Lost Epilogue – "New Man in Charge" Review

So I finally got a chance to watch the Lost finale epilogue, titled “New Man in Charge,” which promised to answer many of those lingering questions and issues (most of which I referred to as inconsequential and ultimately insignificant to the story that ended up being told). Did it deliver? I’m inclined to say yes (and in a rather tongue-in-cheek no less), but I also feel like many of the people that were unsatisfied with the finale will resent being given offered a nibble and not the whole meal, so to speak.

In the 10 plus minute “episode,” we are provided with answers regarding the palette drop, the “Hurley Bird,” the polar bears, Room 23, pregnant women, and Walt. Some of the answers were quite satisfying and personally fulfilling. Right off the bat they explained that there are Dharma employees all around the world who don’t even realize that the organization hasn’t existed in 20 plus years. In this particular case, an automated teletype from the Lamppost station in Los Angeles has been sending coordinates to these two guys stationed in Guam, and they’ve unknowingly been sending the palettes to the island. I found this explanation believable, logical, and to the point.

The Dharma scene, while short, also showed a great deal about how Hurley is running things. He’s releasing those who have been blindly serving the island because they have been lied to and misled. He’s offering transparency (by answering questions), and making sure they’re taken care of (by giving them boat loads of money). Very Hurley-esque.

The “Hurley Bird,” or “Hy-Bird” was the result of genetic alteration. And you know what? It DOES kinda sound like it’s saying “Hurley.” However, I must note that the lack of explanation for the Hurley Bird remains one of my greatest pet peeves. I don’t mind that they left this matter unanswered, on the contrary it drove me crazy that so many people got so bothered about it. The damn bird appeared once, for a brief second, and was never, ever mentioned again. Yet people were all up in arms that the show never bothered to offer an explanation. Ridiculous.

The polar bears, it seems, possess attributes such as keen memories and adaptabilities, which would be used in Dharma’s electromagnetic studies. It is implied that the climatic change will also play a part in this experiment. Oh, and the bears are NOT your friends. Tell that to Smokey D! By the way, how messed up is it that the guy who allegedly got his arm bitten off by one of the bears STILL has the job of locking up the cage. Talk about pouring salt on the wound! And, as most of us suspected, this scene also confirmed that the high electromagnetic levels are responsible for the failed pregnancies. Works for me!

What I found most curious, however, were the revelations regarding Room 23. As it turns out, Dharma was acquiring members of The Others and attempting to brainwash them. This is intriguing, because it puts Dharma in the villainous role here, while victimizing The Others. Dharma’s knowledge of, and interest in, the existence of Jacob is also a rather fascinating.

And I did enjoy the self-referential moments, like the Dharma employees mentioning that they deserve answers. And Dr. Chang’s smirk in regards to the ridiculous notion of one day resorting to using an alias. I also found the visual of Ben casually eating a Dharma granola bar inexplicably humorous (as was the, what, third variation of “we’re going to have to watch that again”).

Finally, the scene that will likely be most talked about, we learned a bit more about Walt’s fate. It seems that he’s now in a mental health facility, which is a bit sad and perplexing in its own right. He seemed fairly well adjusted when Locke confronted him and when he visited Hurley. What changed? Perhaps his grandmother died? The timeline is a bit hazy, so we don’t know how much time has passed between the finale and the epilogue. Nonetheless, I thought this was a nice scene, and I’m glad it involved Walt, Ben, and Hurley. Walt and Ben, because the genuineness of Ben’s apology, and the general gentle demeanor, really did a remarkable job of expressing how much the former Other leader had changed. And Walt and Hurley, because there was always a warmness and affection between those two. Quite simply, Hurley was one of the few characters that could “adopt” Walt, and you’d feel like Walt was in a happier place as a result. I guess the big reveal, though, is that Walt IS special, and that he ultimately ends up returning to the island. Of course, we didn’t find out WHAT was so special about Walt, and what he’s going to do on the island. However, I suspect Walt’s abilities mirror Hurley’s: He can communicate with the dead, and has a strong bond with the intricacies of the island. So, basically, I think his job will be to set the meandering spirits at peace so that they can move on to the next phase of the afterlife.

But Holy Hell, have you seen anybody age in six years like Walt? Doesn’t even look like the same person.

As an aside, “New Man in Charge” also exemplified WHY these questions couldn’t necessarily be answered in the finale. Quite honestly, squeezing these scenes into the character-driven story of the final episode would have weakened both causes. One could probably argue that they could have provided these explanations into the episodes leading up to the finale. Or even earlier, for that matter.

And to be honest, that’s fair. The characters were buddying up with Dr. Chang throughout all of season five, which provided ample opportunities for the explanations regarding the polar bears and Hurley Bird (in fact, it would have been rather hilarious having Hurley involved in the scene in which Chang introduces the Hy-Bird). Additionally, Chang made it a point to mention that security should be involved in the Room 23 experiments….and Sawyer WAS the chief of security, wasn’t he? And finally, season five kicked off with numerous scenes inside of the Lamppost station. Wouldn’t that be a great opportunity to mention that this location was responsible for the palette drop?

So, what did everything think of the Lost finale epilogue? Were you satisfied with the various explanations? Were there any specific questions that weren’t answered that you were hoping they would touch upon? Do you wish they had provided some insight into Jack’s demise (who found his body? Was his body returned home? Who broke the news to Kate and the rest of the survivors?) Sound off below!

Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into various popular television shows. Be sure to visit his blog at [a case of the blog] and follow him on Twitter.

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