In short: Wow. @$#(. Hummina. And mostly: glurglesplortz.
I'm not going to fake it. I have no idea how to do this as either a recaplet or an immediate review. I've been ruminating on this show since Wednesday, September 22, 2004. Now I've got to cough up something to tide you over until the recap is done, and yet, I'm out of wine, so this is what I like to think of as a blurt.
This was fan service, but I mean that in the highest sense, rather than in its lowest and common sense. One thing I've always wanted, and one thing I've understood about other fans, is that we came for the mystery, but we stayed for the characters. "The End" was perfectly, wonderfully, unapologetically sentimental, and character-driven in every way I'd ever hoped. There were elements that didn't make sense -- or at least don't make sense while the show's wake is still the motion in my ocean. There were things I would have changed. There were things I could have/would have skipped and yet? I wouldn't have missed this for the world, and not just because Richard, Frank and Miles lived to see another day.
Islandways: It all comes down to Jack. He brings the Jacobites to Faucke, who has picked up Desmond (who was freed from the well by either Vincent or Rose and Bernard) along the way. They make their way to the Island's glowhole. Once they're on the outskirts, Jack, Faucke and Desmond sally forth without our other lovelies. Desmond descends into the glowy light, because if you were an all-powerful island, who would you accept in your nether-regions? Once he's there, he pulls a literal cork out of the glowy pool. Everything goes dark and then red, and then there's a devil thing, but that's not important. What's important is that Desmond dies, or seems to.
Then, the island starts falling apart. Now mortal, Faucke books it for his sailboat. He and Jack fight up on the cliffs above Jacob's cave. Finally, Jack prevails, with Kate's help. Faucke dies -- but that's just where the fun begins. The island seems to have missed the memo that we want a happy ending, and continues to fall to pieces. Sawyer and Kate head for the plane, while Hurley, Ben and Jack make their way back to the glowhole. Jack descends, recorks the devil thing, sends Desmond back up on the rope meant to save him (Jack) and as he (Jack, again, did you not watch?) slowly dies, the glowly light is restored. Hurley, who accepted a drink from pre-suicide-mission Jack, is now chief cook and bottle washer of Craphole. He can't do it alone, though, so he makes Ben his lieutenant. Meanwhile, Frank, Richard and Miles have been getting Ajira 316 back into flying shape. Sawyer and Kate hie themselves to Hydra, find Claire, get her aboard and take off. Meanwhile, down by the waterfall and swimming hole, a near-dead Jack comes to and drags himself toward the bamboo grove where this all began.
Sideways: It's the big Faraday/Drive Shaft/David Shephard concert, except David does nothing but escort his knocked-up aunt, Claire, to the shindig. His mother -- MOTHERFREAKING JULIET -- meets him there, but she has to leave to do something at the hospital. That something turns out to be meeting up with Detective James Ford, who is her constant. Claire goes into labor at the gig. Kate takes her backstage and has an epiphany while assisting in the delivery. Once Claire holds Aaron in her arms for the first time, she becomes integrated as well. Then it's Charlie's turn. Meanwhile, at the hospital, Jin and Sun have gone through the same thing, as Juliet showed them the ultrasound. Locke has his surgery and he's fully actualized. Everyone is -- everyone except Jack. He has a disturbing convo with Locke, who tells him David doesn't exist. This sends Jack flying to the concert, which is well and truly over -- and it also sends him flying into Kate's arms. Jack flashes to the Islandways when she kisses him, but he's not ready to let go.
Kate eventually brings Jack to church, where all the Losties are waiting. Ben remains outside. He's not ready yet. Kate enters the front, but tells Jack he should go through the back. Once inside, he finds a coffin, lays his hand on it and has the Full Island Monty, but when he opens the death box, it's empty. Christian appears and tells Jack what he needs to do -- let go. Jack and Christian then enter the sanctuary, which is very Unitarian Jihad. There, everyone is reunited -- all the couples, all the friends, and finally Jack and Kate. Once our Losties are seated, Christian clasps Jack's shoulder and we cut to the...
Islandways: Bloodied and broken, Jack Shephard makes his way to the bamboo grove. Once he finds just the right spot, he lies down. We hear a bark in the distance. When dear old Vincent appears, Jack smiles. Vincent approaches Jack, licks his hand and lies down beside him. He will not die alone.
Back in the Sideways, Christian opens the sanctuary doors to reveal a blinding light.
Islandways: Vincent appears dead. Jack's still alive, though. When he sees an airplane fly overhead, he smiles. We zoom in on his right eye, which closes for the last time.
Sideways; Church: Jack smiles until he and all our beloved are obscured from our view by the light of world.
This was two and a half hours. There's no way to do it justice before deadline. Suffice it to say that this finale warmed my heart and satisfied my brain enough to let me sleep the sleep of the just. I'm sure it will be controversial. I'm sure fan opinion will be divided. I'm sure I've skipped some things, missed other things, and will change my mind here and there by the time I'm done with the full recap, but right now, I'm just closing my eyes and bathing in the warmest light I've ever felt.
I'm starting the full recap, now. Come back to see whether Ben will work out his salvation in fear and trembling, and learn who woke Sayid up to the reality of his life (hint: it wasn't a chicken) and so much more. Until then, please grade the episode in the "Episode Report Card" at the top of the page, and then join us in the forums where we have no coffins, but plenty of tissues.
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.