Monday, June 2, 2008

Isle Chatter

By now, the season finale of Lost has been analyzed, psychoanalized, scutinized, theorized, philosophised, and pretty much blogged to death, but I haven't had MY say, so pay attention...It was pretty good!

It starts out with last season's finale flashforward that we initially thought was a flashback. I was hoping this year they might have a flashback that we all mistake for a flashforward, but the show's producers chose not to. Who am I to criticize? They're in Hollywood, and I'm plopped in front of a library computer half a continent or so away. Anyway, we find that the guy in the coffin and in the obituary is Jeremy Bentham. Now, your faithful blogger has only a high school education, and I honestly didn't know Jeremy Bentham was some famous 19th century philosopher. I assumed he was some character on the show. I just couldn't remember which one. The guy with the time-travel experiments? The guy flying the helicopter? Hurly's shrink? If they're going to reference a philosopher, why not Plato? I've heard of him (he had his own republic, right?).

An exciting moment was when Jack and Sawyer rush to save Hurly from mortal danger. They instead find him pissing against a tree. He could very well still be in danger. There may be poison ivy about, and, as Hurly's fly is down, he could catch it in the very last place you want to catch poison ivy. I know, I know. Poison ivy's not native to the tropics. Well, neither are polar bears.

What would a season finale be without Locke and Jack sometimes failing to see eye to eye? Faith vs Science. Or Mulder vs Scully, without the underlying sexual tension. You do get overlying great dialogue. Jack harranges Locke for blowing up the sub, knifing a would-be rescuer, etc, but Locke has one of the show's all-time great comebacks: "You fired what you thought was a loaded gun right into my face, so let's call it even."

Properly chastened, Jack, along with Hurly and Sawyer, head back to the chopper while Locke and Ben prepare to move the island (I'm skipping over how Ben escaped his captors. Suffice to say, another unholy alliance between the losties, this time Kate and Sayid, and the once fearsome, now increasingly mundane Others). Locke and Ben are interrupted by the arrival of, uh, what was his name again? Jeremy Benthem? Hold on while I check a Lost web sight with characters names on it......Keamer. His name was Keamer. How could I forget a name like that? Anyway, Keamer the mercanary shows up all wired up with some radio-controlled explosive (I wonder if he got that at Radio Shack?). He threatens to blow up the boat if Ben doesn't give himself up. As other bloggers have pointed out, this makes no sense. First off, Keamer's already seen Ben let his own daughter get killed. Even if he hadn't, he must know by know that Ben regards the people on the boat as his enemies. This is a little like Adolf Hitler warning Neville Chamberlain that if he doesn't give up Czechoslovakia, he'll blow up Germany. No other series could survive such holes in the plot. But Lost is all about holes in the plot. It's why we all fell in love with it in the first place.

An emotional Ben (as he later describes himself) kills Keamer anyway, blowing the boat, along with Jin and Michael, to Kingdom Come. He then moves the island in the most low-tech way possible ("possible" being a relative word on this show), by turning a wheel. No carbon footprint here!

The island disappears as the helicopter with Jack, Kate, Sayid, Sun, Hurly, Desmond, Aaron, and "Kenny Rogers" attempts to land (I skipped over why it's those eight in the chopper, but, hey, I never said this was a summary). Actually, two islands disappear. Or do they? With all the overflights various characters take this season, how come noone mentions two islands? Jack tells "Kenny" (I refuse to look up his name) there's another island nearby, but as the pilot, shouldn't he know? Apparently you can only see the second island by standing on one particular spot on the first island. And vica-versa. I have a theory. THEY'RE BOTH THE SAME ISLAND! THEY EXIST SIDE BY SIDE IN TWO DIFFERENT TIMES AND TWO DIFFERENT SPACES!! WHEN THE CHARACTERS LEAVE ONE FOR THE OTHER THEY'RE ACTUALLY TRAVELING THROUGH TIME!!! THE FOURTH DIMENSION IS WHERE...Huh? Oh. Uh, sorry, ma'm. Won't happen again...The librarian says if I don't calm down I'll be ejected.

At any rate, those eight characters (ten if you count Ben and Walt) are off the island. So, how's this going to work next season? Locke, Sawyer, and others left behind in the present (actually, 2005), and Jack, Kate and co., in the future (our present?). And this is without all the time travel!

Past, present, or future, if there's one character I want in the thick of things, it's Hurley. He's the true Everyman of this series. A somewhat discomfitting thought given that he's been in and out of mental institutions, but it's true. Locke and Jack are idealized Everymen, two Walter Mittys whose dreams of purpose have been realized. Hurley's not sure of his purpose. Winning the lottery? Saving the day? Losing weight? He reacts to each plot twist as if he were watching it all on TV, just like us ("So, Bernard is white. Bet you didn't see that one coming!"). Unlike us, of course, he gets to occasionally participate ("Attention, Others! Come in, Others! We have your people!"). Speaking of Hurley, remember that flashback in season 2 which has Libby in the same mental ward as him? That needs explaining. Was she his stalker? Hurley could have used that kind of story line!

In conclusion, I'd like to talk about Jeremy Bentham. SPOILER ALERT! Aw, who the hell am I kidding? By the time this is posted, everyone will know anyway. It's the future late John Locke. Why he, or the show's writers chose that name, I'm not sure (after four seasons I finally figured out that maybe Sawyer was named after the Mark Twain character because they're both con men--Tom conned his friends into whitewashing the fence, remember?--and they both like to read). I did some research, and found out that Bentham was a proponent of utilitarianism, the belief in the most good for the most people. Sounds interesting, but I really don't think that's the reason. Almost a century and a half after he died, Bentham's preserved body, fully clothed, sits in the University of London. Now recall that at the end of this season's finale, Ben tells Jack that they all have to go back to the island, including the late John Locke...

No comments:

Post a Comment