Monday, May 17, 2010

Comments, Predictions And The Penultimate Link Dump...

Been quite a week. I haven't had a chance to watch "Across The Sea" again, but I have read a good deal of opinions online, most of which were at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of liking or disliking it. I still fall into the 'dislike' camp, but not because I wanted more to be revealed (as many of my friends and many of the commenters in this thread were), but because I thought what we were told was kind of cheesy.

This interview with Darlton has been making the rounds because the interviewer asked them about some of the specific complaints people had with the episode and they got a bit testy. On the one hand, they're absolutely right in that there's no way they can please everyone with the finale (and no reason to think they should have to either). On the other, I do think that many of the problems that I had with the episode were self-inflicted and correctable. If you think a cave with a golden light might look cheesy - don't show it. Either that or come up with something else. And I do agree that this episode probably would have gone over better had it been shown earlier in the season rather than now.

But they're also stuck between a rock and hard place here. I had really high expectations of "Across The Sea" because the show has been one of the best things on TV for the past six years and I was hoping the end run would meet that standard. So if you're going to reveal the centerpiece of the Island's mythology, come up with something better than a glowing cave (or at least make it look better than it did on screen). And I also realize that once the show ends, The Source (and "Across The Sea" in general) could look much better in retrospect.

The watering down of Smokey's evil also bothered me, but this is a personal preference thing. For me, the villains often make the show or the series and throughout Lost, Smokey was one of the most compelling reasons to watch. All this season has been constructed around him, building him into a villain with a single, solitary purpose - to escape the Island and destroy whoever got in his way - and I thought that was terrific. But now we understand why he wants to escape and, well, now I completely understand and kinda sympathize with him.

Yeah, he's certainly more bitter and evil in the present day than he was in "Across The Sea," but he isn't the product of his own arrogance like Dr. Doom, isn't pure evil like Randall Flagg or completely insane like the Joker. No, he's the product of a crazy, manipulative Mother and an impulsive, irrational brother who didn't think before he acted. It doesn't forgive everything he's done in the present, but it make us understand why he's the way he is. And the fact the supposed good Island god is partially responsible for creating him makes their whole conflict a lot less - *ahem* - black and white. And that just doesn't sit right with me, given everything we've seen this season, and seems to go against one of the major themes of the show. I like my evil to be EVIL, dammit! ;)

But anyway, this episode doesn't change the fact that I still love the show and am greatly looking forward to tonight and Sunday. What's everyone making for the finale? I think it's going to be wings of some sort for myself, but I can't decide whether I want slow-cooked Thai Peanut Wings or some breaded, fried Hot Wings. Mmmm... wings.
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The only other link I have to share other than the above Darlton interview (which you should read in full) is this letter from George Lucas to Darlton. I can't tell whether it was written in jest or not, but it is amusing nonetheless. :)

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Tonight's episode, "What They Died For," sounds rather expository to me. You gotta figure the entire endgame will be revealed tonight - i.e. Jack's gotta learn what Desmond's task is on the Island and (hopefully) what the role of the Alt is in all this. And you have to imagine they're going to be going to The Source at some point. Desmond's probably the only one who can find it...

Fearless Predictions

Considering there are only two episodes left, I might as well go all out...

1) I'm going to guess that not only is Desmond the only one who can find The Source, he's the only one who can enter it and survive. And perhaps if Desmond enters The Source he can reverse whatever damage Jacob caused by flushing his brother's body down the cave...

2) I'm going to guess one of the three remaining candidates will die this episode: Sawyer. And he does so in spectacularly heroic fashion to save everyone else. Unfortunately we'll probably get a teary goodbye scene with Kate beforehand.

3) Smokey will send Claire after the remaining candidates and she'll succeed in mortally wounding Kate before the candidates are rescued by... Ben!

4) Alt Jack will achieve awareness this episode and realize the person he really needs to make everything right is the creator of the Alt Universe - his wife, Juliet!

5) Someone will rhetorically ask "what did they die for" during the episode and Hurley will respond by quoting "Wrath of Khan."

I am 100% certain these things shall come to pass. Enjoy the (second-to-last) show everyone! Review up tomorrow morning! :)

6 comments:

Missie said...

I would think the appropriate meal would be Sheapard's Pie. Perhaps with a side of something smoked.

You have to sdmit, they did pull a twist with giving Smokey "Mommy issues" rather than the usual "Daddy issues". :)

I will also be sure that Oona and I never cloud our evil.

Matt said...

I've actually been clamoring for a little blurring of the lines between good and evil; I just don't think it was done well in this episode.

If you're interested in maintaining Smokey as pure evil, you might argue that Smokey isn't really MiB any more than he's really Locke. Yeah, MiB's death released him, but that doesn't mean that he *is* him.

Even if he is MiB in some meaningful sense, there's still (LIT NERD ALERT LIT NERD ALERT) Shelley's warning against sympathy with the devil in Paradise Lost. "We are tempted to way his faults with his wrongs, and excuse the former because the latter exceed all measure." Put another way, you don't get to engage in unbridled slaughter no matter how badly you've been treated.

Jay said...

Shepherd's Pie WOULD be perfect. And I just might take up the suggestion..

And y'know, Mother could have been a great character if she simply explained her motives to Smokey and had him refuse anyway for his own selfish purposes.

And yes, Smokey's past doesn't excuse his present. Certainly there are many great villains who start out good and gradually (or suddenly) become evil; Two-Face is the example that springs instantly to mind. I guess part of me just feels that Smokey's fate could have been completely avoided had Mother explained to her intelligent, rational "son" why she killed his real mother, why he couldn't leave, why tapping into the Source was bad, why she needed him, etc. I might not have killed her after she slaughtered all Smokey's "people," but up until that point I'm not sure I would have done anything different. Does that make sense? I suppose as origin stories go, it wasn't the worst I've seen, but it also just didn't sit right with me.

Maybe this will all change once we find out what Smokey really is. You're right, Matt, in that Smokey isn't the MiB - he just used his form for a very long time. And we've been told all season long that if Smokey escapes, everyone else is doomed in some way. Regardless I think it might be an episode to watch again after the finale.

Missie said...

I'll have to be sure to have my "Lit Nerd Alert" sensor and light installed before your next visit, Matt.

Does anyone else think that maybe the Mother's 2 halves were divided amongst her "sons"? I've still been tghinking about how swiftly and violently she dealt with The Others and their wells. Perhaps she had a little bit of Smokey in her? When nameless son kills her, that destines him for that part and the communion gave Jacob the "good"?

Matt said...

*SIGH* A true lit nerd wouldn't have typed "way" for "weigh," so I think we can downgrade the alert level from "red" to "fluffy white pillow."

R said...

J,

here is our 'across the sea' episode.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch37_Yh4De0

enjoy tonight.

R