The High Countries

because it’s all paperweight…

Lost: Season 4 Finale

LOST Finale

As it all goes down, fans wait, watch and wilt till next season.

There’s No Place Like Home: Part 2 & 3

By Bryce VanKooten

Well, its all over. At least for now. How do we all feel? Can we describe it all in one word? Legit. Two words: deceptively inspiring? I suppose we need a time machine to get out exactly how we feel.

This year we saw lots and lots of things happen. Wait, no we didn’t. The season started with the ever-fateful ‘the folks on The Freighter are coming to get us’ and ended with the incredible twist: ‘the folks on The Freighter, although tricksy little hobbits’s––did not get us’. Granted, we got to meet Faraday (awesome, eccentric, all good things) and Charlotte (hmmm) and I’ll be the first to admit that I like them, but frankly––when all was said and done, plot wise… It was a simple season.

Remember first season when we saw a Hatch and were entertained just by the thought of it for about 15 episodes? Or when we saw only the feet of The Others walking by––just a glimpse––and we had more Goosebumps than a 6th grade library? Those were the days when nitwit fans were mixed in with the rest of the nuts and left to fight amongst themselves as to who would get the last handful of theory crumbs. Nowadays though, where do we live?  What is it going to take to get us back to that state of wonderment without that nostalgic sense of hate we so often feel? Can it be that we are too smart for our own good?  Always thinking outside the magic box, we can only be duped if hand-fed lies? I say nah, but that’s closer than not.

If ever there was a breaking point for me, it was the end of Season 3. It was the first season where I had to moan along with the rest of the world week by week (or should I say, week off to week on) because I had used up my luxury of DVD seasons (see previous post Lost: The Logic-Free Fee). It was then when I sat back and said, “Lost, I hereby swear I will disown you like a right-wing father to his hippie son if you don’t impress me beyond belief.” And like a true nonconforming child, it did. There I was, watching Jack drink his life away–– popping pills like a MLB All-star thinking to myself, “Well, it looks like this is it. I have to quit. I gotta shut er’ off.” And then it happened. They took me to the future. And like Never, Never, Land, I was hooked again.

When this year’s finale rolled around, I can’t say I was in as angry of a place, but I can say that I wanted some movement. When Desmond did his Marty McFly bit in The Constant, I went wild. When Keamy went from ‘not that tough’ to ‘okay, he could be tough’ by going hard as The Wire and shooting Ben’s daughter, I coincidentally wanted to jump up and scream, “That’s what I’m talking about!” You can’t have anyone to really love if you don’t have anyone to really hate. Throw in a loathsome person like Benjamin Linus (who we all love, lets be honest) and you have a terrific show. Leverage that dynamic with the island’s properties and now we’re talking. The Season 4 finale did just that. It didn’t do everything I had hoped (i.e. reveal to us the/a time machine, show where the island went after it ducked below the surface, give us more insight into where Ben goes after banished, etc, etc), but it did enough. I liked how the island disappeared. I liked how Sun sold out for her final scene with Jin (fyi; that was heart wrenchingly painful to watch and I likely won’t watch it again; I liked Jin, I did…. I did). I liked how Sawyer was the man, again––if only for a little while. He kind of went to that hey-don’t-forget-I’m-still-Sawyer place where he does things, almost subconsciously, just to show how much cooler than Jack he is. I thought his jump was well placed and perfect. And if you didn’t hear what he said to Kate in the whisper, you can hear it here.

Bottom line, this finale was like a punch in the belly button. A good punch, though. It hurts a bit; torments you for a while, but its good to know that you can still feel. You can still hurt–– and they still care enough to take the time and effort to punch you.

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June 3, 2008 Posted by | Entertainment, Lost, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lost: The Logic-Free Fee

Lost Season 4

A Brief Synopsis of One’s Man’s Journey

By Bryce VanKooten

Solely relying on last week’s shenanigans (Writer’s Strike) here in the greater LA area, many of us hope to put our lives back on hold and re-start our proverbial television engines. Yes, the news is in: It takes a whole city to raise a show; and it takes all of one hour to regain my trust.

There I sit relaxed in the moment, free of all anxiety (outside of that brought on by the last 4 hours) watching Lost Season 1. Pleasantly joined by my roommate at the time Dave; I sat. I listened. I loved. I have never fallen in love before, nor have a fallen hard for much of anything. I would call myself a simple man, nay––an inherently simple man––willing to see Transformers for its good and able to listen to soundtrack music till I’ve added more lyrics than a Sean-Paul tune. However, there comes a time in every man’s life when he faces his antithesis and realizes, before he proceeds, that he has met not his match but his victor.

So it was with Lost.

Four episodes in, I had relinquished myself to the joys of Doritos and Red Bull and gave a swift, “Be gone!” to the remainder of any other roommates that dared enter their own living room. Free from the woes of academia for the remainder of the month; I was a man possessed. I had a new show, new socks and new scripts––this was the pinnacle of living.

This wonderland lasted only as long as could have been expected (24 Episodes = 24 hours in the course of 3 days) and I was off to the neighbors house to get the second season. Shortly following that season, and after many lengthy philosophical, rhetorical and impossible discussions, I found myself not in need of a cure, but another fix. Six steps down the hall, and there she was: Ahhhh….iTunes. Dave and I — both as addicted as we possibly could be and pleasantly alienating the world — split the cost and decided to binge together. Its never been truer: Pain does love company.  We swiped the credit card faster than Mrs. Clinton at a pants store, and had our 10 episodes — locked and loaded. I wish I could tell you that we watched them carefully, savoring them by the minute knowing the inevitable cliff of depression that was to come in their wake…

We didn’t.

The next couple of months saw a lot of cursing, attempted illegal downloading and other normal stuff (who could quickest track down Cuse and/or Lindelof for ransom, etc). Needless to say and despite all of our anger, during the months of season 2 (and some of 3) we all knew that any given episode would involve three things:

Back Story: Back story that would so fervently mock our intelligence that we would honestly consider breaking the very television we were watching (ex: Hurley’s still fat! Sawyer found a frog! Jack has dad issues!).

Answers … or Lack of Answers: Moments in the episode when an answer seemed inevitable, but never probable.

The Oath: A silent, bitter oath would be taken following each episode — from those of us watching — realizing after all the torment we put ourselves through, we would cancel our wedding before we would miss the next episode. They hopelessly have us. We’re hooked.

Why is this so? Why can something so similar to herpes (its sly way of embarrassing, disrespecting and torturing) bring you back so loyally? Why don’t we face the facts of this injustice and react accordingly by stop watching!?

I’ll tell you why: Its a mystery.

My dad has told me for years, “You can’t add logic to an illogical situation” and after watching LOST, we all know this is true. For some reason, unknown to man and unproved by science, I keep watching. We all keep watching. This is Lost to me.

Granted, there have actually been some fairly insightful (and altogether plausible) theories regarding the Island’s powers, questions and curses––most of which I have checked out and dismissed. Most of them are touched on briefly in Lostpedia and others simply roam the depths of the World Wide Web, stirring mostly in the minds of their creators. My favorite (and most fun) is Jason Hunter’s theory concerning the entrance of Time Travel to the inhabitants of the Island. If you’ve never read it, I urge you to do three things (in this order): Get a cup of coffee. Set aside a good half hour. And as a friend put it, “Prepare to get your mind blown”.

Regardless of opinion, there’s more ‘fun’ to come, wonderful answers to be given and glorious epiphany’s in store, I’m sure. Bitterly, I would rather not have to wait, but alas, we all will. And each week, wrought with hate and focused on revenge, we clear our schedules and tune in. Each week I’m confounded by LOST’s ability to line me up and kick me in the crotch. To keep me coming back to the thing which tortures me most. Lost––quite frankly ––is something I will never understand and for that; I tip my cap, offer my hours of service and volumes of thanks and prepare my crotch once again…

February 12, 2008 Posted by | Lost, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments