Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lost: Leader of the Leftovers

Matthew Fox needs to shut his damn mouth.

I don’t think the fangirls can take eight months of him blabbering on about how much he would enjoy seeing Jack die. I include myself in that category, because that would just absolutely kill me.

Mae and I were talking last night and we agreed that our greatest obstacle for Jate is no longer Skate (so suck it), but rather the untimely demise of Dr. Shephard. Or even the timely demise of Dr. Shephard. Really, any kind of demise.

This is one of those ideas that Damon just loves to talk about. He had an op-ed in the New York freaking Times a couple years ago about how it was JK Rowling’s sworn duty to kill Harry Potter. But resigned himself to the fact that Rowling wasn’t quite so ballsy. He talks about how it would be coming full circle for Harry, who started the book series as “The Boy Who Lived.” Now, we started Lost watching Jack’s eye open. You want to get literal on me? If you really want bookends, the series ends with Jack’s eye closing.

Jack is a tortured fellow, and so perhaps it would be fitting to watch him fulfill his ultimate destiny, something great and astounding and life-affirming and FATETASTIC. And then, like all the others before him, destiny fulfilled, he dies.

It’s poetic, it’s dramatic, it’s surprising.


I will not stand for it.

I will not stand for it, even if Jack throws himself in front of the smoke monster to save Kate and their baby daughter. Even if this would mean that the smoke monster would forever be vanquished and could never bother the remaining Shephards ever again. Even if this would mean that peace would reign across the island and there would be no more evil, no more polar bears, no more Others trying to steal babies, no more dead pregnant women, no more evil men inhabiting John Locke’s body, no more bad news EVER.

I would still be effing pissed.

And here’s why.

#1. Jack’s destiny has to be more than death. He has to be able to find peace and happiness after everything he’s been through. I think an important part of that destiny is going to be becoming a father. And it’s going to be really hard to one-up Christian Shephard if you’re dead.

#2. One of these love stories has to end well. Of the three on-island love stories we’ve been told, the first two have ended quite tragically. Charlie drowned; Juliet got sucked down into the hatch. Jack and Kate need a happily ever after.

#3. I don’t care what you say--Jack Shephard is not a tragic hero. Desmond is the epic hero, Sawyer the anti-hero, Jack the reluctant hero. I don’t see it as a literary inevitability that Jack has to die. I just don’t see it.

While we’re on the subject of Sawyer, how’s this for the Lost series finale?
Something dangerous happens. (I think we can all agree this is somewhat of an inevitability.) Jack, ever the captain of the A-Team, volunteers to go handle the situation. Problem is, Kate’s pregnant. Or Kate has a newborn. Or just Kate is there, and I’m at home crying because what the hell, Darlton, where’s my Jaby? But anyway, Jack and Kate are together, as they damn well better be by the freaking series finale. Sawyer knows this and tells Jack he can shove it, and he’s gonna go take care of this business himself. And he does. And he dies. And in a flash of light, we see Juliet greet him from the other side or from another dimension or whatever, and it’s less cheesy than it sounds. Or maybe it’s exactly that cheesy, but it’s awesome.

And the Skaters are appeased because, oh, holy crap, Sawyer friggin’ died for Kate.

And the Jaters are appeased because, um, neener neener neener.

So Sawyer’s ultimate display of heroism comes from a big explosive exhibition of might and power and purpose and, okay, fine, love. Jack’s comes from acceptance of his fate as the leader of the leftovers. The final moments of the show should not be of Jack dying, but rather of Jack living, fulfilling his destiny on the island, with Kate (and their family--okay I’ll stop now) and in peace.

18 Responses to “Lost: Leader of the Leftovers”

Hannah said...

First of all, I would like to say how happy I am that I actually understand a Lost blog here.

"Or just Kate is there, and I’m at home crying because what the hell, Darlton, where’s my Jaby?" OH MY GOSH. Sooo funny. And soo true.

I find it very funny that you mentioned Sawyer dying for Kate. As I was watching the seasons, and they kept up this thing with Sawyer and Kate, I kept thinking about how perfect it would be for Sawyer to be SELFLESS (character development) and die for Kate, showing how much he cared for her. That way, her and Jack can live on with their Jabies.

So, all in all, I find it pretty interesting that we, and I assume others, both think that it would be a good idea for Sawyer to sacrifice himself for Kate.

Jack better not freaking die.

Anonymous said...

Sawyer dying would piss me off so epically i cant even explain how angry i would be after all the crap he has been through he needs a happy ending hopefully with juliet (the real love of his life).

Anonymous said...

I hate the idea of Jack dying, but THE ONLY way I would accept it is if he and Kate died TOGETHER, at the very end of the show. (perhaps as Adam and Eve?)

However, what you said about his eye closing as the last image of the series... for some reason, that really makes sense and it would be something Matthew Fox would know about. I've tried to think of what the last image could be, but unless it's Jack and Kate peacefully sitting on the beach, I haven't been able to think of one. Sadly, his eye closing really strikes me as a possibility.

mysticxf said...

I'm not sure if you're making an argument for Jack dying, or making an argument for Jack not dying because you're entirely convinced he's going to die. I'll try to respond as succinctly as I possibly can.

1. Damon Lindelof was, and is, absolutely right. Harry Potter HAD to die. The problem is Lindelof got caught up in the "tada!" factor and lost track of the "this makes no fucking sense" part. "[Either] must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…". Had Potter died and stayed dead, Voldemort would have, by the wording of the prophecy, won. What Potter accomplished in "dying" was effectively killing the part of Voldemort within himself, making Voldemort weaker so that once Nigini was be-headed, Harry could kill Voldemort himself. Harry Potter, in essence, HAD to live.

2. Damon Lindelof and Matthew Fox know how this show is going to end, they have said as much and they have said that it would be "bittersweet" in the beginning… something I've yet to see referenced again since. These days the "end" has been called "satisfying" and "images", signifying that the truest fans of the show will NOT be plagued with the need to throw their television sets out an eight story building, and that the "end" will not be a single moment, but possible a montage of moments – an ending for all involved.

Do I believe Jack's death as a possible way to end the series? If his death is accompanied by the awakening of a child or a grandchild, a promise of continuance, a promise of redemption, of the never-ending struggle called life (and also the never-ending struggles between Jacob and 'Esau'), yes. As a sacrificial lamb to end the island's war? No.

Some of the most important underlying themes of Lost have always been of the battle between good and evil, of the redemption of humanity, and of children. The current struggle on the island and every one of its inhabitants has always been an imbalance of some sort. The Dharma logo itself speaks to having a balance in all aspects of life to achieve true happiness.

It makes little sense to have Jack, no matter how noble his intentions, being killed in order to save Kate (and/or their child, or anyone else on the island for that matter) because his death would only escalate this imbalance. The series should end with some death, yes, because that is inevitable, but the more believable goal is that somehow Jack brings balance to the Island and all of its inhabitants. To prove that Jacob was right, which would, IMO, ultimately banish 'Esau' from the island, or cause his death.

A big clue, for me, was the state in which Rose and Bernard were found in the finale. Rose's character is, essentially a piece of the original 'Kate' – a woman whose sole goal after crashing was reuniting with the husband she knew was alive – and this idea that the duo had found stability in their lives, acceptance of their situation, and assurance that no matter what happened, so long as they were together, everything would be alright, it speaks to the true goals for the characters on Lost.

If you're searching for a "bookend" ending for Lost to mirror the beginning, look for the opposite of how it started, focusing not on a single image, but on a montage – on the chaos after the crash – and imagine the remaining characters finding a balance within themselves and their group. Imagine what you might want, not loathe, because "it only ends once."

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, I am a huge Jack (and Foxy) fangirl and I know how you feel. I've always seen the end to Jack's story as finding acceptance from his family. But, I guess I've always felt it would be tied more to Christian and Claire than to any love interest. I've always pictured the end of the series being Jack as the leader of the island with Christian and Claire proudly watching him and counseling him. He finally has found the love and approval from his father he's searched for all his life. I've always thought that the major love story they were building up to and telling was Sawyer and Kate, and think that's even more apparent after this finale. But this is just coming from someone who's not into ships and just loves Jack. I've always seen the end as Jack happy and fulfilled as the leader with the other Shepards, and Kate and Sawyer together, both supporting Jack and his family. I hope Jack doesn't die, that would just be too sad!

Omg! I had this exact conversation with one of my friends this afternoon! No joke. Until Suliet happened, I always thought Sawyer would sacrifice himself for Kate at the end (it would ensure that some part of her would always love him) and now that it looks like Juliet is dead, I'm even more convinced of that, but I still worry about poor Jack. Making his death part of his destiny and leaving Skate to raise his child would be one way to have Kate choose him and still end up with Sawyer. It's been in the back of my mind since 316 because the timing would be perfect. (Of course it would be just as perfect for a Jaby to be the crowing jewel of Jate's story.)

You're definitely right when you say Jack's arc has always been geared towards fatherhood though, especially after they made a point of emphasising his doubts about whether or not he was fit to raise Aaron with Kate (I keep thinking of the promise Christian asked Jack to make in "The Watch" mobisode: "If you ever have a kid, try and treat him a little better than I treated you". Surely that has to become relevant at some point since it was the only flashback and didn't seem to have any greater mythological significance).

I really want to see them revisiting the whole "Something Nice Back Home" scenario in the finale (with Jabies!), since they already showed us that Jack and Kate could make each other very happy if they could just get free of the island once and for all. (I'm hoping they get to go home once they've done whatever they're supposed to do).

There are a couple of characters on Lost who don't suit living out the rest of their lives in suburbia and Sawyer is definitely one of them. Sayid is another. That's why all of their romances tend to have tragic ends. Their brooding/ solitary natures are too much a part of their characters for them to be truly happy. Jack, meanwhile, has always been kind of the Everyman -- you can see him going to work and coming home to his family once all this business with the island is done. (I like to say Sawyer is Wolverine and Jack is Cyclops. Wolverine wouldn't know what to do with Jean even if he did get her -- he'd probably just screw it up!)

Although in response to mystic's comment, Darlton also said the finale would be "shocking", so what that means is anyone's guess. I just hope it doesn't mean they're going to rehash their plans for the pilot and kill Jack just because they think viewers won't expect it.

I mean to say in my post, it's funny how everyone seems to think it'll be one or the other -- that they can never fully resolve the triangle until SOMEONE is dead! ;)

Unknown said...

LOL Athena. I had this conversation with a friend yesterday, where we both agreed that the triangle can only be definitively ended by killing off a leg.

Me: "You know, like Harry Potter. 'Neither can live while the other survives.'"

Her: " your world, Sawyer is..."

Me: "Voldemort, yeah."

And, you know, he's not, really. There's nothing inherently *evil* about Sawyer (in fact, I quite liked him this season), but he's just...not my cup of tea. And I'm sure that in the end, he's not Kate's, either.

ana paula said...

Oh no! I will HATE if Jack dies to Kate and Sawyer ending together! NO NO NO! I never will agree with that!

Anonymus said...
"But, I guess I've always felt it would be tied more to Christian and Claire than to any love interest... I've always thought that the major love story they were building up to and telling was Sawyer and Kate, and think that's even more apparent after this finale."

I think the opposit. In The Incident, Jack told to Sawyer that he was doing that because "he had her and he lost her"! This IS LOVE, this IS ROMANCE! He wanted a new chance with Kate! Yes, it was about all the lives that he could save too but to Jack (to the man) it was all about KATE!

I agree that the Jack's story is about his father/family too but it is more about LOVE and ACCEPTANCE! He doesn't believe in himself and it is his bigger issue! On the other hand, I see Kate how the only way through that Jack could find his redemption and acceptance. He needs her, he needs be happy, he needs be loved by the woman that he loves - Kate!

PS: Sorry my bad English!But I really love Jack and I loved your post Caroline Carter! I can't stand Jack dying! Please Darlton, don't do that!!!

ana paula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Selina said...

YES I completely agree with this Caroline, but I still think Jack will die. You're RIGHT that after his tragic life he deserves a happy ending. But Lost doesn't work like that! Look at poor Locke. The writers are heartless.

I'm still hoping for Jack and Kate being Adam and Eve. They make the most narrative sense, and if they have to die, better be something cool and circular than a pointless finale shock!death ala Anya in BtVS.

OMG! YES, Selina! I was so PISSED about that! (Someone so responsible for bringing lighter moments to the show should not die like that!)

This comment has been removed by the author.
ale-la-pazza1 said...

I think Jack will die only with Kate (at least that's all i'm willing to accept) or they're more likely to be revealed to be nothing else than Adam&Eve ;)

Anonymous said...

Sawyer and Kate all the way. Jack will die, Skate will live~

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