When we turned the page to Monday, it hit me. In one week’s time, we’ll get the final three and a half hours of this epic tale, and then we’re done. A tough pill to swallow especially after receiving last week’s information download regarding the true nature of the island that almost unanimously fell like a 10-ton crocodile statue. I’ve scoured the web and aside from the blind faithful (every cult has them), you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who really, truly appreciated the episode.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to that and I think I finally hit upon the reason why. It’s not so much what the island is, but how we were told this in such exacting detail. Sure, the cave of light (as rendered on a TV series’ modest budget) looked ripped from Land of the Lost. And we all know this is a visual medium so if you’re going to express a heady sci-fi infused spiritual ideal, you’d better nail the visual as it’s going to tattoo itself to the mainstream psyche.
But it goes beyond that. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, the show runners who penned that offending episode, made a major misstep. By opening on that shipwreck and telling a straight-forward tale, minus the usual flash back/forward/sideways shenanigans that is this show’s shorthand, the viewers immediately accepted that this is how it all went down. Don’t even bother looking for metaphor or alternate interpretation. This is the straight shizzle!!!
I think this tale would have been best told as myth. And I know exactly how they could have done it. Cave paintings!!!
On an island brimming with all kinds of cross-cultural penmanship including hieroglyphics, why not have Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley stumble across a mysterious cave? After all, the island’s brimming with them. As they investigate, they find cryptic drawings. Uncovering each puzzle piece, we flash to their interpretation of what they are seeing.
And don’t just present the story of two squabbling brothers – despite its biblical import. Let us trip throughout time to all of the major milestones that have befallen the island. Let us see this thing at creation and then pop in and out as various settlers heed the call to the island – bringing with them artifacts of their native civilizations and then ultimately lead us to the battle between Jacob and MiB. I think a cave painting, depicting this battle of the two brothers, perhaps with MiB immersed in a death shroud of ominous, black smoke, would sell his menace much better than seeing the whole story told straight. Because the way they did it just made it all seem so petty, and this tale needs to be mythic. Anyway, that’s how I would have done it.
We’ve got a few more hours left to go, so let’s end on a high note and get Lost.
What They Died For opens up moments after Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley, still reeling from the tragic events of the night before, compose themselves on the beach. Despite two weeks of wishful thinking, it appears Kate merely suffered a flesh wound and is back on her feet after the good doc sews her up. Of course, I begrudge the normally sourpuss Katie, but I will admit that I do like this ragtag band of survivors and we’ve had enough death so from here on out, she’s back in my good graces. I am, however, still taking odds on who I think lives and dies before this thing is finished. I’ll offer up my Dead Pool at the end.