Thursday, May 29, 2008

LOST Goes From Alice to Dororthy, But This Is Hardly Child's Play...

So we have come once again to the LOST finale. Instead of Alice in Wonderland, it's The Wizard of Oz this time, and our friends are just a couple of heel clicks away from Kansas. There's No Place Like Home. But what happens to the scarecrow, the tin man and the cowardly lion? A whole lot of people aren't getting off the island. In fact, at this point, it seems it would be much better if nobody else got off the island, since the people on the freighter presumably aren't making it back to the mainland, or it would be the Oceanic Nine, at the least. Or are they just taking on different identities like Michael did?

I'm worried about this episode. For one thing, I usually find the rescue scenario rather depressing in these types of stories. Nuts, I know, but whatever. Mostly, though, I'm worried because I think a lot of bad things will happen before the rescue. They seem to want to top themselves in terms of intensity with each finale. Fifteen people died in Through the Looking Glass, plus that mysterious someone in the future. Are we in for another massacre?

Keamy's the only one I really want to lose, and maybe his lackeys. LOST seems to have established a pattern since season two of introducing a new group of characters and killing most of them off by the end of the season. That makes me very worried for Daniel, Frank, Charlotte and Miles. I think it's almost inevitable one of them isn't going to make it through the episode, and I wouldn't be too shocked if it's more than that. Frank is probably the most heroic and likable of the bunch, with Daniel a close second. That puts them in a very vulnerable position.

Jin also gives me reason to worry. He's on the freighter, but he doesn't get rescued. When Sun told her father that two people were responsible for Jin's death, that sounded like a pretty specific reference to me. Sticking to the script, she wouldn't be able to tell him what she really meant, but I suspect something will happen to him on that freighter, and that thought upsets me. (I'm also a little concerned about that trick she pulled on her father; he had it coming, but I don't want to see her turn into a ruthless CEO like him.) Michael and Desmond worry me too, though they could maybe go back with the freighter folks incognito. I suppose Desmond might want to do that, and then confront Charles and let him know that he made it after all and that Penny still loves him. Or just strike out and look for Penny on his own. I loved his Panic Face when he discovered the explosives; more deranged-looking than we've seen him since Live Together, Die Alone. But that stuff is bad news. And Nathan figures it's rigged up to Keamy somehow, so if somebody takes him down on the island, the ship might go down too.

I would love it if Sawyer was done killing people. I really would. Sure, he threatened both Ben and Locke this season, but he didn't follow through. Basically, he went from mercenary to hero, largely because of Hurley. What a good influence. But he seems like one of the most likely candidates to kill off Keamy, which I basically think has to happen, lest everyone on the island get annihilated. Then again, Locke and Sayid can certainly hold their own, and Smokey has much more reason to be irritated with Keamy than with Eko. Anyway, he has a lot of enemies. And somehow I doubt we're ever going to be given a glimpse of his humanity. I guess it's about time the show had an utterly unambiguous villain...

Speaking of which, looking back at last season's finale, if Mikhail had done what he did about ten minutes earlier, it would have saved everyone on the island, at least for the time being. Ironic. Everyone would have been so much better off if Charlie had never gone down into that hatch in the first place, and in trying to save Claire's life, it looks like he got her killed. It also looks like Desmond was lying about seeing Claire get into the chopper, just as a way to get Charlie to agree to sacrifice himself. He probably figured it would happen, but I don't think he actually saw it. How very frustrating...

Anyway, part one of the finale was good, though I didn't like it as much as Cabin Fever. But there was quite a bit packed into there. The rescue, which none of the castaways looked all that happy about, at least while they were on the plane. I suppose they were in shock, as Sun said. The press conference was somewhat revelatory, though we still don't know the deal behind their fabricated story. The reunion was happy at least, especially Hurley, and I thought it was very sweet that when he noticed Sayid didn't have anyone waiting for him, he rushed him over to introduce him to his parents. Poor Kate didn't have anybody; I would've thought Sam Austen would have shown up, but I suppose her being a fugitive complicates things. Still, it seemed like the two of them were really close, and she must've been very hurt that he didn't come. I hate that we got cheated out of a truly joyful reunion between Sayid and Nadia; it was such a beautiful moment, but it's kinda hard to really enjoy it when you know she's going to be murdered in a few months.

They finally cleared the air with Claire being Jack's sister, and poor Jack looked like he was about to throw up. I'm guessing that he doesn't see Claire again before he leaves the island. So whether or not she's dead, he probably thinks she is, and he must feel horrible about it. Besides, it would be a huge shock to realize this girl he got to know so well on the island was actually the sister he never knew he had. A little like Luke and Leia, but he couldn't share his revelation with her. I thought the scene with Hurley's party was really funny - especially his mother's comment about Jesus Christ not being a weapon - but also sad. He's not adjusting well to post-island life. The incident with the car was really spooky; I don't think his dad rigged the numbers that way. It would have been in really poor taste for him to pull something like that, and he seemed almost as surprised by it as Hurley. I think he genuinely wants to make a fresh start with his son, and it's a shame those nefarious numbers had to ruin such a touching moment. Just goes to show, I suppose, that the island isn't through with Hurley yet.

On the island, I love the fact that Sawyer put himself in harm's way for the sake of others, first by joining Jack, then by insisting they rescue Hurley - though it's a shame they couldn't spring Frank first... There are a lot of parallels in Hurley and Sawyer's stories. Most notably, perhaps, in the season two finale, Hurley, upon learning that Michael killed Libby, refrains from vengeance, while Sawyer kills Tom out of revenge in the season three finale. Also in that finale, Hurley rescues Sawyer, so this time, it's up to Sawyer to rescue Hurley, thereby perhaps dispersing all his bad karma once and for all. I'm not too worried about him, since Jack and Kate's future conversation seems to indicate that he is alive when they leave the island. I do feel like he's been slightly ripped off this season, though, without a single centric episode. They could rectify that with the finale, but I don't think they will.

More likely than not, since it's a Part Two, it will follow the same flash-forward pattern as the first part, and we'll be seeing a lot of the Oceanic Six off the island, especially Jack and Hurley. But what I'd really love, now that he's finally decide to show up again, is a Richard flashback-forward. With two hours, I figure they could start in the past - which could mean hundreds of years for all we know - and wind up in the future, which needs to be incorporated somehow if we're going to find out who's in the coffin. This way, we might actually get to see some of Danielle's backstory first-hand even though she was so unceremoniously killed off, and maybe we'd get some of the scoop on Annie too. He knows the island better than just about anybody, so we'd get all kinds of juicy tidbits. And he leaves the island, or at least he did; I'm not sure the destruction of the submarine would necessarily keep him from taking off. So he could witness the death of whoever's in the coffin. Or cause it. Heck, he could be in there himself, but since at this point we've never even seen Jack interact with Richard, that seems a little unlikely.

Still, a possibility. Assuming the deceased is someone we know, I think that leaves a pretty small pool of candidates. It has to be somebody Jack doesn't like very much but still feels very strongly about. Locke would be one option, but I just can't see him leaving the island unless somebody gives him the bind and gag treatment his father got. Could be Michael, but surely at least his mother would go to the funeral, unless she didn't realize who he was because of the name Kevin Johnson. But I'm not really feeling that scenario too much. Maybe one of the freighter people, too, but I'm not sure he's associated with them enough to have that strong of feelings about them.

At this point, I'm practically positive it's Ben in that coffin, which makes me sad if it's true, but then that would be true no matter who it is. We know Ben is off the island in the future, and there's probably not anybody who would bother coming to his funeral. Sayid, maybe, but he might find that a risky move considering the circumstances of their association with each other. Whoever killed Ben might come after him too. Unless he killed Ben, in which case he certainly wouldn't be likely to show up to mourn him. Hurley, who always spoke at the island funerals and actually got to know Ben a little bit, might have attended too, but at this point he's probably still in the mental institution and pretty out of touch with the outside world. He probably wouldn't know, and even if he did, he probably couldn't just check himself out to go to a funeral. Anyway, it certainly would be understandable for Jack not to consider Ben a friend. However, it would also make sense that his death would send him into a spiral of despair, considering that Ben tried so hard to stop him from contacting the freighter, and it turned out he was telling the truth about their intentions, or at least Keamy's. And of course, Kate wouldn't want anything to do with Ben. Presumably the newspaper would have an alias there instead of "Ben Linus," but maybe there's a picture, or maybe Jack knows his pseudonym du jour. Or maybe it's not Ben at all. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

When Ben told John to take a look at the plants at the Orchid Station, I was hoping he was pointing to some really weird vegetation, like Venus Fly Traps or something like that. Alas, nothing but a bunch of trigger-happy guys. What a way to end the episode, with Keamy knocking Ben out. If he can't kill somebody, he's at least going to beat him to a bloody pulp. Yeesh. It's odd how immediately Ben 180-ed from victim back to leader. So much for me thinking John was calling the shots now. As soon as Ben heard, "He wants us to move the island," he took charge, and John was in the dark again. Hurley, too, of course. I got a little chuckle out of his warning about the 15-year-old crackers. It was a derisive comment, but it might have also been a useful cautionary note. As for the mirror signal, the presumption was that he was communicating with Jacob, but could it also have been Richard, and that's why we're suddenly seeing the Others again? Did Ben tell them to come? Why would he do that, though, if the Temple is the only place where they're safe? Does he intend for them to launch an attack on Keamy?

I loved the little bit of Frank that we got in this episode, but more than that, I loved Daniel, who really went into hero mode with his ferrying of survivors. I found it interesting that he didn't put Charlotte on the first boat. I suppose she was there to corral the rest of the castaways, but she didn't look too happy about it. Maybe she was worried about Daniel, but she also seemed hurt that he didn't take her along. If it's so crucial to get off the island, she has good reason to be nervous. For both of them. Of all the freighter folk, I have a feeling Dan is the most vulnerable right now. He could wipe out on his raft. He could get caught up in the time differential vortex. Desmond could die, and his brain could lose his anchor. (Don't, Desmond. Don't you dare!) Of my cream of the crop, Hurley is safe, at least in the present. John is too crucial to the island mythology to die yet, I think. Desmond's on the shakiest ground. I've got my fingers crossed for him.

I hope that tonight's episode will not be as calamitous as last year's. It probably will be. But hopefully there will at least be enough bright spots to keep it from being entirely depressing. I hope Rose and Bernard have a lot to do, or at least a little, and I'm really eager to see just what sort of miracle John is going to bring about. I want something beautiful to sustain me through all that is bound to be unpleasant. Will this be my favorite finale yet? I suspect not. But I'm sure it will be brilliant.

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