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LOST Diary: Seasons 5 & 6

October 12, 2012

Well, I’ve taken long enough to get around to wrapping up my LOST Diary but here we go: the last two seasons. If you haven’t seen any LOST yet and somehow still plan to, what are you waiting for? If you are one of those people, I think I’ll manage to be generally spoiler-free.

The storylines of season five follow the conclusion of season 4 which left our favorite castaways divided. Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Sun, Ben and Desmond manage to get off the island and Sawyer, Jin and Juliet (among others) are stuck behind. And oh yeah, Locke is somehow both on and off the island.

Those left on the island jump through time in generally inexplicable fashion before settling in the swingin’ seventies and joining the Dharma Initiative (the organization of which The Others were a part) from the ground up.

It’s an interesting and bizarre twist for the series as you get Sawyer and Juliet playing house together for quite a while as he stands in as Head of Security for Dharma. It’s a little like those on the island just had to bide their time while the show figured out what to do with the characters away from the island.

What happens off the island is interesting but a little bewildering and begins a cycle of introducing compelling scenarios and then halfheartedly wrapping them up, and the series never quite gets away from this by the final episode. Anyway, things get hairy for the escapees and they realize they need to get back to the island to set things right.

Providing plot summary of LOST is always going to be an adventure but this is the basic thrust of season five. It’s a pretty good season and well worthy of the series but it’s also a bit of a muddy slog compared with the breakneck and thrilling season four.

The final season continues the dual timeline by introducing a “flash-sideways” timeline to parallel the original timeline. In the flash-sideways, the original Oceanic Flight 815 lands safely at LA X instead of crashing. This timeline is actually really interesting and is a pretty cool exercise in causality as it shows how the characters never would have been able to avoid coming together if the plane had never crashed.

There are a few episodes that deviate from the standard formula and focus on the backstories of characters including Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell) and Jacob (Mark Pellegrino). These episodes offered something different but not always satisfying as they took away from the slowly unraveling mystery of the regular episodes.

And a last note on characters, my worst fears about Locke came to fruition as he ceased being fun to watch as the series grew on. It even got to the point where they wrote out the character yet continued to use Terry O’Quinn to personify supernatural forces on the island. Sayid also got a little intense and morose for my taste. Weird, but I’m over it. Go Sawyer!

And then there is that finale. My impression of the end of LOST constantly flips between enormous emotional satisfaction and vague frustration. It really does offer both. It’s a crowd pleaser that wraps everything up with a warm bear hug and simultaneously manages to not really give hardcore viewers the nittty gritty explanation that they might need for true satisfaction. I fall somewhere in between and in the end, the finale successfully concludes the rapturously, life-consumingly addictive beast that is LOST and that just might be a grand accomplishment in and of itself.

From → Television

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