Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Review: Lost 3.22/23: Through The Looking Glass
And a thousand memes were born...
From gif-central
Lost - Season Three, Episode Twenty-Two and Twenty-Three - Through The Looking Glass
Written 23/3/14

We're here, then. My last Lost review. And, for the not the first time in these four or so years of reviewing the show, I'm a little lost for words on how to begin. It doesn't feel right to go about this episode within my usual format of blabbering on in metaphors for five minutes, but that's really all I know how to do. So - what's so great about Through The Looking Glass? As a normal finale it's somewhat more subdued than the previous two seasons, probably down to the trend I mentioned last week where the end of this season focussed more on the overall mytharc than it did on big climactic plot points. Alongside a fairly badass set of Island events which include the end of the war with The Others, the reunion of Danielle and Alex Rousseau and a chance of some of our survivors getting home at last, we also have something special - the first Flash-forward, which leads to one of the best cliffhangers in the entire show.
Lost's most iconic character death.
From Wikia
     Carrying straight on from the previous episode, and a confident Charlie gets tied up by the Others that operate the Looking Glass, Greta and Bonnie. The plan to blow up the Others at the beach camp almost goes off without a hitch - Jin misses his bundle of dynamite, culminating in Tom Friendly capturing the three shooters. On the way to the Radio Tower, Sawyer, Juliet and Hurley decide to head back to see what happened, not having seen the third explosion from afar. As Mikhail and Desmond both arrive at the Looking Glass, Jack's team meets Ben and Alex, and Ben convinces Jack that the three shooters are dead. However, Hurley comes to the rescue of the three using the DHARMA van, and Sawyer takes his revenge on Tom by shooting him in the chest. Mikhail turns on the two women in the Looking Glass and Desmond takes him by surprise, allowing Charlie to use a hint from Bonnie to turn off the jamming signal. Mikhail is still alive, however, and detonates a grenade outside the window, leading Charlie to save Desmond by shutting himself in. In his last, hand-written message, Charlie imparts the fact that Naomi's crew is "Not Penny's Boat." Jack is able to contact the Freighter, but Locke has returned from his injury and throws a knife in Naomi's back.
     Charlie's death, while very poignant and well-shot, is conflicting for me. I hate to be that guy, but, I do study Physics. And the simple fact is that Charlie did not need to die - and I don't mean that in a whiny, "Why did he have to die!?!" way, I mean that the show makes it look like an act of pure stupidity on Charlie's part. In the show, the room that Charlie's in has its window blown open, causing water to rush in. In order to prevent the station from flooding, Charlie shuts the door behind him. Now. Had Charlie not shut the door, both he and Desmond would have had ample time to jump back into the moonpool and escape with their lives. Not just because the Looking Glass is pretty big, but also because the water wouldn't rise beyond the top of the window, so Charlie and Desmond would have all the air they could ever ask for. The same is true for Charlie in his locked room - he would have found himself standing neck-deep in water, certainly, but there'd be no drowning happening.
Charlie shouldn't die. (Or at least according to Physics.)
      Here's where I'd discuss the plot of the flashforward, but that's not important because wow, it's a god-damn flashforward. I commented a bit on this change in dynamic during my first few reviews of Season Four, but since that was in 2011 I should really talk about it again. With the Writers' Guild of America Strike of 2008 (the same one that crippled Heroes' second season) on the horizon, introducing flash-forwards was a way to keep up the interest for the show over the longer break and to provide some change to the format that had stood the show true for three seasons. I liked it at the time, but now I'm not so fond - one of the fun parts of the flashbacks was that every episode added a new element to someone's personality, because you knew more about their history and could relate their past experiences to those in the present. Flashforwards reverse this dynamic, but that often means that our flashforwarding Losties are just happening to remember things that are happening in our present. If that makes any sense.
     Ultimately the main core of the episode wasn't much to wax lyrical about. It was cathartic to see the end of the Survivors Versus The Others storyline, even as the lines between them began to blur. Everything that needed to happen in our characters arcs happened, and there was a sense of closure which was only slightly tickled by that epic cliffhanger which revealed that actually, some of them do get off the Island. And that for some reason, Jack wants to go back. It's a brilliant end to a brilliant swansong to the era of long-ass seasons and normal flashbacks and human characters and stuff. It's nearly all of the reasons why I love Lost. Why I still love Lost, after all my whining. And I'm gonna miss talking about it.


1 comment:

  1. Sawyer really proved how much of a vindictive shit he could be when he murdered Tom Friendly. Too bad he never went after Ben for Walt's kidnapping.