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'Lost' Wednesdays: 'You don't look like a Rosalita'

Michael I don't know that anyone would have predicted that just a few episodes from the end of "Lost," we'd all still be pulling out crazy theories on what is or isn't going on on the Island (or off of it, as the case may be). Yet, here we are, after another episode, and we're still talking past each other with theories and rancor and arguments about whether the final season should be more about answers or more about what the characters are up to. I suppose I'd say that we're heading into the home stretch, and I'm mostly along for the ride. But it wouldn't be "Lost" if we weren't all wondering just what was to come.

Before we get into your comments, though, I'd invite you to read Alan Sepinwall's concerns that maybe the show doesn't have enough time to properly wrap up its story lines. I don't agree with what he's saying -- I'd say we're well on our way to having this all be tied together in a satisfying fashion -- but it's an interesting perspective, coming from someone who's clearly enjoying a lot of the season but has big concerns about the direction it's all headed. I do hope he's wrong, but if anyone's going to be right about something like this, it's probably going to be him. (I also really liked Maureen Ryan's thoughts on Tuesday night's episode.)

But let's move on to your comments for the episode. This week's section was probably more argumentative than usual, but I trust all of you aren't actually mad at each other. I hope, at least.

Let's start with lazarus' thoughts on Lapidus:

Why is Lapidus alive? Because he's the only one who can fly that plane off the island. And I'm speculating that the same people will get on a plane in each reality, and when they reach the same point during their flights geographically, the two worlds will reconcile. Most LOST fans seem to like Frank, and his comic relief is usually welcome, but he does seem extraneous otherwise. Miles joining Richard's team makes it even more likely that he's going to be the next one to go.

Obviously, we're not going to get an epic Lapidus backstory (though oh, how I wish we would). At the same time, I can't really buy that the show is going to come down to two alternate timeline planes crossing paths. That just strikes me as a little hokey. It's not that the "Lost" guys never go in for hokey, but this seems a little too broad and obvious, even for them. It's a good theory, though, and it certainly does seem that Miles will be the next to go. (Though, that said, we're at a point where literally any character who dies next will be a sad character to see go.)

Charlotte K reminds us that Sawyer seemed to see the kid, too (though I don't know if we got confirmation of this) way back in the season's earliest episodes. As to who the kid is, though, she's not sure. I'm still betting on it being the young Jacob, but I don't know. She's also wondering if Miles leaving with Richard and Ben is motivated by his fear of Hurley's powers, and I think that may be the case. Miles did seem mildly worried by just how present the dead were in Hurley's life, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he just had to get away from the guy. At the same time, though, it seemed that the show was just trying to get the Season One gang back together, and that meant Richard, Ben and Miles had to go. (And Desmond had to go in a well, but we'll get to that.)

Rogers begs to differ with my enjoyment of the episode:

Are you out of your mind? This was yet another hour of nothing happening. How can this be a show about characters? All the characters do is sit around and wait for someone to tell them to do something. When they ask why they have to do it, someone just walks away into the jungle. These characters have no agency, goals or desires beyond filling out the plot.

I'd say that outside of Jack -- who's clearly just playing out the string and trying to stop getting people killed -- everybody on the show has one overriding desire at this point: to get off the Island. Jacob and the Man in Black are trapped in this centuries-old conflict, but they're the only ones who really seem to care about it. Even Widmore still seems more interested in possessing the Island for himself. This is all building to a war over the Island, and what I'm loving about it is that our characters, increasingly, just don't care. The death of Ilana was shocking, yes, but it was shocking both because it came out of nowhere and it was completely meaningless. Her whole life built to ... to THAT? I love that the show has become about a bunch of people who have no idea how to escape the situation they find themselves in and basically just have to gut it out to have any chance at getting what they want. Choosing neither side is sometimes harder than picking a side.

I like SAJ's thought that Desmond doesn't care about the Island and seems so blissed out about everything (not to mention unafraid of the Smoke Monster) because he's cognizant of the other timeline and knows his true mission is there. And I like this thought by Steve even more:

It is apparent that Desmond is attempting to reconnect the Losties with their 'Soul Mates.' Is it possible that Desmond hitting Locke with the car is done so to send him to the hospital to reconnect with Dr. Jack. Jack and Locke have always been connected as two opposites. While Kate makes sense with the theme of love, but maybe it is really about connecting with your constant and that means Jack and Locke go together?

I'd love if that happened! I like a good love story as much as anyone else, but I really would rather that the show not make this all about love as a solution. If it turns out that Jack and Locke -- as intellectual sparring partners -- were just as connected as Desmond and Penny, it would be a great way to set up the end of this particular storyline. And something tells me we'll find out more about this next week.

Laura points out that the name of Hurley's blind date put her (and me) in mind of one of my favorite songs of all time, "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" by Bruce Springsteen. And, obviously, we were meant to think that, she points out, because the name of the restaurant is "Spanish Johnny's," and Spanish Johnny is the name of the protagonist in the very next song on that album, "Incident on 57th Street." 

Doug wonders if Hurley picking up the ashes means that he's going to try to get the Oceanic gang off the Island by getting them all on the plane and then surrounding it with ashes so that the Man in Black cannot get on board. This seems a little too easy of an answer, honestly, but I'm sure the ashes are there for some reason. 

Finally, Jae asks a question all of us have asked at one time or another:

Did I just miss it or did the show ever explain why Walt was 'a very special boy' to the Others and why he could appear to other people on the island after he'd been kidnapped? I keep feeling like this is a loose end that has never been tied up.

I agree that Walt's true purpose has never been explained. At the same time, because the actor grew up so fast, it seems like we'll never get that answer, unless the show just tosses off an explanation somewhere along the line. It's too bad, because Walt was one of the best characters (or at least most interesting) back when the show started, and I'd love to know what the deal was with him.

And with that, it's time to go. We'll see you this weekend, and remember to send me your e-mails and Tweets with your fun "Lost" stuff.

-- Todd VanDerWerff (follow me on Twitter at @tvoti)

Photo: Michael (Harold Perrineau) returns from the dead to give Hurley a warning. Credit: ABC

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Comments () | Archives (14)

Maybe someone has already posted this, but aren't most of the Losties in the flash-sideways(2004 LA) headed to the hospital? Jack works there, Charlie is there, Desmond WAS there, Claire is there, Sun/Jin most likly headed there from the gunshot wound, now Locke was run over, and maybe Ben will bring him there in the ambulance.

Is the hospital in flash sideways the key?

I really feel if the show doesn't do some kind of explanation about Walt, it will be an epic fail. This is not some background element or little mystery that doesn't matter; this is a plot you devoted two seasons of the show to, then keep reminding us about with guest appearances by him in later seasons.

If they never address him again, I could still ultimately like the show, but I would consider it a very big sloppy mistake.

Charles: The kid grew up, what do you want them to do? They don't have a special serum that they can use to age him back to answer questions about him. You have to accept it as a casualty of Lost being done as a tv show.

"Charlotte K reminds us that Sawyer seemed to see the kid, too (though I don't know if we got confirmation of this) way back in the season's earliest episodes."

When Flocke asked Sawyer if he saw him, Sawyer said something like "The kid? Hell yeah I see him." I take this as confirmation, since Flocke did not mention that "he" was a kid. Also, Richard could not see the kid, but Desmond could. This makes Desmond special in some way (although I don't think he is a candidate) that Richard is not.

I used to not care about answers so much, but I have to agree with Charles R that it would be disappointing to not answer the Walt question, especially with Michael making a cameo and answering the question about the whispers. (Which, to me anyway, was something that could have been left unanswered. I mean, if they take the time to answer this question, why leave the more important ones unanswered?)

I also agree that they need to do some kind of explanation about Walt. I've been curious about him for a long time. He doesn't have to actually be shown to be explained either. A good conversation where Walt's name is tossed in with some form of logical reasoning would suffice.

Nothing brought up about Desmond taking phake Locke's hand when offered? I thought that was brought up before as having some significance. Or was that only for the candidates?
Orrrrrrr... was Locke only able to do what he did (toss him in a well) *because* he "trusted" him and took his hand?

Oh there I go again making theories. I know better than to do that too.

There is no way they will be able to write a finale that will be satisfying to all viewers. I accept that.

But I think it's a valid criticism of the series that they have swept aside major storylines in the rush toward the finale. This season has focused so intently on the Jacob/MIB conflict at the expense of other season arcs that were about the Others and The Dharma Initiative. Even when they delved into Dharma (sort of) last season, it was as more of a tease (a "Back to the Future"esque "Isn't it cool to be back in this time era?" tone). They completely missed an opportunity to more or less close the Dharma arc satisfactorily.

Some series can pull off discrete season arcs (Dexter and Mad Men come to mind), but Lost has never had confidence in its storytelling in the way these series do. Instead, it has laid its mysteries layer upon layer without a lot of resolution. They are doing somewhat of a disservice to the long-time viewers by seemingly ignoring past seasons (maybe because, showrunners aside, each season had different writing staffs with different priorities?).

I am interested in getting answers to some, not all, the questions they have raised over the years, like:

Why can't women get pregnant on the island? Why could Sun?

What is the role of Aaron? And Walt?

What was the point of the Dharma Initiative's psychological experiments?

I realize that other viewers, not to mention the writers, have different answers that they feel are more pressing. But I expect to be disappointed by the finale.

Ever since we found out that Lost would only be 6 seasons, I was worried that the ending might be rushed. Add the writers strike in and the worries grow.

All I can say is I hope this show does not end up as rushed and with as many mish-mashed, unanswered mysteries as in another J.J. Abrams show "Alias". The ending was badly thrown together; answers that made no sense were quickly thrown out there to solve season long mysteries and many many questions and mysteries that plagued watchers for seasons remained unsolved.

"Lost" will still be a compelling show no matter what. I would just hate to see such great overlying ideas/questions go to waste because of a set timeline.

@Eric: What about Dharma or the others? There is nothing left to explain. Dharma was completely resolved by season 5 and the others story was finished with the Richard episode. I don't know what more could possibly be said about them.

"Why can't women get pregnant on the island? Why could Sun?"

Women can get pregnant on the island. They have always been able to. They can't deliver the baby safely on the island. Sun delivered the baby off-island hence she did not die.

"What was the point of the Dharma Initiative's psychological experiments?"

They were done in hopes that the results they achieve would change one of the core values of the Valenzetti equation and thereby prevent the end of the world.

Moniker: You keep beating this smug and rather arrogant drum that all the Dharma and Others questions have been answered or at the least inferred. They have not, as is readily apparent by the fact that you're the only person I've read anywhere who claims they have been. I'd definitely agree with everyone else that a lot of elements to both, including their origins and purposes, have been largely skipped over. It's frustrating to say the least, but doesn't ruin the series for me.

I think the single best thing the writers and producers could do (at least to satisfy my curiosity) is sit down and do a lengthy "making of" on the inevitable DVD box set that explains all the technical back story on how various elements and characters came together in the creative process and then explain how various elements were written out or modified. I know some of this has been discussed in the press (Mr Eko and Walt), but I'd love to hear the details of how they got from season 1 to the elements that became the series conclusion.

@ Moniker - I don't understand the indifference about Walt and the continued insistence that Dharma/Others story arcs are complete. They most certainly are not. Before S:6 began Darlton recommended "reviewing past seasons of Lost, especially S:1".
WHY?

My (dwindling) hope is that they will in fact close the Walt arc but time is running short. That's a huge story line to dismiss.

Walt, Rosseau, Eko, almost all of Tailies and most recently Ilana - these characters were wasted in dead end plotlines.

Even our intrepid blogger Todd and Sepinwall (who is another HUGE, articulate Lost fan) are beginning to grumble about plot holes and S:6 specifically.

@Joel - I rented S:1 and watched the deleted scenes; one regarding Walt. There was an interesting scene in the Others compound where they were holding Walt for testing. Outside of his locked door there were dead birds as if they had flown into the side of the building. It implied Walt was evil and kinda cool, I wish they had left that in the show.


Ultimatley, I think Darlton got bogged down with too many other projects and let this show slip away.

"They were done in hopes that the results they achieve would change one of the core values of the Valenzetti equation and thereby prevent the end of the world."

I don't know what that means, but it certainly has not been dramatized on the show.

@joel: I'm not the only one who says Dharma and the others have been solved. Read last week's article there were many people who agreed with many. And once again I ask you what is it about the origins and purpose of either the other or Dharma that has been left unexplained?

Also the idea for that dvd extra you suggest is terrible. It's like going to see a magic show and the end of the magic show having the magician reveal how his tricks work. It ruins the experience of watchin the magic show.

@inthemix: I don't understand your 'lalala fingers in the ear... can't hear it' attitude towards solved mysteries. Hate to sound like a broken record but Dharma and the others have been about 95% explained beyond the trivial details. I want to learn more about Walt as much as anyone else but maybe it's because I've worked in the entertainment industry but I realize the real world logistical concerns around him. The kid had grown up a lot, there was no changing that. I really don't know what could be done about it other than recasting the character which would be lame.

You also seem to have this weird expectation that every 'character' be equally import and and/or directly relevant to the end of the show and that once a character is dead it means they were pointless. In fiction that is just not a realistic view. All characters cannot be equally important, or be even on the same plain of importance. Just by the nature of storytelling some people will play a grander role. I don't understand how Rousseau was a "dead end story" here again you are saying that just because she died in a way which was not relevant to the big picture of the show it make her pointless. That is just not the case. If you though Rousseau or Illana were dead ends you must have hated 'The Stand' as well.

The scene you refer to isn't one of the deleted scenes. It is part of the "Missing Pieces" series which I'm not sure if it's even supposed to be cannon or not.

What 'other projects' have Darlton done while Lost was on air? Damon produced the Star Trek movie but his involvement was minimal and did not even a writers' credit for it. And Carlton has done absolutely nothing other than Lost for the past 6 years.

"Hate to sound like a broken record but Dharma and the others have been about 95% explained beyond the trivial details."

The notebooks and the pneumatic tubes that went nowhere? The reconditioning room where Karl and later Jin were? What was the point of either one? You can hardly call these trivial details considering how much narrative time was spent developing the various Dharma stations.

You write with much certainty but little accuracy.

Hey Moniker:

Your tirades get more pathetic each week but this one is absoloutely precious. You're really okay and empathetic with the huge hole of a story arc for the Walt character because you"work in the entertainment industry" Do you realize how sad you sound?

Evil Walt deleted scenes from S:1 could have been left in to show us:

a.) why the Others let him (and by proxy, Micheal) leave the island.
b.) why they kidnapped him and everyone else in the first place which would have lead to more expansion on the whole "we can't get pregnant on the island so we kidnap 'good' people and children because they're innocent" thing.

My complaints about Dharma/Others: Firsthand Dharma info we have from S:5 shows us hippies as buffoons not capable of doing much and probably under the influence of Eloise/Charles. Why? What's with the truce? Why did the Others tolerate them so long? How about some more expansion on Richard? What's really with all the testing, Dharma peeps?

I love your answer to the last question "They were done in hopes that the results they achieve would change one of the core values of the Valenzetti equation and thereby prevent the end of the world." I'm still laughing at that one!

The characters I mentioned (Rousseau, Walt, Ecko, Michael, Ilana) were given pretty substantial back stories and then sort of dismissed blithely. I really like the material the writers gave Micheal's character this last week (it's purgatory after all .......flashback to S:1,2,3...........the writers keep saying saying it's not purgatory.) Thanks for playing!
Claire and Rousseau (Clouseau?) are now basically the same character; "They took my baby, I survived the island on my own for a long time and now I want revenge dammit!"
I'll give Darlton a pass on Ecko; I just wanted to see that character one more time.
Ilana was 'chosen', then given the Artz.


Look, I get that all characters are not treated equal and if If I want a lesson in existentialism and that life is meaningless, I'll re-read my college copy of Nietzsch and throw it away again.

This, to me is presenting Lost characters just for the sake of stretching out the series and confusing the viewer even more than necessary. There are still people on this blog who are not convinced Locke/Smokey is the same character because they haven't actually 'seen' him turn to smoke or vice versa. While I don't agree with that hypothesis, it can be argued as a valid point because of all the misdirection and confusion the writers have thrown at us for 5 seasons!

Most of us here are casual viewers of the show and are trying to help each other out in understanding what's really going on. Maybe you should direct your comments to another blog where the nerds rule.


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