Four and a half years ago or so, a friend of mine handed me the DVD set of the first season of Lost and said something along the lines of “Trust me.” It was summer and seasons one and two had aired. I’d heard about it–I don’t live under a rock–but hadn’t gotten in on it at the beginning so hadn’t checked it out. We watched the pilot episode and were hooked. We scarfed down that first season and waited eagerly for the second season DVDs to be released. We bought the second season and watched it as quickly as possible so that we’d be able to start season three on time. We almost made it. I think we had to videotape the first couple of episodes but we caught up before the end of that unfortunate third season fall “pod” finished. Then we had to wait until February and were kind of looking for the return of Lost and the birth of Bubble at about the same time. We have more or less kept up ever since, making it our #1 priority TV show, though there were a few times last year that three or four episodes would gather on the DVR (Yay! No more videotape). It has been fun to have a show that we have shared from the beginning. Computerguy was a big West Wing fan and he hooked me and we watched the final couple seasons of that together, but it was his thing. This has been our thing. And now it’s coming to an end, something I’m pretty happy about. TV shows shouldn’t be left to grow old; there’s too much danger in them becoming caricatures of themselves.
So here are my random thoughts on Lost:
The thing that caught me most the first season was how the show was all about redemption. They seemed to have lost track of that until this season. Now it’s back in a big way. If Ben is redeemable–wow!
I love Charlie.
Sawyer and Juliet. Be still my heart. And I still have a soft spot for Kate and Jack. I understood Sawyer and Kate, but never really liked it.
Rose and Bernard. Have to be “Adam and Eve” from the caves.
One of the things that impresses me about the show is the way unlikable characters worm their way into my heart. Good or bad, I sympathize with Ben. I was annoyed with Ilanna and then she held her hand out to Ben and my heart leapt. I even liked Shannon–though I don’t think CG ever did. He can’t stand whiny.
When I was working on my MA in Education I wrote a paper on the character of Penelope, Odysseus’ wife, as she was portrayed in literature through time. Penny is another incarnation of Penelope–though this one doesn’t just wait for her Odysseus to return, she actively seeks him out. If redemption is the soul of this show, their love story is its heart. The Constant. No matter what, she is there.
Lost has many sources, but there is a lot of The Tempest in it some of it by way of The Forbidden Planet. The smoke monster, at least for the first few seasons, was straight out of Forbidden Planet.
I’m a big sci fi geek, but I’ve always liked character driven sci fi a la Star Trek: The Next Generation. Lost may be the ultimate character driven sci fi show. I can’t wait to see how it ends, but boy will there be a void when it does.
“Not Penny’s boat.”
***Added May 5 Spoilers Alert***
I knew they were going to start killing off the good guys. To have the level of show they want, they kind of had to. If they didn’t it would be like J.K. Rowling not killing anyone in book 7 (though that’s another post, I suppose). And as much as I hate it, it actually makes sense that it was the reunited Jin and Sun. After all, their story was told. The island brought them back together as a couple; they sent a couple seasons apart, finally they came back together just in time to die together. ::sigh:: And Sayid died a good guy. It was really good and literarily it was right. Sometimes deaths seem pointless and emotionally manipulative (see any Nicholas Sparks novel-based movie), but these were not that. It would be unrealistic if all the good guys lived. And Jin and Sun were expendable at this point and Sayid needed redemption. And it did what the producers wanted, showed once and for all that there are not two sides–UnLocke is the bad guy. But, oh. It was sad.
May 11th episode: “Across the Sea”
I’ve been thinking about the last episode since I saw it Tuesday night. First, let me say, I liked it. I liked it in the way it reminded me of a science fiction/fantasy short story by someone like Stephen Vincent Benét (By the Waters of Babylon). I liked the way it did answer some questions even if it left many more. And I don’t need every question to be answered. But now we know the origin of Jacob and the Man in Black. It was a little frustrating having this break in the final build-up. Last week was so emotional, and this week was kind of a breather. I expect next week to ramp things up in preparation for the finale. (I wonder how it would feel if we were watching this after it was all over on DVD the way we did the first 2 seasons. I kind of like having time to think about the episodes in between, but it was an awfully fun way to get started.)
The Man in Black has still not been named, but they are mining the story of Jacob and Esau for this story line, though they are not adhering to it strictly. We do learn that Jacob and TMiB are twins (as are Jacob and Esau)–though their birth order is switched. It’s the idea of favoritism that comes through so strongly in both stories. In the Bible story, Jacob’s mother loves him best while their father favors Esau. And Jacob’s mother schemes with Jacob to put him forward. But how must it have been for Jacob to know his father, the patriarch, the one who mattered, did not love him as much. Yet Jacob is the one who becomes the final patriarch, the one who becomes Israel. In “Across the Sea” Jacob always knows Mother prefers his brother, yet he is the one who follows her, who becomes the protector of the island. Neither Jacob nor TMiB are wholly good (and Mother certainly isn’t), but Jacob comes through. I guess. And having this episode after the prior one in which we learn just how warped TMiB is, as much as we may sympathize with the character, we never believe he is going to be anything but evil. Pure evil? I don’t know. And maybe when Jacob sends him into the core of the island and he comes out as Smoky he has become pure evil. Regardless, he is evil enough that he will use any means to get off the island. No one matters but himself. I have no conclusions, but I sure am looking forward to Tuesday.
I thought Rose and Bernard would be “Adam and Eve.” Oh well.
I’m not really ready to write about the end, but I want to clarify one thing. I’m reading people on the internet saying that all the Lostaways were dead all along. Not so! They are dead in the Sideways World (Don’t fully understand this given details like Jack and Juliet’s son, but I’m going with it) and in the church definitely, but not on the Island. Christian says there is no time in the church and that they all died, but at different times.
And Ben got his redemption. ::happy sigh::