Misplaced is certainly one of my all-time favourite reveals. Each night time it aired from 2004 to 2010 was appointment viewing. However throughout that point, the way in which folks regarded on the hit ABC sequence didn’t essentially match what the present was making an attempt to do. Misplaced was two reveals—a present about damaged folks rising and altering in extraordinary circumstances, and a present about mysteries that dated again many years and finally centuries. Caught between being a present about folks and a present about mysteries, Misplaced may by no means actually fulfill everybody, which particularly grew to become true in its last season because it launched “flash-sideways” and tried an endgame the place an alternate actuality could possibly be affected by the alternatives made on the island. The ultimate season needed to “reply” questions and attempt to tie up each unfastened finish whereas nonetheless servicing an ensemble solid of characters. Below these circumstances, maybe it was inevitable that the sequence finale, which aired 10 years in the past at this time, can be divisive.
Individually, on the time I felt that it was a half-successful finale. I by no means actually purchased into the self-esteem of the flash-sideways though I discover the idea of alternate realities fascinating. The issue was the “awakening” machine the place somebody within the flash sideways would keep in mind all the pieces on the island and immediately rework, which at all times felt like somebody watching a recap of one thing after which saying that they had watched the present. It was a reminiscence of a lived expertise relatively than an precise lived expertise (and what occurred to the life they lived within the flash-sideways?). Nevertheless, I felt virtually all the pieces on the island labored. Though I was by no means completely on board with The Man in Black assuming Locke’s id (Locke’s demise felt anti-climatic as a result of it was shrouded in thriller and solely actually resolved when Jack acknowledged that John Locke was a nice man), a lot of the island stuff labored as a result of these have been our characters making actual decisions. Whereas the bigger thriller stuff sort of flopped, the characters remained fascinating, and that’s why I proceed to like Misplaced.
As a result of the thriller stuff was the hook, mysteries grew to become the present’s id within the well-liked consciousness and for elements of the fanbase. “The place did the polar bear come from?” “What’s the Dharma Initiative?” “What occurs to pregnant girls on the island?” “Why did The Others kidnap Walt?” “What have been Walt’s powers?” “What was the smoke monster?” “What did the numbers imply?” These mysteries and extra lit up message boards and had followers puzzling over doable options for years, however they weren’t why Misplaced was a good present. They have been the tantalizing dessert that stored you intrigued, however the meat of the sequence was about folks. Misplaced, at its core, is about who we’re, the selections that form us, and if it’s doable to alter. That’s a common story and the way in which Misplaced made flashbacks an integral a part of its id gave the present its form, shading, and definition.
Misplaced requested and answered many questions over the course of its six-year run, however there wasn’t actually a single revelation that might match the dizzying highs of its character moments. Once we study in “Walkabout” the reality about John Locke, sure, it’s a revelation, however it’s probably not in regards to the island past some undefined energy it may need. The revelation is about a man. It’s about who John Locke is as a particular person, what drives him, what frustrates him, and why him coming to the island is particular. When Desmond and Penny reconnect in “The Fixed,” what we keep in mind isn’t the how of him changing into unstuck in time, however the emotional grounding of how real love transcends area and time to bond two folks collectively.
Javier Grillo-Marxuach, who wrote for the present for the primary two season, made an astute level in his private essay “The Misplaced Will and Testomony of Javier Grillo-Marxuach”, writing:
“Whereas a lot of the accounts of Misplaced‘s creation hinge on the query of whether or not we knew what the island was – and a lot of the criticism of the present facilities round whether or not or not we had labored out the mythology upfront and whether or not or not we precisely represented to the press the extent of our preparation as soon as the present grew to become a success – few folks ever ask if we knew the characters or had their tales labored out upfront. I discover that curious.
Arguably, the explanation viewers members fell in love with Misplaced was as a lot, if no more, that they bonded with our ensemble as they have been tantalized by the mysteries of the island. A lot of our work in these early days got here within the type of determining who these characters have been, how they’d work together in sequence, and the way their tales may play out in relationship to 1 one other.”
Reveals can survive on mysteries alone, and other people take a look at rapidly not due to an unsatisfying decision however as a result of a character’s id was betrayed. In the event you comply with a present for years on finish, it’s not since you wanted to know the way some fictitious factor was associated to a different fictitious factor. It’s since you’re invested in a character as a result of that character speaks to you in a roundabout way with their struggles and their feelings. It doesn’t actually matter how the island restored Locke; what issues is watching a man of religion wrestle with a new id and the way he’s felt cheated his total life. John Locke doesn’t communicate to us as somebody who underwent a magical transformation; he speaks to us as a man who desires to consider there’s a energy on the planet that may give him new function.
One of the best characters on the present — Desmond, Hurley, Solar, Sawyer, Sayid, Ben, and extra — communicate to us as a result of we care about their particular person journeys and the way they relate to one another greater than how some mystical or scientific clarification speaks to one thing else. And since showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse virtually at all times managed to remain true to their characters, Misplaced endures. Clearly its affect on style tv was groundbreaking and there have been a bunch of Misplaced clones in its wake, however Misplaced stays a nice present as a result of its basis is the characters, not the island mysteries.
Not each decision was completely dealt with, and a few characters’ exits felt abrupt and a little bit of a cheat. However the core of the present was in regards to the decisions we make shaping who we’re, and if there’s the chance for change and redemption. Sure, it’s laughably heavy-handed when a character named “Christian Shepherd” reveals up on the Holy Church of All Religions Are Cool and explains that point on the island was essential, however that’s simply an pointless button in a single episode. Whenever you have a look at the present throughout its six seasons, you see a story about wealthy, attention-grabbing characters who lured us in with their compelling narratives. That’s what Misplaced was about and why it stays a present value watching no matter its finale.
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