Friday, May 30, 2008

Lost Episode Review 4.13, 4.14: "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3"

: "I hope you're happy now, Jacob."

Four seasons down, only two left to go. :(

Overall, I liked last night's episode. It fell a little bit short of my expectations, I think, because 1) by the end, it wasn't a surprise (to me), that Locke was in the coffin and 2) I think I was a bit put off by the way the writers handled the moving the Island bit.

Wasn't it Locke's destiny to move the Island ("Just wait until you see what I'm going to do")? Wasn't Locke the one who spoke to Jacob? Why didn't Jacob tell Locke what he had to do? And why did Ben suddenly feel all uncharacteristically magnanimous? Was he trying to make up for the fact he was responsible for the death of everyone on the freighter? I dunno. To me it just made the whole trip to the cabin feel like much ado about nothing.

But those are minor quibbles. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and Desmond is still alive and reunited with Penny. I'm so happy. :)

LOTS of questions today. Really the finale, even though it tied up a bunch of loose ends and showed us who's in the coffin, still gave us more questions than answers. So...

1. Where did the island go?

It probably traveled in both space and time, given that Ben was transported halfway around the world and ten months into the future. This also means Ben really didn't go to Tunisia with the express purpose of recruiting Sayid, he just happened to see him on TV and took advantage of the situation. So why is this a side effect of moving the island? Does moving the ice wheel open up a wormhole between that cavern and Tunisia? Seems very "Being John Malkovich" to me. :)

But if the Island has now been transported anywhere in space and time, it certainly answers two things: 1) Why Widmore can't find it and 2) likely how the Black Rock became lodged in the middle of the jungle. Chances are, the Island simply appeared out of nowhere underneath it sometime in the past!

Question now is, how are they going to find it again? Fumiko thinks Walt's going to be the key. Of course, if all the dead people on the island can contact the O6, one would think they could get some directions. Which brings us to...

2. What happened to Locke and how did he get off the island?

I'm guessing we won't get an answer to this until Season 6 (see below). Really the "who's in the coffin" question has just changed to "what happened to the person in the coffin" and it took us a full season to get that one answered. *sigh*

But even though we'll still see plenty of Locke through (presumably) flashbacks, I wonder if he's now going to go all Obi-Wan Kenobi on everyone? His character's always been kinda shamanistic, I wonder if his destiny now is really to become Jack's spirit guide and help him find his way. It is kind of puzzling too why the Island even allowed Locke to die. You would think if it went out of its way to protect Jack and the rest of the O6 (I really don't think Aaron survived the helicopter crash by pure turnip baby mojo alone), the Island wouldn't want Locke, its new chosen son, to be dead unless it was for a specific purpose. Maybe Locke HAD to die in order to convince them all to return. And maybe now that he's dead, he's really become "more powerful than you can ever imagine."

It's looking more and more like Jack might be the real man of destiny on the show. After all, Matthew Fox is purportedly the only cast member who knows how the show is going to end.

3. Does everyone have to go back?

If Locke's corpse is needed to get the Oceanic 6 back on the Island, it seems the "everyone" Ben mentioned is rather inclusive. Does this mean they need Ben, Desmond, Frank and Walt to back too? Is there anyone else I'm missing?

And, of course, this sets up all sorts of delicious plot devices for next season. Indeed it's one of the things that I thought the finale (and Season 4 in general) did exceptionally well. Kate's now a parolee that can't leave the state and she's been told by Claire NOT to bring Aaron back. Ben's trying to kill Penny and Desmond likely won't be wanting to leave Penny's side.

And then, in what was best scene of the episode, Sun actually wants to work with Widmore! In the words of the great Dread Pirate Roberts this might put a damper on their relationship.


4. Has Sun really gone over to the side of... *raised pinky*... eeeeeevil?

The scene with Sun and Widmore was simply fabulous. It was the one scene in the episode where I really jumped off the couch with excitement. Dark Sun (which was actually the name of an old Dungeons and Dragons expansion set - yes, I'm a geek) offers so many plot possibilities it makes my head spin! And you just know Yunjin Kim would be simply fabulous in the role. If Sayid and Sun went at it, I'm not sure who I'd put my money on...

And we know Sun has a dark side too; how she got her maid fired to keep herself out of trouble and how she had an affair which not only got her lover killed, but was responsible for Jin becoming her father's hit man as well. But what is she trying to accomplish here? Does she want to get back to the Island? Does she blame Jack (or, possibly, Ben) and want revenge? Does she think Jin is still alive? Speaking of which...

5. Is Jin really dead?

One would think so, but it's possible he was blown off the freighter and into the radius of the island's teleportation perimeter. After which he could have been...

6. What happened to Daniel and the raft?

....picked up by Daniel and the raft. I'm assuming, since Daniel would certainly have seen the helicopter crash if he wasn't transported with the Island, that he was transported along with it. And maybe, just maybe, Jin was transported too and Daniel will swoop by and pick him up. Certainly looks like the raft was in the field, given the light here...

The one thing that makes me think Jin might be still alive is that he's the one person who could bring Sun back from the dark side (and maybe finding out he's still alive will prevent her from doing something horrible at a critical juncture).

7. Where are Penny, Desmond and Frank now? Does Widmore know where they are?

I guess the real question here is how much contact does Penny have with her dad? On one hand, if Ben wants to kill her, you would think Widmore would certainly want to warn her and keep tabs on her so make sure she's okay. But on the other hand, he hates Desmond so you would think they'd want to sever all contact with him and find someplace to hole up and live happily ever after.

And do they take Frank along? You would think he could probably return to his "normal" life if he wanted. But you would also think that if he did, Abaddon would have tracked him down to find out what happened to everyone. Is he living the good life with them somewhere?

BTW, when the chopper went down, I was so afraid Frank and Desmond were dead. I loved how they resolved it with Penny's boat. If it weren't for the Sun/Widmore scene, the Desmond/Penny reunion would have been my favorite of the episode.

8. Was Charlotte born on the island?

Oh, so tantalizing. Two throw away little lines that we'll probably not get an answer to for a long while. I'm betting Charlotte is the daughter of someone in the DI and somehow managed to escape the purge. Does she know Annie, Ben's childhood friend? Is she really Annie herself?

Man, I really want a Charlotte flashback.

9. Where's the real "magic box?"

Okay, so the Orchid isn't the magic box, it's just the DI's boring, old teleportation station. So where's the freakin' magic box then? Is it at the Temple? I bet we're not getting an answer to this one until the final season too. :P

10. How will the show be structured the next two seasons?

Fumiko and I were talking about this this morning. What makes it so difficult is that there are essentially three remaining storylines:

1) How the Oceanic 6 (and their friends) get back to the Island
2) What happened on the Island after it was teleported
3) What happens once the Oceanic Six get back to the Island

The only way I can see the show resolving these storylines given its present structure is if next season focuses on Jack and Ben struggling to get their band back together (#1), along with on-Island flashforwards showing bits and pieces of what they find when they return (part of #3). Thus, next season would end showing how the O6 actually returned to the Island in real time, kind of in parallel of how this past season was structured. Then, in the final season, we get the climax of the show (#3) structured around flashbacks of what happened on-Island after the Island was transported (#2).

Of course, if this is true, we probably won't find out what happened to Locke until Season 6. Bleah. But I really can't think of any other way they can do it unless they eliminate the flashbacks or forwards because the cast is so separated right now and you can't have a full season focusing on only half the cast! Anyone else have any ideas here?

Other Tidbits:

* It was nice to see Sayid kick some ass.

*Missie, over e-mail today:
"I am disappointed with Walt's lack of inquiry about Vincent. In fact, I'm just bummed we haven't seen much of Vincent lately at all"
"My [baseball] fantasy team next year may be called "Time Travelin' Bunnies."
That's just awesome.

* Selected thoughts from Matt, also over e-mail:
I wouldn't have had a hard time with Ben killing Keamy, but I do find it hard to believe that he took him out mano-a-mano with a knife. Keamy had just gone toe-to-toe with Sayid and lived to tell the tale, after all.

Even though I'm sick of "Christian," and more than sick of Michael, I thoroughly enjoyed Christian showing up to give Michael his pink slip.

Juliet, seeing Sawyer climb back onto the beach: "I'm missing Jack a lot less than I thought I would."

Sawyer, seeing Juliet half way into a bottle of Dharma Rum at the end of his swim: "I'm missing Kate a lot less than I thought I would."

Google "Jeremy Bentham auto icon." You won't be disappointed. Perhaps Season Five will be an acceptable substitute for the long awaited "Weekend at Bernie's III."
I just want to say here I thought the Sawyer cheesecase was totally gratuitous. Juliet and Kate both looked fabulous the past few episodes though. Wonder who does Jules' hair on the Island? ;)

* From my e-mail to Missie and Matt:
Could we be witnessing an evil Sun rise? Could the next two seasons bring us evil under the Sun? The punsabilities are endless!
I couldn't resist.

* Dark UFO, via Get Lost Podcast, has a collection of screencaps from the frozen donkey wheel room. Anyone see anything interesting?

* Uncle Fester?

* Sawyer called Jack "Sunshine" and Frank "Kenny Rogers"

* I loved that Hurley was playing chess with Eko, but I'm also saddened they couldn't get Adewale to do a cameo, which would have sent the awesomeness factor of the episode to 11.

* Also loved Jack's "see you in another life, brother" line to Desmond.

* Kudos to the Lost casting department. Not only did they find a toddler who really looks like he could be Claire's child, but they also found someone who has a head like a turnip!

* And speaking of Claire, even Em remarked last night that Emilie de Ravin looked kinda... puffy. Is she pregnant? Seems like a possibility given she's married now.

* I put my e-mail in at Octagon Global Recruiting, which looks to be the start of a possible summer Lost webgame, but haven't received anything back yet. Anyone get anything?

Summary: A solid, exciting finale, but (in my book anyway) still the weakest of the four finales (although that's nothing to be ashamed about). I think it especially pales in comparison to last year's finale whose twist took me completely by surprise and simply blew me away. By the time we saw Locke in the coffin, I had kind of guessed it was either going to be either Locke or some representation of Jacob (i.e. Christian Shepherd), partly due to Hurley's "Dude, why don't you just call him..." statement which just kinda sapped some of the suspense.

I didn't know about the alternate endings going in that, according to Lostpedia, were shot with Sawyer and Desmond in the coffin, but neither of those possibilities really even crossed my mind. I suppose, in retrospect, Sawyer being the messenger of doom could have been cool, but would it have had the same emotional impact of Locke being in there? I dunno. And, given where the show is heading, with an eventual confrontation between Ben, Penny and Desmond, I simply couldn't see them killing Desmond off after he survived the helicopter crash.

So I'm giving the finale a solid 4/5 as we enter the dismal, dark summer and fall of no LOST. My comic book reviews will be up eventually - if I don't receive them in the next week, I can pick up my original copies from my mom's house when I head there for a visit next weekend. I'll also be posting fairly regularly on various things throughout the hiatus though. :)


Missie said...

I actually place this finale above Season 2, which is the one I consider the weakest. Maybe it's because I was just really over the whole Walt/Michael/ "Give me back my son" storyline. I think last night's show did a great balance of answering questions and raising new ones. As for the set up next season, I was thinking Island scenes would show the badness going down that drives Locke off to look for the Oceanic 6, and off Island we would see the 6 trying to get back together.
Ed and I are with you- we're really hoping Jin somehow made it out. I even said something to him about Daniel picking him up- but Ed seems to think they will still be screwed because he thinks they are simply adrift at sea. I don't think they would end Daniel's character that way. Do you think we ever get to find out who Adam and Eve are? And lastly, when they get back to the Island, will they shoot full circle with Jack opening his eyes into the canopy? I would love if they could somehow incorporate that as the very last shot of the show when we get there.

Jay said...

Exodus and Looking Glass are easily 1-2 in my book, with this one and Die Alone essentially tied for third. I think No Place might be a better episode overall, but it just feels like more "stuff" happened in Die Alone, especially since it was the first time we were given Desmond flashblacks, which I loved.

I do think the show is going to come full circle somehow, and that Jack is going to be at the heart of the resolution. We will get an answer to "Adam and Eve" at the end of the show, according to the writers. :)

Capcom said...

Great views on the show as always!

I was kind of wondering about Ben's comment to Jacob as well. Did he mean, "Are you happy that you picked such an insecure boob as Locke to replace me?" I personally think that Locke could not lead ants out of an ant-hill, and surely not people of such a unique and closed society built upon ancient secrets -- which is what will bring chaos and "bad things" to the island during his reign. Or did he mean, "Are you happy that I'm being banished from the island and you're rid of me now?" In which case, I'm sure that Ben ain't staying off the island forever, as we see when he's talking to Jack -- the man-with-the-plan is not going to take banishment lying down I don't think. Or heck, it could even mean, "Are you happy now that you brought all these chaotic knuckleheads to the island?" :o)

Caroline said...

I always think I am going to wait and comment on the reviews later when I can really be in depth and then never do so these are just random thoughts.

Loved the episode overall, hated when Jin got left behind but hope is still ok somewhere. Figure Michael is dead for real since Christian told him he could "go now" or whatever. Heartbroken for Sun. Sad for Sawyer but he'll be alright...he has Juliet and Dharma rum. Happy for Penny and Desmond but have a feeling that they won't get to just ride off into the sunset. Hope Daniel is ok. Somewhat intrigued by Charlotte's new development. Love Miles and want to see more of him.

Totally guessed Locke was Jeremy Bentham before the big reveal...can't wait to see what happens next...

I am up to Season 2, Epi 11 in my rewatching...makes me sad to know what is to come for some of them.

I am totally completely hopelessly obsessed with this will be a long hiatus.

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RosieP said...

It was nice to see Sayid kick some ass.

To a certain extent. Keamy still ended up kicking Sayid's ass and Richard had to save it.