There are points of this epic series and its equally epic finale that don't work for me (and I won't skip 'em), but I got what I needed above all -- emotional satisfaction. Earlier this season, I said: Look, I'm just trying to enjoy these few remaining hours without putting on my ranty pants. Darlton should thank Ronald D. Moore for lowering the bar with his Battlestar Galactica series finale. If, when this series bows, I refrain from beating my head against the fieldstone wall in my backyard, Lost totally wins.
My head and wall are still (mostly) intact. In one sense, that's because I gave up on the mystery, years ago. After a while, it seemed to me that the characters were far more important (to the writers, that is) than the mystery or mythology; they certainly became more important to me. I suspect some Pavlovian extinction thingum is to blame, but I'm too satisfied and spent to conduct the sort of postmortem needed to prove my
baseless accusations. It largely comes down to how I've learned to watch TV.
On December 15, 1998 (right after "Amends" aired), Joss Whedon (riffing on DH Lawrence) told the fans at the then official Buffy message board: "Trust the tale, not the teller." It stuck with me, and not just because it aligns itself nicely with my know-it-all-itis. Joss also once said, "Stop watching and the pain will go away," but er...that's hardly helpful after a series finale, huh? Um...let's put that in a magic box and stick to Trust the tale...
I've made a concerted effort to trust Lost above commentary from Damon, Carlton, David Fury (remember that brouhaha?), actors, and the like. Doing so helped me sit back and enjoy the ride more often than not (thought certainly not all the time). I know some fans are furious and some are rapturous (and you in the steady middle, I see you there going about your lives like normal people). I'm truly sorry for those of you who are bitterly disappointed at the end of this remarkable journey. I've been there with other shows, and I know how badly it sucks. I hope that my grasp at closure and understanding will help you find some, too. I come not to praise Caesar but to bury him, or something. (However, I should probably mention, I did buy that big blanket of roses for his casket.) If you're game, pick up your bottle of water (or jug of wine) and follow me back and forth across the island and realities therein entwined, one last time. You ready? Okay.
Previously on Lost: Jacob gives First Holy Island Communion to Jack and reminds him of the bamboo field he first woke up in, right after Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on Craphole, back on Wednesday, September 22, 2004. The Island's
lady parts heart is not far from there. That's where the light is; it's where Faucke is trying to go, and is what Jack must protect. Jack asks how long he'll have to do the job. Jacob: "As long as you can." Meanwhile, Faucke and Ben look down into the now-empty Stay-Away-From-That-Well well. Ben: "Looks like someone helped him out." Faucke: "No, Ben. Someone helped me out.[...] I'm going to find Desmond, and when I do, [...] I'm going to destroy the island." Meanwhile, Desmond confesses to Detective James Ford that he ran over John Locke and beat up Dr. Benjamin Linus. Once Ford throws him in a cell with Sayid (and next to Kate), Demond's as pleased as punch. When the precinct transfers our favorite felons to county, Des breaks himself and them out -- with the help of Hurley and Rambina. Hurley takes Sayid in his yellow Humvee. Desmond takes Kate (and a slinky black dress) in Hurley's restored classic Camaro.
And now, for the very last time, on Lost, we begin in the Sideways at LAX. The box containing Christian Shephard's casket arrives. Meanwhile, Dr. Jack Shephard is examining a head and neck X-ray in his office. When he holds it up in front of him, his face shines through the skull's image, just in case we're really not clear that Jack is so going to die, brothah.
This opening montage is beautiful, because Michael Giacchino makes it so. Whether it's Jack washing his hands and face in an island stream; Sideways Locke getting wheeled off to the O.R.; Sideways Ben making himself a cup of Earl Grey; Sideways Christian's casket getting moved from plane to carrier to truck; Faucke and Ben by Desmond's well, gathering up their gear; Sawyer tending to Kate's wound; or Sideways Kate waiting patiently in the Camaro, as Desmond greets the truck delivering the casket to a church -- I feel the weight and fight the tears.
Sideways; St. Lamp Post's Church; Exterior: Des greets the Oceanic truck driver in the church parking lot and says he can sign for the body. The driver asks Des if he's a priest or something. Des: "Or something." He's the Scottish Mr. Jordan, I tell you what. When Desmond returns to Kate, she asks who died, and giggles at his answer: "Christian Shephard." The name's a little too-too for her. It's a little late for lantern-hanging, isn't it? Kate wants to know who Des is, what he wants, and why she's there. The answers are simple: special snowflake; Penny; to annoy the Khaters, please one group of 'shippers and scorn the other -- but Desmond can't tell her that. All he can say is that even though she doesn't know him, he's her friend, and what he really wants is to leave. Kate: "Leave and go where?" Des smiles. "Let me show you."
Islandways; Down By the Riverside: Jack is mesmerized by his new mate -- the Island -- so he doesn't catch Kate spying on him from the trees, which is just as well, because she looks nearly as jealous of Craphole as she once was of Juliet. Finally, she sighs and turns away. It's not long before Sawyer approaches Jack. He wants to know what the hell happened during First Holy Island Communion. Jack chuckles. "That makes two of us." Sawyer: "So, you're the new Jacob, huh? Feel any different?" Jack: "Not really." Sawyer: "Well Doc, how about you come down off the mountaintop and tell us what the hell the burning bush had to say for itself." James, since this is the finale, it no longer makes sense for me to speculate, so could you at least leave me the religious wisecracks? Ta.