SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU DIDN'T WATCH THE SEASON FINALE OF LOST THAN I IMPLORE YOU NOT TO READ THIS. YOU DON'T WANT THAT EPISODE SPOILED FOR YOU, I PROMISE!!
But back to the episode, which I would say is one of the most amazing, startling TV episodes of all-time. To give proof of that, here’s what I wrote at the very end of my piece previewing the season finale:
“And lastly, I’m going to say that they will not get off the island tonight. Which I know, is really going out on a limb.”
The idea that the survivors would actually get off the island was so hard for me to fathom that I laughed it off. I was sure I knew enough about this show to know that since the island was such a major character in the program, there was no way our heroes would leave it until the very end of the show, if ever. I was so incredibly wrong here. I’m not sure I could have been more wrong actually. And that’s why they said that this episode was going to change everything. I thought that was just hyperbole, but it was completely right.
Last night’s episode though wasn’t just a great bit of television, it was proof that Lost is the best show on TV right now, and possibly ever. Yesterday, I watched three season finales: 24, Heroes, and Lost. In the first two, there was never any suspense at all for me because I knew that the horrible consequences of failure in those episodes would never be realized because those shows simply wouldn’t have the guts to do that. But I was on the edge of my seat the entire two hours I watched Lost last night because I didn’t know what they might do and who would survive. Lost had proven to me that they were willing to do a lot of things most shows would never do, and then last night they even trumped themselves.
TV has become so boring for me in recent years, because it seems as if having watched a fair amount of TV and movies in the past, I know what the writers and producers are thinking way before it happens; it’s almost impossible to shock me. And usually when a show does shock me, its because they did something so preposterous and so outlandish and so contrived that it simply couldn’t have happened and that’s why I didn’t expect it. But that’s where Lost is different. They’re playing with you, knowing that you know what TV writers think and then they turn it upside-down on you. All of the flash-forwards last night followed the same style as the flashbacks had. Everything about them suggested just another tragic part of Jack’s past as he battled demons caused by his failed marriage and his alcoholic, but immensely talented father. They knew what we were expecting out of that, and so they fooled us. The survivors leaving the island was the last thing we expected, so that’s what they did. It was brilliant.
It was actions like that that sucked me into watching 24 this year, when they started off (SPOILER ALERT FOR 24) the season by having a nuclear explosion in Los Angeles, something that I was sure they wouldn’t let happen. But as the rest of the season unfolded, I started to realize that they would never do something like that again, which left us with a season finale where I knew things would work out, and they did. Heroes didn’t have a moment like 24’s at any point during the year, so that’s why that season finale was even less enjoyable, because they were definitely not going to have anything different than what you expected happen.
So what does this twist do to Lost? Well first, it bring up a whole new series of questions, to pile onto the already large heap of questions we had before this. Second, it’s obviously going to change the structure of the show. I had read that there plan was to change the flashback structure for next season, so my guess is now that we’ll be moved up to the future and we’ll flashback to the survivors remaining time on the island to see how they actually leave and what happens with The Others.
Alright, the last thing I want to do is start guessing at answers to some of the questions that last night’s finale presented to us. The first thing is, who was the person who died that caused Jack to be so upset? This one is wide open, because we only know for sure that Jack and Kate made it off the island, which leaves a lot of people available to be the dead person. We do know this about the dead person though, no one liked him or her, Kate especially. We can also maybe guess that the person was African-American because the neighborhood in which the funeral parlor existed is certainly made to appear as if it is a black neighborhood. There were several black men on the street next to Jack’s car and the funeral director was black. So that leads me to guess that the dead man is Michael. Michael obviously wouldn’t be popular with Kate, since it was Michael who led Kate, Jack, and Sawyer to be captured by The Others and then abandoned them to take care of himself and his son. Also, if Michael returned home, he probably didn’t tell anyone about the island and his fellow survivors and that’s why everyone thought they were dead and that no one was looking for them.
The only problem with the Michael guess is I don’t see why that would have made Jack so upset. In this future were Jack wishes he was back on the island, the deaths that would probably make him the most upset would be the deaths of Ben and Locke, the two people who told Jack over and over again that they shouldn’t leave the island. So don’t rule those two out. Kate would obviously not like either one of them, for the same reason that Jack didn’t when they were on the island, and none of the other survivors would like those two either.
Then there’s the question of who is the person that will notice if Kate is missing? The obvious choice here would be Sawyer. We know that she has a thing for him and he for her, and we are pretty sure that he knocked her up. Also, with Jack’s proclamation of love for Kate in the season finale, it would have likely caused some tension between Sawyer and Jack after that. So she obviously wouldn’t want Sawyer to know that she’s meeting Jack.
But here’s the other possibility; the person that will notice is Kate’s son. It seems that some time has passed since they returned home from the island, since Jack has been flying a lot with his free pass on Oceanic, so Kate could have given birth by this point. And obviously, she wouldn’t want to leave her son home alone for too long. She also might not want to be gone for a while because then she’d need to explain to her son who she was meeting, which would lead to questions about how she knew Jack, which would lead to questions about the plane crash and the island and maybe Sawyer, if he’s no longer in the picture, which are questions that she never wants to answer for her son.
Also, quickly on the topic of Kate, how did she have her record wiped clean? She was a fugitive from the law and as far as I know, the statute of limitations on murder never runs out and they don’t pardon criminals for being on plane crashes. So think about that.
Next question that I’m wondering about is, why does Jack want to go back to the island and why did he grow that crazy playoff beard? (Playoff beard by the way refers to the fact that NHL players don’t shave during the playoffs and thus look like insane lumberjacks by the Stanley Cup finals). What has he learned that shows him that Ben and Locke were right? Is he just realizing that Ben was right and that Jack has nothing back in the real world now that his father is dead and that he’s divorced and all?
And is Jack’s father really dead? People didn’t seem nearly fazed enough by Jack’s drunken, drug induced rambling about how they should go get his Dad and that if Jack was drunker than his Dad, then the guy could fire him. Is it because Jack’s Dad really was upstairs? Just a thought. We know there was no body in the coffin when Jack found it on the island, so there’s a chance this isn’t as bizarre a question as you might think.
The last major question to answer is, what is the importance of the fact that it isn’t Penelope’s ship just off the island? Ben told Jack that the now deceased Naomi isn’t who she says she is, and before Charlie drowned, he passed along to Desmond that it wasn’t Penny’s boat, because he had just spoken to her. So who are these people that Naomi worked for? And are they the ones who actually rescue the survivors even?
Lost promised things would change completely and they came through for us. Sadly though, now we’ve got to wait until February, 2008 to find out completely how it’s going to change.