“Lie to them, Jack. If you do it half as well as you lie to yourself, they’ll believe you.”
Man... I can’t be the only one who always feels completely exhausted after watching an episode of Lost. It’s going to take a few days to digest that TON of information that just got dumped on us, but I only have a couple of hours to write this. I’m hoping to update this post often at the end of it, so check in regularly after I’m able to think things through and write out more observations below.
You have to hand it to Darlton: These guys know how to pull off a finale!! This one didn’t pack quite the punch of the season 3 finale, but it certainly brought the season to a close by taking a bunch of storylines and pulling them together here. FINALLY we have a lot of answers that will allow us to begin to solve the mysteries.
Yeah, you’re right. I’m totally kidding.
And after last season’s finale, where the obit CLEARLY read Jo___ __antham, and I said in my post that it’s too bad it wasn’t Jeremy Bentham, because that would have opened up so much more... the writers changed it to Bentham. Apparently the writers of the obit couldn’t get the name right, and we shall chalk it up to a major typo in the newspaper. Ahem. Jeremy Bentham was a 18th and 19th century philosopher who developed the ideas of utilitarianism, or the greatest good for the greatest number of people. He was one of the first advocates for animal rights. He boiled down the separation of good and evil to two major things: pleasure and pain. That which brings us the most pleasure and the least pain is good; the most pain and the least pleasure is evil.
When I think Jeremy Bentham, however, I only remember vaguely the stuff about utilitarianism from my poli sci classes... what I remember him for is his concept of the panopticon. The panopticon was a prison that Bentham designed and developed, where the prisoners would be under constant watch by the guards, but were unaware of being watched. It’s a concept Orwell used in 1984 to suggest all of us are being watched by someone but don’t know when they’re tuning in. The structure of the prison was circular, with the cells being on the wall, and the guard tower in the centre, where the guards could watch without being seen. Food is dispatched to the prisoners automatically, without the staff having to do it, and the prisoners aren’t allowed to move around much beyond their cells. Presumably, the use of the name “Jeremy Bentham” comes back to the idea of a circular prison (the island) where everyone is being watched, but they don’t know when or by whom. Food drops onto the island, and every move is monitored.
RIP Michael & Jin...
See, with Charlie, I watched him die. I was in tears. But this time, I sat there with my hands over my mouth, in shock, but wondering if maybe – just maybe – Jin somehow got away. I know the chances are slim, but... I’m an optimist. It’s probably safe to say Michael died, since Christian gave him the okay to die and the guy was in the centre of the boat, unable to escape. But it’s a little hard to mourn him after what he did while he was on the island, and being away from him for so long in the meantime. I always felt bad for Michael; he got the bum rap no matter what he did, and then ultimately made some terrible choices in the name of finding his son. He was used by the island as a pawn and then tossed aside, and for that, I’m sad. But Jin’s death – if that’s what it was – seemed a little mechanical. As in, why did he stay behind in the first place? He should have been up there with Desmond, not sitting below staring at the plans. The man’s about to become a father, and Desmond is the guy with the bomb defusing experience, but Des is the guy to run up top? (Don’t get me wrong, I’d be pulling my hair out now if Des had stayed behind, but you know what I’m saying.)
Things That Make You Go “...AND?!”
Jack: “It’s okay, we’re alive.” Of course, now we’re WAY worse off than we were before, because we’re in the middle of an ocean with no water and no food and the island is gone and we’ll probably all die and this baby hasn’t been fed in 24 hours, but we’re alive.
The Guy in the Casket
So... Locke is the guy in the casket. Or is it Locke? He’s clearly going by the name Jeremy Bentham, but the strange thing is, the Oceanic Five Who Can Talk are all referring to him as Jeremy, and not Locke. Why would they use his pseudonym? Is it someone or something who looks like Locke? What is his relation to Abbadon? Is there one? Walt tells Hurley that Jeremy Bentham came to see him, and wants to know why everyone is lying. But it was Locke who TOLD them to lie. So does that suggest Bentham and Locke are two different people?
• Desmond explaining all the ways they could go boom.
• Sayid heading off Keamy at the pass. WOO! Go Sayid!!
• The argument between Locke and Jack at the Orchid. There’s something about watching these two go at it... it’s one of the things I loved about season 2, and it was great to see it again.
• Rose telling “Shorty” that she’s going to keep an eye on him
• “If you mean time travelling bunnies, then yes.”
• Sawyer calling Frank “Kenny Rogers.”
• Yunjin Kim’s performance when Sun sees the freighter blow up. Stunning.
• Hurley’s response when Jack denies that Locke moved the island: “Oh really? Cause... one minute it was there and the next it was gone... so... unless we like overlooked it, dude? That’s exactly what he did. But... if you’ve got another explanation man, I’d love to hear it.
• Penny and Desmond kissing.
Biggest “GASP!” Moments:
• The elevator suddenly going back up, and what comes back down. CREEPY.
• Ben stabbing Keamy to death.
• The helicopter taking off with Jin jumping up and down below it.
• The island suddenly disappearing.
• Desmond not breathing when everyone pulls him out of the water. Okay, writers? We need to talk. Do NOT do that to me again. I could barely breathe.
• Penny on the boat! But... um... does this mean Desmond’s story is essentially over? His was the romantic sidestory. I really hope with Widmore being the enemy that Desmond doesn’t become a character who only pops up a couple of times next season or something.
The rabbit has a 15 on it. When Frank notices the fuel is dropping, it’s at 4. When Sayid asks the man in the car what time it is, he says 8:15 just before Sayid shoots him.
Did You Notice?:
• Imagine how long it must have taken to recreate that opening scene again, getting the puddles just right, Kate’s makeup, Jack’s bad beard...
• Kate says she’s spent 3 years trying to forget what happened, which puts this scene at the end of 2007.
• Kate and Sayid were going along with the Others to get Ben back because they’d been promised a way off the island... interesting they did that, since they’ve NEVER been lied to before.
• The only thing scarier than a psycho Marine is a primal Other... or a former torturer for the Iraqi Republican Guard.
• Malcolm David Kelley has really grown up! I’ve been saying for a couple of years that there’s no way they can continue to show Walt, but now the flashforward allows for that. I was sort of hoping for a little more than what we got, but here’s hoping we see more of him. They can’t just leave Walt’s “specialness” dangling without answering what the hell it’s all about.
• Despite being wrong about the computer button needing to be pushed, the freighter folk, the purpose of the rescue mission, and just about everything else, Mr. High and Mighty (a.k.a. Jack) STILL cannot admit it. Argh.
• Speaking of Scully, when the hell will he admit that maybe, JUST maybe, some of the weirdnesses of the island can’t be explained away? After witnessing smoke monsters and people magically healing, he doesn’t believe in miracles?
• Apparently the raft is running on solar power, since it’s making it to and from the boat repeatedly without refuelling.
• The Orchid station is... deep. It’s like they’re descending into hell. If you haven’t read The Third Policeman – that book Desmond was reading in season 2 – check it out, because a place they have to descend to using elevators plays a big part in it.
• Did anyone else think it was strange that Ben just happened to have the orientation video for the Orchid sitting right there so he could keep Locke busy? That seemed a little convenient for the plot.
• That was not the orientation film we’d already seen on YouTube.
• I’ll have to leave it to the physics experts to describe the Casimir Effect, but you can read about it here.
• Despite Ben often oozing pure evil, there’s something about him that makes me think there’s a heart in there. Even if it’s small and black, there’s a heart. Locke jumps on Keamy after Ben stabs him, and tells Ben that he’s just killed everyone on the boat, to which Ben replies, “So.” His coldness comes across as just that, but I think he’s been broken by Alex’s death.
• Jack takes over even on the helicopter. Shut UP, Jack.
• Hurley’s playing chess with dead people... the entire series is an elaborate chess game.
• Christian appeared to Michael right before the freighter blew up, to tell him he could go now. Apparently the island needed him to come up with the liquid nitrogen idea... presumably to get Sun safely off the freighter. She (or Ji Yeon) must be pretty important. Also, it would suggest Christian is the mouthpiece of the island, since he delivers the message from the island.
• Many of the people who make it back are spurned on because they lost their loved ones due to Widmore’s design: Ben lost Alex; Sun lost Jin; Hurley lost Charlie; Sayid lost Nadia.
• On Sun’s business card, the P in Paik looks like a tidal wave.
• Did anyone else think that Juliet sitting there drinking seemed strange... how did she know the boat had blown up and it wasn’t just something on it? The scene felt forced, like they needed to give Mitchell some lines and this was the way to do it.
• Ben puts on the Dharka he’s wearing at the beginning of “The Shape of Things to Come,” and since, when he lands in Tunisia he’s breathing out polar ice, it would seem he time travels right to that spot immediately after moving the island (note the tear in his jacket happens there, too). Considering he’s sobbing and upset and distraught over Alex, he certainly pulls it together in time to overpower those two Bedouins pretty quickly.
• When Ben was in the snow cave, there were hieroglyphics all over the rocks.
• When Ben moved the turnstile, it made the same noise as when the Swan hatch imploded/exploded. The sky turned purple again (“The sky was so purple there were people running everywhere... trying to run from my destruction, you know I didn’t even care.” Great. Now I have that song in my head. “They say two thousand zero zero party over, oops, out of time...” Okay. Enough.) and that deafening sound caused everyone to cover their ears.
• After the helicopter crash, we see Jack floating in the water and waking up, just like after the initial plane crash, we first see Jack waking up.
• In Kate’s dream, the person on the phone was speaking backwards... I can’t wait until fans decipher what it was he was saying.
• John Tenniel’s drawing of the White Rabbit in the Alice books is on Aaron’s bedroom door.
• Jack bristles when Kate says that Aaron surviving that fall is a miracle. There’s something more to that statement other than making Jack feel all superior and sciency... Aaron has survived a LOT of stuff so far and seems completely fine.
• The fishing boat suddenly appearing is like the end of season 1, complete with the little search light.
• Jack has AWESOME musical taste. The Pixies’ “Gouge Away” is one of my favourite songs. Last season he was listening to Nirvana’s Scentless Apprentice on the way to Hoffs-Drawler, and now it’s Gouge Away. Wicked. I heard years ago that this song was about the Old Testament (specifically Samson and Delilah, because Black Francis mentions cutting one’s locks and pulling down the pillars). There’s a line, “sleeping on your belly” which indicates a snake, possibly Locke.
• Locke has become Ben, not only taking over the Others, but travelling off the island under pseudonyms.
So Many Questions...
• What the hell are those crackers made of? They’re 15 years old, yet Hurley and Sawyer both think they’re pretty good. I have opened packages of crackers in my cupboards that probably taste like cardboard, and they’re only a month old. (Yeah... I’m no good with crackers.)
• Why does the orientation video begin to rewind? Is the actual video going back in time? (Was it just me, or did Locke look sped up as he was trying to get it to stop?)
• So, shipper lovers, who do you predict in season 5: Juliet and Sawyer, or Juliet and Dan?
• What DOES Miles mean when he asks Charlotte about coming back to the island? Or when she says she’s looking for where she was born? Was she born on the island? Who is she? Could she be the Eve in the caves?
• Was there a relationship between Dan and Charlotte? (Or maybe there will be in the future, and he knows about it but she doesn’t, and that’s why he always looks at her with such tenderness?)
• Why could Dan see the boat from the island, but they can’t see it from the helicopter? Where is the storm that’s around it that Sayid and Des and crew had to fly through previously?
• What did Sawyer tell Kate right before he jumped out of the helicopter? I’m assuming he told her about his daughter... if so, how long will it take for her to put together that Clementine is the daughter of her friend Cassidy?
• “Checkmate, Mr. Eko.” Again we come back to the earlier question... are the “dead” people really dead or not? Is it possible we’ll ever see Eko again? (I would LOVE to see him again.) That said, Sayid not seeing Eko sitting there would point to him not actually being there. Unless Hurley is the key to the whole thing...
• What does Sun mean when she says “we’re not the only ones who left the island”... is she referring to those who died? Ben? Locke?
• Is Ben’s apology to Locke a sincere one?
• What exactly is that room underneath the Orchid? Jacob’s Fortress of Solitude?
• When the island disappeared, the people on the raft near the island (i.e. Dan and Co.) disappeared, too. Did they go to the same place as the island? How can Desmond be Daniel’s constant if they’re now separated?
Season 5? Bring it ON!
The season 3 ender established flashforwards as the big thing for season 4, but this one had a lot of nods to what we can expect in season 5. (Then again, a four-toed statue was shown in the season 2 finale and... hello? Writers? ANYTHING?!)
• Charlotte staying on the island and continuing her quest to find her birthplace.
• Ben moving the island. Duh.
• Locke taking over as the leader of the Others.
• Sun confronting Widmore.
• The time between 2004 and 2007, with the Bentham meetings.
UPDATE #1: And presumably, the new ARG has begun. This commercial appeared at the end of the U.S. broadcast of the episode.
UPDATE #2: The voice on the phone in Kate’s dream says “The island needs you. You have to go back before it’s too late.” DocArzt has an audio clip here, where you can listen to it played forward (as I suspected, it was reversed in the dream). When I heard it in the episode, I thought maybe it was Locke’s voice, but now listening to it, it’s definitely not him. I’ve listened to it repeatedly and can’t figure out who it could be. Is it a character we’ve already seen or just one of the production crew saying it to throw us off? It’s not deep enough for Christian. I even thought Sawyer, but by the end of the clip it’s not him. The person it sounds most like is the doctor from the freighter, but I don’t think it’s him. Any thoughts?
UPDATE #3: Okay, here's a doozy. Good Morning America this morning aired the two alternate endings for last night's episode, filmed to try to avoid spoilerage. Here they are. Let's just say I fainted at both of them (I'm feeling better now).
UPDATE #4: Eek. Harold Perrineau is NOT happy about Michael's exit from the show. His biggest disappointment stems from the fact there was no happy reunion between Michael and Walt, which he'd been looking forward to:
Perrineau: Listen, if I'm being really candid, there are all these questions about how they respond to black people on the show. Sayid gets to meet Nadia again, and Desmond and Penny hook up again, but a little black boy and his father hooking up, that wasn't interesting? Instead, Walt just winds up being another fatherless child. It plays into a really big, weird stereotype and, being a black person myself, that wasn't so interesting.
He also worries that Michael's return was only meant to satisfy in a Nikki and Paulo kind of way: "I felt like it was sort of pandering to some fans who wanted to see Michael punished because he betrayed people."
You can read the entire interview here.
UPDATE #5: My hope is renewed!!!!!! The always awesome Sledgeweb has a great screencap of the freighter moments before it went kaboom, and there is NO Jin standing on the deck:
Now, I'm not naive. If they really did blow up a freighter for the show, they'd have to be insane to actually have stuntpeople standing on the boat. But in the blind hope that they thought about that and would have added Jin in digitally if they wanted us to think he was really dead, I shall continue to keep my hope burning that he is alive!!
UPDATE #6: DocArzt has posted an audio clip of what Sawyer says to Kate on the helicopter. It's hard to make out, but it sounds like he's saying, "If you go to Albuquerque, could you find her... Thompson." Listen for yourself and see what you can make out.