This week on LOST, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse decided that they wanted to alienate every last one their fans — and it worked! We vent our continued rage below. Feel free to express your own anger in the comments (or talk about other LOST things, if you feel like it), so long as you do so without spoilers for future episodes.
This week, I’m just going to jump right in. They killed off four main characters in one fell swoop; three of those characters had been with us since the very first episode, and all three of those original characters were also people of color. Discuss.
CARA: This was absolutely awful. And I don’t mean “awful” as in “tragic” or “made me feel sad.” I mean “awful” as in: this was not only lazy writing, it was also a huge betrayal of the characters and the fans. Sayid, both one of the major characters and one of the best characters on this show, was blown up half off screen. Lapidus’ death was treated as an equivalent of one of Widmore’s lackeys being shot down by Flocke. And Sun and Jin spent six years looking for each other, only to die a la that old couple in Titanic for no reason other than that it was SAD.
Oh, and did I mention that these were almost all of the characters of color we had left? That when they decided to kill of characters in bulk, when they decided that it was too much work to give their deaths as much time as they gave to Nikki and Paulo, or to Shannon, they decided to make it three major characters of color, including the very last woman of color, and one far less substantial white dude? Clearly some lives on the show are viewed as wholly expendable and disposable, even if they have been characters since the pilot six years ago, and lord knows that those lives aren’t Jack and Sawyer.
But fear not, remaining characters of color! Do you … make white people laugh? If so, you’re relatively safe! Rest easy, Hurley and Miles!
JILL: Ok, LOST. What the hell?! I mean, I get it that you’re going all Sopranos-style and just popping off characters left and right in the final three episodes. And you know what? I am actually ok with that! I didn’t expect that all of our original characters would last until the end anyway, and I’ve actually been championing offing more than a few of them. And while I was obviously crushed that they killed Sayid, at least he was kinda-sorta redeemed. Except, not really, and they didn’t explain his “sickness,” and all of a sudden he was better, maybe?, and he didn’t even get the Lost death music. Seriously, what? And Lapidus?! Lapiduuuuus! Fuck it, Dude, let’s go bowling.
Also, the Sun/Jin death was sad, but yes, felt contrived and Titanic-esque, and also why are they always speaking English to each other? I mean, great, your last words were in Korean, but shouldn’t you have been speaking that language to each other the whole time? Just asking. Maybe it’s because LOST fans have become too lazy to read subtitles? And so the writers hate us and want to kill off everyone we love? I didn’t even get teary-eyed, really, because it was so cheesy. Until Hurley cried. Then I felt a little pang in my cold, LOST-hardened heart.
Conclusion: We’re going to be left with Jack and John in the final episode. Everyone else is toast.
CARA: Yes, this is what I’m saying. I’ve expected a lot of characters to die. But I expected the to leave the show properly — the show has taken care with other major characters’ deaths, for the most part, and I trusted them to take care here. They didn’t.
LAUREN: Sigh. You guys already said what needed to be said, except that I need — I really, really need — to reiterate how disappointing it is to be a lady on this show: Dead so you can be a plot point in some dude’s story line, shot so you can be saved by some dude, left out of some dude’s plans, or martyred after you find your dude.
And hold up a second. Wasn’t Sayid “sick”?
CARA: I told you Desmond fixed him. You could tell throughout the entire episode that he was more or less back to his old self. He wasn’t emotionless in this episode. He actually cared about the fate of Claire, and tried to get her on the submarine, instead of being every man for himself. When talking about the bomb, he talked in his usual, excited, fast-paced tone that he uses when trying to fix something, not the evil monotone. And when looking at the bomb, there was definitely fear on his face, not apathy. He was not “sick” anymore, though it was never actually discussed.
But while on the topic, I have to add more. Obviously I care most about Sayid of all the characters who died, but I also think he objectively got the rawest deal here. Like Jill said, he didn’t even get the death music. He didn’t get a real death scene. Sun and Jin’s death was pretty bullshit, but at least they got a scene.
Lindelof tries to justify this by saying that Sayid’s death was meant to tell the audience that Sayid was really a good guy. The thing is, everyone knew that already. The only one who didn’t know was Sayid himself. That was the redemption he needed — not in anyone else’s eyes, but his own. And the fact that he didn’t get that specific redemption is what crushes me. I’ve said a million times that I could let go of Sayid, if only he got that, if only they did it right. I’m not angry and devastated because Sayid is dead — I’m angry and devastated because of how they killed him, because he was treated like an afterthought, because he was not given the ending he deserved.
SADY: Okay. Breathe, Sady. Breathe. They’re alive in the sideways world. They’re alive in the sideways world. They’re alive in the sideways world. They’ll come back as ghosts! They’ll…. oh, whatever. FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK THISSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.
Three-fifths of the people of color killed off! FULLY THREE-FIFTHS OF THEM! At once! The only female Candidate: DEAD! Finally, we figure out that LOST works LIKE A FUCKEN HORROR MOVIE, where the BROWN PEOPLE AND LADIES GOTTA DIE FIRST. And, like, yeah. It was so clearly because they’d stopped knowing how to write for ALL OF THEM a long time ago. Sun and Jin were reduced from complex characters to background decorations and freelance spouse-locators, and then, PRECISELY as soon as they found each other? Dead! Sayid got like the most PATHETIC fucking excuse for a plot line this season, and then they couldn’t even make that work in a convincing way, so they BLEW HIM THE FUCK UP.
And the thing is? Even when nobody was WRITING for them, basically, any more? Those characters were all way more interesting and charismatic than Kate or Jack, because the actors continually rose above the shitty material that was handed to them. What they get for that? What, say, Naveen Andrews gets for giving us a continually sympathetic and complex and coherent portrayal of a man, without even having very many lines or big emotional monologues, and basically selling the entire character with his eyes and reaction shots? What Yunjin Kim gives for turning every Asian-lady stereotype upside down with the sheer force of her will, and continually radiating strength and intelligence even when the writers reduced her to this silent husband-fixated other? What Daniel Dae Kim gets for convincingly appearing to speak fluent Korean, which he just barely speaks in actuality, in scenes with an acclaimed actress from Korea who speaks the language, AND sketching out an interesting, full-fleshed character while seriously not knowing what the fuck he was saying half the time, and creating great chemistry with this actress despite the fact that he could probably hardly understand what SHE was saying in the Korean scenes? What ALL of these actors get is, they get blown the fuck up and drowned so that we can focus on some white people with vastly inferior talent.
Oh, and Hurley. NEVER FORGET HURLEY. Although the writers fucking will. Jesus.
SALLY: Everything everyone else said, I’m almost too drained to say anything other than WTF… The Titanic ending for Jin and Sun bothered me, as it did everyone else, but I also just can’t believe that they’re both dead. They found each other, only to die? I thought they’d get at least a couple of episodes together, no???
And the Sayid thing is really, really pissing me off. I hear you, Cara, in saying that Desmond fixed him because that must be the only explanation here but could they, like, explain that? Or at least hint to it more heavily in the episode in which Sayid is finally all better and back to normal? That pissed me off even more than the way in which they killed him. Although, screw the sad death music, we didn’t even have time to process his death because then Lapidus gets killed off mere moments later with some annoying ass quip. I don’t even need the death music if we could at least have had that time to acknowledge the fact that he just killed himself to save everyone else. UGH! FUCK YOU LOST!
If Hurley dies next week, I might stop watching until this shit is over and just watch all of them on that last day. I can’t deal…
Any thoughts on where all of these deaths leave the theory — held by both Jack and fans — that Flocke cannot kill candidates directly?
CARA: I’m working on a theory using a combination of LOST reasoning and soap opera reasoning to work out how, exactly, Sayid is not really dead! You see, Sayid could not be killed by MIB, because he was a candidate! So against all odds, he’s totes fine, and just taking a leisurely swim back to the beach right now. Lapidus was allowed to die because he was not a candidate. And as for Kwon, the candidate was never Sun (this is the RAGE part of the theory) — and she was the one who was most directly killed by the blast, whereas the bomb did not kill Jin, and he instead actively chose to die.
This theory is not going as well as I had hoped.
JILL: Sayid is dead. Sorry Cara, it pains me too. I think Jack’s theory is right — Sayid wasn’t technically killed by the MIB, he was killed by Sawyer’s messing with the bomb (per Jack’s explanation). Ditto the Kwons.
CARA: Actually, I think this one is largely on Jack again. Maybe just because I hate Jack! But he’s the one who trusted MIB and “rescued” everyone from Smokey. Widmore actually was keeping them safe. And Jack decided to go all hero — and not pay attention to his backpack or where the C4 was (and yes, I’m perhaps being overly critical now, but when a guy you think is evil has a giant pack of C4, wouldn’t you at least try to keep your eye on it?) — and now they’re dead. Sawyer may in fact be largely to blame for pulling out the wires, but I think his decision to do that was a lot more reasonable than Jack’s “the evil smoke monster that my friends just escaped from wants me to help him regain access to them, that sounds like a great idea” call.
Whatever, I’m just all around bitter.
JILL: Ugh, but Sawyer. He is pissing me off almost as much as Jack at this point! He’s trying to play both sides and is like, “I have a plan,” but he never has a plan. And now he’s on a submarine with a bomb and he’s like, “I will just pull out these wires, what could go wrong?” He has not done anything worthwhile in like five episodes. He hasn’t even been giving out nicknames? Ugh, Sawyer.
SADY: Clearly, Sawyer has to be drained of all character too, for the same reason Kate was shot and Locke and Claire are evil and ALL BUT ONE OF THE BROWN CANDIDATES HAD TO FUCKEN DIE: To clear the way for more focus on Jack. Jack, who is going to be the sole fucking survivor. Jack, who took the occasion of the death of three of the show’s original cast members to wander off by himself and get a close-up on his most epic cryface yet, because as the show continually tries to make clear, the events of anyone else’s life or death are really only relevant insofar as they affect JACK’S FEELINGS. As made clear by Sayid, before he done gone and blowed himself up. UGH. I AM MADDER THAN I WAS DURING THE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA FINALE ABOUT GOD AND CAVEMEN. That “so, WHY did I watch this show EVER” feeling: it is strong within me! Too strong! It is TAKING OVER! I may turn into the Hulk!
SALLY: This episode made me mad because I normally like being right and I’ve said since the end of last season that this season was going to be man of faith vs. science with Jack being all faith-y/trust me and Sawyer being all questioning. I would have been fine with that if it wasn’t to serve as a way to make Jack even more God-like than they’ve done in the past. I mean, seriously, why would they have Sawyer shove Sayid aside – when they still have a few minutes to work it out – knowing full well that Sayid is the resident explosives expert? Sawyer wouldn’t do that, no matter how impatient he is. He has always trusted Sayid and I get that Sayid hasn’t been himself as of late, but he was thinking clearly at that moment which Sawyer would have realized. Patience and compassion might not be his strong suits, but Sawyer generally knows what’s up. Yet, he didn’t. What? I’m so confused about that, but mostly, annoyed.
Now back to what this show is really about: WHITE MEN. In the flashsideways, Jack had some sort-of medical and most definitely boundary-crossing interactions with Locke. Also, Locke has seen the original timeline.
LAUREN: Is it just me, or does LOST kind of promote and encourage stalking behavior?
CARA: This episode was pissing me off long before the deaths. Thanks, LOST, for more “disability means that you’re broken” and “disability is a punishment.” I don’t think you’d gotten that theme through clearly enough in six years, so I’m glad that you decided to emphasize it further. (s.e. smith has a whole lot more on this.)
JILL: At this point, I’ve basically given up on LOST being at all sensitive to issues like disability or gender, and I’m trying to enjoy it despite multiple fails. I mean, welcome to TV and popular culture, right? And I often do enjoy it! I just want them to knock off the plot failures (like the unresolved Sayid/illness thing, and the ongoing Claire/illness thing).
LAUREN: I’m halfway with you, Jill, re: pop culture blows/don’t be surprised, but on the other hand, LOST is one of those shows that bends over backwards to include and promote actors of color with detailed, fan-beloved story lines, and nevertheless manages to make a series by, for and about white men, and then — like Cara links to in the first Q/A — practically dismisses fans who want resolution or attention paid to these actors made beloved by their inclusion in said show. After awhile it’s a mindfuck. Remember, too, that LOST was initially a pretty sly, clever commentary on post-9/11 America. All that’s gone by the wayside.
JILL: Yeah, I totally hear that. They started out so well! And now, total failure. I think maybe I’m at the “acceptance” stage of grief? Perhaps they will redeem themselves by blowing up Jack? And/or giving us a Jack/Sawyer shirtless make-out scene before blowing up Jack? I would forgive them lots of ills if they did that. Although I also want them to stop making smart characters so stupid. Example A: Bizzaro LA Claire, who will apparently go anywhere with anyone as long as it is free?
But, Locke and Jack: I also don’t understand Jack’s obsession with “fixing” Locke. Although I did like the little role-reversal that they did there, where Jack was asking Locke to trust him and have faith, and Locke rebuffed him.
SADY: At least Jack stalks dudes AND ladies. Oh, no, wait, that is not actually any fucking better! Fuck this show. Fuck this show for giving me Jack, and fuck this show for taking away any interesting non-Jack material that made Jack bearable because at least he didn’t have ALL the screen time, and fuck this show for making me watch the rest of it knowing that if I ever get interested in anything other than Jack, that will be taken away for MORE TIME WITH JACK, and his JACK FEELINGS.
LAUREN: I still haven’t forgotten what you said about Jack last time, so don’t go trying to redeem yourself now, Sady.
SADY: Also, way to respect your doctor-patient confidentiality, Shephard! “I know you said you didn’t want me to do this thing, so I tracked down everyone in your life including your dentist, and talked to them about you, and our conversations about the thing. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU STILL DON’T WANT ME TO DO THE THING?!” Christ.
CARA: Can we get a note in here about Bernard, too? “Well, Dr. Shephard, you know I can’t break doctor-patient confidentiality … but, oh, what the hell, just a little bit can’t hurt, right?”
SALLY: Was I the only one completely annoyed at the fact that Bernard and Jack have that “wow, we were all on the plane together and now here we are…” moment and then just move on? Like, huh? I… don’t… understand… Did the writers have a holiday or something? Did they decide that instead of keeping things interesting each episode of the season and fully developing the story they’ve been working on for fucking YEARS, they’d just give us a series of episodes that were completely irrelevant, answered no questions, developed no characters (in fact, had people going against their characters), and they could just lay back until the last few episodes? I AM SO PISSED OFF!!!!
Oh, and as far as Jack having to fix Locke, at least that’s just Jack being Jack. Things you can count on in LOST: women dying and Jack wanting to fix everyone.
Claire was given a mysterious music box by Christian, and no one seems to know the significance. Theories?
LAUREN: It was empty, like her character development. OR it was an opportunity to hammer out yet another mirror-centric scene with two people to emphasize the importance of working together.
JILL: OR it contained a hairbrush, for use on the island.
LAUREN: Actually I’ve always wondered how they handle personal hygiene on this island.
ANYWAY I think the mirror scenes, which I think we’ve seen every episode this season, are important. Early in the season I think they indicated which characters were candidates, or which characters were gaining consciousness of the sideways world, but now later in the season our characters are peering into mirrors together. Why? The theory I like is at AV Club, where Noel suggests that the show is cluing us into the importance of the characters working as a team. He suggests that in this episode the reason there were so many failed plans was because of the candidates working for themselves, and as long as they are pursuing their own agendas their shit is going to fail. Thus, Islanders, remember THERE IS NO “I” IN “LOST.”
On island, we got further confirmation that Kate is no longer a candidate. Are we to simply assume that this is because she has boobs?
JILL: Basically, yes. Kate’s role at this point is to be an Influential Factor in some dude’s storyline. If she were a candidate she would have to have autonomy and her own shit going on, and, well… too hard. Bigger question: Is Kate going to die next episode from getting shot in the chest and then dragged through the ocean and then dumped on a beach?
LAUREN: I have a hard time believing that she wouldn’t, but then, I have an easy time believing in the likelihood of escaping a sinking submarine which exploded thanks to the hijinks of an immortal half-man/half-column-of-smoke with mommy issues. I don’t know why Kate isn’t a candidate, because her character hits every point all the other male candidates do. She’s someone with personal problems who is nevertheless capable of leadership and selflessness. Of the three remaining living candidates, she shares much in common except her gender. Soooooooo?
JILL: I think you answered your own question, there. But I don’t think they’ll kill Kate before the final episode. Why? Titties. LOST needs at least one hot lady to sustain the collective boners of the Male Viewing Audience, and, well, Kate is all that’s left when it comes to hotties (unless Claire decides to brush her hair).
SADY: I would not put it past this show to just kill a girl so that The Dudes (The Important Characters!) can have their very important love triangle problems resolved. Yeah, I think the show has basically never given us any reason to believe that it is interested in Kate aside from the issue of which dude will get to bone her. So, obviously, the Island isn’t interested either. For… some reason. We don’t need a reason! She’s a girl!
SALLY: But I don’t get it, are they never going to acknowledge that her name wasn’t crossed off on the other list? Was that just a mistake? Because that seems to be a really huge one.
Also, I really thought Kate was going to die in this episode and that thought actually made me really, really happy. 1) I’m beyond sick and tired of what they’ve reduced her character to, and 2) I thought that meant we’d only be left with Sun and that this would serve as confirmation that Sun MUST be the candidate because she’s fucking awesome. But then that didn’t happen. Damn it.
Any other thoughts?
JILL: I would like to know a few things. (1) Who is Jack’s ex-wife in Bizarro LA? I feel like that is going to be a BIG REVEAL. (2) When are they bringing back Mr. Eko?! (3) Why is anyone still wearing a bra on that island? Seriously, that shit is hot. (4) How much time has passed since Sayid left Desmond in that well? They’re all on the sub, and then Sayid is just like, “Oh, crap, yeah, Jack, remember Desmond? He’s in this well, you should probably go get him bro.” So… you were just going to leave him there, I guess? And hasn’t he been down in that well for like a week at this point? Doesn’t anyone need to eat/drink on this show?
CARA: I think Des has only been down the well like 2 days, actually. It feels like forever, but I don’t think it has been. I feel like Eko isn’t coming back, which is bullshit, because I’m pretty sure the actor said he wanted to? And I kind of feel like Jack’s ex-wife is nobody. Not Juliet, or Sarah, or Ana Lucia … just, you know, his ex-wife. At this point, whatever happens happens. I was previously holding onto faith that this would all make sense in the end. Any trust I had left in the producers and writing team, though, was pretty much shattered last night.
SADY: Here are my final thoughts: AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH. Also: Where is Miles? Don’t tell me, actually. DON’T TELL ME. Because I just know that, at some point, they are all just going to randomly stumble over the Corpse of Miles. And Jack will make a cryface, and then we’ll be done.
SALLY: Yeah, I would really like to see Team Richard back in action. Though now that they’re not even on the same island anymore, that seems unlikely which, seriously, would they just write them off the show without a death or explanation or anything???? I would hope not but, as Cara said, I’ve lost trust in these people. I don’t even really remember anymore what major questions I really wanted answered because I’m so frustrated at how the season is turning out. If this series finale doesn’t BLOW. MY. FUCKING. MIND., I will be so incredibly upset, I might stop watching t.v.
And, I think it really needs to be said, I feel this episode was extra emotional so that everyone would be too busy crying to realize how awful the season has been and how weak this episode really was. Don’t get me wrong, I cried too (seriously, Jin and Sun dying, fucking sad), but that doesn’t mean the episode wasn’t poorly written and just plain sloppy. If you don’t agree, just look back at some of the other powerful moments we’ve had and compare them to this one – Charlie’s death, Desmond & Penny’s reunion, shit, even Shannon’s death! That’s it, I’m getting angry again, I’ll stop now.