Flasharound 2: Backing out of LOST, one episode at a time


After the jump, David Gaynes provides his somewhat dampened response to Lost‘s penultimate episode.  It looks like season six might be a bumpy ride for him…

Season 6, Episode 16 – STOP MAKING SENSE

This is apparently what Google image search thinks "dark energy" looks like.
This is apparently what Google image search thinks "dark energy" looks like.

I’m almost done editing my second documentary feature, Saving Hubble, and I’ve learned a lot about astronomy and physics over the past few years.  One of the really fantastic new frontiers for humanity is the study of dark energy and its relationship with physical matter.  In those awakened moments that all of us tend to have, I’ve started to think about whether there is a scientific basis for reincarnation and if so, what part of that is borne out by the transformation of energy.  I often think about the migration of the soul and the eternal life that is granted to those who are fortunate enough to be remembered.  Maybe eternal life is as achievable as starting a facebook profile.

In Lost, there are lots of ways to die.  There’s the possibility that the old man who I prefer to call Rudy (Rick did inform me after this past episode that his name is Locke) will kill you with that knife he keeps waving around.  There is also the undeniable fact that they’re marooned on an island, which is never a good scenario.  There’s also the possibility that the island will be destroyed–which, even though I watched that almost happen in the finale (remember, I’m watching backwards, people!), I still can’t quite wrap my head around that.  There was lots of shaky camera work, lots of talking about destroying the island.  I have no perspective on why someone would want to kill a whole island, unless, maybe we’re talking about the island of misfit toys.  That shit needed to be destroyed something biblical.

Google image search is as bad at Rankin/Bass as it is at science.
"Island of Misfit Toys."  Apparently, Google image search is as bad at Rankin/Bass as it is at science.

I guess what I’m considering is whether the “non-island world” portrayed in the episodes is a group fantasy born within the psychology of a doomed people.  Their need to stay alive, or to live on in another form may be so great that they’ve concocted whole alternate universes in order to come to terms with their imminent deaths.  Or maybe the whole island is the fantasy.  These may be people who live in the real world and are starting at some pretty difficult stuff: Rudy (Locke) clearly can’t walk and needs some kind of delicate surgery; the Doctor clearly has at least one failed marriage on his hands, the Fatman was acting like some kind of gangster in the finale.  People who live in harsh emotional climates often create richly imagined fantasy worlds to allow them to cope with life’s most basic and confounding questions.  Is the island just a psychic space in which they can play out fantasies?

On an entirely different level, is part or all of the show’s existence in Season 6 owed to the collective fantasy of ABC executives that Lost would live an eternal life.  A golden cow, perhaps, one whose cash-flowing teats never run dry?  I suggest this because the writing I’ve been forced to endure so far is abysmal.  I’m willing to grant a pass for the finale.  Serial television is a plane that is intended to cruise at 30,000 feet.  Taking offs are rough and landings are even rougher.  My patience won’t last forever.  There is an angry old man just beneath my skin that wants to pull a Rudy on any and all bullshit lines he hears (note: Rudy has had few, if any, bad lines so far).  Anyway, we’re dealing with end-of-life issues here and as I watch with my own unique context, I’m having some fun considering the similarities between the endgame that played itself out on the island and the one that surely took place in the writer’s room.

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