEAST BLOODY and EASIEST delivery EVER!  Just minutes after giving birth, when Claire’s va-jay-jay is all exposed, she reunites with and remembers her love for a totally gothed out, Rocker Charlie  . . .

OK, obviously this picture does NOT show Rocker Charlie . . . But rest assured, the Charlie on screen today could have used some mascara application lessons from Richard Alpert . . . Less is more, dude!  Less is MORE!

Sayid and Shannon

The makeout scene between these two was hot . . . just saying.  It was kind of creepy that Shannon’s brother was ogling her the whole time though (especially since we know that Bro and Sis once DID IT!)

Locke

OK . . . so in island world, Locke imposter, MIB, FINALLY DIED!

How, you ask?  Well, the temporary turning off of the Giant Light Bulb made him mortal again, which gave Kate the excellent opportunity to finally successfully shoot him, after failing to do so about 80 times this season (“I saved you a bullet, A-hole!”)  He also fell off a cliff . . .

But in Flash Sideways World, Locke was warm and fuzzy.  He came through his operation with flying colors, waking up and wiggling his toes immediately.  He also made lovey dovey eyes at former nemeses Jack and Ben.  And those of you who also watch Glee, like me, probably got particular joy out of the scene where he gets up from his wheelchair and instantly begins to walk upright. (Artie would have been sooooo jealous!) 

I half expected Locke to start doing the Safety Dance!

Jack

Obviously, the crux of this episode revolves around Jack’s journey.  And a discussion of Jack’s journey would inevitably lead to a discussion of “The Ending,” which, as I mentioned earlier, I am saving for another post.  For now, suffice it to say, that I was happy about the following strands of Jack-centric plotlines:

*In Flash Sideways World, David Shepard (Assuming this kid actually exists, seeing as . . . well, more on that later), is the son of both Jack and Juliet. These two seemed to have had the most amicable divorce EVER, especially seeing as they are both doctors in the SAME hospital (awkward).  Still, nice touch writers . . .

*It was cool to see Jack FINALLY reunited with his dad, Christian Shepard, who was actually nice to him for a change . . . Even though . . . well . .  . nevermind . . .

* I loved the scene where Hurley told Jack he was “right,” and Jack said, “There’s a first time for everything.” 

(Yes Jack, for six seasons you were ALWAYS WRONG about EVERYTHING!  It was high time you finally bucked up and admitted it.)

* I was glad that Jack got to spend his final moments with Vincent.  Because if any guy needs Man’s Best Friend it’s Dour Jack . . .

Well, that’s ALMOST all folks . . .Tune in sometime tomorrow, when I attempt to broach the controversial last ten minutes of this episode, and some of the series’ most infuriating UNANSWERED questions . . .

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