Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More thoughts on 'Lost' because LJT doesn't watch it and screw him, he can write his own post if he's bored

I just found this list of questions I had about “Lost” that I wrote down prior to the start of season 5. That was back in my “Either this show answers some of my goddamn questions or it can go fuck itself” period. “Lost,” of course did not answer any of these at that time, so we had to break up. But we’re back together now, now that the show realized it was wrong and apologized and told me it was lucky ever to have me in the first place and besides it can’t hear that “Milkshake” song without thinking of me (it was our song back in ’04). Anyway, here's what I was wondering last winter:
  1. What is the hell is the Black Smoke Monster? (not surprising that was at the top)

  2. How did Ben “move the Island”?
  3. What are the Whispers?
  4. How did the Black Rock get there? What is it?
  5. What was the goal of the DHARMA Initiative?
  6. How do the Island’s healing powers work? (a la Locke, Rose)
  7. What’s the deal with the pregnancy issues?
  8. Why do the Oceanic 6 need to go back to the Island?
  9. Who is Ben? What’s his deal?
  10. What’s with all this seeing-dead-people stuff?
  11. What are The Numbers?
  12. How come Richard doesn’t age?
  13. How can Desmond see the future?
  14. What’s with this time-traveling stuff?
  15. What is the source of the Island’s electromagnetic power?
  16. How does Widmore know about the Island?
  17. Who is the black guy from “The Wire”?
  18. What is the four-toed statue?
  19. Where’s Claire?
1, 3, 4, 10, 12, 16, 17, and 19 all got pretty clear answers, or were addressed enough so that we now have enough information to form valid interpretations or guesses. As I said after "Across the Sea," it's not the writers' job to fill in the whole circle -- just enough so that we can fill in the rest on our own.

For example, number 7 (the pregnancies) hasn't been directly confronted, at least not in the way that the Whispers was. However, after seeing what Mother (Alison Janney) did to Claudia after delivering the twins last week, my guess is that the Island has basically "cursed" childbirth. Not entirely, as we would later see Claire give birth on the Island, but it does offer an explanation as to why no woman who conceived on the Island could carry her pregnancy to term: The Island would not allow it. Of course, even if you do conceive off-Island, while you can still give birth there, your child will be kidnapped (Claire, Rousseau) or orphaned (Claudia, Sun). Or, worse, grow up to look like this guy.

(Okay, so partway through typing that stuff, I checked this out and realized that the whole pregnancy thing is a bit murkier than I thought. But anyway, moving right along…)

Most of the rest of them have since been further explored, if not fully answered (no. 5, 8, 9, 10, 14), or can simply be chalked up to the Island’s Weird Powers and Stuff (no. 6, 13, 15). No. 18 is Taweret, the goddess of childbirth and fertility, natch.

That leaves just two. As for no. 11, I’ve come to think that The Numbers are really just numbers. And I’m fine with that. It was Hurley who made the numbers The Numbers.

And lastly, no. 2: How did Ben “move the Island”?

Who gives a fuck. That’s probably the dumbest thing that ever happened on “Lost” -- including spending entire episodes on Jack's stupid tattoos and Hurley getting that van to work because Cheech was mean to him -- so if everyone just ignores it and pretends it never happened, that’s probably best.

Anyway, I've got some more "Lost" stuff coming up, but I figured we should kick off the conversation.

Here's one thing from last night -- it was minor, but I really thought one of the best parts of last night's episode was sideways-world Ben's reaction after Danielle told him how much he meant to Alex. It was, I dunno, really sweet and touching. And a great counterweight to the return of the utterly ruthless Ben in the Island world. I can't help but think that if anyone can outsmart Smokey, it's Benjamin Linus. With apologies to the Desmond-philes out there, I really think Ben's gonna go down as the best character on "Lost." We'll soon see what his fate is, but I for one sure am glad he managed to stick around for longer than the producers' original three-episode plan for him.


ChuckJerry said...

I feel like throwing out a bunch of crazy theories before the finale on the off chance that one of them is slightly true I can say that I knew what was happening all along.

I felt like they were setting up something where Jack would be the new Jacob and Ben would be the new smoke monster. And then there wouldn't be a definitive ending, just a cycle repeating itself.

The Faraday/Drive Shaft concert in the flash sideways world is gonna be the event that makes all the shit go down.

Odds that Walt is at the concert, 18%. I'll take the under.

Odds that Shannon is at the concert, 0.5%. Trust me, take the under.

Odds that Juliet is at the concert, 99%. Over, please.

Odds that Richard is dead, 65%. I'll take the under.

Odds that Miles does anything worthwhile in the finale, including even a funny one-liner, 2%. Under.

Odds that Sawyer ends up being the hero, 40%. I got the over this time.

Odds a polar bear comes and eats the smoke monster right when he's about to leave, 3%. God, I hope it's the over.

Much like Open Bar, I was hoping Ben would have more to do with this final season. Much like The Beatles and Zeppelin, I think we can at least all agree that Ben and Desmond are the two best characters in some order.

Maybe Ben has been going under the radar and then he's about to come and wreck shit in the finale starting with shooting Widmore.

Worst possible ending: Smoke Monster leaves the island, decides it's not all that great, gets homesick, and returns.

I've got to hand it to these freaking writers. This show is like the hot girl who implies she's going to sleep with you as long as you buy her jewelry and a car and everything, but never does. It's the opposite of the CSI type shows that resolve each story within each episode so you can watch a random episode from time to time.

Open Bar said...

I also had the Jack = New Jacob, Ben = New Smokey idea, so now that we have both had it, it therefore must be true.

It sure seems clear that Juliet is gonna be Jack's ex-wife, but I still love the (.001% probability) chance that it might be Allison Janney.

Also, one more random (and somewhat extensive) prediction: while battling Smokey, Sawyer dies saving Kate's life. They have a last kiss-type thing where Kate's all "It was always you" (though she probably doesn't need to say it out loud; it'll just be in her look). Then Ben comes in and finishes off Smokey by pulling him into the ocean and drowning him. Also, at some point, Desmond enters the Glowy Cave and becomes One With The Light. Or something.

Side Bar said...

There is a great interview with Carlton Cuse on the BS Report this week. I am about halfway through it. Among other things - and I note it because you guys raised it here - he acknowledges that the Jack/tattoo episode was one of the worst. But, in a nice twist, he points out that having sh*tty episodes like that forced them to pick and end date, so they knew the size of the canvas that they had left to paint their masterpiece ("Creasy's art is death; he's about to paint his masterpiece" - + 100 blogger points for the movie, another 25 for the speaker).

I agree that the reunification - if that is what it is - of the sideways world and the "real" world will be the crux of the finale. But a few observations:

1. I put "real" in quotes because we are all just assuming it is the "real" world. Why? If the bomb really did go off, then present-day LA could be the "real" world, and the experiences on the island could be the flash-sideways. Kind of a stretch, but worth considering.

2. To Open Bar's point, the show has subtly, gently, and (IMO) efficiently answered almost all of the lingering questions. (And I agree with O.B. that by "answer" I just mean give us enough to ponder; if they are just going to tell us everything then these last episodes become nothing more than an answer key where you flip the page upside down to get the correct answers). And, having done so, they have cleared the way for the last 2.5 hours to be simply about the conclusion of the arc of the story. They have (almost) nothing critical left to explain, so now we really just get to watch the final act to learn what happens to the island and its inhabitants. To that, I say well done.

3. I really, really thought Ben was going to be revealed to be a good guy at the end, but I have a hard time seeing that now. Maybe I am wrong - I might even hope I am wrong - but he was just a cold-blooded MF this past week. Tough to come back from that ledge.


- Walt is done; I do not think we will see him again;

- Desmond will not survive the final episode, at least not in any "normal" sense;

- I had not thought of Juliet as Jack's ex-wife in the flash sideways, but it makes so, so much sense;

- I do not think we have seen the last of Richard, but would not be shocked to be wrong on that one; he just seems like too important of a character to have been taken out like that by Smokey; but then again, maybe that's the point;

- Open Bar wants to know how Jacob leaves the island; I wonder if we can get to a meaningful end without learning that; my money is that we won't have to -- the only way left off of the island, it seems, is through whatever means Jacob was using;

- I would be totally fine with Hurley dying; the opposite is true of Sawyer; I'm equivocal on Kate;

- Chances of John Locke - not MIB, the real John Locke - being resurrected in the finale - 10%. Good god I hope this happens - he is by far and away the most interesting characters that I have ever watched on TV (and I know winit is with me on that one).

That's enough for now.

Open Bar said...

Though Island Ben may not turn out to be a "good guy," I do think his conversion or redemption or whatever you want to call it earlier this season was legit. In Tuesday's episode, his killing of Widmore was perfectly logical (if still a bit cold-blooded), coming just after he was reminded of his daughter's brutal murder before his eyes -- by the hand of Widmore's hired gun.

At this point, the only way he can survive around Smokey is to be on his team, so why not play that role? We've seen over the years that Ben -- not Sawyer or Locke or anyone else -- is the true master manipulator/con man on the show. And as the murderer of Jacob, I feel like there's still a great deal of empty space to fill in Ben's obituary (yes, I think he will die) -- specifically, the killing of Smokey, the one man/thing who was able to manipulate him.

And yes, Richard can't be dead yet. Is Smokey even allowed to kill him?

And I'm curious to see what Miles is gonna do. As we pointed out when we were watching, he's the only character who hasn't heard Smokey speak, so he may be the only one left who actually can stab him with that special dagger thing.

ChuckJerry said...

I agree with you, OB. At some point during the finale, most likely the climax, Desmond is gonna somehow get into the log flume/light tunnel. If he "chooses to make a sacrifice" or something like what Widmore told him, then he'll go in willingly. Also possible he'll be forcibly inserted like Jacob's brother was, perhaps by the smoke monster.

Sure seems like Juliet will be Jack's ex-wife. Could be Penelope, but seems unlikely. There just aren't many other candidates (heh, candidate).

I still want to know more about the chick who blew up, I think her name is Ilana. I don't see the purpose for introducing her character as of yet.

I also don't really see why they spent time with the Japanese guy in charge of the temple, whose name I'm almost certain was Mr. Miyagi. Interesting that his son was a musician in the flash sideways, giving him perhaps a reason to be at the concert.

I'm still unclear what the purpose of the temple was. Seems like Ben and Sayid were both resurrected in that magical pool and then turned evil. Also Claire turned evil at some point, but I don't remember her dying or anything.

Desmond and Kate are going to the concert. I wonder where Hurley and Sayid are going.

Will we see Libby again? I don't really care, so I'm guessing no.

Who is Penelope's mother? Is she older than Faraday? Was she born on the island?