5/24/10 – “Lost”

At last “Lost” rests in peace.

As does Jack, apparently. Maybe he had been, slowly, for the past 6 years of our own lives?

Yes, creators J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Jeffrey Lieber assured us it would not have ended up all being a dream. They did, at the end of the 2nd season, adhere to their assurance that it was, indeed, happening today in our world.

I stopped watching shortly into the 3rd season. When that began with the opening twist that The Others were leading an ostensibly contemporary suburban life in their little village, that was when it jumped the shark. As H.G. Wells – or J.R.R. Tolkien – said, fantasy must have inherent rules, even if they are not spelled out but only known to the writer; otherwise, when anything can happen in a story, or a new fantasy element is slipped into the story deus ex machina to advance or thicken the plot or even simply to delight the reader, all the tension goes out of it. Wells or Tolkien actually said something about pigs suddenly flying over the hedgerow.

Larry Niven and Isaac Asimov even explicitly notified the reader at the beginning of each’s handful of science fiction murder mysteries that there would be no teleportation or time travel or any other purposeful technology involved in the murder that was not already introduced or presupposed in the story.

So when I watched snatches of last night’s “Lost” episode – I was DVRing it – and saw some hallucinogenic golden-glowing cave waterfall, I thought it might have been an homage to the Ark finally being opened at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, or maybe to the case in the trunk in Pulp Fiction. Then when Desmond got lowered down the waterfall to the glowing artificial pool with the mission of removing the huge hieroglyphicked stone plug from the godhead hole in the center of it, I thought, deflated, “Oh, “Lost” was just Myst with dialogue and fists…”

It all just totally slackened for me.

And the very ending, Jack with his father and all the main characters in the omni-religion church? 1990’s California New Ageism, chewed up and shat out by Wayne Dyer.  I was expecting David Arkenstone to start playing the organ. It was all but retro.

Jack is dead. And had everything we had been watching just been his “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”? Or Jacob’s Ladder for those of you under 40. I haven’t read the analyses and explanations yet – But the very ending, over the credits, the quiet shots of just the broken Oceanic Flight 815 wreckage scattered on the beach and in the water, leads me to conclude no one survived.

Well, no one ever does. You don’t meet your dead dad in a church, or gather with the people who influenced your life the most in ways you did not then comprehend; most of the time you don’t even get to say good-bye.


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