In Which He Always Has A Plan

The following report on the last episode of Lost’s fourth season contains spoilers. Watch the episode, and then come here and enter

The War

by Dick Cheney

Lost Season Four Finale

I received six draft deferments. I had other things to do during the Vietnam War. By the age of 26, I was no longer eligible. Thus, I have never faced the war, as some did in the magical season finale of Lost.

Still, now is the time to comfortably second-guess the presumably Jewish writers who devised this season. They played with fire when it came to a key dramatic trick. If you’ll remember Harold Pinter’s Betrayal – most memorably parodied in Seinfeld’s Indian episode – information revealed in flashforwards can considerably entertain through the distance it creates by understanding the passage of time as the tool of the drama. We didn’t see much happen from point A to point B this season; even the six return to shore entirely undamaged, just minus a husband Jin, lover Sawyer who returned to the island, and a killer, Harold Perrineau’s Michael.

And, at the finale’s conclusion, the stakes were lowered, a fact that may cause a ratings dip going into Season 5.

jeremy bentham

With the present to focus on now, telling the story of the 6’s return to the island alongside the story of the rest should prove a natural drama – our heroes desperately try to rescue the remainders. From what, it’s unclear.

recoiling at hurley’s accidental boner – a lost art?

The Six must journey back to the island together, to a place that has gotten even worse. But for what reason? If Ben Gale is gone, there are only the others and the dwindling rest of the castaways. Whose mercy might they be put at?

chicks with ggggguns

The main assumption that Lynne and I had as we ate strudel and pigged out on Twizzlers on Thursday night was that the guilt of the survivors would be brought out in this two hour episode. You know, Jack boozing guilt, guilt like Scott McClellan will feel when I accidentally shoot him on my next hunting trip in his fucking backyard.

But even the central issue between the Jack-Kate break-up in the future is B.S. – Sawyer politely asks Kate to check in on his daughter, Clementine, which won’t be hard as Kate knows the mother in question. Why she can’t simply tell Jack is besides me.

During her flash-forward dream sequence, Kate receives a garbled phone call. When played backwards, the message states: “The Island needs you. You have to go back before it’s too late.”

last obligatory evangeline lilly from a good angle pic of the season

The most interesting thing that wasn’t, looking back on this season, may have been Ben’s storyline in the flashforwards. Getting chucked off your vacation spot in the middle of the desert is fascinating when you know the particulars, boring when Ben is approaching Sayid in an alley with silly one-liners. It’s far more insane when you know how he got there. That would have added a lot more drama to that episode, “The Shape of Things To Come.”

moving the island is markedly similar in approach to sex with mariah carey

Ben has become far and away the most sympathetic character on this show. This is despite the fact that his trademark plan always involves being captured by the enemy. He reminds me of Mel Gibson on South Park, asking Stan and Kenny for punishment.

The fun trio of Hurley, Ben and Locke carried these last few episodes, whether it was me bawling like a baby when Hurley shared his candy bar with Ben, or Linus’ best line of the season, “Don’t you know I always have a plan?”

Each year the producers have a special name for a secret scene in that year’s finale. This year’s special name turned about to be literal – “Frozen Donkey Wheel”, referring to the frozen wheel Ben has to turn to activate the teleportation of the island.

As season-ending set pieces go, I’d rank them thusly.

4. Season 2: Ending a season with an EM pulse is a Michael Crichton-esque horseshit move.

3. Season 4: The boat explosion was every Nicholas Cage movie, complete with Macgruber style moments around a bunch of explosives that made no sense. Ben weirdly spinning a wheel kinda resonates with the book I’m reading, Victor Davis Hanson’s translation of The Peloponnesian War.

2. Season 3: Gotta love the crazy flashforward at the end.

1. Season 1: I will be chilled forever by the hatch tease and the scene on the raft when Walt is abducted. Scares me to my core:

Speaking of Walt, his entree into the episode probably means he’s more likely than not to sub in for Aaron on the return trip. Walt is now a young man of 23 – could he step into Jin’s place and bang an executive like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman? We hope so, guy who plays Walt, we hope so.

walt or derrick rose with the No. 1 pick in the draft? so hard to say

The new star of the series appears to be James Ford. He’s the only one left, really. His sexay jaunt out of the ocean was a great time to pause, celebrate his survival with a well-earned Bud Light, and get on the next chick he sees.

a man willing to pop out of the ocean to satisfy you sexually.

A bunch of Losties got written off the show, and it will be interesting to see whose stories fill the void. With no Sawyer flashbacks this season, I don’t see much more for him. Desmond’s now officially arrivederci

see you in another life, brother

Unless…and stop me if you think I’ve gone overboard here…did you feel any sexual tension between Jack and Penny? Why wasn’t Matthew Fox and Sonya Walger one of the couples in Tell Me You Love Me?

you’re jack? i pictured you so much less hot

The Widmore people – Miles, C.S., Faraday – will get a lot of attention, but what about the future of a burgeoning icon baby?

bearing a suspicious resemblance to krang there little buddy

This little baby has talent: he could potentially join the Jonas brothers, or he could be in the remake of The Sixth Sense. How he survived one of the silliest ideas (they teleport the island) to hit science fiction is another matter.

Then there’s someone who might feature prominently in the action on the island – it’s a little less fun now that we know he’s going to die, weirdly, back on the mainland.

alternate endings

Two alternate endings were also shot with Sawyer and Desmond in the coffin.

What sends Locke all the way back? Is it the island itself they must do battle with? Is it on its period? Why can’t the man who moves the Island return to it? This is the can of podcasts that has been opened here.

lost = star trek or nazis?

Seeing this final images of the finale again gives me hope. Who can forget the best images of Lost? Michael’s face as he slaughtered two women. The slow descent into the hatch, where music was playing. Ben killing his father on a drive to nowhere. Kate and Sawyer cage-sex. It all comes flooding back.

The imaginative power of an island disappearing, the magic of an invisible cold motor beneath it, exceeds the cynicism of even the most jaundiced observer. To love this show is to take the leap, to fly a helicopter without fuel out into the ocean, knowing you might not return.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. You may read his recaps of this fourth season here.

negatively charged exotic matter my ass

DOLLS TO SATISFY YOU UNTIL JANUARY WHEN LOST MAKES ITS RETURN

“Bad Detective” – New York Dolls (mp3)

“Stranded in the Jungle” – New York Dolls (mp3)

“(There’s Gonna Be A) Showdown” – New York Dolls (mp3)

“Puss ‘N’ Boots” – New York Dolls (mp3)

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

We resolved to be kinder to animals.

What a fun, sexy time for you.

A collector and the unsuspecting male.

afternoon delight

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