Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Review: Lost 6.16: What They Died For

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Hi, I'll be your Jesus archetype for this series. Time for some
hollow explanations for why I've killed hundreds of people.
Lost - Season Six, Episode Sixteen - What They Died For
Written between 15th and 16th March 2013

The title mocks the viewer. Or at least, that's how it feels to me. Two weeks after killing three major characters, one week after presenting us with a history of the show's mythos that makes us root for the villain, and now they choose to answer the fandom's outcry of, "What did they die for?" The answer, similar to organised religion in both content and reputation, is in various degrees interesting and disappointing. The good thing is that the episode managed to keep a nice balance between remembering the good stuff and furthering the bullshit, allowing our dark horse characters one last chance to shine before the finale's main character whitewash.
     On the beach, Jack saw to Kate's wounds. They all reflected upon the events of The Candidate, with Sawyer feeling guilty for touching the bomb, when MIB apparently couldn't have killed them otherwise. They began trekking through the woods, and Hurley saw a vision of Jacob as a child before encountering him as an adult that the others could see. Jacob explains to the four that he chose them as his candidates because they were flawed like him, and because he needed someone to kill the MIB once he'd died. Jack, having nothing left in his life but the Island, chooses to become the new Protector. As Sawyer puts it, "I thought that guy had enough of a God Complex already."
     You see, to me Jaxob's plan seems very much like overkill. Bringing more than one person I can understand - MIB is going to try to kill everyone deliberately brought to the island to kill him. But a passenger plane? 324 passengers were on Oceanic 815, a fair chunk of whom died on impact and the rest of whom died mainly due to the island politics that Jacob set up. I'm sure the corpses in the cockpit were a part of your "grand plan", Jacob, but it's a shitty grand plan that involves the death of 320 people. To be honest, that's worse than what you did to MIB in the first place. Also, this idea that the only reason he needs the candidates is to kill the MIB is just so maddening to me. Instead of trying to reason with MIB and apologise and make-up for the shit he did as a child, he's spent the past 2000 years bringing people to the island to try and kill him.
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Ben finally gets his revenge.
     Elsewhere, and Ben, Miles and Richard arrived at the Barracks. It's a set that I really love, and it's nice to see it one last time. They were there to get dynamite to blow up the plane, but while there they found Zoe and Widmore. Widmore and Ben argue but they're interupted by the arrival of MIB, which causes Widmore and Zoe to hide. With Miles and Richard running off into the jungle, Ben is the only one left to greet MIB, and in his bitterness at Widmore's actions three years earlier he instantly sells him out. MIB kills Zoe, and then Ben kills Widmore before he can tell MIB the information that will save Penny. Following the MIB's promise of power, Ben follows him to the Well, where they find that someone has taken Desmond.
     Ben's character beats here are incredibly well played - the quiet rage you can see as he watched Widmore take a glass of water. If I recall, Ben didn't even know that Widmore had returned to the Island - and, as he was the one who kicked him off it, he had reason to be angry. His interaction with the MIB and his final revenge upon Widmore ("He doesn't get to save his daughter") really drove home the desperation that Ben has now sunk to - his vendetta over and his power base slaughtered, he has nought left to do but follow the man who he thought he was in charge of fighting.
     In the flash-sideways, Desmond beat up Ben to make him remember stuff, and he then sends on the message that he wasn't trying to hurt Locke, but trying to make him "Let Go". Realising that this is what Jack said, Locke goes to the hospital and accepts the surgery. As he recovers, Ben is invited to Alex's house for dinner, where her mother Danielle tells him that he is the closest thing to a father that she's ever known. Desmond hands himself in to the cops and is taken along with Kate and Sayid to "county", where the car stops on the freeway. Ana Lucia, who is UnAware, is being payed off by Hurley, and the three prisoners are released. As Sayid goes with Hurley to pick up Christian Shepherd's coffin from the airport, Desmond gets out a dress and tells Kate that they're going to a party.
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Ben finds redemption and praise from Danielle in the
Flash-Sideways.
     What They Died For manages to set up the finale in a way which is arguably more entertaining that the event itself, if only because of the final end to the confrontations between Ben and Widmore that we've seen since the third season. I still think Jacob's a dick, I still think MIB is one of the most awesome villains I've seen in a while, but at this point I can say that I was really, really excited for the finale. Next week I'm going to be plumbing the depths of the finale and of my problems with it and with the final season overall - and why I started reviewing Lost in the first place.

Thanks.
     

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