Saturday, April 10, 2010

Further Thoughts On "Happily" + Link Dump

I still haven't had a chance to rewatch "Happily Ever After," though I have read several other recaps and the Lostpedia transcript. While I still think the pocket universe holds pretty well (especially in that I really do think Smokey's manipulated the Alt in some way), I'm waffling on the Alt being flashbacks. While it's still possible, if everything we were seeing in the Alt was a flashback that ends up resulting in the time travelers getting back to the Island in 2007, it would take away a lot of the drama of the final six episodes. After all, we're now set up for some pretty exciting stuff in the Alt as Desmond sets out to contact all the Losties using the Flight 815 manifest. If the Alt is total flashback, then Desmond's quest loses all of its drama and suspense since we know he's going to be successful. But I'm still having trouble believing that the Alt is simply a parallel timeline from our present day one (and as Bigmouth points out there are a lot of inconsistencies with that scenario). So what are my biggest hangups with the Alt timeline theory:

1) Jack's physical evidence - His appendix scar and the cut on his neck in the plane. Both of these things the writers went out of their way to point out and both of them seem to suggest that Jack, at the very least, is the same physical Jack from our world that was somehow transported into this Alternate Universe. We haven't seen any evidence from any of the other Losties that this is the case, so it's possible that Jack is special in this regard. But regardless if this was a "simple" alternate timeline Jack these things certainly wouldn't have been pointed out.

2) The memories - Likewise the buried memories Daniel and Desmond have of our present day universe also suggest this isn't a simple AT. In a simple AT, none of these memories should exist at all.

3) Eloise - The Eloise of this Alt certainly seems to know exactly what's going on and may even be helping it along.

Taken all together, I just can't believe the Alt is a simple alternate timeline. But if it really is a pocket universe instead, when in time does that pocket universe exist and what effect does it have on the present day universe? It being in the past still makes the most sense, even if it does undercut the drama of the show. But here's another theory I'm been muddling:

Let's say the pocket universe was indeed created by Smokey when Juliet detonated the bomb and right now it exists in parallel with our present day universe. But the thing is, that universe is not set in stone. Let's say that Smokey's goal is to escape the Island and eliminate our present day timeline, replacing it with the pocket universe instead. But if all the Losties choose to do so, they can collapse the pocket universe on their own when they regain their memories. That's where Alt Desmond comes in. I think this idea is a bit more consistent with what we've seen so far and it keeps the suspense that flashbacks would lose.

Am I right? Probably not. But I feel a bit better about this theory, and isn't that what really matters? The answer is no. ;)

I also really liked this comment from American Hooch:
Not sure if anyone's mentioned this yet but, I'm going to predict that Desmond and Penny are Charles Widmore's father. Their son Charlie is actually Widmore before he time travels in some bizarre way. Goes with that Adam & Eve thing...
That's just brilliant. Granted, it would be ripping off the best episode of Futurama, but I like the idea a lot. And I do think that time travel will be a big factor into the ultimate resolution of the show.

Link Dump:

- If you've never played a game of Pokémon in your life, this will probably be lost on you, but trust me when I say that Pokémon + LOST = Hilarity. Nuzlocke Comics is based on a particular set of (difficult) rules for playing through a Pokémon game, but this guy also happens to be a big LOST fan as well.

Well worth reading and I think I'm going to do my own Nuzlocke Challenge at some point in the future.

- May 23rd, the finale night, will feature a five hour LOST extravaganza. Two hours of preview, the two hour show, then a one hour Jimmy Kimmel retrospective. Nice!

- Daniel Dae Kim calls the Lost finale "very satisfying."

- Emily Nussbaum's entertaining rant in New York Magazine set off a bit of a firestorm on some of the message boards. I love her reviews and I can understand some of her frustration, but I do take issue with this sentiment:
And yet, I'm bitter! Because all those great themes — about society, about human nature, about recovery after trauma — and all those great threads — the Others, Dharma, the childbirth mystery — feel to me simplified by the news that it's all an abstract experiment between super-frenemies in whether human beings are corruptible. To me, that's like folding an enormous, colorful, mysterious map into a tiny wad of chewing gum.
First of all, "Good vs. Evil" isn't the only theme on Lost. In fact, I think one can convincingly argue that "Fate vs. Free Will" is actually the more dominant theme. Locke believed he was destined for greatness to the point where he became nothing more than Smokey's puppet. I still think one of the best scenes from this season was from the season opener where Smokey tells Ben that John Locke's final thought was "I don't understand." Everybody has a choice. And I'm convinced there are going to be many hard choices before the season ends.

But even moreso, "Good vs. Evil" is a pretty darn powerful theme when 1) you have an excellent, competent villain who does horrific things and 2) the heroes are flawed and must overcome those flaws to triumph over the villain. Smokey is certainly one of the best TV villains I've ever seen and he's by far the best part of this season so far. And I'm really looking forward to seeing what our Losties are going to have to sacrifice in order to best him.

While I can certainly see how some people may not like the twists and turns the show has taken the last season or two, LOST has still consistently managed to adhere to these epic themes that have made it one of the best things on television.

1 comment:

Carly said...

Choice and free will are kinda universal themes for many religions and philosophies. No small matter. I can't say I would have been happier if it were all just chalked up to another government conspiracy theory. The whole thing had to be greater them just a super secret island with special powers.