Sunday, June 20, 2010

Getting Over the Loss of LOST

Being an avid fan of television series, I tend to get rather emotional and silly when it comes to series finales. Over the years, I have watched a lot of television series and sitcoms (I really mean a lot!) and I always get these very sad feelings when one of them comes to an end. I took some time to get over the loss of the sitcom, Friends and another favourite of mine, Will and Grace. But I think it will take me months, or maybe even years to get over the loss of what I would describe as the greatest series in television history and maybe even of all time, LOST.

WARNING!!! SPOILERS AHEAD! (If you have not watched the series finale of LOST, please stop reading now!)

Aptly titled, LOST is a series that you can truly get lost in. Spanning 6 seasons and 121 episodes, LOST is a series that will excite, amaze, touch and also confuse and change the lives and perspectives of TV viewers for ages to come. The opening scene in the series already has a lot to say. It begins by focussing on the protagonist, Jack (brilliantly portrayed by Matthew Fox) The camera focusses on Jack's left eye, when it suddenly opens. This opening scene is greatly significant in the series as it signals the true beginning of Jack's life. Little did he know, the events and people he will encounter will change his life forever. Jack soon realises and discovers that his plane had crashed and he immediately steps up to the role of the leader and the saviour for the survivors who were on board Flight Oceanic 815 from Sydney to Los Angeles.

It is going to be a long and arduous journey for Jack and the rest of the survivors as along with the shock and the horror of the plane crash, they soon discover that the island that they have landed on contains many mysteries and horrors of its own. The most memorable season for me was season 1, where the audience is given an insight into the lives and secrets of the survivors. Every prominent character on LOST has deep and dark secrets that are revealed to us through multiple flashbacks.


Review and Opinions of Prominent Characters in LOST ( I am only focusing on characters whom I like)

Jack Shepard
From the opening scene in LOST, Jack (Matthew Fox) appears to be a survivor in every sense of the word and an individual who can never do wrong. He immediately rushes to the aid of the other survivors and is very quickly bestowed the "hero" status on the island. He is the leader whom people listen to and being a doctor, he manages to save many lives and is liked by many. But as we delve deeper into Jack's past, we discover that like many other heroes, Jack Shepard is flawed and is far from perfect. We are given an insight into Jack's past and his many unresolved issues with his ex-wife and his father, Christian Shepard (John Terry). In several flashbacks, we get to know that Jack's father is ...well, how shall I say it...not a very nice man. We can see that he is tough with Jack and always gives him a hard time, despite the fact that Jack is supposed to be a prominent and respected neurosurgeon.
We also get to know that Jack's marriage was not successful due to the fact that it was more a marriage of gratitude and obligation rather than love as Jack's wife only married him because he performed a successful surgery on her. Although flawed and broken by his troubled past, Jack Shepard is the epitome of everything that is good and pure about being human. Despite dealing with a bitter childhood, a failed marriage, and a controlling and at times, unbearable father, Jack never ceases to amaze me with his selfless and generous nature right up to the very final moments of the series. Jack Shepard has given me some of the most memorable moments on LOST, especially in the series finale, which I will get to in the later part of this post.

Kate Austen
Mystery surrounds the character of Kate Austen (Evageline Lily) right from the beginning of the series. In the pilot, Kate arrouses our interest when we begin to suspect that she is the prisoner who was being transported by a policeman on the flight. We are then exposed to her dark past and to the fact that she murdered her violent and abusive stepfather. Kate is therefore portrayed as a murderer and although I do not condone her actions, I can't help but favour her character and feel sorry for her. The chemistry between Kate and Jack is clear right from the very beginning when she helps Jack to stitch up his wound as he could not reach it. Romance soon ensues on the island for Kate and Jack, however, it soon turns into a love triangle when Sawyer (Josh Holloway) enters the picture. I will save the ending of the love triangle for my discussion on the finale.

James "Sawyer" Ford
Now there's a character for you! At first sight, Sawyer (Josh Holloway) seems to be this cynical and sarcastic jerk whom nobody likes or respects. When he first appears, I cannot help but think of him as a foil to the character of Jack Shepard. Arrogant and rude, I found it difficult to tolerate Sawyer's character. Like Kate, life was very unkind to Sawyer. This is also revealed through flashbacks and we discover that Sawyer also had a rotten childhood due to the demise of his parents when he was very young. The life of a criminal soon found Sawyer as his actions bring him further down the path of self destruction and ruin. Out of all the characters on LOST, I think that Sawyer is the character who has grown the most. We can see him changing with every encounter and learning with every experience how to become a better person. From a ("son of a bitch") rogue to a decent and caring human being who knows how to love, respect and honour others, Sawyer has certainly come a long way.

John Locke
John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) is my second favourite character in LOST. Distanced from the other characters, we notice that Locke is a truly different, refreshing and unique character. In the pilot, we see Locke savouring being out in the open and really appreciating nature in it rawest form. In a scene from the pilot, we see Locke enjoying being in the rain while others scurry for shelter. He exudes a confidence and exuberance that is unusual for a man who has gone through such horrowing experiences. Through the flashbacks, we slowly learn of Locke's past. The shocking events and revelation about Locke's encounters with his father and what happened to him before and after the crash sent chills down my spine.
We learn that Locke's father had tricked him into giving him one of his kidneys and to top it off threw his son out of the hospital window leaving him paralysed from the waist down. This brings us to the events right after the crash in which we learn that Locke regains his ability to walk only after the crash on the island. With this revelation, the powers possesed by the island become clear to us. Locke believes that he has been given a second chance at life and puts his faith in the island, believing that it will be the place that holds the key to his happiness. His insistance for the survivors to remain on the island often clashes with Jack's dilligent efforts to get the survivors off the island. Locke also battles with Jack for the role of the leader. The outcome of the battle of which will also only be revealed in the later part of this post.

Hugo"Hurley" Reyes
"Everybody loves Hugo." It is time to talk about the "dude!" How can anyone not love Hugo (Jorge Garcia). Better known as Hurley on the show, Hurley reminds me of a big cuddly teddy bear which can only bring comfort and warmth to everyone around him. Hurley immediately bonds with Jack in the pilot and is quick to become Jack's right hand man. He is always there to lend assistance and support and is nothing but a really nice and sweet guy. In the flashbacks, we learn that Hurley was a lottery ticket winner and was a millionaire. We also get to know that bad luck has followed Hurley ever since he won the lottery which leads him to believe that everyone around him will not have a good ending. Being the most realiable character in the series, it is not difficult to guess that greater things are in store for Hurley's character.

Jin Kwon and Sun Kwon
The Korean couple Jin Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim) and Sun Kwon (Yunjin Kim) appear as prominent characters in the pilot. We can see in the beginning that all is not well for the couple when Jin does nothing but control his wife's actions and berates her at every opportunity he gets. My first impression of Jin was that he was a male chauvinist who views his wife as nothing but property. His protective nature seems to stem from frustration and anger rather than love and tenderness. Sun on the other hand gave me the impression of a fragile and submissive wife who is afraid of her husband and dares not do anything to go against him, but my view of her changes even in the pilot itself when she defiantly does something that her husband had strictly instructed her not to. As with all the characters, they too have deep and dark secrets.
Through the flashbacks we get to know that Jin actually loves Sun very deeply and had sacrificed so much just to be with her. Sun's father did not agree to the match as Jin came from a poor family. Jin was forced to perform many illegal and dangerous tasks in order to gain his father-in-law's respect and approval. Sun also had secrets hidden from Jin, like her ability to speak English and her affair with another man. Jin and Sun are characters who have also grown a lot throughout the duration of the series, next to the character of Sawyer. Through many trials and separations on the island, the couple finally realise how much love and respect they have for each other.

THE END OF LOST

I can't begin to express my feelings after having watched the finale of LOST. For the last six years I have been through one of the most exciting, amazing, shocking, thrilling and yet at times rather confusing rides in my life. I know that many people will probably deem me insane, but I cannot even begin to express what LOST means to me. The finale of LOST is firmly embedded in my mind and will remain there for a long long time to come. I have watched and re-watched the finale. I have pondered and shed many tears after watching all the touching and endearing moments when the characters reunite and remember their lives together in the finale.
I know that many would say that I am crazy, but LOST has really taught me a lot. I have learned so many valuable lessons from the show that I will always take with me. I have learned about true and enduring love, the relationships between loved ones and spouses, about life, fate and destiny, but most of all I've have learned about forgiveness and reconciliation. Life can give us a bad deal, but it is the people in our lives who matter most. They shape us and change us and make us realise who we can become when we are with them and make us better human beings.

The night had finally come to say goodbye to LOST forever. The finale reveals that LOST is all about the characters. Just as the first season introduces us to the characters, their beginnings and conflicts, the finale of the series ends and resolves their conflicts and closes the show with the most thoughful, provocative and touching ending in television history. Although many viewers along with myself, certainly did get lost in Seasons 3 and 4 as many new characters entered the series rendering it complex, unfocussed and extremely convoluted. Season 5 and the last season of LOST, Season 6 finally settled on making the series all about the prominent characters in the show. I have followed these characters from their pasts and their time on the island where I have grown to care and identify with them.

Season 5 ended with a big bang as a hydrogen bomb exploded. The bomb was intended to reverse the event of the crash of Oceanic 815 and allow the passengers to land safely in Los Angeles. Season 6 begins with events that take place after the bomb exploded. Far from reversing the event of the crash, the explosion of the bomb resulted in the existence of an alternate reality, which the LOST writers choose to call, the "flashsideways," which further complicates the plot.
In the flashsideways, we see all the prominent characters leading very different, albeit better lives. In the flashsideways, the plane never crashed, but instead landed safely in Los Angeles as scheduled. The characters continue to go their separate ways after the plane landed and manage to lead much better lives. The audience is then suddenly brought back to the harsh realities on the island where nothing changes for the characters when they realise that the explosion did not reverse any events and they are left to continue surviving on the island. The devastation at the failure of the plan and the death of of one of the major characters on the island tear the characters further apart. The final season of LOST alternates between the scenes from the dire situation on the island and the other, well, not exactly perfect but better situation in the flashsideways.

The audience have no idea what is in store for them and how the two realities are going to work out. The revelation in the series finale of what these "flashsideways" are marks the genius of the writers of LOST when the audience is made aware that they are none other than flashes from the after-lives of all the major characters. The major characters have actually created a place where they can meet before, as Christian Shepard puts it, "moving on." There was a lot of speculation as to the meaning of the series and as to whether the events following the plane crash really happened. Many speculated that all the events on LOST were just dreams of certain major characters. Some even went as far as to speculate that all the events were actually part of Vincent's dream (Vincent is a dog which belongs to one of the characters in the series). The last 5 minutes of LOST reiterates to the audience that all the events are indeed real and that all the characters do indeed exist.
In the preceeding episodes leading up to the finale. We finally discover that a long long time ago, a pregnant woman had landed on the island. She encounters another woman on the island who then assists her in the birth of her children. After the babies are safely delivered, in a shocking turn of events, the woman on the island kills the birth mother and brings up the two children as her own. The birth mother manages to name one of the children, Jacob, but before she manages to name the other, her life is suddenly and cruelly ended. The children grow up on the island and we later get to know that the woman has been the keeper of this island and is actually protecting a sacred place which is supposed to be responsible for the source of life. Although she favoured the other child, who by the way was never named, she handed the responsibility of the keeper of the island over to Jacob. In an ensuing fight between Jacob and his brother, his brother gets turned into this evil black smoke which provides the basis for the story of the ultimate battle between good and evil.
We also learn earlier in the show that the prominent characters on LOST have been chosen as candidates for the keeper of the island by Jacob which explains their survival of the crash and their continued stay and return to the island. The finale, as mentioned earlier on comes down to the battle between good, which is represented by, none other than our "hero" Jack Shepard who is given the role of the keeper by Jacob after his death and the evil black smoke which has now taken shape in the body of John Locke, who was killed earlier in the show by Ben (Michael Emerson). As the situation gets more desperate on the island as the black smoke insists on destroying the island and along with it, the source of life, the characters in the alternate reality begin to reunite and the two realities seem to be colliding
In the ultimate battle, Locke (evil black smoke) finally gets killed, but Jack gets seriously injured in the battle. The prominent characters now left on the island are, Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Ben, Kate and Claire. Jack wants to stay on the island to repair the damage that Locke had caused and Ben and Hurley decide to stay with him. Claire, Sawyer and Kate decide to make an attempt to get off the island. As Kate and Jack say goodbye and share their final kiss, we realise, as do they that they belong together though they both know that they will probably never meet again. As the three characters make their way to escape, Jack realises his destiny and mission on the island; to restore the source of life which was forcibly dislodged by Locke. Jack also realises that he is not going to survive and in turn gives the responsibility of the keeper of the island to Hurley who then asks Ben for assistance to guard the island and the both of them become its protectors.

Kate and Sawyer attempting to get off the island.
In the alternate reality, all the characters, with the exception of Jack, realise that they are in the after-life and that they have somewhere to go. As Jack begins his process towards realisation in the after-life, Jack on the island begins his journey to his ultimate demise. Fully aware that he is not going to survive, Jack makes his way among the bamboo fields to coincidentally, the spot where he first opened his eyes in the opening scene of the series. In the after-life, Jack is taken to a church by Kate and is told to enter from the back of the church. Jack finds his father's coffin and opens it only to discover that there is no body in the coffin. After closing the coffin, Jack hears a familiar voice and is shocked to see his father standing right before his eyes. In an extremely touching scene between Jack and his father, Jack realises that he is dead, and that all the events that had happened to him are indeed real and the people that he got close to on the island are real and have created this place in their after-lives to meet again before moving on. Watching all the characters meet again and the bliss and pure joy on their faces at seeing each other again sent tears flowing down my cheeks.


The characters of LOST reunite in the church where Jack intended to hold his father's funeral.


As they embark on their next journey into the after-life, we get flashes of Jack slowly walking towards his death on the island. After Jack finally collapses, he is surprised and happy to see Vincent, one of the character's dog which also appeared in the pilot after Jack opened his eyes. Vincent lies down next to Jack as he dies.
Jack and Vincent during the final moments of Jack's life.
As Jack smiles hand in hand with Kate to cross over and move on, the scene fades to white in the after-life. Back on the island, Jack smiles at the sight of the plane leaving the island with Claire, Kate and Sawyer on board and in the final scene of the series closes his eyes and leaves the world forever.

The cast of LOST gather to move on together.
Emotionally spent and mentally drained are apt phrases to use after a startling and beautiful ending to a series that I have looked forward to watching every Wednesday night. I shall miss LOST in the days to come and along with it all the anticipation, excitement and pure bliss I have experienced each time the letters LOST appear on the television screen. I have to say goodbye to the many new mysteries and shocking events which are revealed every week, the many surprises, twists and turns, the flashbacks and flashsideways which never fail to amaze, entertain and excite. However, what I will miss most are the characters of LOST. All the prominent characters mentioned above whom I have grown to love and care for will forever be missed and remembered with fondness and smiles. Brilliantly and beautifully performed by spectacular actors, the cast of LOST have certainly outdone themselves. Hats off to the actors and actresses who have managed to portray their roles with such conviction and credibility.

The cast of LOST.
LOST has been a part of my life for 6 beautiful and unforgettable years. I gather that there will never again be another series which will affect the lives and thoughts of audiences around the world as LOST has. Goodbye and thank you LOST. Getting over the loss of LOST will be a very difficult task indeed!

The Beginning

Hello everyone! I never thought I could ever be one of those people who actually blog about stuff. I am just a simple lecturer working in a college. I was inspired to create this blog by my brother, who is also another person in this world whom I never thought would actually create a blog since he does not even have a Facebook account! So here I am.

I am very new to this whole blog thing but I hope it will bring me many hours of satisfaction, being able to write about my interests, events, and feelings that sometimes I feel get bottled up in, I would say, a rather monotonous and routine life. I have many things in life that I wish to express. I hope this blog will be an outlet for the great and exciting experiences that I have had and hope to have in the future. I have many things I am truly grateful for in my life and I hope many other good events and people will continue to bless my life and be a part of it and this blog too! =)