Monday, May 24, 2010

Last Lost: Thoughts on the finale and a rundown on STILL Unanswered questions

As a guy going into if filled with dread, I admit I was often moved and greatly entertained by the last episode of "Lost" last night.

But, as self-predicted, I also was disappointed.

Jack's sacrifice, the showdown with Smokey, the thrilling escape from Hydra Island, the touching reunions (particularly the one between Sawyer and Juliet) and the open-to-multiple-interpretations ending: I was good with all of it.

But I still feel cheated. Not because the producers failed to answer every tiny question I had about the show's myriad tiny mysteries. But because they failed to even touch on the big ones. To end this series without even an attempt to explain:

The mysterious numbers. What do they mean? Where do they come from?
The significance of the island? Why is it's survival so crucial to humanity? After all, it seems most of what it did was bring people misery?

Is a cheat and give the impression that the writers just couldn't come up with good answers for these, or the many other lingering questions from the series.

So, while greatly entertaining over the years, I have to say I find "Lost" ultimately a let down.

A year or two back, I imagined I'd want to re-watch the entire series once it ended, so I could see how -- "The Usual Suspects"-style -- the puzzle all fits together. But I now realize that wouldn't work. There are still too many missing pieces.

Fun characters aside, these unique mysteries are what made "Lost" truly special. But, in the last season, the producers dropped any intention of addressing them in a satisfying way. In other words, they failed the story.

So, that's that. I doubt I'll re-watch any of it. But, just out of curiosity, I'll likely rent the final season bonus disk that promised to address unanswered questions. Not holding up too many hopes that will be satisfying either.

Here's my list of STILL unanswered questions -- big and small:



*  What is the history  of the Others? Where did they come from?  Why did they kill off the  Dharma Initiative?

* What's  up with Walt's powers? How did  the Others know  about them?

* How did Cindy  the stewardess and the two  children from the Oceanic flight come  to be among the Others?

* Why exactly did Jacob pick these particular folks as his candidates? He tells them because they are "flawed." Seriously, this is the best the show's producers can do? By that standard, any random human fits the bill! Six years and all we get is, "they're flawed." Criminy.

* Jack is now Jacob's successor and it's his job to protect the magic golden light at the center of the island. But why? What has this light ever done for anyone apart from turn them into smoke monsters. What's so danged good about the island. Everyone on the danged thing has been threatened, beat up and killed, it seems like. Sure, it has healing properties. But, to what purpose? Locke was made able to walk again so he could get killed by an evil entity that wants to destroy the self-same healing island. This makes NO SENSE people. And if the point is that it's not supposed to make sense, that's not coming through clear either. It's all random and tossed together.

* Why was Ben selected the leader of the Others? And why, ostensibly in the name of Jacob, do such horrible things to people? Did Jacob intend this? Why did the Others go along with it? Why did Richard go along with it?

* Why did Jacob exclude Kate from being a candidate because she's a mother? Wasn't Sun a mother also? Wasn't Jin a dad? Aren't Jack and Sawyer also dads? Is Jacob a sexist pig?

*  What was Ben's breakfast on the beach with  Kate in season 3 all  about? We didn't see any of their discussion. [I'm still a bit  baffled by this scene. We've not been given any insight into what was  discussed. Was Ben merely trying to persuade Jack to operate on Ben's  spine? Or was there something more going on.]

*  Why does the smoke monster kill some people and not others?

* Why did the smoke  monster kill Eko, in particular? What did the monster see/sense  in him?

* Why did the magic light turn the man in black into a smoke monster? If the light is such a good thing, why did it create an entity that goes around killing essentially innocent people?

* Why did the Others initially disguise  themselves as shipwrecked  pirate types complete with fake beards? [What  was the point? To make the crash survivors think that the Others were  merely fellow castaways, not an organized faction on the island with a  secret history? What?]

* What's up  with the sickness  that killed off Danielle's team? [Were they killed by Smokey or  turned evil by him? Or both?]

* Is  the Dharma  Initiative still active at all?

* Who  was behind  the air drop of Dharma  supplies  that has benefited the Oceanic survivors? [There was  a drop after the Oceanic survivors arrived, wasn't there? Or was this  an old drop that Hurley discovered? I may be misremembering.]

*  Why do  women on the island die instead of giving birth?

*  Why did the Others steal children?

*  What's behind the apparent healing properties of the island?

* What's responsible for the visions   of animals and dead people the crash surivors sometimes see on the   island?

* What's the deal with Libby, killed in   season 2, who evidently gave Desmond the sailboat that landed him on  the  island and who once was in a mental ward with Hurley? [Despite  Libby's recent appearance this season, these questions were not  answered.]

*  What's up with the giant statue?  Who built it? What is its significance?

* Is there   any explanation for why the man in the Dharma Initiative videos is at   different times identified as Dr. Marvin Candle, Dr. Mark Wickmund,  Dr. Pierre Change and   other names and why the CIA agent who identifies himself as Joe Inman   to Sayid tells Desmond that his name is Kelvin Inman?

*   Why did the psychic in Australia encourage Claire to take the  doomed  flight?

* Who is the man Sarah left Jack for? Why is she so   reluctant to reveal his identity? Is he somehow associated with the   Dharma Initiative and/or the Others?

* What's up with that polar bear in Tunisia? Was Charlotte   part of Dharma when she found it, or was she snooping into what Dharma   is all about? [Pretty much answered, I guess. We know Charlotte was  investigating her Dharma past? The polar bear likely transported from  the island ala Ben and Locke.]

* Who is Penelope's  mother?

*  Why did Alpert want the body of Amy's  husband? [Was it merely as proof of retribution to the Others?  Or did they do something creepy with it?]

*  Who  created the ancient temple  on  the island?

* How did the Others save young Ben after he was shot? [They put him  in the dark pool, most likely. But we weren't shown that this is the  case.]

*  What is Ilana's history with  Jacob? Why was  her face bandaged?

* Is Locke really dead? Will he return?

Additional  unanswered questions from Lostpedia:

  • Why did  Desmond tell Charlie he saw a vision of Claire and Aaron getting  on a  helicopter that could only come true if he died?
  • Why did Claire abandon Aaron?
  • What caused the bad luck surrounding Hurley?
  • What does Juliet's mark mean?


Questions from last week's episode

These aren't so much questions as writing that is bad and just doesn't make any sense:
  • Smokey gets Ben to do his bidding by promising Ben that, once everybody is dead and gone, Ben will have control of the island. But at episode's end, Smokey tell Ben that he's going to destroy the island. And Ben seems ok with that. WTH?!!!
  • In a previous episode, Ben confronts Charles Widmore. Widmore asks "Have you come to kill me" and Ben says "You know I can't do that." Yet, in the penultimate episode, Ben kills Widmore. So, it's suddenly ok now?
  • Likewise, Smokey and Jacob's crazy mother says that neither can harm one another. Yet Jacob beats the snot out of Smokey and throws him into the magic light. I'm unclear on the definition of not hurting here.

1 comment:

  1. It was entertaining, though...wasn't it? ;-)

    I think I said it in the last posting but, if I didn't let me state it again: I'm in a curious position to be both agreeing with all your statements while disagreeing with your conclusion.

    All those unanswered questions are indeed more than a little annoying...yet in the end I found myself less curious about the questions and more and more curious where our "heroes" would wind up. And in that respect, the show more than delivered.

    It was a dream, a fever dream of a show...and dreams don't always have solutions or display iron tight logic.

    Ah well, in the end we can say that, at the very least, we were entertained...to various degrees, anyway!

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