Better make it worth it, “Lost”

By Amanda Marcotte
Thursday, May 6, 2010 21:59 EDT
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There are many important political issues I could no doubt be writing about, but it’s sunny and I’m cheery and I want to write about TV. About “Lost” in particular, since the latest episode caused so much grief. It caused me grief, too! In a bout of narcissism, I determined that the writers discovered the Amanda Marcotte “hot or not” index of characters/actors on the show, and decided to kill them off based on how hot I find them. So goodbye Sayid and Sun, who were both extremely charming and sexy characters. Goodbye Jin, who is played by Daniel Dae Kim, who is so good-looking that I’m somewhat convinced he was made in a lab. But Kate gets to stay and continue to annoy the living shit out of me, and while I think Matthew Fox does a bang-up job of playing Jack, it’s really kind of sad that this show is really going to end on the All About Jack note. He’s a good character, but fails the Amanda “hot or not” test.

There is a flaw in my theory, which is that Frank went down before Sawyer, and Sawyer is admittedly ranked over Frank on the hawt scale. One could point out that Sawyer was only spared by doing something so unbearably stupid that he fell right off the hawtness scale. Still, Frank ate it and Hurley didn’t, and I put both characters into the “lovable schlub” category, so perhaps my narcissistic theory is half-cracked. Nonetheless, I worry that the finale is going to be all Kate and Jack versus Locke, and I’ll find myself rooting for Locke just because Terry O’Quin is the shit. This is a troubling situation, since I don’t think we’re supposed to be rooting for Locke to get off the island and destroy life itself.

Who lived and who died is troubling on another level, one the Feministe writers were all over. “Lost” has fallen into the classic horror movie trap, described beautifully by Liz Lemon on the most recent episode of “30 Rock” when Jack told her he was going to a will reading.

I know this is a difficult time for you, but word of advice: if the will says that you have to spend the night in a haunted house, you better hope that everyone else there are black people or sluts.

At the beginning of the episode, we have a gang of eight Losties, and four are people of color, and by the end, we’re down to four Losties, and only one is a person of color. And I’m just going to suggest that Sun was also getting the Slut’s Punishment, as well. Sure, calling Sun a “slut” seems like a stretch, since she’s Mrs. Married on the show, but let’s not forget that one of the events that led her to be on the plane in the first place was her adulterous affair. At the time, it seemed like it was one of the most sympathetically portrayed bouts of adultery I’d ever seen on TV, but now I’m wondering if she wasn’t being set up for a long-range “suffer not the sluts to live” plot line. Sure, Kate may have murdered someone, but she’s not a cheater, and she only gets it in the shoulder. Let’s just hope things work out better for alternate reality Sun and Jin. I suppose it’s also possible the producers are annoyed that audiences way prefer Sun and Jin to whatever the fuck Sawyer/Kate/Jack are doing.

Or maybe they didn’t think of it that way at all. Either way: sucketh.

There is one way that I think this show could end that would still be amazing, and that’s for Jack to sacrifice himself so that Hurley can be the big island godhead. That way, they can still have Sayid’s last words to Jack be right, but they don’t end on the entirely predictable and annoying note of Jack being exactly as important as he thinks he is. And they slightly dodge the “it’s all about the white guys” issue. Hurley also seems more interesting because of his unique history, including his bad luck. More than any other character, he’s been marked as special by something other than his own ego telling him that he’s special. He’s the only one talking to Jacob, or anyone dead at all. He also has the best temperament for the island, since he’s so laid back.

Of course, that assumes that the show resolves by having just such a replacement for Jacob to keep the smoke monster in place. I still maintain that the show is heading towards a finale like the one on “Buffy”, where there will be a big explosion and a creative way to escape the trap of having a single person installed to protect the world from evil. If I’m right, then killing off characters to raise the stakes is even more frustrating, because if there are multiple Losties that get away—and I believe there will be—then those deaths happened in vain.

And where is Team Richard?

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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