Friday, May 15, 2009

Lost Speculations and Observations, "H-Bomb" Edition

If you missed the last Lost finale post, and you're into this sort of thing, check out the Loophole edition, which focuses on the mythology of the season finale.

One of the reasons Lost is so, so good is that there's so much going on at any given time. Mythology, plot, characters are all critical to making this show excellent, and they're all quasi-independent enough to talk about by themselves. I'd like to talk a little about characters in this installment of the finale post, because I think Season 6 is going to have to make a few critical changes.

The biggest character-y surprise from the finale was the lack of a major, impactful death. Important characters dying has been a fixture of season finales past (eg Charlie). Plus, people far more acquainted with spoiler sites than I am were convinced that there was going to be a "major" death in the finale. Sure, plenty of people died, particularly Dharma employees who has the ill fortune of assignment to the Swan station. But I can only count two characters whose names we knew that actually kicked the bucket: Phil and Jacob.

Sure, we'd gotten to know Phil, and he was in as many episodes as Horace, and we even saw a hint of development in his character. However, he was so unimportant to the scheme of things that his death could hardly be considered major. As for Jacob, while his death is undoubtedly hugely important to the scheme of things, we hardly knew the guy, having just met him two hours ago... so as a plot point, his death was major, but as a character point, it lacked impact.

Now, half of our main cast is certainly on the line for having maybe died, with Juliet's death looking the most probable. You don't sit at ground zero of an atomic explosion and live. Then again, I'd argue that you don't sit fifty feet above ground zero and live, either, unless there's some weird "electromagnetic anomaly" business going on.

Really, the Juliet ambiguity is quite clever from a production standpoint--apparently, Elizabeth Mitchell got some major role in a pilot for a new television show, and her role on Lost could change dramatically if the pilot gets picked up and lasts a while. If this means she can no longer be on the Lost cast, then of course she died after being so close to a massive release of energy. If she can still be on lost, then of course the "fluctuations" caused by Jughead and the strange matter pocket saved her.

If Juliet needs to die so Elizabeth Mitchell can move on, though, then the main cast is going to need a little overhaul. We'd be down to two female main characters, Kate and Sun, against about a dozen male main characters, and the last thing Lost needs is to turn into as much of a sausage fest as Georgia Tech. Claire coming back holds some promise--and the producers really need to address that story, but that's still lacking. Combine that with Ilana apparently being a lot more important than we thought, and I can definitely see her joining the main cast.

Speaking of the main cast, major gripe with the finale: no Desmond? What the hell? Every season finale to date have featured all the (living) main characters. Desmond's utterly embarrassing lack of screen time has been the one knock on the otherwise fantastic season 5. Eloise as much as told us, halfway through the season, that the Island was not done with Desmond. This had better come to fruition before the end of the series.

Pleasantly, Jack is no longer my least favorite character, having regrown most of his lost backbone and seemingly left "wussy" mode. He hasn't recovered all the way: the worst scene in the finale was his fight with Sawyer, which didn't seem to have much of a point. It almost seemed like that fight was really over Kate, which made my hate it even more. I really, really like season 5 Sawyer, and it made me care about his character for the first time in the series. I only hope his character stays that interesting to the end.

I still like Miles, and I still like Sun, and I've been satisfied with their screen time this season. Definitely looking forward to the Jin-Sun reunion, which I have to assume will happen toward the beginning of next season. I really want to see more Frank and more Richard, and I could do with a little more Charles Widmore too.

To end, the biggest thing to speculate about: who will the next important "group of people" be in season 6? We had the mid-section survivors in season 1, the tail section people in season 2, the Others in season 3, the freighter people in season 4, and Dharma in season 5. Maybe more of Jacob's people, such as Ilana and her ilk?

I'll finish up the season finale discussion in a few days with the "Everything that Rises Must Converge" edition, describing what I perceive as the most important plot points for the last season.

Currently listening: "Suspension", Mae, from The Everglow

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