Ryan Sheely hosts with special guests Carlos Hann Commander, Amanda Marcotte, and Shana Mlawski to Overthink the Series Finale of Lost, including sunscreen, what to wear to a Lost convention, purgatory vs. eternal return, community, redemption, unanswered mysteries, red herrings, and Chaaaaaaaaaaahlie.
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Hey, I just realized the fish biscuits from the 3rd season look like red herrings. Good job, Lost writers!
Perhaps that lack of strong community and the lack of peace therein was meant to show how community is indeed important. And I got the impression that the Island was key because it was where they all came together and helped each other to be their best and make those connections.
I thought when it first happened, and still think now (since nothing has occurred to dissuade me) that Mr. Eko was killed because the Smoke Monster knew it couldn’t manipulate him. Eko was a problem for Smokey because HE could influence, of not manipulate, the other people on the Island, but the Smoke monster didn’t really have much of an influence on HIM. He was kind of like Sayid in the sense that he led through quiet example and when he did speak, it was a big deal and everybody listened and usually did whatever it was he said. BUT, he was different in that he *wasn’t* so remorseful and thus was less easily influenced by Smokey itself. So Smokey could keep Sayid around, but having Eko there posed a potential threat because Eko was outside Smokey’s range of control and could potentially rally people against whatever its designs were.
I won’t miss Kate’s inability to face her own problems. She could butt into everybody *else’s* issues, to be sure, but she would always run when confronted with something directly. And I honestly don’t think she ever changed or made the decision to stick something of her own out ON her own- she was TOLD to get off the Island in the finale, she didn’t decide for herself, “I need to get off the Island, Jack. I love you, but I need to fix my mess.” No, Jack had to tell her to get off and take care of Claire. She was always scared, always selfish, and often passive-aggressive. I DID think it was kind of badass when she shot Lockelganger, but that died pretty quick when Jack had to order her to do the right thing. (Okay, sorry, done ranting.)
I think what made Lost such a great case study in popular culture was/is the fan following and what-not. I hate to repeat myself, but there was that “Lost Note” during the finale where the person said, “I never understood Trekkies until I became a Lostie.” It may have sounded kind of pretentious, but the ads were always right when they said it was a “television phenomena.” It really was. Whoever said there will be a convention someday was very, very right- I have no doubt there will be. Or if there isn’t a specific Lost convention, it will have a HUGE presence at future science fiction ones. It DID change television, at least in the sense that it created a massive subculture revolving around a series. And it’s impossible to ignore because the fanbase is so transcendent across normal “borders” or groups: people that don’t normally like science fiction are Losties; people that usually just watch comedies are Losties; etc. This is, yes, a credit to the writing- the characters were somehow written in such a way that viewers made deep, emotional, and I’d even go so far as to say tenaciously gripped connections to them, no matter what the viewer’s background was. People latched onto characters because the morals those characters championed sang to them, or because they really cared what happened to that character because they liked them so much. And by “like,” I don’t mean crush, but care for, feel emotionally invested in.
The only show I can think of with potential for a similar following is Supernatural. I have never watched it myself, but I know it has its own conventions already, and was just renewed for a sixth season. However, I think there is a slight difference in that the fans of Supernatural are closer to Twihards than Losties in how they obsess over versus enjoy the show- there are a lot of similar insertions of characters from the series into real lives for the fangirls (and boys) of Supernatural that don’t occur for fans of Lost, for example. And a lot of those Supernatural fans watch it simply because they think the two guys are so hott. AND, there is also a parallel to Twilight in that there are sort-of opposing “teams” representing each of those two male leads. Granted, Lost sort of had “Team Jake” and “Team Locke” going on, but for very, very different reasons- those were about which philosophy you adhered to or wanting the person to live because you think they deserve it, not who looks hotter killing a demon or whose chest you’d rather lick.
I guess I’m of the opinion that for a show to create such a movement, and one that is more thoughtful than an obsession over a hot guy, is rare, and Lost is probably it for the decade. In a few years, maybe something else will show up. For now, I’m content with what I’ve been given. I grew up a Trekkie, am now a Lostie, and will someday be a Somethingelseie. There we go.
I’m almost done listening to this episode and I wanted to comment before the thoughts left my head.
So my first one is just a simple question regarding something that was said. Someone had mentioned that “unplugging” the island made all it’s power go away. That seems logical seeing as how Jack could only kill smokey after that happened. But, if that was indeed the case, how is it that smokey was still in the form of Locke. Wasn’t it his power (from the island) that let him be able to take the form of people?
The other thing that got me thinking was the mention of babies not being able to be born/survive on the island. I never thought about it till now but it made me think maybe it was Jacob’s doing. After seeing how he and his brother came to the island in “Across the Sea” we saw that they were babies and as they grew up all they ever knew was the island. They never had a choice about it. They never experienced life in the “real” world so when the decision was made to have one of them protect the island it didn’t really matter who it was because they didn’t have to give up anything. I think that Jacob was using his power to prevent babies being born on the island so that what happened to him and his brother wouldn’t happen to someone else. He wanted his replacement to be someone from the outside world who experienced life off of the island. In doing this, the person who ultimately became his replacement would be making a choice to do so and would be sacrificing their other life to protect the island. Because the person would be making a choice and had experienced other things in their life they would ultimately be a better protector than himself.
Regarding the wish that the reunion-flashes be more “Science-y,” or related specifically to the Island’s powers: I watched the finale with closed captioning, and every time one of the characters experienced flashes, the sound description read “magnetic buzzing” or “magnetic zapping.” So…there’s that.