LOST: thoughts on “The End”

This is the end. LOST is over. For good.

I just got back from a post-finale IHOP trip with some friends/fellow fans, which included a lot of good discussions about this episode. So while I’m currently too emotional, breathless, and blown away to write a full post about it, I figured I had to write a little something.



Ohhh where to start…



What an AMAZING episode. Everything has come to this point. Every thought, every theory, every tangent, every second of LOST has led to this episode. I’m putting this fact out there now: the LOST series finale is the greatest two and a half hours of anything ever. And that is no exaggeration. Writing: AMAZING. Acting: FANTASTIC. Special effects: INCREDIBLE. Cinematography: BREATHTAKING. Music: HEARTBREAKING. And on and on it goes…


I’ll admit the fact they didn’t answer a whole lot in terms of the nagging questions. But you know what? Who cares. I certainly don’t. And the fact that a huge fan like myself has come to the point where the ending was so good I don’t even want to know the full answer(s) is saying something. Every emotion since the first episode has culminated into this last fight, and this last goodbye. And the show took our feelings and threw them all around. Every single commercial break I was overjoyed, teary-eyed, or flat-out in awe.



Wow. The photography of the show was mind-blowing. LOST has always been the most beautiful show on television, but this episode blew even itself out of the water. The shot of Locke standing at the edge of the cliff with the storm coming in, the boat coming towards him, literally left me jaw-dropped. And then the sweeping, spinning camera angles of the incredible Jack/Flocke fight, combined with the dark and moody weather added up to be one of the most astoundingly epic scenes in television history. And of course, we can’t forget Jack’s huge Super Smash Bros. downward-punch before the commercial break (credit Mel Kobran for saying it was “Smash Bros. like”).



They even showed us the inside of the cave, which I never thought we would see. A strange symbol-covered stone in a pool of seemingly electromagnetic water. The stone seemed almost like it was a cork of some type. When the cork was removed, the Island began fall apart and sink. Now what could that remind us of? That reminds me of a certain conversation Jacob had with Richard in Ab Aeterno, in which he described the Island as a sort of “cork” to keep the evil from destroying the world. Of course it’s also interesting that the water from in the pool disappeared once the cork was removed. The only place I could think it would go would be into the hole from which Desmond pulled the cork from. Someone pulling a cork and water rushing into it, causing something catastrophic? Sound familiar? It sounds to me like when Ben went into his secret room to call Smokie. He reached into a puddle of water, pulled some sort of cork, watched the water disappear, then waited for the monster to show and destroy Widmore’s men. Maybe these two examples are just coincidence, or maybe they were meant to foreshadow what was to come.



The producers have said since the beginning they knew what the last frame of LOST was going to be, and I believe them. How poetic, how symbolic, how amazing that the show would begin with the opening of Jack’s eye, only to end with him slowly closing it. In the same position of the bamboo forest, no less.


This is The End. Nothing has ever felt more right in this television show, and I never thought I would say that. Here’s to LOST. And here’s to the most amazing, meta-physical/spiritual ending to any television show ever.

Well I’m tired, and emotionally drained. Time to go watch the Jimmy Kimmel after-show and then sleep, happy that God didn’t end the world at 8:59 PM like we all feared he might. More to come, OF COURSE…



Happy Trails and Namaste,
Sam.

LOST Ends in One Hour

UPDATE: LOST begins to end in one hour. EXACTLY. And I’m watching it. You should, too.

The band website project

I told you guys I have a few things lined up to do this summer. The next thing lined up is band-related.

Yes, you all know about Violent Blue. But did you know we now have our own website? Chances are you didn’t, so go check it out at violentblue.net. Having your own website is a big step for bands in today’s digital generation. Thus while the band itself is a big project, another big project for me will be creating/updating the site. Will and I agreed it would be great if each member of the band had his own blog, so I got Will set up with one of his own at violentblue.net/willmccarry. You may notice he only has one short post up, so go comment on and yell at him to start updating it more!

Right now the site is up and functional, though it looks terrible. It was just a custom page I threw together in an hour or two using a [terrible] CMS called concrete5. For now, it’s passable. It has a video of our single, and is also running the RSS feeds of our three blogs under our epic pictures. It’s also running a feed of our latest Tweets, and I’m going to put a box linking to our Facebook Fan Page. So it does work in terms of being a sort-of HUB for our future fans to be socially in touch with us. But don’t worry, the look of the page won’t stay white, weird, and boring for very long. Like I said, concrete5 is, while easy to use and great for beginners, nearly impossible to personalize. So for this site I’m moving away from it, and any other CMS for that reason.

I tested numerous others such as Drupal and Joomla, too. While many people I know use content management systems like concrete5 and Drupal effectively, it just isn’t what I’m going for with the site, even if I wanted to take a more community-driven approach. However, I don’t want to use services like WordPress or Blogger for a home page. While I could even strip a theme down so it has a more basic homepage, I don’t like the non-static feel or annoyingness of blog-driven band pages.

So basically the whole point of all the above writing is to explain why I’ve chosen to build the site from the ground-up by myself and code a crisp, clean, CSS template from scratch. This will be quite a learning experience for me, and I don’t want any of you “smarter” web developers laughing at me as I crawl and cry my way to a cool looking site. Obviously I won’t post the site until it’s completely done, but I will keep updating the process on this blog as it comes along. So it looks like this is the only place you’re gonna get that info which… you probably don’t actually care about. Hahah no matter, I’m the one running this blog, so I decide what gets put up, even if it’s boring and loser-filled.

Happy Trails,

Sam.

A short Island Wars clip…

Yeah, it’s been a pretty lazy start to the summer so far. However I do have quite a bit I want to get done. For one, we’re FINALLY going to finish Island Wars. And don’t you dare say “yeah, that’s what you said last summer” unless you want to receive a virtual punch to the groin right this second, because we ARE going to finish it. For those of you who don’t know what Island Wars is, go check out the blog at islandwars.blogspot.com and watch the two trailers and the few clips that are up on YouTube. It’s a home movie project three years in the making. Though we view it more as a “practice run” or a “crash course” in film making. As such, there are some extremely well-produced segments along side some completely terrible ones. In fact, Will and I wish someone *hint hint* wouldn’t have told everyone so that we could have kept it as a practice round and moved on.




Enough with the excuses, the point is we are finishing it and showing it this summer. Anyone who follows either the Island Wars or Umbrellaman Studios blog has probably seen the screenshots taken from a quick graphics test I made, and I figured I’d give you just a short little clip of it. And yes, I mean short. So enjoy the 15 second graphics test with nonsensical sound effects:


Island Wars Space Test #3 from Sam Rodgers on Vimeo.






This week’s Dark Territory LOST Podcast will be up either later today or early tomorrow. More later…

Happy Trails and Namaste,
Sam.

A sort-of farewell note to those LOST

“Across the Sea” was AMAZING, and I hope by the end of this post you will all agree with me. As such, let’s get the problems I had with it out of the way. I can find only two things to fault this episode on. The first would be some of the acting by the children playing Jacob and his brother. However, this is forgivable in terms of the story being told. Also the fact the producers always seem to find the perfect-looking child actors helps.

The other fault is the language of the show. No, I don’t mean profanity, I mean literal language being spoken during the show. Or am I the only one confused as to why literally one second everyone is speaking Latin and the next everyone is speaking perfect English. Was this done just to help the audience understand what was going on? What are we to imply about the time period, or either mothers’ descents. It’s not like LOST to do something like this simply for the audience’s benefit. Heck, they had Sun and Jin speak solely Korean for nearly five seasons!

Despite this, I’m not sure I could ask more from an hour of television. From a purely film making perspective, the cinematography was great; lighting was very moody and atmospheric; editing was fast (in a good way) between all the different shots; acting (forgetting the aforementioned) was great; and the score by Michael Giacchino was superb. From an entertainment standpoint, I thought the story was tight, well-told, epicly vast, yet very quick; the graphics were perfectly minimalistic; and the action was compelling and emotional. From a LOST fanatic view, I watched it in awe and thought the episode answered some of the biggest and most pressing questions I’ve had about the show since the very first episode.


I’ve given up theorizing. There. I said it. I’m done reading Wikipedia late into the night, scouring the internet for clues. I’m done hanging on Darlton’s every word during the ABC Official LOST Podcast and watching the numerous theory videos on YouTube. I’m done reloading my page for new theories on DarkUFO and on my iPod Touch. I’m done waiting for Lostpedia to put up the info on the latest episode, and scrolling down to the “Trivia” section to see what facts I may have missed. Oh whoops… I just did that anyway. But you get the point. If you’re like me, you’ve been devoting your time to this show for the past six years, and you’ve realized this is the end. On Sunday, May 23, 2010 LOST ends. And I’m ready. I’m just in for the ride.

And maybe that explains my reaction to this episode. I’ve already talked to multiple people who said they either didn’t understand or else didn’t like the answers this episode gave. There was also one person who said the episode didn’t answer anything, but that’s clearly wrong, so we’re going to forget this person. The people who didn’t understand, I would urge you to watch it again, wait for our Dark Territory Podcast later this week, or else read the Lostpedia page on it. I suppose this is more of a response to those who “don’t like” the answers.

The number one reason people didn’t like the answers is because they seemed “too mystical.” I understand this from a certain perspective, but at the same time you have to think about what kind of show LOST is. So… what kind of show is it? Well LOST is a little bit of everything. It never claimed to be a realistic show or have a tangibly discernible answer. It never claimed to be a faith-driven show about morality and fate. It never claimed to be a temple-raiding, hieroglyphic-filled adventure show. In fact it never even claimed to be a sci-fi show. The only things it ever claimed to be was a drama and mystery show. And it is those two things which it has done masterfully throughout every storyline, genre, and character. It was also these two things which caused LOST to change the industry’s view of what a television show could be.

My point here is that while there are more realistic and sci-fi elements to the show, there is also a very important mythical element. As dharma_smokie so aptly put it, this story has necessary mythical elements and is in some ways even infinite. That’s just something we need to accept, and I feel like we should have a long time ago. Honestly, did you think they could explain a gigantic, animate, shape-shifting, cabin-dwelling, murderous, pillar of black smoke in terms of hard logic or rigorous science? I thought the explanation of Jacob throwing his brother down the waterfall into something his mother called “worse than death” was, while very fantastical, still more than acceptable. The entire Jacob/MIB story is epic and fantastical, and thus deserves such an explanation.

That doesn’t mean I accept this episode provided the entire answer, or that I wouldn’t welcome more explanation/specifics should the show choose to reveal them. However, it is an explanation, and one that (whether or not you “like” it) does make sense of things. Here’s a question: at what point did we start getting annoyed at what few answers LOST DOES give? How spoiled are we that we’re trying to pick-and-choose what answers are acceptable in the greatest mystery show of all time? What kind of backwards, screwed up system have we thought up? We’ve been asking for the past six years, and now we have the answer. As fans we tend to over-think things, especially if you’re the type of fan who blogs and reads about LOST all the time. We get caught up in little details that end up being little more than nothing, or create vast networks of theories to explain all of the perceived intricacies. Then we complain when the show goes in a completely different direction than we felt it would or feel it should.

Those of you who have been following our podcasts for a while may recall how mad Will and I were with the explanation for the time flashes in Season Five. We had thought up an entire explanation linking the events to electromagnetic stability, Christian Shepherd, previous Island events, and more. The real explanation ended up being “the wheel was off it’s axis.” I realize now that I was just caught up in little nuances. See? Even I, the smartest LOST fan ever (sarcasm) can get mad when the show does things I don’t expect.

And that’s why I’m done, and you all should be, too. Quit getting annoyed about what LOST does explain, and keep watching it for what it will explain. They’ve done it. I applaud Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Jack Bender, JJ Abrams, and everyone else who has brought this vision to life. You’ve changed the industry in ways we can’t yet imagine. You’ve brought fans together, and helped form relationships that have certainly affected our lives. You have done the impossible, and we all love you for it.

We have three and a half hours left of the greatest show to ever grace my television. And then it’s over. I wonder if they’ll show a big “The End” after the final episode. I’ll tell ya one thing: I can’t wait.



Happy Trails and Namaste,
Sam.

Back up and running!

Things are finally back to normal here at the Chasing Lilly organization (AKA my head). It took me way longer than it should have, but everything is now moved over to the new web host and working properly… at least as far as I can tell. I was having trouble with links to posts and the RSS feed, mainly that they apparently didn’t exist. That’s also the reason you haven’t been seeing any new LOST Podcasts the last three weeks. The RSS feed disappeared for it, so I figured posting a dead link on the blog here would be pretty useless. Don’t worry, though, I’ll upload the ones we missed and continue on until the series premiere in two weeks, Sunday, May 23rd.

I’m currently writing a big LOST note to the entire fan community and everyone who has helped make the show over the years. You can consider it my early LOST farewell letter.

I have many other posts in the mix to put up as well. But I figured I’d give you all a quick update as to what’s going on and that I do indeed still exist in the land of the living!

Happy Trails,
Sam.