This season and this finale: one last thing to ponder...

Discussion in 'Lost' started by Zulu Romeo, May 23, 2010.

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What type of story resolution in LOST is more important to you?

  1. It's all about the characters.

    4 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. The mythology and mystery of the Island of course!

    1 vote(s)
    5.0%
  3. Both should be focused on, whether there is full resolution on each side or not.

    9 vote(s)
    45.0%
  4. I WANT IT ALL! NOW!

    3 vote(s)
    15.0%
  5. Let's just watch the final episode and get drunkl on DHARMA beer. It's been a great 6 years.

    3 vote(s)
    15.0%
  1. Zulu Romeo

    Zulu Romeo World Famous Starship Captain Premium Member

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    I was reading some articles on the Net this evening about the forthcoming Finale, and this one raised an interesting point:

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5414196/lost_finale_to_hinge_on_answers_or.html?cat=2

    I found this interesting. There does seem to be a focus more on checking as many answers as possible, sometimes at the expense of providing closure to some of the characters, especially this season, while previous seasons which have lacked the pressure to answer all the mysteries and questions have (quite rightly) therefore focused on telling great stories and depicting rich and varied characters (and Nikki and Paulo).

    Which is more important to you in terms of telling the story of LOST: the rich and diverse characters, or the rich and diverse mythology?

    I would have hoped that these two approaches to storytelling in LOST weren't mutually exclusive, but sometimes I can't help but agree with the article that this has been, and still is, the case. Or should they be? Can one tell a good story without compromising either mythology or character? Or are things inevitably going to be left out on both sides, with some characters having no resolution or a disappointing end, and many mysteries left unanswered, at the expense of the other thing?

    Is it necessarily a bad thing that some things have no resolution, though? If the mystery was taken out of life, it would be very boring indeed. Some things still need their secrets, otherwise they would lose their power to inspire awe and fear very quickly. If every little detail in both areas of mythology and character was addressed, then we'd have no mystery, no reason to stick with it.

    Just something to think about this evening. Enjoy the finale. :)
     
  2. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not me! I love both!

    But the sad saga of the Lost imitators prove that the characters must come first. If the characters don't grab viewers, they aren't going to hang around for a convoluted mythology.

    You also have to give them something good each episode, without waiting for elusive answers. A good action scene, some hot actor wearing next to nothing, some witty comic lines, a touching emotional scene - those are the elements that kept people watching in sufficient numbers to avoid cancellation.

    PS, the era of the Lost imitators is not ending quite yet. NBC's The Event seems like yet another entry. I'll give it a shot like I gave all the others. Hopefully this time they've learned what they need to do in order to get the show to work. When Cuse & Lindelof called Lost a love story at heart, they revealed the secret of their success.
     
  3. Zulu Romeo

    Zulu Romeo World Famous Starship Captain Premium Member

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    That's what I didn't really like about Defying Gravity. That one seemed to sacrifice both character and mythology, and replace it with pillow talk and sex(ual tension). :p
     
  4. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Both mythology and characters should be resolved in satisfying ways but over the last few episodes I'd say the odds with mythology are not looking good--I'm sure it will wrap up one or two like Desmond and the exotic matter but not the boatload still out there.
     
  5. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I will respond with another question:

    What is this show about? Is it the story of a mysterious island? Is it about the age-old struggle between MiB and Jacob? Or is it the survivors of a plane crash?

    For me, even though we've been introduced to a lot of new characters and new mysteries over the last 6 years, the story of LOST is, first and foremost, about the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. I want to see what happens to them. That isn't to say that the Lost universe doesn't have more stories to tell, but this story is about the characters that we met in Season 1...and Desmond.

    I would love it, however, if the creators someday do a series of "Lost Tales" (pun intended), that explore some of the Island's greater mysteries.
     
  6. Capn Flukie

    Capn Flukie Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Lost is a pizza with the works, not just a hunk of bread or some ground up tomatoes, or cheese bits, though all are delicious on their own.
     
  7. Python Trek

    Python Trek Commodore Commodore

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    I think that highly-paid professional television writers should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. I want interesting characters AND well-realized plots/mythologies.

    Damn, I'm demanding! How dare I? ;)
     
  8. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    See, this is what I don't get about these characters-only claims. Essentially these characters and what they do is now tied into the mythology, so the rest of the mythology becomes important by extension.

    For example, Saving Private Ryan takes place during WW2, but you don't need to know about anything beyond Normandy, who the enemy is, and what their mission is. But the reason for that is because the mythology is already a given. In the case of a complete unknown, more elaboration may be required for most who are unfamiliar with its workings (or can't just look it up). Combine that with the show presenting itself as mythology driven and it's clear that there needs to be a balanced focus on both. Where that balance lies becomes the most difficult part to achieve.
     
  9. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Fan point of view is a big part of it. For instance, who built the ruins on the island? To some fans, the question hasn't been answered at all, to others it has. To some, it's enough to know that the ancient peoples have been coming to the island for centuries and obviously saw the island as a divine place. To other fans, no answer could be thorough enough. The thing you have to ask yourself is what, realistically, can our characters actually learn the answers themselves in a believeable way? Are they going to stop trying to survive or fleeing the smoke monster to go on an archeological dig or translate hieroglyphs? Of course not.

    The island has meant something different to all the different peoples who discovered it. That's all I really need to know. The show to me isn't about what makes the island apparently magical, it's how do we as human beings react to that? Do we consider it divine and build monuments and temples like the ancient builders? Do we think of it as a place of scientific possibilities like the Dharma initiative? Do we see it as simply an island to exploit for military purposes as the U. S. military did in the 1950s? Do we see it as an affirmation of faith in a higher purpose, as John Locke did? Or do we see it as a direct attack on our sense of free will as Jack did?

    Those questions are much more interesting to me than "Where did all the hairbrushes go?"

    Just my two cents.

    The show has never been "mythology driven." Hell, for the first three seasons, half of every single episode is nothing but a character study of a single main character.
     
  10. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, but as the show has repeatedly demonstrated there are entertaining and effective ways to fill the audience in on things that the characters never learn of or would look deeper into.
    Season one was character-driven. Season two was a mess. S3-5 were much more plot-driven with a lot of mythology focus. Even Lindelof and Cuse admitted that in an interview that I was reading today. Those years there was so much going on there wasn't time for much character focus.
     
  11. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    It was character driven at first, but moved more and more towards the mythology. And unfortunately, when you have the characters doing stupid or out-of-character things solely because of the plot/mythology, it would help to have that mythology thought out and make a little sense. If there's no reason for the characters to be doing what they're doing, it doesn't hang together very well...
     
  12. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, the distinction should be that there are no answers to certain questions, and some do and some don't care.

    Why is this issue always presented as so black and white? People have different levels of what they'll accept, and mine is that I can be satisfied. I was several times with some of the other mysteries.

    Just because some people weren't 100% gung ho on the loose ends doesn't mean they can't be satisfied.

    This is another common argument that makes no sense. Why does an explanation always need to be tied down to tedium? It could easily be worked into any story, or a story could even revolve around it. If something caught people's interest, a story surrounding it may interest as well.

    Another argument I often see that makes no sense. People who care about hairbrushes are clearly obsessing because that isn't at all integral to the overall story. Why is this example or others like it always used when people like myself aren't arguing over trivial little things? We're arguing over things like the meaning of the island and the light. Major stuff that drives the characters.

    A big question I had was why Sayid came back to life, because it's integral to the character story. The Others at the temple seemed so surprised by it, Sayid didn't know what happened, and it made him unable to feel anything. And then we see this character act in very strange ways for reasons we don't understand which is all a result of his resurrection. At that point, the mystery is very much intertwined with his character, and going without an explanation is the shoddiest way to get a character from A to B. In fact, it completely went against his character's development, and yet somehow in the end he was still able to pull it back together?

    This is important character stuff, not trivialities, and there are many more examples just like this.

    And the mythology drives those characters into those recollections. Without the mythology, there is no reason for the characters to do what they did. They are closely intertwined.

    I'll never understand this idea that people pull apart one aspect or another. You might have some saying it's all characters or some saying it's all mythology/plot, but both of those statements are just flat out wrong. Good storytelling will have an emphasis on both and will strike the right balance between the two.
     
  13. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    You talk about plot and character like they're mutually exclusive. They aren't two equal and opposite aspects of story. Plot is merely what happens next. Characters without plot don't do anything. Plot without character is just a recounting of events about as exciting as a high school history textbook timeline. A story is a character with a goal who does something. A successful story isn't written by trying to take ingredients and "balance" them together like you're making a soup. You just need a character with a clear goal who drives the events by action or inaction. The "balance" finds itself based on the story you're trying to tell.
     
  14. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    I dunno, maybe you should go back and read the part where I said there needs to be both, which is mutually inclusive.
     
  15. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    There needs to be both, and there was both, but that doesn't mean they need to be of equal importance. At the end of the day, if you have to choose one or the other to wrap up, I choose characters (at least for this show).

    Could the writers have done a better job explaining the mythology? Yes, but they chose not to. Some people call it a cop-out. Other people call it lazy writing. And there are people like me that just don't care. I thought the story ended nicely for the characters, and at the end of the day, they are the things I care most about.
     
  16. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or the writers wanted to leave leeway for fans to interpret some things for themselves, which some people are happy to do, while others would prefer getting firmer answers.
     
  17. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, like I said, you have to find the right balance. If you focus on both equally instead of one as 99% and the other 1%, you're probably a lot more likely to please people who focus on one or the other.

    No one should have to choose one or the other.

    Some things I'm fine with trying to answer myself, but there are others, like my aforementioned issues about Sayid, that I find a lot more important. And it's important because it really does pertain to the character. If you just get a character who jumps through hoops or goes from A to B for no reason, then I find that to be poor character development.
     
  18. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    As much as I loved the finale, I agree there are certain things that should have been resolved. What happened to Sayid is definitely one of those things. Whatever leftover questions there are I feel should have been answered throughout the course of Season 6, rather than in the finale. Season 6 should have had things sorted out so that in the finale we could just focus on what happens to the characters rather what had been happening all along. I still think the final episode is awesome, but I think it presumes we have answers that we don't.

    Sayid turning evil. Fine. Make him evil. I don't even care if you never explain why he's evil. But why did he suddenly STOP being evil? That's what I want to know.
     
  19. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    Yeah, fair points. I'm not saying that they got everything right, and that issue with Sayid was one thing that was lacking. But some people want very specific answers to all of the shows mysteries, while others are willing to have quite a bit left open to interpretation. I'm not saying one point of view is superior to the other. It's just a matter of personal taste and perspective.
     

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