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!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost Scenes From The Lost Series Finale, "The End"

Some people don't think the Lost Finale gave closure to a lot of things. And they're right. A lot is left very open ended (ironic, considering the last five minutes is the death of all the characters). That got me thinking. The finale was two and a half hours. What if it was three? What would have been wrapped up in the missing scenes from the last episode of Lost?

Here, exclusively on Adam's Life, I have the deleted scenes from the Lost finale, "The End". You won't even find this on Carlton and Damon's personal laptops:
[Instead of Miles and Richard finding Lapidus alive in the water, we see Lapidus first, washing up alone on shore. He finds a discarded Ajira water bottle and drinks thirstily. He turns to see Seth Norris, the original pilot of Oceanic 815, standing next to him.]

Seth Norris
The Pilots Finally Meet

SETH NORRIS: Hello Frank.

LAPIDUS: [jumps] Jesus! Seth? Are you… are you…

SETH: Dead? Well. Yes. In a way, I guess I am.

LAPIDUS: What are you doing here?

SETH: What are YOU doing here, Frank?

LAPIDUS: [pauses] To find you.

SETH: Why?

LAPIDUS: Because I didn't believe you were dead.

SETH: Well now you know that I am. And someone else needs to know too.

[Seth reaches down, takes off his wedding ring, hands it to Lapidus]

SETH: You understand?

LAPIDUS: I understand.

SETH: Now you have to hurry if you want to catch up with Miles and Richard.

LAPIDUS: I don't know where they are. I don't know where I am.

SETH: They're at the docks on the other side of the island. And they're leaving soon.

LAPIDUS: How do I get there in time?

SETH: The same way the Others do. [dramatic pause] Use the tunnels. Come. I'll show you.

[As they walk away, Seth puts his arm around Lapidus.]

SETH: Oh, and you have to bring a few people with you. You'll love the woman. She's a flight attendant.

[Cut to Miles and Richard preparing the outrigger to sail to Hydra Island. Lapidus reaches them before they can leave, Cindy the flight attendant, Zack and Emma in tow. There, on the beach, he convinces them to fly off the island, not blow the plane up]

Cindy, Zack and Emma
Cindy, Zack and Emma Get Off The Island

[Rest of finale goes exactly as aired, until:]

Closed Eye
[Jack's eye closes.]

[After Jack's eye closes, the scene changes to the Ajira plane.]

KATE: What do we tell people when we land? We took off with all those people on board. Now it's just us. They'll ask us questions. And we can't tell them about the island.

MILES: Maybe we can land someplace where no one will notice.

LAPIDUS: You know any airports that won't notice a beat up, presumed lost 747 landing on their runway?

[Desmond has a realization. He smiles.]

DESMOND: Can you fly this thing to Antarctica, brutha?

LAPIDUS: If these hydraulics can hold out, I just might. Why?

DESMOND: A friend of mine's got a runway there.

Desmond Smirking
Desmond has a plan

[The scene suddenly switches to a landscape of snowy peaks in blizzard conditions. The camera pulls back to reveal that it's a shot through a window. We see the inside of a fairly small shelter filled with equipment and laundry hanging from lines. THE SAME SHACK FROM THE SEASON 2 FINALE. One man is getting coffee while another man waits at a chess board. Man #2 kicks something.]

The Listening Station
Remember These Guys? They find Desmond again.

MAN #2: Quem quebrou isso, hein?

MAN #1: Não se preocupe. Tá quebrado. Destruí sua defesa. Essa será sua última vez que verá "o" torre. [Subtitled from Portuguese: I crush your defense and that is the last you shall see of your rook. ]

MAN #2: Parte do plano, meu amigo. Tudo parte do plano. [Subtitle: All part of the plan, my friend.]

MAN #1: Ah, então seu plano deve ser perder. Agora, por favor. [Subtitle: Ah. Then your plan must be to lose. Please. Your move.]

[Man #2 looks over a piece of equipment. We can see a screen that says Electromagnetic Anomaly Detected.]

MAN #1: O quê? [Subtitle: What? ]

MAN #2: Há quanto tempo tá fazendo isto? [Subtitle: How long has it been doing that? ]

[Man #1 goes over to the equipment and hurriedly looks through a book.]

MAN #2: É isso, não é? A gente não percebeu de novo. Eles vão matar a gente! [Subtitle: That's it, isn't it? We missed it again... ]

MAN #1: Fica quieto! Nós não o perdemos! [Subtitle: We didn't miss it! ]

[An alarm starts beeping and Man #1 goes to a computer screen.]

MAN #2: Fala! Fala de novo que não é um alarme falso. Fala, fala de novo. Fala que eu... [Subtitle: So it's not a false alarm this time?! ]

MAN #1: Cala a boca e chama ajuda!! [Subtitle: Just shut up and call!! ]

[We see a bedroom nightstand and hear the phone on it ringing.]

Penelope Picks Up The Phone
Penelope picks up the phone.


MAN #2: Ms. Hume?


MAN #2: It's us. I think we found him.

[Scene changes to Afterlife Universe, the Universal Church. Our Losties are at the door of white light, ready to walk through.]

[We cut back to the original universe, to a door opening. Claire's mom. She's stunned to see Claire standing in front of her. Aaron peeks out from behind her. Claire and Claire's Mom embrace. Claire sees Aaron and cries tears of joy. ]

Claire's Mom
Claire, Her Mom, and Aaron Finally Reunite

[Cut to Afterlife Universe, the Universal Church. Claire and Charlie step into the light.]

[We cut to another door opening. It's Cassidy, the mother of Sawyer's child. She's stunned to find Sawyer standing in front of her. Clementine comes up behind her, curious about the man at the door.]

Cassidy & Sawyer
Sawyer Finally Meets His Daughter

[Cut to, Aft. Universe, Universal Church, Sawyer and Juliet step into the light.]

[We cut to another door opening. It's Miles, exiting a black car. Miles goes to the graveside of his mother, places on top of it a torn patch—a Swan station patch. Pierre Chang's Swan station patch.]

Chang's Swan Patch
Miles makes peace with his father.

[Cut to Aft. Universe. Pierre Chang walks through to light]

[Cut to another door opening. Seth Norris's grieving widow. Lapidus hands her Seth Norris's wedding ring.]

Seth Norris's Wedding Ring
Lapidus delivers Seth Norris's wedding ring to his widow.

[Behind Lapidus, we see Cindy sitting in his car waiting for him, smiling.]

[Cut to Aft. Universe. Seth Norris walks into light.]

[Cut to a door opening. A barn door. An elderly Richard emerges, holding a pitchfork. He tills the fields, sweating. Eloise Hawking, now the same age as him, and hair down for once, lovingly hands him a glass of water. He drinks thirstily, hands the glass back, and as she walks back to house, he looks off into the distance and fingers the cross around his neck.]

Old Alpert
Richard and Eloise! Didn't see that one coming!

[Cut to Universal church, Richard walks into the light]

[Cut to a door opening. A plane door. Out comes a young Asian girl. Awaiting her is Desmond, Penelope and little Charlie. They're adopting Ji-Yeon. A woman we've never seen comes out of the plane two, eyes searching. She sees Zack and Emma, runs to them. They all embrace. Zack, Emma and their mother are reunited at last.]

At The Airport
Children finally meet their mother. Ji-Yeon has a family

[Cut to Universal Church. Desmond and Penelope walk into the light, followed by Jin and Sun.]

[Finally, Cut to a door opening. It's Kate, leaving her bathroom at home. Her face a mixture of fear and hope. She looks down at what she holds in her hands. A pregnancy test. It's positive. She smiles, cries.]

So THAT'S who Jack's son is in the afterlife timeline!

[Cut to Jack and Kate, walking into the light together]

Jack & Kate
A Happy Ending For Jack and Kate

Now that's what I call closure.
Lost: The End

Eyes Shut

After six seasons, Lost is finally over. How was the ending? Two hours and 25 minutes of awesomeness... and then five minutes of confusion, greatly impacted by what I assume is ABC's decision to pair the closing credits with a shot of Season 1's Oceanic 815 fuselage chillin on the beach.

Warning, Spoilers ahead.

Here's my interpretation, after a night's sleep and a whole lot of thinking in circles.

There is an island. Hidden on the fringes of the real world, in a place where time and space are irrelevant. On this island is the Source. As the woman who raised Jacob and the MIB said in the Season 6 episode "Across The Sea", the light at the center of the island is Source of everything: "life, death, and rebirth."

In the last five minutes of the finale, Christian Shepherd reveals to Jack, and us, that Sideways-World we've been seeing this last season is really the afterlife-- a sort of meeting place before souls can "move on". Move on to where? Well, that might depend on your religious beliefs, but whatever is on the other side of that light, it's clearly either some form of heaven or reincarnation. Think of the Flash-Sideways as really a Fast-Forward Flash-Forward... what we're seeing is happening at some time far in the future when all the characters we know have all died.

In this last episode, we saw how necessary this flash-sideways afterlife was: it allowed these people, some of whom died without their purpose in life fulfilled, some who died without saying goodbye, some of whom had other unflinished business, to resolve their issues, to reunite and remember the joys and adventures they had throughout their life. For someone like Ben, who had his childhood stolen and his life manipulated for the worse, the afterlife is a place where he can be a hero and a real father. For someone like Jack, it's where he can finally get some resolution with his father. For Locke, its a place where he can spend happiness with Helen again. For Sayid, its a place where he can learn to finally forgive himself. Etc. Their realizations may have been aided by Desmond, Hurley, and others, but it doesn't matter: they happen all the same, and when they do, the characters can finally move on. They're not trapped, like Michael, the whispers, and the ghost we see Miles talk to back in the real world (remember when he found that money in the kid's hiding spot?)

Now back to the island. The Source, as a line of defense, conceals its location on the island (and the location of the island itself). But the island does exist in the real world (otherwise, how could one travel back and forth from it?). So its inevitable that people will find it. And clearly, some should. Because the island, as Jacob said in "Ab Aterno," is a real place where people can change their lives. Where their past doesn't matter. Where they can work out their issues BEFORE death. For the Losties, it was the place where they learned what kind of people they really were.

But as the Woman warned Jacob and the MIB, some people shouldn't come to the island. Because if they got too close to the Source and destroyed it... well, goodbye life, death, rebirth, everything. If the light here dies, if Smokey succeeds in destroying the island, or leaves it without a protector to be destroyed by some curious man, the heaven or reincarnation that relies on the island's source is gone. If the light goes out, then there is so flash-sideways afterlife, or great white light beyond that. No cloud blanketed heaven or Buddhist reincarnation. No happy cast-party in a all-religions church and a door of light opened by Christian Shepherd. Just...


Or, Dead is Dead.

So the island needs protectors. And since it exists in the real world, its protectors are human beings who come to the island either by fate (Desmond), by their own exploration (Dharma, Charles Widmore) or by invitation from the island's current protector (the Losties and the Candidates among them). MIB didn't want the job, and he almost led to the island's demise. But Jack did want the job, and he sacrificed his life to do it. He closes his eyes, and lies down, in the same spot where he opened his eyes and got up in the Pilot episode. Dying, now that he's completed his purpose: saving heaven and rebirth. Saving life.

That's what the Losties accomplished on the island. What they needed to accomplish all along. The island wouldn't let them go before because it needed them, all of them, especially Jack, to save and protect the source, which was in peril due to Jacob and the MIB's sibling rivalry. Once the Losties did their duty, they were free--to go to the afterlife, to return back to the real world, or, in Hurley and Ben's case, to stay and protect the island.

At the church of all religions, Hurley thanks Ben for being a great #2. It's clear that Hurley and Ben have not been island partners for the mere seconds it seemed in the episode. As Christian Shepherd says to Jack, the afterlife is a place where time doesn't matter. We're supposed to realize that we're seeing Hurley and Ben again at the end of their unseen reign on the island. Did they help heal lost souls who came by fate to the island's shores? Did they create a new band of Others? Was a new smoke monster unleashed? Did they bring their replacements to the island? We don't know what happened. Only that apparently their governance of the island was successful, and the gooey white light of the cycle of life is still intact.

We also don't know what lives Kate, Sawyer, Miles, Richard, Lapidus, Claire and Desmond lived when they returned from Lost island. Bothersome, but it's fun to speculate. How would the real world cope with the very odd appearance of a mostly-empty presumed crashed airplane, filled with only two passengers of the original flight (Kate and Lapidus), one person presumably lost in a freighter disappearance (Miles), two people presumably lost on a crashed Oceanic 815 flight (Claire and Sawyer), a guy who was last seen in a hospital bed recovering from a gunshot wound (Desmond) and a guy who works with a mysterious organization called Mittelos Bioscience and just so happens to be hundreds of years old? The press would not be so quick to dub these the "Ajira Six" and accept whatever incredible story they made up. Did Kate and Sawyer shack up? Doubtful considering the afterlife scenes we saw. But maybe Sawyer became a good father to Clementine. Maybe Kate helped Claire raise Aaron... and adopted Jin and Sun's baby Ji-Yeon. Maybe Desmond, Penelope and little Charlie inherited the deceased Widmore's millions and bought a sports team (they do like running in stadiums). Heck, maybe Richard went back to work at Mittelos and came up with a hip new line of eyeliner for their cosmetics department. That's all stuff for the sequel.

No, it doesn't answer everything. Why didn't Mom just let the MIB leave after Jacob was chosen to succeed her? What was Widmore trying to do, really? What's the deal with Walt? And plenty is up for interpretation. I'm still not really getting why the island is underneath the ocean in the afterlife. Maybe its because that's the afterlife of the island, when it does someday finally expire (hopefully no day soon).

But this episode did answer the big thing. What was it all about? The Losties came to the island to save the source of heaven and earth from destruction, and their mission was accomplished. In the process, their lives were transformed. They found fulfillment, love, and forgiveness. And that's what they needed from that very first season. The loop has been completed.

And most importantly...

Maggie Grace
SHE'S BACK!!!!!!!!!!!

One last thing. Jimmy Kimmel sucks. He teased us with three "alternate endings" and I stayed up to watch them, only to find that they were three limp, unoriginal parodies that were already done better earlier this week by funnier comic troupes and you-tubers. Last time I'm ever watching Kimmel.

But after 6 seasons... I'm (sorta) satisfied with the way the series played out. I would have done a lot differently, but I'm not angry at The End. How 'bout you?

More theories from around the web:

Blogger Robz888 has a Narnia/Oz theory.

EW's Doc Jensen pretty much agrees with me.

Emily from NYMag resides in haterville.

The boys at Slate do not approve either.

Alan Sepinwall is a fan, and sort of figured out the sideways universe before anyone.

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