Monday, June 07, 2010

Looking back at Lost

We've had a couple of weeks for things to settle after the Lost finale episode. Looking back at it, we can see that each season had a general theme:

Season One - Where are we?
Season Two - Pushing Buttons
Season Three - Meet the Others
Season Four - The Freighter
Season Five - Return to the island
Season Six - Everyone dies

When you consider the show by season instead of by episode then season six represents a clear break with the rest of the show. Up until then they held out the possibility of a scientific explanation for everything. Granted their science didn't meet high school levels, but at least they pretended that there was some science behind the show. Magnetism was given a lot of the credit, especially for healing people and time travel. Even the smoke monster could be repealed through science (sonic towers).

The final season abandoned almost all pretense to science. Jacob and his mother explained the island in mystical terms which all turned out to be true. They didn't even try to explain how a stone plug in a pool of water caused the glow or how manipulating the light and water could cause the island to shift in time and space.

Exposure to extreme electro-magnetic radiation caused Desmond to become aware of the sideways time but this turned out to be some version of an afterlife.

The sideways time was the biggest cheat of the show. The implication was that it was a parallel world created by detonating an explosive in the pool of magnetism that the hatch was built over. At the very end we found out that it was really some sort of consensual afterlife. The producers had promised that the island was not an afterlife. Having non-island time turn out to be an afterlife was a cheap trick.

The show ended in a fit of symmetry. It began with Jack waking up in the bamboo grove then seeing the dog and the shoe suspended from a tree. As he died, Jack passed the shoe and the dog lay beside him as he died.

Possibly the biggest disappointment in the show is the idea that a stone plug in a glowing pool is so important. This raises too many questions about who built the pool and the plug in the first place.

The producers say that the show was never about the plot. It was about the people. They were all "lost" when they arrived and it is true, the whole cast had been nothing but losers in the outside world. Locke tried to point this out at the end of the third season - they had nothing to return to. Jack didn't listen, but then Jack was always wrong.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lost was fairly good up until the last episode.