Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Review: Lost 2.23-24: Live Together, Die Alone

"Henry" isn't just an Other - he's the Leader of the Others.
From Wikia
Lost - Season Two, Episodes Twenty-Three and Twenty-Four - Live Together, Die Alone
Written 24/11/13

Lost's sophomore season both triumphed over and fell far behind its predecessor, both in terms of characters and in plot. The show was trying out new things to stop its tried-and-true formula from going stale, with the introduction of a number of hit-and-miss new characters, most of whom didn't last the season out or barely got a chance to say anything while there were there. Live Together, Die Alone is an episode which pays homage to the promise at the beginning of this season, tying it together in a knot while leaving a juicy cliffhanger - one that, while not as tempting as last years, still leaves a lot of stuff to resolve.
       It was odd that this finale decided to put two-thirds of its focus upon Desmond, who is revealed to be piloting the Elizabeth as it arrives at Libby and Ana-Lucia's funeral. In flashbacks we see snapshots of why he came to the Island, followed by his arrival and his effective incarceration under the hand of Kelvin Inman, the disgraced US Veteran who taught Sayid how to torture back in One of Them. In the present, he helps Locke to test what would happen if the Button wasn't pushed, leading to them locking out Eko and Charlie. A read-out from the Pearl eventually reveals to Desmond that it was his neglecting to push the Button on the 22nd September that led to the crash of Oceanic 815, leading him to have to turn a key in order to implode the Swan station around them. The implosion of the Swan makes a light blast across the Island that everyone can see.
Inman teaches Desmond the ways of the Swan...
From Wikia
     Henry Ian Cuisick was brought back to the series due to positive fan reaction to his character during the first three episodes, and he gets quite a lot to do here, as the flashbacks showing his entrance to the Island are far more informative than his explanations were, and provide closure to a lot of the burning questions about the mysterious station. In this episode he is paralleled with Locke - both men who have lost their faith in pushing the button, one because it robbed him of three years of his life and the other because it stood as a mark of all the wrong decisions he made since he found the Hatch. Desmond's self-sacrifice (Well, supposed self-sacrifice, as we'll see) is shown as an act of resolution - an act that Locke, with his obsessive tendencies, is unable to make.
    In our other trundling subplot, the chosen few made their way across the Island, as Sayid, Jin and Sun went around the other way on the Elizabeth. An encounter with two Others soon leads Jack to reveal that he knows about Michael's deception, while Sayid goes ashore at The Others' village and finds that the whole thing is a fake. Reaching a capsule dump where it appears that all of the Pearl's reports get left at (perhaps proving Desmond's suspicion that it is the Pearl that is the psychological experiment, and not the Swan), the four chosen get drugged and kidnapped, leading to a final confrontation with Henry Gale at a dock, where Michael and Walt got to sail away into the sunset. Hurley sent back to the main camp as a warning, Jack, Kate and Sawyer are hooded, their fate left unknown.
     Ultimately, Jack's "plan" to save them fails spectacularly - against the Others' attack, he is powerless. It would have been a much better plan considering his knowledge to confront Michael and then stage a sting on the Survivors' territory, giving them the upper hand instead of leading four people into enemy territory and leaving them extremely vulnerable. It is far too common on Lost in which someone with a tactical upper hand then throws it away for the sake of the plot. It sets up an unintentional parallel between Jack and Locke in which both spend each and every season finale revelling in the consequences of their own bad decisions.
The first appearance of the Four-Toed Statue.
From Wikia
     There were times this season where I was blown away by the quality of the show's characterisations - both those built from scratch and those built upon those from the previous season. There were also times in which I was bored out of my skull by a series of odd decisions and episodes where the moving plot managed to negate any interesting writing. Luckily for the show, the finalĂ© manages to swing round to the former, settling Locke's road into despair and building up fan-favourite Desmond into the three-dimensional sixth-ranger figure he would grow to become. I've really enjoyed writing about Season Two, and am looking forward to the turbulent and difficult to watch segments of the next season.

Thanks.

P.S. It's awesome that the Elizabeth is revealed to be named after Libby, even if this is the last time she'll be mentioned until Season 6.

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