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Zoethe

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Lost - yes, it's sucked me in enough to rant [May. 5th, 2010|12:36 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |lazyAnd yet I somehow don't care]



Okay, here's a partial rant of why Lost is losing me:

1. There are just plain too many characters in this late stage of the game, and it's confusing. Flashing between the island and the sideways makes it slightly worse, but even just within the island we have far too many people to even begin to keep track of them. Remember Ben? Miles? Richard? What are they all up to? Lots of story lines to wrap up in just a few hours.

I guess killing cast like harvesting crops is one way to cut down the numbers. But another way would have been to give some of them resolutions a while back - Rose and Bernard's "just leave us alone" is awesome and I hope they get to keep that. Not everyone has to end up dead.

2. There were several holes in this one. Smokey's plan relied on someone noticing the bomb in Jack's pack within 5 minutes of the sub launch. What if no one was wounded? Also, as it's now clear that he knew Sawyer intended to ditch him, why not let them devise a clever ruse to keep him off the explosives-laden plane and let them blow themselves up then? Even if Jack was determined not to go, he probably would have been inside helping settle things when they switched on the electrical system? For that matter, if Widmore has all these resources, why didn't he blow up the plane to prevent Smokey trying to use it to escape?

Furthermore, if one of them needs to be there to take Jacob's place, why not let them go on their merry way and escape before the island replaces Jacob? Alternatively, if the replacement doesn't actually have to be on the island for this to work, why didn't Widmore get the candidates off the island and out of Smokey's reach? It's very unclear what the requirements are, and also why Jacob hasn't made a choice, unless it's a Highlander situation and there can be only one replacement. But if that's the case, why hasn't Widmore eliminated other candidates - we've certainly seen that he is ruthless enough. I don't understand what he's up to other than lurking around doing his Terrence Stamp impression.

3. While I was most fond of Jin and Sun, their deaths completely broke my suspension of disbelief. They were talking about their daughter earlier, but Sun doesn't tell Jin to go so that she's not left an orphan - and potentially raised by Sun's father? I also have trouble believing that simply eliminating one set of Daddy's thugs has somehow freed their "flash sideways" selves from any further risk - Daddy didn't strike me as the kind who gives up that easily. So Sun and Jin have effectively become non-characters to me as they have wandered outside my (already very stretched) suspension of disbelief.

4. The "flash sideways" continues to stray further from any sense of continuity other than "we were all on Oceanic 815." I haven't written about this before, but last night's revision of Locke's history with his father completely tears it. Apparently the blast from last year's nuclear warhead reached back 40 years or more? I was already having a lot of trouble with the timeline in re: Jack's son being a teenager (he married at what age??) and Sawyer being an undercover cop (that at least had the flavor of being a hustler), but Locke and Daddy being chums? Really? Edit: xinamarie reminds me that the blast did happen in the 70s, so the changes are not that impossible. But I'm still wondering when Jack got married.

Also, note that the male characters all appear to get better "flash sideways" stories, while the women stayed the same. Sawyer's on the right side of the law, but Kate is still a fugitive. Hurley's money is no longer cursed, but Claire is still dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. Locke is in a wheelchair, but he has a loving wife and the possibility of walking again, while I believe Rose still has cancer. Jack is building bridges to his son, while Sun is still trying to get out from under the thumb of her father. But hey, at least on the island they are all just dead. Except Kate. Who is a token guy.

5. As for Sayid, he was already dead, so redemptive death to allow him to escape is a reasonable ending. I will give them that.

6. BUT. Didn't the creators at one time indicate that it wasn't just that the island was hell/purgatory? And yet a couple episodes ago Michael told Hurley that the voices were people who died on the island after doing bad things and couldn't escape. How does that not fit the definition of hell/purgatory?

7. (And how did an unconscious Sawyer not drown? There was no mask with that oxygen tank.)

Altogether, it's a giant mess, and I can't really fathom how they are going to satisfactorily untangle it in 3 remaining episodes, even if the last one is 2.5 hours.

Let the ranting and corrections begin.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: xinamarie
2010-05-05 04:43 pm (UTC)
The blast from the nuclear warhead happened while the cast was in the 70s. So it's possible that Locke's father could have had a change of heart and come to meet his son, and they developed a good relationship in the intervening 30-35 years.

But yeah, I'm stunned that Sun didn't pull the Ji-Yeon card, and tell Jin to save himself to get back for their daughter. I sure as hell would.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-05 04:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, you make a good point about the blast being in the 70s. I'd lost that detail.
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[User Picture]From: xinamarie
2010-05-05 08:07 pm (UTC)
Wait, one more point that bugged me. Why the heck are two native Korean speakers, in time of reunion after YEARS apart, and later in time of emergency and strife, speaking ENGLISH to each other? I don't buy that they're practicing their English in these situations, and we've seen the show's fine with subtitling them where necessary. I know they switched to Korean at the VERY end, in their last sub moments, but it would have made more sense for them to be speaking to each other in their native language for virtually every conversation they had with each other in this episode.
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[User Picture]From: mariness
2010-05-05 10:13 pm (UTC)
The English speaking Koreans bugged me enough to take me right out of the scene, which in turn made me realize just how implausible the entire escape from the sinking sub scene and just how much the oxygen masks wouldn't have been working.

I have, however, decided that all of this is an intelligence test failed by every single one of the candidates: If the Smoke Monster informs you, clearly and precisely, that all of you gathering in one small enclosed space that can be easily destroyed by a bomb is a bad idea, and, in just a couple more scenes, you all jump into one small enclosed space that can be easily destroyed by a bomb, you don't deserve to HAVE an island. Even an Evil One.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-05 10:45 pm (UTC)
THIS!!!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-05 10:40 pm (UTC)
I dunno. tl;dr?

;-)
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[User Picture]From: sacramentalist
2010-05-05 04:57 pm (UTC)
Yes. And he would have still been the con leading to Sawyer being the way he is... he just headed toward The Law. I'm glad they finally explained why that Locke couldn't walk. I was starting to suspect Jacob was actually "touching" the sideways characters, and not the doomed originals.

Isn't there still the sailboat kicking around?
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[User Picture]From: tormentedartist
2010-05-05 05:44 pm (UTC)
I also mentioned the kiddie card to my fiance. But I don't believe that people are dead unless I see the body or bodies in this case.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2010-05-05 05:58 pm (UTC)
We saw their bodies. Well, their hands drifting apart, lifeless.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-05 06:06 pm (UTC)
We did see their hands float away from each other....
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[User Picture]From: tormentedartist
2010-05-05 06:09 pm (UTC)
Yes we did, but I need a body damn it.

I agree that they most likely are dead, but hey this is T.V.
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[User Picture]From: aiela
2010-05-10 03:08 pm (UTC)
I thought about this - but the kid had never met Jin, and she was with Sun's mother, who is at least familiar to her. I dunno. I think there would have been more of a push to get Jin back to her if he was familiar to her.

But yeah, at least mentioning her would have been nice.
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[User Picture]From: tormentedartist
2010-05-10 05:00 pm (UTC)
Well I'd think that Sun would have played the kiddie card. I mean what would you have done in her place?
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[User Picture]From: tasterainbows
2010-05-05 05:07 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if it's ever been stated that Jack was married? Just that he has a kid... does anyone else remember?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-05 05:47 pm (UTC)
Perhaps not. What happened to the woman on whom his miracle procedure, the one he's pushing on Locke, worked? The one he married in the original time line?
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[User Picture]From: tasterainbows
2010-05-05 05:49 pm (UTC)
I don't know. It's totally possible that didn't happen in the sideways timeline... I mean... look at all of the other bizarre changes...
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[User Picture]From: creativecstasy
2010-05-06 12:23 am (UTC)
even in island-reality, Jack has been married and divorced. She was a dancer he did surgery on early in his career.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 12:35 am (UTC)
Yes, I know. But it wasn't *that* many years earlier.
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[User Picture]From: tasterainbows
2010-05-06 05:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but sideways-flash reality isn't the same as island reality.
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[User Picture]From: wishiwasnt
2010-05-05 05:25 pm (UTC)
even just within the island we have far too many people to even begin to keep track of them. Remember Ben? Miles? Richard? What are they all up to? Lots of story lines to wrap up in just a few hours.

There are only four discrete groups of characters on the island:
Jack/Sawyer/etc; Ben/Miles/Richard; Locke/Claire; and Widmore/Tina Fake/etc. It's a reasonable number, especially since Widmore is a tertiary character whose plot is essentially done at this point and Locke is the antagonist. Also Ben/Richard really have no further character development left; I expect they will pop in to try to save the day at some point, but they don't require any more focus.

Frankly, I neither expect nor desire a wrap up and epilogue featuring each of the major/secondary characters (Miles left the island and became a successful cheesemonger at a San Francisco Whole Foods. His favorite is Havarti).

Smokey's plan relied on someone noticing the bomb in Jack's pack within 5 minutes of the sub launch. What if no one was wounded?

The timer started beeping loudly before anybody messed with it. Likely, Locke assumed someone would notice the sound.

Also, note that the male characters all appear to get better "flash sideways" stories, while the women stayed the same.

Not entirely. Claire hasn't given up her baby, has found some family and is probably coming into a decent amount of money. Sun apparently never had an affair with that guy who taught her English. Small upgrades, I guess, but still something.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-05 05:53 pm (UTC)
Ben/Richard really have no further character development left

I didn't see the resolution of their conflict with Smokey. They are still in play.

Claire hasn't given up her baby, has found some family and is probably coming into a decent amount of money.

I didn't say that their stories might not have better resolutions, just that they started in pretty much the same place.

Sun apparently never had an affair with that guy who taught her English.

More fortunate for that guy, since he didn't take a dive out of a building (or however they cacked him), but still living in terror of her father and not even married to the man she loves. But pregnant - apparently the "flash sideways" cured Jin's infertility, another benefit to guys that had slipped my mind.
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[User Picture]From: sacramentalist
2010-05-05 05:26 pm (UTC)
What I want to know is: who is still alive from the original plane crash?

You have Hurley, Sawyer, Kate, and Jack. Rose and whathisname. The flight attendant and the kids.

Lapidus may or may not be dead. If he ( Jin or Sun ) show up, we know it might be Smokie taking the form of the dead.

I thought about why he didn't just let them blow up in the plane while "defending" from the outside. My guess is a submarine explosion would be more assured. These people fare well in airplanes. Seems kind of involved, though.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-05 05:55 pm (UTC)
These people fare well in airplanes.

Ooo, good point!

The flight attendant and the kids.

Man, I'd forgotten about them entirely. Talk about your completely dropped subplots.
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[User Picture]From: candiedheart
2010-05-06 02:01 am (UTC)
I thought the flight attendant died on the attack at the temple?
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[User Picture]From: sacramentalist
2010-05-06 02:44 am (UTC)
Now see, I don't know. I think I saw her with the kids in Smokie's camp.
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[User Picture]From: candiedheart
2010-05-06 03:11 am (UTC)
Could be. I haven't been great at seeing all the background people. I almost didn't notice Jin in that final scene at the hospital with Jack & Locke.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2010-05-05 05:28 pm (UTC)
between the island and the sideways makes it slightly worse, but even just within the island we have far too many people to even begin to keep track of them.

Plus they introduced a slew of new characters this season! What was the point of the Temple? Yes, we know that Ben sent the Others there when Keamy was arriving so we knew it wouldn't be deserted. But Dogen and John Lennon? Were they really necessary?

But if that's the case, why hasn't Widmore eliminated other candidates - we've certainly seen that he is ruthless enough

Because Widmore doesn't know who Jacob wants. He just knows that they are on some list. How did Widmore get that list? I'm guessing we'll find that out when they decide to clue us in on why Widmore is there in the first place.

But I'm still wondering when Jack got married.

It's been years since I've seen the episode, but wasn't Jack married in the "real" world? I thought he married the woman whose life he saved (she was in a car crash caused by someone else on the island), and she ended up leaving him. So the same held true in sideways world except this time he had a kid. The child was probably one of Eloise's "it's what you always wanted" additions.

And yet a couple episodes ago Michael told Hurley that the voices were people who died on the island after doing bad things and couldn't escape. How does that not fit the definition of hell/purgatory?

I wouldn't assume that "Michael" was telling the truth. We have seen Smoke Monster assume the bodies of dead people before: Christian, Alex, Locke. My guess is that Michael, Boone, and yes, Jacob, were all manifestations of Smoke Monster.

You know what kind of irked me? Not only was Smoke Monster, someone who lived on an island for god knows how long, an explosives expert, he was a crack shot with a hand gun. I don't think the guy missed a target once.
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[User Picture]From: tormentedartist
2010-05-05 05:48 pm (UTC)
I think that Jacob wanted Widmore to come to the Island, because in the lighthouse episode Jacob said that they were supposed to use the light house to guide someone to the Island. I'm guessing that its Widmore. But who knows?
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2010-05-05 06:00 pm (UTC)
I think Jacob was more interested in Desmond to coming to the island. Sure, Widmore brought him there, but had Widmore not done so, "nature" would have found a way. :-D

Widmore is kind of coming off like a bumbling fool. If Jacob was waiting for him, I think he may be disappointed in the results.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-05 06:04 pm (UTC)
The new characters thing was really ill-advised. Fortunately, they've killed most of them off.

Because Widmore doesn't know who Jacob wants. He just knows that they are on some list. How did Widmore get that list? I'm guessing we'll find that out when they decide to clue us in on why Widmore is there in the first place.

IF they clue us in. Clock is ticking....

It's been years since I've seen the episode, but wasn't Jack married in the "real" world? I thought he married the woman whose life he saved (she was in a car crash caused by someone else on the island), and she ended up leaving him. So the same held true in sideways world except this time he had a kid. The child was probably one of Eloise's "it's what you always wanted" additions.

He married her after he'd already become an established surgeon. Meaning that he'd have to have been 30 or so, plus kid years would make him 45? Besides, last night they talked about the procedure for Locke as new and experimental, so either the mom is someone different (they haven't given us a particularly good look at her) or it's just screwed up.

I wouldn't assume that "Michael" was telling the truth. We have seen Smoke Monster assume the bodies of dead people before: Christian, Alex, Locke. My guess is that Michael, Boone, and yes, Jacob, were all manifestations of Smoke Monster.

Good point. Too bad he never decided to be Rousseau - I miss her.

You know what kind of irked me? Not only was Smoke Monster, someone who lived on an island for god knows how long, an explosives expert, he was a crack shot with a hand gun. I don't think the guy missed a target once.

Picks up the latent talents of the dead? I dunno, dude.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2010-05-05 06:59 pm (UTC)
Too bad he never decided to be Rousseau - I miss her.

Delenn wouldn't have been a very effective choice. No one really liked or trusted her. Then again, if "Michael" was Smokey, he was an odd choice because Hurley has some pretty bad feelings about him.

And yet, Hurley listened to him.
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[User Picture]From: sacramentalist
2010-05-05 10:10 pm (UTC)
He seems to pick up the knowledge of the people he assumes. So maybe the bomb and gun skills come from Locke.
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[User Picture]From: phillipalden
2010-05-05 05:32 pm (UTC)
I could never get into that show. I asked Erik to download the first couple of episodes, but it just seemed boring and pointless.

I have a lot of friends who really like the show, though.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-05 06:05 pm (UTC)
We only started watching when the first five seasons became available on Netflix Streaming. Otherwise, I wouldn't ever have lasted out 6 years.
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[User Picture]From: khiron1416
2010-05-05 06:12 pm (UTC)
the oxy tanks had little mouthpieces on them (looked like mouthguards) presumably if jack can intibate someone he can get their mouth onto the mouthpiece and keep it there.

Introducing a bunch of red shirted others who get killed helps "sell" us the evil of smokey. he kills everybody. women, kids whoever. dogen exists to explain a few things before he puts on the red shirt

evil monsters don't miss

Sun and Jin, yes, could have been better. But they have to start killing people sooner or later, it's Survivor after all. Next week I'm betting it's Hurley, well, maybe they'll kill him in the pre-finale.
And hey there's multiversal action going on, nobody's really (REALLY) dead until all instances of them are dead.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-05 06:15 pm (UTC)
the oxy tanks had little mouthpieces on them (looked like mouthguards) presumably if jack can intibate someone he can get their mouth onto the mouthpiece and keep it there.

And swim to the surface while preventing him from breathing through his nose or breathing in when Jack was taking a breath.

And hey there's multiversal action going on, nobody's really (REALLY) dead until all instances of them are dead.

It's like a giant consolation prize!!! Does dampen the impact of deaths.

And I don't think they'll kill Hurley, at least not until the last episode.
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[User Picture]From: bart_calendar
2010-05-07 10:26 am (UTC)
According to the leaked script pages and call sheets Hurley is doing something in a waterfall with Jack, Desmond and Locke in the final episode, so he's not dying next week.
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[User Picture]From: fengi
2010-05-05 11:11 pm (UTC)

Lost almost works but not quite.

The main problem I have with Lost is not that every mystery needs explaining, but I think the few rules which are key to the action could and should be clearly explained.

As long as they work then everything else could be fudged, the problem is the story is almost over and those rules are still being fudged.

Here are the Important Rules as I see them.

1. Jacob claims to be the gaurdian of the island keeping the evil Nemesis contained with in it. He's vulnerable to being killed, but can pick a replacement.

2. The Nemesis is trapped on the island and has to follow certain rules to escape. He needed Jacob dead. Now, he needs the remaining Chosen replacements to leave the island with him.

3. Those Chosen by Jacob cannot kill themselves. Locke and Michael's failure to commit suicide implies this works off the island as well. [Michael seemed to die from a suicidal choice, which implies he wasn't Jacob's chosen or the status can be revoked.]

4. The Nemesis either can't kill the Chosen (because they are protected) or won't (because it breaks the rules for escape).

5. Not a rule, but a presumption driving the story: The Nemesis is powerful but still limited in abilities, knowledge and personality - thus he can make mistakes sometimes due to emotional impulses.

These rules alone can be used to work around Lost's flaws. For example, the stewardess and all the background island residents who just dropped out of sight during the story weren't among the Chosen anyway.

Here's why the sub bomb confuses things.

A. It implies the Nemesis mearely needs the chosen to die to leave. But then why does he save Jack's life from the rocket attack? Maybe there are two options: one. the Nemesis leaves with the chosen, or two. the chosen all die once off the island.

B. If option two is true, the bomb won't work as whoever tries to set it off and fails won't kill themselves and will be less likely to leave with The Nemesis.

C. Perhaps The Nemesis - not being all powerful - was taking a calculated risk, hoping a non-chosen person would trigger the bomb, or he could overcome the final survivor.

E. According to the rules as we know them, Sun can die, but Jin can't because he made a suicidal decision. He was one of Jacob's chosen and doesn't appear to have met the criteria for other characters who lost protecton. It's at least a bit of a cheat.

F. Sayid being able to defy The Nemesis two times raises questions about what the rules for the chosen changing sides really are. Sayid apparently had to die to be contaminated, but Claire apparently just succumbed, unless she died during the previous escape. Sayid appears to have been vulnerable due to his past, but Claire had no such flaws beyond getting separated from everyone else.

And, of course, it doesn't help that it really seems like they decided upon the entire Jacob vs. The Nemesis idea very late in the game. One could even argue they left it undecided until they wrote their first appearance, and since then have been desperately backfilling ever since. Because they've yet to make a war between two supernatural beings fit the entire multi-dimensional time travel thing. There are many ways to reconcile the two - like claiming these beings were actually a side effect of the bomb - but it's possible they won't even try.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-05 11:25 pm (UTC)

Re: Lost almost works but not quite.

E. According to the rules as we know them, Sun can die, but Jin can't because he made a suicidal decision. He was one of Jacob's chosen and doesn't appear to have met the criteria for other characters who lost protecton. It's at least a bit of a cheat.

Remember that we don't know which Kwan was the chosen one, so if it was Sun then Jin can die.
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[User Picture]From: fengi
2010-05-06 03:26 pm (UTC)

Re: Lost almost works but not quite.

Good point, although Jacob embraced both their hands, so if it only worked for one of them that's again kind of fudging the rules as presented.

I mean, in most genre literature and even great lit, the rules are pretty clear close to the end. We never know the full meaning of the White Whale, but we are 100% certain Ahab really does want to kill it. Lost doesn't have to be Moby Dick, but I do want some consistency.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 07:57 pm (UTC)

Re: Lost almost works but not quite.

Word.
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[User Picture]From: candiedheart
2010-05-06 02:22 am (UTC)
I am one of those people that defends Lost. A Lot. I fully believe that this show will answer the important questions, and had a plan. I believe there was a reason things happened.


With the bomb in the backpack, I fully believe what Jack said to be true- if Sawyer did not pull those wires, the bomb would not have gone off. Because he can't kill them. And that would be him killing them.
Notice every time he has had the opportunity to kill them (even Desmond!) he has either chosen not to (he could've killed them all in the cage, or walking through the jungle no problem) or sent someone else to do the job (ie- Sayid and Desmond).

I don't think certain resolutions would be hard to wrap up- Rose and Bernard are living in the cabin, staying out of trouble. Maybe we'll see them again on the Island (I hope we will!) but if we don't... I know they're still there.


About the Sun & Jin thing- I agree about the baby thing. I was actually wondering why they didn't mention that. I can't defend that too much, only to say that I am said they are gone.


I am wondering about that whole hell/purgatory thing myself. Maybe the island has a weird quality that keeps the souls of people that are bad trapped.


I am with you though- there is a LOT of stuff to unwrap, even for me, the person that doesn't care about every single answer. But I think next weeks episode will help some.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 02:35 am (UTC)
I fully believe what Jack said to be true- if Sawyer did not pull those wires, the bomb would not have gone off.

Oh, I agree. The one time they should have listened to him!

I have enjoyed many things about the show, but this year has been kind of a mess. I will keep watching to see how it all ends, though.
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[User Picture]From: ladiefare
2010-05-06 02:49 am (UTC)

contributing a single thought...

Sun did cheat the Islands pregnant women always die rule...maybe it was payback or the "she should have been dead already",so the Isle was just making up for lost time?
I'm trying really hard not to think too much at this point, when it's over I'll dive in.Until then I suspend my brain functions and just roll with it,well, I try anyways,
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-06 07:50 pm (UTC)

Re: contributing a single thought...

She left the island prior to the point in pregnancy where pregnant women die.

Your approach is probably better, actually.
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[User Picture]From: bart_calendar
2010-05-07 10:21 am (UTC)
Every episode this season is worse than the one before it. The entire season is nothing but an epic fail.

I didn't think it was possible to have a final season worse than the BSG one, but they've somehow managed it.

What no one else here has mentioned is that they are now all doomed, because Kate is one of the few people left and the one big rule of Lost is "Everything Kate does causes people to die."

The sideways stories are simply padding to make each episode 42 minutes long. They serve no other purpose.

Also, it's obvious now that nothing is going to be explained and the big finale will be a fight to the death between Jack and Zombie Locke - which will be interesting since as far as I can tell neither of them can die. (Unless, and this is giving the writers a lot of credit, the Temple was introduced because it's the one place where the immortals can die and they will have their fight there.)

I'm still betting the last scene will be Jack and Sayid sitting on the beach looking up as a cruise ship/zeppelin/hot air balloon, whatever crashes into the island.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-05-07 09:52 pm (UTC)
Yup, on all counts.
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