Sunday, September 27, 2015

Once Upon A Time: All Get Happy Endings?




So Once Upon a Time...It's about a young boy who finds his birth mother and makes an outrageous claim that he's from a town called "Storybrooke" where all it's citizens are fairy tale characters. He brings his mother Emma to the town believing she'll be the savoir and so... the story goes... on and on to our present time, or rather to the time that I  write this piece.

It's September just days before the premier of Season 5. Emma Swan is about to become the new "Dark One ".  She becomes the new bad guy having taken up the job to save Regina the misfortune of having to do it by default. Emma's feeling was Regina had worked so hard on self improvement that she didn't think it just not to see her  rewarded. Emma therefore sacrifices herself to become the Dark One.

 
 Don't get me wrong. The show has been fun although I felt Season 4 lost much of it's magic to thrill, but Emma being the dark one... has possibilities. Still, it's almost laughable that  Emma would or should feel too much sympathy  towards Regina. As the evil queen and let's include Rumple as well I'd ask do they truly deserve..."happy endings" ? I find it amusing how these unrelenting villains can finally see the error of their ways, throw a little romance into the picture with some tear jerking music and all gross atrocities of their pasts are marginalized and forgotten. Just for fun lets look at Regina's past...

1) She killed her own father
2) She ripped the memories from all the fairy tale characters and took them to a world against their will.
3) In the Enchanted Forest she killed a man just because they were having a wedding on her land.
 4) She ordered a whole village of poor smucks killed in her pursuit of Snow White
 5) She killed Owen's father, a father and son who made a visit to Storybrooke.
6) She killed Sheriff Graham by crushing his heart




7) She tried to kill Emma by giving her a bad apple and Henry took it to prove a point and nearly died.
8) She nearly chocked a girl to death when challenging Snow by lifting her up in the air.
9) She snuffed out the life of some of her guards unmercifully,
10) She turned a small Elf into a stone statue just for giggling.
11) She locked Belle up in a mental ward for 28 years, just to be spiteful to Rump.
12) She and her Mother, Cora killed Johanna, Snow's friend by blasting her out the town clock window.

Yes I know it's only a TV show, and I laugh  as I put this down....but what about the lives of a Regina's victims? They didn't deserve a happy ending as well? Forgiveness on minor issues is one thing folks...but we're talking about atrocities where no reasonable judge would let her out of jail for a thousand million years! I suppose even if Henry thought through on the issue he'd probably stay away as well. Strange thing though... fans of the show support her character and are pining for her ending to be happy at last. A little bit of sweetness from Regina goes a long way towards setting aside all atrocities I guess. A little dab will do you. :)  
 
[Just a side note. Lana Parrilla  who played Regina did an incredible job. Regina's statement, "I'll destroy your happiness if it's the last thing I do" will put fear in you leaving you with sleepless nights without end! Perhaps though like Leonard Nimoy  who put out a book, "I'm Not Spock" Parrilla will put out something similar! Now wouldn't that be magical?]

Let's look at Rumple! Much better than Regina? Here's his record,
1 ) He killed four soldiers on of which had made him kiss his boots,
2) He killed a man whose cart nudged up against Neal giving him a mere scrape
3) He killed a young lady who was his maid merely because she overheard a snippet of information
4) He killed his own wife because she was guilty of infidelity
5) He did in Belles fiance  by turning him into a flower! Well at least he'd smell good!

That's all fine though. None of those people surely deserved happy endings! A few of them might have committed an odd selfish act like the "kiss the boot" guy so for sure Rumple was justified in breaking his neck. How short sighted of anyone to think he should've shown restraint. Ha! Maybe one could say, Once Upon a Time there was a privileged few who would get their happy endings at the expense of others but... maybe that's the way it should be at least in some strange weird universe.

The victims of Regina and Rumple never demonstrated they had hopes, dreams and a passion for life but then again....maybe they didn't have time .  Should all the fictional characters on "Once Upon A Time"get happy endings? Or how about they receive the lessons that life needs to teach them and that's the way I'd cast my vote.  I've liked the show and have considered much of it  fun but if Storybrooke is all about happy endings for those who are least deserving if you had to pick a town to live you might consider one down the road.  

Monday, September 14, 2015

Unlocking The Flash Side Ways Universe of "Lost"




I had been reading some old posts on a web site in regard to the mystery of the television series LOST. It's quite peculiar that discussions of the series still takes place but it was a show enjoyed by many a few years back. The issue I'd like to explore  is just what was the nature of the "flash sideways" universe, timeline or whatever else one might want to call it which was introduced into the story at the beginning of Season 6. I'll refer to it here as the UPPER timeline as well. It seemed to start or find it's beginning point of existence when Juliet in the last  episode of Season 5 blows up the hatch or the research station with an atomic bomb no less.  
 
 
Her reason for doing so was her belief that all that took place before would be changed....that Flight 815 would never have crashed and that past events of TIME would be changed, thus sparing them from the difficulties they'd been through. This last episode of Season 5 ends with a bright flash of white light to set the stage for the next Season of LOST. Fast forward to Season 6, 1st episode and we see the answer to the question...or so one would think watching the first few minutes. Episode 1 shows the white flash of light and presto! They're aboard Flight 815 presumably before the crash of 815 but this time the plane doesn't do so. One therefore could be quick to conclude it worked that they succeeded in their goal, that they had in effect....changed time.  




That conclusion is brought into question however a few minutes later when another scene ahead reveals the residents of Lost are still back on the island. The bomb did go off and yet they were still alive albeit greatly dishevelled. So now viewers are faced with a glaring contradiction. The writers of LOST are throwing you into a quagmire of confusion. As I've said I'm going to refer to them as time lines, one where the characters of LOST are  continuing on their Flight 815 without crashing...the other where the bomb didn't achieve the desired  end result!

 It was the writers objective at this time,  one could say to have us on the ropes! When one examines closely the first scene of what I'll call the "upper timeline" where the LOST characters are flying once again aboard the plane that is before the original crash, you'll see embedded in that scene a clue or key on how to unlock the mystery, however even that must be held onto to right to the end of Season 6....the very last episode.

At that point the  pieces of the puzzle can be seen to clearly fit together. What's the clue? Jack on board the plane goes to the rest room and is surprised to find a small abrasion on his neck, drawing blood. That's it. That's the clue which will eventually unlock the mystery.  You'll notice that CLUE of the blood on Jack's neck is repeated more than once  in other episodes that is in the flash sideways reality. You keep seeing this small amount of blood on Jack's neck  in different scenes but here's one more very revealing clue in the Flash side ways....Jack looks in the mirror and raises his shirt to look at his side. He doesn't see anything but he's sensing something isn't quite right, with his side.





All right, so how does the small amount of  blood on Jack's  neck and something wrong with his side relate as the clues and key? One doesn't find out until the Season's grand finale, It's revealed in the fight between Jack and Locke on the island in the lower time line. Recall that they're both fighting at the edge of the cliff and Locke plunges a knife into Jack's side. He then turns him over and seeks to bring the knife down upon Jacks neck. The camera stays on this shot for considerable time where Jacks resisting but the blade does draw a small trickle of blood from his neck.

[remember now...the blood on Jacks neck he notices when aboard Flight 815 AT THE START of the flash sideways]

Kate in the lower time line shoots Locke from behind with a gun, BUT Jack from that point, from that exact moment..is in the process of dying.
 
Here's the thing...many have said in the flash sideways Jack was dead at the time. True? Not exactly, although true to a point. Let me put it this way...he was as some might say  as good as dead. You have to understand a concept here which the writers considered valid or they had at least heard of this phenomena, which is right before some dies they're STILL HERE in a sense...and yet they're seeing over into the other realm, the other place, the other reality...they're sort of in a mix between two worlds. Let's just say from the time that Jack and Locke had their fight on the cliff until the time when he closed his eye for the last time....and died...pretending all this wasn't fiction we could say it was about 45 minutes from the point Jack was stabbed until he drew his last breath. From our vantage point in the lower time line that's how long his experience was from start to finish in the side ways state of existence.


For Jack however it seemed days and from his vantage point in what we could call the UPPER realm, it was. Desmond Hume was the first of the group to experience....the flash sideways place. You'll recall Charles Widmore subjected him to the power of electromagnetism in the shack with the solenoid coil. He felt he was gone for hours but in fact it was a mere few seconds. This same principal held true for Jack. His whole time in the sideways reality was truly less than an hour, again to the time of his fight with Locke on the cliff until he closed his eye for the last time having died.

To confirm this once again  you'll recall the last few seconds before Jack died....he's walking in the jungle stumbling while doing so, then a quick flash scene of him  walking to greet Locke in the church, then in a flash he's back on the island falling down on the ground to die and then a quick flash to the UPPER place where he moves his body to sit down with Kate in a pew. All his actions in both realms are simultaneously taking place. Every thing is lining up. The whole time line of the flash sideways, UPPER place I've called it truly started at the time of the fight between Locke and Jack.

Technically he isn't dead and yet he's more on the other side, the eternal, than the lower physical world. Once he closes his eye, he's technically truly dead or disconnected from the earthly realm. So what of all the others on the island. Just to mention a few Kate, Sawyer, Claire, Syid, and Locke, plus others.....some died before Jack and some afterwards.

All die at sometime however but as they would or had they found themselves in the UPPER place...the flash side ways. On another note is't interesting the writers of LOST claim they didn't put any real focus on any one particular religion in the upper time line where things were being orchestrated to bring them all together although I take issue with that and contend  they did. Yes in the church in the FS they did incorporate symbols of various religions but take special note of the one who was the KEY speaker taking the Losties into the LIGHT. Christian Sheppard.

 

Kate in the flash sideways made a special mention of his name, by saying to Desmond, "You're kidding!" He wasn't. The name of Jack's father was Christian Sheppard which had to be code words for meaning, 'Christ The Sheppard'. And what does Christ the Sheppard do? He's the one who ultimately takes people into the light, which is what Jack's father did. Naming Jack's father Christian Sheppard was I'd say a subtle way and really if you think about it a not so subtle way of highlighting Christianity as being the way into the light.

Putting all political correctness aside it does seem to be the slant or way of thinking the writers of LOST wanted to convey, although some might disagree, or to put it this way...one may not agree that Christ  is the exclusive light bearer, but I think it can be hardly denied that such in a subtle way is what the writers of LOST tried to convey. It does seem regardless of claims to the contrary they were favouring a Christian direction to end the series. Whether it's because they felt the largely U.S. viewership would respond to it more favourably I wouldn't know...BUT it does seem clearly apparent.


The flash sideways place or upper timeline as I've called it...what was it's actual purpose? It's been acknowledged to be a place for the LOST characters to come to terms with loose ends about their earthly existence...things that still needed to be worked out and addressed about their characters before moving on. Swayer felt the need to be a more honourable person...thus in the UPPER timeline he found himself as a police officer. Kate needed to stop running and demonstrate a willingness to be a help to another....thus her being with Claire and helping her through difficulties.

Claire felt the need to become a good Mother and Jack felt the need to become a caring and compassionate father. Benjamin Lions was one who felt the need to be a support and encouragement and so we see him helping John Locke in the upper time line. One can see how much he wanted to be a good Father in support to his daughter Alex and her mother Danielle. Yes I know. One might claim the writers said they didn't create a purgatory idea but everything they put into the flash sideways must be acknowledged is basically the same thing.



 
So in conclusion....did they bring the series to an end which was satisfying to most fans? In regard to Season 6 it was quite a unique manner or approach in story telling to say the least. The first scenes and start of S-6 was really a flash forward of what would become created.... in the last episode of Season 6. Flash forward, flash backwards flash forward, flash backwards...WOW! I wonder however if most of their fans had lost patience with the writers in not bringing any type of closure within a reasonable matter of time over the many unanswered questions.

You can see my evidence for believing this to be the case in the blog I wrote in 2014 as we examine the shows ratings from year to year. [click link]

http://bob-richards.blogspot.ca/2014/05/my-thoughts-on-tv-series-lost-2004-2010.html

I would say LOST was a bold attempt to do something different, something out of the ordinary. If this was their intent than I suppose one could say their goal was achieved. I did find the series entertaining however there was many themes introduced which seemed to be mere filler to keep the show afloat. Would it more than likely have been better to end it after three seasons instead of six? Perhaps so.