NOTE: The following should be spoiler-free. It may not be recommended for devout followers who haven’t yet seen the episode, but I really have taken measures to avoid giving anything away.
I am going to be uncharacteristically emotive and offer little insight for the typical Culturepin post, but I really needed to capture and share the amazing feeling of buoyancy after watching tonight’s episode of Lost – “What They Died For.”
It is not only for the relief in having bold answers at last, or for the myriad connections and subtexts provided. I have debated, opined and otherwise pontificated at length on some of the social media platforms I frequent, only with friends, and never at any great length publicly, so I will not go into my take on what the mythology, story arcs or implications of ABC’s hugely successful epic series ultimately means. There are so many sites that have squeezed every last drop of possibility out of the material.
I just really wanted to take a moment, as the series comes to a close, to commend the people who made the show on what they have accomplished; to engage us in a fascinating, captivating, thrilling, mesmerizing story often quite literally around a campfire (albeit one we see on the television screen, an electronic campfire in itself) in a way that at least I haven’t felt since my grandfather used to put me to sleep with bedside tales culled from Greek mythology.
Tonight’s episode was beautifully acted (Terry O’Quinn was simply incredible, as were Mark Pellegrino, Michael Emerson, Henry Ian Cusick and even Evangeline Lilly – all completely adept at harlequin-type vacillations in motive and emotional structure) beautifully lit (Ben Linus’ hellfire orange glow in the secret room while talking with Flocke, or the ethereal tonality of the prisoners in the paddy wagon as Desmond makes his offer) and brilliantly scored by Michael Giacchino. The makeup was excellent, and the sound design as meticulous as ever.
Many shows take time, even seasons, to catch their stride, but Lost seemed to be quite well formed right out of the gate. Most of the characters already felt well rounded, and though admittedly the actors were getting to know the characters even as they were getting to know one another within the world of the play, it felt unusually present. But now, six years later, and on the eve of its death, the whole is reaching new heights.
Now don’t be fooled into thinking that I am uncritical or not skeptical about many points concerning the series let alone this last season. There have been stronger and weaker episodes, certainly. But every so often I would take a step back and simply marvel at the scope of what was being accomplished and presented within 47 minutes of television entertainment on a weekly basis. And then, there were times, like at the end of tonight’s show in particular, where I realized I hadn’t taken a breath in minutes. As the show ended I was completely in awe. I felt my body tingling, my heart thumping, and this strange sort of euphoria at the end of an incredible tale.
I am certain my buzz will dull considerably with time, and so again, I wanted simply to catalog this amazing feeling of excitement for posterity, because what I just witnessed was nothing short of a wonder, a gift.
Post your reaction to this episode or the ideas above in the comments section.
"Keram makes excursions into almost every style of music imaginable here and does it with such flair that these very pleased ears, he could have settled on any of these genres and made just as brilliant a record." - Mark Rheaume, CBC Radio