From gallery.lost-media.comUpdate: Yeah, ignore this post. At least, the bitchin’, if not the speculatin’. See comment 12.

One of the consequences of working at home is that it can turn your standard garden-variety internet addiction into a full-blown compulsion. I’ve had more days than I’d like to admit where I’ve reached the end of the internet — that point when you’ve read every news feed, followed every bookmark, looked at every page of every message board, and are still looking for something, anything to click on, just to avoid having to get back to work.

So it’s my own fault that I dug through a spoiler-fied blog post about “Lost” that led to a comment that led to a link to another spoiler-fied blog post, and then clicked on a big button that said “don’t click on this unless you want the season finale ruined” and then read the result. And so it’s my own fault that when I watched the actual show, I was underwhelmed. I kept noticing how pretty much every single scene in the episode relied on your not knowing what was going to happen.

It was all pretty well constructed and tied into what’s been going on the past few episodes; I can’t imagine how they could’ve done much better. They did follow the “Alias” model for season finales: give screen time to as many characters as you can possibly fit, thin out the cast as much as possible, and chop off as many loose ends as you can get away with. Include explosions where necessary. Then, end on a (seemingly) series-altering cliffhanger.

Everything seemed kind of methodical instead of really exciting, and of course it’s impossible for me to tell whether that’s because I’d already ruined it for myself or if they really were just spending a couple of hours putting out plot fires.

I do reassert my claim that Damon Lindeloff needs to tone down his comments to the press promising great things to come; there’s just no way to live up to the hype. The big twist here didn’t leave me as gobsmacked as I’d been promised. It didn’t when I read the spoiler, and it didn’t when I watched it play out. I mean, it’s fine and all, but I think it would’ve been a lot more impressive had we not heard for the past few months how it was going to be the most mind-blowing thing ever shown on television, remember to wear your Depends and sign a waver absolving the network of liability, no one will be allowed to turn to ABC during the shocking final minutes.

On the upside, it looks like they will be able to fill out three more half-seasons of material. But at the same time, it bugs me that I’m relieved instead of disappointed that they’re only going to be half-seasons. And I can’t shake the feeling that they’ve somehow spoiled the essence of the show, what made it compelling in the first place. (Sorry about that, but it was either “spoiled” or “lost,” and both are equally corny). The only thing they’ve introduced that’s really interested me, is Jacob in the cabin. I’m hoping he’ll stick around to pick up the slack.

And everything after this point goes into more detail, so don’t read unless you’ve reached the end of the internet.

Considering how often while watching this series I’ve fervently wanted Charlie to die, seeing it actually happen was kind of a let-down. They definitely get major points for having him give one last crucial piece of information. And, I suppose, for setting up the obvious for hours and then finally giving the pay-off in a totally unexpected way. (Drowning death via underwater suicide grenade = triple word score). But ultimately, it was the second unnecessary season-ending suicide of the week — the one from “Heroes” being the first — and felt way too set-up. Ultimately, it was just another under-used character getting a sudden redemption and then getting offed — I didn’t much care one way or the other.

The most compelling question they introduced, as far as I’m concerned, is who’s in the coffin. According to this frame-grab of the obituary from TVSquad.com, the dead person’s name was “J___ __antham.” All the J characters that have been introduced so far, we’ve already learned their last names. So it’s either Jacob (the coolest option), a character that we haven’t yet met, somebody using an alias (which would suck), or a prop oversight (unlikely, considering how they know how “Lost” fans obsess over still frames).

As for the whole flash-forward business, that could go in one of three ways:

  1. They resume next season from where they left off on the island, and all the characters have flash-forwards instead of the usual flashbacks.
  2. They resume next season from Los Angeles, with the events on the island happening in flashback.
  3. They keep going with the same format they always have, addressing the flashforward stuff only sporadically, like they do with “That’s So Desmond.”

As much as I’ve been going on about how the show could use a fundamental change to shake things up, I’d vote for option 3. They’ve set a precedent for not sticking too close to their cliffhangers — the big twist from last season’s finale, after all, was seeing the arctic researcher guys contacting Penny, and they didn’t do anything about that until the last couple of episodes this season.

The worst option would be to jump forward to New Caprica Los Angeles, and show the events on the island in flashback. The island setting is crucial to the show, and spending too much time away from it just makes everything feel weird. (As evidenced by the over-long stay in the suburban-looking Dharma village and the second island).

So I predict they’ll do option 1, and just swap all the flashbacks with stories about what happens to the characters after they get off the island, with the actual getting off the island happening in real time. It’s got potential, I guess, but there’s only so much they can do with that before it sounds gimmicky — keeping items hidden from the camera, keeping people in shadow, having people use lots of vague pronouns instead of names. That stretched out over 13 episodes (or even worse, 39) would get old fast.

Whatever the case, it’ll be January before they pick everything up again. Although I’m sure that in the interim there’ll be plenty of podcasts and internet games promising indescribable awesomeness in upcoming episodes. I suppose they did exactly what they needed with the finale, if my reaction is like other viewers’. I’m intrigued enough that I’m definitely going to watch when it starts up again, but I’m also nonplussed enough that I won’t mind the long wait at all.

17 thoughts on “Spoiled”

  1. Let me take a moment to hijack the thread, since I don’t watch Lost anymore. I almost hate to say it, but I’ve enjoyed almost all the eps of Heroes…except the last one. Is it just me or was there *no* resolution at all? We know Peter didn’t die. We know Sylar didn’t die. We know Nathan didn’t die. The only thing we got from all of it was another eclipse and the fact that there is another scary man out there. WING-DING-DIDDLEY-DOO!

    Someone please tell me I’m wrong, and just missed something. The ep before the finale was *great*!

  2. I dont watch Heroes or Lost, but man I found the best taco truck the other day. How many times a week can I go before it gets creepy?

  3. Aw, man. I wasn’t overwhelmed with the “Lost” finale, but I can tell you it was at least ten billion times cooler than the one for “Heroes.”

    It wasn’t just you; it was a complete non-resolution. I thought Nathan died, though. (Pointlessly, since even without trying I can think of about a dozen other ways they could’ve averted the explosion).

  4. Hate to break it to you, Cory, but a guy who doesn’t know the basics of pop culture is going to be creepy no matter what, whether he hangs out at taco trucks or not.

  5. I still intend to watch heroes at some point on DVD, the first two eps and the ad campaign rubbed me way wrong initially so I jumped off.

    Lost on the otherhand is dead to me. It was clear sometime in the middle of season 2 that the show had steered way too far into cock-tease land to ever have a payoff that was worth it. I stopped caring about the original characters and I couldnt even begin to care about the new ones.

    But I’m telling you, this taco truck…mmmm-MMMM!

  6. So the body in the coffin isn’t Juliet using her married name, so it must be Jacob who killed himself drinking too much Jim Beam.

    And Cory: I’ve been bitching about “Lost” all season, but even the promise of cool stuff happening there is better than anything “Heroes” is ever going to actually deliver. “Heroes” is fine for what it is, and I’ve seen every episode and will be watching every episode next season, but it’s just not even in the same league as even the Tricia Tanaka episode of “Lost.”

    And this sushi restaurant I found in Burbank is way better than any taco truck.

  7. When I reach the end of the Internet I come here haha.. Well I watched the season finale of Lost having jumped off about episode 3 of this season when I realised it was going nowhere. The finale gave me no reason to watch next season. It was pretty much the same old cuse and lindelof dribble. Hey they killed another character they couldn’t write, no surprise there. I bet dom, wishes david fury was still writing him episodes like the moth.

  8. I don’t think it’s Jacob in that coffin, only because I don’t think Jacob is anything resembling a real live person. I think he’s some kind of weird spiritual force, kinda like “Management” in that HBO show “Carnival”…

  9. But, “Management” was actually a real person. I hate to spoil it for you if you didn’t see season two, but there ya go.

  10. I did see season 2, but I guess I’m just not remembering it correctly. Wasn’t he at one time a real person, but had turned into some kind of spiritual force?

    In any case, I think that’s what Jacob is. He once was real, but the island, or something, turned him into something more. Whatever he is, I just don’t see him as some dude who will eventually end up dead in some shitty L.A. loft.

  11. I guess I should’ve pointed out that when I watched it on Wednesday, I was without TiVo and watching it on a hotel TV, and I didn’t know that it was 2 hours long, so I only saw the second half. But I figured everything interesting happened in the second half, and I was already spoiled for the first, so it was just the same.

    But I just got back home and watched the whole episode, and this time, it was at least a dozen kinds of awesome. The stuff that seemed perfunctory turned out to be paced well, the parts where they just seemed to be cramming all the plot resolutions they could manage turned out to be given plenty of set-up. And all the character moments happened in the first half. Even when you know what’s going to happen, it’s just damn good TV. You just have to watch all of it.

    I still think that Charlie’s suicide was unnecessary; there are plenty of ways they could’ve gotten him out. I’m not buying the “it was necessary for his character arc” BS the producers are giving out. Still, I’m not complaining, because he’d gotten to be a useless character.

    And also: I hate sounding like a HDTV snob, but I’ve got to say that watching it on a big screen made all the difference. The cinematography on this show is usually good, but in this episode it was just awesome. It really made the whole “epic exodus” thing work.

  12. And by the way, thanks for ruining “Carnival” for me, people. At least that saves me some time, I suppose.

    Jacob not being a real person is the best thing that could happen, but I’m just trying to fit a J person into the coffin. And the other alternatives would be even worse than having Jacob turn out to be a real dude. I guess it could’ve been Sawyer or Locke under an assumed name, or for that matter, any of the male castaways.

  13. I bet the writers dont even know.. I feel sorry for all the people who speculate on Lost.. like the hours that went into working out what the numbers meant.. they meant nothing! wow what a revelation

  14. They know what they’re doing by now, even if they didn’t before. All the complaints about their having no direction finally got them to do something about it, so they’re trying to focus. I’d guarantee you that they’ve got an end story in mind now, and probably have the remaining seasons at least 50% mapped out.

    They didn’t when they started, though, is the problem. They figured they’d just let it run and develop organically, like when authors talk about how “the characters start to tell you their story.” Which means that it rambled, and they introduced a ton of stuff to be cryptic that they didn’t have any intention of paying off.

    The resolution they’re going to eventually deliver isn’t going to be as earth-shattering as they’d led people to believe, but there is going to be a resolution. And, most likely, still a lot of rambling and misdirection on the way to get there.

  15. For what it’s worth, I think the biggest reason they showed what they did at the end of the finale was to loudly point and wave around the fact that “yes, we do finally have an ending, because see, we’re showing you part of it *right now* even though it’s only *season three of six!*”

    Also, if you don’t find the speculating enjoyable, and prefer to sit pointing at your TV week after week declaring how dumb it is or something, I think the matter of who is lamer is debateable.

  16. On Carnivale: Believe me when I tell you we haven’t spoiled a damn thing. It’s a mighty fine show, and since it’s HBO there are only 22 or 23 eps total. Get ta watchin’!

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