Thursday, June 3, 2010

Journey to The End, Chapter 2

Here is the next section in my on going series of posts about each season, or Chapter of LOST. In this post I cover Season Two and how the events and main ideas of it were directly reflected in The End.

Chapter Two - The Swan Station

Once again, I know you all are going be like "The Swan, it imploded! How could it be important in The End?" That's a decent point, and maybe i'll be able to convince you. Now, before I get into the main idea here I'd like to say that I think had Lost had a known end date at this time I think the entire season would not focus as much on the Swan. With that said, I can't see how the events of "Live Together, Die Alone" could have occurred earlier than the finale so who knows.

Season two was about discovery, just as the whole series was. This time we started getting a lot more information about the history of the Island. The Dharma Initiative being the biggest revelation from the Island's long and mysterious past would not explained until Season five. The time spent in the hatch would also continue to increase the tension between Jack and Locke. They would fight over destiny, faith, a man named Henry Gale who was from Minnesota, and their roles on the Island. The introduction of Ben in "One of Them" is one of the most important moments of the series, and is the launching off point to several story lines, some of which never ended. I'm still amazed that Jack was the one defending Ben early on, and then later was the one who probably hated him the most. Sayid early on hated Ben and blamed him for the death of Shannon, but in season four we would see him working for Ben. He would become the great villain, then a sort of pathetic character, and finally in the end, he's loved by the fans and the Losties just as much as anyone else.

The other major character introduction in season two was Desmond. Originally, he was just the crazy guy in the hatch who spent one night in a stadium with Jack. However, by season 4 he would be given some of the best episodes of the series, and his quest to be with Penny again would become the best shipper story of the entire series. Desmond quickly became a fan favorite, and at the end, he played a pivotal role in bringing the Losties together in the flashsideways.

While Ben and Desmond are amazing, they still don't answer why I think season two was all about the Swan Station, and what that means for the end of the series. The Swan Station represented something vital to the series. An Answer, and it was a big one. For us yes, but more so for Locke. Season one Locke was driven to open the Hatch because he thought "hope" was inside. He thought finding that hatch and opening it was his destiny, and that everything that had happened had been leading him to that moment. When it was opened though and he found out what was inside, he was let down. He didn't show this, and tried as hard as be could to "believe". As the season went on, and he discovered the Pearl Station he was even more disappointed. Season Two Locke is very different from Season One Locke. Was the death of Boone worth this? Could Locke really be special if all he's supposed to do is sit in a station entering numbers into a computer? I feel that Season Two is about the loss of faith. Faith in the Island, faith in ones self, faith in other people.

The Tailes are clear representation of this. They are an example of a group that had no doctor, no boar catcher, no fish catcher, and a group that was tormented by the Others from very early on. None of them had a belief that the Island was special, and none of them were all that positive. They had no "Live Together, Die Alone" Speech, so they were marked by infighting and paranoia. They never found the cockpit, or Rousseau's transmission. This left them totally in the dark. This was a group that had lost all faith, except for Mr. Eko who had taken a vow of silence. In Season two see what the Others are capable of, but learn almost nothing about them. Where Season One had been about learning who the Losties were and why they were here, Season Two became much more dark, and showed us what happens when you stop believing in yourself, and in others.

Season one had uplifted us and shown us the magic of the Island. Even in times of great pain, the Losties came together. Season Two had torn that all down and showed that simply believing in something is not enough. Jack was right, they needed each other more than anything else. More than the Dharma food, more than a gun with one bullet, and more than a computer that can save the world. This shift in view would be felt all the way to the series finale. It was one thing for Jack to believe he was destined to protect the Island, but it was a much bigger revelation that he needed to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Locke believed blindly in the power and mystery of the Island, and in the end that is what left him open to be duped by the Man in Black.

So in the final analysis in season two the Losties did in fact learn that if they didn't live together, they would all die alone.

If you guys still don't agree, you don't have me to contend with cause here's JACK!!


Petor23 said...

Seeing as this blog seems to have died a little, I thought I might post some retrospective thoughts of the series, in the form of a season ranking. I don't usually like to rank things, but I made an exception for this.

Note that when I determine the quality of a season, I'm not only looking at which season has the best episodes, but which season has the best overall storylines, etc.

From best to worst:

Season 4:
It seems odd to me that the season most fraught with production difficulties due to the writer's strike ended up as the best quality season. I don't think that the lower number of episodes has anything to do with it, as I understand that if they had had the extra 3-4 more, they would have focused mainly on the freighter people's backstories, which only seems like it would make it better.
What I really like about this season is the momentum it maintains all the way through. I love how the timelines eventually converge by the end - the on-island story meets up with the flashforwards, and the flashforwards meet up with where we left off in TTLG. We also get some of the best episodes of the series, and even the weaker episodes have their moments.

Season 1:
Well, what do I really need to say? This season is obviously the reason we all watched the show for 6 years. Nearly every episode is a classic, and the greatest are still the greatest even now. My only major complaints are how it often feels like a different show (not always a bad thing, of course), and a lot of it feels quite irrelevant now.

Season 2:
Yeah, I know I'm in the minority of people who liked this season so much, but I just feel that it has such great story arcs over the whole season. There aren't really any episodes that stand out, but there are only a couple that are of lesser quality as well. In some ways, this season is like the dark side of the first season, as it really focuses on developing the characters and themes (such as philosophy, science, literature, faith) that season one had introduced. I know the main setting makes the whole season feel claustrophobic, but it also gives it a great unity that some other seasons lack.
Besides, it gave us Ben and Desmond, what more do you need?

Season 6:
Maybe this season's placement will be adjusted when it's less fresh than it still is, and when I've rewatched it as a whole, but I still have mixed feelings about the last season. Most of the season was really great, but it doesn't really feel right as a final season. The sudden introduction of the sideways world and then having so much time spent on it feels really jarring, but I still enjoyed all the bizarro-world type character interactions, even if I already ranted about some of the character placements.
If it hadn't been for the great finale, I would probably be feeling like there needed to be another final season.

Season 3:
I'm sure I rank this far lower than most, but I really don't feel that this season has much value as a whole. Most of this is due to the lack of an end-date, but the whole season just lacks coherence as it moves from one place to another, not really knowing what the goal for the whole season is until Naomi finally shows up.
The season has a lot of great episodes, but that's all they are, episodes, and they don't fit together very well most of the time.

Season 5:
This season was just a big disappointment all around, to be honest. It had some fun parts, mostly with the time-travellers and Locke dying without us knowing, but then spending the second half of the season in Dharmaville was just a complete standstill in pacing, and we barely learnt anything about Dharma while we were there!
The whole way through the season, it felt far too reliant on gimmicky plots, instead of character drama like earlier seasons, and we still don't know who was on that freaking canoe...

Anyway, sorry for rambling once more, but it's again 5am and I can't sleep.
Hopefully you guys get the podcast going again soon!

Geeky Tom said...

Nice, here's my best and worst:

The best scene in the Finale:
When Jack and "Locke" are peering over the edge like after they blew the hatch.

The worst scene in the Finale:
When "Locke" turns to Jack and says "Hey, this is like when we were peering over the edge after we blew the hatch."

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