Friday, May 21, 2010
Lost: Of Science and Magic
The Lost finale is this Sunday and I, like the rest of the viewers of this show, want answers. I think, however, that the answers I am looking for aren't necessarily the ones that are being discussed on the entertainment sites. I don't need to know what the island is. It just IS. I don't need to know the Smoke monster's real name. What I need to know is how you make science and magic exist in the same reality. More specifically: how will the writers resolve the role of Desmond in both bringing the Losties to the island in the first place (he forgot to push the button, remember) and traveling through time and multiple dimensions (OMG Desmond is Scott Bakula!) with the role of Jacob. Fundamentally it comes down to this: how much of this show has been scifi and how much has been fantasy/ religion. Because I gotta tell you. I LOVE the scifi stuff. "The Constant" was seriously the best episode ever (ok, maybe "Some Like It Hoth") and I really dug the bits traveling through time and Daniel Faraday and his creepy mom (who also travels through time?) and the Dharma people and the teleporting bunnies and the electromagnetism stuff. What I'm not so digging is Jacob. In fact. I freaking hate Jacob. Because basically, he crashed a plane, killed a bunch of people, and destroyed the lives of a ton of others so that he could get a replacement. And sure, yeah, Jack and Kate and Sawyer were kinda having a crappy time of it back home, but what about all those folks that just died on that plane for no reason? If Jacob is so high and mighty, couldn't he have manipulated it so they all got on a private plane with only the people who actually mattered and let everybody else go on their merry way? Nope. He's just a dick like that. At least Desmond was SORRY for crashing Oceanic 815, I mean he couldn't have actually known what the button did. But anyway... But my dislike of Jacob aside, I wouldn't care so much about him if we didn't get all mixed up with this magical religion nonsense.
Before this season, I always saw Jacob/ the Island as sort of like one of those omnipotent floaty aliens on Star Trek that don't allow the Enterprise crew to mess with things or cut the the ships power to keep them out of their space or suck on its warp core cuz it thinks its a boob. I totally envisioned that all the "ghosts" that were appearing were just like when Riker goes down to that planet and the kid makes him think he's his son and all that cuz he's lonely or something. And yes, I knew that they weren't going to go with aliens. And that's cool. Adding weird mythological elements are ok, but only if they jive with the essential structure of the show. Tell me that the island is unstuck in time and I'm all over it, tell me that there is some wacky stuff going on with electromagnetism that makes people age backwards and that's why women can't have babies. But if you are going to tell me that all that is because a djinn or demon or whatever has been released and some asshole needs to put it back in its bottle or magical glowy cave or whatever then try... TRY to make that not completely lame. Seriously as soon as they brought up the whole glowy cave and the smoke monster coming out, all I could think of was "Ali Baba Bunny" where Bugs finds the cave of jewels and Daffy tries to steal the jewel and the guy is like Hassan chop up in there and then Daffy gets all shrunk by the genie and stuff. Looks like Jack Shepard took a wrong turn at Albuquerque on his way to Pismo Beach.
So here's my final thoughts on Lost. I don't need you to explain everything. I don't mind if what is going on is some sort of power play between two ancient deities or something, though.. yeah.. I kinda do mind. But, like in the book I read a few months ago "The Gates" there is a way to effectively combine technology and science with the supernatural. But you have to try.