Star Trek is fantastic. The Fringe finale shocked and awed. And the Lost finale made me grip my screen and scream, “No, don’t end yet!”
I bristled with anticipation at just the thought of seeing these three. Star Trek came first on Sunday. I was never a Trekkie. I was always more of a Star Wars fan and I have a sustained interest in following up on the Legacy era (40 plus years after Return of the Jedi). Star Trek never caught my attention, and yet I was so excited to see this latest film. Why? I trust the creators. JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have done some solid work on Fringe, and the latter two worked on the new Transformers films which I also enjoy very much.
I’ve come to rely on this creative team’s incredible ability to balance strong characterization with fantastic themes. Lost, which Abrams co-created and produces as well, is the epitome of this.
So when I saw Star Trek, I immediately understood how it is first and foremost a film about Kirk and Spock, with space and time just being setting and circumstance. The glowing reviews pretty much capture what I enjoyed too, but there is deeper satisfaction on my part knowing that this team delivered once again.
Then Fringe. The first season’s finale had two cliffhanger moments that made my jaw drop. Though a DC comics fan, I never really warmed up to the notion of a multiverse but Fringe is executing the idea very, very well. The reveal about Peter is something that promises just so much story potential. This quirky father and son relationship just got much cooler and I can’t wait to see where it goes. As for the William Bell reveal, I just can’t help but be awed at that final shot as the camera zoomed further out. This show takes itself very, very seriously.
And finally Lost. What can I say? I love this season. And the way they ended it made sure that I’ll wait for next season in the most cruel way. The next nine months will be the longest, most agonizing wait ever but I’ll be there.
For those who don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading here. You have been warned.
Some thoughts on the finale:
Two scenes stole the show for me. First is that with Rose and Bernard. Jack should have been there when they spoke to Sawyer, Kate and Juliet. They made the strongest case anyone could make against Jack. Second is that quick bit with Miles and his suggestion that Jack’s plan may be the very incident that causes their plane to crash in the future. This is quite a monkey wrench. Again, Jack should have been there.
But what about that ending?
The show may have written themselves into a corner here. If the explosion does change history, then what were the past five seasons all about? The plane never crashes, so gone is the primary conceit of the show.
But all is just as futile if the explosion fails to change anything. For sure, I can see this happening. It’s a loop basically — Jack detonates the bomb, the hatch is built, an accident at the hatch crashes their plane, Jack miserably leaves the island, is forced to return, lands in 1977, and so on. Whatever happened, happened.
What do we get from that? That life is futile. Human effort means nothing. What’s done is done. I refuse to take that away from the show. I sense that this betrays the fundamental theme of redemption that the show has anchored itself on to since the very beginning. Unless of course Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are nihilists, then there is nothing I can really say to them.
And yet, I have hope. There is one line at the beginning of the episode that stayed with me until the very end. Jacob said everything we really need to know,
“It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”
Now, the nine-month long “To Be Continued” begins.
P.S. If I could point the trio of Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman to revitalize another franchise, it would have to be Superman.