Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lost: Season Five In Review

(Warning: Article may contain spoilers. Do not read if you have not yet watched the season five finale)
Wow. That is the only word that comes to me when thinking about season five of "Lost" and its finale. 
Season five certainly wasn't the best season (that still remains season three) or the most emotional (that would be season one). However, it was certainly the strangest. And I mean that in the same way as I did for "Happiness." I mean the kind of strange that is strange because it is something unseen, something many would think of but few would ever carry out. They went back and forth between over two periods of time. Flashbacks became flash-forwards. Past became present. Future became present. And then, the bomb went off. Yes, the bomb went off. While most shows give off the sense of security that the bomb will never go off, the characters will always be safe, "Lost" threw that notion out the door. It threw the characters right in front of a speeding train.
And then, it took this twist one step further and made it the final moment of the season. So now we are forced to wonder: were they really put in harm's way? Will the bomb save them, or kill them all? My friends, it looks like we'll have to wait until 2010 to find that out.
This season, the cast shined as usual. Terry O'Quinn (Locke) and Michael Emerson (Ben) were standouts as usual. However, this season's biggest standout was Jeremy Davies. Davies portrayed Daniel Faraday, a scientist who seemed timid and clueless in season four but really had every answer the survivors were looking for. Another standout was Josh Holloway, who's Sawyer underwent one of the biggest character transformations in "Lost" history this season. 
This season wasn't perfect. The constant time jumping in the first few episodes was too hectic and too difficult to keep up with. Once Locke turned the wheel and the island stopped moving, things seemed to go back to normal. However, things were far from normal. While the past four seasons contained either past and present or present and future, this season managed to use all three and balance them out perfectly. 
Each season of "Lost" has mixed science with science fiction by setting of themes of faith vs. science and mythology. This season it took a way more scientific approach and examined time travel. Not just time travel, but the implications of it. A new twist of "Lost"'s central argument of fate vs. freewill: can humans change the past? Or was everything bound to happen no matter what? "Lost" never answered this question because this question should be up to the viewer. It is one of those things that no person could ever answer correctly.
The season five finale set up multiple new problems to be solved next season and questions demanding answers. Ben has killed Jacob, but what will happen when Jacob dies? When will Jin & Sun reunite? But most importantly, will the island even exist anymore now that Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) detonated the bomb? I can't answer any of these questions but I will say this: Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse have continued to hold my attention, and I cannot wait until next year to find out all of the answers in the season to conclude one of the greatest sci-fi masterpieces ever made.

5 comments:

Ross Gordon said...

I have to disagree with your point that season three was the best season of "Lost." That title belongs to this season for really pushing the envelop with its science and time traveling twists. This has really made the series into something extremely special and unique. As you have said, the cast has truly shined this season and I think that an honorable mention, in addition to those that you have listed, is Jack. Jack has transformed himself from the man of science as he was when he was battling the man of fate, Locke, to the new man of fate/destiny among the survivors in "Dharmaville." I was shocked to see this turn in Jack as he seemed to be the sanest character still on the island. Can't wait for the season to wrap up next year.

Jamie said...

With the exception of Ross's first statement I'm going to have to disagree with both of you, the 3rd season of Lost was by far the worst season of Lost to date, and possibly the worst season of any show on TV that year, which I know is a very bold statement.It could be debated that the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and even the 5th seasons are the best of Lost, but to even conjure up the thought that the 3rd was the best is a notion to have you shot killed, hung for no apparent reason, tarred, feathered then hacked in to small pieces and scattered around the world. I have to say that I would have rather watched a wall for 24 hours then the 3rd season of Lost. Anyone who even begins to try to defend it as the best season should be ashamed and knows absolutely nothing about movies or TV shows. For example that season contained an entire episode dedicated to two completely random and unknown survivors that we have never seen or met before being bitten by spiders, then seemingly dead, being buried alive. Then no explanation or even a mention of the occurrence in a future episode. I'm going out on a limb here and saying that if you think the 3rd season is the best season of Lost then you truly know less about the quality of TV shows then my dog's left nut. As for the best season it would have to be the 1st, because of its amazing writing, character development, adaptive story line and truly captivating plot twists and the unveiling of new details.
As for you Ross, the 5th season was no where near the best season, considering each episodes lacked real substance. None created true connection between the audience and the characters. The strongest selling point was the creative story, which i accredit to J.J. Abrams but as for each episodes as a whole they all seemed empty and rather tedious. that created no fluid storyline. Every episode in the entire season including the finale failed to achieve an epic moment that truly caught the audience of guard and captivated them. As where this occurred in every other episode in the 1st season.
With no hard feelings and the best intentions, I'm going to speak on behalf of the whole world here and say that please Ian do us all a favor and never rate Lost again.
(However I do like the new top 10 directors of all time, with the exception of Quentin's placement but ehh its alright.)

Ian Phillips said...

Check your facts. J.J. Abrams hasn't been involved with "Lost" since the pilot. Every great feat accomplsihed by "Lost" should therefore be credited to Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse.
As far as season 3 is concerned-I agree the first few episodes were pretty poor quality. They could've made the hydra station plot line go quicker. But once they left the Hydra Station, I thought the season was amazing. All of the mythology-the fact that babies can't be born on the island, desmond being able to see the future-all fascinating. Not to mention, the season three finale "Through the Looking Glass" is the best "Lost" episode in that it was exciting, daring, and totally revolutionized the story (and sci-fi genre) by introducing the flash-forward
FYI Season 2 is the worst season

Jamie said...

Alright Ian you may want to re=check your facts about J.J. Abrams, so I did it for you. Here's the list straight from IMDB, this a little more than just the pilot last time i checked. Please I implore you to go check it out for yourself, because he is not only accredited for being a producer but also a writer and for example Jerry Bruckheimer on all CSI episodes is not.
"Lost" (97 episodes)
... aka "Lost: The Final Season" (USA: sixth season title)


He consults on almost every episode. With the exception of the third season when they brought in random writers. And Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof weren't writing from some reason. They helped with the end of the season though.

As for "But once they left the Hydra Station, I thought the season was amazing. All of the mythology-the fact that babies can't be born on the island, Desmond being able to see the future-all fascinating." The hydra station was one of the only cool aspects of that season. On that same note it had nothing to do with the success or the failure of the season so leave it alone. As for Desmonds's future seeing abilities, that was one of the dumbest aspects of the show to date, which by the way they never explained.
As for the season finale yes, I must agree that it was probably the best season finale of the show to date. But this can only be accredited to how horrible the season was in comparison to it. Also the other reason it was of such good quality, is that they brought all original writers including J.J. Abrams back to help write it and plan for the next season. And there is no way the 2nd season was the worst considering that it introduced the entire other side of the show, and unveiled in an incredible way more about the show then season 3 ever could.

$KILL$ THAT KILL$ said...

Even forgetting the fact that you (Jamie) use the word "accredit" four times per sentence, your analysis of Lost could be the shallowest and most simple-minded I have ever heard or read. According to your last sentence, the success of a show depends entirely on "how much it reveals." A true Lost fan would not hesitate in abandoning that school of thought; the series of Lost thrives on the audience feeling "lost" and having no idea what to think or where the story may be heading.
While I may not agree with Ian that Season 3, I thought that season was among the best on account of its fantastic mythology. In my opinion, Season 5 takes the cake as the best so far; as Ross said, the science and time travel add another level to the show, deepening the show as a whole. Lastly, Jack's development as a character would have to be one of the most interesting transformations in the history of "Lost." As earlier explained by Ross, Jack's transformation from man of science to believer in fate took us all by surprise.