Sunday, May 23, 2010

LOST -- Episode 6.16 -- "What They Died For"

Leading into the finale, this was one hell of an episode. It had everything a LOST fan could hope for -- most of our major characters, action, death, the Smoke Monster, a badass Ben Linus, and some emotional hallmarks. Because today is the last day of the series, I'm not going to write a long article. I just want to highlight my favorite moments from this episode and discuss some of the major points I'm looking to see play out in the finale.

Widmore's Demise

I've been waiting for another scene between Widmore and Ben since "The Shape of Things to Come" in season four. And I was not disappointed. Not only did Ben kill him with one of his best lines ("He's not allowed to save his daughter."), there was also a lot of ambiguity left.

The most important question we can take from this scene is whether or not Widmore was telling the truth about being visited by Jacob off-Island and seeing the "err of his ways." Widmore has always been a "bad" guy, more or less. He sent the freighter to destroy the Island, was partially responsible for Alex's death, and fucked over Desmond. The man does not exude "trustworthiness." I'm more inclined to believe that Jacob did not visit him, but something else -- maybe his conversation with Eloise Hawking outside the hospital -- made him change his way of looking at the Island.

The other question here is whether or not Widmore is actually dead. I found it odd that while Miles would have taken off into the "secreter" room to escape the Smoke Monster, Widmore and Zoe would remain merely in the "secret" room to hide. Widmore knew not to trust Ben, so it would stand to reason that he knew Ben would rat him out to Smokey in order to save himself. So, a part of me wonders if this was part of a scheme between Ben and Widmore. I'm not holding tight to this idea, only because the hatred between the two former Island leaders was so intense, but it doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility.

Goodbye Zoe

Good riddance. I cheered when Locke slit her throat. Does that make me a bad guy?

Coincidence or Fate? The John Locke and Jack Shephard Story

In the Sideways world, once Locke saw Ben beaten and bruised, he begins to wonder if all of this is something greater than coincidence. Inevitably, this takes him back to Dr. Jack, to whom he spills all of his speculation about the connections between characters in the Sideways world. Jack, who is much more zen here, doesn't necessarily believe Locke, but he entertains him and is ultimately pleased that he gets a crack at "fixing" the lovable paraplegic.

I loved this scene.

Jacob Shares a Campfire Tale

Is it just me, or is there significance to the idea that Jacob shares his story with Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley around a campfire?

Nonetheless, this scene was a tearjerker -- for me, at least -- as it came on the heels of last week's "Across the Sea." Seeing Jacob wrestle with his actions from that episode made him a much stronger character, and injected the scene with a great dramatic weight. When he tells the candidates about how alone they all were, and that they needed the Island as much as it needed them, I was overwhelmed. The same could be said for me and this show.

And then Jack stood up and said he'd do the job. Even though I've known this was coming for awhile now, it didn't matter; Jack earned this moment. This was his moment of redemption, where he becomes the hero he was always meant to be. I was stunned by the connection between Jack and Jacob here -- not just in name. Both of them fell into their respective positions -- spinal surgeon and Island protector -- by family tradition and expectation. Neither had ever really had a choice. Now, though, Jack gets to make a choice -- his first real choice as a grown man -- and it's liberating.

Desmond Rocks

I loved how fun the Sideways world was in this episode. Desmond calls Jack and tells him his father's body is ready. He beats the shit out of Ben. He turns himself in, and pre-arranges a jailbreak with Hurley and Ana Lucia! This is great stuff. I'm not sure where it's going -- although I have my ideas -- but that's not nearly as important as how excited it made me to watch it.

Where Are We Going?

On the Island, Desmond will become the most important figure in the finale, as Jack and the others try to rescue him and kill Locke. Desmond has now been revealed as the failsafe. What does that mean? I'm assuming it means that he's going to be thrown into the Cave of Light/Island's Heart/Source in an attempt to destroy the Island.

In the Sideways World, everyone's converging at the museum for a concert. Desmond is using this moment as a chance to get a group enlightenment deal going. Will he be successful? And why does he need to be?

My last major theory before the finale is this: Desmond is the failsafe in the Sideways World, not the Island World. When he brings everyone together, all of them will consciousness travel into the Island world where the dead will become Whispers and the living will have memories of the Sideways. Locke's consciousness will enter his doppelganger, and stop the Man-in-Black from carrying out his mission. The reason this is important is because the Man-in-Black initially succeeded in destroying the Island -- hence the sunken Island image in "LA X." But, by getting everyone together, Desmond can "course correct."

I'm not sure this makes a lot of sense, nor am I married to the idea. I'm certain Darlton have something much better in store.

All right, enough on this episode. Tonight is the series finale. I hope you enjoy it as much as I plan to. I'm not sure when I'll post my thoughts on it, but it should be within the week. I want to take my time and craft a really good article about it.

It's amazing to think that in just a couple days I won't be writing about this show anymore. I want to thank all of you who have been coming here to read my ideas and reflections for the last season or so. I really appreciate it.

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