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Lost is over.

Some think “The End” suggested there were more tales to be told. Hurley and Ben remaining on the island was the equivalent of a western hero riding off into the sunset. You as the audience know there are still wrongs to be righted, evil to be fought, mysteries to be solved. But, we’ll never see these fights, because for us it is over. It was over right when they all crossed over into the great unknown in a Poly Faith sacred building.

I’ve embraced my other two blogs and have a new focus for the next few months—-Zombies!

Bite m--- I mean---Click me to read about zombies

I think we can all agree that the final season of Lost is one of the most argued about seasons of television ever. People are ravenous about how right they are and others are just wrong wrong wrong. If you’ve ever wandered through a Facebook message board on the subject of Lost, then you know what I’m talking about. I posted a link to one of my blog posts once, and it led to the near criminal level of harassment by a man ( I think it was a man) who conspicuously had the same name as a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy character, and even more conspicuously, looked just like Lou Feriggno. That was the first time that I saw how crazy this show was making people. This person decided that he was absolutely right about everything and was willing to take time out of his day to literally hunt down people on the internet and insult them via Facebook, Twitter, and any other venue he could uncover. I followed his harassment of other people for one afternoon and was amazed how crazed this person was.  It got pretty personal. I had no desire to be beaten up by the Hulk. Although he probably looked more like this guy though.

CYBER BULLY!

So, my point. People, not me, but people, are dissatisfied with the end. Certain people have pointed me in the direction of fan fictions that would have played out the final season in an entirely different manner. I looked at two of them. They weren’t horrible, but I enjoyed the final season more than these ideas.

I began writing a response to one of these hypothetical endings. It was only supposed to be a paragraph. ONE paragraph.

That wasn’t enough space to say what I needed to say.

That paragraph opened up to a one-page treatment of sorts. Still not enough.

That treatment then expanded into an outline with character descriptions.

Some of the scenes needed dialogue. So I wrote it. When I was through, I realized I had written fan fiction. Shit.

What I had written was an alternative “B” storyline which could have been in the place of the Afterlife/ Purgatory / Sideways / Happy Ending storyline. I don’t know how this happened, but it did. And (embarrassingly) here is the first couple parts:

What if this were season 6’s flashes?

Episode 1 – We open on a young man that we do not know (or do we?) on a small two-person sailboat in a large harbor full of giant cargo ships. He is looking for a crew to help him find a mythical island said to hold the key to the origins of mankind. He has no family. He is an orphan.

He has recurring dreams of violence and darkness. In these dreams a group of people are battling for their lives on an island that isn’t an island. This dream always ends with an explosion of pure white light that is engulfed in a cloud of darkness.

He wakes from the dream and walks up into the city from the harbor. He enters a bar, where a heavy-set man makes fun of him for not being old enough to drink, “Maybe you should go back to your mommy little man.”

He continues to the bar where a woman’s voice speaks to him from behind, “You’re Aaron, right? I’m Anise.”

He turns.

“Do I know you?”

“No. But I know you. I dreamt about you.”

Episode 2 –

Aaron repeats, “Do I know you?”

“I’m Anise, and I’ve been dreaming about you since I was a child”

In her dream, Anise is always standing with Aaron, and holding his hand as the white light explosion erupts towards them.  They establish that they remember each other from when they were children.  They remember being on a plane, then on an island.

Next time—–  They find a charter and a man named LaFleur.

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Toy Story 3 was a formulaic film that reached an earnest dénouement after a harrowing hero’s journey.

Or was it?

I think there was a more sinister formula at work here.

A zombie formula!

Read the rest over at Cinema Fantastica!  Click here….

Unexplainable pseudoscience technology has been the MacGuffin or catalyst for many good character driven sci-fi stories over the years. Storytellers have formulated hypotheses regarding the future of mankind ever  since Verne and Wells first wrote their tales of trips to the moon, time travel, underwater adventures, etc. I recently watched the film TiMER, starring Emma Caulfield of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. TiMER is a film set in a very near future, in which Scientists have been able to break down our auras, or time-lines, or pheromones, or something, so they can pin-point the exact day in your individual future that you will meet your honest to goodness soul mate. A TiMER, seen in the above picture, is then implanted in your wrist, which will count down until that day.

Damn it! I'm thirty!

The concept of the TiMER, in the wrong hands could have easily become a Logan’s Run, as thirty-year-olds obviously rebel against the stigmas that goes with age. Instead, it is a wonderful character film, which does–actually— like Logan’s Run, follow 29-year-old Oona as she approaches her thirtieth birthday, and worries that she will be alone forever. You see, Oona’s TiMER is blank. Which can mean one of three things: 1. Her soul mate doesn’t have a TiMER. They both need to have one for some reason. 2. She missed her chance. Or 3. She doesn’t have a soul mate.

The opening weekend gross of ROTK was strategically placed in the news scroll placing the intro of the TiMER in 2003.

The technology in TiMER is handled in such a wonderful and simultaneously ‘as a matter of fact’ way that it really needs no explanation, just an introduction.  The film opens with a series of news clips introducing the TiMER circa 2003.Through this montage, we arrive at the future, or rather the present of the film and a TiMER TV commercial, which markets the TiMER eerily like an  Apple product. Now, I do love my Mac, but it did not introduce me to my wife— who also has a Mac— Oh crap. Did we meet because of the Apple Corporation?! Digressing too far. The technology is simply stated at the beginning of the film to be what it was. Nothing else was necessary. The rest of the film is character driven.

Like the TiMER, Lost introduced several technologies and sciences that were simply stated for what they were. Like Han Solo declaring that the Kessel Run record-breaking ship the Millenium Falcon is the fastest ship in the Galaxy because it has a hyperdrive.  We just accept these scientific impossibilities because a character told us it was so, and it has been established in their universe that these things are possible. Some of these pseudosciences in Lost were as follows:

  • An Arctic Station to detect and pinpoint specific EM radiation bursts with amazing accuracy.
  • A Rat that is bathed in radiation so it’s mind travels into the future and it knows a path through a maze that it never ran before.
  • A magic button that will release magic electromagnetic energy every 108 minutes, thus saving the planet and maybe universe from annihilation.
  • Healing waters of a jungle temple protected by a hippie cult.
  • Time and space shifting donkey wheels.
  • Teleporting Islands.

Some Lost Science

But, my favorite was the time travel and characters becoming unstuck in time. The characters accepted the Time Travel with such ease, that I as a viewer accepted it as well. One day they were wandering the present day jungle, a flash of white light washed over them, and they found themselves in the 70’s. They accepted the shift, why wouldn’t I?

Another recent viewing, which, while amusing, could have played up its reality shifting goodness A LOT MORE, was Hot Tub Time Machine. I mean, come on, lets talk about a ridiculous time travel technology. They spill an illegal russian red bull called Chernobly on the controls of a hot tub, and their consciousnesses travel in time like Elly the rat! Whatever, I buy it. That is what I came here for. I rented this film knowing what I was getting into.  The only real problem I had with this film was that it felt like it was written by some kid that never experienced the eighties. He or she was probably a teen in the nineties and just wiki’d the eighties.  So they included the highlights of the 80’s, i.e. “Where’s the beef?, Poison,  Jessie’s Girl, flourescent clothing, etc.  There was so much more to the 80’s to make fun of.   Since it was at a Ski resort, I was hoping that Cusack’s character Adam would run into Lane Meyer, whom Cusack played in 1986’s Better Off Dead, another 80’s ski comedy.  That meeting would have been like a triple paradox!   Instead, they created way too much drama for four characters (A broken marriage, a suicide attempt, a shattered Cusack who ominously says “I didn’t do anything”) when it really should have been hilarity right through the whole thing.

80's things to make fun of: Sweat bands, John Travolta, One-man-army films, John Hughes, Ollie North, a Character that might be a Communist, a shopping montage, a training montage, someone randomly breaks into dance, nerds become cool, nerds get the girl, Jocks are evil, Principals or Deans are the devil, The Brat Pack, a robot with personality, and it should have ended with the entire resort gathering around someone doing something truly good and heroic and they would all applaud.

CINEMA FANTASTICA! A new Post! Below is an excerpt:

A Face in The Crowd (1957) by Elia Kazan is a film that Netflix gave me a 4.9 out of 5 star possibility that I would enjoy it. 4.9 out of 5 seemed rather unlikely to me, because, well, I’ve always hated being told what to do. I was so wrong. I’m now a believer in the Netflix algorithm and think it is nigh flawless. I loved this film. It is the story of Lonesome Rhodes, amazingly portrayed by Andy Griffith, an Arkansas drunk with a bad marriage, a fraudulent annulment, and a larger than life personality.

Read the rest here: http://cinemafantastica.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/my-week-in-film-two-classics-my-hangover-and-the-hangover/

Part 4 – Where the Wild Smoke Monsters Are – Establishing villains

From the beginning the smoke monster was established as the ominous adversary.  The castaways saw it from afar ripping entire trees out of the ground, probably just going for a walk.  It was an unknown ‘thing’ that would randomly pop into the camp and terrorize, kill, and drag people off.  From a writing standpoint it seemed to be a Deus ex Machina given form, which is pretty funny.  It did become more.  It was given a face.  Actually it was given many faces over the course of the show.  Best of all, it was given motivation.  It was given a reason to be so angry.  It has been a prisoner for thousands of years.  A lifetime sentence has to be pretty rough when you are an immortal sentient cloud.

The purpose of the monster was to act as the antagonist to a group of people that would need to face the greatest threat that not just the world has ever faced, but all of existence.  Their test was such a mind-bogglingly huge task, that people will talk and write books about it for years to come.  Many people seem to see the conflict as being one of good versus evil, as Locke hinted at during season one while teaching backgammon to Walt.  “Light versus dark” was the exact phrase Locke used.  I do not think that is the correct phrasing for this conflict though.  It would be accurate to call the Lost conflict of the Castaways Vs. Smoke monster ‘People versus Evil.”  None of the Castaways were what anyone religious, agnostic, or atheist would ever call ‘good.’  Sayid was an interrogation torturer, Shannon slept with her half brother, and Jack was so conflicted that it drove him nearly to suicide.  The fight in Lost was one of human beings banding together to rise above their vices, prejudices, and petty hatreds to fight something that is beyond even their understanding.

Why did the monster choose Locke?  The monster chose John Locke’s form because very simply, it was a good fit.  John was an adamant believer in all of the goodness of the island and what it could potentially be to him and all people.  This steadfastness made him perfect for a guise that would allow the monster to enact his final gambit to get off that rock.  It is a slippery slope when you believe as strongly as John Locke.  It raises philosophical questions that people constantly ask themselves with regards to whether or not there is a god, like “If god loves us why is there war, famine, disease, hatred, guns, etc.?”  If Jacob loved them, then why was there a smoke monster?  When the resurrected John Locke appeared with a more extreme viewpoint, it was completely believable to the Others.  He was a new kind of leader that wouldn’t take Jacob’s ‘Look-at-me-I-live-in-a-foot-and-tell-you-what-to-do’ crap anymore.  Little did they know, that they were following their sworn enemy on a mission to kill the protector of all that they loved.  Locke’s likeness was a flesh-suit that the smoke monster wore with ease and died even easier while wearing.

“These pretzels are making me thirsty!”

There were other monsters to contend with on the island as well.  Greed.  It is man’s nature to want more than they have or need.  The source represented something that men would kill for.  It was a modern (and also ancient) fountain of youth, that men would travel time and space to acquire.  Men and women have died trying to discover trading routes across the sea.  What would they do to live forever?  Vices.  Charlie literally could not get away from heroin.  It was rather hysterical how much heroin was on the island.  Just when you thought he was clean and sober, another bag of heroin would pop up.  Jealousy. Jack loved Kate who slept with Sawyer who lived with Juliet in 1977 for three years, who fell for Jack.  All four of these people would live and die for each other, but they will always be looking at the other woman or man and wondering ‘what if?’  Infidelity – Sun was on her way to another man when the plane crashed.  Cruelty – Boone’s constant belittling of his sister. 

MURDER!

Murder – How many people did Jack kill on his rampages through the Other’s camps.  What about the people in the past that died in the bomb he dropped down that hole in the ground?  Sawyer was on his way back from Australia where he committed murder.  Kate killed her stepfather.  Charlie killed Ethan.  Desmond killed Kelvin.  Michael killed Ana-lucia and Libby.  Locke’s doubts all but killed Mr. Eko.  None of them were angels.

They all had a monster within, and that is what made them all so fascinating.  They had the capacity for true evil, but chose to fight it within themselves while fighting it externally on the Island as well.

I’m not quite retiring this site yet.  There is more to say, and I will be purchasing the season 6 set in a few short months and re-watching.  I’ll probably have some new thoughts at this point.  In the next few days I will have a new site up (URL TBA) and will post and link to it here.  I’m going to open up my reviews to encompass more than just Lost.

Keep an eye out for one more Lil’ Ben strip in the next few days!

Absolute favorite Finale moment: When Ben apologizes, and he means it!

And lastly, Links to the OTHER parts of this series of thoughts, recaps, reactions, sweet nothings, etc. about the final episode of Lost, “The End.”

And They All Existed Happily Ever After Part 1 – THE SOURCE

And They All Existed Happily Ever After Part 2 – Desmond is the Metal Fork in the Microwave of the Universe!

And They All Existed Happily Ever After Part 3 – The Peripeteia

Thanks for reading!

-Rob

ialwayshaveaplan.lee@gmail.com

Part 3 – The Peripeteia

A peripeteia is a sudden reversal dependent on intellect and logic, essentially changing a person or character’s mind. From Wiki, Aristotle defines it as “a change by which the action veers round to its opposite, subject always to our rule of probability or necessity.” According to Aristotle, peripeteia, along with discovery, is the most effective when it comes to drama, particularly in a tragedy.

Over the past 6 seasons Lost has been called a brilliant Sci fi show, a moving drama about survival, a time traveling adventure story, and many other descriptions suit it as well. No matter what it was to you or the person sitting next to you, it was dependent on one constant, Characters. Lost was populated with a cast of wonderfully flawed characters. But did these characters reach their moment of peripetia, where they could evolve and achieve a full metamorphosis into something ‘more’ than when they began 6 years ago in their harrowing survival of the Oceanic flight 815 wreck? I think some of them did.

I CAN see my house from here.

Jack Shepherd was a hard-edged man of science. He was confident and sure of himself when in front of others, but fragile and given to vices when left to ponder his actions. Jack desperately wanted the love of a father who died. While traveling home with his father’s remains, flight 815 crashed on the island. He resisted belief in the mystical nature of the island. As a doctor, he could not wrap his rational mind around it. Even through EM flashes, smoke monsters, underwater bases, the endless coincidental connections between the people on the plane, and seeing his deceased father walking around the island, he still declared himself a practical man of science and had every intention of obtaining rescues for all those men and women that would follow him, but he would do it with a phone, and a gun, and a boat or a plane. There was never any consideration given to any of the otherworldly occurrences on the island, or how they could be utilized for escape or rescue.

Jack is reminiscent of King Arthur pulling a sword from a flaming wreck of a plane and declaring that everyone should follow him, but he refuses to admit the powers of Excalibur. The peripety came for Jack in L.A. after the Oceanic six had been saved, in the form of a dead Jeremy Bentham. Jack felt overwhelming guilt over his being home, while his friends remained behind and faced hardship without his leadership. He was a King that abandoned his kingdom. He declared “We need to go back!” But that would not be the only reversal. Jack was the character equivalent of a car doing donuts in a field. He would go back and forth between leader with unstoppable forward momentum and wallowing pill popping alcoholic and even a ‘let’s wait and see’ person. The final reversal came at the end of season five with his sudden determination to detonate Jug-head.

"How is this for faith Locke? I'm going to blow us all up in order to make it all right."

Jack decided to give himself over to fate and faith. Science got him nowhere, and he knew that. The living embodiment of Science, Daniel Faraday, was executed thirty years before he arrived on the island by his mother who had not even conceived him yet! (Which raises a very interesting question: If Daniel died before he was born, was his soul eradicated?) That moment gave birth to the Jack that would lead and ultimately save his friends (the ones still alive at least) in the final season. Jacks transformation from ‘daddy issues boy’ to Arthurian leader willing to sacrifice himself for his people was complete.

What happened was just this. The wind began to switch the house to pitch and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch. Just then this this b!#ch caught me in a net and I've pretty much been here all night...

Ben Linus – Ben was introduced under the guise of a lie. The lie was told to the castaways in the hatch as well as the audience. Nobody knew who this man was. He told everyone that his name was Henry Gale, and he was on a balloon trip around the world with his wife. Their Balloon crashed on the island and his just finished burying his wife. This was a series of half truths. Half true, because they happened to someone else. Henry Gale did crash on the island, but he was already dead. From there, Ben would be established as the ultimate manipulator on the Island. He would do anything, say anything, hurt anyone that got in the way of his ultimate goal, which was to protect the Island at all costs. This duplicitous nature created many enemies for Ben. Even amongst his own people, they were constantly waiting for a sign of weakness to dethrone him as he pointed out in the Season Three Episode where Ben thanks John for Destroying the Submarine. He told him that to let Jack go would have been a sign of weakness, but to kill him would have been unacceptable as well, because that would have been going back on his word. And if they sensed either, his status as the leader of the others would be in jeopardy. Where or when was the moment of peripeteia? I think it occurred during “The End,” but it originated some time earlier in “Cabin Fever” Season 4 Ep. 11, where Hurley shares an Apollo bar with Ben. So, this reversal would actually take years to fully develop.

Up to this moment, not a single character has ever openly shown Ben an ounce kindness. As a child his father got drunk on his birthday and reminded him that his mother died in childbirth. But this exchange between Ben and Hurley placed a glimmer of love in Ben’s heart. In Dr. Seuss terms, you could say his heart began to grow right there, and it had three sizes to grow.

The first growth in size would come during his heartfelt confession to Ilana regarding his daughter and murder of Jacob. He looked within and realized he has made some horrible mistakes, which he would most likely take to his grave with no chance for atonement.

I'm going to do something redefining for my character right now, because you shared a chocolate bar with me Hugo!

Amidst the island ripping itself apart during “The End,” Ben sees a massive tree limb falling towards Hurley. Ben selflessly shoves Hurley out of the way only to be pinned under it. His heart grew one more size when Kate, Sawyer and Hurley work together to save his life.

And the Third Size came just after Jack turned the light of the source back on. Hurley did something which nobody ever did for Ben. He asked Ben for his help. Right then, Ben completed his reversal. He went from rampaging lying monster to nurturing father. He became what he always wanted from his father. He reassured Hurley and told him that he can run the island how he sees fit. How Jacob ran it was not the only way. Ben really had a wonderful story of redemption and the search for acceptance and love.

Part 4 of 4 on Friday.

Favorite Finale Moment #3

When Kate said she missed Jack so much.

Part 2 – Desmond is the Metal Fork in the Microwave of the Universe (s)

I'm not a fork! I'm a man!

We can all agree that Desmond is unique.  In all of the Lost world, he is most likely the only person that can withstand the reality shifting trauma caused by exposure to extremely high levels of electromagnetic radiation.

I propose that Desmond always had this ability.  It was innate, but untapped, like Luke Skywalker living on Tatooine, and having no idea what the hell a midi-chlorian ever was. He was chosen by Jacob to come the island because of this preexisting condition.

Driveshafted

His survival at ground zero of the Dharma Swan Station blast was the first major exposure he experienced with this otherworldly electromagnetic (em) radiation emitted by the Source.   He survived, but it came with some unpredictable side effects.  He was able to glimpse the future.  Not his future though.  Additionally, these glimpses were not random by any means.   They were very exact glimpses he was meant to see of Charlie Pace dying.  This situation harks back to an idea that I’ve mentioned more than once, regarding a sentience to the Lost universe.  The Lost Universe/ Island is self-aware and is able to problem solve and provide fixes for itself.  In this case the fix was Desmond.  The Island saw the series of events as they needed to happen and fate was standing in the way of it’s and everyone’s continued existence by attempting to end the life of Charlie.  To combat this problem, Desmond was granted his flashes, so he could keep Charlie alive until he could perform his ultimate act and sacrifice by shutting off the jamming device in the Looking Glass Station.

“The island isn’t done with you yet Michael... I mean Desmond.”

The Island was by no means done with Desmond after Charlie’s death though. The Island has a mortal enemy in the Smoke Monster  (more below on why they are enemies).  It knew that it would need a person of Desmond’s ability to shut off the magic of the island, because the only way to kill the Smoke Monster was to shut off the Source.  The Source nearly sacrificed itself to finally remove the threat of the smoke monster.  Desmond was the failsafe key to the lock that extinguished the source (for a short while) and made Smokey mortal, so Jack could rough him up and Kate could put him out of his misery.

With regards to Desmond’s glimpses of the Sideways universe – I think that after Charles Widmore gave him his second bath in EM energies, the side effect wasn’t that he could see Charlie’s fate.  Rather, he was seeing his own fate, or at least beyond it into his next life. He thought he was supposed to turn off the light so he could traverse to another place where they all get to be with their loved ones.   It was all a mistake, but it wasn’t a mistake at the same time.    He was supposed to shut it down.  Snuffing out the Source made Smokey mortal, and allowed him to finally be killed.  It was all meant to be, and it was Desmond’s destiny.

The Underverse

Why did the smoke monster become mortal when the door was opened? Guess what?  I’ve got a theory.  The smoke monster is the last remaining survivor of the universe that preceded the Lost universe.  It’s home died.  Everything it ever knew died.  It has been here since the beginning of time in the Lost Universe and it hates it.  It holds the Island responsible for replacing and eradicating it’s home.

Finale Favorite moment #2

Jack’s expression when he sees Vincent

This is good TV

More tomorrow with Part 3 of 4

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