Friday, May 15, 2009

LOST Season 5 Finale (Major Spoilers)

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I really enjoyed the cold open, which did a great job of opening up the conflict to the next, and maybe final, level -- Jack and Locke's Free Will v Destiny debate was enlarged with the Ben v Widmore conflict and now that appear to be transumed by the Jacob v Dude from Deadwood conflict that appears more cosmic in nature. Like Widmore and Ben there is some strange rule that prevents Jacob and his nemesis from killing each other. The ancient past always appears too clean or something on Lost -- every time they are in a temple I always get shades of Hercules or something, but I still liked it.

The John Locke twist was the other thing in the finale that I was really impressed by, though Stephan Delatovic's partner pointed out that that means Locke's story may have ended in a dirty hotel room. (There is always the possibility that Locke's resurrection goes back farther than that -- did Jacob bring him back to life after the fall that paralyzed him?). That reveal was shocking in the way I want Lost to be shocking. And I adored Jacob's intimation that someone was on their way. That is also what Lost does well.

I also loved the Fade to White, which was used as well as it was on the second to last episode of Sorkin's West Wing. When you are used to ending on black, ending on white is really striking. I loved that the perspective was just one woman crying in a well alone. I liked how cramped that view was as the end.

There were some interesting echoes to past seasons -- especially from finale to finale. Juliet in the shaft echoed and complemented everyone looking down the shaft of the hatch in the season one finale, both final shots. Also from the season one finale Jack with the nuke in the backpack echoed the dynamite they carried from the Black Rock (which appeared at the opening of this finale). The blast from that position echoed Desmond in that same hatch turning the key, the finale with also revealed the foot where the other part of this took place. The dumping of the real Locke's body on the ground echoed the discovery of Locke's body at the end of the four finale -- even the same camera work over the box. The AV Club pointed out that three of LOST's finales end with Sawyer on a vehicle that just can't leave the island and 3 with Lock in a coffin.

I was pleased to see Bernard and Rose dealt with, but it seemed to me that the writers did so reluctantly. I think they wanted the audience to forget all about them, and when they didn't had to put something there.

Frank's line that the people who go out of their way to tell you they are the good guys are usually the bad guys was nice, and echoed some of the things ben has said.

But Jacob visiting the major castaways did not add much to the overall narrative. We did not learn anything about the people who know what lies in the shadow of the statue or where they come from. Widmore was nowhere to be seen, nor was the smoke monster (though to be fair the monster already got a lot of play in the most recent Ben episode). The nuke needing to be hit with a rock when the shaft did not work was lame. Magnetically flying around junk always looks goofy to my eye. Chaing was weirdly ineffective -- that guys was for so long hinted at in early seasons he has been a real disappointment now that we get to spend time with him in season five. Desmond, Penny, their kid not in evidence. No Christian or Claire.

And a large chunk of the finale insisted we be very invested in the Jack-Juliet-Kate-Sawyer thing, and I am not, at all, except that this season did a surprisingly good job making me care about Juliet and Sawyer as a couple. When she was the one who was maybe too conveniently caught in the chains, I was not that happy -- If that means she is out, then we are left with the same triangle we had in season one, which is unfortunate. Juliet and Sawyer felt like progress, a chance for a reasonable happiness. I was also especially disappointed that Juliet got a non-Jacob flashback that served only to rationalize her sudden change of mind about Jack's Plan: the format of the show was broken for no reason than to make it seem like the shift the writers wanted Juliet to take made sense. We are to believe that just at that moment she realized that people can love one another and still not be meant to be together. I almost like the sentiment, it just felt shoehorned in badly.

Mostly my problem with the finale was the directness of it. They said they were going to kill Jacob and set a nuke off at the swan and that is exactly what happened -- and the season ended before we got even a glimpse of what either of those events could possibly MEAN, just as in season one the hatch was open and then it was all over. Except this time it is more "see you in ten months for the final 17 episodes. I expected 2 minutes after the nuke so shock us with the new status quo.

All in all, good not great. Season Six is going to be jammed if they even try to answer half of the mysteries they have set up.


James said...

"We did not learn anything about the people who know what lies in the shadow of the statue or where they come from."

Well, we get Jacob visiting Illana, so presumably they're working for him in some capacity. So that's something (but not a lot, I grant you).

Apparently Elizabeth Mitchell is signed up for a remake of V, so it's not looking good for Juliet. Though her situation chimed so much with Desmond's transformation, that I can't help but think we'll see her again at some point.

Not the first time Jack has woken up in a way that recalls the Pilot, but I was pretty floored by how closely the chaos he awoke to resembled the Oceanic crash.

People are already calling Titus Welliver's character "Esau", after Jacob's brother in the bible. Presumably it was him who whispering "Help Me" to Locke all those moons ago, since Jacob has not used the cabin "for a long time". Also, unLocke referred explicitly to that episode.

It's pretty harsh if Locke's story did end in disillusionment and murder, but I've a feeling there's more to Esau's appearance as Locke (and Christian? Alex? Yemi? EVERYONE?!) than pure impersonation.

The fade to white was great, the black LOST on the white field was greatest.

I'm such a sucker for Lost; even when I know it's failed to deliver (somewhat), I can't help but love it.

Telosandcontext said...

I too have mixed feelings about this. My first reaction after watching was ANGER. My first reaction after rewatching was GENIUS. So now I'm just utterly torn. If Season Six is going to parallel what happens now after Jacob's been killed with flashbacks of Jacob's influence of the history of the island, I might be disappointed.

Gordon Harries said...

How many eps will the final season run?

Geoff Klock said...


DH said...

I also had mixed feelings. It felt like the writers weren't exactly sure what to do with everybody and it felt forced. When the final logo shot came up this year I didn't feel the way I felt after the previous finales. Damon and Carlton always insisted they knew where this was all headed but I can't really say I believe them.

No one mentioned this as far as I know but we did learn how Chang lost part of his arm due to 'the incident'. What is Frank a 'candidate' for? Jacob and Esau are biblical brothers. Are 'Adam and Eve' actually Rebekah and Isaac from the Bible?

I'd say season 6 will be one of 'biblical' proportions.

Telosandcontext said...

My biggest fear about Lost is that it would go the way of The Matrix. The Matrix was on the verge of being the most kick-ass science-fiction-action trilogy of all-time and then Matrix Revolutions happened...boiling the entire fucking Matrix down to a really REALLY crappy biblical parallel parable.

I do hope to god that Lost is just toying with these themes and stays far far away from Matrix Revolutions and Battlestar Galactica

Geoff Klock said...

T&C: I don't think LOST is likely to fall into the Matrix trap as they always remember to put character first, mythology second (though admittedly BSG seemed like that right up until the end).

You know what bugs me about season 5? In season 2 Dharma was this amazing secret thing. In 5 our guys live with them for YEARS, but we never learn any more about Dharma. They ran experiments of some kind, which we knew before. Even that season 4 teaser thing with the rabbit -- never played a part in either season 4 or 5. Maybe the story of Dharma will still be active in season 6, but it felt like THIS was the season to learn all about the purpose of that organization, how they found the island etc.

Triumph of the Underdog said...

What are you talking about, Geoff? We learned that all of the mysterious, creepy Dharma guys were actually hippies with anger management issues!

(I can't take credit for that observation, as my friend made it.)

I was really let down by this finale, in part because I was counting on it to make up for what I think has been a mediocre season. I forgive the Lost producers and writers though, because they were busy making Star Trek AWESOME. Also, the fact that they exploded the nuke is proof that they are really willing to do ANYTHING on this show, including - maybe - undo the five seasons that have come before. I will be profoundly upset if Season Six opens on the island in the present and Jack and Sawyer and the seventies guys are temporally reunited with the others. That would be pretty lame.

Stefan Delatovic said...

Yeah, the Dharma thing stings.

We keep coming to the logical points in the story where we will find things out, and we do not.
It certainly feels like there won't be any room for Dharma in season six - I hope there is - but Geoff is right, this just felt like the time and place to find out where these people come from.

I have always liked the idea that Dharma is a thin veneer of bullshit smeared over the island. That we're initially led to beleive they're the super secret source but ultimately discover they're just losers. But I'd still like to know who they were.
Shades of Juliet joining the castaways but failing to give them any new information.

And those Comicon videos burn because, ideally, you'd think they'd tie directly into the story, only to discover later they're only thematic. Certainly gives the impression of changes mid-season.

And, with the creators saying recently that Libby's story is unlikely to be revisited, it makes me pine for Faraday. He obviously knew a lot, and learned more in the 70s. His death upsets because it makes it harder for that to be covered - it's easier to see him do it than have someone read out the journal.

And I LOVE the IDEA of the reveal of EviLocke, but my love of John's character is big enough to muddy the water. We seemingly get confirmation that destiny is a thing, that there is some purpose to it all, only to find the character most strongly in favour of this view screwed out of life.


Funny thing is, despite these concerns - ongoing and generally unresolvable until the series is complete - I'm about to watch the whole thing through again, for the seventh time. Love this show.

That's the source of my unique complaints. I want to rewatch this forever, with new people, and I don't want to have to make excuses in my brain as to why things will never matter.

Me: Yeah .... um ... we should talk.

That conversation? Has happened.

Andy said...

I've been reading several reports that LOST will get Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet) for a hand full of episodes. Jeff Jensen over at has a pretty good prediction that S6 will open in '04 with the ones touched by Jacob being the only ones that remember. Juliet, of course, was not and when Sawyer runs up to her in excitement, she'll look at him like he's crazy

Fredski said...

I can tell you right now that locke is indeed dead but his living self meeting jacob is infact him from the past before he is killed by ben. this has just not been explained by the show yet. its obvious he has travelled into te future even further which is how he knows what is going to happen.

is it just me or does the time travel loop created for star trek have strong resemblance to what is about to happen in lost? ie. a new unwritten future? its clear to me the end of season six is either going to be them on the plane and it doesnt crash, or the six of them looking up as the plane flies over them before they "leap" to another point in time?
either way the time travel thing is brilliant so far as i cant see many paradoxes bing created! what a brilliant show. whatever the outcome i cant wait to see season 6!