I have a deep, abiding affection for posts where someone asks and answers questions about plot points that don’t make sense, and then gives equally nonsensical (but pseudo-logical) answers. So I naturally enjoy Mark Lisanti’s 23 Questions about Lost Episode 604, Answered!, and its predecessor, 21 Questions about the season premiere. Last night’s episode was a good one; good or bad isn’t even the point. The point is the fun of taking things that don’t make sense and trying to explain them as if they do, thereby making it even clearer how crazy things have become.
How is it possible that Sayid “died,” but then was able to wake up and have a nice chat with Jack, Kate and Sawyer?
Good karma! As Sawyer adroitly pointed out, “He’s an Iraqi torturer who shoots kids. Of course he gets another go-around.” But what the bitter, still-grieving Island Wiseass Nickname Generator failed to note: He’s an Iraqi-torturer-who-shoots-kids with a heart of gold. That does, indeed, earn him another go-around, even if he might be a teensy bit possessed by some still-undisclosed entity.
As I said, this isn’t really a criticism of Lost, because the show isn’t always supposed to make sense (at most, it’s teasing us with the possibility that things might make sense later), and the island is not a place where conventional rules of plot logic are supposed to apply anyway. Other times, this technique is used as a direct criticism of a show that has gone off the rails, like Boils and Blinding Torment’s Question-answer takedown of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s final-season logical meltdown:
How is it that Giles, Wood, Xander, Dawn, et alles can now easily knock down and kill Ubies? And how were they (the ubies) being so easily dusted via stake in the final battle? Wasn’t it not too long ago that Buffy couldn’t stake one and a single Ubie kicked her ass 9 ways to Sunday?
Geez, have you people never heard of creative, dramatic license? Besides, you couldn’t have a bunch of young girls being torn apart by a bunch of demons, right? What kind of message would that send? Besides the one they’ve been sending all season?
Who was that freakish old lady?
Look, we thought this one was rather clear. There were the mean shadow men and then there were the nice old ladies. The old ladies lived in this time zone, unlike the shadow men who lived in another plane of existence’s time zone. Or something like that, truth be told we were kind of distracted by Buffy’s boots and skirt at the time. So the mean shadow men tied a girl to the earth and demonized her, and the nice old ladies watched. The nice old ladies continued to assist the successive Slayers by watching. And watching some more. Eventually this group of nice old ladies that liked to watch got bored with this, moved to Sunnydale and forged the old Space Scythe, which was used to destroy the last true demon, then buried it in a bunch of rock underneath their pagan hall while they retired to their unobtrusive pyramid crypt in the middle of a Sunnydale cemetery. There they hung out and eventually died off, leaving the freakish old lady to talk to herself and await the Slayer’s arrival to assist her by being cryptic. Duh.
Speaking of which, Movieline.com also has a post about the parallels between the final season of Lost and the final season of Buffy. The parallels are there, but I don’t really see the two seasons as similar so far. Especially since Buffy Season 7 started out with a promising string of episodes revolving around Buffy’s return to Sunnydale High, and then abandoned that, turning into a really bad, arc-dominated show, eventually collapsing into a mess of unresolved plot points and the most boring season-long villain ever. Lost is also trying to create a “back to the beginning,” “full circle” kind of feel, and the murky plot points and what’s-going-on feel are, as always, intended from the beginning. Again, they get away with this because we feel they know what they’re doing, whereas in something like Buffy season 7, we’re equally sure they don’t.