Monday, May 24, 2010

:::This Is The End...Lost:::

This is a heck of a long post about Lost, which you may or may not care about. Ye have been warned. I may write a follow-up post to this if I get more ideas, or read something interesting someplace else.

I saw this reader comment on a Lost article that I read today, and found that it summed up my general reaction to the finale --

Mon 05/24/10 1:04 AM

I enjoyed the finale… but I’m left feeling like the finale didn’t fit the history of the show. The first 5 seasons seemed to have been revealed to all be about the ‘light vs dark’… and this final season had been building the big showdown with the MIB. Then the finale comes along and diverts the attention to all the reunions. I agree that it was great to see all of the ‘awakening’ moments… but it seemed that all of the tension and mythology that had been building was wasted. A quick fight on the cliff top, plug the hole again and it’s over. From a character point of view it was a hugely satisfying finale… however the island story seemed to fizzle to nothing."

That being said, I haven't read any in depth analyses (is that the correct pluralization?) of last night's series finale. These are just my thought on the episode. They may or may not be true, and I may have some details wrong, as I'm prone to forget things.

I feel...

Emotionally Manipulated, Big Time...

The awakening and reunion moments were nice, but looking back on the finale I felt like I was being distracted from all the other stories, questions, and mysteries that had been developed over the past 6 years. Was this finale really the best possible way to end the 6 years of smoke monsters, Hurley birds, four-toed statues, and time travel? I don't think you can say it was.

It was, however, a fantastic finale to all of the emotions that were built up in season 1. Honestly, all of the tears that I shed last night were based on season 1 memories. That's where my heart has always been, and I think the producers did an excellent job of wrapping that up for us.


So much, so much of Lost was all about Island hocus pocus. They dropped the ball big time when it came to finishing any of those story arcs.

As a series, Lost suffered from some poor planning (or lack thereof) and story management. I'm 100% fine with the show ending on a character-heavy episode, but the writers should have shifted the primary focus away from the Dharma/Others/Widmore/Castaways/Locke battle royale crap much, much earlier on and started answering Island mystery questions at that point. Had they done this, by the time the finale came along the Island mysteries would have been put to rest, and many of us wouldn't be so disappointing that the finale focused pretty much exclusively on the wrap up of the character arcs with zero nods to the wild goose chases that they took us on for these six years.

I never expected to receive all of the answers to the questions the series posed, but I did, absolutely yes, expect some. But...

I feel...

Ok With Not Knowing Everything...

Because I guess none of it matters anymore. Who cares why Walt was special, or what the deal was with pregnant women, or how a shining light can turn someone into a Smoke Monster? The writers of Lost seem to be telling us that the answer to the show's mysteries, both big and small, is simply, 'because.' Or at least, 'In this time and place for the characters, the answer is simply, 'because.''

Even though I would have preferred to know more about the Island, I'm fine with it. If I had to leverage knowing the answers to the Island's mysteries against the emotional payoff we were offered from seeing the castaways reunited, safe, happy, and progressing, I would choose the latter.

I feel...

Happy To The Point of Tears About...

Claire having her baby and saying, 'It's Aaron!' I bawled. I knew all along they would take care of Aaron (and Ji Yeon).

Claire and Charlie remembering each other. I bawled uncontrollably. I posit that they were the best Lost couple ever.

Jack telling Desmond that he had done enough, then telling him that he would put the stone back into place. Oh, man. So heart wrenching. That was a moment for all of the Desmond fans out there (of whom I occasionally considered myself). It was good turnabout for battle weary Desmond.

Locke, oh Locke. Freedom and peace at last. But, he's moving on without Helen!

Jack's Island death was very well played, in my opinion. Completely epic. I loved it. I thought it was beautiful. I loved that Vincent was there (who else thinks that Vincent and Jack's son were somehow connected?). I was so happy that he was ok, completely and totally ok, at long last. I was strangely proud of him for taking himself back to the place he started and laying himself down to peacefully die. I loved that he smiled when the plane flew over head. All in all, I just downright loved that whole moment.

Everyone moving on together. I'm glad the main players were there, and I'm glad that they were going someplace positive as healed and whole people.

Locke, again. Just everything about Locke. God bless John Locke. Seriously, he carried the show, and the writers deserve much praise for the way they handled his character.

I feel..

Sad Because...

I really, really wanted Ben to go inside the chapel. I know he did some terrible things, but, come on, so did Sayid! It made me cry that he wasn't moving on with everyone else, but I loved the moment that they gave him with Locke. That tore my heart out and ripped it to shreds. Actually, I'm tearing up right now just thinking about it. Even though I was sad, I was also proud of him for taking his time with the whole process and trying to make peace with himself.

Jack died alone. I thought it was a beautiful moment, but it still made me sad. More than any other moment in the finale, that scene really drove home the point that it's all over -- the series, the stories, the characters, everything.

I feel...

Frustrated That...

Desmond's theory about letting the light drain didn't work. I really want that to happen. So, that stream is just sitting there again, ready to be destroyed by some other bad seed? Not happy about that. I've realized that as much as I loved the mysteries surrounding the Island, I really wanted the Island to stop being the Island at the end of the finale. I wanted all the magic to disappear, I wanted the spells to be broken.

The show was so Jack centric, and so was the finale. At the same time, I have to admit that it was an easy way to neatly bookend a story that bounced all over the map.

The music was trying so hard to elicit my emotions. It was beautiful, no question about it, but after a certain point I felt like it was too much. The finale was packed with poignant moments that didn't always need such heavy scoring.

Flocke just kinda...died. While I'm happy that they didn't waste time on a huge battle between him and Jack, I guess I just wanted something a little bigger.

'Yes!' Moments...

The silhouette shot of Jack and Flocke on the cliff. Jack jumping down the cliff towards Flocke all Brad Pitt in Troy style. Hawe-some.

I loved, loved the scene between Hurley and Ben outside of the cave. I loved what Ben said to Hurley about not having to do things the way Jacob did. I thought that was awesome, and, to me it proved that these 'rules' aren't universal truths. Just as you can step into them, you can step out of them.

I loved that Hurley gave Ben what he so desperately needed, what we all need, really -- not to be number one on our own, but to be someone's number 2. To be needed by someone you can trust. To have a purpose and the chance to prove yourself and seek redemption.

I love that Jack knew that Hurley was meant to be the long-term Island guardian. I love that the key to Hurley's leadership was just to be nice to everyone.

Crap, I'm crying again!

I liked the idea that the characters had created the Sideways World by the power of their heart's desires and the need to find a place of peace where they could find each other and move on to something better. I think we all have a sideways world that we've built for ourselves. It's a place to find the people we're connected to, to start what couldn't be started before, to finish what couldn't be finished, to forgive and ask forgiveness, and on and on.

I laughed when...

Hurley said Jacob was worse than Yoda.

Miles said he didn't believe in much, but he did believe in duct tape.

Sawyer/James met the Kwons in the hospital room. I loved the look on Jin's face when he addressed Sawyer as 'detective.' Hilarious.

I Wonder...

When the next group of Islanders will leave.

Didn't Desmond tell Eloise that Daniel would eventually leave, just not with him? I'm glad the producers gave us the comfort of knowing that all of our favorites will eventually have their own departing experience.

My thoughts On Time Travel/The Nuts and Bolts of Sideways World...

Well, Christian pretty much summed it up. Where is here? When is here? I believe that everyone is still tied to the reality that we know. Kate, Sawyer, Lapidus, Miles and Richard got off the island and lived. Hurley and Ben stayed and ran things together ('You were a great number one.' 'You were a great number two.'Oh, the tears.) Jack died. He joined the ranks of the other castaways who had previously died -- Charlie, Boon, Shannon, Locke, Sayid, etc. That's where they all stand in what we would call the present.

As far as all the people in Sideways world, as Christian said, some of them are dead, some of them are alive and will die many years after Jack did. I don't think it matters in Sideways World if you are alive or dead in the present. I don't think Sideways World is connected to 'time' as we know it. Alive or dead, the whole group was moving on at the same time. I think 'leaving' meant letting go of the Island experience and all of their emotional baggage. I think it meant going someplace where they could be free. Where, specifically, that is in space and time, I don't know, and I don't think that matters. Are Kate and Sawyer 'alive' now someplace? Probably, since we saw the plane leave the Island. But I think that Kate and Sawyer were also sitting in that church and moving on with their alive and dead castaway counterparts.

So, are they in two places at once? Island/current reality and Sideways World? Again, I don't think it matters. It's one eternal round spiritually speaking. I think the writers were trying to tell us that soul can't be confined by time and space, island or airplane, hatch or church building. Existence is just that, existence. We exist. Wherever we are across the universe, that's where we are. We are the sum total of each one of our parts, wherever those parts may be.

Yeah, that pretty much sums up what I think about the 'Where are they?' issue -- The individual soul is the sum of the parts, and those parts don't have to be together in the same time or space.

My Thoughts On Destiny...

The Island was a crucible for the castaways. Was it solely Jacob's will that brought them there, or did a fate that worked in Jacob's life also work in theirs to tie them to that mysterious place? I like that idea better, that Jacob never controlled their circumstances -- at least not in the eternal long run -- that something bigger was at play. Jacob may have brought them to the Island, and while the Island was the backdrop for their experiences, I honestly believe that each of the castaways had it in themselves to reach the same spiritual wholeness off the Island that they accomplished through their experiences on the Island. I just think that the Island was the best place for them to do so, or even better, a place of last resort for them. Mother said that each person has the Light inside of them, and I think that if people nurture that light it will take them wherever it is they eventually want/need to go.

Some people say that Lost argues against destiny, and I may agree with that on some points, but I think the series argues strongly in favor of the destiny of progression, meaning that the natural direction of the human spirit is towards something brighter and happier than the present. A higher plane of self-awareness is waiting for all of us somewhere out there, and we will head there with the people that helped us achieve that state.

So, I only have two questions left...

Is some part of each of us trying to get off an island somewhere?

When will our awakening come?



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

:::A Way Too Long Post About 'Across the Sea':::

I know everyone has been waiting for it, so here is my reaction to last week's episode of Lost --

Well, there you go.

It tried to have the gravitas of Ab Aeterno, but didn't quite get there.

I didn't hate it, but I didn't love, love it.

I did love Allison Janney. Oh, CJ.

Child actors make things...difficult.

-- I laughed out loud when baby Jacob was born and he came out mugging for the camera. Hilarious.

-- I do think it's interesting that all young Smokey wanted was the ability to make his own choices, and now present Jacob is all about letting people make their own decisions. However, regardless of this, they are still both manipulators. Yeah, I do think Jacob is a manipulator. It breaks my heart to say it.

-- Jacob. Wow. So disappointing. So mamby pamby. So naive. So dim-witted. You might even call him weak. What the heck was up with that?! Play the man, Jacob!

-- I didn't think the light looked cheesy. I liked it. I really wanted someone to throw some random things down there just to see what would happen. What do you think is producing the light? I think it's one thousand little Hobbits with wee bitty flashlights.

-- The Source and the pool at the temple must be part of the same system.

-- Hey, maybe there's not something down there, but someone (besides the Hobbits with flashlights).

-- If the light is so good, why can't they go down there? Is it a timing or authority issue, like it was with the fruit in the Garden of Eden? How can something that makes you feel warm bring about a fate worse than death?

Or maybe Mother is lying.

Or maybe (probably) she's off her Lithium.

-- The most interesting subtext I saw during the episode was the tension between knowledge and experience vs. naivete and innocence (paging William Blake...). You can't stay in the Garden forever. Life with Mother wasn't going anywhere but straight to Crazy Town, Kathy Bates style.

-- Best line of the episode: "Jacob, everything dies!"

-- I enjoyed the break from the regular characters last week. I'm not really into the war games going on between Flocke, Widmore, and Jack and his posse. So much time wasted on their tactical maneuvering, it's real a shame.

-- In my opinion, Rose and Bernard have the right idea -- go off on your own and let everyone else play this 'game', or whatever it is that's going on. I do believe that the island only has as much power over you as you give it. I do believe that you can remove yourself from the arena, so to speak. It's like a Chinese finger trap -- as soon as you stop struggling, you're free.

-- From ABC's recap of the episode in reference to Mother's death, "There's no shock, no pain."

-- Remember when Ben was confronting Jacob in The Incident? It's seemed so rude that Jacob would say, 'What about you?', but now I'm wondering if Jacob might have wanted Ben to finish him off. I mean, it wasn't his first choice, but a turn of events made it unavoidable so he just decided to go with it. Kind of like Mother did.

And now, to wrap up my musings on 'Across the Sea', here are some general life lessons --

1. You never give Crazy any details
2. You never give Crazy any explanations
3. You never, ever let Crazy say goodbye!!!

For reals, dude? Are you that dumb? I don't care if she is your fake momma, you never let Crazy say goodbye!

If you care to, here are some quotes from a great review by Doc Jensen with EW:

"I do think becoming The Island's vanguard is a choice. I'm beginning to suspect that Fake Locke was right about at least one thing: The Island doesn't demand a guardian. It may seem like it needs one — but there's no charter that requires one."

"...the history of human catastrophe on The Island is comprised of eras of dogmatic, abusive interpretation run amok."

"I think many fans have assumed that ''the rules'' exist as external truths that regulate all life on The Island, mortal or immortal, human or god-like. And maybe some of them are. I think fans have assumed that The Island possesses an orderly if complex internal logic that can be puzzled out. And to some degree, maybe it does. But I think Lost was telling us something when they had Jacob and Boy In Black arguing over the proper way to play Senet. BIB said: ''One day, you can make up your own game and everyone else will have to follow your rules.'' (BIB took delight in his power... but in that moment, I was reminded of the scene in ''The Substitute,'' when Ghost Jacob stood over Fake Locke and reminded him of the rules of his game, and Fake Locke raged: ''Don't tell me what I can't do!'' Turnabout's a bitch, ain't it, Nameless?)"

"The rules are, for the most part, pure whimsy — an expression of the unique interests and will of The Island's guardian. They are arbitrary inventions of The Island's custodian. And I suspect he or she can reinvent them any time he or she wants."

"Jacob's touchy-feeling tampering and his idealistic redemption schemes have undermined castaway free will and kept them alive longer than what is right and proper. Seen from this point of view, MIB's assassinations are more like mercy killings and affirmations of the natural order of things. I'm not excusing MIB's actions. But if my assessment of Jacob is correct, I think MIB's critique is valid."

"And with his fire and his iron and his tools and his science, he found one, hidden behind an old stone wall. Was this a valid access point to the ''light under The Island'' — or was it unsanctioned and dangerous short cut? After suffering through the nose bleeds and time travel death of season 5, I would say the latter."

"Then, in a sequence not shown to us, the Man In Black's frail and aging mother apparently threw her strapping adult son over her shoulder, carried him up a ladder, killed all the Roman Others, then filled in the donkey wheel well with rocks. Now, just how the hell did she accomplish that trick? Maybe super-strength is part of the Island guardian package. But is it possible Mother was something of a smoke monster, too?"

"I think she always saw her boys as a means to an end; she just didn't know which one was going to play which part. I truly believe she wanted one of them to become The Island's guardian — but I also think she wanted one of them to put her out of her misery."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

:::The Library/Homeless Shelter:::

Today I went to the library to get my DVDs unlocked, and I saw some interesting things.

1. A book on hold under my oldest sister's name. I wondered if I could tell if my Sarah and this other Sarah had anything in common based on what sort of book it was.

Oh, brother.

2. I saw this book cover...

that looks a heck of a lot like this book cover...

3. I turned into a row of books and thought I saw a picture of myself on one of the shelves.


Weird, weird, weird.

4. This book...

which is the sequel to the much more incendiary, 'There Are No Gays in Iran.'

The End

Friday, May 14, 2010

:::Snapshots -- Friday, May 14th, 2010:::

I really like my hair.
Really, really like my hair.
I used to hate it.

Mother's Day in VA
In the midst of an engaging conversation with myself
whilst the happy couple finishes dinner.

Blind milk chocolate taste test.
Michel Cluizel, you came in dead last!
Gummy, waxy, horrid.
Unblinded, I would have put him first.
Sometimes I think we like things just because we want to be cool.
Green and Black's Organic was excellent.
Nice and dry.

Oh, gosh. Dark chocolate. Blech.
I freely admit to being uncool in this regard.

What you find in a doctor's backseat.

Alas, poor Yorick!

Drinking brains.

New earrings from Darly Bird.

I laugh every. single. time. I hear this song.
Then I start singing,
"My mother bids me bind my hair
With ba-hands uh-of ro-sy huuue!!!"

This woman had on the most beautiful sweater.
The sleeves were made of silk and knife-pleated.

We're full swing into peony season here
in the Mid-Atlantic.

Peonies on the bus.

Reading on the bus.

The multipurpose bathroom sink.
Needs must.

I checked out a few DVDs from the library this week.
Turns out they weren't unlocked properly.
I found a tutorial online to solve my problem.
But it required the use of two high power magnets.
Guess I'll just have to go back to the library.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

:::The Clover the Whole Meadow Over:::

That deadbeat husband of mine forgot Mother's Day again this year.

Mom was right -- I shouldn't have settled.

Happy Mother's Day, Everyone!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

:::My Lost Musings Continue:::

Your comments really got my mind going about different possibilities in these final episodes of Lost. Here are some more of my musings. Don't worry, I won't be blogging about this forever.

Why I wasn't sad about the Kwons dying, and little Ji Yeon being an 'orphan' -- My perspective on Lost is heavily island-centric. Ji Yeon isn't an island character to me, so I'm not to tied to her emotionally. And even though we've been told that dead means dead when it comes to character deaths, that doesn't mean that the dead have ceased to exist in some other fashion (e.g., Christian Shepherd, even Jacob). They may never be mortal again or walk the earth as humans, but they aren't gone. Almost all of the original cast is appearing in the final episode(s). I doubt that all, or any, of those appearances are going to be flashbacks. Jin and Sun may be island dead, but I don't think their story or existence ends there.

Plus, I want to believe that at some point all of the timelines are going to merge, and that island dead doesn't mean that you can't live in the new, everyone together time. I just think that the most important thing is for the island people to take care of island business once and for all, and then everything will turn out for them someplace else. I have a sneaking suspicion that death won't turn out to be such a bad thing after all.

I hope to high heaven that the writers don't pull an Amber Spyglass on us. But, if they do, and Sun and Jin are gone forever, kaput, or anyone is separated across time or space, then we have reason to riot.

Daniel Day Kim gave a good interview about his death, and the Ji Yeon issue here.

Kate -- To be honest, I haven't liked her since the first episode. I thought she fell for Jack way too quickly and way too hard to be reasonable. I also think that their little romance caused them to act selfishly at times, and that Kate's undying faith in Jack allowed him to go unchecked too often as the de facto leader of the group. I was really glad when Sawyer beat the crap out of Jack when they had their little man chat before they tried to set off the bomb. I like Sawyer, what can I say. I feel bad for the guy and it irks me that he's painted as a moron for trying to come up with his own plans for saving everyone. Heaven forbid anyone but the sainted Jack assume a leadership role.

Jack -- I find myself yelling at him the same thing that I always yelled at Harry Potter -- GET OVER IT!!! In both cases, I think the surrounding characters were much more likable and real than the man/boy hero lead. But I still think he's crazy good looking, and he does pull my heart strings from time to time.

Yes, Claire is important because of Aaron. But now I'm wondering if the prophesy about her needing to raise Aaron wasn't so much for Aaron's sake, but for her own. Maybe she needed to raise him so that she wouldn't go cuh-ray-zay, not him. Which leads me back to the idea that Jack and Claire have some great destiny ahead of them. But still, her return to the frontlines is a bit weird.

Anyone else have a crush on Ben? I h-a-t-e-d him at first, but now I love him.

What's Richard up to these days?

Any guesses as to how many characters have their own long con going?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

:::Lost Musings:::

(Sorry, JoJo!)

I'm just thinking out loud here...I have a hard time remembering all the details of this show, so if there's an answer to one of my questions, let me know.

My biggest concern with Lost is that nothing that happened between seasons 1 and 6 really matters now that we've arrived at the end of the series. Right now, so many (but not all) of those details and stories and people just seem like non-essential vehicles for character development and moving the storyline.

Take Daniel Faraday (smooches!), for example. At this point, does he matter? Or, was he just a handy person to introduce in order to explain the time jumping a bit more? Oh yeah, and that parents are evil (does anyone on this show have a good set of parents?).

This showdown between the Flockster and Jacob (has anyone seen him lately?) -- I'm a little sad that everything seems to be boiling down to this cosmic duel they have going. I hope I'm wrong. I just think that things were much more interesting when the show was still in the sci-fi territory and hadn't jumped so far into fantasy. I have my fingers double-triple crossed that the de facto answer to the 'why' questions isn't a simple 'Well, it was just part of Jacob's strategy.'

And can I just say that Kate is my all-time least favorite person on the show, and Jack is pretty boring and unsympathetic (except that sometimes he looks real hot). I hope it doesn't come down to the two of them. Honestly. Go Hurley!

And Charles Widmore, ugh. Hate that guy. Holds zippo interest for me.

Who do you think Adam and Eve are? Someone attached to the show said that their identities speak to the heart of the island. Rose and Bernard seem obvious, but how would they fit into that idea?

Were you sad when Jin and Sun died? Not me. I cried for d-a-y-s when Ethan hung my little Hobbit from a tree, but at this point, I don't have any more tears left for character deaths. At least they're together. And, come on, would you still want to be alive on that island? Answer -- no. I loved them both dearly, but things need to move on and we all know that people are going to be weeded out. See you on the other side, Kwons.

Who are those young boys (or boy?) running through the jungle? It's one actor, but is he portraying twins?

Jacob -- Who the heck is this dude and why does he seem to be stuck in a permanent state of ennui?

(still love him)

Judeo-Christian, Greek, or Egyptian -- what mythology is playing the biggest role? None? All? I'm kind of hoping there's not a 'god' figure waiting at the end of the series in final judgment. I just think that would be too much of a pat answer to everything that's happened, like the 'Jacob's Plan' problem I mentioned earlier.

What's behind those stinking whispers?! I know someone gave an explanation at some point, but do we believe it?

Desmond -- I know I should care, but...I don't know. I really liked him at the beginning, but then I got bored with him. His quest for Penny seemed like a m-a-j-o-r distraction to me and I never really got into it. I guess I only care about my Oceanic 815 people. That scene with him and Sayid at the well was pre-tty awesome though. So maybe I do care, but just a little. Or a lot.

Do you think it will come down to Jack and Claire? Interesting...Why does she matter so much all of the sudden?

Dude, do you think Adam and Eve are Aaron and Ji Yeon?

But the only thing that I really care about is this -- a lot of people are supposing that the last scene of the show will be Jack and Flocke sitting on the beach and Flocke will say, 'Do you have any idea how much I want to kill you?' For the record, I think that would be capital 'l' Lame. L-A-M-E. Puh-lease.

And I hope that somehow, somewhere, Locke and Helen get to be together forever, cuz, man, dude deserves it.

And that Hurley rules the earth.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

:::NieNie Mormon Message:::

Stephanie Nielson is the kind of wife and mother that I would want to be. She isn't just living her life as herself plus a husband and kids, she's living the divine role of a woman who has duties to love and nurture her family.

I love that she doesn't separate herself from the divine roles of wife and mother. What a powerful message. Women are constantly being told that these roles are not 'enough' to fill a destiny or sustain a soul. How untrue that is.

All women, all of us, are these things at the core of our being. It's such a privilege to be a woman. I know this is true. It is one of the only constant and true feelings I've had in my life, throughout the good times, and the very bad times as well.