Everyone promised us a season finale to top all season finales. From the producers and creators to TV columnists, all we heard going into this week’s episode that it’s going to change the whole course of Lost. When you promise something like that, it’s very easy to overhype the product and disappoint the viewers. We’ve seen it with the not so hot season 1 finale which left a lot of viewers cursing their TV’s. But this time they delivered. And they delivered BIG TIME.
Where do we begin? How about with the fact that this week’s flashback was actually a flash forward. At first it was just weird. Jack used a new phone that didn’t even exist before the crash (which I just thought was a production faux pas), and the story wasn’t that interesting for a flashback. So Jack turned into a drunk like his dad, big deal. We’ve seen enough of Jack and his father issues to last whole series. But then, when we find out it’s not something from the past but rather from the future, it all made sense. Jack’s meeting with Kate just changed everything and left me speechless and frozen. This episode was so powerful that this week I’ll write something a bit different from my previous Lost reviews. I’ll focus more on what we learned and the new questions rather than recap the events of the finale. Just a warning this column may include the most question marks in a single column on Inside Pulse, ever.
That flash forward taught us some things yet it opened sp many issues. The biggest thing we learn from this is that the Lostaways actually get off the island at some point. We don’t know when or how but we know that at least some of them get off the island. It’s also apparent that their rescue changed Jack’s life for the worse. He adopted Locke’s view that it’s a mistake to get off the island and now he tries to get back (In a stupid way, but still tries). But what happened during the rescue, or after it, that ruined Jack’s life? Why did it just affect him and not others, as Kate doesn’t see to share his belief? Who else was rescued? I don’t believe it’s only Jack and Kate. The person who died was someone they both knew, so I assume it a Lostaway, and jack expected others to come to the funeral, so I guess there were more who got rescued. Why did his death shock Jack so much that it made him want to kill himself? And was this really a flash forward or perhaps it was a vision, like Desmond has?
Jack’s flash forward links directly to the events that transpired on the beach. As Ben confronted Jack and demanded the Lostaways cancel their plan and surrender the phone, Ben once again claimed that The Others are the good guys while the people Naomi works for are the bad guys. He claimed it would be a mistake to contact them. Is it possible that Ben was telling the truth all along, that The Others are really good guys? That once you’re on the island you’re destined to stay there and there’s a good reason the island is a secret? Portraying The Others as good guys is certainly not something I expected.
And speaking of The Others, suddenly they’re rebelling? Tom disobeys a direct order from Ben to kill Sayid, Jin and Bernard? Who would have thought? I had a suspicion that these three aren’t really dead since we only heard the shots via the walkie-talkie. And who’s left of The Others now? Ben is captured, Tom is dead and it’s seems almost official that Juliet really turned on them (Though I still don’t fully trust her). Seems like Richard, and perhaps Mikhail, are the only ones left who matter. Will Richard take over now? Will they even attempt to rescue Ben or let him stay with the Lostaways (In case they’re rescued just yet)? And if he doesn’t go back, what will happen to Jacob and their communication with him?
And now that we mentioned Jacob, Locke’s back. Two weeks ago I made a mistake in my column. I accidentally wrote that Ben killed him, when I really meant to write that Ben shot him. One of the constant rules on Lost (And I think I mentioned it before) is that you can never assume someone’s dead until you see them buried, and even then you can’t be sure. That was the case with Locke as he’s still alive even 24 hours after Ben left him in the grave. Locke still believes he has to stop the Lostaways from leaving the island and this time he has Walt tell him that. Yes, Walt came back to help Locke. But was it really Locke or an illusion? Perhaps it was an incarnation of the black smoke monster? And if it was, why take the form of Walt and not someone closer to Locke? Also, how come this time the monster appeared in order to save Locke from death while in the past the monster was responsible for deaths? But an even bigger question is how Locke survived the gunshot in the first place. One thing the island’s healing powers couldn’t cure in the past was hard trauma the pilot, Ethan, Boone, Shannon they didn’t survive deep impact trauma like gunshots, so why did suddenly Locke survive it? And after Locke failed in his attempt to stop the communication with the outside world, where did he go? Is he going to join what’s left of The Others or will he go on as a lone wolf?
Another one who just wouldn’t die is Mikhail, whom Ben sent to kill Charlie and Bonnie & Greta (The two who captured him last week) at The Looking Glass. He didn’t die from the electromagnetic pulse and this week he didn’t die from a direct harpoon shot to his chest. I also think he survived the grenade blast.
Someone who did die is Charlie, who continued to embrace his faith and his impending death out of belief that he’s doing so to help the greater good, and this attitude is what keeps him alive at first as well as pisses off Ben. It was really fun to see Ben lose his calm, and continued from last week, as he’s no longer as calm and collected as he used to be. I find it intriguing that the disabling code was the tune of “Good Vibrations” and I’m even more intrigued to find out who’s the musician that entered that code. Charlie’s death was beautifully written, and even better executed. Charlie chose to fulfill Desmond’s premonition and drown rather than escape the room in order to make sure the vision will come true and Clair and Aaron will be rescued. The way he managed to alert Desmond that Naomi isn’t who she claims to be was also great to see him do the crucifix symbol as he gave up was heart wrenching. I can’t think of a better way to kill of a character than what they did with Charlie this week, and he deserved this well written sendoff, leaving as a hero.
Before he died, as I mentioned, he alerted Desmond that Naomi wasn’t sent by Penny. But how did Penny contact the island? We know about her search team catching the electromagnetic blast in the season 2 finale, but communication to and from the island was jammed how did Penny know to focus on the precise channel and wait for it to be clear? And why did it communicate with The Looking Glass and not the radio tower? And if Naomi isn’t working for Penny, where did she get the picture of her and Desmond and why did she carry it with her? And why would she pretend to work for her?
But this episode didn’t have just questions. It also had a few feel good moments. The first was Hurly saving the day on the beach with the VW van. Coming out of nowhere and saving everyone after Sawyer told him he’ll just drag them down was priceless. This led to another heartwarming moment, when Rose and Sun heard that their husbands were still alive. It was short and a bit too sugary, but it was very appropriate. Then there was the moment Ben introduced Alex to her mother, Danielle. To see those two connect on the spot and having Danielle ask Alex for help in tying up Ben was very nice. I would also count Charlie’s death as a feel good moment, because it was, as I said, the best way to write him off the show. He embraced his destiny; he died a hero’s death and by doing so helped the greater good, so his sacrifice wasn’t in vein.
This episode had it all. Answers and questions. Action and sweet moments. Some characters evaded death while others embraced it. In a word, it was perfect. The big reveal at the end about Jack’s story being a flash forward and not a flash back was simply amazing, it was like the big secret being revealed at the end of The Sixth Sense or The Crying Game. With this episode Lost firmly solidified itself as the best serialized drama on TV today, even better that the new kid on the block, Heroes, which earlier this season I thought was better. Lost is facing one major problem though. It has a problem with the beginning of their seasons. Both the second and third seasons started very slow and needed time to pick up steam before becoming must see again. I really hope they’ll be able to avoid that in the fourth season, especially since it will only have 16 episodes (Same goes for the 5th and 6th). Where the hell is Hiro Nakamura to bend time and space and take me to the premiere of next season? Today the countdown to the end of Lost officially begins. Three seasons, 48 episodes are left. I can’t wait.