Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Lostaholics Anonymous: Week 3

As we enter week 3 of Lostaholics Anonymous, I have to say what a joy it is to reconnect with so many of you, and hear your familiar voices chattering again (okay, they’re cybervoices, but that’s all I’ve ever known, and in my head I’ve created voices for all of you… yourblindspot, for example, sounds like Daffy Duck). j/k

Last week we discussed the happy moments, and I found myself smiling as many of you recalled those moments and the happiness they brought you the first time around, or subsequent rewatches. We talked about “Tricia Tanaka Is Dead,” and how it seemed like an inconsequential episode at the time, but by the end of the series had taken on an entirely different resonance (and I thought that might make an interesting topic coming up; what episodes do you watch really differently now? But that’s a discussion for a later meeting). I loved so many of the moments you all came up with, and enjoyed the discussion that often there are sad moments and funny moments, but then favourite moments that fall in between – moments like that bittersweet, wonderful phone call between Desmond and Penny – one of my ALL-TIME fave moments of the entire series, but one which I couldn’t categorize as a funny one. A happy one, yes.

We laughed, we laughed some more… and now, I’m about to bring tears upon all of you. For this week we’ll discuss those sad moments. Now, as we all know (and as any fan of Joss Whedon’s work knows all too well) there can be joy and catharsis in our tears. While watching Charlie slowly drown is something that makes me cry every time, there is a beauty to the way that scene was put together. These scenes make us cry, and sometimes, depending on what else is going on in our lives at the time, we cry harder than we might have at another time, because these scenes simply provide the outlet for our pain.

So, I’ll introduce the topic. As someone mentioned in the comments last week, it’s tough to come up with really sad moments that don’t involve a death of some kind. So let’s start with the obvious one, the one that made all of us cry. I’ll show a longer version of the scene because it’s important to see how happy Charlie was the moment right before it all happened… and how that hope was drained seconds before his death by the sudden dire knowledge that the boat wasn’t Penny’s and that he had NOT bested fate:

Listen to the music in that scene; it’s the music that I think makes it SO glorious… you have the manic action music right before the grenade goes off, but as Charlie realizes his destiny, the music suddenly stops . . . in fact, all of the sound within the scene stops, and instead we get the piano music and the mournful violin. It’s that music that gets me every time. Charlie fulfills his one final role – warning Desmond that the boat isn’t Penny’s – and then he slowly, silently, dies. This is a scene that is so painful, and yet we watch it over and over again for the sheer beauty of it. It’s scenes like this that make you realize how important the music is, and, in this case, what a genius Michael Giacchino is (and what a shame it is that he’ll no longer do television… wah).

OK, and what would one drowning be without the other? Here we go:

Notice the recurrence of that same piano theme that Charlie died to. It’s not by accident – the creative team knew how deeply we associate that music to the drowning death of Charlie, and they evoke those same memories with it here. What I find interesting is that they removed the mournful violin, when in earlier seasons, that violin was the motif they used to indicate a Sun storyline (it has a distinctly Asian flare to it). But maybe they removed it so they could separate it from Charlie slightly.

I’ll never forget the way I sobbed when the camera cut to the sub slipping deeper and deeper into the waters. Or the pain when the last shot we get of them is their hands slipping away from each other. I remember my initial thought being, “You BASTARDS! You can’t even let them die together? Howl… howl… howl!!” (To quote a famous king.) But while their hands slip away from one another, we realize their souls are entwined. Their bodies are just the shells that once housed their spirits, and we know that where they ended up (i.e. the sideways world and beyond) they are together.

OK, another moment that made me cry. This is possibly my favourite scene of the entire series.

Oh Richard. My love for you is endless. Desmond who?? Many people (including me) railed about the fact that Nestor wasn’t nominated for an Emmy for this scene, but he was made a cast member, and couldn’t really be nominated for one episode out of all of them. But let’s look at the scene on its own. The addition of Hurley in the scene was risky at the beginning… it could have gone in an entirely comic direction, but it doesn’t. It’s just GORGEOUS and heartbreaking and beautiful and perfect. Love that transcends time and even spiritual boundaries. God, I LOVE this scene. Once again, the music makes it – Giacchino created a new musical motif for the Richard/Isabella love scenes, and what we hear in this scene is a variation on the one we saw at the beginning of the episode, when she first died. Everything from Richard closing his eyes, to the sudden realization on his face that she really IS there, to the peaceful and assured manner in which she talks to him, just breaks my heart. I can’t talk enough about how much I love this scene.

OK, so now the scenes that don’t involve a death of a loved one of some kind. This one breaks my heart every time I see it, and in fact, the last time I watched the episode I actually jumped ahead of it. This is a sad scene that is so incredibly painful for me that it doesn’t make me happy, nor is it cathartic. But is it perfectly acted and written? Yes.

(OK, for me the real difficulty begins at 3:20… sorry for the long preamble but this is the only cut of this scene I could find that didn’t have Kelly Clarkson singing over it.) I’ve probably said this before, but Aaron looks a LOT like my son (only my son is even cuter… says the completely unbiased mother). He has platinum blonde hair that’s the same length, he sleeps on his back the same way, and he’s 3 years old. (When the episode first aired he was obviously younger, but now he’s the same age.) As a mom, I think my biggest nightmare is losing my children in any way, and watching her say goodbye to him slays me. I have friends who have adopted children, and friends who ARE adopted children, and it doesn’t matter if you are a biological parent – if you raised a child as if you were his or her mother, you are his mother. In this scene Kate walks away from the little boy who changed her life entirely.

This is actually a great example of an episode that changes in retrospect, because we now can watch the scene of Kate talking to Claire’s mom and saying she’s going to find Claire and bring her back, and know that she did exactly that. So this is a little easier for me to watch now than it was before.

Now, I have plenty of other moments I could mention here, but I want to leave a bunch for you guys to talk about and not hog the mike here. ;) So I’ll leave you with my last one. In “LA X,” after Ben realizes that Locke is in fact the smoke monster on top of being the Man in Black, Smokey sits down and tells Ben what Locke’s final thought was – “I don’t understand.” He adds, “Isn’t that just about the saddest thing you ever heard?” And, as I say in my Finding Lost Season 6 book, YES. Yes it is. Every time I watch this scene I feel my throat catch when he says that, and I picture Locke with the cord around his neck, the life being choked out of him, and I think of how confused he was and what a horrible last thought that must have been.

Now, I’m cheating a bit because I found a video that actually splices together the scene of Locke dying with the scene of Smokey recounting it, and trust me, it makes it much, much sadder (whoever edited this is brilliant, despite the pixelated quality of the video he was working with). But check this out:

I’ve talked about this at length on here, but Locke deserved better than that. I’m always devastated to think that all of his searching and understanding that he discovered in his life came down to one confused moment, and then… death.

Now, as I look back through all of these moments, I actually see a pattern, one that brings me to my first real mention of the finale in our L.A. meetings. All of these sad moments were sparked by love. Kate leaves Aaron because she loves him so much she knows that he deserves his biological mother. Richard’s heartbreak stems from the fact that he loves Isabella with all his heart, and has lived the past 140 years with the sadness of having lost her. Jin dies holding Sun’s hands because of how much he loves her and can’t bear to be apart from her ever again. Charlie closes the door and dies so that Desmond might live, and so the prophecy that Claire and Aaron would safely leave the island could be borne out. His last desperate message is the one that ends up saving a lot of lives by warning them.

Locke stands alone. Smokey’s story isn’t told out of love, and when Locke died, he was on the verge of suicide because of the way he felt so defeated. But I think that despite his lone wolf persona, Locke had a great love of mankind, which is why he worked so hard to try to help out the greater good. He always believed he was helping everyone, and he left the island so the others could be saved, and when he was told that one condition of saving everyone was that he would have to die, he accepted it without hesitation.

Which brings us to the finale, which all came down to love and togetherness. All of these moments lose their bitterness in that final scene of the series, when we realize that Aaron and Kate and Claire would all be happy, that Charlie is alive again and has found his Claire, that Locke now “understands” and has found inner peace, and that Jin and Sun will always be together. So despite the fact that during the finale, I cried more than I did for all of the above scenes combined, it really was a happy ending, and one that satisfied me.

So, now I turn it over to you… bring on the sadness!!

For our next meeting, I was thinking about starting to break down the show by character, and then after that, by theme. How does that sound? So let’s start with a doozy next week, and begin with… Jack. ;)


Marebabe said...

I’d like to welcome you all to our SAD meeting tonight. Everyone got a box of tissues? Good.

Every single one of our Losties has had weepy scenes, so I mentally ran through a catalog of scenes with tears, and I quickly came to the conclusion that John Locke is the poster child for overwhelming tragedy. I’ll just highlight 2 here: a) the first moment he was placed in his hated wheelchair, and b) when Helen refused his marriage proposal. Helen’s refusal didn’t make John cry (at least that we saw, not immediately), but the fact that this humiliating scene was witnessed by his good-for-nothing father made it even worse. It was a super-sad moment in John’s life. *sniff*

Another one I’d like to mention is from “Enter 77”, when Sayid is quietly confronted by Amira, the woman that he had once tortured. Amira’s husband had tried to beat a confession out of Sayid, but it was her story about rescuing the cat, and how she could identify with the horrible condition of never feeling safe, that broke down his resistance. He cried, and apologized from his heart, and she forgave him. There are many elements and many layers to this amazing scene, but the sad part is just that there is so much cruelty and suffering and misery in the world. It gets me every time.

HOW MANY death scenes have we witnessed on LOST? And of course, there were always tears, and they all ripped our hearts out, more or less, depending on how beloved the deceased characters were. But in thinking about all the deaths, the ones that made ME well up the most were Charlie, Libby, and Sun and Jin. And not for the reasons you might think. It’s because in all of these cases, we had to witness Hurley’s shattering grief. And I cannot bear for Hurley to cry alone in my presence, so I have to join him.

OK, there’s one more that I must mention. During our rewatch last year, I confessed how wrecked and blubbery I became when Juliet fell down the shaft and Sawyer was sobbing in despair. That one hit me in my gut and took my breath away, in a way that shocked and surprised me. “Sad” is too weak a word for my reaction to that scene. In that moment, I too was shredded and grieving. So was everyone who was totally invested in these characters. And I know that all of you understand, and for that I’m grateful. *watery smile*

And by the way, Michael Giacchino is still doing music for “Fringe”, I think. Isn’t he? At least I see his name in the end credits for all the S2 episodes I’m currently watching on DVD.

Matt Roeser said...

hey guys! i'm loving that even after the show is over, there's so much discussion going on. if anyone's interested, we're doing a LOST rewatch, 2 eps a week...

we just watched an ep that would qualify for the topic of sadness this week, WHITE RABBIT, where we see jack haunted by the death of his father...


Gillian Whitfield said...

The first scene that made me cry on Lost was definitely the death of Boone. But Charlie's death topped it for sure for the longest time. I also cried during Sun and Jin's goodbye scene on the beach in "Exodus part 1"

And then there was Richard's scene with his wife, where I was just WEEPING and beside myself (it didn't help that I was suffering from a really bad case of the flu at the time) throughout the whole scene.

But nothing will be able to top: the finale. Oh. My. TEARS. Especially within the last half hour. Throughout the episode, I have a box of tissues next to me. But as soon as Jack puts the cork back in the hole, that's it. Stick a fork in me, I'm done for. Prepare for the waterworks!

Another scene that got me the first few times, was after Locke's oh-so-brilliant dad took John's kidney and he turns Locke away, and Locke sits in his car crying. And what with Giacchino's music.

LRTFaraday said...

Good evening,

Loved Nikki's picks.

I would agree that one of (if not the saddest) moments was Charlie's death. Just remembering the look of sorrow and grief in Desmond's eyes and the twinkle of "it's ok" in Charlie's, brings me to tears each time. The communication between the two as he read "not Penny's boat" was beautiful. So sad!

Here are a few more that are my favourite sad moments:

1/ Juliet's fall (The Incident). I said last week how much I loved these two characters. Sawyer holding her and saying "don't you leave me", "I got you" and begging her to stay with him - it was so sad. I cried so much. Loved them - but it was over.

2/ Ben's scene with Illana in Dr. Linus when he is finally honest about his feelings of guilt over Alex's death and how he chose the island over her. He's such a brilliant actor. It amazes me that I could love and feel sorry for him, but I do I do I do (pass the kleenex)

3/ The scene when Sawyer tells Jack of the conversation he had with Christian in the bar before the plane crash. When Jack hears that his father felt Jack was a better father then he could ever be, that he was proud of him and that he loved him. Words Jack always wanted to hear - but bittersweet because his father was gone. And Jack had a lot of guilt over that.

4/ The scene with Locke and his father Anthony in the car, where he says "you're not welcome here", you're not wanted, you've been conned, get over it". Poor Locke to hear such hurtful words!! At first he seemed ok, but then takes a sip of coffee and breaks down and cries. I wanted to hug him so bad and tell him "I want you".

Can't wait to read on!

Unknown said...
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humanebean said...

Oh, there are so very many moments that flash through my mind when I think of the heart-wrenching moments our beloved LOSTaways experienced on their journey.

- When the group marching up from the beach in "The Beginning Of The End" meets the group marching back through the jungle from the Radio Tower ... Desmond sees Claire and starts to move towards her to tell her of Charlie's fate. Hurley stops him and says, "I'll tell her". He goes to her and gathers himself for a moment, struggling with his emotions before he can say, simply, "He's dead. Charlie's dead" The raw power of the scene blows me away every time.

- Jack standing in his kitchen during the flashback in "The Hunting Party" during Season two, having arrived home late following the unsuccessful operation to save Mr. Busoni and briefly kissing his daughter Gabriela. He confesses his lapse to Sarah - and she tells him that she was already packing to leave him. "You will always need something to fix. Goodbye." Gut-wrenching.

- Juliet staring at the monitor in The Flame Station during the flashback to the early post-815-crash days in "One Of Us" from Season Three, as Richard turns his camera on her sister Rachel and little niece on the playground. Ben tells her that Rachel's cancer is in remission. Juliet begs to be allowed to go home but Ben tells her that she must stay until her fertility work is complete. "We'll find more mothers... who knows, maybe there's even one on that plane". One of Elizabeth Mitchell's early moments as Juliet that would resonate through her experiences with Sawyer in Dharma Days.

There are so many more - but I love to hear the ones that impacted others throughout the show.

The Question Mark said...

Well, if I had a dollar for every time I got choked up watching LOST, I'd probably be a millionaire!

I think it's safe to say that every episode has at least one scene that brings a tear to the eye or a lump to the throat, and after deciding that "The End" and the Raft Launch were my runners-up, the saddest moment for me (hands down) is all of "Ab Aterno".

I just felt...different after seeing that episode. I had seen countless situations where Locke or Hurley or Jack were in a sad situation & I felt sorry for them, but something about Richard's story cut me really deep. I was almost in a trance after watching that episode, feeling his pain as if he were a real person that I knew. To this day I still can't explain it, perhaps it's just a combination of the writing, Giacchino's music, and Nestor Carbonell's acting. Whatever the case, "Ab Aeterno" was not just the saddest LOST experience I've ever had, but probably the most tear-jerking thing I have ever watched, period.
(With the exception of the end of Toy Story 3 LoL).

sk said...

One moment that caught me off guard was when Sawyer threw Juliet's engagement ring into the water. He was a broken and an emotionally damaged person, unable to overcome any more obstacles that came his way. And telling Kate that some people are just meant to be alone just pushed me over the edge. Made me cry big time.

paleoblues said...

Although not a specific scene, witnessing Jack's father drink himself to death and then Jack's downward spiral, nearly following in his footsteps.

Erin {pughs' news} said...

LOST has made me cry more times than I can count. Even on re-watches, when I know what's coming, I weep. One scene that springs to mind is the one where Kate and Jack find Charlie strung up in the tree. Jack is pounding on Charlie's chest trying to resuscitate him (I just spelled that wrong, didn't I?) and Kate is sobbing and even though I know Charlie doesn't die (in this instance), it still gets me every time.

I cried so hard in season 3 when I thought Pickett was going to kill Sawyer. Kate was screaming and Sawyer kept telling her not to look. Brutal. (I think everyone here knows how I feel about Sawyer... the stress during this episode was NOT good for my heart!)

Scenes with Des and Penny usually make me cry. The bit where he finally reaches her on the phone and they have to say good-bye and they're both saying, "I love you" and then they lose the connection. Oh dear...

And don't even get me started on the finale. I'm still recovering from that!

Where's my kleenex?

Nurse Brian said... the midst of studying for a midterm, but still have time to read your blog Nikki!

Okay, I agree with all of your picks Nikki. Sun and Jin's death (although they were talking in English) is probably my biggest sad moment.

One of the scenes that made me reach for some tissues was when Juliet fell into the hole at the end of season 5. Sawyer's scream for Juliet put me over.

And because of that scene, another one of my picks was Sawyer and Juliet's moment of "clarity/enlightenment" during the series finale. Sawyer's uttering "I got you" just killed me. A close second was Charlie and Claire's reunion backstage after Aaron's birth.

...okay, back to studying!

sk said...

One scene that will stay with me forever is the brutal execution of Alex by Keamy, and the unbelievable look of horror on Ben's face. It still haunts me.

Unknown said...

First, I very much agree with sk about Alex's death. Shocking and sad.

I so rarely cried on first viewings of any scenes. I think I was mostly just trying to wrap my head around all that was going on rather than letting myself feel the emotion of a scene. I do cry TONS on rewatches, though, since I'm more relaxed. BUT, there is one time I lost it on first viewing! "The End," starting when Jack wakes up in the same spot and position as MIB, stands up, and starts stumbling through the jungle.

I knew then he was definitely going to be a goner. Matthew Fox NAILED IT in that scene. And the Island goings-on juxtaposed with the sideways church goings-on was so gorgeous. And when Vincent showed up? OMG, seriously, just kill me now.

I wasn't a fan of Jack's at all until the last season. The minute he said, "Wanna try another stick?" was the moment I became a fan. He was such an awesome character at the end. Maybe I'll be repeating some of this next week! LOL Or I should say *sobsobsob*

M9 EGO said...

I have to say I am a 40 yr old grown man and I spent the entire 2 1/2 hr finale blubbing ,the anticiptation of the finale I think was more emotional than the actual thing. For me the two scenes that got me the most where Kate & Jack when he turns up at the party and she strolls over to him (looking extremly HOT !) and then the vending machine scene with Sawyer and Juliet. I did not find the ending emotional, more a relief.

LittleMo said...

Nikki - you've nailed it, its the beautiful music that always adds to a scene and sets me off.

I actually find the Richard/Hurley/Isabella scene a strangely hopeful one, not quite happy, but at least the two have made some contact with each other and that could now give Richard some peace. Hurley being there is fine - becauese we know by now that he is a very sensitive person so that works well. Which actually reminds me of some happy scenes are when Richard is released from his pact and becomes mortal, and then when he finds a grey hair - he becomes so happy that his long torment will have an end. That to me is a very happy scene.

The Kate scene where she gives up Aaron is a real killer - as a mother too, it really touches on what may be a bigger fear than dying yourself but losing your kids. They are the people you would lay down your life for (and your partner).

Sayid has some really sad scenes too, his life is quite tragic, but I can't remember the details of them at the moment.

The other scene that was always really sad to me and not yet mentioned is in the sideways world when Ben doesn't go into the church and is left behind. To me that is so sad - he is an outsider and not part of this group. That is like a reversal - in the sideways world he is sad (maybe his group of people haven't arrived yet) yet in the 'real' world he is content because he is now looking after the island with Hurley.

Which raises a question about the sideways world. If that is a place where people join up before moving on then what happens to a person who belongs in two groups - which one do they move on with. This moving on stuff still puzzles me. Why not have the sideways world as just a plain and simple parallel universe and not bother with the moving on bit ?! (sorry folks to have raised that again - but it just really bugs me)

Nikki - love the idea of looking at the main characters right through the series - how they started, what happens to them and how events shape them or they shape events.

(PS thanks Nikki for putting the clips in the blog. Its great to see those awesome scenes while discussing them. But I did have to have the tissues nearby this time)

Batcabbage said...

What does it to me is the look on Ben's face when Alex is killed. To him, there's just no way that Keamy will do it, and when he does, Ben's world just falls apart. The profound sadness in that moment - Ben broken, along with the rules of the game - illustrated beautifully on Ben's face, the shock, the loss, in that one moment just after the shot. So sad.

Also John, and how he still tries to ask Helen to marry him in the car park after she busts his dad handing off his share of the money in the motel. Matter of fact, most of Locke's life before he got to the Island are some of the saddest moments in the show. Poor Locke! Actually, I changed my mind - the pick of the Locke sad moments is when he hangs himself. Terry O'Quinn was brilliant in that scene. So sad, so desperate. Man, I miss this show! :)

Efthymia said...

Charlie's death, of course, because he was one of my favourites - and because, as it turned out, it was for nothing, and because it made Desmond, another of my favourites, feel guilty. But I find equally - if not more - sad his Greatest Hits list, and his goodbye with Hurley, as well as Hurley's reaction afterwards.
Hurley's reaction kills me after Sun and Jin's deaths as well. Actually, I think most moments that made me feel really sad are Hurley's. The scene in his flashback (Everybody Hates Hugo) when the reporters have found out he is the lottery winner and he has that look on his face knowing his life as he knows it and his friendship with Johnny is over - argh, I can't stand it! Him becoming the island protector is also very sad, because he is condemned to a life of loneliness, which is something he always hated; Hurley should be with his family and friends...
I may be alone in this, but I find Jacob becoming the island protector sad as well, because he knows he was never Mother's favourite and never seen as special, and she doesn't even deny it, and still, instead of telling her to F-off, he's being a good sport.
When Lucy kicks Charlie out (Homecoming), which I think is the moment Charlie starts doubtlessly believing that he is worthless and no good and that (which he wasn't).
Desmond turning the failsafe key, saying "I love you" to a Penny who isn't there, believing he will die without having been able to see her one last time.
Ben with his "Because no one else will have me", and the look on his face when Ilana says "I'll have you".
And these are some of the moments that make me just sad, because there are many others that make me sad and angry, or or are bittersweet etc.

Sorry for the long post.

Sharon said...

SAWYER: The bomb on the said he couldn't kill us.

JACK: I've been wrong before.

SAWYER: I killed them, didn't I?

JACK: No. He killed them.

That moment, even in the 3-inch sneak preview the day before it aired, got me. The sadness/anguish on Sawyer's face just made you want to go up and hug him...well...then again...I suppose ANY look on his face would make me want to do that...

sk said...

Young Ben's verbal abuse from his alcoholic father, Roger. His cutting and hurtful drunk ramblings that Ben was responsible for his mother's death, and then as an afterthought wished him happy birthday anyway. Very caustic and difficult to watch, and made me jump on the Benwagon.

Nikki Stafford said...

These responses are making me think of so many more! In fact, one that actually makes my chest hurt, it's so painful, is one I thought of after, and I think I'll put it up as a postscript to this post.

Many of you have mentioned the scene where Alex is shot as one of the sad ones, but for me, the real sad scene in that episode is where Ben tells the rest of them to go ahead and he'll catch up (it's not that I don't like Alex, but I was never as attached to her as I was to Ben, so it's his sad reaction later that gets to me). When he walks over to Alex's lifeless body and kneels beside her, unable to even come up with words to express how he feels in that moments, I cry every time. I think he is WONDERFUL in that scene, and as many of you have pointed out, the fact that Emerson can make us feel sorry for the monster that is Ben Linus is pretty incredible.

yourblindspot said...

"There'll be a thlight pauthe while I adjutht my accoutrementh."

Sorry -- sad stuff, sad stuff, I know...

You guys have hit so many high (low?) points here, but let's face it -- this show is a veritable well of tears, at least for me, so much so that even when thinking of happy moments last week, I couldn't help but get bogged down in the ones that also started the wetworks.

I know it's been mentioned already, but Terry O'Quinn's acting in that last scene of 'The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" just shatters me. Agreed that Locke's entire character arc was the epitome of tragedy and thereby left me sniffling pretty regularly.

Having said that, I think the second most desperately tragic story the island gave us would have to be Faraday. Seriously, what a bummer, dude. In so many ways. But the one that really gets me is the scene from 'The Variable' between he and Eloise, when she's trying to convince him to take the job with Widmore that will send him to the island, and he says, "Will it make you proud of me?" Speaking of scenes that are even more crushing in retrospect...

And then there are those two graveside conversations that simply break my heart every time I even think of them: Sun at the end of 'Ji Yeon,' telling Jin, "I named her just like you wanted..." (AAAUGH!) and Hurley talking to Libby, from 'Tricia Tanaka,' uttering one of my favorite lines from the entirety of the series, and nailing the moment that made me cry almost as hard as the end of the series.

"I've been scared most of my time here anyway, except when I'm with you. I miss you, Libby."

Me? I miss all you guys. Long live LOST.

Quarks said...

I have to agree that Charlie's death is probably the saddest moment in the whole of Lost. he was one of my favourite characters in lost and his death was incredibly sad, but watching through it again I think I found essentially all the Charlie moments in "Greatest Hits" almost as sad as his actual death. Watching him say good bye to Claire and Hurley knowing that he is going to die is just heartbreaking, especially seeing Charlie write his happiest moments (#1 - The night I met you) and knowing that Claire is never going to receive me. I still don't think I've fully recovered, although I am pleased that he died heroically, and as the Charlie we all know and love.
Sun and Jin's death also has to be up there in the saddest moments throughout the entire show. Jin sacrificing his life to remain with Sun is so sweet and so incredibly sad. I should probably add here that Michael Giacchino's score is so amazing that it probably doubles the emotion in every scene.
Other scenes which I found extremely sad are Hurley's talks to Libby at her grave, and his wish that she would come and visit him. Hurley is one of those characters that is usually there largely for comic relief, but his scenes at Libby's grave are so moving that they are definitely up there with the saddest moments.
There are various other deaths which made me cry, either at the time they occurred or later on, when we witnessed the effects of them. These include Alex, Charlotte (if only for the effect on Daniel), Locke, Juliet, and many others.
Several moments which made me cry although they weren't necessarily sad were in the finale where the characters remembered their past lives and then came together to move on. These were probably my favourite points in the entire series, as we got to see most of the best characters return, relive their best moments, see them reunited with their soulmates and then move on to be happy forever. Tears were steaming down my face as I watched these moments, especially when some if the couples remembered each other (particularly Charlie and Claire, Sun and Jin, Desmond and Penny(sort of), and Sawyer and Juliet). The score to these moments was incredible, and I have to say that I think it was the perfect ending to an incredible series.
There are many other sad moments which I shall never forget, from Desmond and Penny's phone call, to Juliet seeing her nephew on the screen, to Hurley telling the truth to his mother (although this was also quite funny), to Hurley and Sun visiting Jin's grave, and many, many more.
I doubt there will ever be another show which can create such strong emotions as Lost, and I miss it immensely.

Austin Gorton said...

Two moments that always get me: Juliet's fall down the Incident hole, and Hurley learning about Libby's death, and realizing she'd still be alive if he hadn't forgotten the blankets.


Charlie's death beats Jin and Sun's for me, since I can't get past the albatross-around-the -writers' necks that was Ji Yeon and want to scream at my TV "what about your daughter!" while they're dying.

Even Charlie's death is, now that the series is over, undercut for me by the fact that he died to fulfill a vision that never occurred, and we never learned why Desmond saw something that never happened when all of his other visions, in one way or another, came true or were intentionally averted.

Charlie died specifically to bring about a vision of Desmond's, and that vision never came true...for some reason. At the time, I didn't know Desmond's vision would go unfulfilled, so Charlie's death was beautifully tragic, but now I just find myself thinking "wait...Charlie is dying thinking Claire and Aaron will get on a helicopter together and leave the island, but that won't happen and we'll never know why Desmond said it would."

For me, that dangling narrative thread robs the scene of some of its poignancy, and that's one of the reasons all the assorted dangling plot threads bother me: they distract me from the otherwise strong character work.

Nikki Stafford said...

Interesting point, Teebore! The way I see it is they DID fulfill his prophecy, but he misread it slightly. Aaron absolutely got onto a helicopter and got away from the island, and three years later Claire got onto a plane and left, too. The visions that Desmond got were never clear-cut. He's not a biblical prophet who has a bush talking to him - he's seeing a garbled vision and then interpreting it to Charlie, who is religious and comes to believe that he would have to do X for Y to happen. For me, that's not a dropped plot point, but it simply shows that he was able to sacrifice himself for his love of Claire and Aaron, even if the vision wasn't completely correct. But both Claire and Aaron did get onto flying devices and leave the island -- considering only 8 people left on the initial helicopter, and 6 on the second flight (a total of only 12 people, since both Kate and Frank were on both flights), the vision wasn't far off. It was Desmond's *interpretation* of the vision that led Charlie to the act, not the vision itself.

Interestingly, I considered launching right into the finale discussion next week, assuming it will go on for a few weeks... but wondered if it might be too soon to start there. But maybe I'll switch gears and do that instead. Still deciding...

Austin Gorton said...

@Nikki: The visions that Desmond got were never clear-cut. He's not a biblical prophet who has a bush talking to him - he's seeing a garbled vision and then interpreting it to Charlie

Yeah, I get that, and that's the explanation I use to assuage myself (but it still detracts from the scene that I have to assuage myself at all...) but I guess I would have preferred, if Desmond's visions were supposed to be unclear and open to interpretation, that this vision was related to Charlie in a more vague manner.

Like, "I see Claire and Aaron getting off the island, but in order for that to happen, you have to push this button and then you'll drown" instead of giving specific details (leaving via helicopter) and implying Aaron and Claire leave together. It was just so specific that it stood out, and in fiction, standing out=significant.

The way its written, the specificity of the imagery (via helicopter) suggests we can expect to see such a scene at some point after Charlie drowns. Darlton even said, at the 2008 ComicCon, that they "had a plan" to deal with the apparent contradiction, but then, like lots of stuff they said at various ComicCons, failed to do anything about it.

I know, I know. It's my hangup. This kind of stuff really gets to me, which then takes away from my appreciation of Lost, and I hate not fully loving Lost, so then I get even madder at this kind of stuff.

It's a vicious cycle, and I am doing my best not to be a Negative Lostie, though. ;)

As for future discussions, I liked your idea about looking at the characters, for what it's worth.

shobiz said...

Wow, I'm getting weepy just reading everyone's comments. I agree with all of Nikki's choices (and those clips) and pretty much everyone else's. I'm with Gillian and others who said they cried through the entire last half hour of "The End." And when we see Jack with his father in the church sanctuary, just when I think I can't possibly get more emotional, the tears multiply again when Jack realizes he's dead. It's totally Matthew Fox's acting in that moment, because for an instant, he seems almost like a little boy discovering something sad and scary, yet inevitable, that all of us must someday face. The look of surprised understanding, followed by tears, mourning his own life for a moment, before being so warmly comforted and embraced by the father he could never make this connection with in life... it just slays me.

It's very interesting to see how many people still consider Charlie's death the series' most cry-inducing moment. I can't say I disagree. I think one reason it works so well is that they really laid the groundwork for us with the character, so we as viewers truly felt we were losing a friend. It helped that they spent some time in the second half of season 3 redeeming Charlie after some of his disturbing behavior earlier (violently kidnapping Sun, taking baby Aaron, etc.). We got to briefly know and love "our" Charlie again. And then with "Greatest Hits," we got the rare treat of seeing a character who knows his end is near, taking stock of his all-too-short life. I especially like the flashbacks to little moments, like his father teaching him to swim, which is a memory almost any of us can probably recall. It humanizes the character, and fleshes him out even more, just in time for us to lose him. The impact of his death is so much greater with all of those extra character layers.

But then once again, it's the acting that really seals the deal. Oy, both Dominic Monaghan and Henry Ian Cusick are so incredible, wordlessly expressing so much through that porthole. Someone else mentioned this already, but the moment I really lose it is when Desmond looks at Charlie so desparingly and apologetically, and Charlie smiles back at him, so sweetly, reassuringly, looking momentarily fearless. Then pushes himself away, to die with private dignity. Amazing, amazing scene.

LittleMo said...

Nikki - I know we keep dipping into the finale in these discussions (and I am one of the worst for doing it) but for me it goes like this.

The finale was such a deep and meaningful thing that created very strong emotions in me at the time and then afterwards, along with the withdrawal symptons. And most of those emotions were not good or happy.
At the moment I have a feeling of - "Yippe we can discover lost again" because you have opened up this group and we are all enjoying being back and chatting. And I am doing the rewatch along with those other two guys.
So I was really looking forward to going through some of the characters next.

So now if we discussed the finale fully I would relive all those sad and puzzling feelings when I am just feeling happy about our discussing it all again.
I know we would carry on discussing other things after that but might we postpone the finale for a few weeks at least.

Just my personal views and request (of course)

Kiki said...

I'm rewatching season 3 now so the moments that are fresh in my mind are:

Kate seeing her mom and her mom telling her not to contact her again.

A young Ben seeing his mom on the other side of the fence and him yelling after her as she disappeared into the woods.

Charlie discovering his brother has sold his beloved piano.

Sun meeting Jin's father and him asking her not to shame Jin by telling him they had met.

Juliet's sister telling her she is pregnant.

Anthony Cooper laughing and ripping up Sawyer's note to Mr. Sawyer.

OK -- now on to reading all your thoughts!

Fred said...

@Teebore:Charlie died specifically to bring about a vision of Desmond's, and that vision never came true...for some reason.

I'm with you on this one, and I don't try to reconcile it with leaving the island at different times. Instead, I see it as one of the harsh "truths" about LOST, that not all hoped for resolutions, prophecies, or visions have a happy ending. We have to admit to ourselves, Locke died never understanding. Truly it makes the arc of Locke's life a very sad affair. Similarly, Faraday is killed by his mother, and his hope of resolving the problem goes unfulfilled (the solution was never in Faraday's hands, but in Jack and the fellow survivors). Perhaps Faraday moved things a little forward to get Jack et al. in position to act, but from what we had been led to believe it was more that Faraday had a real plan.

So when we look at these poignant deaths mentioned here, we have to ask are they part of the "harsh truths" of the island. Possibilities of love and redemption are cut short, like Libby and Shannon. And what a surprise it was when Michael shot Ana Lucia--of course there had not been enough time for audeince identification so we didn't feel her passing as deeply as Libby's.

Boone's death was so poignant and such a shock coming so early (audiences still expected main characters to survive). It was the combination of Jack's struggling to save Boone paralleled by the birth of Aaron that made it such a realistic and emotional scene. And again, Boone's death was so pointless, as he stayed too long in the Beechcraft trying to contact, what turned out to be Ana Lucia's group.

Don't forget when John comes back and discovers that Helen had died. The sadness associated with the scene was made more so by Abaddon's remark that "she's in the place she is supposed to be," as though Fate doesn't give a crap about humanity, Fate just wants things to work out.

Charlotte's death is also one more of these. Her regression back to childhood, to the moment she first met Faraday would have triggered Daniel's own realization of when he finally does meet her. Charlotte's death is not just one moment/scene, but the later scene as well, when Danile is looking at the young girl before him knowing what will be her fate.

So my answer to Teebore is that these deaths are often accompanied by the harsh truths of the island, that they are not culiminations of successful actions nor that their sacrifices result in positibve outcomes. Fate always intrudes on these deaths, and I keep hearing Abaddon's words for each of them. It makes them even more poignant, as they are foreordained.

Austin Gorton said...

@Fred: Well said (as always) and while I don't disagree with anything you wrote, it doesn't change the fact that the circumstances of Charlie's death stand out as an instance where the writers set something up without knowing exactly how they were going to pay it off (which in and of itself isn't a problem) and then, when it became clear the details of the payoff varied from the details setup, failed to account for that discrepancy (which, for me at least, is a problem).

Instead they left it for intelligent and eloquent fans like you and Nikki to account for the discrepancy which, while fun and enlightening in its own right, still strikes me as a bit disingenuous.

But that's my hang-up.

Quarks said...

Just thought I'd weigh in on the whole Charlie's death topic. Having watched the whole series now, one way of seeing it is that Charlie had to die in order for the freighter folk to get to the Island. It's not illogical to assume that some of the freighter folk were candidates, especially as some of their names were on the cave and/or in the lighthouse. Thus, Jacob would have brought them to the Island deliberately, and would have needed to ensure that they could get to the Island. It's possible that Jacob (or the Island itself) could have sent Desmond the vision so that Charlie could turn off the jamming equipment. After all, Charlie was probably the only person who could get the password.
As for why Aaron and Claire did not get on the helicopter together, as in the vision, I think there are various possible reasons. Perhaps the vision was deliberately misleading, and was not showing the future but only what Desmond needed to see in order to convince Charlie to switch off the jamming equipment. One possible piece of evidence in support of this theory is that, from what I remember, Desmond saw Charlie pushing a button and switching the light off, not entering a password. So Desmond's vision would never be possible, whatever happened.
Alternatively, perhaps Desmond or Charlie, or even someone like Mikhail, did something which changed the future, so the vision didn't happen like it was supposed to. It sort of reminds me of Schrödinger's Cat, except in this case the future both happened and didn't happen until Charlie actually got down to the Looking Glass (or maybe before that) and forced the universe to decide whether this future was going to happen or not, and whether the jamming equipment was going to have a button or a password. But either way, Charlie's death was inevitable, as the Island was finished with him.
Or, Desmond just misunderstood his vision. Maybe he saw Aaron getting on the helicopter and assumed Claire was with him, when it was Kate or Sun.

LostBoyJack said...

I was saying to a friend of mine the other day how it was weird that even though Lost finished months ago, seeing the last scene in the finale still sends me into a teary mess as if the finale played just a few minutes ago.

The character of Jack and the masterful acting of his character by Matthew Fox was the main reason I watched Lost and of course Jack's death in the end, while "expected" was nonetheless a shock when it actually happened.

Other Jack scenes which made me sad include the one where, in the jungle, Sawyer told Jack about meeting a doctor at the airport who had a son he was very proud of..
The scene when Boone died was very emotionally exhausting. Jack is trying to move heaven and earth to save him but Boone finally says to him to let him go.
As Jack was closing Boone's dead eyes and crying, I was a mess myself...Who says big boys don't cry!
So may other scenes!

I look forward to the jack chat tomorrow!

Austin Gorton said...

@Quarks: Those are all good explanations (I've particularly always liked the idea that Desmond saw Aaron getting on a helicopter and didn't realize it was with Kate and not Claire), I just wish the show had told us, at some point, which, if any, of those explanations was correct, instead of leaving it up to us to speculate and theorize after the whole story had been told.

I know a lot of people enjoy doing that, and I certainly did too, while the story was still being told, but all my theorizing and speculating was predicated on the fact that, at some point, I'd find out whether my theories and speculations were correct and for a lot (most) of them, that hasn't proven to be the case.

I'll gladly theorize and speculate and debate meaning and theme and motivation for hours on end, but I believe I shouldn't have to theorize and speculate about plot once the entire story has been told.

sk said...

Does anyone else think that Pierre Chang took an opportunity to pay it forward when he made his wife leave the island with baby Miles before The Incident ?

After being misled by his mother to believe that Dr. Chang abandoned them, Miles realizes the reason why his father made them leave. He witnessed the true fatherly bond of Dr.Chang holding him as an infant, reading him "Me and My Polar Bear."

It was a nice touch that Miles was the one to save his life, before The Incident, and calling him Dad.

Fred said...

@Quarks and Teebore: I am convinced at times that we have to admit the writers sometimes goofed in their plotting the story. The Desmond vision of Aaron and Claire is likely one of them, and so the writers just swept over it hoping fans would resolve it in their own way.

By the by, there are a series of books by John Sutherland which deals with literary "oops" that seem to crop up in even the best of novels, plays etc. There is also another critique of the logic of Holmes in the Baskerville's case. In time I suspect we'll all come to realize there have been a number of "oops" moments in the writing of LOST. Like really, was Eko supposed to have had a greater role in the series than he did? Why the goof up with Malcom Kelly and the growth spurt? Why the references each season to Boone, when the character was elimintated early on? And what were the writers thinking when they introduced Widmore and Chloe in the final season--the story of a non-story?

LittleMo said...

and talking of plot lines not fully exploited I always thought that the temple group were well introduced, had lots of characters and potential in there for good plot lines and bam - smokey comes along and annihilates them all after only a few episodes.

That one I put down to the studios and money men not Damon and Carlton. They had to finish the series in so many episodes and didn't have time to fully exploit the potential that this new plotline gave them.
Like who was Dogan, how did he get to the island and how does he know so much about it? Has he been down the well and seen the golden light ?

Oh - so many questions still!
I'm a bit with Teebore and find the number of these questions at times quite frustrating.

Austin Gorton said...

@LittleMo: I always thought that the temple group were well introduced, had lots of characters and potential in there for good plot lines and bam - smokey comes along and annihilates them all after only a few episodes.

That one I put down to the studios and money men not Damon and Carlton.

Personally, I do blame Darlton for the underdevelopment of the whole temple/Dogen storyline. They knew exactly how many episodes they had left to finish their story long before Dogen showed up, but they introduced him and all the trappings of the temple anyway, which means they either didn't really realize how little time they had left or didn't care, neither of which is a very enticing option.

@Fred: I am convinced at times that we have to admit the writers sometimes goofed in their plotting the story.

Oh, definitely.

And really, legitimate goofs and ideas dropped or changed by circumstances out of their control (Eko, Walt) don't bother me too much (sh*t happens, even to the best of shows), though I'll still definitely notice them.

No, what really bugs me are the things which seemed like goofs, but when asked about them by fans, Darlton said "no, that's not a goof, we'll address it" and then didn't.

Fine, if you don't want to admit you made a mistake, just say 'no comment'. But don't make us think things are part of your grand plan when, with the benefit of hindsight, it's clear it never was.

Walt is a great example of handling it correctly. As frustrating as his relatively aborted storyline is, it's not that big a deal for me because Darlton came out and said "sorry, the actor just grew too fast, and we had to cut his storyline short".

That sucks, but it's out of their control, and at least they were honest about it, allowing us to temper our expectations accordingly.

Fred said...

@Nikki: While you have rightly focused on the sadder moments of the show, the hard to endure deaths of favorite characters and moments of love lost for the misguided motivations of characters regarding their fate, I think it is worth mentioning those happy deaths which made us go, "What the !!!!" and then burst out laughing.

The first of these was Doctor Arzt and the comment by Hurley, "a little Arzt". Of course, there must be an Emmy in there for Frogurt and the flaming arrow. And who didn't cheer when Phil gets his rod stuck in him at the Swan construction site. And who cannot forget, Tricia Tanaka and the meteorite? Not to mention Juliet's husband and that bus? These moments may have the humour of death akin to the Addams family, but they were so outrageous and funny and dark that who could not help themselves? On balance there have been as many of these outrageous and darkly humourous moments as there have been deeply emotional and sorrowful moments.

Freud notes in "Beyond the Pleasure Principle" the nature of the death-drive, how each organism wends its own way towards a state of least tension, the inorganic state (death). Intertextually behind the story of LOST lies all those horror movies in which a group beats death only to have death hunt them down. Indeed, a Freudian reading of LOST would focus on Jack and the death-drive which ends the story with Jack closing his eye. This is why there have been so many deaths in the show, both those outrageous, darkly comic ones and those deeply emotional ones; they are all preparation for the most timely death, that of Jack's. The philosopher Wittgenstein made a profound comment: When a friend dies, an individual is lost; when I die, the world is lost. It is therefore a propos that when Jack closes his eye, the "world" dies for us equally.

Ambivalentman said...

The hardest moment for me is still from season 1. "Deus Ex Machina" conclusion finds Locke pounding on the Hatch, screaming at the Island: "I did what you told me!" This, paralleled with the story of his stolen kidney, just crushed me. It mirrored the relationship I had with my now deceased father (nothing as dramatic as a stolen kidney, thankfully) and the way it played out in my relationship with God. Every time I see it, my eyes burn, my gut twists and I break down.

Linda345 said...

So many lump in the throat moments, but for outright sobbing so hard I might disturb sleeping family, there were three.

l. Yes, of course, Charlie's death in the Looking Glass, catalyzed by the reaction of Desmond looking through the porthole, powerless to help.
2. Charlie again, in the finale reunion. Oh my. Claire looks up from table 23 at the stage. Flash of recognition. Aaron is born, an emotional Kate assists. Then, Charlie, moments before an embittered man, now overwhelmed by love. The cry. Ahhhh. Great acting by DM.
3. Jack and Christian hug. I'd been waiting for this since White Rabbit, when young, beat-up Jack looked up at dick-Dad, then to that clinking glass, with that I-really-really-want-a-hug-but-i- guess-I'm-screwed look, finally, finally, gets that hug. Wow, MF, your sobbing made ME sob. Great stuff.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

One of the saddest for me was the cliff scene in THE END. Jack's been mortally wounded. He's bound and determined to keep the island from sinking. First he says his goodbyes to James:

"Good luck to you, James."
"Thanks, Doc. For everything."

Then Ben says if the island's going down, he's going down with it.

Then Hurley says he's with Jack, and Jack knows that's just what needs to happen.

Then on to Kate:
"Kate, you gotta go...and get Claire on that plane."
"Tell me I'm gonna see you again."
Nothing but a negative look from Jack, and they both know that's IT.
The kiss...and Kate: "I love you."
Jack: "I love YOU."

OMG. I was sobbing at this scene. Also because Sawyer was witness to it all. It really WAS Jack and Kate at the end. SIGH.

And finally...Jack and Hurley at the cave when he tells Hurley that he's going in alone. Hurley tells him that the island needs him. Jack says "It needs needs to be you, Hugo." WAAAAAA....sob.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Something else re. Charlie's death. For the longest time I kept wondering, like all of you, why Charlie had to die. All he had to do was run out and shut that door behind him and the water would have stayed contained. But upon re-watching (thanks again for the clip, Nikki), he did it to save Desmond. Once Desmond heard Charlie say Penny's name, he started heading for that room and was trying to get to Penny's voice. Charlie then saw Patchy and realized that if he didn't shut that door and lock it to keep Des out, Des would have gone in there and tried to talk to Penny and HE would have died. Without Desmond, everyting would be lost. So kudos to Charlie for the sacrifice. He didn't just do it to fulfill Desmond's profecy, he did it to save his friend. Ah, Cha'lie. We luv ya.

Kiki said...

Just finished rewatching Season 3 last night. All I can say is Charlie!! sniff, sniff . . . . .sob, sob . . . . lots and lots of tears.

Watching the whole season so quickly and to see Charlie's "transformation", and then . . . heartwrenching.

This IS my top sad moment of Lost. No contest. Sun and Jin run second, but for me this was beyond words. Getting teary-eyed again thinking about it!

Rebecca T. said...

didn't have time to read them all yet, but wanted to say this really quickly before I forgot.

One of the absolute saddest scenes for me is when Sun is screaming for Jin as the helicopter takes off from the freighter. It is absolutely gut-wrenching. That and the scene with her and Hurley at Jin's graveside. *sob*

Rebecca T. said...

I'm back (and still egregiously late. But better late than never I say :)

@LRTFaraday - Yes, yes, yes - that scene where Ben is all, No one else will have me, had me SOBBING (and telling the tv that he could totally be on my team ;)

@sk - ooh, another one that really got to me. How Alex just begged Ben to do something. So heartbreaking.
And @Nikki - that scene of Ben saying good-bye to Alex turns me into a puddle every time.

Here's one that no one has mentioned, but that always makes me cry is when Shannon gets shot. I know a lot of people didn't like her, but we were finally getting to see her past and she had finally found someone to believe in her and then she dies so needlessly and *sniff sniff*

All right, enough tears for tonight.

JenniferS said...

Haven't read all the comments yet, but here's my two cents anyway. Saddest for me:
Sun & Jin's death, and the scene on the beach afterward when Hurley and Kate start sobbing.
Sun & Jin's first farewell, when he leaves on the raft in season 1.
Sun and Jin's, and Rose's and Bernard's, reunion in season 2.
Juliet's fall.
Locke's weeping when he first sees the wheelchair he'll be consigned to (right after the fall from the building).

Boy, did I spend a lot of time crying while watching this show! Worth every tear.