Monday Review: Lost in Cyberspace

Like I said yesterday, this was supposed to be a review of The Gathering Storm, the latest instalment of the Wheel of Time series and the first not to be written by Robert Jordan. And I was working diligently on it… but then my word processor took a giant shit and dumped half my computer on the floor. I attempted Auto-Recovery, but apparently that was one of the pieces that got kicked under the couch, never to be seen again. The damn program couldn’t find the AR file, so I kissed over two thousand words goodbye.

And I really didn’t feel like starting off my morning retyping shit about Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, the series’ new “co-“author. That’s a lot of goddamn work for the morning. My eggs-and-bacon hasn’t even settled yet.

I’ll get you next time, Sanderson. Next time.

So, that left me without a post for this morning.

Then I realized that the new and final season of Lost premieres on Tuesday, and while I intend on reviewing the episode later in the week, now would be a perfect time for a recap, no? If only to remind myself of what’s going on. If anyone can be truly said to understand what’s going on. I mean, you’ve watched the show, right? How can anyone possibly follow perfectly and precisely what’s going on?

Saved by the promos, I tell ya. If you haven’t finished watching the last season – and honestly, why haven’t you, you lazy shit? – I’d recommend avoiding the rest of this post, as it contains some major spoilers.

It’s also graphics-heavy. Hope you don’t mind.

Previously, On Lost

I don’t think I can adequately describe this show; it’s too twisty and turny and all kinds of mindfuckingly complex. Lost is one of those shows where, the minute you think you have an idea about what’s happening on the show and to the characters, it shits all over that theory, then dollops whipped cream over the top and serves it to you with a smile and a side of fries. And you know what? You eat that whipped-cream-topped pile of shit, then ask, “Please sir, can I have some more?” This is how J.J. Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber and Damon Lindelof keep laughing all the way to the bank: their literal shit is more addictive than heroin.

In Season One, we discussed theory after theory about the smoke monster, the mysterious and somewhat sinister Others, the incredibly intertwined backstories and relationships of the planewrecked survivors, all the weird shitlike goddamn polar bears – they kept finding around the place. The smoke monster. Jesus, is there one of us Lost fans who doesn’t wonder what that thing really is? At first, I had an idea of what was going on with the Others – the “native” people of the island who offed all the Dharma Initiative crowd and took over the place – then BAM. They introduced the Hatch, the one with Hurley’s numbers engraved on it, and when the door was opened and Desmond Hume came out with his wild and wacky story about saving the world by pressing a button every 105 minutes in Season 2, well… If you’re anything like me, you revised your theories and then had them blown to piss with the introduction of the boat and Desmond’s visions about Charlie’s death in Season 3. So you revise again, wait for the new season to start, tweak it with all the new facts you’re learning, then holy sweet mother of fucking god… Benjamin Linus sends the entire bloody island spinning through the spacetime continuum by turning a frozen wheel at the end of Season 4, and suddenly we’re kicking off Season 5 back in the 70s.

Lost is a good title for this show. Cos I’ll be damned if I can fucking follow it anymore.

“Let me explain… No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

James “Sawyer” Ford

First off, yum. Is there a tastier dish on that island than Josh Holloway? (If you say Matthew Fox, I will KILL YOU. I will, however, accept Naveen Andrews as a viable alternative.) Second off, I really enjoyed the character growth the writers gave Sawyer in Season 5. Truly, we’ve been seeing him grow as a character, as a human being, since his introduction way back in Season One… but I think Season 5 is where he really started to shine. One of the handful of people thrown back into 1974, he’s become the de facto leader. He also started shacking up with Juliet, which was okay by me. I wasn’t sure I was going to like Juliet at first, but she’s proven herself to be one of the staple – and stable – characters on that damn island. Besides, she and Sawyer have excellent chemistry, and they seem to be good for each other. Because let’s face it – Jack and Kate, the previous respective love interests, are just FUBAR’d.

Don’t worry, Sawyer. I have it on good authority Juliet’s not written out of Season 6 yet.

Jack Shephard

Jack, Jack, Jack… you crazy, egotistical fool. Haven’t you yet learned that your particular brand of leadership and meddling only leads to tragedy and suffering? One would think that your decision to return to the island would have been proof enough: Juliet told you flat out that none of them needed saving, but you’re Jack Bloody Shephard, and you don’t need to listen to a silly woman.  Especially one who’s screwing Sawyer and seems quite happy to do so. You don’t need to operate on a kid to save that kid’s life. You are one of the more annoying characters on the island. You’re arrogant and kind of an asshole. Good to know you’re still sticking to your guns. Jackass.

Sayid Jarrah

Shooting kids and fleeing into the jungle. Ahh, Sayid, you crazy person you. No one can really blame him, I suppose. I mean, the kid does grow up to be Benjamin Linus, and Benjamin Linus seems to make a life goal out of fucking with the former Iraqi Republican Guard… but here’s the kicker: by shooting him, Sayid effectively made him into the Benjamin Linus we’ve all grown to loathe and admire. Sayid’s fate was also up in the air at the end of Season 5 since we were told that he was likely to die of wounds incurred in the chaos following Ben’s father discovering him and Jack trying to smuggle WMDs out of the Dharma Initiative, but since Jack effectively hit a reset button, I’m sure he’ll still be around in the final season.

Kate Austen

For some reason, I can never remember that this Kate’s family name is “Austen”. I keep calling her Kate Hudson, but Evangeline Lilly looks nothing like Kate Hudson. Nothing. I didn’t like her storyline for Season 5; out of all of the Oceanic Six, she had the most reason to want to avoid going back to the island. The whole reason she didn’t want to leave in the first place was to avoid paying the consequences for her crimes. Y’know, the whole murdering her (step?)father thing? In the end, when she was tried for the crime, she got ten years probation and a whole fuck-ton of money from Oceanic Airlines as compensation for the crash. She had absolutely no reason to go back, and every reason to stay in California.

Oh wait. She wants to rescue Claire. Fucking yay. Can we kill Kate off already?

Benjamin Linus

From the moment we met Mr. Linus, then going under the pseudonym of Henry Gale, we knew there was something wrong with this guy. He was sly, he was conniving, he was manipulative. He was about as inhuman as the Others could have gotten – an unrepentant Machiavelli who lied, stole, kidnapped, killed and mindfucked his way to success. Yet, as his character progressed through the seasons, we found that, as despicable as he was, as much of an asshole and a dick as he was, Benjamin Linus was not inhuman. No, he was very, very human indeed, and just as prone to confusion, uncertainty and loss as the rest of us.

That doesn’t make you like him anymore, of course. He’s still the guy you love to loathe.

John Locke / the Man behind the Curtain

Holy shit, dude. After the whole thing with Christian Shephard more or less coming back to life, I fully expected that when Locke’s body hit the dirt after the second plane wreck, that it would in fact be John Locke who opened his eyes all Jesus-like and began to turn water into wine. But when the weird new bitch did her big reveal and hauled back the curtain once they got to the “shadow of the statue” and it’s John fucking Locke’s body, despite the fact the wanker’s been walking around like the Second Coming for the last dozen episodes… Blew me the fuck away. I was not expecting that.

Someone’s impersonating Locke. And doing it so well that no one suspects a thing. At least until the body of the real Locke turns up — that’s good TV right there. Though I doubt that we’re quite done with the “real” Locke yet… This is Lost, after all, and they’ve made several fortunes screwing with their viewership’s perceptions and paradigms.

The Future, Folks

I haven’t even touched on half the other characters that Lost center-staged this last season. Hurley, Sun, Jin, Miles, Rose and Bernard, the Others, Frank Lapidus,

Having watched the first four minutes of the Lost season premiere that got leaked on YouTube, I have to say that it looks like nothing spectacular. Of course, that’s how Lost drags you in. They lull you into a false sense of security and then they drop something like the smoke monster eating your face, or Mr. Eko’s drug plane with all the heroin-laden Virgin Mary statues, or Charles Widmore or the big reveal of John Locke’s death/rebirth/zombiefication. They say that the flashforwards and flashbacks are over and done with, and that’s cool… They were useful storytelling devices in their time, but there’s really only so far you can push them. Instead, there’s alleged to be a new device being introduced to the series, but it’s incredibly hush-hush on what that device is going to entail.

Guess we’ll have to see on Tuesday.

In other news, there’s been a lot of confirmations that dead or “holding” characters are going to be back for anywhere from three episodes to the whole season.

Always one of my favourite characters, Charlie Pace was a washed-up has-been, a one-hit wonder who got hooked on drugs and ended up going through an enforced rehab on the island. He was also one of the ones with arguably the most character growth and development in the first couple of seasons, going from a self-interested addict to a positive, protective role model who wanted to do right by a kid that wasn’t even his. He was killed off at the end of Season 3, drowned to shit in the underwater Looking Glass station, trying to save the rest of the islanders from the evil bad men on the boat offshore. But it’s been confirmed that Dominic Monaghan is returning for four episodes of Season 6 to reprise the role. All I can say is: YAY! CHARLIE!

Dominic Monaghan isn’t the only one slated to return either. According to the Season 6 section of the Lost Wikipedia entry, a large majority of the departed Season 1 cast has been called back into action, and approximately half the others of subsequent seasons. In order for me to adequately describe how insane and massive this is, I’m going to use one of the promo images that was released back in December. Just so you can get the scope:

Do you see this? This is twenty-eight main characters, three major recurring characters and a fucking dog. Thirty-one characters. And a dog. And you know the sad part? I could probably name them all off one by one and give you five facts about each of them. Including the dog. That’s how much of my life, attention span and imagination I’ve spent on this show.

I Could Keep Going, But…

I’ve run over two thousand words now, and I haven’t really exhausted all I could say about this show. With the list of unanswered questions slowly dwindling down – and yet, having new ones added to them all at the same time – I remain somewhat in doubt that they can all be answered within the final 18 episodes of the series. This is the endgame, folks. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Whether it’s an onrushing train, or the bright, welcoming light of Heaven is anyone’s best guess.

Abrams has yet to disappoint me though, and while there’s a first time for everything, I fully expect this last and final season of Lost to date-rape my theories and expectations and leave them crying in the corner of a seedy motel bathroom.  Just tell me what the fucking smoke monster is, and I’ll be happy with whatever other plates of shit you feed me in the future. Okay?

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