May 16, 2009

Okay, so it had to be big. The pressure was on for a spectacle. “The Incident” did not disappoint in that regard, i.e., the detonation of the atomic bomb and the white screen ending, the revelation that John Locke is still dead, the introduction of Jacob and his murder by John Locke and Ben, etc. While I was impressed by the writers’ ability to pull it all together, I have to admit I was a little disappointed. The submarine escape seemed a little too easy, too convenient. The reasoning behind Jack’s decision to blow up the island — he was still in love with Kate — and Juliet’s decision to back him up — Sawyer was still in love with Kate — was sort of trite; it didn’t make sense in the context of all that happened prior to this. Jack’s character has also gone through a major transformation in Season 5 that feels strange. While it follows that he would have given up some authority upon his return to the island, considering their arrival at the Dharma Initiative in 1977, and Sawyer’s move up in the world, there was something pathetic about him in this season that contrasts with the role he played in prior seasons. His reason to detonate the bomb at the Swan underscored this transformation. Also — how would this bring him closer to Kate? I don’t know….

So what will they do with Season 6? One possibility is that the writers will explore what happens to the Oceanic 6 passengers when they land safely in Los Angeles — if Farraday’s theory is correct and the plane didn’t crash in the first place. But this possibility ignores the many references to “whatever happened happened” in Season 5. If this is the case then their plane would have crashed anyway — and they’re living the past as the present so everyone on the island in 1977 is now dead. The end. If this is not the route the writers have in mind, I don’t see how the cast who went back in time to 1977 will be able to continue on the show — but they sort of have to — the Lost fan base would be greatly depleted if the writers let the main cast members die — so I’m curious how all of this will work out. Perhaps “whatever happened happened” was a diversion? The revelation of Locke’s demise was a more compelling ending to the season in some ways. Who is the “living” Locke? A ghost? The smoke monster? Who was Jacob?

I was just reading the Lost message board at ABC and one of the loyal fans — a frequent poster on the message board — suggested a comparison between Lost and Shakespeare’s The Tempest which was interesting. In The Tempest Caliban — a monster — is one of the native islanders that the ship-wrecked sorcerer Prospero uses to do his bidding. Caliban resents Prospero and plots against him. Prospero, a magician, uses his powers to control his friends and enemies, to ship-wreck others on the island and manipulate them to his ends. It’s possible this play has no bearing on Lost — despite that fact that one of the writers directed a version of the play with a Lost cast member starring in it at one point — but if it does, the similarities between Jacob and Prospero, the smoke monster and Caliban (as John Locke) are vaguely fascinating….