Monday, May 24, 2010
Joe also likes LOST
I did write up some thoughts on last night's LOST finale, however. I decided that if I had to justify posting this on a gaming blog, I guess I could always refer back to the "LOST: Via Domus" game, but I'd rather not. Be warned for spoilers, of course.
People are complaining about what we already knew: the mythology of the island was not going to be addressed and answered in the finale. The producers outright told us this, so I don't know why so many people are docking the finale for that reason. The "Man of Science" and "Man of Faith" analogy works perfectly for the finale. Me? I'm a man of faith. I watched this television show for six seasons not because I thought the Dharma logo looked cool and wanted to know more about it, and not because I wanted to see Richard’s four-toed foot. I watched it tonight for the same reason I did in Season 1: the characters drew me in. The story was about them and their island encounters, not just about the many island mysteries, whether we want to admit it or not. The mysteries pulled us in each week for sure, but for the first three seasons, we all experienced the "flashbacks" that gave these characters a living and breathing place in our minds. Characters died and fans would mourn. Charlie's death in the Season 3 finale "Through the Looking Glass" was one of the saddest, as Charlie left his love Claire and her son Aaron on the beach knowing that he would not return.
At the end of that episode, the storytelling stepped up a notch. Driving the narrative further in the form of "flashforwards" now, Season Four was one of the most interesting departures from the LOST formula, while still staying true to the show. The writers were successfully able to present a "flashforward" of our favorite characters post-island while using these as the perfect aid for continuing the island-side story. The events told would have been perfectly fine and coherent if they had followed their chronological order, but the structure of the show lends mystery to the character's motives and continuously kept me as a viewer thinking about the events that were taking place in the show instead of viewing at face value. For instance, in the Season 4 finale "There's No Place Like Home," John Locke watches a Dharma instructional video about "time travelling bunnies." Earlier in the season, Ben Linus is eating a rabbit and asks, almost comedically now, "Did [the rabbit] have a number on it?" Small nuances like this give viewers a reason to dust off their earlier LOST seasons on DVD/Blu-ray sooner rather than later, as well as the new context that tonight’s finale will certainly bestow to the show as a whole.
LOST has always been about the characters, and tonight was no different. Some may have a difficult time accepting the post-mortem reunion of these characters, while some may dispute the semi-religious tone of that reunion. The series was ending tonight. We couldn’t get another cliffhanger due to obvious reasons, but we got the next best thing: a resolution to these character’s stories. I had a feeling that what once was the “alternate reality” was introduced and we began to see characters deceased from seasons ago, that we would see a happy ending like this. The story that LOST set out to tell from the beginning was concluded in the only way it could be. Regardless of the plot devices and unanswered mysteries from over the show’s six seasons, I remained rooted with one simple thought throughout the show’s final hours: these characters are my Constant.