But let's hold that thought and start with the issue of LOST leaving a million questions unanswered. Sometimes it is good to answer everything at the end of a story cycle. For example, I tied up ALL of Isaac Asimov’s loose ends in Foundations' Triumph! And the Asimov fans were very happy. But I don’t expect that from a saga like LOST, where the writers, though brilliant, were also clearly passing around a bong at every story session, shouting at each other “Hey, wait! What if they then turn around and see THIS!!!”
I was frustrated, of course, by unanswered questions. Some were small, but grated endlessly, like the AIR DROP OF SUPPLIES that landed near the hatch, allowing the castaways to eat a while… supplies from a Dharma Initiative that did NOT seem to be defunct and that indeed could find the island by air! I kept waiting for their counter-attack! Okay, it’s a small thing that rubbed like a blister in my boot. Far worse, from a storytelling point of view, was the utter absence of a persuasive voice speaking up FOR the Dharma Initiative, and its very human ambition to satisfy human curiosity about the island and its powers. Hey, at least let’s hear their side once?
As it turns out, there is one character who did that – speaking up for openness and trusting people, a world, humanity, civilization. The only character with a scintilla of actual wisdom in the whole show. The fellow who always turned out to be right, even though nobody would listen to him.
Hurley. Hugo Reyes, who kept saying “Hey, dudes, why don’t we just tell everybody the truth?” Heck. Just as you cannot name a time when a policy of Jacob or his followers did not lead to evil, you cannot name a time when Hurley actually proved to be wrong.
In contrast, poor likable but unwise Jack is nearly always wrong, nearly all of the time, but we trust him. Why? Because he’s handsome and sincere? Tellingly, he is at his best when performing his mission in life. Not as island messiah, but as a doctor.
Oh, there will be illogical tidbits that rankle. Didn’t Miles’s Dad stay on the island after sending his wife and baby Miles away, just before the H Bomb went off, so wasn’t he doomed in BOTH universes? And what about the KIDS on Oceanic 815? They were “pure” and taken to the Others. What’s with that purity, eh? Who were the murderous Others to judge it? And the fatal-pregnancy effect and the “disease” and…
Okay, let it go. (Anyway, I am writing this before watching the Sunday 2 hour finale.)
But really, I can dig it. The writers are pot-heads, but not coke heads. They routinely lose memory and focus, but no actual brain cells. They are creative wizzes and they do characters very well and they gave us all a great time.
No, what bugs me is the same stuff that finally turned me against Star Wars. A matter of very very very basic morality. I will not follow the allure of the Yoda Effect. Just because a wizard is pretty and claims to be a “good” protector of light, that does not free him from responsibility for the evil that he spreads, and that is done in his name.
Setting up a sneering/awful, mass-murdering (and ugly-looking) villain is NOT enough to make your “good wizard” truly worth rooting for! It is lazy, romantic trickery. And while Yoda and Jacob may fool millions that way, they do not fool me.
A plague on both their houses. And I am with Hugo. Here’s to civilization! An open civilization. The one that invented democracy and science and television and TV shows and an Internet to discuss them on! The civilization that gave the writers of LOST absolutely everything they ever valued or loved and the opportunity to dazzle us with their wit. A civilization that will someday actually be shown some gratitude and love, by screenwriters and directors in Hollywood. (Yeah, right. As if. Ever.)
But then… maybe the finale will make me happy! Yep. Hope springs, eternal….
[See my earlier posting: Land of the Lost]