Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lost - 6x17 "The End"

Now this is the Lost that I know -- a pointless, anticlimactic culmination that was so tonally misguided that I checked to see if Ronald D. Moore was involved. Just before it aired on my coast, I made fun of someone on Twitter for choosing to watch the combined manipulative sentimentality of Tom Hanks and Senor Spielbergo (ok ok it was only produced by them, but I can't stand either of them as people), but clearly, the joke was on me, especially so since I stayed up well past bedtime to watch this mediocrity.

I say misguided because the treacly nature of the coda-like epilogue emphasized exactly the wrong thing about Lost, which is the assumption that the heart of the show lies with its characters and their relationships, very little of which I cared for. If the characters were anything more than reductive ciphers articulating pop psychoanalytic concepts, I might not be so swift to dismiss any attempt at creating character moments. Instead, what the show meant to me was its mythology and mythology-building, but even there the stuff I like best is farther away from its human agents, i.e. I don't care at all about the Others, or about the Hanso Foundation, etc. Just give me the goods about the Island and the time travel and the electromagnetism whosits -- barely any of which the finale delivered.

My initial assumption about the Island way back in the beginning of the show was that it was purgatory, so that's basically been borne out, no matter the Internet consensus that seems to have coalesced around the idea that the Sideways World was purgatory. I like my idea better (no surprise, surely), because in my view, purgatory is where souls seek redemption so that they can enter heaven, and the real work that the characters did to redeem themselves happened on the Island, not in the Sideways World, which was more like a perfunctory anodyne heaven, complete with non-denominational religious inclusiveness, a separate reality populated by the characters who were better versions of themselves (e.g. Kate, who in the Sideways heaven manages to be only mildly annoying).

My yoga teacher, who like me stayed up way too late watching it and thus was a bit of a zombie on Monday, connected two finale dots for me. The light that enveloped Christian and which, I presume, awaits all qualified souls is the same light that Jack saved on the Island.

So yeah, if the series isn't going to have a proper ending, why should I?

Indie rating: John Zorn - "Redbird"


geeky Heather said...

I don't think you can call a finale "misguided", if it bears out the vision of its creators/producers/writers, just because it wasn't what you wanted. You say that it was an "assumption" that the heart of the show lies with its characters. Rather, you made an assumption about what the heart of the show was. The creators of the show do not "assume" to know what the show is about, they do. I can understand being upset if you were "hoping" the show was about something, and, in the end, it wasn't. But that doesn't make it misguided.

I'm not used to you writing such egocentric reviews... =(

Leee said...

Everything you said is right on. I'd meant to put a sarcastic line in there about how I was representing the opinion about all Lost viewers, but I was anxious to work on a SYTYCD macro, and well, I was in Angry Nerd mode.

Angry Nerd out.

Liz said...

At first I was upset, but it all makes sense. They were lost. And alone. The island stuff was cool, but Jacob chose them for that reason, so they'd find each other to serve a high purpose, but also be helped. Trust me I was like "oh no they di'int" only because I don't like to cry in front of people while watching TV.