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Thursday, May 25, 2006
TV Round-Up: Lost
Live Together, Die Alone
There's been a lot of hype these past few weeks about the second season finale of Lost. The producers kept teasing us that it would give us the answers we yearned for, set up new stories for season three and end on a cliffhanger that would have everyone talking all summer long.

Did it live up to those promises?

Yes and no.

Yes, we got some answers and resolution (if you can call it that) to some of the simmering storylines from all season. Locke went from a man of blind faith in the hatch and its mystical powers to someone who was disillusioned and then took over the role Jack had--skeptical disbeliever with his faith firmly rooted more in reality. In a lot of ways, it's Scully from The X-Files in reverse. As the season ends, Locke decides he's frustrated with whatever game the Dharma Initiative is playing and decides to see what happens if he lets the clock run down to zero and the wacky symobls come up. Turns out the code punched in somehow dissipates the elctrogmanetic wackiness that builds up every 108 minutes. The timer was allowed to run down once before when Desmond was at the controls and..well, it's pretty much stated that thsi caused the plane to crash.

Which brings up an interesting question. It seems as if the show has worked very hard to interconnect everyone on the flight before and after the crash. So, does this explanation now mean that it's just some wild coincidence? Or is this just another blind alley for us to run down as we look for the real explanation?

And Desmond's back....and we see his backstory. He's dishonorably discharged from the Scottish military, spends time in prison, is encouraged to leave his rich girlfriend alone and sets off on a race around the world to win her love back. In an interesting book end with the start of the season, we see what happened to Desmond just before he went running on the stairs and met Jack. (That scene was in the season premiere if I recall correctly). Then, Desmond gets shipwrecked on the island, meets Clancy Brown (from Sayid's flashback in Iraq) and is brought into the fun that is the Dharma Initiative. Clancy plays games with Desmond's mind, putting on a bio-hazard suit to keep Desmond down in the Hatch. That is, until Desmon gets tired of it, ventures out and accidentally kills Clancy in a struggle on the rocks. We then find out that Desmond was close to suicide when Locke showed up, banging on the Hatch the night Boone died. Desmond set up the light that went on that encouraged Locke to come down and find him so maybe he could make his escape and be reunited with the love of his life, Penny.

It's a lot of detail, but then again Desmond did get the equivalent of two episodes devoted to his backstory.

Which for the most part was fairly interesting. It did raise some questions since in his flashback, Desmond meets up with Libby, who just gives him her dead-husband's boat. It made me wonder if, perhaps, Libby was in on whatever grand experiment was going on here. Perhaps Penny's father put her in place to give Desmond the boat and lead him to the island to get him away from Penny, since he (the father) knew Penny would find Desmond eventually. Or maybe I'm just reading too much into the sheer amount of coincidence that makes things happen on this show. (And as we all know, on Lost there ain't no such thing....)

Meanwhile, I have to dance with glee in my prediction that Henry was an important leader to the others. Confirmed. Henry is somehow their leader and important enough that they'd trade Walt for him. We do find out Henry ain't pleased at the trade off, which is interesting. But he has to keep his word to Michael becuase he thinks the Others are the good guys. Interesting idea and we'll see how it's explored. If what Lost is trying to do is come up with a set of bad guys who are convinced their actions are the right thing to do, that works for me. I love a bad guy who even though his or her actions are, overall, negative, they still think they're doing the right thing.

And Jack reveals that Michael has been comprimised and they're walking into a trap. Which Jack still lets them spring on he, Hurley, Kate and Sawyer. I'm a bit confused about this, unless Jack somehow wants to confirm his suspicions.

OK, here's a question for you. In the story, we see the Others put burlap bags over everyone's head to lead them to the dock. Then they let Hurley go and tell him to go back to camp and tell everyone not to come to their side of the island. But to quote Hurley here, Dude, how is he supposed to know how to get back since his head was in a bag for some of the trek? I'm just saying...

Meanwhile, we're left with a lot of questions to ponder as the summer stretches out before us and we have to wait until October for answers. Such as:
  • Is Locke dead? (Don't think so) Is Eko dead?
  • What exactly happened when the EMP went off and is the Hatch gone for good?
  • Will our heroes still get regular supplies of food or have they hacked off the powers that be?
  • What happened to Sayid, Sun and Jin?
  • What was that look between Kate and Jack? Is being captured part of some big master plan Jack dreamed up? (If so, he's one hell of a planner)
  • What's the deal with the polar ice base Hatch? Is this where the polar bear came from?
  • Did Penny set this all up to track down Desmond?
  • Or did her father set it up to get Desmond far away from Penny?
  • Is Michael really going to be allowed to leave or is there a big ship waiting out there to take he and Walt somewhere else?
  • How'd Clancy Brown's partner in the Hatch know where all the bases were to draw the map for Locke to find?
  • Are there really any other, working hatches or was it all a ruse? We've seen three that work, but we've also seen one that is a fake.
Also, was it just me or when Penny first showed up on screen, did anyone else think she looked a lot like the lead from Grey's Anatomy? I thought for a minute ABC was ready to cross-promote the shows by having Meredith show up in Desmond's flashbacks in an attempt to tie every ABC hit show together.

So, there it is. The end of season two. And we're still left with a few answers and even more questions. I don't think this was the greatest season finale of all time (that honor still goes to TNG's "Best of Both Worlds, Part 1" and Buffy's "The Becoming, Part 1 and 2") but it was still good. I will give Lost credit--it's made me eager to see where this story goes next and that's exactly what a good season finale should do.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/25/2006 08:13:00 AM | |
I survived the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 in the South Pacific. Can you get us some help? We're desperate!
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