Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST The End, first thoughts

Perfect. Just perfect.

All questions that needed to be answered were answered, I was completely at ease with where everyone (including those who have died throughout the series) ended up, and the message of the show was so beautiful.

I honestly wouldn't change a thing.

Jack finally knew what it was that he was supposed to do, why he was on the Island in the first place, and he did it because he wanted to, not because he felt like he had to or was destined to, but because he made the choice.

Desmond was a true hero in both realities, allowing the Smoke Monster to be defeated so that the Island would finally be safe again, making the faith that Jacob had in humanity a reality and allowing his mistake to finally be made up for, much as Jacob gave all of the LOSTies the opportunities to make up for their mistakes.

I actually think that the Smoke Monster could have been redeemed as well, since we saw both Sayid and Claire redeemed, but he made the decision to work against humanity and actually against life itself.

Had the light gone out permanately, then I doubt life could have continued at all, we were told that there is a little of that light in everyone, and so I think that we can infer what the Island actually is. The Island is the source of whatever it is that makes us human, makes us special, because each of us are special, and can make choices to accentuate that light inside of us (or make choices that dim that light, perhaps allowing there to be the Darkness that was spoken of, and that was so literally shown in the Smoke Monster). Some people have gifts that make them even more special, and I think that is why Hurley was such a perfect choice to ultimately replace Jacob. He had the special ability to see and speak to the dead, and while it isn't necessary to have such a special gift in order to protect the Island, I think that it helps.

Walt would have been a perfect choice to replace Jacob, but he was allowed to leave the Island, and moved on beyond it. I buy that explanation completely and fully, even though I know that the real reason he wasn't brought back into the show is because he went through his growth spurt and pretty much grew out of the character. I'm okay with how it all turned out though concerning Walt, by giving us other characters that were special, and by making it clear that there were many people eligible to become Jacob's replacement, the importance of Walt overall is lessened and the show was able to move on without him.

And by getting the back story of the Locke-less Monster, we learned that merely being special isn't enough to make you right for the leadership of the Island. The Locke-less Monster was able to commune with the dead just like Hurley, and yet he made choices that kept him from being able to protect the Island, meaning that it was up to Jacob instead.

I really loved the explanation of the Sideways World.

The moment that Jack entered into the room in the church that was decorated with every religious symbol imaginable (far beyond Christianity) I realized that the Sideways world was the afterlife.

Not necessarily a purgatory, although it could certainly be viewed as such, but I think that it was a place that the LOSTies created together in order to make sure that they could reconnect in another world (brotha), so not everyone in that world was truly there, for instance, David Shephard isn't real, but part of the creation of this world. Locke says to Jack after being awoken, "You don't have a son, Jack."

So this world, the LA X reality, isn't purgatory insofar as that is the reality that everyone goes to before "moving on", but it is the place that the LOSTies created for themselves to be able to move on.

The ending itself was so very fitting, coming full circle. A plane crash that gave us an opening eye amidst bamboo, ended with a plane traveling away safely and an eye closing amidst bamboo. Such a perfect close to the series.

The many themes of this television show were highlighted in this finale as well. The matter of choice verse free will was played out so beautifully throughout the episode both on the Island and in the sideways reality. Jack made the choice to take on the role of Jacob and sacrifice himself to save the Island. Hurley offers Sayid a choice before he is awakened by Shannon. While so much of the show seemed to hinge on destiny or on things that were meant to be, ultimately, the show was about the characters making choices that proved Jacob's view of humanity correct.

The show has also always been about the connections that these characters had, connections that were so strong that they literally created a world, a reality, in order to reconnect before moving on to whatever is next. The love that these characters had for each other was so plain as they reconnected in the church, ready to move on.

I loved the moments throughout the finale when various characters were awakened, especially the reconnection of Jin and Sun and their ability to speak English, and the moment of Claire giving birth to Aaron, awakening herself, Charlie, and Kate. Knowing now what the sideways world is will probably give those moments (as well as the ones from previous episodes) even more heft upon rewatching.

Ultimately, this entire show is going to be amazing upon rewatch. I will post my thoughts on the events that catch my imagination as I begin my epic LOST-Re-Watch this summer.

Thank you all for your desire to read my thoughts on this show over the last few years, and I look forward to continuing the conversation as the episode continues to sink in with us.

And thank you to all who worked on this incredible and amazing show, thank you for giving us something that allows such deep viewing and for keeping us challenged as well as entertained.

It could not have ended more perfectly.

Josh Man

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

LOST What They Died For, first thoughts

The Penultimate episode of LOST.

Sunday will bring us the finale of one of network television's greatest shows appropriately titled, The End.

The question, of course, is what The End will entail.

Last night's episode told us what the series has been about all along.

Jacob has been trying to atone for his mistake of creating the Smoke Monster, for what he did to his brother.

He's known that his brother would at some point succeed in killing him, the same way that Esau ultimately killed their "mother".

So it hasn't been about trying to prove to Esau that humanity is ultimately good (although I still think that Jacob does believe in the good of humanity) but trying to find the person to replace him when his brother ultimately succeeded.

Every person that Jacob has brought to the Island has been someone whose life is lacking. Jacob offered the LOSTies the second chance that he wanted himself.

Ultimately, one of the main themes is that of destiny verse free will. While much of what the LOSTies have been through have felt like it was destined, Jacob has done what he has done to try and better the lives of our LOSTies (as well as trying to make up for his mistake).

While it might have been easier to find someone who was perfectly ready and able to protect the Island, Jacob found damaged people that could be given the choice to protect the Island as well as try and better their situations. "You needed the Island as much as it needed you."

The title of the episode, What They Died For, refers to all of those that have lost their lives on the Island, implying that what is happening on the Island is truly important.

So, what do we make of the Sideways universe? After all, if there is importance in the deaths that our LOSTies have suffered, what does it mean that they are still alive in the other reality?

And is Desmond trying to do anything other than destroy the Island?

The Locke-less Monster plans on using Desmond for that very purpose, but I can't imagine that Desmond can be conned by Locke.

Speaking of cons, Ben is, of course, the best at cons (with the possible exception of Sawyer) and I don't for a moment believe that Ben is falling for Locke's plan.

Ben had reason to hate Widmore, especially coming right after Miles heard from Alex, so Ben shooting Widmore doesn't necessarily mean he is evil again, rather I think that Ben is playing Locke, and still working for our LOSTies.

Ultimately I think that Desmond is after more than just destroying the Island. He might be a fail safe, but he is also able to be more than that. I think that Desmond is setting up the only way to kill the Locke-less Monster and still keep the Island, and it's precious light, safe.

Until Next Time, I will see you Sunday night.

Josh Man

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

LOST Across the Sea, first thoughts

Well, the mystery of Adam and Eve has been solved, and I think that all of us were probably thrown by the red herrings that the show had thrown our way regarding this issue, including earlier this season when Hugo brought up the popular theory that Adam and Eve would be two of the main characters on the show that have been with us since season one.

Instead, it is Jacob's "mother" and his twin brother, who apparently has no name, and I will continue to call Esau because of the fact that they are twins just like Jacob and Esau in the Bible.

Whereas the last episode showed that Esau isn't the hero for this show, since it placed him directly in opposition to our LOSTies, this episode gives us the motivation for why he is acting against our main characters, and, I felt anyway, made him much more sympathetic. However, I still feel that it is Jacob who had the best intentions for our characters, and that it is still Jacob's side that we should be on.

I think that we should be on Jacob's side even over and above the side of the Island.

With the woman who stole Jacob and Esau away from their mother (killing her in the process), we see many of the qualities that we have also seen in Ben, Widmore, and Esau himself. In fact, she makes the point to Esau himself. Esau asks if Jacob told her about the game and she answers that of course he did, Jacob isn't like Esau and herself, Jacob cannot lie.

We soon see another difference between Jacob and his brother and supposed mother. Jacob, for some reason, wants to see the good in people, to believe in their ability to be good, like he himself is. Neither Jacob's "mother", nor Esau, shares this optimistic view of humanity.

Jacob goes out of his way to bring people to the Island, ostensibly to prove to Esau that there is good in humanity, which actually endangers his job and responsibility as the protector of the Source (described by the "Mother" as being the source of "life, death, and rebirth" and that there is a little of it in each of us, making it perhaps the source of humanity itself). But by trying to get more of it (which is supposedly impossible despite our unstoppable desire to try anyway) the light can go out. "And if it goes out here... it goes out everywhere."

By actively bring humanity to the Island, Jacob is risking his job and really, risking life everywhere. It reminded me of the incident that caused the button to be pushed every 108 minutes, there is a risk to life everywhere and a job held by someone (not necessarily an envious job, perhaps one that is completely unappealing and with no reward whatsoever). Jacob, like Desmond towards the end of his time as the pusher of the button, is risking everything in order to satisfy some personal curiosity.

Does this make Jacob evil, or does this make human?

I want to say that it makes Jacob human, because I cannot characterize Jacob as evil. As innocent, yes. As, perhaps, the wrong person for the job, yes. But not as evil. So, it seems prudent to simply describe Jacob as human.

And yet, we cannot actually characterize Jacob as human, regardless of the fact that he began his life as a human. He lived his life separate from humanity, with beings different from normal humans, and has continued to live separate from humanity throughout his unnaturally long life.

We know that this wasn't the case for Esau, who it seems clear to me was the better choice for Island protector, and we can probably believe that this wasn't the case for the "mother" as well, and both of them have a very negative and pessimistic view of humanity.

So, is Jacob's view of humanity so positive and optimistic simply because he has not lived among humans. Would his view of humanity be different if he had lived among humanity?

It seems that LOST is making an argument for a view of a very Transcendental view of God. If we want to believe that God has a positive view of us as humanity, LOST seems to be saying, God must not be immanent, must not be an active part of human life. Although Jacob is still very active, at least in the lives of our LOSTies, I think we can safely say that he remains remote from the lives of humanity, while remaining active in humanity.

I definitely think that the "mother" felt that Esau was the better choice for guarding the Source and the Island. It seems that the Island would rather have someone like Esau or the "mother" not someone who is innocent and good like Jacob. It is Esau that the Island gave the gift of communing with the dead, and the secrets of the Island, allowing him to construct the Donkey wheel (or have others construct it for him after he goes all Smokey).

That makes me wonder what Jacob intends from his chosen candidates. Is he looking for someone like himself, different from his "mother" and the person she would have chosen to replace her if she could have, or is the Island looking to replace Jacob with someone of the type that will once again focus on the task at hand and not worry about the possible goodness of humanity?

Personally, I think that in becoming Jacob's replacement, Jacob's faith in humanity will finally be rewarded. Somehow, in replacing Jacob, and reconciling the two realities, the belief that Jacob has in the inherit goodness of humanity will be proven.

How that will happen, I have no idea, but we are under 3 and a half hours away from finding out.

Until next time, thanks for the patience that most of you showed in waiting for this post. Being in class from 9-5 every day this week takes away from the free time a little bit. Next week, the post should be on time! See you then!

Josh Man

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

LOST The Candidate, first thoughts

Happy Star Wars Day!

As I'm sure that you're aware, Star Wars is a major influence on LOST, including tons of references throughout the series (Some Like it Hoth for instance).

Since it is May the Fourth (be with you), I'll sprinkle some Star Wars references throughout the post...


I'm starting to think that Desmond isn't attempting to wake the LOSTies up to the original timeline as I originally thought. Like Esau was attempting to do on the Island, I think Desmond in the LA X timeline is attempting to get everyone together. That is what he accomplished with running over Locke in the car. As a bonus, he also opened Jack's eyes (whoa, flash back to the opening shot of the series, creepy) to the weird interconnectedness of Flight 815. Had Jack just met Locke on the plane and then operated on him, not a huge coincidence, but meeting Locke and having to operate on him led him to Bernard who was also on the plane. Then he discovers the sister, that he didn't even know he had.... (at least they never kissed, even for luck), was also on that plane. Jack is suddenly much more willing to listen to something crazy, which I'm sure he will hear when he meets Desmond, than he would have been otherwise, whether he has been woken up to the other reality or not.

And as we all know, it is hard to see other realities, it is like looking into the future. "Difficult to see. Always in motion the future is."

So I don't think that it is as important that the LA X timeline LOSTies are fully awakened to the other reality. It is more important that they are together and awakened to the connections that they share.

Speaking of Jack, it was a great moment when he released his friends from the cage, although it would have been awesome if Kate had said, "Aren't you a little short to be a stormtrooper?"


Anthony Cooper.

Whereas in the original timeline it is Anthony Cooper that causes Locke to be paralyzed, in the LA X timeline, it is Locke's fault and his father is brain dead because of it.

I really think Locke will play an important role in finishing off whatever needs to happen in the LA X timeline and save everyone in the Island timeline.

The understanding of who Anthony Cooper was and what he did to him in the original timeline will probably give Locke the courage he needs to allow Jack to help him. Or for Locke to help Jack do whatever Desmond needs him to do.

Despite the fact that Locke and his father appear to have a healthier relationship in the LA X timeline, remember that Sawyer is still looking for the man who caused his father to kill his mother and himself and as in the original timeline, that person was Anthony Cooper.


Jin and Sun stole the show with their emotional Island ending. I knew that there was no way that Jin would leave Sun again, and I am completely okay with how their story ended on Island, and anyway, we saw Jin taking Sun flowers in the Sideways timeline, so we haven't seen the end of them yet, I suppose.

I knew, however, that when the show reunited them before the finale, that we were going to be losing them soon. Wish I wasn't right, but damn, the show did their death well. Very emotional.


All those that wanted to argue against Jacob being the good guy and the Locke-less Monster being the bad guy, I will now accept the admission that you were wrong. Esau couldn't kill them himself, it would have been against the rules, but like he did with Jacob, he could manipulate others into doing his dirty work for him, in this case, the LOSTies themselves.

However, Sayid sacrificed himself to save the others...


So, apparently there is hope for Creepy Claire yet, since Sayid had his Vader redemption moment (Luke: I've got to save you! Anakin: You already have, Luke. You were right. You were right about me. Tell your sister, you were right.) I'm sure that Jack will realize that this means he can tell his sister and save her as well.


The show was entitled The Candidate, and I think that it is now pretty clear that Jack is the one that is meant to take Jacob's place. At least it seems that that is what Desmond told Sayid, which led Sayid to this redemptive situation. And I think that Desmond somehow is aware of exactly what is going on and what needs to be done to fix the situation created when Esau killed Jacob.

Of course, when the above bold quote was told to Yoda, Yoda replied "No. There is another." So, I suppose there could still be a twist to come there.

Until Next Time, you can tell we're getting to the end with the very emotional deaths of Jin and Sun and Sayid. I think that somehow Frank is going to make it to shore safely. After all, if Jack decides to stay and become the new Jacob, everyone else who survives the next few weeks will be able to fly away safely, and they'll need a pilot to get them there. The Island isn't done with you yet, Frank Lapidus. The Force is strong with this one. May the 4th be with you... always...

Josh Man