Monday, May 31, 2010

Flashforward: The Finale

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Superpunch Interview!

Good day, Superpunch readers! Welcome to the Gospel According to Ben.
While this is only a sporadically posted-to Blog, I do intend over the coming months, years and decades to Blog more if there is a demand for it, so please do comment if you like what you see/read.
Also, please do check out my ongoing series (only two parts at present, but more on the way) of short films The Adventures of Findo Gask.

Overall, enjoy if you will,

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost - The End (Spoilers)

How do I feel about the Finale of Lost? How do you feel about it? How does the world feel about it?
[WARNING: If you haven't yet seen the Finale of Lost, then this post will contain Spoilers. Big Ones!!!]
Firstly, I have to say... I get the feeling from that great beast The Internet that it is displeased with the Ending (at least, 2 hours later, that seems to be the general consensus). Although I can't say I'm surprised - when something that big, and that old (Six Years is old in Television Years, isn't it? When Firefly got the following it did after 14 Episodes, six years has got to count) and that involved ends, it literally cannot match everyone's expectations.
HAVING SAID THAT, I'm still going to bitch about what I did and didn't like, and I invite anyone who may read this Blog to add their 'tuppence at the end.

Firstly, what I liked;
  • It resolved. It wasn't all a dream, Jack didn't wake up in the shower, it didn't end of a cliffhanger that was never going to be un-hanged. It finished the Story (at least the story it had been telling for the past two years - more on that later).
  • I really liked that Jack was the classical Hero, taking the torch from Jacob, defeating the bad guy (with Kate's help - because bad guys stand alone and good guys work together) and sacrificing himself to save the rest.
  • I really enjoyed the fact that Ben had his redemption and didn't die (he's the best, most complex antagonist prime time television has ever seen, and to simply kill him off would have been such a disservice).
  • I love that Hurley, Desmond, Sawyer and Lupedis survived.
  • I'm kinda glad Kate and Miles survived.
  • I like the Rose and Bernard survived, as did (presumably) Vincent.
  • I think the Punch-up on the Cliff face was good, though could have been longer (although long fights aren't always good - look at Revenge of the Sith).

Okay, so what I didn't like;
  • I didn't like the resolution to the Flash-sideways. Lost has, for me, always been a Sci-fi show (or a Philosophy show) and a Religious Ending just seems like a cop-out. And I'm not bashing religion, though I'm not a Christian, but I think a more complex, thoughtful, philosophical or sci-fi ending would have served better. I thought the Flash sideways was a Parallel universe created by the Bomb, and the survivors of The Original Timeline were going to escape into it somehow, and be with their lost loved ones. Or, the two realisties would converge (with a second explosion at the Heart of the Island?) so that those who had died could live on in L.A. and those who lived could stay on the Island and protect it. So, basically, even though the show itself wasn't "all a dream", the Flash-sideways was. (As my girlfriend pointed out; "who gets tied up, locked in a freezer and shot at in the Afterlife?" Especially one they created themselves!)
  • I think one of the real strengths of the last two years in the ambiguity between Jacob and the Man in Black. Who is the bad guy, and who is the good guy? I really hoped that it wouldn't become a case of Black/White, Good/Bad (although the clues were there, you could read more into it that simple duality). I mean, come on - Jacob basically kidnapped a plane full of people, then his followers shot some of them with bows and arrows on their first night?! Are those the actions of a good guy? I think not! Admittedly, those were the actions and decisions of Ben, but still - is Ben not supposed to follow Jacob? (maybe answered when Ben says "I thought I was summoning the monster, but I realise now the monster was summoning me" or similar, but then why didn't Jacob tell Ben about it). Anyway, my point is that I would have preferred to have the lines more blurred between the two. Maybe at the end Jack could have taken them both on, Ghost Jacob and Not-Locke, a bit like Sheridan did with the Vorlons and Shadows in Babylon 5)
  • Sun and Jin dying, needlessly. Now, I know that not everyone could survive, I know the Death is an integral part of this kind of Drama, and I know that Death of Characters we really like raises the tension for the rest of them (Wash in Serenity being the best recent SF example of that), but did they really have to die so needlessly?! I loved Sayiid, and I think his self-sacrifice in the submarine would have been enough for me to really worry for the rest without them having to Die. But then they die, and I kinda switched off after that, emotionally. They died for nothing, and the Flash-sideways resolution takes away any chance of a happy ending for them. Fuck you, Lost writers!
  • The Big One, Unanswered Questions - And I don't mean questions raised within the last two years. I don't need to know where the Mother of Jacob and Not-Locke came from. I don't need to know what "The Heart of the Island" really is, and I don't need to know Walt's midichlorian count. What I want to know is this; What did the numbers mean? Why were they cursed? Why was Desmond stuck on the Island for so long after the Dharma people had gone? What is the resolution to the Valenzetti equation? Where did Hanso go? Did Dharma know about Jacob? Why was Jacob invisible and angry before we saw him on the beach with the Man in Black? How did Locke's Dad get to the Island? Why was Walt special? Why did Richard not choose Locke as a child? Did Jacob know he was going to die? If so, why bring him to the Island and heal his legs, and all that? What was the significance of the Shark with the Dharma Logo? Actually, the Dharma thing was just kind of dropped. So, more explanation about the Dharma people? What were they looking for (Valenzetti equation), did they find any of it and what did Hanso do once he found out they were all dead?
  • And then, some questions from more recent times; Who built the lighthouse? How did Jacob learn his powers when there was no-one there to teach him? How does having two skeletons in a cave at the beginning prove the creators knew where they were going - they could have retconned ANY two randoms into that cave? How did Jack know about the power? What turned Not-Locke into a Smoke Monster (Midichlorians?)? Who or What gave Jacob and his mother (and Jack and Hurley) powers, and where were they? Why was the Island on the bottom of the Ocean in the Flash-sideways? Who were Jacobs and Not-Locke's people, and where did they go? Did they become the Others, because there was no sign the Jacob went to be their leader. So then, where did the Others come from? And why did Young Ben being healed turn him into a manipulative little bastard?

Okay, so a Lot of Questions and a lot of issues, and this is just my opinion. Some of these questions still don't need answering, but a lot of them do (in fact, if any have been answered and I've missed the answer, please do comment on this post).

To continue, and then conclude, this rant... here's how I would have written Lost - The End;

  • It starts with Jacob disappearing, and Jack being given a vision which unlocks his powers. How he can live forever, grant eternal life, travel the globe, build a lighthouse, etc.
  • In the flash side-ways universe, Desmond unlocks all of the memories of the primary universe in the Oceanic 815 bunch. They all book the same flight to Sydney (from L.A.) with Ajira airlines - piloted by Lupedis.
  • Jack (along with his crew) go to find Desmond... to kill him.
  • Not-Locke and Ben find Desmond first. They need him to go back to where the Hatch was... the present day location of the Heart of the Island.
  • Jack resurrects Locke as the White Smoke. He and Not-Locke have a smoky scrap, which saps Not-Locke of his power (he is also robbed of his Locke-like form, and reverts to the Man in Black, a mortal called Esau.) Locke dies again, having saved the world from the power of the Black Smoke - which is what the Island had in mind for him all this time!
  • Esau and Jack have their clifftop fistfight, with Jack barely defeating Esau (Jack's power does not grant him invincibility against physical damage, much like how Jacob could be stabbed, so there's still tension).
  • Desmond arrives at the Hatch, and is about to go and nullify the magnetic field, when Kate and Sawyer arrive. They tell him not to, and to get to the boat - everyone is leaving this island!
  • In the Flash-sideways, everyone is on the plane, and taking off. As they get over the sunken island, Jack in the Original Timeline turns the Donkey Wheel and sucks the plane down onto the Island. Jack disappears.
  • On the island, everyone who was on the FS plane who died in the OT wakes up on the beach (Sayiid is with Shannon, Sun is with Jin, etc.) and those who survived are out to sea on the boat. The boat comes back, and Jack (who wears his FS clothes but retains his OT memories and powers) explains that those who died cannot leave the Island as their universe no longer exists beyond the borders of the Island.
  • Sawyer decides to stay on the Island to be with Juliet, Hurley to stay with Libby. Claire decides to leave to be with Aaron, and Kate promises to bring back Sun and Jin's baby to them. Desmond leaves to be with Penny and his kid. Everyone lives (kind of) happily ever after.
  • It turns out that by nullifying the power which drove the Smoke Monster/Not-Locke, the Valenzetti equation has been altered. The numbers are no longer cursed, and the end of the world is no longer prophecied (though might still happen soon, if Al Gore is right).

What do you think? Worst Lost episode ever, or stroke of genius (or somewhere in between). I haven't answered all my questions, but is there anything obvious I've missed?

Anyway, that is my Lost Rant in it's entirety right now. I might come back to it later, once my brains had time to process the last six years of mystery chords, one-liners and cliffhanger episodes. For now, I have a hole in my mind which I need to fill. I might go back to books (although its more likely I'm just gonna start watching Fringe and go through this all over again.)

Peace out,