Lost – ‘Greatest Hits’ – 3.21

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Tonight is the grand finale of a pretty stellar season of Lost. On the whole, I think Lost – in its third year – had a nice rebound from some of the missteps this series took during Season II and some would argue, at the beginning of Season III (in that truncated first act). That said, the past several episodes have been fantastic – with some questions answered, some new mysteries revealed and the calming feeling that these producers do know what the hell they are doing.

All I know is I am primed for this season finale even more so after the Monday evening I had. While Andi hosted her book club (read: raging Mom’s Club kegger) I was sequestered in the basement where I bounced between the Sox-Yanks game, the 24 finale and the Heroes finale.

The Sox-Yanks game got out of hand early (this was obviously one of those nights where Wake is off his game and the team bats decide he’s no Beckett so they weren’t going to prop him up with a crooked number.) That led me to the 24/Heroes finales. While I had Heroes on DVR and planned to watch it in its entirety with Andi on Tuesday, I thought I’d pop in for some highlights (consider it my own teaser trailer.) I had abandoned 24 somewhere around the point where the producers lost Chares Logan (someone check that back lot and see if poor Itzkin is still laying in the back of that prop ambulance.) Bad mistake bouncing between either one.

I found the 24 finale to be airless and in a surprising mirror image of the season, the main conflict was resolved with about 25 minutes left to go, leaving the show spinning its wheels as Jack spent the remaining air time soul-searching at the house of his beloved Barbaro… errr Audrey. The show ended with Bauer overlooking an ocean-side cliff contemplating the end yet not quite committing. To paraphrase early Kiefer, maybe today would have been a good day to die.

As for Heroes, here was a show that began promisingly yet irked me early on with some major leaps in logic. It seemed the show was busy with incident and characters but not big on character development – which gave the false impression that it was better than Lost in that it gave the Lost detractors what they’re always raging about. ANSWERS!!! Well, I’d rather take intricate plotting and complex character development over the shotgun approach any day.

Midway through the season, Heroes corrected itself culminating in a truly fantastic hour – ‘Company Man’. That episode was a chamber piece – almost like a stage play – and the creators used it as a vessel to grant the best of all worlds – with answers delivered, back story revealed, alliances forged and action aplenty. Since that episode, the show seemed to be riding a creative high. Which is why the finale was ultimately so disappointing.

In one hour, the show fell back on its worst impulses, with coincidence colluding with stupid character decisions to create a mostly inert finale. Of all the ways to end the season, having Peter explode in space seems the most asinine. And what’s with Hiro announcing his presence every time he has the opportunity to get the drop on Sylar. The big bad was right. He is a silly little man. While I’m on the topic of plot holes, why did Candace (who alluded to the fact that her ‘real’ appearance wasn’t really her real appearance) turn back into the Candace we all know and love when she was knocked cold by Nicki. And based on the barren back lot cityscape, I’m not sure what all the noise about offing .07% of the population was about should the bomb go off. Outside of the series regulars, there wasn’t a single person on those streets. City that never sleeps, my ass!!!

All right, enough with all this. I’m sure I’ve lost my regular Lost readers by this point. The point is, I’m hoping this finale makes up for the mass of disappointment I had the displeasure of viewing earlier in the week. C’mon Lost. Show ‘em how it’s done.

On with the show.

1.   Who would have thought that the episode I’ve long dreamt of, the Hobbit homicide, would be the one episode to make me actually care about Charlie. It took almost 3 full seasons of Dom loathing for me to come around and actually wish good tidings upon the little bastard. That this episode ultimately decided to grant the misguided munchkin with a brief stay of execution only makes things a bit worse. Now, I dread the inevitable. Thus is the greatness of an episode that really served to set the platters for tonight’s 2-hour finale. As I’ve said before, I’ve never been a fan of Charlie so it says something for this series when it is able to produce an hour of television that successfully makes me change my mind.

2.   ‘Greatest Hits’ takes its title from the list of life altering events Charlie is composing. I thought this was a unique take on the flashback structure. Rather than tell one large back story, these little vignettes served to flesh out major moments in Charlie’s life which served to make him the man he is today.

3.   Being a father, the sequence where Charlie spoke to Aaron and let him know how much he loves him really hit home and helped shed all that awful baggage I’ve carried around about this character. Sure he has been a whiny little bloke and also a major bugger for having kidnapped Sun but that dynamic, his desire to put his life on the line to save Claire and Aaron really spoke to me. I’m a sucker for self-sacrifice, that noble act of taking the bullet for another. Charlie manning up for once and offering to take on the suicide mission depicted in Desmond’s latest flash just hit me right where it hurts and for once, I saw Charlie in a new light.

4.   Of course, he didn’t die straight out. When Charlie emerges from the moon pool to a decidedly not flooded submerged station, I started thinking that perhaps all of the rumors of Charlie’s imminent demise were merely foilers cooked up by the creators who love teasing their audience. But… what if Desmond’s prophecy has not come true yet. There’s still plenty of time to flood that station.

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5.   Regarding the station, I wanted to offer up Sean’s theory (he can expound upon it in the Comments below). The station is called The Looking Glass – an obvious allusion to the Alice in Wonderland sequel, Through the Looking Glass. The Dharma logo printed on top of it shows a white rabbit, yet another allusion to Wonderland. Over Appletinis last week, Sean offered his theory. He believes the station is staffed because that is the place where people who come to and from the island pass through. Essentially, he’s talking ‘teleportation’ or some other sci-fi gizmo. I think he might be on to something. The title of the season finale is called ‘Through the Looking Glass’. Taking literally, that seems to support his theory. Plus, the site had a moon pool which Juliet mentioned was big enough for a sub to dock. We have seen that people come to the island in a sub but they are knocked out before the journey. In ‘Not in Portland’, Juliet was tranquilized before the trip which Richard cautioned ‘can be quite intense.’ What if they knock people out, teleport them to the Looking Glass, load ‘em on a sub and ferry them to the dock? We’ll see. Again, it’s Sean’s theory and I think, quite a compelling one.

So this week means war. I’m going to close out early. Let me know what you think below. Will you mourn Charlie? Is there a doc named Bones (no, not that Deschanel chick) in the Looking Glass? Will Jack ever come across as likeable? Answers tonight. Maybe?!?!?

Coming soon… the Jack-centric ‘Through the Looking Glass’.

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Comments now closed (7)

  • At first, I was thinking you wrote two blog posts here: one about the other shows — agree that Heroes was somewhat weak — and the other about Lost, but now I see you don’t have a lot to add on the ep, and neither do I except for my theory, which you retold well. More on that in a second.

    The only thing you didn’t mention that most folks might not have picked up on — I didn’t until you told me — was that the girl Charlie saved was Nadia; Sayid’s chica.

    Anyway, as I said, you have my theory there and that saves me a good amount of typing! The only other piece to add is my thinking on the sub was it appeared to be fairly small, and therefore, a short range sub, unless it were nuclear, in which case Locke has irradiated the island waters somewhat! How happy is the island with him on that one? 😉

    Seriously though, I can poke a hole in this fairly quickly though… they could transport by seaplane or ship to the sub, but there’s no way they go the distance in it, so why use the sub at all? Well, they need it for the Looking Glass station, but other than that, no reason, right?

    So, if the rest of the survivors can get to the Looking Glass station (without Locke destroying it), they are off the island. That’s a game changer.

    I guess the stretch is the teleportation bit, but given some of the oddities we’ve seen, it could be a natural occurrence of the island… like a worm hole on the planet — Donnie Darko anyone? — or something. I know… this is a bit out there and I’m sure I am wrong, but I guess we’ll see.

    So, just to firm up my theory a bit, I consulted Wikipedia on Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There and it started off with this bit:

    “In it, there are many mirror themes, including opposites, time running backwards, and so on.”

    Time running backwards… hmm… Desmond might know a thing or two about that, no?

    As for Charlie, I hope those Underwater Amazon chicks kill him dead. Unlike Ed, I didn’t grow to like him much more. He’s still a drug addict that clocked Sun for some smack. Claire and Aaron are better off without him.

    Finally, and this from a co-worker, the date of the last episode is 12/22/2004 (I think that was what he said) and the Tsunami was on 12/26/2004. He got this from a message board, but could this be the game changer they are touting or would the timing necessitate it be handled next season (if at all)? That’d be a game changer.

  • My thoughts….
    If the writers see Sean’s theory it’s quite likely that the backwards time-teleporter on the eve of the tsunami will show up. My own theory is that they make this s*** up as they go along.

    And I have waited for the little hobbit to die since he landed on the island. His little list, while touching, isn’t enough to salvage my feelings for his character. However, since it doesn’t come back on until Feb,2008, he’s probably going to make it through the holidays….

  • Um…Ed…it’s been almost 16 hours since Lost ended…can ya’ get the analysis up? What didn’t I see? What didn’t I get? Will you explain to me how Jack told the Chief to get upstairs and get his Dad to see if he is drunker than him, but his Dad is dead ( statue maybe?) Did you freeze frame the obit and see the name? If not you, who did??? I loved seeing Tom blown away and Ben pummeled. It was better than at least 19 of Jack Bauer’s last hours!!! Get on it!!

  • @Aunt Sharon – I’ll have it up tomorrow. I’m still decompressing and digesting it all. Plus, somehow work got in the way. Anyway, tomorrow for sure.

    I can answer your question on the dead Dad. It served two purposes – the rantings and ramblings of a depressed junkie who had stooped to using his dead pappy’s stationary to score some more Ocycontin (or Oxycone in the Lostverse) and it was a red herring to throw us off the big reveal in the final moments. If you notice, when he says to go get his Dad, the Chief of Staff throws a worried glance to the nurse nearby. That last outburst solidifies it – Shephard has lost it. Anyway, I’ll expound on this soon, but wanted to make sure everyone knew that his Dad was truly dead. It’s the same tact Shamyalan has followed in his flicks – where things seem one way and then when you rewatch knowing the big twist, they look a bit different.

    I’ll say this much – the Lost Season 3 finale kicked 24 to the curb in so many ways. If only 24 had dropped 20 hours from the format this year and culminated with the Curtis killing/Valencia nuking, then maybe I wouldn’t have to make these comparisons. Oh well, as with every year, I’ll get Jack’s back again next year, but that sonuvabitch let me down big time this year.

    As for Lost, last night was television at its finest.

    BTW – I’ll probably cut and paste some of these Comments into my full post. I can’t let all these precious words go to waste.

  • Well, NOW it makes sense…and I thought I was soooo clever having picked up on dead Dad, having completely missed the knowing ” his Dad is dead and he’s lost it” glance….might be worth watching it again….

    I really count on your Lost blog, makes me look oh-so-smaht to my friends at work!!

  • And would also please address the very bad beard Jack was wearing in the forth-story at the hospital? I am considering that the Island was actually youthening them ( Merlin’s word, not mine) and he oughtta want to go back!!!