Friday, May 27, 2005

Lost: A Revisitation of the Season Finale

[Forewarning: Lost spoilers herein.]

Thinking back on it, Walt's abduction by three seafarers in the final episode of the season stands as the single most disturbing cliffhanger.  Poor, poor, Walt.

"We'll take the boy."  Eesh.  Creepy.

Walt's just a kid, but we shouldn't forget the he's a charmed kid--"odd" according to his step-father.  Does he have the power to summon creatures?  The Michael-Walt-centric episode highlighted the boy's fascination with fauna (remember the bird hitting the window?).  And the polar bear? 

The abduction at sea left several issues unresolved.  How's Jin at swimming? Michael? We know Sawyer to be one of the best swimmers among the stranded, but was he injured in the shoot-out?  How many were on the boat?  Three at least.  But who threw the Molotov onto the raft (I didn't see this part clearly).  Danielle's fruitiness--the beachfront pyre, the theft of Claire's baby--and its temporary resolution might move us to think the coming "others" was all a hoax.  And yet the "others" who took Walt acted like they anticipated a boy, which left me wondering whether, when they arrived at the smoke-producing pyre and didn't find Danielle, they motored back to their island (15 miles?).  They might have supposed Walt to be the boy (baby Aaron) they didn't find at the island.  And could Danielle's fifteen year-old child have been on board, perhaps as the hand that cast the cocktail onto the raft?

Granted, this is all conjectural, speculative.  What else happened in the finale?  The science teacher, Arzt, had a mis-hap with the dynamite they found on the Black Rock.  Hurley to Jack: "You've got a piece of Arzt on you."  Nast-asty.  The dynamite-seekers were successful though; they lifted enough sticks to fend off the "security" creature lurking in the woods and blast loose the lid to the mysterious hatch (which we now know covered a steel-fortified shaft into the ground). 

The asides on Hurley rushing through the airport were quite good, I thought; I find him to be one of the more interesting characters on Lost.  Might be something to his exchange with Kate, too (from memory, and probably not exactly right):

H: Twenty-three mean something to you?
K: Twenty-three thousand was the bounty on my capture.  Does it mean something to you?
H: I don't know.  Maybe.

His recognition that the vault bore the unlucky set of numbers that won him the lottery (4, 8, 15, 16, 28, 42) teases us with something, too.

At the abandoned smugglers' plane Charlie grabbed up a hollow Mary statuette full of heroin.  Dang it, Charlie.  What'd you have to go and do that for?

The fate-free-will tension developing between Jack and Locke and also talked out among Claire, Sun, and Shannon was one of the less satisfying dimensions to the finale--for me.  Just didn't find that side of the show very compelling, and I don't think Lost needs to fold the unknowns into an age-old faith-science dyad.  That I'm disoriented and unsettled actually appeals to me, and so I get the sense that the hokey chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter declarations from so many of the characters kind of cheapens an otherwise rich, conflicted complexity. If you happen to read this, J.J. Abrams, I hope you'll take note.

As I was rustling through a few recent pages about the finale, I ran across a weblog entry at Any Questions? about the Oceanic Airlines site.  Interesting front for extending a few features of the show.  I walked through all of the related stuff (all that I could find).  If you're a fan of Lost, you probably should too.


Bemis, I'll Wash the Pot

While I was washing the dishes this morning, I was reminded that I'm unusually guarded about the coffee pot.  I'll wash the coffee pot; I almost always do.  I'm the only coffee drinker in the house.  I brew the coffee.  I fill the carafe to the six-cup line, shovel the grounds, click the switch.  I empty the pot.

In K.C. we had a fancy dishwasher.  It did the work of clearing grime from all the kitchen-wares.  But in N.Y., we're back to washing by hand.  And Ph., at fourteen, is as good as any of us at keeping us with enough clean dishes to eat.  No matter how we arrange our turns at the sink, however, I get an itch about others washing the delicate glass pot, especially Ph.  In fact, I often ask him to leave it as the final dish, then I'll wash it. 

What's so special about the coffee pot?  I'm not sure.  That's the thing.  It just seems fragile to me.  But this morning--first leg of a chore-filled Friday--I had a flash of insight, a coffeepiphany of sorts.  I'm almost certain somebody broke a coffee pot when I was a kid.  I can't remember who or under what circumstances or what even came of it.  Did it crack from careless washing?  Must've.  Least that's what I told myself this morning.

In turn I associated the not-quite-a-memory with the Twilight Zone episode--"Time Enough At Last"-- where the bank worker, after avoiding global catastrophe because he was in the vault when the world ended, finds himself with a bulk of time for reading.  Just Henry Bemis and books; time stood still.  And he's overjoyed about it, as I remember (a re-run me and J. watched multiple times on late-night TV, early teens), so overjoyed that he manages to step on his glasses.  Without them he can't see well enough to read.  Bemis was one sorry dude.  Woe!

Because I'm the only one who even thinks about coffee (not the only one who thinks differently about the fragility of the pot) in the house, it's a similar sort of despair that I'm trying to intercept, assist others in avoiding.  Interventional dish-washing, as I think of it.  Was I the one who broke the pot as a kid?  Could it have been me?  Doesn't even matter.  That it's implicated in my action--in my everyday way of living--presents me with an odd quandary, and I'm not sure, even connecting it up with Bemis, that I'm any closer to feeling differently about it.

Coffee Enough At Last

Henry Bemis, now just a part of a smashed landscape, just a piece of the rubble, just a fragment of what man has deeded to himself.