Saturday, May 15, 2010

Across the Sea Analysis… or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Lost

In the words of John Locke, I was wrong.

In a way, I think we’ve all been wrong.


We were wrong about our approach to Lost over the years. It’s not our fault, really – it’s the way the show was presented to us from the start – that Lost was going to be one big mystery, a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. It was a battle of wits between the show’s creators and its viewers. They were leaving little clues along the way, slowly revealing the truth behind the mystery – and we assumed that if you were smart enough, spent enough time thinking about it, researching, and collaborating with others, that we would be able to “figure it out”. That’s pretty much the origin story of this Blog – it was a way for my friends to discuss the show together, to try and figure out what it all meant, where it was heading, and what the ending would be. We were going to outsmart the writers and figure out the ending before they told us. We were wrong.


“Across the Sea” simply solidified something that we should have known all along – there isn’t going to be a clear-cut answer. The hints were there all along. The first season ended by opening the Hatch, but not showing what was inside. It frustrated a lot of people – people who wanted answers – but allowed the audience to spend the summer speculating and debating, discussing Lost. Over the next five seasons, they have thrown enough characters, side stories, and mythology at us that it required a degree of obsessiveness to keep it all straight. We’ve been waiting for the big reveal, when they throw back the curtain and magically tie EVERYTHING together – Jacob, Smokey, Dharma, Hanso, the Others, the Swan Hatch Implosion, the Incident, Widmore, Ben, the crazy connections between all our Survivors, the whispers, the time travel, the funky time, the FDW, and Jacob’s Cabin. We were hoping that at the end of this season, we’d all say “Oh! I get it – that’s how all of these pieces of the puzzle fit together – it was all building up towards this ending! Now I understand it all!”


But if you think about it, that kinda “closes the book” on Lost.


It’s going to piss a lot of people off, but I think the creators of Lost are going in the complete opposite direction – they’re going to leave the book open. They’re going to leave volumes of unanswered questions – and questions that they only provide vague answers to, so that Lost lives on. The debate can continue. People can continue to pull together pieces of the overall Lost storyline to draw their own conclusions.


The book of Lost is going to stay open forever.


If you’ve listened to the interviews and podcasts with Damon and Carlton over the years, you’ll notice that they continually refuse to answer some questions, telling us that it’s open to interpretation. A lot of us assumed that this was code for “we can’t reveal the true answer yet” – but now I think it’s clear that it was code for “we’re not going to answer it so that Lost can be everything to everyone.” There are no right or wrong answers. It’s kinda like interpreting art, or interpreting song lyrics – it’s going to be something different for everyone, but it’s going to be something personal for each person as well.


So how does this make you feel?


To some, it’s a beautiful thing. Lost truly becomes a work of art – the type of thing that can be discussed and revisited unlimited times over the years, each time connecting with the viewer in a different way based on where they are at in life. Philosophy classes can dive in and dissect the big questions that Lost posed – and in true philosophy fashion, not have any right or wrong answers. Lost is about life. Life is about big questions that can’t be answered. But the important thing is that we ask them and think about them.


To some, it’s the worst thing ever. We were promised answers (indirectly from the show’s creators over the years, directly from the ABC promos this season), and while we are getting some answers to minor things, a lot of the major ones are left dangling. It’s a story without an ending. While it’s fun to have each person make up their own interpretations, we want to know the interpretations of the show’s creators, whether we agree with them or not. Life is already full of unanswered questions. Lost doesn’t need to be one of them.


Where do I fall in this debate?


Like Natalie Imbruglia, I’m torn. Part of me likes that this means Lost will never end. Years from now, I can come back to it and view it totally differently than I view it today. People can continue to debate it and draw meaning from it. It becomes this living, breathing thing that lives on even after the show ends.


On the other hand, I think that by doing this, the writers have kinda cheated. By knowing that they were never going to have to definitively answer some of these big questions, it’s allowed them to use them as plot points and twist them in ways that almost become contradictory. Those of us who are looking for the big answers to tie them all together have worked long and hard to try and tie together all the things we know into one cohesive theory – but it’s impossible (see: explaining Jacob’s Cabin). That’s my problem with it.


I have yet to talk to anyone who loved “Across the Sea”. The reactions have ranged from indifference to downright hatred. A lot of this can be blamed on the production values, child actors, pacing, and the lack of firm answers that so many people assumed were forthcoming. But the funny thing is that once you accept that Lost isn’t going to give you these firm answers, this episode provided a lot of fodder for discussion and debate – perhaps more so than any other episode this season. Isn’t that what the Lost experience has always been about?


Yes, Lost has decided to go a route that is going to make a lot of people angry. But when you stop worrying about needing the answers, it’s a lot easier to appreciate what they have given us – a whole hell of a lot of entertainment.


With that, let’s get into the analysis of “Across the Sea” – or should I say, MY analysis of “Across the Sea”. Your analysis could be totally different – but it’s not right or wrong (a soldier’s last breath, his baby’s being born), that’s the beauty of Lost:



Light. The lack of definitive answers has never been more evident than it was with the magically, gooey, bright, warm light that we saw this episode. It seems as though it’s the source of the “unique electromagnetic properties” of the Island, the reason why so many weird things happen there, and is the thing that makes the Island so important. It’s the heart and soul of the Island, but what in the hell is it?


Photobucket


According to The Woman:


“It’s light. The warmest, brightest light you've ever seen or felt. And we must make sure that no one ever finds it. Because a little bit of this very same light is inside of every man. But they always want more. And if they tried they could put it out. And if the light goes out here... it goes out everywhere. It is life, death, and rebirth. It’s the source, the heart of the island…”


With that explanation, it literally could be anything. If you want to get sappy, it could be something like love. If you want to get science-y, it could be something like electricity. If you want to get spiritual, it could be something like a soul.


Me? I want to get logical… and the most logical thing I can come up with to explain the light is that it is POWER.


There’s a little bit of power inside of everyone, if someone tries to gain all the power, it goes out (i.e. – uncontrolled power could destroy the world). We each have the power to create life (bow-chika-wow-wow), kill people, and be reborn – to start fresh and pick ourselves up after we fall… redemption (you know, kinda like the central theme of Lost).


It also works well to tie in this explanation with Widmore – although it seems as though Widmore may have some altruistic intentions, we’ve also been told by Ben that he wants to harness the power of the Island for his own personal gain. For reasons unknown, the Island is home to ridiculous power, the side effects of which are the “unique electromagnetic properties we’ve seen”, a power so strong that if manipulated (FDW), it can bend time (funky time and time travel) and space (move the Island).


Hmmm – maybe we’re going to stumble upon some overall answers in this analysis after all!


The other thing The Woman told us about the light?


“No matter what you do, you won’t ever go down there. It’d be worse than dying… much worse.”



Smokey and The Woman. At the conclusion of the episode, Jacob threw Anti-Jacob into the heart of the Island, and out roared Smokey. Was this the “birth” of the Smoke Monster we all know and love?


I don’t think so.


There are two huge pieces of evidence that Smokey existed before the Anti-Jacob incident:


  1. The fact that The Woman knows the repercussions of going into the heart of the Island. How would she know unless she had seen it happen before?
  2. The bodies at the Roman Camp massacre looked just like the Pilot’s body after being attacked by Smokey… and unless you’re a Smoke Monster, I don’t know how else you could quickly kill all those people AND fill in their FDW hole.


Photobucket


With all these hints that Smokey existed pre-Anti-Jacob, where was he this episode?


Right before our eyes, in the shape of The Woman.


Get ready for the “big theory” portion of the Blog Post:


I think that The Woman was Jacob and Smokey all rolled into one. She was THE protector of the Island. Where did she come from? From the little information she gave, it sounds like she arrived on the Island “by accident”, just like Claudia – but that’s not important. This episode clearly is as far back in time as we’ll ever see on Lost, so let’s just accept that The Woman has been there for a really long time. She was the single entity who understood the power of the Island and her job was to protect it, no matter what the cost.


Periodically, people would accidentally end up on the Island, and she would observe them – which is how she came to develop her views about mankind. “They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt... and it always ends the same.” Unfortunately for The Woman, protecting the Island is a long, boring job – one that she wished that she could give up, to be released from duty and be allowed to enter the after-life where she can hang out with all of her old drinking buddies. But she knew that she couldn’t entrust the job to a single man – he would probably abuse the power / destroy the Island (or world). But what if she could somehow split the powers among multiple men? A little separation of powers – two entities that are separate but equal who would keep each other in line and serve very different functions – but the combination of the two of them would achieve her desired goal – protecting the power of the Island.


The wheels were in motion. Now all she needed was two people to mold into these roles – and she got exactly that when Claudia showed up.


(Aside: I’m not sure if The Woman truly brought Claudia to the Island the same way that we’re supposed to believe that Jacob brought our Survivors to the Island. She did say that she arrived “by accident”, but could be lying. However, I find it hard to believe that given the era that The Woman and Claudia lived in that it would have been easy to travel from the Island to Rome (or wherever) and back. I really do think it was an accident that brought Claudia to the Island – an accident that The Woman was waiting a very long time for.)


From there, The Woman carried out her plan, cleverly manipulating the two boys into the roles she needed – a calm, loyal protector (Jacob) and a strong-minded angry enforcer (Anti-Jacob). It’s easy to see how everything we saw in “Across the Sea” was part of this master plan.


Ghost Claudia appears to Anti-Jacob (but not Jacob), which helps drive him away.


The Woman allows Anti-Jacob to grow up with mankind to understand how terrible it is, effectively giving him the same views that she has (and we know he retained these views, since he repeated her “They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt... and it always ends the same” speech to Jacob years later.


Once Anti-Jacob gets too close to leaving the Island with the FDW, it’s go time. The Woman knocks him out, kills all his people, and blocks his attempt to leave the Island. She knows this will infuriate him to the point of killing her.


The Woman quickly takes Jacob to the Heart of the Island to force him to become the Protector of the Island (note that she doesn’t give him a choice in the matter). She then sends him to collect firewood, to give Anti-Jacob the opportunity to kill her.


Photobucket

The Woman knew that once Jacob discovered her dead body, he would throw Anti-Jacob into the Heart of the Island, thanks to all the little hints she dropped along the way (i.e. – “you can’t kill Anti-Jacob” and “going into the Heart of the Island won’t kill you, but it will be worse”)


The plan played out exactly as she wanted. With her death, Jacob became the Protector of the Island without having to go into the Heart of the Island himself. By throwing Anti-Jacob into the Heart of the Island, he became Smokey – gaining all the power needed to protect the Island, but not actually being the official Protector of the Island. Jacob is there to do the thinking, Anti-Jacob is there to do the killing. The Woman’s plan worked.


Anti-Jacob is basically trapped, like the Genie in Aladdin. Jacob gets to come and go from the Island as he pleases, but always returns because he likes it there – and has a job to do. Anti-Jacob is more of a prisoner to the Island, wanting nothing more than to leave... and so begins everything we saw starting with the scene between the two of them in “The Incident”.


(Note: Isn’t it ironic that the two individuals that have “been” the Smoke Monster didn’t have true names? The Woman and Anti-Jacob. That’s gotta be intentional on the writers’ part, but I’m not sure why.)


I have to give it to The Woman and Anti-Jacob. When they make a plan, they make a plan – it might take years to see through and involve so many moving parts that it almost seems impossible to guarantee it’ll work – but in the case of the Separation of Power and The Loophole, both took a really long and complicated path to finally achieve their goals. That’s good project management right there.


That pretty much sums up the meat of the episode, doesn’t it?


Looking back, there were a lot of interesting little scenes (like Anti-Jacob talking to Jacob as if he is a detached god, “That’s easy for you to say. Looking down on us from above. Trust me, I’ve lived among them for 30 years.” It’s curious that this is exactly what Jacob ends up being, pre-Alpert. A god who wants people to do things on their own without his involvement), but I can’t think of anything else that requires any heavy thinking and analysis.


Where do we go from here?


I wonder if Jacob found himself in a similar predicament as The Woman – that mankind sucks, so how could he ever find a replacement if Anti-Jacob was successful in killing him? Although he started with a large number of potential candidates, I wonder if instead of trying to whittle the list down to one “winner”, he’s actually looking to whittle the list down to a group of “winners” – the final Candidates, our Survivors. Maybe he’s looking to take the Separation of Power one step further, to prevent the issues that he encountered with his brother wanting to kill him. If there were a group of people who all shared the responsibility, it’s possible that you could build a happy little utopia on the Island, where they both protect the Island and live a happy little existence in their own community.


It’s a little “Captain Planet”, but looking at the remaining Candidates on the Island, you’ve got the heart (Hurley), brains (Jack), and brawn (Sawyer). We’re all looking for one single replacement for Jacob – but it’s possible he could take it one step further and create a trinity of people to become the Protectors of the Island (hello, religious symbolism!)



The Outrigger. Finally, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I’d rather have you hear it from me than from some stranger on the street. We’re never going to see the other side of the Juliet / Outrigger scene. Read this interview (which reiterates a lot of my points from the start of this Blog post), and focus on this question and answer from Damon and Carlton:


http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/exclusive-interview-lost-producers-damon-lindelof-and-carlton-cuse-talk-across-the-sea


Q: Okay, finally, I have to ask, simply because it's been driving me nuts for a year and a half: what's going on with showing the other half of the outrigger shootout?


CC: The outrigger shootout is not something we're bending around in gyrations so we can solve it. In the grand scheme of the show, that is a fairly obscure piece of the show. It is your particular obsession...


DL: ...and you're not alone in it.


CC: You're not alone in it. And yes, it would have been great if we had had the opportunity to close the time loop. But you can't get everything done and keeping the narrative going in a straight line. This is one of those things where we made a very conscious choice to ask, "What are the big questions? And most importantly, what are the paths of these characters? Where do they lead?" And we followed those paths and tried not to trip ourselves up getting too diverted from that. We felt that that's the thing that's ultimately going to make the finale work or not work. We got to the point where we made the finale we wanted to make, that was our approach, and I think it was the only approach we could take. We sat here in my office, had breakfast every day for six years, talked about the show, and we used this gut check methodology, where if we both loved something and thought it was cool, that would go in. We applied that same methodology to the finale, and that was the only way we could do it. We came up with a finale that we thought was cool, that was emotional and one we really liked. That's the best we could do.


DL: When we wrote that scene and somebody started shooting at them, we knew exactly who was shooting at them. That is not a dangling thread that we don't know the answer to. That being said, as we started talking about paying that off this season, it felt like the episode was at the service of closing the time loop, as opposed to what the characters might actually be doing in that scenario. It never felt organic. We decided we would rather take our lumps from the people who couldn't scratch that itch than to produce an episode that was in service of putting people in an outrigger and getting shot at.


Q: You put people in a lot of outriggers this season. It feels, frankly, like you're taunting me.


DL: We can't entirely deny that we're taunting you.


CC: Honestly, though, the logistics of getting all the participants in the outriggers in the configuration that was on the A-side of the time loop was actually really daunting.


DL: Considering half of them had been killed off


CC: It's not like we didn't want to do it. Like Damon says, it was just too much of a narrative deviation to do it.




To me, that kinda sucks. One, it means that as recently as one season ago, the writers still didn’t actually have the ending of Lost plotted out well enough to actually get to the tail end of storylines they were introducing at the time. Unlike The Woman and Anti-Jacob, that’s poor project management. It’s also a little frustrating that they had plenty of episodes earlier this season to carry out the conclusion to this scene (honestly, are there any characters that haven’t been on Outriggers at one point this season?), but chose not to because they were afraid to “pull the trigger” (pun!) and potentially kill off a main character before the very end of the season.


But remember – there’s no reason to get angry about this. We just need to accept that this is the show that Lost is going to be – the kind of show where questions won’t be answered, but the questions that will be posed will be very good. Stop worrying and love the Lost – we’ve only got three and a half hours left.


It seems as though another line from the episode was directed at us, the viewers, as if it was uttered by Damon and Carlton themselves:


“Every question I answer will simply lead to another question. Just be grateful you're alive.”


Amen to that.


Until next week!


http://facethewoods.com/lost/index.php?topic=557.0

75 comments:

Seddik said...

First comment cool.

I must say Brian...I feel relived….Ahhhhh.
Your perspective is very wise and opens up a new view though it has always been there.
Never the less I am upset at the writers for allowing us to develop the needy mentality and hunger for answers.
As always top analysis…!

Armand said...

this is I think by far your best analysis you've ever done...first off your theory about the mother is spot on and makes total sense...and your overall analysis of the show is tremendous as well..its never going to tie in a neat little bow for us..that does suck but in the end I think you just need to ask yourself...Was I entertained and engaged by this specific TV show more than normal over these past six years? for me its a resounding YES...so i could never be too upset at the show or the writers in the end

stephenf44 said...

One thing that's needs some explaining: if Woman was a Smokey, then how did she die from MIB's knife? Smokey-Locke didn't die from Sayid's knife. And before you invoke Dogen's "Don't let him speak before you stab him" rule, I'll point out that MIB spoke to Woman lots of times -- he grew up with her.

I suppose you can speculate that what Dogen meant to say was "hey, make sure you surprise a Smokey while in human form, because their organs will still all be there", or something like that.

Anyway, your analysis of how she manipulated Jacob and MIB doesn't depend on her being a Smokey, just her knowing about it.

Nice read, BTW.

Sam Davies said...

Very good analysis - well played good sir! My thoughts were similar, but you really set it out in fine fashion.

People will have to accept Lost as they have come to accept Agatha Christie novels, Sherlock Holmes stories, etc. Half the fun is trying to figure out who-dunnit, but you're never really meant to figure it out until the end.

With that said, there does seem to be a fine line between misdirection and sloppy plotting. I wonder if they will ever be more "up front" with why certain plot points were left behind. With regards to the Outrigger, I would guess they had an initial plan of who was gonna get shot, but then opted to do something different with that character. I agree - they had plenty of chances to wrap this up, but opted to dangle the carrot instead. Many will totally feel deceived and manipulated....

Aly said...

After watching this episode I was pretty disappointed. But I've let it settle now and your analysis helped put it in perspective. There were a lot of important scenes and dialogues that I should go back and watch again. My only issue is with the whole light source thing. It came off as very cheesy and much too religious for me. By this point, I had already just accepted that the island has a mysterious power. It has the magnetic properties and can heal people - okay. I didn't expect to get a concrete-ish answer about why this is - it just is. So the way that they ended up explaining it felt unnecessary to me. Yes it was a comment on the good v. evil theme, but I think anyone who watches LOST has been aware of this theme for a long time now. The explanation was just corny and kind of insulting - it felt like they were trying to spell it out for us. I guess there are viewers who aren't as crazy as me (and all you crazies who read this blog) but I definitely would have preferred and answer to the outrigger situation than this light thing we got.

MR. G said...

i do have to say i can accept them leaving some things open ended. not closing the time loop and seeing the other half of the outrigger scene is a total slap in the face to the viewer...and their reasoning is even more ridiculous...

Christoph said...

"...the creators of Lost are going in the complete opposite direction – they’re going to leave the book open. They’re going to leave volumes of unanswered questions – and questions that they only provide vague answers to, so that Lost lives on. The debate can continue. People can continue to pull together pieces of the overall Lost storyline to draw their own conclusions."

CASE AND POINT - TWIN PEAKS

Brian - even if you don't end up ever writing one single word about it - please go rent or netflix or steal or pirate the Twin Peaks Series - it's only two seasons and as you read from my previous post, DL and CC borrowed heavily from it, thematically. Granted, it has it's flaws but it is such an open story that people are still discussing and dissecting it online today.

Kristen said...

Christoph, the difference between Lost and Twin Peaks being, the writers of Twin Peaks had to wrap things up quickly, whereas Lost writers have had SEASONS to create a coherent ending.

I never expected the Lost writers to answer EVERY question, but I was/am expecting an ending that ties the 6 seasons together and encourages us to re-watch the series with a new perspective.

Brian said...

stephenf44 - That's a good point. I'd say it's either the "element of surprise" which prevented The Woman from protecting herself (which might be the real meaning behind "if he speaks to you, it's too late" - it means "if they see you coming, it's too late"), or it could be that she didn't want to protect herself. She had resigned to the fact that she was going to be killed, and she welcomed it. She brought her defenses down and was just waiting for it to happen.

Christoph - Maybe that's what I should do when Lost is over - go back and watch all the stuff people have told me I need to watch over the years. Star Wars, Twin Peaks, read The Dark Tower, etc.

Hell, this Blog post was a reference to a movie I've never even seen - and actually have no idea what the plot is about. I just know the title. Maybe I should watch that too.

Athrael said...

Jesus Christ Brian, you're in denial. You're defense of Lost not giving any answers reminds me of those times in movies where something momentous has just happened to one character, yet they stubbornly still refuse to see the truth that the whole audience understands.

Your analysis of the Mother's "master plan" makes sense, but after the whole outrigger debacle I just can't give the writer's credit for it. It is definitely interpretable in that way, but the writers have proven themselves to write it as they go and I think the Mother's master plan is just a theory that "works" by chance.

I feel like I've been cheated on by the writers. And you can try to defend them and say their intentions were good all along, but at the end of the day they were caught blowing the janitor in the storage room and I'll just never be able to look past it.

Seriously though, listen to yourself. "It's a mystery show where there aren't supposed to be answers!" That's bullshit. It's lazy writing. The outrigger proves this. Darlton even stated that it was just too hard to make the outrigger scene "work". LAZY. Apparently it was too hard to make all the bullshit they wrote for six seasons "work", too.

Terrible episode, terrible writing. "I'm going to um connect this wheel to the water such that the light will um send me to Iraq such that the power will let me leave." Or something like that.

Jesus, listen to me. I sound like a troll. And I was a loyal fan of this show up until 5 days ago. You're a man of faith, Brian -- and I'm a man of science. And to me, the science of this show has been shattered.

Dean said...

Seems to me that the only person to have ever successfully plotted out a TV series was JMS with Babylon 5.

ninja raiden said...

But the show isn't over yet...

Brian said...

athrael - Let me clarify one thing - I'm not "defending" the Lost writers decisions to leave some of the big mysteries of the show open-ended, I'm just accepting it.

There will be plenty of time to criticize and critique once Lost is complete. There are still three and a half hours left. Let's watch those, then decide how the writers decisions worked out.

Mongo DeNizen said...

Thanks, Brian--I think taking your view will help me deal with what I now realize is the simple fact that The Questions are just not going to be answered. . .certainly not in any tidy fashion. I think I'm going to enjoy the series finale a whole lot more this way.

(Though I DO think that "The End" is a pretty lame title for said finale. Being a fan of the old punning titles of the Bullwinkle Show, I personally would have preferred to call the series finale "Anti-Locke Breaks".)

sorry.....

The Observer said...

I think Brian's got a nice enough idea here, but early on the producers said when the show ended, that would be it. There wouldn't be room for spinoffs or what ifs or what could've beens, because they were going to tie it all up.

I think these guys got in way over their heads. I'm not even certain that they'll be able to wrap up some of the more recent mysteries on the show, like what was Jacob's relationship with Ilana, why was she hospitalized, and who are the shadow of the statue people, let alone answer with any finality why Walt mattered, Aaron mattered, etc.

If they're not in over their heads, they've been working on a six season long con.

JJ Sobey said...

Disappointed that we will not get more answers. I have a feeling I will be deeply disappointed at the ending.

one thing is for certain - I'm really glad I didn't start watching this years ago when it was first airing. I did a catch up just before season 5 started. I would be pissed off royally if I'd been waiting all this time for the pay-off that will never come.

Desiree said...

I can go either way on this one.

To me this is analagous to what happened with Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. He wrote and wrote and wrote, and came up with great stuff, but clearly painted himself into a corner when it came time to wrap up the series. And then he died before he could finish (and may he rest in peace).

Well, the creators of LOST are not dead but similarly out of time. I don't really see how they can put a neat end to what they started. And as a LOST OG, this is frustrating.

But.

I am also really into the idea of not having a neat ending. Brian's right. Half the fun of the show is in the theories and discussion. I'd like to see people still talking about and writing about the show long after the last episode airs.

And plus, much like with RJ's Wheel of Time, I'm much too invested in this material to give up now.

The island isn't done with any of us. Not by a long shot.

Desiree said...

One more thing.

I have to admit that at first, I railed against these mother-is-smokey theories. But after reading and re-reading, and watching and re-watching, and carefully examining the evidence presented, I concluded that I'm going to have to concede on that point.

I'm not even sure why I originally hated the idea so much.

Perhaps I just wanted MiB to be special.

Caralyn said...

So I've got two questions, if anyone can answer them:

1) Who said, "Help me," in the cabin then? Was it MiB?

2) Did the Others know about MiB (other than Richard)? Ben didn't even see Jacob in all his years, yet was able to call on Smokey (right?)...did he know Smokey was part of Jacob and the protection of the island, I wonder?

Ryan71 said...

TheObvserver -

I think its obvious why Aaron was important. Jacob was trying to find his replacement. Since none of the women on the island could get pregnant and have a child.. obviously Aaron would be the only real pure option.

The others were trying to make it so he was born as a healthy child.. then they / Jacob would raise him / con him into replacing Jacob.

Sherilyn -The Dominee Huisvrouw said...

What if the outrigger was initially how Kate got shot (in the writers' minds), but then they decided it would work better if she was shot just outside the sub?

Maybe they weren't PLANNING on not tying that loose end, but decided they needed to change another scene, and b/c of that, the outrigger got left behind.

pookie said...

something that i thought of and wanted to point out...

"Across the Sea" was one episode of Lost, which showed the selection of "candidates" and their journey to become the protector(s) of the island.

The six seasons of Lost have been the "Across the Sea" episode for all of the characters.

What I'm trying to say is, we saw one episode tell the story of two people becoming the protectors of the island, but it has taken six seasons for us to see the story of Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, (Whoever), become the protector(s) of the island.

It makes you wonder how many times this has happened... and how many times it will happen, in the life time of the island. We are only getting to see a small part of the island's life...

Brendan said...

The outrigger cop-out is seriously troubling, and their explanation is borderline insulting.

I think there's an illuminating statement earlier in that same interview - they talk about being "shameless" about wanting to produce a show with entertainment value.

That's the core of it, I think - LOST is fundamentally a character melodrama, with a bunch of mystery and pseudo-philosophy piled on to pull viewers in.

I've enjoyed watching the show, and will continue to watch - eagerly - all the way through to the bitter end, frustrating as it's likely to be.

After all, it's a television show, not high art, and it's not important at all in the grand scheme of things.

Desiree said...

So since we seem to be going with the smoke-mommy-had-a-master-plan theory, I'm curious to know what people think about Caludia's apparition. Was it really her? Or smoke mommy playing tricks again?

Brian said...

desiree - I kinda touched on this in the analysis when I said:

Ghost Claudia appears to Anti-Jacob (but not Jacob), which helps drive him away.

I guess I should have gone into a little more detail. I do think it was The Woman as Claudia - if only for the fact that she appeared to Anti-Jacob, and not Jacob, instead of both of them.

If not, it might be that Anti-Jacob really was "more special" than Jacob and could see the dead (similar to Hurley) - but I think the first answer is a little cleaner.

Rob Patterson said...

i hear what you are saying Brian, and i think you are probably right on in your statements, but i don't like it.

I don't think we are done with answers though. I feel pretty certain Desmond is going to the core, so we might get some answers there, and if Jacob/MIB get replaced we might get a little rule explanation.

I don't mind leaving it open to interpretation, but i think they need to come out and say something on the show about the island. Something like, "we don't know what is down there, some think its magic, some worship it, others try to understand it with science. It is special and must be protected. the person guarding it gets to impose binding rules on people on the island" i would be completely satisfied with that answer. It explains nothing, but at least it is them saying as far as they ever planned on saying.

Rob Patterson said...

maybe im just a sucker, but i can't help but think that the next 3 1/2 hours are going to deliver. While we can get mad at the writers for not tieing in seasons, they have always have a decent story arch for the individual seasons.

This season has done a lot of things we don't understand yet. The temple, the flash sideways, bringing back desmond, widmore's return, all the candidate/number stuff. i have no clue how its ending, but Lost knows how to do a series finale... this will be no different.

-going down with the ship

timcourtois said...

I like the idea that Aaron was "special" because he was to be groomed as Jacob's replacement.

I know it's a bit late for theories on random mysteries, but I wonder if when Ben "summoned" Smokey by going in that water hole and pulling the plug, perhaps the water draining out went to Jacob's cabin and washed away part of the ash, "breaking" the ash circle and releasing Smokey...?

@Brendan - you said this is television, not high art. I think TV is as legit a place for "high art" as any, and the unique challenge of creating a serial story is a great context for wonderfully creative, meaningful art.

The more I think about it... the writers haven't done a perfect job, and I'm sure if they wrote the whole series and released the entire thing as a whole, all at once (like a novel is released), there are things that they would change, not having foreseen where the writing would take them. I think they've made mistakes, and those mistakes bother me.

Nevertheless, what is the overall story they've created?: Two flawed humans (Jacob and AJ) inadvertently and unwillingly become the "protectors" of the source of meaning/power/energy/life in the world. In the process of playing out their childhood conflicts and messed-up-mommy issues over the course of hundreds of years, they draw a group of people to the island via a plane crash. Those people become mixed up in an epic conflict that has been doing on "ab aeterno", which threatens to destroy their lives. Nevertheless, their proximity to the redemptive power that lies at the heart of the island also gives them a second chance at finding redemption for all the mistakes they've made in their lives. As this epic battle plays out, each character has to look deep inside of himself to determine what choices he will make, deciding whether those choices will break or repeat the patterns of his broken past.

All in all, that's a pretty awesome story. (As well as a pretty awesome summary of it, if I do say so myself!)

So, for my part, I say, "Boo, hiss!" to the writers for not finishing the outrigger sequence, but "Bravo" to the writers for creating a monumental work of art that stands alongside just about anything I know for greatness.

James said...

Brian, I've always loved your blog, and it's helped me appreciate the show more than I ever would have on my own. That said, this was, hands down, the best one you've ever written. I had almost lost faith in the show after last week, but somehow, you restored it. Thank you.

Vidya said...

Great analysis Brian. But I must say, after reading the analysis, my fears are becoming real. I had a nagging feeling that we are not going to get a lot of answers. As every episode passes, the fear is becoming more and more real.
I think the writers wrote there way into a corner. Basically they kept building and adding to the mystery to keep the viewers interested and ratings high. But now there is not enough time nor resource to answer every question. That is truly disappointing. It seems like the writers failed to understand their viewers and their loyalty to the show. Even if most of the questions had been answered, we'd continue to watch the show till the very last minute.

Vidya said...

If Desmond goes into the light cave...will he become the next smokey?

mark said...
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mark said...

i thought this was one of your best posts brian. very well done. i thought your theory about the true origins of 'the woman' and the smoke monster were VERY interesting. i really like it, and hope it ends up being on target, or very close.

i was a bit disappointed of how the final scenes were filmed though. i was expecting something much more dramatic, memorable, EPIC even for such an important event in the story mythology.


i am really surprised at the reactions of people that are not getting all the answers they hoped for. i think it's been clear from THE FIRST EPISODE, that LOST would never be the atypical hollywood drama with neat, linear storylines, and questions that have clean and tidy answers.

i think a large part of why LOST captured our attention is because it WAS an open question mark. unlike so many other shows, LOST constantly presented us with questions, and challenged us to fill in the blanks ourselves. THAT is what kept me coming back every week, and i'm willing to wager the same could be said for most of us.

There are definitely questions I am dying to know the answers to.

But if after the dust settles, the writers answered almost every question and colored in every numbered box nice and neat like a stereotypical, and oh so boring, sitcom, I would feel savagely betrayed.

I'm looking forward to the answers the last episode and the finale will surely give us. But more than that, I'm looking forward to the final questions LOST will leave us asking, and reading, discussing and debating for months to come, and all the different answers everyone will have to those questions.

cookie c. said...

brilliant. i didn't start watching lost until dec 2008, when i did a marathon of 4 seasons in 2 weeks, anxiously awaiting season 5 in jan. and that's when i started reading everything i could about lost in the blogosphere. you were my first lost blog and i so appreciate this post. i feel like we are watching a novel on tv, and every week we see a new chapter. and just like every great work of literature, this series opens our minds and makes us think. its given us the opportunity to have the biggest book club ever. and like most book clubs, we won't get all the answers we want, but just like a great book, our lives have been forever enriched by the ideas and the emotions that we have experienced by watching lost.

Bobb said...

Getting a lack of answers, or answers how you would like them really reminds me of the Y:The Last Man comics. That story was full of mystery and was of epic proportions. And in the end some of the major answers may not have seems fulfilling. But it wasn't really about those answers, or those questions all along. It was about the people, and the personal journey they were on.

Aaron said...

I am new to this blog, so first let me say hi to everyone. And to Desiree, nice comparison with WoT. I just want to say to those who are worried about the outrigger scenes, Damon and Carlton have done this before with Libby most recently, and Walt, and other things... I think we WILL see the other half of that scene, and those two just wanted to keep it secret. It isn't like all the actors from that scene aren't in the finale. They ALL are. I hope I am right about this.

Anyway, I really enjoyed Across the Sea, so I suppose that makes me unique (at least on most of the LOST sites I have visited), but I always knew that the writers would have to commit one day, and this is it. No more wishy-washy answers. I am just going to go along for the ride and have fun... after all, it is only a TV show.

Rob Rose said...

I haven't given up on the "Adam & Eve" PROVE we knew what we were doing way back in Season 1 thing...

Unless the writers are just trying to have us "blown-away" by the fact that Locke showed up and actually named the skeletons of Smokey & Mom.... which is kinda crazy seeing as he now IS that skeleton... but.. it's not really the earth shattering, show ending revelation it was built up to be.

The ONLY way... The ONLY way that that could be true, is if SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY, Those two rocks, One White & One Black, that Mother found in MIB's pre-Backgammon game... SOMEHOW turns out to be the key. If not to everything, at least to SOMETHING, that changes the show... And I say this because its always seemed to be implied to be very important that Jack hid the black and white rocks when he saw Locke. So although it'd be KINDA, crazy for Jack to have carried those rocks around for 3 years, even after getting off the island and then returning... its the only thing that can save Adam & Eve.

Dave Harty said...

If the writers' intention was to leave the series open ended, then why set an end date 2 years in advance? My assumption (again, probably wrong)was that they would use the remaining final episodes to close the loop on all the storylines and payoff (if not outright answer) all the mysteries they created along the way.

Timcourtois - that was a great summary! I still go back to the original pitch meeting with ABC - how did the producers present the series to get the green light? What you wrote seems like exactly what a team of producers might say.

My only problem is (and this is with the producers, not Tim), is that the main characters now become a woman introduced in the 3rd to last episode, a man (AJ) introduced essentially in the last season, and another man (Jacob) who was named fairly early, but never revealed until more than half-way through the series.

Is that really the "ending/solution" the writers were planning on all along? Really!?!?!?

Rob Rose said...

"I have devoted MY ENTIRE LIFE, to a man..who told me that 'everything was happening for a reason' that he had 'a plan'...and when the time was right that he'd share it with me..."


THAT'S EVERYONE, like myself, who has spent six year devoted to this show... and thats EVERYONE like myself, that feels like we might as well be at the Black Rock with a stick of dynamite, because we're worried that this entire show had no purpose. Here's hoping this tuesday, Jack can light a boom stick for us.

Caity said...

Hey guys, first time poster. I just wanted to know some other Losties thoughts on something I noticed this episode that no one really touched on. While young Smokey was sitting on the beach they showed a dead sea turtle. Right after The Woman told Smokey he was "special". This made me think of how Walt was "special" and how birds seemed to just die around him... Weird huh?

Steve said...

Good take... I did enjoy "Across the Sea". It wasn't my favorite, I was more than indifferent, but I'd put it it the top 30%.. just the for the mythology. I did see a long of 'hints' in this episode.. you pointed many out, and I think it's obvious that it's all up to interpretation.

That being said, that "light" is going to be a BIG part of the finale. Widmore wants it for Power, Flocke want's to use it to get off the island.. is there an answer that meets all sides?

I do think it's interesting that MIB had the Hurley power in seeing the dead, also he and 'the woman' had 'long con' capability like Sawyer, and Sawyer also has the ability to see things... even if it's not 'the dead' he's still more 'special'... Note that Ben could see some things but not dead people, Sawyer seems to be in that Class. This does potentially have a triumverate or a trinity. Jack who loves the island, Hurley who sees dead people and Sawyer who is most obiously a smokey replacement if one exists.

Does that mean that We'll get a new Jacob and Anti-jacob? I think they'll leave it hanging, just as I think they'll leave the parallel reality hanging.. they'll leave it to our interpretation.

Then there is Desmond who obviously can go into the light without being Smokey.. he's already been exposed once.. right? But the light is more than electromagnetic force.

There is a hint that was not touched on... you suggested 'power' and I had not thought of that. I like your take better,but it was more directly LIFE.. If the island isn't a hub for realities, what it's it's the source of life 'energy' and that if it is extinguished, life will be no more? We'll see...

Steve said...

Good take... I did enjoy "Across the Sea". It wasn't my favorite, I was more than indifferent, but I'd put it it the top 30%.. just the for the mythology. I did see a long of 'hints' in this episode.. you pointed many out, and I think it's obvious that it's all up to interpretation.

That being said, that "light" is going to be a BIG part of the finale. Widmore wants it for Power, Flocke want's to use it to get off the island.. is there an answer that meets all sides?

I do think it's interesting that MIB had the Hurley power in seeing the dead, also he and 'the woman' had 'long con' capability like Sawyer, and Sawyer also has the ability to see things... even if it's not 'the dead' he's still more 'special'... Note that Ben could see some things but not dead people, Sawyer seems to be in that Class. This does potentially have a triumverate or a trinity. Jack who loves the island, Hurley who sees dead people and Sawyer who is most obiously a smokey replacement if one exists.

Does that mean that We'll get a new Jacob and Anti-jacob? I think they'll leave it hanging, just as I think they'll leave the parallel reality hanging.. they'll leave it to our interpretation.

Then there is Desmond who obviously can go into the light without being Smokey.. he's already been exposed once.. right? But the light is more than electromagnetic force.

There is a hint that was not touched on... you suggested 'power' and I had not thought of that. I like your take better,but it was more directly LIFE.. If the island isn't a hub for realities, what it's it's the source of life 'energy' and that if it is extinguished, life will be no more? We'll see...

Steve said...

One more thing.. the latest podcast. Someone asked Damon and Carlton is the 'healing' waters had anything to do with the power from the island 'heart'. They toyed with us suggesting a 'circulatory' system with the 'light' as it's heart.. that pumps 'life' throughout the island. What if the island IS alive...

When Jacob died, the island became ill and the water flowed 'dirty' in the temple.

Just something to chew on.

tsolfan said...

One of the advantages of getting older - and I'm past the century mark here - is you get more comfortable with life being full of unanswered questions.... Thanks for your take on Lost in this last blog, Brian - as always, it's helped my perspective on the show. I've loved Lost from the very first episode, and I'll be okay with some questions unanswered.... Book clubs are great, but they usually happen AFTER you've read the book. Lost has been like one long book club where we've discussed as we've read, and that's made for a sweet journey.

Steve said...

Some of the answers(whispers, smokey being christian) seem cheap and we have to accept it. Imagine if we got even more answers that were even more disapointing?

My wife has always hated this show because she said they have a big bag of M&M's and they keep offering them to out one at a time... when they finally give you a handful, they reveal a new bag, this time Peanut M&M's(or peanut butter, etc) and start giving you just one of these. They opened way too many bags and couldn't make them all work together without ruining the show... and they're doing the best they can with minimal damage to the show. We're just going to have to deal with it.

To summarize, I do think they screwed up.. they had a real chance to make this the most amazing story ever told and they didn't keep the displine to deliver. They never new as much as I thought they did, but I have to respect their damage control, which is not to ruin the show by leaving a lot of it up for interpretation. It's not as bad as the fade to black of Sopranos, but it will leave us with questions... which in turn will make the story 'live' on for longer. I love the Dr Strangelove title.. 'how I learned to stop worrying and love Lost.'

Way to go Brian.

Steve said...

They explained the turtle. Apparently they are a protected species and they aren't allowed to touch them. When it came time to shoot that scene, the turtle crawled up where the scene was to be shot and just sat there. He was not dead. They had to shoot around the turtle...

timcourtois said...

Was looking at some of Brian's original posts from season 1, and came across this little gem:

"Isn't it weird that the "monster" hasn't been seen since Locke came face to face with him? I still think Locke is part of a bigger story, maybe even working on the side of the island. Maybe the monster was directly tied to him and his story. Maybe the monster ate the real Locke and now it's some "replacement Locke" on the island who is working to pit people against each other. Remember, he gave the knife to Sayid last week and was like "Get 'er done"?."

Ha!!! Good job Brian. You predicted the Flocke storyline!

Hedy said...

Love your thoughts on "The woman's" plan all along. Genius!

neoloki said...

You might very well be right Brian and yes certain big questions probably won't get definitive answers, but before you right an article about how things won't get answered I would wait until TPTB have completed their story and then, and only then, if need be, you can take them to task.

Mike said...

im not sure i agree with leaving the ending open for interpretation so that people can discuss lost for years to come. Re-watching episodes won't make me think any differently about most things, like Jacob's cabin. Maybe some of the more philosophical stuff i can understand leaving open-end, but not so much the tangible stuff like the cabin and the outrigger; those should have logical tangible answers, i just dont think they could think of anything to wrap it all up because of unforseen inconsistencies.

hi cbones1979 said...

Hey, even the final show isn't enough to ruin the Sienfeld series...I don't think LOST will be any different.

Athrael, accept it and move on.

jack said...

Especially after being amongst those who invested 5 years of life watching, thinking, reading and at times obsessing about LOST, this analysis beautifully puts into perspective that the show should be regarded for what it was....not for what it was not.

I also agree that this analysis of Brian's, regardless if one agrees with everything stated or not, is amongst the best yet....an ephinay of sorts.

Really nice work and thanks for the good reads and for helping to make a great show even far more entertaining.

falcon said...

Haven't read all of the comments yet - love the show but I think I'm running out of energy to engage in the "they should wrap up most everything neatly and fully" vs. "it doesn't matter whether they do or don't" debate, although I appreciate the passion of those on both sides of the question. At this point I'm just sitting back, not expecting much in terms of exposition, and expecting a lot of sci fi/fantasy/spiritual mystery and open ended-ness. But maybe I'll be surprised and the last 30 minutes will explain almost everything.

Now getting slightly off topic: I enjoy spotting both the major players and bit actors from the show in other venues - for example, the actor who plays Keamy has a major supporting role in the new Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe. (A movie that I thought far exceeded the scathing reviews it has received in several newspapers.) It will be interesting to see where all of their careers take them.

John Seven said...

I have to admit I'm baffled by why anyone cares about that outrigger sequence. I had long forgotten about it until people started ranting about it today. It's just a weird little incident ...

Anyhow, I think it will ultimately be to the show's benefit if not everything is spelled out because, as you say, that will keep it alive. More importantly, it will keep Lost - The Parlor Game alive and, therefore, Lost - The Shared, Interactive Experience alive. Considering the stories pulled from science, religion and philosophy to a surprising depth, it's no surprise that they would try to make the viewer experience mirror that of characters, giving a real impression of living inside the show. Lost is going to be the piece of art that keeps giving in the context of American TV - and that's a rare thing.

Look at Twin Peaks, for instance. That show dropped the ball early on and never, ever recovered, because the they took a similar tact - mythology binding it and the lives of people providing the meat - but many of those lives were terribly dumb, often contrived, and in direct opposition to the tone of the mythology. Majorly missed opportunity.

With Lost, I'll now have the pleasure of sitting down for the next several years and watching it with my teenage sons, and having all new discussions about it as I see what they bring to the table. Few TV shows offer that kind of intellectual gift and so I'm pretty thankful for Lost.

Rob Rose said...

I just had 2,000 words typed and I lost it. basically I was just saying this: I Hate how people say that this show is coming down to 2 characters who weren't introduced until the finale last year.

UM WRONG.

JACOB.
Season 1, we found out there were others on the island, and for 2 season we were begging to see their camp... which built to us seeing it... and when we finally did, in Season THREE We learned of Jacob. And how he was "the man behind it all" the Puppet master, and the key to the whole show... We learned that THREE YEARS AGO and we built him up ever since.. he's always been groomed as the character that would play in HUGE into the ending of the show.

M.I.B.
Titus didn't show up until The Incident... BUT the CHARACTER of Man In Black showed up in Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham.. we just didnt know it yet... so there ya go Man In Black's been around since the middle of Seas--- WAIT MINUTE! UHH NOOOO! Thats Right Man In Black was introduced....

IN THE PILOT! SEASON 1 EPISODE 1. 20 Minutes into the show! HE was ALL OVER THE FIRST SEASON... BECAUSE HE...IS... THE SMOKE MONSTER.

THE. SMOKE. MONSTER.

Man In Black and the Smoke Monster are the same entity, the same character... which means this character has had SIX YEARS of hype attached to him. We've seen him as a pillar of smoke and dead people over the years, but now he's a legit major character on the show, who has had as much time built into his character as any other survivor... because, AGAIN, HE IS THE SMOKE MONSTER. The most talked about entity from Season One.

I really don't think people can truly wrap their minds around that concept, and just kind of take it with a grain of salt, as if it's some insignificant fact.

So Jacob & Man In Black, have been built up and hyped since SEASON ONE.. in different ways.. but still.. theyve been around forever. We just never knew until last year that they we rivals.

hi cbones1979 said...

TwinPeaks ended up being a show about possession by murderous entity which wasn't brought out until the show was nearly over. It ends with the good guy (detective) looking into a mirror and realizing the the murderous entity was inside him. I guess showing that the cycle would continue over again.

I mean, if you were watching that show and they fed you that, you'd probably flip out. It is clear that this is the road LOST has decided to travel. However, they have mentioned numerous times that LOST has an ending and there will be no Sopranoes "fade to black". However, if that ending is the chosen canidate sitting on a beach with the MIB telling him he won't find a loophole...will you be satisfied?

Sam said...

Brian, I too have to applaud you on this analysis. I was bouncing back and forth between the birth of Smokey and Mother being Smokey, but now I am going with your theory. I said in last week's post I thought it was the birth b/c Flocke/Smokey talks about having a mother, etc, but from his point of view he is the first Smokey, I guess, so it makes sense.

As for questions going unanswered, I really just want resolution to our main characters. If they leave their character arcs open to interpretation, I will be upset. I am perfectly fine not knowing about the outrigger, etc. (although, the only reason I am a bit upset about that one is that I think it would have been a really cool scene) I am with Rob P in that I feel confident that the creators will give a satisfying ending to the main characters that will be very emotional. They have always delivered on this (except Kate, maybe).

Brendan said...

@John Steven - the outrigger sequence wasn't ever crucial to the story of LOST, but it is an example of a flaw in the storytellers' approach.

In the interview Lindelof and Cuse basically say that they had the other side of the scene all planned out, but it was too difficult to work into an episode this season, so they then disparage the scene as inconsequential. This has provided considerable fodder for those who criticize LOST as just mystery piled upon mystery for the sake of it. In this instance, that is precisely what it is.

I'm over my disappointment about that scene, but the explanation they offered rings hollow to me. If you introduce a wacky storytelling device (i.e. time travel), you should take care to think it through, and make sure it won't cause any problems. Sorry to say, they didn't, they're back-tracking now, and that's poor writing.

It's not a deal-breaker for me, neither is "Across the Sea," and the writers were always way more fallible than most wanted to allow, but, nothing wrong with calling bullshit when necessary.

J-Bos! said...
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J-Bos! said...

Think of the best scenes in Lost (the season three finale/flash forward reveal, for example) and they're great BECAUSE they're open-ended, not in spite of it. Most of the world's great art is subjective and that's not coincidental.

Also, to the people who consider this lazy storytelling, that seems a bit dismissive. Have you considered that maybe all these criticisms being raised have also been raised among the writers/creators? There's a trade-off to every decision made, and I am making the assumption that they're making a choice that gives them the best show they think is possible (which will have its flaws like everything else).

It's also a bit ironic/unfortunate that a show that has gone so far out of it's way (relative to other shows) to be so involved with it's fans, has to feel such backlash. I think maybe they've unintentionally created impossible expectations...

And by the way, Carlton did a podcast with Bill Simmons' BS Report. Not a ton of new stuff but some interesting insight into the show

Brendan said...

It's not "unfortunate" for anybody. The writers make a shit ton of money putting a product up on screen that we hope doesn't insult our intelligence. Where criticism is warranted, it should be meted out.

Ryan71 said...

I think no matter what the outrigger scene would have been a let down for most people. Unless something insane happened like a main characters head exploding people would have said it wasn't up to their expectations.

For all we know it was a bunch of Widmore's people chasing and shooting at them. People would have complained "oh thats lame its a bunch of nobodies". There's no proof anybody even got shot either.. so a scene like that would probably just end up seeming awkward and out of place. "oh they disappeared.. whats my characters name?" / scratch head

Hobbes said...

Lost has more holes than a sieve.

At the rate they are destroying Season Six, "Across the Sea" should have happened in Season 4.

BTW, punching a ton of holes in your plot and throwing in Casper for good measure, a mystery does not make.
Creating a ton of coincidences that are completely irrelevant six years later... That! That is not plot. That is failure by its writers.
And it has created Shark jumpers. Stupid, stupid shark jumpers and Lost it is... The Greatest Shark Jumper Story of all Time. All we need now is a dream sequence and a dancing midget speaking in tongues to beat out Twin Peaks.

Three and a half hours left to redeem yourselves D & L. Yeah I'll be watching but I'll never forgive you for making so much of what made Lost "mysterious" and interesting to watch and chucked it out the window.
Why are they wrapping up season six in a way that completely insults the intelligence of every viewer (if you are not insulted, BELIEVE me you should be! ... shame on you for not)? Ok so the show gets pulled by the networks; all good things right? So fine wrap up the TV series with a big lead into one or two movies at least then you close with some cohesiveness to the story arc as a whole rather than this shla-mozzle that is unfolding before us now because quite simply, season six is robbing us of the first five.

At this point good or bad I just want Lost to be over; done and dealt with. If Carlton and Daemon can’t be bothered to put the spliff away to close a simple canoe trip, I wonder why I should even bother. They simply have gone too long telling Lost the way they have and then in the final season stretch bastardized it all to hell because oops gee we are sorry but we're out of time; "thank you, please come again. Oh and don’t forget to buy the DVD".

The Swan Hatch, Dharma, the Numbers, the candidate’s numbers, all the crossover overlapping relationships, the canoe chase, the four-toed statue, Room 23, the Others, the temple... all of it is irrelevant. Seriously irrelevant! It's as if Grandpa Simpson was telling this story... D&L have gone we don't have plot, now what's the best way to hide the fact we don't have a plot? Give them (the audience) so much "Grandpa Simpson" style info that by the sixth season they still won't know we don't have a plot to hang our final curtain on.

I think I’ll make a shirt “I watched Lost for Six Years and All I Got Was This Shirt; that I had to make.”

Jacob said...

I've had almost a week to ponder that interview from hitfix.com and I'm not any less angry then when I first read it.
Why introduce mysteries that you never plan an answering? Why make Walt seem special and important but never explain why. Why put all these Egyptian symbols everywhere but never give us an episode explaining their origins.
Hell, why have Juliet tell Sawyer, "it worked" but then never follow it up.
I spent the past 6 years believing that I was watching a show about a mysterious Island but I turns out I was wrong because it turns out that we were actually watching a drama about Jack becoming a better person. If I wanted to watch a show about people acting lame I'd watch Greys Anatomy.
This wasn't supposed to happen.

J-Bos! said...

Again, Branden, that seems overly dismissive...

And Hobbes (realizing I didnt dissect your post, nor the ones earlier in the comments) the Hatch and the numbers and everything else aren't useless plot points because they provided context to this bigger picture of a magical island that has far larger implications than a tool of a scientific exhibition or a greedy businessman or a mysterious canoe gunman.

And regarding most of the rest of your post, my response is just: what did you expect? Your criticism is basically "why didnt you make it awesome?" but nothing constructive

Salvar said...

I get the feeling that when this is all over, a lot of people are going to be really pissed. There was a lot of good storytelling in Lost, but it seems to be built on a fundament of lies--artificial mystery more infuriating than the artificial suspense that's so annoying about most modern horror movies.

I think the overall show can be rescued, though. It just has to be recut, after the face, so that the plot is consistent from beginning to end. I can't blame them for not writing six seasons of the show ahead of time, but now that it's finished it's easy to lay down solid earlier episodes.
Unfortunately, this "Lost Redux" will only be a season long, there won't be any cliffhangers, and the only characters will be Jack and Locke. :P

Brendan said...

Obviously no show can satisfy everyone all the time. But I'll take a hack at some "constructive" criticism.

Just two examples, centered around Richard Alpert.

1. Richard may not have known much (which in itself is frustrating) but he was well aware of MiB, who/what he was, and what he could do. Yet when Locke returned to the Island, back from the dead, it never occurred to Richard to question what was going on, even after he noticed "something was different" about Locke. If you re-watch "The Incident," even after Richard sees Locke's body, it doesn't click for him what's going on. He doesn't rush into the statue to check on Jacob - in fact, he tries to stop anyone from going in. That's borderline absurd.

2. Richard told Sun, in the penultimate episode of Season 5, that he remembered the 1977 815'ers because he "saw them all die." That's patently untrue, Richard was nowhere near the Hatch Incident. That is clearly an example of writers putting in dialogue to pump up suspense, even though the dialogue doesn't service the story.

Look, I love LOST, I really do. I'm totally psyched for the last 3 1/2 hours. But, there are some serious flaws in the storytelling, and it doesn't all tie together (at least not yet) even though they said that it would (though now they're saying it was never really about that anyway). I'm a bit annoyed by all that.

Denise said...

I was really excited to watch "Across the Sea" and when CJ Cregg from The West Wing came on I was so thrilled, because I thought for certain we would get answers! I mean, what was CJ's job on The West Wing? She answered questions for the higher power, in that case, the President, but for Lost... maybe she was going to act as Press Secretary for the island! Wouldn't that be awesome!?! I really couldn't help thinking it... I mean, of all the people to have playing that part, CJ Cregg, come on! But it wasn't long before my hopes were dashed when CJ said what basically came out as 'stop asking me questions, or else!' And when Real Mother asks one more question, i.e., if she could see her babies, CJ (a.k.a. Fake Mother) makes it clear that she means it... as in, 'I warned you not to ask me more questions!' and then bashes her head in with a rock and steals her babies. It wasn't until the second or third time I watched the episode that I realized it might be sort of a inside joke from the writers directly to the audience. Y'know how so many fans have been joking that the writers better answer all of our questions or else we're gonna come after them with pitch forks? Well, it felt like "Across the Sea" was the writers telling us... 'if you bug us again about answering every question, you better watch out, or we'll bash your head in with a rock, too!' Okay, okay... that came out sounding pretty violent... but you really just have to take this all with a sense of humor, okay?? It's the writers' funny way of saying to the audience, 'stop threatening us if we don't answer all your questions, just let go, you're not going to get all the answers.'

But, humor aside, I was as upset as most by how the episode truly underwhelmed. The "glowy magic light" at the heart of the island, really? What, did you spend all of your production budget too soon??? The really good special effects team was on vacation???

I also found it kind of interesting that "Across the Sea" was really polarizing... and it echoed a theme of Lost... faith vs. science... I thought that most people who were more religious were able to enjoy the episode and the final part of Season 6, having faith in the writers to pull it all together... but the science-geeks out there (me among them) got really pissed that details were left out, questions weren't answered, and that even though we were able to get a glimpse into the past, very little was revealed! So annoying! But when I was able to look at it a little more objectively, I really liked how everyone's reactions to the episode mirrored one of the major themes of Lost.

I believe that the writers actually came through with "Across the Sea" in a really brilliant way... they gave all of us a chance to be really upset about not getting all the answers BEFORE the final episode. We were able to get that out of our system... I mean, at least I was. I was really, really pissed off after "Across the Sea" and for awhile I wasn't even sure why... I mean, I couldn't think of a better way to do the episode, except maybe a few more answers (like what is MIB's name???). Sure, I would have loved CJ to put up a podium in front of her weaving and start a Q&A session a la The West Wing, that would have been AWESOME, but so very, very unlikely. ;D And I feel like the writers made that point brilliantly directly to the fans... 'sure, you'd love us to answer all your questions in a way that would even make the Washington-D.C.-press-corp-equivalent-of-Lost-fans happy, but we're not going to do it, because that's exactly the opposite of what makes the show great!' I mean, really, why do we love Lost? Because every week we sit there and go "WTF is going on on LOST????" I mean, everytime. Even reruns do it to me! LOL! And then it's fun to discuss it all, like on this fantastic blog.

Harold said...

Enjoying your thoughts on this. One thing I'll suggest: Though there's definitely some Christian themes to LOST, it seems fairly obvious that they didn't want to restrict this show to one particular religious philosophy.

Harold said...

I'm barely recalling any mention of an outrigger on LOST so why are some commenters making such a big deal out of it?

Harold said...

One of my comments was intended to be posted in response to a more recent post (regarding "The End"). So please disregard that post (or apply it to "The End").

nate said...

Lost is an awesome TV series. I really like this show and I really appreciate your thoughts on this topic and your topic is really insightful. Thanks

Juanita's Journal said...

I don't deny that LOST was an entertaining series that allowed viewers to put their thinking caps on. But I feel that the uneven writing prevented it from becoming one of the best TV series ever.

For me, it was a pretty good and memorable series with some very obvious flaws.

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