We’re ending Underappreciated “Lost” Theatre week with an episode I myself had overlooked. And it was only through the good taste and sound judgment of my readers that they reminded me to add this episode to the week’s itinerary. Smart folks I have for readers. Is it possible to not appreciate a season finale? Apparently so!
Is there a season finale more maligned than “Live Together, Die Alone“? Granted, that’s a statement based on a curve, what with the season finales generally standing out in people’s minds as either epochal or OMFG-esque. And it’s true that “Live” gets its fair share of props when looking at the show’s history. But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t get enough, and that’s why it’s underappreciated and qualifies for this week’s analysis.
Why it’s overlooked
Jack’s stubborn insistence on going along with Michael’s plan, with full knowledge that it was a trap, marked the first time many people started to hate on the good doctor. Desmond’s actions in aiding Locke, when viewed in light of eventual revelations, seem to function more as a plot device than a series of organic character-based decisions. At a time when our characters were having their hats handed to them on a weekly basis, the almost total defeat suffered at the end of the episode by most major characters can be a tough thing to endure, none more so than an utterly humbled and pathetic Locke admitting his wrongdoing to Eko.
Why it’s underappreciated
Look at the mythology dropped: Widmore, the statue, the purple sky. Look at the revelation of the real world still existing, something that until that moment wasn’t confirmed. Look at that pile of freakin’ capsules in the middle of nowhere! Look at the almost effortless way in which a peripheral character (Desmond) got a flashback that cemented his status as legendary in the “Lost” community. Dear Season 6: get me loving Des/Penny as much as I did after this episode, and you’ll have succeeded in producing a worthy final season. In a few brushstrokes here and “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” you set the stage for the emotional wallop of “The Constant.” I want that couple back.
When compared to the stunning endings of the other four seasons, it’s easy to put “Live” at the bottom of season finales. But based on the strength of the flashbacks, coupled with the mythological signposts only recently reached, I’m not sure this episode deserves such a distinction.
Where does “Live Together, Die Alone” rank among the five season finales? Leave your thoughts below!
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