Thursday, June 7, 2007

Lost 3.22 Review: "Through The Looking Glass"

So was this a mind-blowing season finale or what? Crisply paced, fabulously acted, and containing a huge, thought-provoking twist at the end. Jack's "Flash Forward" made me think of several works the writers are certainly familiar with. Question is: Which one is it? I'll explain later, but first my five favorite moments of the episode (outside of the ending, which I'll talk about later on).

1. Charlie's Death

I've been waiting for Charlie to die for about a season and a half now, ever since the awful "Fire + Water" episode. His backstory was fully told, his junkie storyline had run its course, and the only purpose he seemed to have left was to whine and bug the crap out of Claire.

But I have to say, he fully redeemed himself in my eyes the past two episodes. Flaunting his death in front of the Other chicks was great, the need for his musical talent to input the code was a nice touch (it gave him purpose), and his sacrifice was touching and noble.

And, make no mistake, he had to die for Desmond's vision to come true. Or at least he believed he did. That's why he closed himself in - not just to prevent Desmond from doing something stupid, but to ensure his vision of Claire and Aaron being saved comes true. If LOST does go down as one of best shows in history (and I think it will), Charlie's death is going to become an iconic moment and I have to think the Hobbit has to be pretty happy about that.

2. Hurley To The Rescue

I should have seen it coming. After Sawyer heartbreaking said to Hugo what everyone was thinking and he walked dejectedly away, you knew he was going to save them all. You could also kinda predict he was certain to save them in his own unique way.

But when he ran over that Other with the van, I was literally floored. I stood up and applauded. Of course he was going to use his van, dude! And when he jubilantly told Jack he saved them, like a little kid in the schoolyard, I had a big weepy grin on my face. Just a fabulous moment.

3. Locke and Walt

Well that was kinda creepy, eh? And not just because the producers had to do some funky voice and perspective things to make Malcolm David Kelley look prepubescent again. Was he the Monster? Jacob? The island itself? Simply a spine-tingling moment.

4. Danielle and Alex

As touching as this scene was, did anyone else find it hilarious that her first words EVER to her daughter were "Help me tie him up," referring to the bloodied Benjamin Linus. Speaking of which...

5. Jack Beating The Crap Out Of Ben

It wasn't pretty, but, boy, didn't it look like it felt good?


1) The Dead: Charlie, Tom, Naomi, the two chicks from the Looking Glass, a lot of minor Others. I was pretty wrong about most of these, and totally shocked Bernard didn't die. I really don't think Mikhail is dead.

2) I thought the episode was terrific overall, Lost Easter Eggs has some great screencaps of key things, especially Jack's obituary. What you can read sorta says:

"The body of J --- --- antham of New York was found shortly after 4am in the ---- of Grand Avenue. Ted ----- man at the Tower heard loud noises ---- antham's loft ---- from a beam.

(Note: Dashes do not correspond with actual letters. They're just illegible parts.)

Sounds like someone we haven't met yet, who's from New York and who hung himself from a beam. He was found by 'Ted" the watchman at the Tower.

The words "Tower" and "Beam" appearing in this very important obit coupled with Jack's flash forward certainly makes me (and probably several of you) think of a very significant work the writers are sure to be familiar with. More on this later on.

3) The funeral parlor was called "Hoffs/Drawlar," an anagram for "Flash Forward"

4) The date on Jack newspaper was May 2007, our present day

The Ending:

The ending offered up a host of possibilities, and the writers went on record afterward to say they don't want to reveal what it meant because they want people to discuss it (no problem). The big question is whether Jack's flash forward represents the actual future, an alternate future, or Jack's memories. Now before you call the men in the white coats, lemme explain...

1. The Future aka "The Star Trek Scenario"

If what we saw represents the actual future, it means the ending is set in stone and the rest of the series will be leading up to how Jack got to that point (and possibly what he does to correct his mistake). This is the most literal interpretation of the finale and what most people on the net generally seem to think.

If we take it all literally, Jack and Kate got rescued, the mysterious J. -antham dies, and Jack is miserable trying to get back. Jack's obsession with returning to the island reminded me of the Nexus in Star Trek: Generations. In that film, Malcolm McDowell plays a somewhat cheesy villain who's obsessed with trying to get back to a roving space anomaly called "the Nexus." It's like a virtual reality where all your dreams come true. Problem is, once you leave, it's virtually impossible to get back (unless you destroy a planet or two) and it leaves you like a junkie in permanent withdrawal with no chance of scoring a swag.

If this scenario is real, it means we're likely to be seeing other flash forwards for the other characters and that the last season of the show may involve them trying to get back to the island to correct their mistakes. But honestly, it really looks like the damage was already done. Did you notice how dark the entire future was? It was almost always night, Jack looked awful, and everywhere he went seemed decrepit and hopeless.

The darkness of what we've been shown makes me think this vision is a Ghost of Lost Yet To Come. Remember, they haven't actually left the island yet. So the question is, can they change the future? Bringing us to...

2. An Alternate Future aka "The Days of Future Past Scenario"

Could Jack's flash forward be a glimpse of a possible future? Could the rest of the show instead be moving towards preventing that future from occurring instead? This offers much more reason for hope to me, and it reminds me of one of the most significant comic book stories ever written: Days of Future Past.

For those of you not familiar, DOFP is an X-Men comic where Kitty Pryde gets sent back in time to prevent the assassination of a rabidly anti-mutant U.S. Senator by Mystique. His death sets off a series of events resulting in the death of nearly all superhuman characters in the Marvel Universe and an America destroyed and overrun by sentinels. Kitty manages to prevent the assassination from taking place, presumably erasing the terrible future altogether.

We know Desmond can not only see the future, but has already traveled into the past once before earlier in the season. Could the writers be setting us up to have Desmond go back in time and preventing Jack's dark future from happening? This seems much more optimistic to me and despite it's fantastical nature, a plausible one given the nature of the show. But there is one more crazy scenario that seemed to be hinted at in the finale...

3. Jack's Memories aka "The Dark Tower Scenario"

Okay, if you haven't read Stephen King's Dark Tower series and you plan to, I highly recommend you skip this little section. STEPHEN KING SPOILERS ABOUND.

The series involves a gunslinger, Roland, who's obsessed with the Dark Tower, a lynchpin of reality that evil forces are trying to destroy. At the beginning of the tale, Roland is chasing a Man in Black, who supposedly can tell him how to reach the Tower, across a desert. He eventually catches him and the Man tells him his future with a Tarot deck before he dies. It isn't a pretty one.

The Tower is held up by six "beams," which all cross and intersect at the Tower itself. Roland follows one of the Beams to the Tower, prevents the evil men from destroying it, but makes some mistakes along the way that result in the of many of his friends . Nevertheless, he climbs the Tower to face his destiny. At the top, he finds a door with his name on it. When he opens it, for an instant his memories come flooding back. Memories of climbing that same tower and opening that same door an infinite number of times before. Before he can do anything, Roland is sucked into the door and sent back to the very beginning, to the edge of the desert where he was chasing the Man in Black, with no memory of what has transpired. Forced to repeat his quest, he starts off after the Man in Black again.

Could Jack be Roland? Could he be destined to repeat his mistakes again and again until he gets it right and saves the island? Could what we saw in the finale be something Jack has already experienced before, a true flashback if you will?

The Tower ending does offer some hope in this regard - namely that if Roland makes some small changes in what transpires, he can alter the future and finally end his time-loop once and for all. In this scenario, maybe Desmond is the key here - he'll be able to see what's happening and prevent Jack from repeating his mistakes.

So what set me off on this crazy theory, aside from the usual, that is? Well, first of all, the writers are definitely familiar with the Tower, considering how big Stephen King fans they are. Secondly, the newspaper article that Jack was obsessing over in the finale had several prominent Tower related words present: "Tower," "Beam," and "Ted," the name of one of the major characters from the latter books in the series. Furthermore, an easter egg hidden in an earlier episode this season also ties into this. If you reverse the audio from the film Karl was being brainwashed with in Room 23, you can hear the creepy phrase "ONLY FOOLS ARE ENSLAVED BY TIME AND SPACE." I thought that screamed Dark Tower when I first heard it. Now it reminds me of it even more.

Crazy? Yeah. It's certainly not Occam's Razor. But keep the Dark Tower in mind. Or better yet, read it. You certainly won't regret it.


If this episode isn't a 5/5, I don't know what is. Lots to chew on, eh? What did you think of the finale? What did you think Jack's flash forward means?

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