Sideways To Heaven?

9:17 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
Well last night was the Lost series finale, and I imagine the blogosphere and the internet blew up after it. I ended up having to watch it till 2 in the morning because my PVR decided the ONE time it really wanted to f*** up my recording was for the Lost finale. Thank god for what we call 'timeshifting', owing to the fact I actually have ABC on two different channels. I resolved myself to not look at anything online until I got my thoughts out about the finale.

Obviously if someone didn't want to spoiled, they should stop reading NOW.

I am a sucker for cast reunions (see: the Gilmore Girls series finale), and on a show where nearly everyone has died, it was a great moment to have the majority of the cast together at the end, while still having an explanation for why not *everyone* was there ('Not ready' / 'Not enlightened').

My theory is that the moments of island enlightenment happened when our castaways encountered the person (or a memory of the person) that made them feel like they were no longer alone. I was surprised that Kate triggered Jack, as my theory was Christian would trigger it, and was happy that the creators acknowledged this by letting the full weight of the island hit Jack once he touched his father's coffin. Also that they put the couples together that should have been together at long last, which was a nice little shipper shoutout.

In fact in general, I was satisfied with the resolution of the sideways storyline, although I certainly have some questions...more on that in a moment. I sensed for a long time now that whatever was happening in Sideways world was a bittersweet means to an end, especially as the romantic relationship enlightenment moments piled up on top of each other. Sawyer and Juliet's little crossover moment was particularly nice, and I was surprised at how happy I was for Sayid and Shannon to be reunited. I did make the wry comment that the creators basically took the ending of Titanic - where Rose ended up with the people she spent the most important moments of her life with, preserved at the age she was most...happy?

On the flip side, I'm not as jazzed about the resolution of the island world. I felt like we skipped about thirty chapters in the story from Hurley's reign to Hurley's death (alongside Ben). I wasn't surprised that Hurley ended up taking over, and I was delighted that Ben finally got a place of leadership that he rightfully deserved. It was a wonderful redemption arc to see him as Hurley's #2.

The whole MIB thing kind of fell flat in this final episode. I felt like things were so obscured about what the giant cork / well thing would do, that it was sort of meaningless to discover it would make the MIB human. Desmond's involvement in this whole thing was kind of pointless, and let's face it, the cork looked like a giant carrot. The fight scene and ninja punch between Locke and Jack was sort of cool and dramatic, but I sort of felt like I knew the outcome before it began. Of course Locke/MIB would perish, and of course someone would die in the process.

Jack's death was more or less expected in some ways, the moment he took on island guardianship with the caveat that he should do it 'as long as he can', but it still broke my heart a little that the creators did what they wanted to do from the beginning and killed Jack. It was a touching moment intermingled with Vincent and the cast reunion in the Sideways world.

I'm not sure how I feel about the characters that got off the island. Again, the jump from that moment when Jack sees their plane to the reveal in the Sideways world, I felt like we'd missed so much in their lives. I wondered if maybe they'd all died because Lapidus couldn't get the plane to safety, but I sincerely doubt it. I moreso wonder what life was like for our survivors back on earth, knowing this time there really wasn't a way or a reason to go back to the island.

Finally I think the thing I'm most disappointed in was the lack of resolution regarding: what is the island? That question encompasses so much re: mystical properties, what is the light, how are some people aware of it, etc. and I felt like they sort of left that by the wayside to have a plot-centric arc play out (they are finally free to LEAVE the island) instead of letting the mythology play out after the haphazard episode 'Across the Sea' laid out so much for us.

Two final notes about the Sideways world. The creators always insisted the island wasn't purgatory. It was neat that they sort of flipped that idea on its head and gave us a vision of what purgatory would be like for our castaways.

Second, I like that the Sideways world represented the two elements that have always been key to the show (even if under different guises) - free will and destiny. The castaways apparently *chose* to build the Sideways world, but it was their *destiny* to find one another within it, but their *choice* to let go and move on.

I said to my boyfriend last night that in general I'm delighted I watched the show all the way through. I only started watching Lost at the end of 2008, at a welcome time in my life when I had no money (just bought my house!) and needed something to do. I powered through the first four seasons in a matter of months before S5 started. Although S4 & S5, and to a degree S6, somewhat disappointed me, I still appreciate all the moments this show gave me, all the characters I've grown to love, and 120+ hours of pure, mind-bending's over. But it STILL ain't over. Beyond that, I loved being part of this momentous occasion in pop culture history.

Now...for my list of questions. Some of these are directly related to last night's finale, some of them are just general unresolved questions I'd like solved:

- What *is* the Sideways world exactly? We glimpsed it for such a short period of time that I wonder how long these characters had been living in it, mindless of their pasts. I considered it was perhaps some sort of wish fulfillment paradise, but yet not all of our characters were exactly that much better off from their island selves.

- Some of our castaways and some various other characters encountered mortal peril in the Sideways world. What happens if you die in purgatory?

- Everyone was at the same age as we saw them when they first arrived on the island, yet Christian explained that everyone was dead, some long before him, some long after him. How did they all converge on this specific moment in the Sideways world at the same time? For example, if Hurley actually lived for 500 years or something ridiculous, did all the other characters stay stuck in some sort of unconscious loop until he died also? Or does time not really exist over there? I guess thinking back to Juliet's death and the moment she had with Sawyer, perhaps in your real time death you get to your island enlightenment moment in the Sideways world...regardless of what time you get there, that moment will always be waiting for you to happen.

- How did Boone find island enlightenment?

- What happened to Richard? He seemed to finally be aging (Just as MIB was mortal) by the end of the series, but we never saw him in the Sideways world. Is it because he wasn't an integral part of these character's lives?

- Was Miles at the castaway reunion? He was definitely *in* the Sideways world but we never saw a moment of island enlightenment. Ditto to Lapidus, minus seeing him in the Sideways world. Then again, Lapidus was a total joke of a character...

- Where were Michael and Walt? We were promised a glimpse of Walt at some point in last night's episode, but, I didn't save it because I don't to rewatch that damn reunion and actually cry one of these times to see if he's there. Is Michael not there because he's stuck on the island?

- Kids: What will happen to Jack's faux son as Jack moves onwards? Where was Des & Penny's baby? Will Sun & Jin have their baby? Do people age in this world???

- How did these castaways 'construct' this place?

- Is there a reason we've never been re-associated with Mr. Eko? Even Ana Lucia and Pierre Chang showed up!

- I presume Eloise Hawking was island enlightened at some point, although it's curious that she was since we're told this place was constructed by *Our* castaways so they could find the people they spent the most important parts of their lives with. The majority of castaways never encountered Eloise, and those that did saw her briefly in the 1950s or back on the mainland. So characters like Eloise, Richard, Charles weren't in the church, but Ben and Penny curiously were.

- What is the island and who created it? We've finally been told it was in fact a construct of reality (which it certainly should have been for the people who were able to 'find it' and 'leave it'), but yet we still know nothing about it.

- What was the true nature of the light? Where did the light go when Desmond pulled the cork? What was the effect (beyond the island being destroyed) of the light disappearing? How did Jack recork the empty vessel and have the light regenerate?

- Why did MIB and Richard feel mortal repercussions for the light disappearing? Was the light the fountain of youth or something?

- Did Jack and Hurley inherit any sort of mystical island powers? If so, why did they still seem so mortal next to Jacob & his magic touch?

- How long did Hurley's tenure last, and what did he do with the island? Who did he pass it onto (future series sequel)?

- Will someone ever not need to guard the island now that MIB is no longer threatening it?

- Was Charles Widmore really a bad guy / was he trying to get to the light?

- Did Hurley get candidates of his own?

- What happened to Rose, Bernard, and Vincent? Did they merely live out their days to island enlightenment?

- What happened to the castaways that escaped once and for all? What kinds of lives did they lead?

- Where is the island now and can it ever be found again?

- Did Hurley and Ben die on the island?

I could go on, but my main questions have been laid out above. As for the general unresolved issues I'm most curious about that I think everyone is curious about:

UNRESOLVED (pre-finale)

- What made Walt so special (other than the fact he was going through puberty and had to be jettisoned off the show)?

- Why were three of the castaways sent to 1977 while Sun was left behind? (Probable theory: Sun was never a candidate, nor were Lapidus or Ben obviously)

- Was the hatch / button pressing linked to the glowing light? Ditto to time travel?

- Dharma food drop in S2. Not really a big issue of mine, but it's pressing enough that I imagine an answer would be nice.

- What's up with the Hurley bird? Another throwaway reference...perhaps it was just a clue that the island had always identified Hurley as its future leader.

- Pregnancy issues...I like Jeff Jensen's take on this, that Jacob giveth & Jacob taketh away. Ben was never supposed to be leader of the Others (and gateway to Jacob as island leader), and the fertility issues began around the time of his tenure. Since he deemed this group of people who believed in Ben to be unworthy, he took away their ability to procreate so their society would end.

- Horace Goodspeed's cabin. Just everything related to this. The theory is the eye belonged to the MIB.

- The MIB's name. Mothereffer I'm ticked they never revealed that. Did he really not have a name? If so, fine, tell me, but if he has a name and you concealed it for no reason, gah! Then again, finding out Big's name was pretty disappointing on SATC.

- Room 23. Why?

- What were the rules Widmore and Ben referred to?

- How much awareness was their off-island about on-island activities. Between Ilana's bodyguard crew, Sayid's assassinations, and the freighter crew, what does the world know about the island and why do they want to go there / why do they NEVER tell us why they want to go there?

Well folks. That all she wrote. Again, I'm grateful to have been a part of this momentous series. I'm feeling better about the ending today than I did last night (after I hesitantly turned off the TV and said "But...but...I don't get it"), although still a little disappointed that the major series-long arc regarding the island was downplayed in favour for resolution of the Sideways storyline in bittersweet happily ever afters for everyone.

There are still many questions to be answered (clearly), but I'm glad no new ones will be added to the mix. Sigh. Another show like this will never exist. Not really.

- Britt's On


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