Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hit the Road Jack: Sheppard, Bauer, and McCoy

I think I figured it out:

2 TV producer fans of "Party of 5" decide to do shows about the limbo between death and heaven. One thought it was a complicated reunion involving bonding several loved ones who have a major common life experience - another thought that all problems can be solved by Jennifer Love Hewitt!

That was my facebook status right after the Lost finale on Sunday Night. I think that now that Lost and The Ghost Whisperer are no longer on the air, there is definitely a gap in TV programming about talking to dead people. Maybe a psychic can be added to the cast of Jersey Shore so Snookie and The Situation can talk to their dead relatives and hear firsthand how proud they are of their lifestyle of tanning and fistpumping.

After 5 yrs of writing about Lost.....I thought I would weigh in with my opinion of the best finale in the post Suzanne Pleshette era, and I specifically want to address 2 paragraphs from last weeks column which defined the emotional pull of the finale,... and also made it totally irrelevant to fans who didnt watch this season!

Last season, the Lostaways had a brilliant idea that during their time travels to the past, it may not be a bad idea to blow up a hydrogen bomb and destroy the island. The theory was that their original plane crashed because electromagnetic energy was sent off from the island and caused the plane to come down. If the island is destroyed, then there is no plane crash and they can change the fates of their future selves.

So change the fates they did. Or did they? During this finale season, we saw a season premiere where the Lostaways are on the plane and the plane flies over Lost Island and continues on its merry way to LAX without crashing. But back on Lost Island although there was an explosion, the hydrogen bomb did not go off as it was supposed to because it shoulda killed the Lostaways allowing them to live on in the Parallelogram Universe, sort of like The Presitge where the magician killed himself and his clone lived on, but now, the Lostaways live 2 simultaneous lives as Island Crash Survivors and Los Angeles Non Crash Survivors or as The ICS and the LANCS!

That last sentence was where the producers were able to pull off the ultimate "Gotcha".. and gotcha they did. After watching the painstaking attempts to change their fate as plane crash survivors, the fans finally got what we wanted in the season premiere in the post bomb era when the plane flew over Lost Island and our beloved characters did NOT crash... a plot line we followed with breathless detail because after 5 seasons most Lost fans really grew attached to these characters and we wanted to see them 'happy"!! But to paraphrase Freud.. sometimes an island is just an island. And indeed it was... the Lost fans were manipulated into watching this normal parallel universe only to get Newharted and St. Elsewhered and Bobbys in the shower-ed even though hes still dead on Knots Landing.

I guess different people have different attitudes about what happens after death. I always imagined that once you buy the farm its off to heaven or hell for those who misbehaved. (I wonder where the owner of that CT monkey is going - to a Hell where she will be constantly attacked by wild monkeys?) Anyway, the way I see it, upon arrival in Heaven you go through a sort of customs staging area where a social worker checks you in and then stays with you as a wingman as you go through a door to have that very emotional reunion with all your dead friends and relatives.

As it turned out.... on Lost there was never a parallel universe. And even though it wasnt a dream or the visions of an autistic kid - it was part of something that seems to affect the former cast of Party of Five - that limbo between the moment of death and getting that ticket punched to heaven... which is also a belief of the goofballs that created The Ghost Whisperer. Instead, the limbo is a place that has no time, but is actually a reunion for a bunch of people who shared something special and all make the move together even though they all entered Limbo-land at different times. This Lost version of post death pre Heaven is a little preposterous to me, yet Lost made it look somewhat plausible by staging a reunion among the show's popular characters. This means that everything in the parallel universe never existed this season.... while EVERY bizarre weird unexplained moment on the island over the last 6 yrs. really took place.

In retrospect, I liked this finale. And even thought I only jumped aboard the show in Season 2, I really gotta admit that the cast reunion at the end was quite fun... it actually looked like the actors were really not in character as they said their final goodbyes to their friends and loved ones. And the show seemed to wrap the island happenings in a nice little bow. After having the island watching torch passed from Jacob to Jack, our pal Dr Shepherd basically used his brief time in power to lead the fake Locke to his own demise - both worked together to lower electromagnetic boy Des to the special part of the island which led to fake Locke's return to mortality and the end of non aging for Richard who actually if he was getting old would have smeared that eye liner he always wears along with a little too much lipstick that would leave marks on the cheeks of his little nephews and nieces.

But as the reunion interspersed with the end of Jack we all knew it would somehow end where it all started. Instead of opening an eye... one would close. They could have gone the horror movie route and ended with the opening of an eye of Fake Locke... but Family Guy recently went down that road with the Violent Chicken. I thought we might hear yells of "Jack Jack be careful" and Jack would see he is being yelled at by a confused Chloe from 24.

But this whole idea about parallel-land being Heaven's waiting room was quite the surprise. All the characters we ran into this season back in LA did not die at the same time, yet they all ended up at the church at the same "time". And their awareness of who they were happened to them at various points.. Des was one of the first when a drug addicted Charlie forced his car into water causing Des to flashback to Charlies drowning and his heroic "Not Pennys boat" which he scribbled on the back of his hand when he went underwater to unjam the frequency that was blocking any attempts the stranded Losties to transmit a "Hey were lost on this crazy island" report.

And so it went.. confusing all the viewers this season as nobody could figure out why these memories were seeping in to the Paralleliverse. Was this creation and elimination of memories like the movie Total Recall which made Sharon Stone famous? And for that you have to credit the producers and writers.. because for all the predictions that are scattered all over the internet... nobody ever saw this coming. We were so wrapped up in the concept of the plane not crashing and seeing what would happen if we could turn back time... that our enjoyment of the ride prevented us from seeing what was really going on! Yes folks. it was the perfect decoy.

And the questions pop up how much of the Paralleliverse was "real"? In reality anything that conflcted with the island story never really happened but was part of the therapeutic imagination of the characters post death pre Heaven healing.

Was Jack formerly married to Juliet and did they have a son? Or was this Jacks and Juliets way of being the parents they always wanted to be. Locke let the cat out of the bag when he told Jack he had no kids. And Sawyer a cop? Not a conman? Maybe he wanted to be a good guy... although his cop character had some big time character flaws. Ben especially got to experience being a humble simple easy going non controversial teacher... which taught him a lot about his island shortcomings as he presented a heartfelt apology to Locke who he brutally murdered...

And on it went... we saw their shortcomings on the island.. but in "paralleliverse", these flaws gradually got worked out... as these characters got another "chance" at life and when they realized their goals simultaneously - which is an odd word to use in a context that involves no "time' - they were ready to make the move. I must say that the Kate - Jack reunion was just incredible when she told him she missed him so much. Kate probably went on to have a long life and hadnt seen Jack since she left him at the island. It was such a touching moment to show that sometimes you need "time" to just work these things out until you are ready to move on to the next step. I guess they are ready to cross over when they are no longer...."Lost"...

Or.... they could just visit Jennifer Love Hewitt!!

No comments: