There are a whole lot of issues going on in the Chicago sports world that I’ll be getting to soon, including the Bulls apparently settling on Doug Collins Strikes Back as coach (I’ve been jumping the gun on Bulls coaches posts, so I’m holding off until there’s an actual press conference) and the baseball teams on both sides of town holding onto first place in their respective divisions, but I’ve got to get my thoughts down on the state of Lost in the wake of Thursday night’s season finale. Lost is certainly one of those television shows where you really can’t be a casual viewer – you’re either completely into it such that life stops when you watch the show every week or you’re completely out of it and can’t reasonably hope to ever get into it without investing about 100 hours in watching DVD boxed sets. Of course, as the New York Times pointed out last week, even the most diehard fans don’t know WTF is going on. I’ve attempted watching a couple of episodes with my wife, who hasn’t been a regular viewer, and it was impossible for me to explain what was going on in every scene since the backstories and character development have been so complex (which is why I love the show in the first place). With her being the inquisitive type in the first place, the shared watching was a frustrating experience to say the least. So, if you don’t watch Lost, you can just skip this post since I’m not going to bother even attempting to explain who everyone and what everything is – you either know it or you don’t (or even better, check out the invaluable Lostpedia). What’s interesting is that everything that I’m about to write will probably look like a laundry list of ridiculous “Jump the Shark” moments to a non-fan, but will make perfect sense to a Lost fan in terms of the pace and progression of the show. Regardless, Lost fans have been treated to probably the best overall season since the debut year, even if the season finale didn’t provide a game changing shocker in the manner of last year. I just can’t believe that I have to wait eight months for the show to start up again, so here are my thoughts, theories, and questions on the major characters and storylines that we can debate in the meantime:
John Locke (AKA Jeremy Bentham) – It’s interesting that the character with the moniker of a famous British philosopher ended up taking up the name of another British philosopher for reasons not yet revealed (although the logical explanation is that Locke would need to change his name off the island to cover up the fact that he’s a survivor of Flight 815 outside of the Oceanic Six). The “big reveal” at the end of the show that Locke was the body in the casket was not a shocker, but it’s a very nice touch that the real-life Bentham actually had his body preserved at University College in London which the public can still see on display – a not-so-subtle tie-in to the fact that in the closing dialogue, Ben has instructed Jack that they need to take Locke’s body back to the island. Despite the important reveal, though, this episode raised a whole lot more questions about Locke as opposed to providing answers. Locke has apparently replaced Ben as the leader of the Others, yet Locke (under the Benthem alias) leaves the island at some point later on to inform the Oceanic Six that awful events have been occurring and they need to return from home. What exactly has been happening under the Locke “regime”, for the lack of a better description, that has been so horrible? How did he leave the island and is he now banished in the same manner as Ben? If the Others are supposed to follow all of Locke’s directions, as Ben suggested would happen, why would there be any issues at all? What did Locke tell all of the Oceanic Six back in the real world? Why did he visit Walt in addition to the Oceanic Six? How did Locke die? If Locke’s dead body is transported back to the island, will he be resurrected? I’ll address some of these issues later, but overall, all of these questions are extremely open-ended (which means setting forth any theories at this point are really just shots in the dark) and will likely serve as the main focus of the show for its final two seasons.
Jin and Sun – The first rule of any movie or television show is that a character isn’t dead until you see a body. So, people can talk all they want about how the size of the explosion on the freighter would have taken Jin down even if he had jumped off in time (or the fact that Jin was due to get knocked off as a result of the Lost DUI Curse), but c’mon everyone – if there’s anything that Lost fans should understand is that death is often a temporary state. Besides, Daniel Faraday’s boat (which I’ll address momentarily) is perfectly positioned to pick up a floating Jin.
Of course, the more important key to the storyline is that Sun believes that Jin is dead and that is going to drive her character for the rest of the series. There’s plenty of speculation of why Sun approached Charles Widmore in the finale – some blogs have advanced the notion that she might be trying to double cross him. However, I believe that everything that Sun is doing post-island is to avenge her husband’s death, which started with the hostile takeover of her father’s company and has led to a possible alliance with Widmore. Sun made the point to Widmore that they have “common interests”. By the end of the episode, we found out that Locke visited to all of the Oceanic Six, which means that there is a great possibility that he informed her of the circumstances around Jin’s death – namely, that Ben killed Keamy with the knowledge that it would end up blowing up the freighter with the heart rate monitor/bomb signal. (On a side note, Keamy is probably the only character on the entire series so far that was an unequivocal villain. All of the other characters have been so complex, particularly Ben, where you think they might be bad but you don’t know whether they have been acting noble intentions. However, the producers made Keamy so ruthless that it was over-the-top at times – that was a bit disappointing since he was a fairly prominent character this season.) In turn, Sun would be moved to blame Ben for Jin’s death. At the same time, Ben had stated in prior episodes that he would go after Widmore’s daughter, Penny. If Ben ended up being successful in taking Penny out (via Sayid), then that would mean that there is a great “common interest” between Widmore and Sun with respect to taking Ben down.
Michael – An exception the the aforementioned dead body rule is if the image of Christian Shephard appears to say “you can go now” after you’ve had several unsuccessful suicide attempts in prior episodes, you’re permanently relegated to dead-person vision status on Lost. Plus, actor Harold Perrineau is apparently upset with his character’s demise, so there isn’t a debate on whether Michael has been eliminated (as opposed to Jin).
Jack/Kate/Sawyer/Possibly Juliet Love Quadrangle – Well, we now know why Kate feels so indebted to Sawyer with him jumping out of the helicopter and all. Of course, I foresee a Sawyer/Juliet romance on the newly moved island, which may ironically be used by the lovelorn Jack to get Kate to ultimately go back to the island.
Daniel Faraday’s Boat – My feeling is that Daniel’s boat is still floating in the middle of the ocean and didn’t go along for the ride along with the newly-moved island. This gives him the opportunity to pick up a still-alive Jin. Also, I think Faraday is going to be a (if not the) key guy to help the Oceanic Six find the island again since he seems to know more about the island’s scientific properties (particularly the “wrinkle in time” portion) than any character so far. Of course, this depends on whether he’s going to go back to the real world right away or if he’ll look for the island again right away (which would be a tough notion considering his boat has no food or water). Regardless, I think Daniel and his island-bound colleagues Miles and Charlotte are going to be important Desmond-esque figures for the last two seasons with their special physical and spiritual connections to the island (Frank, on the other hand, is likely going to have a minor role from this point forward, if he has any role at all, since his reason to go to the island seemed to be more of a fact-finding mission stemming from him having been the scheduled pilot of Oceanic Flight 815 before he called in sick).
Ben – By moving the island, is he really banished as he claimed? I don’t think this is the usual line of B.S. from Ben since he seemed incredulous toward Jacob (whoever that might be) when he turned the frozen donkey wheel to move the island. So, it looks like Ben is back in the real world looking for the island just like Widmore and (presumably and eventually) the Oceanic Six. What still hasn’t been revealed in a flashback, though, is how Ben came to lead the Others in the first place. It’s apparent that he’s “special”, but how early did Dr. Richard Alpert peg this? We’ll see how this plays out.
There are plenty of other issues that I haven’t even touched upon. Was Charlotte born on the island? How does Miles apparently communicate with the dead and read minds? How is the Aaron storyline going to play out as a child that was born on the island? Are the time travel properties of the island the reason why women that get pregnant on the island end up dying? It’s brutal that it won’t be until Super Bowl-time next year before any of these items will be addressed. I’ll be ready and waiting, though.
(Image from Pioneer Local)