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Malik (5/24/10)

If you didn't see the end of Lost, then consider this entire post skipable for now to avoid the spoilers of doom and all that.

I mean it. Spoilers are coming.

So, after six years of time spent on Lost, and with some vague promises from the creators of the series, I have to say the ending felt a bit off from what I expected. It's not to say that unless I got my expectations fulfilled I'd be angry. However, the ending just felt a bit half-assed to me.

For one thing, the creators of the show made some vague promises in the last few weeks that Lost would end in a way that meant so future sequels, movies, or spin-offs would be possible. The ending was to be just that; conclusive. Instead, the end left plenty of room for anything from one more episode to a whole new spin-off.

Besides Jack being dead (along with everyone else, but not), probably, there was no finality. The jet took off and took Sawyer, Miles, Richard, Kate, Claire, and pilot-guy (who was so underused in the final season that he's no longer worthy of a real name...I didn't even remember Lapidus was around until he somehow showed up alive in the water last night). Did it make it home? Did it just crash back on the island immediately since there was another electromagnetism incident?

Hurley and Ben are now in charge of the island, but that was not wrapped up really. It just happened that the new Jacob is now Hugo and Ben is going to offer him some advice. Ok. That doesn't sound like closure or a solid conclusion as much as a cliffhanger that will be investigated next season...if a new season awaited. Also, what about Desmond, who is now hanging out with Ben and Hugo.

The only real closure came in the form of the smoke monster being laid to rest (killed). However, we only saw him fall off a cliff while his invincibility was gone. When the magical cork was put back in the island, was he still dead? Did he regain invincibility? Another "cliff hanger" sounding incident. Also, since Jack went into the "heart of the island" and then was shot back out, is he now a smoke monster, since that's what turned the man in black into his super powered self?

More than the lack of finality, I thought the whole "alternate reality" thing was answered in a way that was almost as lame as "it was a dream." I mean the "it was a dream" ending is the lowest a show can ever sink to. On Lost, it was only one step removed from that half assed ending by saying the entire last season was spent, half the time, in a sort of purgatory. I mean they were all dead and not in heaven or hell, but a neutral place. Is this a joke to the conspiracy that the island was purgatory. The creators of the show always said this concept was wrong, but that's essentially what the alternate reality was (although the island wasn't purgatory). The best example that the alternate reality was purgatory was seen in how some people (like Anna Lucia and Ben) were just "not ready to move on" yet. I hope that was a joke, or else it just makes me feel like half of season six could have been spent on answering some of the neglected questions...

I mean a lot of questions were never even approached. The main one that I would have really expected some sort of answer about was, simply put, "what was the deal with the island?" I mean we only got more questions in the final episode. Instead o something as simple as at least the nature of what created the island, failing a full on description of it's history, we just learned that there's a giant intergalactic cork stopping a glowing natural bath tub. That is the heart of the island. Then, for some reason, the island is doomed if the cork is let out of this magical bath tub. On the bright side, when the bath tub is full, it glows. Am I missing something, or is that the explanation given for the island? No mention of who made this bath tub, why the bath tub is so special, if the drained bath tub effects the rest of the world, why it made the smoke monster, how old the island is, why there are symbols that look Egyptian on the island, what the deal was with the temple (or who built it), how this all tied in to the other electromagnetic phenomena, what the deal was with the statue, or...well, we don't know shit about the island. It's one thing to leave some room for speculation and mystery, but it's another thing to show absolutely no closure to the single largest question of the entire six season long series.

Speaking of questions, I still don't get the deal with "the chosen" of the island. Why couldn't smoke monster hurt the Jacob type person, but he also could. I mean Jack and the smoke monster fought a pretty brutal battle with stab wounds and knife attacks and all that. Also, Jacob and the man in black hurt each other plenty in their episode, despite being told they couldn't. Was the entire "can't hurt each other" thing just fluff? Also, is Hurley now immortal, although we do know he dies from the end of the lame purgatory reality?

Speaking of the purgatory reality, there's one thing that makes no damned sense. I don't mean why the creators would use such a poor and sloppy explanation. So, Christian is an old man in purgatory, since he died as an old man. So, one would assume you appear in purgatory like you did when you died. Then why are all of the "survivors" in their current physical age (we know that Ben would live a bit longer)? If it's something like you appear as you would all want to appear, then why wouldn't Christian appear younger (who wouldn't want to be younger than that?)? If it's that you appear as people would remember you, then why were some scars and such not present? It just seems with the cop out style ending that things were not explained enough...which only left that ending feeling more like a cop out.

In the end, I think one of my largest gripes is just the total volume of unanswered questions that remained. There's plenty mentioned in this link. A few of my main ones, that I don't want to delve into too many words about, would be the following.

What was the point of the numbers? I mean the mythos of the show was based around the numbers for a while, and they never got any sense of closure. I know, the above link mentions something in regards to the Cuban Missile Crisis, but just leaving it there, and with no on show explanation, seems a bit hollow and devoid.

Why did the island have weird health properties? I mean Locke could walk, Rose never died of cancer, but no child could be born on the island...?

Wasn't Walt supposed to be someone important? I know he (his actor) left the show, and things would be difficult with a show that didn't have much time advance for a few seasons and a child actor hitting a puberty growth spurt, but maybe at least a mention of what made him special would have been good.

Who the f#@$ was the kid that showed up a couple of times (on the island, usually around man in black) this season? I mean the kid showed up like two or three times and seemed to be important, but the reasoning behind his appearances never had any explanation at all. He seemed to be the boss of the island, but not. Maybe it was the actor who played Jacob as a child. He looks similar, I think...but why then, if it was young Jacob, would he show up any?

What was the point of Jack's son in purgatory? I mean the character, if he didn't serve a true purpose, seemed like a chance to just cast someone's son in a role on TV or something.

By the way, I don't care if the season six DVDs are supposed to have some answers included. If a show, movie, book, or any other narrative media cannot handle it's own plot within it's own media format, then something is not being done right. It just looks, at least to me, like a weird cash grab concept to get more people to buy the DVDs. Why tell you anything when you can sell the information outside of it's logical narrative.

On a final note about all these questions and my frustration over being left with so many answers; I have read online for too many subjects, including the finale episode of Lost, that if someone didn't enjoy it, then they just didn't "understand" it. Bullshit. I understood what I watched without any problems. At least as far as to the information presented. I just don't like when what is left to be considered a mystery (that which is not meant to be understood) at the end of a mystery is the actual mystery. It's like having a murder mystery (the "classic" example of a mystery subject), and you learn all about the world involved but you never know the answer to "who did the act?" I know that personal demons were faced and overcome on Lost, but the ultimate original mysteries of "what is this island?" and "what brings about these unique and weird mystical powers?" were never touched. I'm not saying they weren't'm saying the larger writing crime was committed of not even offer a glimpse of the solution.

Anyway, this all doesn't leave too bad of a taste in my mouth about Lost for one reason; I've played some good RPGs and watched a lot of good animes and serialized TV shows. The one constant seems to be that few, if any, serialized plots can be resolved in a solid way. It's like writers just don't know how to start and finish the final chapter of fictional serialized works. Cowboy Bebop may be the only example I can think of in which such a plot came to a good and solid conclusion. It's always easier to continue to type and turn a finite piece of work into an infinite mess.

I could keep going on and on about how many loose ends just failed to be handled with any real skill or effort. However, I'll say that the one thing that disappointed me more than anything was the lack of death in the final episode. Yes, Jack may have died and man in black may have died (I'm talking about real time on the island death, not the "everyone dies" purgatory crap)...but I have spent six seasons annoyed by Kate. I have seen her do the retarded and annoying, while just serving as some really implausible emotional baggage character. I saw her get shot and survive a submarine explosion in the last few weeks. I just wanted to see her get killed. I guess that would be asking too much since she was the only supposedly sane female character left on the show...but still, man in black nailing her with a knife attack or a smoke attack would have been sweet.

Anyway, if I can summarize the entire show, all six seasons, it looks like one word is supposed to explain it all. On little word that if said directly and bluntly would be considered a complete load of bullshit. A word that can be used as an explanation when tied to other sentiments, but never on it's own.

Lost was all done via; "magic"?

Anyway, it's not that I thought the final episode was bad, as a single episode.  It just was lacking as a FINAL episode.


Malik (5/25/10)

I don't think this post would make any diehard Lost fanboy/fangirl happy. Anyway...I present the real explanation of all that is Lost.

Here's an alternate take on the ending of the show. One that may have solved what the nature of the island is. This is my (semi-serious, semi-ridiculous) theory based on what was presented.

First off, only two characters are "real", but the whole island is imaginary. Jack is real, although he is actually around 5 or so years old. Desmond is also real, and is the age of an adult. However, he is Jack's father...the real 5 year old Jack, that is.

As for the whole lame purgatory alternate doesn't matter in this, but then again it didn't really matter to the plot of the show. I mean the show could have not included the purgatory stuff and still been the same plot. It was a side story that could have been also handled as a mini-series included as a DVD bonus. If it was not shown in season six, it still would have not altered the plot that built up for the last six seasons.

So, it all began when Jack got done playing outside. Desmond, his father, decided it was bath time. So, Jack got a bath. Then he imagined all sorts of adventures in the tub, just like a small child would be expected to do. The bubble bath was a smoke monster, he had a few tow submarines that he kept pretending to explode. He had a toy jet or three. They crashed, of course, into an imaginary island. After thirty minutes, Jack had imagined all sorts of crazy adventures, and some things that made no sense and would not be continued onward in any real fashion.

Jack pretended a cool psychic kid, named Walt, was there. Then his attention span went off on a tangent and Walt was forgotten. He imagined some cool secret code numbers, but eventually lost track of them. He pretended that he got off the magical island with some of his imaginary friends, but then when he realized he was still in the bath, he got sidetracked and imagined that he went back to the island (for no reason beyond being compelled to do so...he was still in the bath, afterall). He also imagined a whole past for the island world, but with his pathetic childlike imagination, he couldn't think of a reason behind any of it and just ignored the fact that history can be an interesting and important thing. The child's imagination even threw in crazy concepts like immortals, time travel, nuclear bombs, and the Others (which is the quintessential "Lost Boys" like many fairy tales have).

After what felt like many years, Desmond knew bath time was up. So, in Jack's mind, between the forces of the evil bubble bath smoke monster and the crazy adult figure, Desmond pulled the plug on the bath. The world started to crumble around him, as Jack saw the bath water go down. However, in a wonderful effort, Jack put the stopper back in the drain and turned on the faucet. Bath time, and imaginary island adventures could continue! At least until Desmond returned again (he didn't die, now did he?).

Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? Yes. However, if the writers refuse to answer any of the main questions from the start of the series (the island, Walt, the numbers, the magical healing and stillbirths, the temple and statue, and so on), I'll pick the most inane and pointless reason behind it all. Plus, when the ending hinges on a magical bathtub and a giant magical drain plug, I can't help but feel a bit cynical about the entire setup.

Anyway, with the lack of resolution on so many mysteries of Lost, I think it can best be summarized by a term originally seen attributed to Alfred Hitchcock; MacGuffin. A MacGuffin is a plot element that is essentially required to finish the main plot of a narrative, but is often times unclear or other words, something that the writer, in many cases, feels is not needed to be explained, despite how is may become worthless, to the viewer/reader, through ambiguity. In fact, the above link is to Wikipedia, which lists one example of a MacGuffin as the island in Lost.

Like I said before, I did enjoy the final episode...I just hated it as a final ending to a show with so many mysteries.


Malik (5/28/10)

Now that I've had some time, I've finally gotten through a good deal more of Lunar 2. I'm at the epilogue, which means I have anywhere from a few hours to a dozen hours left (the game is good about optional bonus dungeons and events). So, if all goes well (or is that bad?) and the rains of Seattle keep up, I'll get through the game quite soon.

Originally, I was planning on playing Arc the Lad Trilogy upon finishing Lunar 2. Then the hype and videos started to come along for Mod Nation Racers. I was starting to think I may have to change my plans and try out a game that is basically the LittleBigPlanet of cart racing games. Who can deny the fun of both building new tracks with whatever you desire and also having unlimited new tracks from the world?

Well, after trying the demo, I can deny the fun. I have but one problem with the demo, but it might be a bit too much to enjoy the actual game. The camera is crap. Sorry, since so many people seem to love the game, but I cannot get over this type of flaw. The problem comes in to play if you have anyone close to your rear bumper. All of a sudden, your entire field of vision may turn into the guy riding your ass and not where you're headed. This just doesn't work when I've crashed a few too many times in the demo just from having an opponent right behind me.

Actually, I do have one other problem, but it's minor. It's a classic problem. When Nintendo makes a game, they tend to own that genre. The best adventure games are always Zelda games, the best 3D platformers are also Mario games, the best tactical RPGs are Fire Emblem games, and the best cart games are always Mario Kart titles. It's how the gaming world works. Nintendo fails to pump out enough games, but they do the best of what they attempt. So, when I played the demo of MNR, all I could think was how much I wanted to play Mario Kart Double Dash again. I couldn't get past the basic thought that Mario Kart Double Dash had better attack items, better controls (although MNR does have some nice controls), and a massively better field of vision.

Sadly, this also got me thinking, once again, on how good a Nintendo game can be in their best genres, and now I'm thinking about how much I want to play Super Mario Galaxy 2 (A.K.A. UR MR GAY 2, for those who remember the weird title design of the first Mario Galaxy). It's a game that I know I'd fail to play all the way through, but you cannot deny the enjoyment that Mario gives in 3D. I've yet to find one that I don't enjoy, even if I hate the price I pay.

As for what I do after Lunar 2, it's hard to say. For now, I'll just enjoy taking my time with Lunar 2 and let the cards lay where they fall when the time is right.


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