Lost: the Incident

The last “Lost” episode of the season was last night, which I watched on my DVR this morning as I am still so jet-lagged since our return from Europe, that I didn’t have the strength to watch it live. The finale was good, but it wasn’t super. Nevertheless, it was definitely better than any other Lost episode this year, and better than any other show on TV in general. Spoilers following.

I think it’s clear right now that the Lost grand story is nothing but a “game” between two ancient, omnipotent but equally strong forces: a benevolent and an evil one. Possibly Osiris and Anubis, or Jacob and Esau, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that through the eons they attract certain people to the island to play their game. The humans are pawns. As Jacob said, there’s only one end to the game, but each time new blood arrives to the island, there’s progress.

Other things we learned: the uber-sexy Richard was made ageless by Jacob, after he arrived with the Black Rock slave ship (although we kind of knew that given the clothes he wore when he meets young Ben in season 3).

For me, the worst part of the finale was the Bernard/Rose scene, which felt like a throwback to all of us who have been asking where they went for the whole season. It was a cheesy scene, and a very unbelievable one too. Either the Dharma or the Hostiles would have found them in 3 years time in that easy to reach cabin. Totally an illogical scene. Bernard/Rose *and* a few more 815 survivors should have simply be part of the Hostiles by now, that would have been a much more natural happening. Either that, or they should have been hiding in the caves, definitely not in that cabin in plain sight.

One more unbelievable point is having the Dharma village built on top of a huge ancient Egyptian temple and never taking notice. That was some stupid writing.

As for what’s going to happen, I think that the “incident” happening will result in our heroes moving forward in time (the ones around the Swan station, so possibly it won’t happen for Rose/Bernard). The fade to white (instead of the usual black), it’s a hint of the heroes jumping back to their regular time. And the detonation of the bomb always happened, Jack didn’t change a thing (the closed captions on TV mentioned the explosion, for those who aren’t sure if it took place). They will end up in 2008 or something, at the same time as everyone else, to take part at the story’s last act. We have enough hints that the nuclear detonation always happened, because of the big cement wall in the Swan, the Hazmat suits, the radiation-affected pregnancies.

This all sounds good, but I feel that having the heroes spending a whole season in the Dharma time just to get back to present time didn’t serve the grand story of Lost. I mean, we just had some people going back to the ’70s, and then coming back. They didn’t change anything that didn’t already happen and we couldn’t have watched via flashbacks. Except some character evolution (namely Sawyer’s), the whole “travel back in time” served no purpose in the grand scheme of things. And I am pretty sure we will never learn why the island pulled Jack/Kate/Sayid/Hurley back in time either — other than just to be able to do some episodes for the sake of making some episodes. The overall mythology/timeline was not affected, so having watched season 5, I feel a bit cheated. Sure, it’s cool to see the Dharma world, but not at the expense of a storyline that doesn’t feel negated at the very end.

Having said all that, Lost remains the best of the best on TV right now. I was watching “24” on the DVR the other night, and was having iTunes loaded too checking out some songs. JBQ, who was sitting next to me, made the sarcastic remark “oh, I see you enjoy that show a lot, you can’t take your eyes away”.


William Eggington wrote on May 14th, 2009 at 2:21 PM PST:

I’m in no rush to see the big picture unfold. Its spending time with the characters thats the best part. Seeing their characters change and evolve as they so through these crazy events.

Skip 24. . .

Go right to Fringe. Thats good stuff. 🙂

Adam S wrote on May 14th, 2009 at 5:43 PM PST:

Sorry, but the visit to 1977 was critical to the story, because ultimately, the castaways themselves were the ones that *caused* the need for the Swan and the computer, which is a large part of propelling the story forward.

But I think your view is right: the story is all a big game played by Jacob and Esau.

Thom Holwerda wrote on May 14th, 2009 at 11:29 PM PST:

Omnipotent figures? Using humans as pawn for their own amusement?

Mmm… Where have I heard that before…

Funny how when another show did that, it was unbelievable, a cop-out, and religious bullcrap… And now Lost does it (with an additional set of total bullshit like time travel), and suddenly it’s the best show on television?

Talk about double standards.

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Eugenia wrote on May 15th, 2009 at 4:13 AM PST:

William, Fringe has nothing on Lost I am afraid. 😉

> were the ones that *caused* the need for the Swan and the computer

Adam, I disagree. The Swan station *needed* the small bursts of detonations every 108 minutes with the original detonation taking place OR NOT. So even if the losties weren’t there to do the original detonation, Dharma would have eventually figured that they would need to do that.

Thom, hold your horses from pointing your fingers so easily. We don’t know who Jacob and Esau really are. The writers said that everything will be explained *pseudo-scientifically* rather than religiously. So, they could be some natural forces, or they could be aliens.

No one has said the words “God” on Lost as of yet. So, HOW you deliver that “God” principle does make a difference. I simply HATED how it was delivered on BSG, because I hate everything that’s simply religious without any other angle to it. Lost’s approach is better, but as I said, we still have no idea who these two guys are.

Also, I forgot to write in the blog post above that Locke was never “special”. He was led to believe that he was, just to play Esau’s game. This probably makes Jack the special one — or not.

Thom Holwerda wrote on May 15th, 2009 at 5:02 AM PST:

> No one has said the words “God” on Lost as of yet.

In BSG, all that was said was that “he” did not like to be called “god”. That’s all. YOU gave the interpretation to it as being the Christian/Muslim/Jewish god – while I simply interpret it as a figure beyond our grasp of reality.

Sort of like Q, but less idiotic.

Still, what I’m trying to point out is that Lost’s ridiculousness requires a boatload more of idiotic and nonsensical assumptions (more “faith” if you will) than BSG.

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Eugenia wrote on May 15th, 2009 at 5:10 AM PST:

The agenda of the BSG writer was clear from the very beginning of the series. I hated the whole God thing throughout the series, so having a single sentence at the very end telling me that he doesn’t like to be called “God”, didn’t undo 5 years of disgust for the plot. It’s all about HOW you serve the viewer your plot. And the way BSG did it, it wasn’t for me.

As I said above, there is no God element on Lost. Everything will be pseudo-scientific at the end. As for the “faith” thing that Locke had and you mentioned, READ BACK my older blog posts. I hated Locke for that exact thing!!!! Adam should confirm it, as we were battling over Locke’s greatness back then. I also nagged about it on some Lost-related forums back in the beginning of season 4 regarding Locke’s “faith” shit. So I am 100% consistent with what I like seeing in a film and what I don’t. I don’t like religious elements that don’t have a foot on science or sci-fi.

As for the “ridiculousness” of Lost, it’s just sci-fi. And I like sci-fi over boring drama like BSG was. The drama on BSG was just over the top. While the drama on Lost is pretty bad too — especially the love plots — I tend to ignore it because there’s enough action per episode to make up for the bad love-related writing. On BSG, it was just 10% action and 90% crybabies, making it difficult to ignore it.

At the end, I prefer Lost. You prefer BSG. Get over it.

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Eugenia wrote on May 15th, 2009 at 6:56 AM PST:

About Locke and his insane “faith”, read this and the comments. As you can see, I never saw Locke with a good eye, even if Lost is not outright about religion as BSG was. If Lost was all about Gods and religion, and not just a hint of it via Locke, I would have hated Lost as well. That blog post above and my comments on it is my proof that I don’t have double standards, that I do know what I like and what I dislike on a show.

But here’s the kicker! While Locke represents the religion or faith, he is [was] only ONE person. The rest of the survivors and other characters didn’t adhere to his belief system. On BSG though, EVERYTHING and EVERYONE was revolving about God, Gods and religion. Heck, the war happened BECAUSE of the Cylon God telling them to do so. That’s a big difference between the two shows. BSG was a religious drama set in space, while Lost is a scifi adventure with only one character playing the religious card. And this is absolutely bearable for me. With BSG, it wasn’t. It was too much. Too much drama, too much religion, too much craziness. The scifi & action part of it was not as prominent as I would wanted it to be. To me, religion!=scifi, and even if that’s acceptable to some people (because both are fiction), it is not acceptable *to me*. Just like with music, I have very specific guidelines of what I find entertaining and what I find bullshit.

horace wrote on May 15th, 2009 at 7:22 AM PST:

i can’t remember every detail of the older episodes… i must have missed something… why did this swan computer need a human to operate it? was nobody clever enough to write some script or something to automate this button pressing?

another thing i wonder about… why doesn’t jack or someone else ever try to get more information from ben or richard about what the island is about? they don’t even seem to try to ask some important questions and just accept everything that gets thrown at them.

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Eugenia wrote on May 15th, 2009 at 7:31 AM PST:

That’s called artistic license. Without some unrealistic plots, there wouldn’t be an action story, because everyone would be acting rationally and would do things that make sense (e.g. writing scripts). Besides, you still need a person down there to make sure the script works and doesn’t crash eventually. BTW, they have tried to ask questions but — at least Ben — he wouldn’t talk even after getting tortured. As for Richard, he doesn’t know everything either, only Jacob and Jacob’s Enemy do.

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Eugenia wrote on May 15th, 2009 at 7:48 AM PST:

I personally don’t mind much the “why not a computer script” thing, because there is always the explanation I gave above. But I personally can’t bear geographical errors. For example, the foot is in the mid-west shore of the island (as we see in the season 2 finale), and the losties camp is towards the south of the island. And yet, we watch the Others to walk counter-clockwise along the island’s shore, and first encounter the camp and then the foot. It should have been the other way around.

Now, these are the kinds of errors that piss me off, because I have a very clear image in my mind of the island’s geography. It’s these tangible details that make Lost believable to me.

Monty wrote on May 15th, 2009 at 1:50 PM PST:

My father always said that when a tv series starts going back in time aka star trek and the gangster planet, or the roman planets, the writers are running out of content. and to quote one of the readers above
“William Eggington :
I’m in no rush to see the big picture unfold. Its spending time with the characters thats the best part. Seeing their characters change and evolve as they so through these crazy events.”

This reminds me of the TV Parlor walls in Fahrenheit 451…we’ve finally arrived.

mikesum32 wrote on May 15th, 2009 at 11:27 PM PST:

I think Jacob and the other guy were arguing about human nature, and as it relates the Bernard/Rose scene, I think they’re the proof that humans can live peaceful lives.

Alaina wrote on May 16th, 2009 at 1:13 PM PST:

Were you watching with captions on? Why?

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Eugenia wrote on May 16th, 2009 at 2:43 PM PST:

I wasn’t. I read about it on a Lost news site.

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