Well, we’re one episode away from the season finale (by the time this is post, we’ll probably be one day away), so I thought it was crucial that I write a column before the big episode. By the way, I hope everybody is keeping up with the Lost Countdown we’re doing, as some of our columnist are writing on a wide array of topics almost universally shared by fans and critics of the show. I think we’re also giving a pretty balanced account of the show, as every column is not singing the show’s praises.
My column, questioning the repeated use of the flashback method of storytelling, coincides nicely with this particular episode. A while back (I believe it was sometime last year), I questioned whether the flashbacks were memories the characters are actively thinking about, or if they’re simply provided to give the viewers an idea of the character’s back story. This episode seemed to support the former. I also felt that the flashbacks effectively added to the story, instead of hindering it or slowing the momentum, as was the case with certain past episodes this season. In this episode, nothing was force-fed, it was simply Charlie looking back at the “greatest hits” of his life. The flashbacks weren’t linear, as they jumped from the beginning years of Drive Shaft, to his childhood, and so on and so forth. Quite simply, the flashbacks allowed Charlie to reflect back on his life as he finally embraced his supposed destiny to die.
That is another thing worth noting, the fact that Charlie sought after the opportunity to die, knowing that it would allow Claire and Aaron to get rescued from the island. He had numerous opportunities to back out (as Sayid originally volunteered for the job, and Jack refused to let him go, and Desmond volunteered to go in his place), but Charlie relented, and accepted that this was the role he was fated to play. If Charlie had died in last week’s episode, I thought it would have been the best write-offs of a major character since the beginning of the series. Of course, his death is still a distinct possibility in the finale (more on that later).
I also want to note that one of my favorite characters on the show, after last week’s episode, is Desmond. I’ve always liked him, but just the overall manner and behavior of the character is so likable. The way he was willing to give up his life for Charlie, a person he had only met a few weeks ago, was quite remarkable. Despite everything we’ve seen from his flashbacks, he is quite the honorable character.
Some Quick Notes:
I’m sure many people caught this, but the woman that Charlie saved from getting mugged was Nadia, Sayid’s former flame. Also, I did not catch these but read them elsewhere, so I cannot verify their validity, but apparently Naomi was one of the spectators when Charlie was playing on the street. Also, apparently somebody yelled out Desmond’s name during Charlie’s childhood flashback at the pool.
Speaking of the pool, did anybody else have that sinking suspicion that Charlie’s father was going to do something that would create yet another damaged child/father relationship?
I’ve read about the possibility that Naomi is lying about Flight 815 being found with no survivors, but this is not possible, as Locke’s father noted, with quite certainty, that his father was dead (hence why he thought he was in Hell). The apparent indifference exhibited by Naomi and the castaways is a bit suspect, however.
How great was it when Karl called Juliet out on being a mole, with her responding “Yeah, they know, but thanks”? Awesome line.
So, apparently some major characters are going to die in the finale, which I find a bit disappointing, only because it seems unnecessary. It seems like they’re killing off characters because of shock value, and not necessarily in order to progress the overall story. That said, I’ll take a look at each major character and let you know whether I think they’ll die and whether I think they should die.
Jack: Surprisingly, it seems quite possible that he’s going to bite the bullet, based solely upon the rumors circulating on the internet (nearly all of which I’ve shied away from). Besides, due to him being the star of the show, nothing would be more shocking than him dying. Not to mention the fact that he seems to have the most outside projects set up, which may mean he’s leaving the show. Besides which, the episode is Jack-centric, and that never bodes well when somebody is supposed to die.
I know there are a lot of Jack haters out there, but I feel very, very strongly about the fact that killing off Jack would be THE biggest mistake the show could possibly make. First and foremost, he’s an immensely central part of the show, to the extent that killing him off would almost certainly damage the story they’re trying to tell. When I refer to him as a central part of the show, I’m not limiting myself to the stuff happening on the island. Through his father, Jack is closely tied to Claire, Sawyer, Ana Lucia, Shannon (and by extension Boone), and possibly others that currently escape my memory. Within two hours, do they plan on wrapping up the Claire/Jack connection, and the Jack/Kate affair that they’ve been building towards since the beginning of the series? Should they kill off Jack, it just seems like a lot of issues are left unresolved (or resolved in a very rushed manner), in a bad way.
Kate: I don’t see them killing off Kate, only because I can’t imagine anybody taking the place of her character (which, in fairness, is not as true with Jack). She’s the female protagonist of the show, and I don’t see Claire, Sun, Juliet, or any of the other females effectively filling that role.
Sawyer: This will shock many, but I actually think that Sawyer is one of the most expendable characters. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a great, well developed character who acts as a fantastic foil to many of the more noble (or attempting to be noble) characters, but when it comes between, say, Jack, Kate, Locke, and Sawyer, I think Sawyer’s death would effect the show (big picture wise) the least. That said, simply due to his popularity, I don’t see him dying. Do I think he SHOULD die? No. Do I think he COULD die without hurting the show? Relative to other characters, yes.
Sayid: For the first time since the beginning of this list, I’m going to say it: This character should die. His character is a soldier, and they’re at war with The Others, so it would be an appropriate end to his character. Honestly, I just don’t know how much this character serves the show anymore. Sure, he is mechanically adept, but with the introduction of The Others and the Dharma stations, this seems like less of a necessity. Do I think it’ll happen? He has as good a chance of dying as anybody.
Locke: I definitely do not see him dying, because if they were going to kill him off, they probably would have done it in “The Man Behind the Curtain.” Besides which, there’s a ton more to be done with his character. Actually, I think Locke and Jack BOTH need to survive the finale in order to keep the balance between their characters. I will find it interesting, though, where his allegiances lie, and whether the rest of the castaways will trust him. Consider how long it took them to trust Jack, who was held captive by The Others. Locke, on the other hand, actively sought after joining them.
Hurley & Charlie: I lumped these two together because, essentially, I think they’re both expendable. The main aspect of Hurley’s character is the numbers, which the show has seemingly drifted from this past year (aside from the numbers popping up here and there, when was the last time they played any significance?) That said, since both of these guys are the more innocent, lovable characters, I don’t see them killing off both of them. So, if one of them is going, I have to learn towards Charlie, just based on the direction of the show.
Claire & Aaron: Claire is one lucky character. Despite being essentially useless, I find the writers resisting the possibility of killing off a new mother. That said, Desmond also saw Claire and Aaron eventually getting rescued, so I don’t see either of them getting killed off this season.
Desmond: I could possibly see it happening, but honestly I think it’s a long-shot. Again, due to his popularity and importance of the show (there is a lot that can be done with his flashes), I don’t see them knocking him off. I also don’t think he should be killed off.
Sun: Don’t see it happening, simply because I see her character playing an important role in the upcoming seasons, due to her pregnancy.
Jin: I love the guy, so I hope he doesn’t get killed off. Quite simply, he probably IS the best developed character on the show. That said, I don’t think he’s necessarily safe, either. I think his survival is contingent on how much of a role they plan on him to play in Sun’s pregnancy story arc.
Ben, Juliet & The Others: This is a tough one to predict. I’m sure some Others will die, we’ve pretty much only gotten to know Ben, Tom, Juliet, Mikhail, and Alpert. If a bunch of nameless, faceless Others die, it may be considered a disappointment. I’ve grown to like Tom, so I hope he’s not dying. Alpert seems possible, due to his recent conflicts with Ben. Mikhail seems like the safest bet to die, since he has the most adversarial relationship with the castaways.
Juliet, I’m not quite sure. I think it ultimately depends on whether she turns on the castaways or not. Actually, it’s not that simple. If she turns out good, I could see her sacrificing her life, to have a noble death. That said, I could also see her surviving, giving the viewers a continued look at the life of The Others. If she turns out bad, I could see her getting her comeuppance through death. Along with that, I could see her realigning with The Others (possibly in an attempt to usurp Ben?) It’s really, really tough to say.
Ben is conceivably even tougher to guess. The fact that we’ve already had a Ben flashback episode (one that revealed so much, no less) leads me to believe he might be getting killed off. The fact that his dispute with Locke has gotten to such a violent level adds to that. Along with that, his death truly could advance the story arc, namely what happens to The Others after their leader (or second in command, anyway) gets killed. Does Locke take over as their leader, due to his communication with Jacob? Does Juliet make a power play, due to her desire to go home? Does Alpert, due to his apparent seniority? Does Tom, due to his evident high rank as the spokesperson? On the other hand, it does seem like there’s a lot more that can be done with Ben. Nevertheless, if I was a betting man, I think I side ever so slightly to him dying.
So, there you have it.
Characters I think are solidly safe:
Kate, Locke, Desmond, Sun, Claire, Aaron, and Hurley (or Charlie)
Characters that could die but shouldn’t:
Jack, Jin, and Juliet
Characters that could die and it wouldn’t end the world:
Characters that should die:
Characters that probably will die:
Ben, Mikhail, Charlie, and Sayid
Enjoy the finale.