Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Talk to the Flocke: Reactions to the "Lost" episode "Happily Ever After"

Well, well, you are aware, any time that Sayid kills someone, especially unexpectedly in his 2 seconds of total screentime, it's like a shotgun full of puppies and kittens is fired directly into my heart. I know that it used to be good Sayid killing for justice and self-defense...but now that it's evil Sayid killin' in the name of murderface, I'm an even bigger fan. The episode last night left me puzzled and has only served to further how frustrating it is that I've forced myself to do this. I'm getting ready to ditch the predictions and reflections and start really just enjoying this, but I can't quite bring myself to do that. I guess I'm going to start bitching less and start trying to enjoy the ride more, now that there's only 7 hours left. God, that seems so crazy. Enough preamble, nobody likes preamble, let's get right into the amble.

Things I liked
  • Desmond, thanks for rejoining us - I like Henry Cusack so much that it kind of sucks that they shelved him for so long. He's just so charismatic, so inherently likable. I mean, thank God we've had the chance to focus more on CLAIRE this season. Oh yeah, God forbid we spend that time on Desmond, spend waaaay more time on CLAIRE...which reminds me:

    The minute I saw him, I was reminded of the first time we met him. I know that there were better moments on the show than the time he was revealed to be inside the hatch, but there aren't too many. It was nice to get someone back who should have been around earlier. I feel like this episode could have been plugged in about three episodes ago and worked even better...especially given the next point.
  • Flash sideways mean nothing and thus mean everything - We're not 100% sure as to what is going on, but I do believe Daniel Faraday...sorry Daniel Widmore...when he says that the world they're currently living in isn't "right." They aren't supposed to be there. The last shot of Desmond realizing that he has to "wake them up" is awesome. It never felt right that the sideways were either what happened "after" the island adventure nor did it feel right that it was an equal alternative. It felt wrong. To hear the characters within that world identify that was nice. More on this aspect later.
  • Weird science - I missed the Dharma stations. I missed the weird generators and the experiments, the rabbits, the electromagnetic energy...all of it. It was nice to have those few moments of nostalgia for seasons past, as we watched another red shirt get electo-fried. Desmond can apparently "absorb electromagnetic energy" which is important. My guess: He's going to have to absorb the MiB. That's the sacrifice.
  • Charlie and his nihilism - It was nice to see Charlie back, even as batshit crazy as he was. He was always a pivotal emotional character and there's no better season 6 sendoff for the character than to have him be the catalyst for unlocking the sideways mystery.
Things I didn't like
  • The pace - Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof are good idea guys. They just seemingly have no idea how to pace an episode. If I didn't inherently like Henry Cusack so much, I would have been screaming with abject boredom in the middle of the episode. STOP SHOWING CHARACTERS DRIVING PLACES. Why did that Widmore scene need to last that long? How many times did we have to be teased with Daniel before he showed up? How many times did Desmond need to wonder about Penny before meeting Penny? You have 7 hours left assholes!!!!
  • Indulgence - I can't put my finger on it, but something about the episode just didn't sit right with me in general. It felt a little....indulgent and I don't know why. Maybe it was just me. Maybe it was the previews that said "one man finds his way"...even though nobody did that. Maybe it was that at this point you can tell us what thing it is that Desmond feels he has to do and we'll still watch and be interested. I don't know. It just didn't sit all the way right with me.

Did we get any? Oh, here's one:
  • Electro-boogie - The reason why Desmond had to come back wasn't to find the island but to do something involving absorbing electromagnetic energy again. That's all.
  • Mrs. Widmore/Hawking - Her statements were the most interesting in the show again. A "violation?" What does that mean? "You're not ready yet." Oh COME ON. He has to be ready, we have no time left. I think that her point about how Desmond "had the one thing he wanted most" is interesting. Isn't that more or less what each of the characters have in the flash sideways? They have the thing that want most...and life sucks. Kate has freedom, Sayid has Nadia alive...etc, etc, etc. I thought yesterday (and someone pointed out in the comments) that this was some kind of trap. Someone proposed smokey actually engulfing them and making them feel trapped inside this alternate world. I don't think that anymore. Here's what I think: I think that this is a part of Jacob's plan. I think that he is more or less showing them that there are certain things that are just going to be the same no matter what you do and some things that will change based on what you do. I think they're going to have a choice in the flash sideways, prompted by Desmond "awakening" them, to rejoin the "real" timeline and that they'll be stronger for doing so and be ready to make certain choices because of that. I think they've been a long parable from Jacob and nothing more.
  • She blinded me with science - I think we're going to be getting the quantum mechanics as the "science" half of the "good/evil" equation. What I mean is this: I think there's going to be a way, a rather unsatisfying way, to read the show as having all been a part of quantum physics. Imagine Jacob and the MiB not as some kind of magic deities, but as people who have unlocked quantum mechanics in a way that no one has. The "rules" and "violations" could be seen as parts of some kind of formula or theorem. Like I said, I think the religious overtones will be dominant and that they are the real point of the show, but they aren't totally ditching the science.
  • Budgetary concerns - Has anyone noticed that "V," a turd, seems to have a bigger budget than the final season of "Lost?" WTF? I hope they're holding back and that the finale and episodes leading up are just jam packed with GOOD effects.
  • You all everybody - I like the focused episodes. "Lost" has always been about that, but it seems like we keep losing steam on individual characters. We focus on Jack, get squared in on his "purpose"...only to not even really see him for 5 episodes. You could say that for a lot of characters. I hope that as we march towards the end, this character segregation ends. Bring 'em all together, yo. That's where they shine. Except for Claire. You can leave her behind.
Overall, it gets a B from me. Not quite "great" but "good." I expect more from my Desmond episodes, but it's alright during a season that has had one bad episode by my count. Here's hoping that Hurley's episode next week gives us more Jacob (maybe even some insight into a certain bloody-handed young version of him) and a bunch more answers. I am trying to just enjoy things, but they could make it easier on me, you know.

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Blogger Christina Luster said...

You gave the episode a B??? Ugh, fine. When Desmond/Charlie/and Barry Graham (I mean Daniel) are all on the same episode my judgment is blinded as they're my three favorite characters.

Also, if every time somebody reads your blog an angel gets their wings then Aaron Blackman has blessed a myriad of angels.

-C. Luster

April 07, 2010  
Blogger Ryan said...

I do not begrudge you the joy you get from your trifecta, Christina. Also, you and your viewing clan are beautiful, wonderful people.

April 07, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also surprised that you didn't like this episode more! The Sideways world and the Island world are FINALLY intertwining in more than just coincidental ways!
What did you think of the Doc Jensen theory of Island people merging with Sideways people? That Desmond will offer each person on and off Island a chance to jump over to their Sideways life? If Daniel is right and they SHOULDN'T be in that life, why would that be the preferred direction of movement?

I agree that this episode felt slow, only because when it was over, I kept thinking that there will never be enough time to wrap all this stuff up! Eloise says it's not time yet? Better get cracking! There are only 7 hours left!

April 07, 2010  

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