Monday, May 24, 2010

Recapping the LOST Series Finale: "The End"

It’s taken me most of the day, but I’m finally here to recap the series finale of LOST and to tell you about the party I went to last night.  This is a long post, so grab a snack and jump on in!

All day Hubby had been teasing me about the hours I was planning to spend in front of the TV. He just doesn’t get it! Just before I left he threw out his favorite comment: “Let me guess … they’re all going to be FOUND.” To which Kiddo – a recent fan – replied in all seriousness: “No, they’re all going to die!” (Did he know something I didn’t?!)

Around 5:30pm I headed to the party. When I arrived, the family (mom, dad, and two teenage daughters) was gathered in front of the 100-inch projector-screen TV with two friends, where they’d been watching their favorite LOST episodes since 1pm. Not long after I got there we put on one of MY favorites, The Constant.
Oh, did I mention that they had decorated the house with island-themed stuff? Here’s a look at some items on the snack table:

Just before 7pm they hooked up another large screen TV on the other side of the room and arranged the couches and chairs in a long line so everyone had a good seat. That’s when I posted my first Tweet of the night:
And so it begins! #lostfinale
I’m not going to recap the two hours of recapping and interviews – it seems a bit redundant. But I would like to point out this post from Nancy at Read Street, as it has some bearing on the Lost Books Challenge. Did that info change your opinion about the Challenge in anyway?

Not long before the final episode began a few more fans arrived, including Kiddo (Hubby dropped him off and ran away as quickly as possible. And yes, I let Kiddo stay up to watch the whole thing even though he had school the next day.). I’ve never watched LOST with other fans, besides Kiddo, so it was definitely a treat to be discussing theories and trying to figure things out during the commercial breaks.

[Speaking of commercials, how hilarious were the Target commercials?! There was one for barbeque sauce, one for keyboards, and – my favorite – one for smoke detectors. Did you see these? Which did you like the best? Did I miss any other good ones? I couldn't find links to any except the keyboard one but if you have links please share them in the comments!]

Back to the show …

All day I’d been worried that the show was going to completely disappoint me but so far, so good! In the Sideverse, Desmond is working to bring everyone together at the concert while on the island Jack is trying to figure out how to stop Locke-ness. Also on the island, Hurley is channeling some major Star Wars vibes which had all of us laughing out loud, especially Kiddo. Fifteen minutes into the show and I don’t know whether to hate Ben Linus or feel bad for him, AND we’ve got Rose and Bernard back (albeit briefly).

After about 20 minutes I Tweeted again:
 #lostfinale is FANTASTIC so far!!!

Enter Juliette, here to check on Sun’s baby. Was I the only one who got a bit teary when Sun and Jin remembered their happy life together? And then …
#lostfinale just blew my mind - Jin/Sun remember dying?!?!

(You’d think this would have clued me in, but no.) Over the next half hour or so we find out that both Richard and Lapidus are still alive, and Richard is now aging; Jack and Locke both want Desmond to go into the Cave of Light; and Desmond and Jack disagree on what really matters.

Then we get to the part with Sayid and Shannon. Was I the only one not happy here? I wanted him to have Nadia back, not stupid Shannon. And what was it that made Boone remember his island life? The only ones he had a strong connection with were Locke and Shannon, and yet he remembers before they do? I’m not buying that one …

UPDATE: And how could I forget to include Hurley shooting Charlie with the tranquilizer gun?! That was classic!

Around this time I needed a quick break, and that's when I discovered that the bathroom had been decorated as well! They are in the process of remodeling the bathroom so the girls had free reign with the walls:

Party guests were invited to add their name to the wall of candidates, so you'll see mine at the top right (above).

AND back to the show ...

Meanwhile, at the concert, Daniel and Charlotte meet but they don’t quite remember everything. Why is that? Kate and Claire get their memories back, and so does Charlie. Here, I admit, I was definitely teary-eyed. I LOVE Claire and Charlie together, especially with baby Aaron.  At the hospital, Locke is healed by Jack and gets his memory back, but Jack is still pulling away from his own memories.  Sawyer meets Sun and Jin (and Jin has some of the best lines of the entire show here) but his own memory is finally restored when he meets Juliette. I was SO GLAD to see the two of them together!!!  (During the next commercial break someone suggested that each of these people who are regaining their memories are doing so through the help of their "constant"; then we theorized that maybe that is the key to the entire show.)

On the island, Desmond has turned off the light but released some sort of red energy that is trying to destroy the island. It seems that Locke-ness was right all along, but then Jack realizes that Locke-ness is now mortal, so maybe JACK was right. The two of them battle for a while, then we see Ben trapped under a tree. He somehow gets out of that – even though Hurley, Kate, and Sawyer couldn’t lift it off of him – in time to arrive with Kate so she can shoot Locke. It seems he really is dead at this point, seeing as Jack pushed him off the cliff and he was still there whenever anyone looked down. (Was I the only one expecting his body to disappear?)

Jack decides he needs to fix the island, Ben wants to go down with the ship island, and  Hurley says "No way!" to the flimsy bamboo ladder.  The three head back to the Cave of Light Red Energy while Sawyer and Kate head for the other island.  Ends up that Kate and Sawyer don't need the ladder - they simply jump off the cliff.  Hurley could SO have done that; he's the cannonball king, remember?

On the other island, Lapidus, Miles, and Richard are trying to fix the plane so they can escape, which led to my final Tweet of the night:
even on #lost duck tape fixes everything 
Jack passes the job of protector to Hurley, succeeds in rescuing Desmond, and plugs up the hole in the Cave, allowing the Light to fill it again - and presumably, killing him as it does so. Of course Sawyer, Kate, and Claire make it to the plane just before it takes off, and join Lapidus, Miles, and Richard in flying off the island.  Hurley is overwhelmed by his new responsibilities, but Ben encourages him (?!?!) and suggests that he start by taking care of the injured Desmond.  Hurley asks Ben to be his assistant ("He's the new Richard!" someone shouted out from the other side of the room).

Here we take a quick break so you can see Kiddo and I watching the show:

And now we get to the final minutes of the end of LOST ...

In the Sideverse, everyone comes together at the church (as in, the same church where the Lamppost Station is located) supposedly for Christian's funeral.  But Christian isn't in his coffin, he's talking to Jack instead.  Jack realizes that he himself is dead, and so is everyone who is at the church.  The Sideverse experiences they all had are, in fact, after-death experiences that have brought them to their "happy place", a place that brings back the joys they experienced together on the island (because, as we know, Jacob chose them all as candidates since they were alone and unhappy and on the wrong path before the island).

On the island, Jack is miraculously out of the Cave of Restored Light but he's not looking so good.  He stumbles through the bamboo forest until he ends up right where he began in the pilot episode, lying on his back, injured, staring up at the sky.  He's joined by Vincent the dog (at which point we joked that Vincent is the new protector of the island, and then worried that if everyone was dead he'd starve to death), which makes him smile.  He sees the plane flying away, which makes him even happier.  The view tightens to his one, open eye ... and the eye closes.

PHEW! That took a while! I hope you're all still with me, because now it's time for some questions.

*** My Thoughts and Questions ***
  • I enjoyed every second of this episode ... until the very end.  I'm glad that they explained the Sideverse in a believable way, but the Sideverse wasn't even introduced until this final season and they did very little to explain ANYTHING that happened in previous seasons.  It feels like a bit of a cop-out to me.  What do you think?
  • The phrase "What Happened, Happened" has been a theme of the show for a long time.  I'm glad to see that it really did hold true - the Losties couldn't change the past despite traveling through time.  But it does make much of their island troubles (especially the last season, and a bit of the previous one) rather meaningless.  Thoughts?
  • Daniel and Charlotte aren't at the church - I assume that means they'll still be together, but that they didn't have the same bond that the Oceanics + Desmond/Penny had.  I AM sad that we didn't see a Desmond & Penny reunion though.
  • Speaking of reunions, I'm glad to see Claire and Charlie together, but wasn't baby Aaron there too?  And does that mean that he's dead?  If so, he died before Jack, right?
  • Ben chose to stay outside the church and not to move on with the others.  Is this because he's conflicted about his actions (as I originally thought) or because he wants to be with Danielle and Alex (as someone suggested, and as I now slightly suspect)?  Is the Sideverse a sort of Purgatory?
What did you love or hate about the finale?  Are you happy with the way things turned out, or disappointed?  As always, please share your thoughts and links in the comments.

I'm planning to link up to a bunch of other recap posts later this week so stay tuned for that.  In the meantime both Amy and I will be in New York for BEA and BBC so we may not be responding to comments as much as usual but we WILL be reading whatever you post!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

About tonight's LOST finale ...

Fellow LOSTies, I am sure you'll be jealous when I tell you that I've been invited to a LOST finale party tonight!  I'm so excited about it!

Of course, that means that I won't be able to recap the show as it happens.  But I'll do it first thing in the morning, ok?  So please check back here tomorrow and share your thoughts on the end of our beloved LOST.

- Heather J.

The Challenge Lives!

I know we all feel some sadness over the end of LOST but the good news is that both Heather and I are interested in keeping the LOST books challenge going. I bought several of the books that I haven't had a chance to read yet, and even though the show will be over, there's no reason that we can't keep reading these fabulous books and figuring out how they fit into the larger picture of the story we have so loved. I hope the rest of you are interested in continuing as well!

We'll wrap up the current challenge at the end of May and then launch the perpetual one after that.

Enjoy the finale tonight everyone!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

some LOST links, and the finale?

It's been a while since I shared some random LOSTiness with you so here are some things you might enjoy:

What are your plans for Sunday's finale?  Are you watching on your own or with a group?  Planning a party or simply claiming the remote from the rest of the family?  

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Episode Recap: What They Died For

    Now THIS is the LOST that I love!
    • The Sideverse is starting to make sense ... at least, things are starting to come together over there as more of the Oceanic people start to remember their island lives.
    • On the island, things are wild and wacky: Richard gets taken out by the Locke Monster, Ben is back to his creepy, murderous self, and the 4 survivors of the sub want to kill the Locke Monster.
    • Jacob explains some of the truth about the island and asks for a volunteer to take his place as protector; I think we all knew Jack was going to step up.
    There was a lot more going on, but those are the quick highlights.

    Here's what I want to know from you:
    1. Did you think this was a good next-to-last episode, or were you hoping for something else? 
    2. Was there anything in this episode that you really didn't expect? If so, what?
    3. Do you have any guesses as to what will happen in the series finale on Sunday?
    4. What are your plans for watching the finale?

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    LOST Live: A Final Celebration Recap

    Last night I was lucky enough to attend the event at UCLA, LOST Live: A Final Celebration. This was an incredible treat for me, as it always is to gather with fans who share the same enthusiasm for something I love, but also because I love the music of LOST and it was a treat to see Michael Giacchino conduct live many of the gorgeous pieces from the show with 47 piece symphony orchestra and images of the show above on screen. Music always moves me, but music that also tells a story, like the music in LOST has particular significance.

    Even though I ended up buying nothing, I hung out with fellow fans in the merch line for awhile before the show started. It's like coming home, to be able to spend time with LOST fans! People came from all over the country for this event which is pretty cool.

    The evening opened with some guy from ABC reading a letter from George Lucas to Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. It was pretty funny and probably pretty cool for them. Amusingly enough, Damon said he apologized for everything he'd said about the prequels to Star Wars. :) They proceeded to talk about LOST, thanks fans, explain the event, and then introduce SEVERAL members of the cast past and present which was fun. I can't remember everyone who was there, but there were quite a few ranging from young Ben to Boone to Desmond to Sawyer. I couldn't help but appreciate again the diversity of the cast. After the introduction of the cast, they let Michael come out, after explaining how at times they even wrote him into the script. (i.e. Michael does the heavy lifting here--love it!) Interspersed throughout the pieces of music, some of the actors read "Messages in a Bottle" These were imaginings of what the messages Charlie collected for the bottle would have been from the castaways we never really met on the show. I was very impressed with just how heartfelt and human these short letters were..once again LOST excels in the humanity of its storytelling.

    The music was fantastic. They showed images from the show during the playing of the music and it was like taking a trip back through time. It was an excellent way to reflect on all that LOST has been--the beautiful, troubling, and complicated story that it is. The final theme played, Parting Words, the music that was played during the raft launch at the end of the first season, reduced me to tears as they again showed that scene...all the hope, triumph, sorrow, and uncertainty that it represented. One of the most beautiful themes of the show without doubt. The audience of course leaped to our feet afterwards, and Giacchino came back out decked out in a Dharma suit with "Conductor" stitched on the back. He then treated us to the main theme from his Oscar award winning "Up" which I love beyond all measure as well.

    We then got to hear from some of the creative minds behind the show. Following that, they showed us the penultimate episode, What They Died For. Let me tell you, I have never had more fun watching an episode of LOST. It's a funny episode, it's a smart episode, and I think you are all really going to like it. I won't say more than that, but there is nothing like watching an episode of LOST with 1800 devoted fans. I really believe as well, that I will feel satisfied with the ending of LOST.

    But as I sat there, it all felt so bittersweet. I am sorry to be saying good-bye to LOST. I am going to be so sad all week! Please tell I alone in feeling this way?

    Just for fun, watch Hurley say "dude" ... a lot

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    LOST Live Tonight

    One of the advantages of living fairly close to Los Angeles is getting to go to incredible events like this one. Here's a description:

    Oscar® winning composer Michael Giacchino will conduct a live orchestral performance, featuring the iconic music of “Lost,” at UCLA’s Royce Hall on Thursday, May 13, to celebrate the upcoming series finale. The concert will also feature appearances by LOST cast members, including Nestor Carbonell, Michael Emerson, and Jorge Garcia. In addition, a special preview of the penultimate episode will be screened immediately after the concert.

    I have always loved the music of LOST as I've written about previously, so this is like the perfect send-off for me. I know I'm going to be struggling with a lot of feelings in the next week about LOST ending, and so having this sort of party tonight will help.

    The good news is that you can see some of the rehearsal footage up now on the LA Times Show Tracker Blog.

    I'll be back with as full a report as I can manage tomorrow.

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Book Review: The Invention of Morel

    This is my 5th - and final! - book for the LOST Books Challenge ... woohoo!  To read my complete review and see what I actually thought of this book, please visit me at this link.

    - Heather J.

    *** About the Book ***

    In this short story, the main character is a fugitive from Venezuela who has somehow escaped to a tropical island. The island has several buildings on it but no people. After a long time alone on the island, the fugitive suddenly sees people in the buildings! He is terrified that he’ll be captured so he runs off to the forest and hides. From there he observes these new people and he falls in love with a beautiful woman named Faustine. When he finally gets up the nerve to approach her, she doesn’t even acknowledge his existence. Things become steadily more mysterious and the fugitive becomes more and more confused. Finally he decides to sneak in to the building to see if he can figure out what it going on. What he finds out is strange, unexpected, and life-changing …

    *** Connection to LOST ***

    For the fugitive, life on this island is not what it appears to be. The same could be said of the LOST island, that’s for sure. In the story Morel has created his own version of the world just the way he wants it to me (or, at least, mostly the way he wants it to be). Again, the same could be said of LOST; Ben ran Othertown the way he wanted it to go, at least for a while. And neither Morel nor Ben – nor many other characters on LOST – are averse to manipulating people to get what they want with little regard for the feelings of those people.

    That’s MY opinion … let’s see what Lostpedia has to say:
    [In the episode Eggtown] Sawyer is seen reading this book at the barracks.
    Seriously?! That’s all you’ve got?! Even I did better than that …

    NOTE: My challenge co-host Amy also read this book and you can check out her (much more thorough) review here.

    Episode Recap: Across the Sea

    I'm watching live tonight so I'll be blogging on commercial  breaks ... here goes!

    OH.MY.GOSH. The first few minutes of LOST have knocked me for a loop!  Here's what happened before the first commercial break:
    • a pregnant woman washes up on the beach and is discovered by another woman - is that Greek they are speaking? I think we're going to get Jacob's backstory tonight!
    • Jacob is born and wrapped in a white blanket.  His unnamed male twin is born and wrapped in a black blanket.  The dichotomy begins early ....
    • Momma wants to see her boys but the other lady KILLS HER?! Say WHAT?! I didn't see that one coming.
     Ok, here's what happened between the next two commercials:
    • The boys are growing up.  Jacob is honest and open while his brother is secretive and can lie.  Meanwhile Mama manipulates them and has somehow made it so that the boys cannot die nor can they hurt each other.
    • They boys are playing the black/white game.
    • Men come to the island and Mama takes the boys and shows them "the light of the world" - or something like it.  Mama says that is the reason they are on the island.  She is the protector and one day, one of the boys will take over that job.  The unnamed twin is excited by this.
    • Mama also says that if this light goes out here, it's counterparts (which are inside of people everywhere) will also go out.  It sounds as though this would be a serious problem.
     After the next commercial break,
    • The black twin tells Jacob that one day he'll be able to make up his own rules that everyone will have to follow.
    • The black twin also sees the ghost of his mother, but Jacob can't see her.  Ghost-Momma tells him the truth about where he came from.
    • Black twin tries to get Jacob to run away with him but it doesn't work.  They get in a fight and Mama breaks it up.  She tells the black twin that no matter what he's been told, he'll never be able to leave the island.  This doesn't stop him from running away.
    • Mama confesses to Jacob that she killed his mother to help him "stay good" ... ?!?!?! Jacob decides to stay with Mama for a while.
    Back from commercial again,
    • Jacob learned to weave from his Mama.  And he spends a lot of time watching his brother and the other people.
    • Jacob and the black twin get together to play the black/white game.  The black twin is still mad at Mama.
    • Is it just me or does Jacob come across as rather simple-minded?
    • The black twin has been digging and found a way to get to the "light of the world" under the island.  He's going to try to leave the island by harnessing the power of the light.  Enter "the donkey wheel".
    • Mama tried to kill the black twin.  Hey Mama, can I tell you a secret? Your plan doesn't work out ...
    It just occurred to me that we likely won't get any info on the rest of the main characters this week.  I'm kind of sad about that.  But back to Jacob!
    • Mama says Jacob has to be the one to protect the island but he doesn't want to.  She makes him drink something and says that now "we are the same" - what is this magical drink and what has it done?
    • The black twin wakes up to find that his hole has been filled in, his village burned, and all his people killed.  It looks like the work of the smoke monster ... is that who Mama really is?
    Final commercial break is over, back to the show:
    • The black twin just killed Mama, and she thanked him for it?! She also said that she couldn't let him leave because she loved him.
    • The black twin is trying to convince Jacob not to hurt/kill him.  Jacob forces the black twin to go into the "light of the world" tunnel.  And here comes SMOKEY!
    • Jacob found the black twin washed up in the river, dead. Jacob was quite sad about this, despite the fact that he basically tried to kill him earlier.
    • Mama and the black twin are the Adam and Eve skeletons from the start of the show!!!
    Ok, so, wait, I'm confused.  Is Smokey the ghost of the black twin now?  Because I didn't really expect him to be REALLY TRULY dead, as in, he's a skeleton.  But maybe that explains why Smokey is always using dead bodies, because he doesn't have one of his own?  But then what's the deal with Ghost-Momma?

    There were a lot of biblical references tonight but I didn't include them because I can't remember them now.  I noticed them as the show went on, but when I was writing on the commercial breaks they slipped my mind.

    Kiddo was happy that I let him stay up until 10pm on a school night to watch this with me, but the episode was so good (and relatively tame in adult content department) that I couldn't bear to send him to bed in the middle of it like I usually do.

    So, what did you all think of this week's episode?  Do you think they'll be able to cram enough into next week and the series finale to give us the ending that we're hoping for?

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    Book Review: Stranger in a Strange Land

    This is my 4th book for the LOST Books Challenge ...

    Below is a bit about STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, by Robert Heinlein from my review on my blog.  To read the rest of it, including what I thought about the book, please visit me at this link.

    - Heather J.

    *** About the Book ***

    In this science fiction classic, life has been discovered on Mars. The first expedition to Mars was never heard from again. About 20 years later a second expedition travels to the red planet and discovers something amazing: a human baby, born to the crew of the first ship, has been raised by the Martians after the rest of the crew died. When the second ship returns to Earth they bring this strange young man with them. What will happen to him on Earth? What lessons of Martian life and culture did he learn and what does he not know about humanity? How will he be treated by “regular” people? By the government? What will happen to him? Is he even really “human” anymore?

    *** Connection to LOST ***

    I don’t recall what happened in the LOST episode entitled “Stranger in a Strange Land” but that could fit any number of situations on the show. In the book the “Man From Mars” is a complete outsider on Earth. Likewise, in the show LOST, there are many characters thrust into groups where they don’t fit or don’t belong.

    Here’s what Lostpedia had to say about this book:

    • The title of the book is taken in turn from the Bible passage Exodus 2:22: "And she [Zippo'rah] bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.
    • Episode Summary: Jack bargains with Ben to save Juliet while Kate and Sawyer struggle with the consequences of their escape.

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    Episode Recap: The Candidate

    This episode blew my mind.  I was so engrossed that I simply could not do live blogging. Here are my thoughts in retrospect:
    • Off island, it seems that all the O816 people are beginning to come together.  Does this ALL stem from Desmond's actions? It certainly seems that way.
    • On island, Locke is acting quite sneaky - not sure what was going on with him.  Then the whole deal with the bomb on the sub! Well, things are certainly starting to make more sense now, at least regarding Locke.  And his final comment about finishing what he started makes me think that there will be more deaths next week (obviously not by Locke's hand though - I wonder who he'll get to do his dirty work?)
    • I can't believe Jack actually expected Sawyer to trust him. He HAD to realize that wasn't going to happen.  Of course, Jack was actually right, AND he was right off island when he asked Locke to trust him.  It's looking like trusting Jack may be the key to everything.
    • Sayid and the bomb actually made me gasp out loud.  I had to rewind that scene to make sure I really just saw what I just saw.  Poor Sayid! I love him for what he did, but ... Poor Sayid!
    • Was I the only one sobbing like a baby over Jin & Sun at the end?  I don't think I've cried that hard over a tv show ever. (Of course, the fact that I have PMS could be a contributing factor ...) Then later when Hurley started sobbing, I was completely done in.
    • Off island Locke's story about his father was a complete shock to me.  And speaking of that Locke, he is the "perfect candidate" for Jack's new surgery.  "Candidate" is a loaded word in this show, so that must be significant.
    • We also got a repitition of the phrase "what happened, happened" by Jack in reference to off island Locke's father.  Again, a loaded phrase on this show.
    So to recap, we lost three main characters tonight, a bunch of minor ones, and we are finally completely clear that Locke-Monster really is evil. Did I miss anything major?

    What did you all think of this week's episode?  I'll be watching it again tomorrow to make sure I didn't overlook anything ...