Wow. Up is down, down is up. Flashbacks are flashforwards and I’m still reeling.
Last night’s season finale was a mindblower – and a wee bit of a bloodbath -- packed with some instant classics: Hurley going kamikaze in a VW bus and saving the day; Sayid, supreme badass, using the figure four leg lock to take out an Other. Walt making an unexpected ditch-side cameo to save Locke; Charlie singing “You All Everybody” while being pistol whipped by Laura Kingman who once accused Steve Sanders of date rape.
But as satisfying as this year’s finale was, it was déjà vu all over again.
The score: Locke 2, Jack 0.
Last season, Locke “man of faith” prevailed over Jack “man of science” when it was proven that the button and the numbers in the hatch were real and indeed served a higher purpose.
This season, everyone thought Locke had gone off the rails when he blew up a submarine with C-4 because he didn’t want anyone to leave the island, insisting they were all brought there for a reason. Turns out, he is so sane that he just blew our minds.
We still don’t know why they’re on the island but we know they weren’t supposed to leave the way they did. In a flashback -- which we learn is actually a mindblowing flashforward -- Jack, full of booze and drugs, is stumbling around in a tormented stupor and a fake beard. Tortured by his “mistake,” he’s been using his Oceanic Airlines golden pass to fly around on Friday nights with hopes the plane will crash and he’ll be given a second chance to do the right thing (wow).
He meets up with Kate. We learn they are not together in the future; she is living with someone else.
“We have to go back,” he tells her in the final scene. Suddenly, the man of science wants to do right by fate.
That was unbelievable.
The concepts of fate and destiny have certainly taken center stage this season.
A number of gatekeepers and goons showed up to enforce the laws of destiny. For example, the woman in the jewelry store who tells Desmond he’s “not supposed to” buy the ring for Penny (he doesn't.) Locke and Ben try to tell Jack he’s not supposed to call Naomi’s people; they are not who they say they are. (We’ll call them the Other Others next season)But Jack doesn't listen and fucks up his fate. How could he possibly have known, though?
There was a lot of divine intervention in the final episode as well:
In the flashforward, Jack, suicidal, is about to jump off a bridge when a car crashes and catches fire behind him. His addiction to saving people wins out over his suicidal thoughts and he becomes a hero, albeit a completely miserable one.
Right before Locke tries to off himself, Walt appears out of nowhere and tells him he “has work to do.” Just like that, he’s back on the path and shows up in time to throw a knife in Naomi’s back and try to stop the rescue.
Of course, the saddest fate sealer of the night was Charlie’s death in the Looking Glass. We knew it had to happen. Desmond’s prognostication about the rescue -- “If you don’t die, none of it will happen” – meant Claire and Aaron would not get off the island so long as he was alive…and Charlie was willing to sacrifice himself for them.
After last week, part of me hoped the fates were giving him a reprieve for accepting his destiny so heroically. But the moment we saw the blinking yellow light last night, we knew it was coming. I still hoped he’d get his paws on some of that scuba equipment, though -- but that was not meant to be.
By locking Desmond out, Charlie was keeping his date with destiny. Perhaps in those final moments – before Eyepatch blew a hole in the Looking Glass with a grenade -- Charlie knew, in the same way Locke does somehow, that this was what he was “supposed to do.”
I bawled my eyes out but was able to console myself later by rewinding and giggling at Eyepatch’s foolish evil grin outside the porthole. This is the second time that crazy bastard has come back to life.
Anyway, this is “Lost” so Charlie could be back one day too.
Since he had to die in order for them to be rescued – and being rescued wasn’t “supposed to happen” -- perhaps in the future/past/present there will be a Sliding Doors moment where Charlie doesn’t die, they don’t get rescued and they are all able to fulfill their proper destinies. Ow, my head.