Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lost - Season 5

Okay, maybe it was just the mood I was in, but Lost Season 5 is fucking depressing. Seriously, the only legitimately awesome part was when Miles and Hurley troop around together and comedically muse about time travel and Star Wars. But even that was tarnished by giving Miles daddy issues. Why did you need a fucking dad, Miles? The best damn characters are the characters who don't appear to have fathers who have just sprung up into the world like immaculately conceived island babies. Did we really need to spread MORE father problems around like the goddamn bubonic plague?

Sawyer and Juliet's Downhill Spiral

Yeah, I just wrote about Sawyer in the last season review. I don't care. @#$% you too, buddy.

Have you ever heard Robin Williams' Live on Broadway? He has this one skit where he describes just how masochistic a sport golf is. In the dulcet tones of an inebriated Scotsman, Robin Williams explains how many obstacles there are, and then points out how the flat green at the end is there just to give you hope. And then you go right back where you fucking started, eighteen damn times, until the entire course is finished. He's describing Lost.

After seasons upon seasons of problems and small triumphs, we finally seem to see Sawyer in the clear. He's gone through hell, but he seems to have found happiness with Juliet in a neighborhood full of people who respect and admire him. Sure, they'll all die after a while, but we'll ignore that. Shush. It isn't important.

What is important is that Sawyer and Juliet, unlike any other damn duo outside of Rose and Bernard, have managed to give a collective 'fuck you' to the show itself. Smoke monster? They don't care. Time travel? Whatever, they are happy in their cabin. We have to go back? They're already there, and in the seventies to boot. They are enjoying life, and all the complications that have beset these two characters since their introduction have faded away into quiet happiness.

Then, because the show's writers HATE US, their idyllic life is shattered. Sawyer manfully tries to respond in a way that both preserves his way of life and saves his friends, but inevitably is unable to keep up. It all is reminiscent of Season 3, where Ben tries constantly to adapt and change in order to keep his little kingdom together, but we care more about Sawyer succeeding. Sawyer's cool. Ben's a prick. Anyways, it gets to the point where shit hits the fan, Sawyer and Juliet are captured, then they are put on a submarine heading back to the real world. But they're cool with this. They can live together out in the seventies, get wacky hairstyles, go help found Microsoft, and be happy. But nooooo. More interference from the other Losties and they're back in the game, like it or no. Juliet essentially breaks up with Sawyer, but they're still going, there's still hope. Then Sawyer is unable to stop Juliet from falling in a hole, breaking countless bones, and hitting a nuclear device with a rock until it explodes in her face.

So much for that happy ending.

Anyways, to try and step back and look at this with greater appraisal and less craziness, Season 5 was effective in convincing me that Sawyer and Juliet were capable of change, and change for the better. Sawyer as a leader is great, and it was stunning to see how, without prompting, he seemed to take the moral route of Jack even when Jack himself refused to. It was like they switched places, and this turnabout was remarkable. Juliet didn't change much, but we were able to gain a better understanding of her character and what makes her awesome. Then, naturally, they killed her to piss me off.
To offset the tragedy I'm about to dwell on, here's Faraday wearing a tiara.
Sayid, Faraday, and Locke – The Triad of Misery

In a competition as to who goes through the most shit this season, it is genuinely hard to pick. Sayid is such a wreck as to be nearly unrecognizable. Seriously. Gone is the kindly Iraqi guy who is always willing to help out while simultaneously reluctant to become too violent. Instead we have an Arabic James Bond without scruples. I lost count of how many people he randomly killed without warning. At one point he even shoots a kid. Yeah, I know he's supposed to grow up into evil island Machiavelli, but seriously! In flashback-land (or is it flashforward this time around? Who the @#%^ knows?), Ben lets Sayid leave to live his own life after going around assassinating Widmore's peeps. Will he try and atone for what he's done and become a better person like the old Sayid? Hell no. The show won't let him. He's quickly cornered and captured by Ilana and never given the chance. 

But he does manage to kill someone with a dishwasher this season. Gotta admit that was pretty cool.

Poor Daniel Faraday gets it just as bad, but it's even worse with him because Faraday, unlike Sayid, never really does anything bad to provoke us into saying that he might deserve any of it. Sayid kills people. Faraday does everything within his power to help the characters through time travel, and does his utmost to explain it as it happens. But then they give him a love interest. And we can pretty much assume at this goddamn point in time that any newly rising love interest is going to fucking die. Charlotte, while initially a kind-of-annoying Brit, actually turns out almost adorable in the season, making her death even more horrific. When Faraday runs into her in the past when she's a child, the scene is additionally heartbreaking. And, finally, when trying to help the others, he's literally killed by his own mom who basically set him up to die. Now that's cold.

On the bright side, we get another amusing theory behind why Daniel is a bit kooky. Aside from all the electromagnetic radiation of his experiments, we can now point to his mom dicking around a nuclear missile as another possibility.
This man needs a teddy.
Finally, we have Locke, who is the poster child for writer abuse. Is there any moment where this guy actually achieves something meaningful? Locke is a sad tale of trying again and again, no matter the odds, to realize dreams, and then getting ground down into paste. Yes, he had to die as the catalyst for the other characters to go back to the island. Did it need to feel so hopeless? In retrospect, we understand that it wasn't Jacob speaking to Locke and telling him he needed to die, it was the Smoke Monster/Man in Black. Thus, not only was his death unnecessary, it was downright savage to have everyone dismiss him as thoroughly and utterly as they did. Yes, Locke has done some crazy and bad things. But is that enough to rip up his emotional core and psyche as thoroughly as they did before throwing him to the wolves? Ugh. It's just a pet peeve of mine because I loved Locke so much at the beginning. His death and the events leading up to it are just awful.

But I will say that I consistently find his scene with Walt as one of the most touching and bittersweet of the series. It's like going through your own flashback of Walt and Locke's friendship at the very beginning, and remembering what Locke was like as a total badass druid-like Obi-Wan of the island.


This season was a good one, don't get me wrong. It wouldn't have elicited such a reaction otherwise. Watching the Dharma Initiative and the characters interact in the 70s is damn fun, and all the background on events that took place on the island was pretty sweet. But holy hell! When you stand back and look at it as a whole, this is one depressing season! Now on to the Jacob/Smoke Monster clusterf***.

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