Posts Tagged ‘Lost final season’

Hindsight 2010: Top Five Most Memorable Episodes of TV

5. “God,” Louie

One of the reasons the superlative in the title of this post is “memorable” and not “best” is to make room for episodes like “God.” It wasn’t the funniest episode of the first season of Louie—and it wasn’t even necessarily my favorite—but it was certainly the most distinct and memorable episode of a show that was consistently original. I remember watching the scene in which the creepy, nameless doctor tells a young Louie to stab Jesus Christ in the wrist and thinking, “It’s very unusual that this is on television.” The dark humor, the nuanced take on religion, and the controversial point of view are all things rarely seen on TV, and yet they were precisely the kinds of things that made Louie such an innovative and enjoyable show. Continue reading

Getting Lost: The End

It’s time for the final installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the questions, answers, themes, motifs, mysteries, ideas, propositions, and quandaries raised by last night’s series finale of Lost:

“What if a demon crept after thee into thy loneliest loneliness some day or night, and said to thee: ‘This life, as thou livest it at present, and hast lived it, thou must live it once more, and also innumerable times; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and every sigh, and all the unspeakably small and great in thy life must come to thee again, and all in the same series and sequence-and similarly this spider and this moonlight among the trees, and similarly this moment, and I myself. The eternal sand-glass of existence will ever be turned once more, and thou with it, thou speck of dust!’- Wouldst thou not throw thyself down and gnash thy teeth, and curse the demon that so spake? Or hast thou once experienced a tremendous moment in which thou wouldst answer him: ‘Thou art a God, and never did I hear anything so divine!’… The question with regard to all and everything: ‘Dost thou want this once more, and also for innumerable times?’ would lie as the heaviest burden upon thy activity! Or, how wouldst thou have to become favorably inclined to thyself and to life, so as to long for nothing more ardently than for this last eternal sanctioning and sealing?” —Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

A lot will be and surely has already been said about the Lost finale, specifically the final scenes. People will say that the ending is a cop-out, that the ending is overtly religious, that ultimately the writers did provide a “the Island is the afterlife” or “the Sideways stories are purgatory” answer. They will say that there was not enough discussion of “the rules,” and that countless questions about mythology were not answered sufficiently. Some will say it was too slow; some will say that not enough characters got closure; some will say it was too sappy; some will say that it ruined the whole series. And someone somewhere will probably say that there wasn’t enough Libby.

It was basically preordained, in other words, that this episode would be controversial. But the question to keep in mind in judging it, though, is: Did the finale provide consistent and compelling closure for the series? Continue reading

This Is The End: Lost Finale Preview

Well, this is it. We’ve made it to the end: The final episode of Lost, appropriately titled “The End,” airs tonight at 9 PM. I’ve looked back at the series’ past, but now it’s time to look at where it stands now.

Who’s left on the Island? We’re down to a slim, manageable number of characters on the Island: We have Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Desmond, Locke 2.0, Ben, Miles, and Claire. Jacob may be around for some of it, but as he said in “What They Died For,” it won’t be much longer. Sayid, Jin, and Sun died in “The Candidate.” Widmore, Zoe, and (probably) Richard died in “What They Died For.” There may be some others from Widmore’s submarine still around, and some miscellaneous Others, but I don’t think we’ll be dealing much with them in tonight’s finale.

Where do they all stand? In a move I thought they’d save for the finale, Jack was all over Jacob’s job offer in “What They Died For,” going through the whole ritual of wine-drinking and light-seeing to become the Island’s protector. The rest of the core four are still wracked with grief over the deaths of their friends. Kate’s old goal of trying to find Claire has seemingly been replaced by trying to kill Locke 2.0. Sawyer, meanwhile, was blaming himself for killing Sayid, Jin, and Sun on the sub. Hurley was just glad he didn’t get stuck with Jacob’s job. Continue reading

Getting Lost: What They Died For

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

Wait, is this a Redux post or a real one? It’s the real thing baby!

Good. It’s too early to start reminiscing anyway. Well, I don’t know about that, but there are definitely pressing matters to discuss from “What They Died For.”

Yeah, like: What do you get when you burn ashes? Obvs you get slightly smaller ashes. Continue reading

Getting Lost (Redux): Pilot

There’s no doubt that a large reason for Lost’s initial success was its impressive pilot. Directed by J.J. Abrams, the first episode of Lost has both the intense feel of an action movie, and the enticing suspense of the first chapter of a mystery novel.

So many images from the pilot are obviously memorable. The opening shot of Jack’s eye, the sight of a pregnant Claire on the beach, the scene in which Kate stitches up Jack’s wound, and so many others have become burnt into Lost lore. The episode is stunningly visual—the first line of dialogue (aside from screams and cries for help, of course) doesn’t come until almost five minutes in, when Jacks asks Claire how many months pregnant she is. This comes amidst the famous opening sequence of Jack pulling bodies from the wreckage.

What stands out about these opening scenes, looking back, is how the priority of characters has changed. We see a lot of Michael, Walt, Shannon, and Boone, but Sawyer and Locke don’t even speak in the first hour. Even Vincent the dog seems more important than they do.

This is not to say that the writers and producers didn’t know what they were doing—just that the story they were setting up was clearly very deep. In fact, Abrams’ direction is impressive in its ability to capture the core of characters in single shots. Whether it’s something easy and simple, like Shannon painting her toenails on the beach, something obviously important but cryptic, like Locke sitting on the beach as the rain begins to fall, or something subtly telling, like Sawyer’s silent self-loathing as he smokes a cigarette, it’s clear that there is a very defined view of all these characters.* Continue reading

Introducing….Getting Lost (Redux)!

There are very few episodes of Lost that I’ve seen twice. This is not because I dislike the show, obviously, but merely because re-watching Lost often seems pointless. Unlike other, denser shows on television, like The Wire or The Sopranos or Breaking Bad, Lost does not seem like a show that would reward repeat viewings. It’s not layered with the same subtlety and depth as those shows, and a lot of the suspense of certain episodes is drained when you know, for example, that Jin has not been captured by “the Others” but by the survivors from the tail of the plane. Continue reading

Getting Lost: Across the Sea

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

OK, Question #1: How is it possible that this guy STILL doesn’t have a name? (shaking my head) I don’t know…. I don’t know.

I suppose I should give up any hope of him ever getting a name, right? Well, if he were going to get one, this would seem like the episode for him to get it. I think Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse probably think being nameless is intimidating.We’re probably stuck with “Man in Black” (or Flocke, or Smokey, or the Smoke Monster, or Esau, or Blackie, or any of the other nicknames he’s acquired over the last year) for good.

At least his mother took the trouble of color-coding him from birth, right? Yeah, that was awfully nice of her.

Should we talk about the episode now? Continue reading

Getting Lost: The Candidate

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

So, it looks like Jack figured it out. Did he? Well, it depends what you mean by “it,” but it certainly felt like those lines Jack was spitting out as he desperately tried to talk Sawyer out of defusing the bomb were important. For one, he flatly declared, “Locke can’t kill us.” This, of course, echoes the boy’s claim from back in “The Substitute,” but this was the first time the prohibition has been extended to all the candidates. This might raise some issues, since the Smoke Monster has previously been a killing machine, taking down the pilot, Mr. Eko, Bram (Jacob’s bodyguard), and pretty much Widmore’s entire camp earlier in this very episode. The loophole to this, of course, is to assume that those victims had either never been candidates (like the pilot) or ceased to be candidates (like Eko).

If the Smoke Monster can’t kill the candidates, then what is he doing with them? According to Jack, his goal is to get them all to kill each other. As many have speculated, the Man in Black cannot leave the Island until all the candidates are dead, but he himself cannot kill them.* As a result, he has to wait for the candidates to slowly kill each other—something they have been pretty good at now for 100+ episodes. Continue reading

Getting Lost: Season Six Thus Far

In the absence of a new Lost episode last night (ABC ran a rerun of “Ab Aeterno” instead), this week’s “Getting Lost” will look at where the show’s final season stands now:

Given the hype and anticipation for this season of Lost, has it lived up to the expectations? That, of course, is the big question. I think the obvious answer, at this point, is “No.” We still don’t know how the alternate timeline plots will ultimately resolve themselves into the main narrative, and this season has seen its share of dull episodes, like “What Kate Does,” “Dr. Linus,” and “The Package.”

But it’s probably unfair to judge the whole season as of yet. Lost has always been a show that has made its reputation primarily with premieres and finales. That’s not to say that character development doesn’t play a key role on the show, just that the show has made a habit out of sandwiching some dull episodes with strong beginnings and thrilling endings. Fans tend to forget this, but with the exception of Season Five (which I called one of the best television seasons of the Aughts), every single season of Lost has had a pretty noticeable slump in the middle.*

*Some people would probably object to the inclusion of Season Four, which was only 14 episodes, but I would say that episodes six (“The Other Woman”), seven (“Ji Yeon”), eight (“Meet Kevin Johnson”), and ten (“Something Nice Back Home”) were pretty forgettable. Continue reading

Getting Lost: Everybody Loves Hugo

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

Oh man, how excited were you to see Libby again? I know a lot of people were anxiously awaiting her return, and I hope for those people that it was everything they hoped for and more, but I didn’t really care. As I said when the season started, if they had gone through the whole season without addressing her character at all, I wouldn’t have minded.

But you were at least happy for Hurley, right? He got to see Libby again! Last week, after the exceptionally well-received “Happily Ever After,” I was talking to a fellow Lost fan as we shared our enthusiasm about the episode. One worry he had, though, was that the series would devolve into a sappy “love conquers all” message. After all, Charlie and Desmond were only drawn to the existence of the parallel universes once they realized that their respective soulmates were there.

Last night in “Everybody Loves Hugo,” we pick up where we left off. Continue reading

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