It is a big week for television finales, especially with Lost concluding tonight and 24 concluding tomorrow night. The possibility of future movies might prevent a definitive ending to Jack’s story on 24 but we have been promised that everything will end tonight on Lost (with the exception of a few goodies being held back to help sell the DVD’s).
While Lost had a strong episode last week, it seems pointless to talk about it in depth when the conclusion is just a couple hours away. I suspect that the biggest mystery to be answered will be about the meaning of the two alternative time lines shown all season and how they play into the overall story of the main characters. We have learned a lot about the history of the island and the battle between Jacob and the Man in Black. Many points remain murky, and I bet most of them will be left that way.
The best season finale for a genre show so far has been with Fringe, which has improved tremendously from the first season. (Major spoilers ahead). Until the final moments it seemed that, at least for now, this story about the alternate world was concluded and it was not clear where they were heading for the third season.
The final moments answered that as we found that the alternative Olivia with the hotter hair style had replaced the Olivia of our universe. Seeing characters being replaced by others has been a common science fiction plot device, including Sydney Bristol’s room mate Fancie on Alias and even on Fringe with Olivia’s partner Charlie. It changes the show even more to have the main character being replaced by their evil twin–as if the Kirk of the mirror universe managed to pass as Kirk and remain. Now either Walter and Peter must figure this out on our side and return to free Olivia, and/or the Olivia from our universe must escape from solitary confinement and find a way to return–without William Bell’s help.
V ended the season with almost everyone taking a side. The conclusion with Anna experiencing human emotion and turning the sky red might force the rest of the planet to do the same. At very least it might get the Visitors to install better security on their ship.
The show has lost much of the appeal of the original series (at least early on) which used a Nazi allegory to have the Visitors gradually take over. Instead the producers of the remake decided to go with analogies to terrorism instead, but there was little meaningful to do with this. Rather than renewing V, I would have preferred that ABC had renewed FlashForward.
FlashForward has one episode to go and it is interesting to see many, but not all, of the characters falling into the positions they saw themselves in at the start of the season. Unfortunately while we should see what happens on that day the show will not have the time to address the questions it raised about those who caused the flash forward to occur.