Lost season 6- A review (spoilers, but of course)So I felt that season 6 did provide a reasonably coherent answer to what happened on the show. What did I feel about the season in general? (this will, of course, contain spoilers!)
Well, it was a mess, no doubt, but Lost is always a mess. The flash sideways sort of worked to introduce an extra mystery to the show without over burdening it, while the main show continued with a reasonable sense of urgency. Certainly not-Locke was a compelling presence, who oozed threat, and made good on his promises, and there was some fairly good journeys this season. Yet the flash sideways, which I'll take about in a minute, meant that some of the journeys just didn't really conclude. I'm gonna take a look at individual characters and see what worked and what didn't.
Sawyer, who had lost Juliette, was clearly a man who had lost his way for a while, but was still pretty decent- the show did not forget the growth this character has experienced since the first season. He was mostly compelling throughout, and a lot of fun to be with. Unfortunately I really want to see what life he got off the island. Because the show shows us who leaves the island, then has them in the afterlife (and way to explicitly state that show..), it doesn't give us time to finish off their arcs when they leave the island. A little closure here would be nice. After all, Sawyer never did leave the island. We can assume he won't go back to being a con man, but it'd be nice to see what.
I have the same problem with Kate and Claire, although slightly less so- we can sort of guess that they'll work together to raise the child, but after Kate finally declared her love for Jack (oh, and show, we don't fucking care about Kate and Jack. We have not cared since the second season.) it seems a bit funny that she's never gonna come back to the island to check on him. I guess she left with the impression that the island was going to collapse, but she didn't know.
Claire and Sayid were also a mess. Why on earth did the show introduce that stupid infection thing? It doesn't actually make a great deal of sense- the infection was pretty clearly shown before as being the Dharma initiative basically lying, and introducing another element during season 6 seemed so pointless. Both Sayid and Claire seemed genuinely deranged and evil, until they weren't. Sayid suddenly sacrifices himself, having been utterly evil up to that point. What was going on there? He rose from the dead long after the restoring waters were meant to help him. For that matter, the entire scenes at the temple were a distraction. For a season that was meant to wrap the show up, it seemed to have a lot of time to waste. Every single scene in the temple was a waste of time that didn't further the plot, and added another needless level of confusion (wait, how come no-one has EVER mentioned this before!). The show did this when it simply didn't need to- why introduce that bodyguard only to blow her up? It just wastes time. I guess there was an attempt to get some emotional weight from Kate feeling guilty about Claire's state, but Claire literally vanished (this wasn't explained either), so the audience sympathies are hardly with her.
On needless death, I felt like the Kwan's deaths was just mean. Its my strong belief that main characters should almost always be killed in emotionally compelling ways. For instance, the redemptive death of Charlie- he has betrayed many people, and dies trying to save everyone. Thats compelling because it has meaning- he is being karmically punished to some extent, but he also chooses the death. The Kwans, however, spend the entire series wanting to be together. They get their wish in death, I suppose, but its an arbitary element- Sun gets trapped, and there aren't enough oxygen tanks. This isn't something they brought on themselves, and their death doesn't help anyone. They just die. Its nasty. It sort of sets up a motive for the others to kill not-Locke, but that was pretty damn present as it was- Sayid's death would have done it.
On characters that did work, Jack and Hurley were pretty good all season. I usually don't like Jack, but I actually think his frustation, then acceptance of the island was pretty damn nifty. I enjoyed it a lot. Hurley, who is always good value anyway, settles into the role as the new Jacob in the most natural way- he seems a sensible fit, for a more caring island.
Finally Ben was sadly a bit of a mess anyway. While he's always a fun character, it was pretty damn clear that the writers did not know what to do with him. Still, his terrible pain at having lost his daughter, and his final revenge on Widmore, was splendid fun.
On the episodes themselves, they were mostly fun. I actually wish they'd replaced the flash sideways with the flash back back episodes. i'd have much prefered to see the plot exposition spread out across the series than dumped into some pudgy episodes in such a clunky method. The main problem with the flash sideways is that its claimed that these people are all soul mates and will find each other in the afterlife to go heaven. Well fine, but that would have happened no matter what happened in life, so do I really need to see it? And I can live without another sodding slow motion hug, thanks a lot Lost. Jack seeing the plane fly off is carthatic, everyone smiling at each other in a church... not terribly. That said, earlier bits, when lost lovers found each other was genuinely pleasing, and it would have been a shame to miss lovers reunions.
So, a conclusion? I think this series could have been a lot better. It had some right ideas, but it padded badly in places, and didn't so some characters the justice it could have. But it was fun, as Lost always has been, and could have been so much worse.