Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lost wows, saddens, as things wrap up

    Last night's episode of ABC's Lost, "The Candidate", like most this season, blew my socks off.  Or it would have, had I been wearing socks.  The story is winding down with just two more installments before the series finale, which airs on a Sunday, mind you, instead of the usual Tuesday, so don't miss it.  Also, it was announced today that the finale will be TWO AND A HALF HOURS long!!!  Gone are the single-character stories, though a large part of the flash sideways this week was Jack (Matthew Fox) attempting to help Locke (Terry O'Quinn).  But on the island, everyone is gearing up for a big showdown, and more than couple of characters left the island for good.

     The biggest, most emotionally moving death scene that Lost has delivered in years concerned that Kwons, Sun (Yunjin Kim) and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim, no relation).  Hours after being reunited, the two having been separated in the world and the time line for over three years, Jin refused to leave Sun to die.  And so he stayed in the sinking submarine with her, allowing them to pass from the world together.  It was incredibly sad, a fitting ending to two of the original cast.  Sure, moments later we saw sideways Jin alive and well walking down the hall of a hospital.  But in the story of the show as we know it, he's gone.

     Which begs the question.  Is the flash sideways our happy ending?  Most of the main characters of Lost have died over the years, but almost every single one has been revealed to be alive and well, usually happier, in the sideways universe.  With only nine main characters left on the island, perhaps this odd parallel is as close to satisfying closure as we are going to get for many.

     Speaking of the nine, Jack, Sawyer (Josh Holloway), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), and Hurley (Jorge Garcia) crawled out of the watery death trap and onto the beach.  These four, along with Locke, who has been recast as the big villain, have always been the core of the series.  They seem unlikely to die, at least not until the finale.  The other four did not star in all six seasons, although Desmond appeared in all six, and only one was in this week's episode.  Ben (Michael Emerson) and Richard (Nestor Carbonell) seem likely to simply pop up and get a little icing before disappearing.  Claire (Emilie de Ravin) could go either way, as she seems to be the henchwoman of Locke.  And Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick), perhaps my favorite character, surely figures very prominently into the end, but even his use will probably be up an hour or two before the curtain.  It's sad to see these important, but not quite essential, characters in their swan songs, but in a show as sweeping as Lost, it's time to lose them so we can wind it all down.

     Original cast member Sayid (Naveen Andrews) also bowed out in heroic self-sacrifice, although not much was said about it afterwards.  My biggest regret was the quick, apparent death of Frank (Jeff Fahey), who had more to do in previous seasons, when he wasn't a main character, and then all we saw of his demise was a door slam into him.  He has to be dead, or he would have attempted to help our heroes, but it was a sad, dismissive way to go.  I wish he had gone out earlier, in some better fashion.

     The final season of Lost will continue for two more Tuesdays at 9pm, and then conclude on Sunday, May 23th on ABC.

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