Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One Last Lost Post

I'm done. I swear. But tonight I went on Lostpedia and read through a few key episode recaps to see if I could see foreshadowing for the finale in seasons 1-5. And even though I chose at random, in every episode recap I read, there were hints and whispers at Lost's endgame. It's really quite something, and makes me think that the writers definitely had that magic pool of light, and Jack's sacrifice, in mind the whole time.

First, I clicked on "Enter 77," from Season 3. These moments stood out:
Amira comes in with a cat. She tells him that when she and her husband came to Paris, she was afraid to leave their apartment until she heard the cries of a cat being tortured by boys with firecrackers, and she felt compelled to rescue it. She has kept him as a pet even though the cat sometimes bites her because she knows what it is like never to feel safe, because of Sayid.

She asks him to show her the respect of acknowledging what he did and that he remembers her. Finally he tells her that he does remember her face, that it has haunted him ever since. He weeps, and tells her that he is sorry for what he has done to her. To Sayid's amazement Amira forgives him and tells Sayid she will tell her husband that she is mistaken and should release Sayid. Sayid asks why she would not kill him. She says every person has it within them to behave like the boys who tortured the cat but she does not want to choose that path.
This goes along with what Dogen said this final season about a scale being inside of everyone, on one side good, and one side bad. It goes along with the reckoning at the end of the show: which is that no one is irredeemable. This woman knows Sayid as her torturer, but she still believes he can be a good person. As we saw in the finale, and throughout the final season, this is indeed the case.

This part too:
Sayid arrives and tells Klugh to drop her gun. Kate hits her, saying she helped kidnap them and she knows where Jack is. Sayid asks Klugh if there are any others there, but she acts unafraid, hardly intimidated by the rifle.

They take her upstairs and outside, where Mikhail has Locke at gunpoint. Mikhail offers a hostage exchange but John claims Mikhail wouldn't kill him. Klugh talks and argues with Mikhail in Russian while Kate, Locke and Sayid shout. Finally she orders him to "do it" and he shoots her in the heart. Mikhail is knocked over and Sayid points his gun at him. Mikhail tells him to finish it, but Sayid doesn't shoot.
Ask yourself, why are Klugh and Mikhail not afraid of death? Why does Klugh tell Mikhail to shoot her? And why does he?

Well, they're Others. And as the show's made clear, Others don't all know the same information. Some know more, some know less. Depending on how long you've been on the island, and what ghosts you've spoken to, you may know about that Afterlife Universe. You may know that death sends you back into the light, awaiting rebirth or heaven or whatever wondrous thing it is.

It's clear in this scene that Klugh and Mikhail know that when they die, its not the end of the world. They already know the island-powered afterlife awaits them.

Then I clicked on "White Rabbit":
A young Jack lies on the ground in fear as a bully threatens him, while his friend, Marc Silverman, is being beaten by another bully. Jack attempts to intervene, resulting in him getting a black eye from the bully.

Later on, Jack explains the fight to his father, who tells Jack about his day at the hospital over a glass of whiskey on the rocks. Christian says that he's able to cope with the difficult job of surgeon because he "has what it takes." He claims that he can make life or death decisions daily, because even when he fails, he can live with the consequences. He concludes that Jack should not "decide," because if he failed, he wouldn't "have what it takes".
Sounds a lot like Jack preparing for another instance in the future when he'll need to sacrifice himself for a friend, doesn't it? Like when he has to beat the big bad bully Locke in the season finale. Of course, now he has "what it takes."

Also, look at what happens on island this episode:
Jack finds the suited man at the edge of the jungle, and when the man turns around, it is revealed to be his father. After recovering from his shock, Jack chases the man into the jungle. As Jack runs further into the jungle, his father disappears and reappears several times, and the pursuit is punctuated several times by the adding machine sound of the Monster. The chase culminates when Jack sees his father closer than he has appeared before, and runs toward him full force, almost as if to tackle him. Christian disappears once more, leaving Jack to fall down a rocky hill, rolling off the side of a cliff.
The smoke monster admitted appearing as Christian in this episode. In that case, this is most certainly one of the first instances of the monster trying to kill one of Jacob's candidates. And he follows the rules. He tries to get Jack to kill himself by luring him to leap to his death. Luckily, John Locke is there to save the day.

Then I looked at "Do No Harm":
Jack sits on the edge of the hotel pool, soaking his feet, with a half full bottle of alcohol. His father walks up from behind and joins him. Jack is still having trouble writing his vows. He's anxious that he may not make a good husband, and that he may have only proposed to Sarah in the first place because he saved her life. His father offers, "Commitment is what makes you tick, Jack. The problem is that you're just not good at letting go."
If I have to point out the parallels to Christian and Jack's last moments together in the series finale, then you didn't watch.

This was also the episode of Aaron's birth, which factored heavily in the series finale. But most of all, it reminded me of all the people Jack has promised to fix, save, and rescue over the years. For the first 5 seasons plus, he's mostly failed at that. They mostly got killed. But in the finale, he does what he said he would do all along. By saving the light, he does save them. He allows their souls to enter the light and whatever lays beyond it. Otherwise their afterlife would have been darkness.

Finally, I looked at "Stranger In A Strange Land": You know the finale is really something when it even makes the worst episode of Lost make more sense: Achara, who sees people as they really are, can see Jack's destiny to be a Jacob-like figure. "He walks among us, but he is not one of us." Why does he get attacked and spit on when the community finds out about his tattoo? Well, maybe because Jacob was such a bastard at ruling the island, they think Jack will be too. How do any of them know any of this? Easy. They're Others who have left the island.

One last thought. I agree the finale had its issues. There's a lot that didn't get resolved on screen, and there was needless obscurity and frustratingly secretive characters. And we all wanted so badly for everyone to have been alive, and jughead to have worked, that it was sad to find out that indeed, "What Happened, Happened." But... that was Lost. Whatever sadness we may feel about Ji-Yeon being an orphan (personally, I like to think that Hurley looked after her from afar), the ending made it clear that one day, she will be united with her parents, like Jack was with his father. That's Lost's message: that life isn't over at death. No matter how much "they fight, they destroy," every soul has a chance at redemption. It only ends once.

Of course, all of this is just interpretation. But its an easy one to make. And I'm very impressed that in these older episodes, even in seasons that people thought were weak, there are things that can be explained by the final season. I have a feeling that by watching Lost from the beginning, a lot more will come together.

That's all. I'm spent. Happy Lost Re-Watching, Everyone!

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