How It’s Gonna End

If you aren’t a Lost nerd, you should probably skip this post. I’ve been holding off, but I had to do at least one.

It’s nice to see Lost is done with the obligatory wheel-spinning and set-up that characterizes the first two acts of most of its seasons. A lot of the preemptive criticism for the final season revolved around the question: “How are they gonna cram in all those answers?” But of course, the answers are sort of beside the point, and what’s been bothering me instead is what usually bothers me for the first few episodes of one of this show’s seasons: not a whole lot was happening, and there was a sense they were just pushing the pieces around until they finally had everything organized enough to kick-start the actual plot.

About the answers we’ve gotten: Despite some missteps (like in the Hurley episode, when Jack spilled his entire character motivation to Hurley in one neat paragraph and Michael explained explicitly what the whispers are exactly 30 seconds after anyone paying attention had already figured it out) they writers have been doing a pretty good job at dropping enough hints for us to figure out the answers for ourselves, and proceeding with the real business, which is the character stuff. Without it ever being spelled out to us, I think we’re starting to get a good sense of what the rules of the game are, and, ultimately, what the show’s about. It casts everything before in a new light, and renews my faith that, yeah, the writers actually had a plan all along.

This is a show about a group of characters who are each struggling to master some kind of inner darkness. Fake-Locke exploits that darkness to his own ends, and now that he’s done it with all of the characters to some degree or another, they are all stuck “on his side.” Jacob’s could try to pull them back, but it wouldn’t really count; he’s trying to demonstrate a point about how these people have the capacity for good, and for him to prove his point they have to demonstrate that capacity on their own. My guess is the remaining for episodes are going to be about how they pull together to do that.

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