Sunday, May 27, 2007

THE MAILBOX SNAKE: O'BSERVATIONS ON THE "LOST" FINALE

Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, executive producers of 'Lost', have said for months that the third season finale would be a game changer. They called it "The Snake In The Mailbox".

And as a son of a letter carrier, I can tell ya - that was some mailbox snake!

Plenty of other sites have gone into detail about it. And I have to save a major chunk for a few days anyway for a special post. But these are just a few thoughts I had with a few Toobworld O'Bservations:

As everybody knows by now, the final scene was a reboot of the system. For three years, the "present" took place on the island, with most of the characters having flashbacks to their previous lives. But for these two hours, we weren't seeing Jack's flashbacks to his past, but "flashforths" of his time in the actual present time. Based on clues in those scenes, like the make of his phone (The KRZR wasn't released until October of 2006.), or some bridge graffiti (I've seen it alleged that there was a "PHS 2006" visible.), we were watching Jack as he is "now".

The island sequences in the finale were now the actual flashbacks.

In the present, Jack is now one seriously messed-up dude. And that fulfills the meaning of the show's title: Jack is more lost now than when he was stranded on that island.

According to that premenstrual Amazon bitch Bonnie, the code for the jamming signal had been programmed by a musician. Here's one of my pet theories, and it ties into another of mine (and that which is mine, is mine!): That musician who was working for the DHARMA Initiative was once a member of the rock group Geronimo Jackson. Let's face it, there has to be a reason for that band to keep popping up. (Their album "Magna Carta" was in the Hatch and the undercover agent at Locke's hippie commune was wearing the T-shirt.)

I also think that if you look at that album cover, easily to be found via a Google image search, one of the band members is striking a very Sawyeresque pose. It could be that he is actually the father of James Ford, and it was through his time in the band that he made all of his money - which drew Anthony Cooper to him as a mark for a con.

We've pretty much wrapped up Sawyer's storyline when it comes to his daddy issues in relation to the original Sawyer. It would be another venue to explore should he meet this DHARMA bum musician/computer programmer and find out that he was once a band-mate with his dad.

Here's an idea I have for what may develop over the coming season: having lost his best friend on the island, Hurley may step up to take the place of Charlie Pace in watching out for Claire and Aaron. (We saw that he had assumed some of that responsibility in preparing for the radio tower exodus while Charlie left for the Looking Glass Hatch.) I'm not saying that this will lead to romance, but at the same time, Hurley's a lovable guy so why shouldn't it?

One thing we know for sure - he could certainly provide for her and the baby once they got back to the mainland. (If in fact they do both leave. Although Desmond saw Claire and Aaron get on the rescue helicopter, maybe Hurley stays behind because his luck is better there.)

Desmond's dreams weren't always literal. He saw Charlie flicking the switch and then drowning. It wasn't as simple as flicking a switch - instead Charlie had to tap out the rhythm of "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys (perfect combo for this show!). And the drowning bit didn't follow immediately.

So what if it's not a rescue helicopter that he saw Claire and Aaron get into? Maybe it will be a black ops chopper from the Hanso Organization and they abduct Claire and the baby for some dark purposes off-island.

"Mailbox Snake" would make a great name for a band. I've already got it in mind for use in a Toobworld story.....

From TV.com:
When Charlie is about to drown in the looking glass he makes the sign of the cross. However he does it incorrectly. He touches the correct parts in the correct order, but he does make a fatal error; he uses his left hand instead of his right.

Charlie was such a religious person (even when he was a sinner), that it's inconceivable to this old altar boy that he could make a mistake like that. Even if you're a southpaw, the Church insisted that you make the Sign of the Cross with your right hand.

This show has been so attentive to its own details, could this really be a mistake? If so, I'm thinking that perhaps the film was reversed for some reason. But what if it wasn't done in error? I wouldn't put it past this show's creators to have had some hidden meaning for it.

Or, as with Jack's tattoos, they'll come up with some splainin for why it happened. Even if we don't want it, as with Jack's tattoos....

I sent an "Extra" in-joke to David Bianculli of the Daily News - that Kate was wearing Charlie's hoodie during the nighttime portion of the exodus. I think it was recognition of her off-screen sweetie's last episode......

It was the same zippered sweatshirt/windbreaker that Charlie was wearing during that first night on the island.

Ben told Richard Alpert to lead the rest of the Others to "the temple". I'm wondering if the temple has any connection to the remains of that four-toed statue?

And does the island provide yarmulkes at the temple?

I was sorry to see the character of Tom go; when it comes to villainous Others, he was a rather personable fellow. He was probably the show's best stand-in for Alan Hale as the Skipper.

But at the same time, I understood the justification Sawyer gave for killing him - in revenge for taking Walt off the boat. And Tom was in favor of killing Sayid, Jin, and Bernard against Ben's orders, something I would have thought was more in keeping with the personality of Ryan Pryce, the commando leader. (However, Pryce was not one to disobey orders.)

Speaking of following orders, there was a moment there when I thought Mikhail might break rank with Ben Linus, once he saw how much Ben had lied to them all about the Looking Glass Hatch. In the end, he did as he was told and killed Bonnie and Greta to make sure the communication jammer would never be activated. And when that failed, he nearly sacrificed his own life by detonating a grenade against the porthole to flood the communications room and drown Charlie.

(I say "nearly sacrificed his own life" because I'm not convinced Mikhail is dead. That Rasputin of 'Lost' will probably show up again someday, minus an arm perhaps - losing parts like Allardyce T. Merriweather in "Little Big Man" - but still alive and kicking.

Unless I actually see his body being chomped on by the DHARMA shark, I'll refrain from declaring him to be really most sincerely dead.)

Nice foot action by Sayid in killing that other Other. Had I been in that same situation, I could have done the same thing - except I'd just have to take the boots off and gas him like Ben's dear old Dad....

I wonder if Bernard's confession will ostracize him from the other 815ers, and especially his wife Rose? On the other hand (something Mikhail no longer has - an Other hand! ba dum dum!), we know she doesn't want to leave this island and may see his attempt to spare their lives as the only way they could guarantee both of them could stay there together.

I was sorry to see Marsha Thomason leave the show so soon after being introduced into the storyline. (The fembots of the Looking Glass Hatch were dispatched with even more dispatch, but they were little better than ciphers as characters.) In a way, Thomason's Naomi was this season's Leslie Arzt - introduced into the series with a sense that she'll be around for a while. I let my imagination cast forward in wondering what her flashback story might be, what was her full name and was it an anagram or had some link to a philosopher? Basically, the same kind of thing I did with Mr. Arzt before he blowed up real good.

Another reason it was a shame to lose her services on the show - Naomi was exotically beautiful and the island could always use that kind of scenery. Besides, the show has killed off way too many of the women over the last three seasons.

Perhaps we haven't seen the last of her - once they get around to pulling the knife out of her, maybe Naomi will begin to revive as Locke and Mikhail have been seen to do.

Or maybe Marsha Thomason might return to the series in another role. I get the feeling that there's supposed to be something to do with genetics when it comes to DHARMA research, which might be why Gary Troup's novel was called "Bad Twin". Perhaps when we see who else was aboard that freighter of hers, there's another woman who looks just like her; maybe even a whole platoon of them!

But the killing of Naomi totally pushed Locke into the villain category for me. (As if his selfish obsession to destroy the submarine and Mikhail's communication shack weren't bad enough to qualify.) I don't care if in the end he was right about trying to make sure they all stay on the island - that was morally wrong. Stabbing a woman in the back in order to prevent her from completing the call to the ship, and yet then not shooting Jack for trying to do the same thing? Bad guy. And one who can't even carry through with his convictions.

When Walt appeared to Locke while he was lying wounded in the mass grave, I'm convinced that it was a manifestation of the smoke monster, just as Eko's brother, Jack's Dad, Kate's horse and Sayid's cat were. And as such, quibbles about the height spurt by Malcolm David Kelley can be splained away by the smoke monster's fudging with the details.

But at least now, Walt can come back in some other "flashforth" since he grew too much to continue the island part of the story and yet still have it only be several months after the plane crash in 2004.

If so, it could tie in with one of several new mysteries for the last three seasons which were provided in Jack's "flashforth":

Who's in the coffin we saw when Jack went to the funeral and was the only person who showed up? I'm thinking it was for Michael Dawson, Walt's Dad. It was held in a black neighborhood of Los Angeles, probably similar to the one where Michael used to live during the Rodney King riots.

And the blowup of that newspaper clipping about the funeral seemed to suggest that whoever had died killed himself. After what Michael did to get himself and his son off the island, killing Ana Lucia and Libby, he deserved no better than the coward's way out. And it would also splain why nobody else bothered to show up to his funeral.

The clipping also suggested that the name of the deceased might begin with a "J" and end with "ntham", leading some to suggest that it's a "Jeremy Bentham", yet another philosopher name. Even so, Michael could have been using it as an alias.

Another "flashforth" mystery: Who is the mystery man Kate is living with now, off the island? (She said that she had to get back to him before he started wondering where she was.) Could it be Sawyer? Nathan Fillion's cop from Tallahassee? Some character from DHARMA we haven't met yet? Maybe she even hooks up with Richard Alpert?

And a third: What was the deal with Jack saying that his father was upstairs at the hospital - and probably drunk - when we saw that he was dead before Jack crashed on the island.

Or was he? Remember, the coffin was empty when Jack finally found where it landed. And even though he saw his Dad's body in the Sydney morgue, maybe Christian Shepherd was just temporarily paralyzed by the venom of a Medusa spider. (I believe now that those beasties have been introduced into the series, they better not be forgotten when it comes to island life!)

(I've read a LOT of online articles and interviews since this episode aired, so everything is starting to blend and blur. However, I think I may have read somewhere that Lindelof & Cuse have stated that Christian Shepherd is definitely dead. Not that it really matters - Death isn't all it's cracked up to be in this show!)

By now, readers of this blog post will have noticed that I've barely mentioned the sacrifice made by Charlie Pace, for me the high point of the episode. This is the segment I'm reserving for about three more days, and regular visitors to the site may figure out why......

All in all, this episode justified my claim that 'Lost' is one of the five best TV shows in my personal Toobworld pantheon. (Since you insist, the others are 'The Prisoner', 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', and 'Columbo'.) I've said it time and again that I'm in it for the ride, and Lindelof & Cuse have shown that nothing is presented in this series without reason.

Hurley's rescue mission in the Shambala DHARMA van proves that!

And finally, speaking of Hurley, I did have one small complaint which ties in with his appearance in the season finale:

Where was the Hurley bird?

For the last two season-enders, we got to see that weird bird fly at Hurley, screeching his name. It would have been a nice touch if it happened again while he was making that boastful challenge to the surviving Others via the walkie-talkie. (And by the way, with the finale, he and Bernard have joined the ranks of those among the survivors who have killed.....)

Well, sorry for the delay - not that I think anybody was on pins and needles waiting for my O'Bservations.......

Check back in a few days to see what I have in store for the late, great Charles Heironymous Pace......

BCnU!
Toby OB3

PS
"Jack Flashforth" would make a great name in a swashbuckler.....

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Having watched the last three episodes again in a four-hour marathon last night, I think Jack is so drunk/stoned that he imagines his father is still alive. The look the black surgeon gave him when Jack suggested he get Jack's father was one of mixed pity and disgust. So, I think the surgeon knows that Jack's father is dead.

It's hard to imagine Jack even having a job at that point, he's such a mess.

I also think that the Walt who appeared to Locke was not Walt but the smoke monster taking human form, at the behest of Jacob. And that the work Locke needed to do -- after the island once again healed him -- was to kill Naomi.

And I can't wait to see the seemingly indestructible Mikhail again next season -- this time missing an eye and a hand. That guy's like the Black Knight in Holy Grail!

One other thought: Why isn't Kate in jail? And it wouldn't be surprising to discover that the person who'd be worrying about her and wondering where she was (which she was using as an excuse to get away from Jack at the airport) might not be Sawyer, or a full-grown man. It might be a child. Hers and Sawyers or hers and Jack's, possibly.

Ivy

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts there. I'm wondering, based on comments Cuse and Lindelof made in the Answers special the other night, if part of the coming "change" in the show is that we will be moving some of the action off the island. Their comments in that special definitely gave me the impression that part of the endgame of the series is to get the survivors back to the lives they left behind and to show how what they have gone through on the island will impact their off island lives and destinies.

T. Ucko

Anonymous said...

explain
explain
explain
not splain dude
even as a insiders joke... it takes away a lot from your text

Toby said...

If this is the first time visiting Toobworld, then you should realize I'm a lost cause. Toobism has its own language, from established terms like "splainin" to masking terms like "bleep" and coined words like serlinguism, tele-cognizance, Clavinist, and my own personal O'Bservation.

Most of them in my opinion help keep the reader within the realm of Toob, which is the main point of it all anyway.

Sorry you can't read past that, but dat's da name of dat tune....