Monday, May 24, 2010

Michael Giacchino: "Lost" finale MVP

No heart-shredding Bollywood melodrama ever had a final reel as operatically satisfying as Sunday night's 2 1/2 hour Lost finale. The storyline wove the show's two parallel realities together and reconciled them, so that all the major characters, even the ones we'd watched die, swam past their amnesia to end up with the lives and partners they were always supposed to have. It was a full course banquet of laughing-through-tears reunions, with amber-hued flashbacks representing the rush of recovered memories.

The A.R. Rahman of this magnificent wallow was Oscar-winning Pixar-favorite Michael Giacchino, the adaptable crowd pleaser who scored Ratatouille, Up and The Incredibles. He supplied motifs that helped stitch the tightly-knit script together and, even more importantly, he seems finally to have unleashed his inner opera composer. (He conducted an orchestral suite based on the Lost score last week at Royce Hall. And, via Tulk, here's The New Yorker's Alex Ross.)

The episode was probably the most overt and detailed Catholic allegory ever on American network television. (After some Latin is mumbled over a cup: "Drink this. Now you are like me." Of a church: "This is the place you built so that you could find each other.") But it was the arias in Michael Giacchino's music drama that people choked-up over and will remember.

My favorite among the reunions marked the re-birth, both literally and figuratively, of the character who in Season 3 volunteered for the show's single most devestating self-sacrificing death scene -- which is saying a lot when you're talking about Lost. Dominic Monaghan's Charlie Pace was the washed up pop star and recovering heroin addict who wrote his will as a set of song lyrics...

CARLTON CUSE: ...people talk a lot about the mythology of “Lost,” but we probably spent 85 percent of our time in the writers’ room talking about the characters. I think that’s why the show was a broad audience show as opposed to a genre show. While the mythology was important, first and foremost the show was about the characters. I think that a lot of people care much more about what’s going to happen to Kate. Is she going to end up with Jack, is she going to end up with Sawyer? That’s why we feel like a lot of shows that have tried to imitate “Lost” make the fundamental mistake of having the characters just focus on the mythology. If you watch certain shows like that, you’ll see all the characters are talking about is, “What’s that dinosaur doing in my bathtub?”

KEN TUCKER: If there was any big surprise last night, it was how overtly Christian in its imagery and message the series proved to be. Its heavily underscored lesson was that everyone was forgiven — that word was used over and over. And the water at the Magic Glowing Source was used for the purposes of transubstantiation: “Drink this,” Jack was told upon being handed water, a phrase later repeated when Jack gave water to Hugo. Given the liquid’s effect particularly on Jack, the dialogue might just as well have quoted directly from a Communion service: “Drink this, for this is my blood which is given unto you. Do this, in remembrance of me.”

For if there was one thing we can probably all agree upon, in the end, Jack Shephard was a Christ figure whose sacrifice saved many other people. The imagery could not have been more specific: Jack’s questioning and obeying of his father; his leadership of a small group of disciples; his final ascension (in TV terms, in a glowing white light). Even the piercing of his side by Locke/Man In Black was in the part of his body where Christ was speared while in agony on the crucifying cross.

But for most of its long but rarely boring length, the final Lost did not huff and puff and labor toward a heavy metaphorical conclusion. Instead, it was, well, pretty delightful, full of reunions that were both emotional and funny (how about that re-meet-cute between Sawyer and Juliet at the vending machine?). There were sweet little jokes, such as when, 90 minutes into a two-and-a-half-hour show, someone said, “It sure don’t feel like it’s over.” I don’t know how it’ll play with hardcore Losties, but I was glad to see a fan favorite such as Hurley not only avoid great suffering, but become the most important assistant in Jack’s glorification. Hurley was always the most lovable character in Lost, and it turned out that if he represented anything, it was Love itself.

More reactions collected by The Warp.


Tulkinghorn said...

This clip is also interesting:

Generic said...

Very cool. Added to the post.