Friday, September 16, 2011

PCP on TV - Lost Season 6 wrapup

Welcome back to Pop Culture Panorama.  Today I’ll be talking about the TV show Lost.  If you’ve been reading my blog all summer, you know that I’m working my way through the entire run of the show before the regular fall TV shows come back on, as I had never watched it when it was originally on the air.  I’ve now finished the 6th and final season of the show.  In short, holy crap what an amazing show from start to finish.  I am so glad that I watched this show this summer, I don’t regret it for a second.  Now for my thoughts on season 6, written down as I watched each episode so they are in order as we go through the season: (WARNING:  spoilers ahead if you’re like me and never saw the show before).

·   All the way back in the 1st season, Greg Grunberg was the pilot of Oceanic 815 that died in the very first episode.  It was nice of him to cameo his voice in the flash-sideways universe as the pilot on the intercom after they hit the turbulence.
·   I loved the way they showed Kate’s hearing loss from the explosion at the end of season 5, having her hearing (and the sound levels on the episode for the audience) slowly fade back in.  At first I thought something was wrong with my TV, but then I realized what they were doing.  Cool trick.
·   Early on in the sideways universe, things are still the same as they were in the main universe – Boone says to Locke “If this plane goes down I’m sticking with you.”
·   I found it amusing that Ben was griping to Locke/Smokey (hereafter called L/S) after L/S explained what happened.  Ben was complaining that L/S used him.  That made me laugh because Ben is usually such a master manipulator that it was ironic that he was so masterfully played.
·   When they first show us Locke at home in the sideways universe (before revealing what it is) I wrote this:  “So Locke is apparently friendly with his dad?  Helen mentioned him inviting the dad to the wedding.  Also, if they’re still friendly, how did he injure his spine?”  By the end of the season this was answered with the big reveal of what the sideways really was, and then it all made sense.
·   When L/S and Sawyer were in the cave looking at all the candidates’ names on the wall, I almost wish the camera had spent more time going over all the names.  I couldn’t find Kate’s name on there, crossed out or otherwise.

Read the rest after the jump!

·   They never explain who killed all the survivors of Ajira 316, but I’m guessing it was Widmore, even though he denied it to Sawyer, it was his woman Zoe who was helping to move the bodies.
·   I love how much big tough Sawyer can be a total softie, here he was watching Little House on the Prairie in his sideways flash.
·   Even in the sideways universe Mr. Paik is a cold man – sends Jin to the U.S. with the very money to pay for Jin’s own execution.  Harsh. 
·   I did like how Mikhail got shot by Jin in the very same eye that he had an eye patch in the main universe.  Again this show is full of symmetry. 
·   In the sideways universe, Mikhail was called “Danny’s friend.”  I couldn’t tell if that was random or if they meant Faraday.  Or the Danny that had been one of the Others on the island, the jerk husband of Colleen.  Probably him.
·   This season a lot of characters suffered head wounds either in the main universe or in the sideways universe:  Jin, Sun, Widmore, Desmond, Locke, & Sawyer, all get head wounds in the same spot on their heads (Sun in both sideways and reality).  I wonder if that was coincidence or planned?  With this show its almost impossible to tell.
·   Ab Aeterno, Richard’s flashback episode, is probably one of my favorite episodes of the entire series.  What a great episode!  It filled in a ton of mythology about the island, and about the enigmatic Richard.
·   In the sideways universe, Oceanic 815 landed safely at 10:42, gate 8, baggage claim 4.  The Numbers are everywhere!
·   Throughout the season a lot of shots in the sideways world have been reflections off of mirrors or cars or other things.  Before the reveal in the finale, I guessed in my notes “because it’s not reality but a reflection of reality?”  I was right.
·   Was that marina that Desmond and Charlie crash into in the sideways world the same one that Desmond gets shot at in the real world?  It looked like it.
·   It was nice to finally see Libby again in the sideways, we hadn’t seen her since back in season 2.
·   When they show the van from the mental hospital in the sideways, it has the mental hospital’s name on it.  In reality, that would be totally illegal as it’s a violation of patient confidentiality laws.  My wife, who’s in the mental health field, pointed that out.
·   As of the ¾ way through the season, in the sideways universe, Hugo never went nuts and the numbers were lucky, not unlucky; Desmond had Widmore’s approval; Jack had a son; Daniel had his music; Widmore & Eloise were still together; & Locke had a good relationship with his dad.  It seems like the sideways universe is ultimate wish fulfillment, but at the same time everyone is still missing something.
·   I guess with all the reading Sawyer does, he’s too busy to watch Star Wars, as he asked “who the Hell’s Anakin?” after a Star Wars reference.
·   When L/S is approaching the Ajira plane, he’s shot at by Widmore’s men but no holes appear in his clothes.  Is this because they miss or is it because the clothes are a part of his appearance/form as Locke and not actual fabric but an extension of the image of Locke?
·   So Smokey can’t kill the candidates himself, according to the rules Jacob has set down.  If so, does that mean that Eko, the pilot of Oceanic 815, and everyone else that he killed over the years were never candidates?  Or if they were candidates at some point, how did he know that they lost their status as candidates and were free to be killed?  Seems kind of like a plot hole, especially because Eko seems to have been one of the people specifically brought to the island by Jacob.
·   Kate isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer – she couldn’t reach the keys on Doughboy’s waist when they were locked in the polar bear cage, but his arm was within reach.  Why didn’t she try to pull the body closer and then grab the keys?
·   When Jin & Sun drowned that was so brutally sad and touching.  I was starting to think they’d make it to the end of the show.  Their final shot, with their hands drifting apart, was oh so sad.
·   When the Woman/Mother, Jacob and the Man in Black’s foster mom, has the line “every question I answer will lead to another question” it struck me as the voice of the writers of the show- telling the fans to just absorb what they’re learning and stop asking so many questions.
·   I did think it interesting that the Man in Black is never named throughout the entire run of the series, he’s never named by his birth mom or his adoptive mom.  What did he call himself then?
·   I did like the Man in Black’s line to Jacob in the past – “one day you can make up your own game and then everyone else will have to follow your rules.”  After Jacob turned MIB into smokey, that’s exactly what he did on the island.
·   I like the symmetry of the Man in Black being able to see ghosts, like Hurley, all the way back to when the man was a child.  It’s interesting that he can and Jacob can’t.  It really does seem that Mother did want him to take over the island, instead of Jacob.
·   Here’s a paradox for you:  the Man in Black was going to build the wheel that could move the island and transport you off the island at the bottom of the well, the wheel that we know was eventually built and used by Ben and Locke.  But, he along with the small village he was living in were all killed by Mother and Jacob, before they could build it.  If they were all killed, then who the heck built it?  Did the Man in Black manipulate the next batch of people on the island into building it and we just didn’t see that?  Or did the writers goof that one?
·   I liked the symmetry in the final episode:  After passing through the heart of the island, Jack washes up on the same rocks the MIB’s body did.  Later, Jack dies in the same bamboo forest that he woke up in when Oceanic 815 crashed, and when he came back on Ajira 316 also.
·   OK here’s my question – now that they’ve revealed that Sideways is a purgatory-type world, what happens to people like Keamy that die there, or Anthony Cooper who is stuck in a vegetative state there?  For Keamy – does that mean straight to hell?  Or reborn to try again?  And for Cooper – he’s trapped in purgatory forever, never ascending to heaven, right?  If so, good, that guy doesn’t deserve to move on anyways.
·   Sci-fi actors from other stuff showing up on Lost:  Dogen was in Sunshine, Speed Racer, and the original Japanese versions of The Ring & The Ring 2.  Dogen’s translator Lennon was in the Taken tv series, X-Files, Millenium, & Buffy.  The Other Justin was on Enterprise & Charmed.  The guy delivering Christian’s body to the church (in the sideways world) has been in a ton of sci-fi including Caprica, Battlestar Galactica, X-men 3, Millenium, X-Files, Highlander & The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.  Apparently he’s a friend of one of the show’s creators, so that’s why they threw him in for his one scene.
·   Body count for the season on the island – uncountable as too many deaths are never seen on screen but still occur:  Smokey kills the 4 Ajira flight guys that had come too late to protect Jacob – Bram and his 3 sidekicks.  Juliet dies as a result of her wounds from the previous season.  Sayid died for 2 hours from his wounds from the gunshot back in the season 5 finale, but then mysteriously came back to life.  I’m still counting this as a death though, because it was 2 hours (and because it’s my blog so :-P ).  Claire shoots and kills Aldo.  Claire shoots Justin, then takes him prisoner after he’s revealed to not be dead, and then ultimately pulls a Lizzie Borden and murders him with an axe.  Sayid drowns Dogen and slits Lennon’s throat.  Smokey then kills multiple members of the Others at the temple, at least 15.  Also, something kid all the other survivors of Ajira 316, but neither Smokey nor Widmore takes credit for it.  Back in the past, 3 of the other slaves on the Black Rock were murdered by a surviving officer, before Smokey showed up and killed all 5 of the officers.  The rest of the crew and slaves (including Captain Hansou) died from the crash of the ship onto the island.  Back in the present, a random Widmore staffer gets fried by the giant electromagnet thing.  Sayid snaps the neck of a Widmore team member.  Ilana acted like Arzt back in season one, getting too careless with the dynamite, despite warnings of instability, and boom bye bye Ilana.  In another high body count scene (the 3rd this season after the temple massacre and the Ajira massacre), Widmore’s men fire mortars onto the people with Smokey, killing an untold number, and scattering the rest into the jungle.  And in a 4th high body count scene, Smokey mows through Widmore’s men on Hydra Island, including Doughboy as per Sawyer’s nickname.  At the Ajira plane, L/S snaps the neck of 1 Widmore follower and shoots the other guarding the plane.  At the submarine dock, Claire shoots 2 of Widmore’s men, and Locke shoots 3.  Sayid drowns in a noble sacrifice, redeeming himself, when Locke’s bomb goes off.  The sub’s captain, other crewmember, Sun, & Jin all drown when the sub sinks.  Way back in the past, Jacob and the Man in Black’s birth mom is murdered by their adoptive mom.  Then in a 5th massacre this season, Jacob and Mother murder the entire village of people that the Man in Black was living with, to prevent them from harnessing the power of the island.  In retaliation, MIB stabs and kills Mother for that.  Then in further retaliation, Jacob chucks the MIB into the heart of the island, which kills him and turns him into the smoke monster.  Back in the present, L/S slits Zoe’s throat, and Ben shoots and kills Widmore.  Once they turn L/S mortal again, Kate shoots him and Jack throws him off a cliff, killing him.  Jack also dies from his wounds suffered from the trip to the heart of the island, and his fight with L/S.
·   Body count for the season in sideways:  Sayid kills Keamy, Omar, and 2 of Keamy’s henchmen.  Jin shoots and kills Mikhail with a gunshot to the eye, the same eye he wore an eye patch on in the main universe.
·   Past season items from my previous posts resolved, as well as things the show tied up before it ended:  Juliet didn’t die but hung on to life briefly after the cliffhanger from season 5, as did Sayid.  Hurley did own Locke’s box company.  The cloud of smoke that kills things is revealed to have been a person once way back in the past.  Yes – everyone on the plane was brought there for a reason, by Jacob, proving this right from my season 2 post: “I’m starting to get the feeling that with all of these links for characters before they ever stepped foot on the island that they were all brought to the island for a reason, and it’s not as random as it appears to be.”  We find out what destroyed the 4 toed statue, as well as how the Black Rock got so far inland – tsunami (which was predicted by Arzt in season 1), and we also learn that’s how Richard got to the island – he was a slave on the ship.  They explain the source of Richard’s immortality.  They explained how Claire was under L/S’s control when he took the guise of her dad.  Richard thought everyone died in the nuke explosion because there was a flash, but it turns out they jumped back to the present time, and he was too far away to see that clearly.  When Jack saw his dad on the island all the way back in season one, it was the Man in Black in Christian’s form, and he did it so Jack would find the water supply.  We also learn that the two bodies found in the cave with the water supply back in season 1, the ones dubbed Adam and Eve, were actually the bodies of Mother & the Man in Black, buried there by Jacob.
·   Items from my earlier posts that turned out to be totally wrong:  Back in the first season post I predicted that they were all dead and/or in purgatory – turns out that was the case for the sideways universe this season, but the main island was reality all along.
·   Items that were never resolved:  It is never fully explained why Libby was a patient at Hurley’s hospital, and if she was ever a doctor or not – we only find out in the Sideways and I’m not sure if that counts or not.  They don’t explain how the polar bears got from Hydra Island to the main island, nor how that one wound up in Tunisia.  As I mentioned earlier – if the people in the past were all killed by Jacob and Mother, then who built the wheel that moves the island?

Ok so that wraps up my final season recap for Lost.  All in all, I am very glad I watched this show this summer.  It is hands down one of the top TV shows I’ve ever watched, and if the price for the complete series on blu-ray gets a little lower, I think I’m going to have to buy it (it’s currently $180).  If you haven’t seen Lost, go watch it, you truly missed out on an amazing show.  In the meantime, thanks for stopping by today!

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