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Friday, May 30, 2008

LOST: The morning after "There's No Place Like Home"

Like Lisa said last year when waking up the morning after "Through the Looking Glass": "It's hard to sleep with something like that on your mind..."

In the 8+ hours since the two-hour conclusion of "There's No Place Like Home" (read my initial thoughts here) this blog has registered about 3,000 hits. And almost all of those are coming here after looking for "Jeremy Bentham" on Google. When I run the search myself, The Knight Shift shows up in the top ten results because of what was posted about the historical Jeremy Bentham last year. So to all the newcomers: welcome! :-)

A few days ago the producers of Lost submitted the episodes "The Constant" and "The Shape of Things to Come" for consideration for this year's Emmy Awards. The deadline to submit is today. I hope there's some way to submit "There's No Place Like Home" also. Both "The Constant" and "The Shape of Things to Come" were the finest regular episodes of Season 4 but even as brilliant as "The Constant" was, it was just build-up to the magnificence of this season finale.

I don't think Michael is still alive. I do believe Jin has survived though. Hey he's escaped one exploding boat before, right? The thing is, so did Michael. This being Lost it's fair to assume we haven't seen the last of them, in one form or another.

One of the most surprising things about this show is that before I even realized it, I have come to be a fan of Sawyer. More than any other character, he has shown the most positive growth away from what he used to be. The slick, opportunistic con artist that we met at the beginning of Season 1 is gone and in his place, there is a man who sincerely cares for others and is now showing a willingness to die for them if he has to. Thankfully he wound up safe back on the beach. I now wonder if he and Juliet are going to be hitting it off (and did that scene with Juliet and the DHARMA rum with Sawyer on the beach remind anyone else of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie?).

I've watched this episode twice all the way through now but the scene where Ben is trying to work the frozen wheel: that scene has been played about a dozen times already. Glad that I documented my immediate reaction to that! And if you thought the "Atmosphere Jump" on Battlestar Galactica was crazy cool, "Moving the Island" beat that by a mile. Everything about that scene was perfect: the determination and intensity on Ben's face, the reaction across the Island and from those still away from it, the sound effects, the CGI work... and through it all, Michael Giacchino's haunting score. I don't know why but in that scene I felt a sympathy for Ben that I'd never had before. And then when the Island disappears and Frank is frantic about trying to land the helicopter, and how they even search desperately for the Hydra Island but there's only water all around: that scene alone makes "There's No Place Like Home" Emmy-worthy.

And about who we finally get to see is in the casket: ya know, I don't believe for a moment that this is the end of that particular character's story. The good times may have only just begun for our friend "Jeremy Bentham".

Just darned amazing television. Far better than our culture deserves. Lost is one of the few things on the medium that has never insulted the viewer's intelligence, has treated its fans respectfully by expecting more from them. In an art form that has grown vapid and stagnant, no wonder Lost stands tall in a class all its own.

I might post more thoughts here later as they come to me :-)

Update 7:29 a.m. EST: Did anyone else think that Ben and his crowbar looked a lot like the image of Gordon Freeman from the Half-Life video game series? Freeman is the main character in those games, and he's a scientist involved with teleportation experiments. Couldn't help but wonder last night if that was an intentional homage on the part of the Lost showrunners.


Anonymous said...

Is anyone asking about where the island went? Like you I've watched that scene several times again and I think the key to understanding is in the Orchid's orientation video. The Dharma scientist says the rabbit will look like its disappeared but like Locke deduced the island has time manipulation powers that the Orchid taps into. Ben did move the island. But he moved it through time, not space. That's my guess.

Anonymous said...

"Where's the island? Where's the island? WHERE THE HELL'S THE ISLAND?"

That should be a t-shirt with Frank's face on it!

michelle said...

I agree that the island was moved in time and not space (at least I think so) but do the Oceanic 6 think this as well...if not...if they think the island has been moved in space then all this time later when Ben is saying "the ALL need to go back" why isn't anyone asking, "what are we going back to?" the island is (at least in their minds) gone. God February is so far away....