Last month, I questioned whether M. Night Shyamalan’s films have been cashing in on the cultural capital of the Pixies, whose noisy Bossanova anthem “The Happening” is also the title of the autueur’s next glacially paced sci-fi dystopia. But Shyamalan isn’t alone in his Pixies worship: Lost hopped aboard the indie rock legend’s bandwagon during its season four finale, perhaps in hopes of righting its own sinking ship.
The two-hour finale supposedly killed off a bunch of characters, but any sci-fi (or soap opera) fan worth his or her water knows that no one really dies in these things. And since Lost has determined that flash-forward in the new flashback — for the sake of its slipstreaming subplot or just because of its distinct lack of direction, well, that is up to you — it is more than happy to throw out as many easter eggs and red herrings as it can, in lieu of trying anything new. That process can sometimes lead to serious ennui.
And nothing kills ennui dead better than the Pixies.
Especially the band’s Biblical sex anthem “Gouge Away,” from its seminal 1989 effort Doolittle, which fittingly appeared in the final scenes of Lost‘s season four finale. I say fittingly, because the snoozer needed juice after two hours of going nowhere.
Speaking of, just as most Listening Post readers would rather listen to Bossanova again than catch M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, I would much rather listen to Doolittle over and over than watch the Lost finale again, which tied up zero loose ends in favor of creating more narrative strands it can’t manage. Remember the black smoke? The Others? The jungle monster? Whatever.
At least The Prisoner, from which Lost has liberally borrowed to the point of diminishing returns, ended its feedback loop with resounding closure. It too used pop music to drive its dystopian point home, splicing in The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love” as the series’ antihero Number 6 made his way, as in Lost, to a cavernous hideout far beneath the Earth to confront his bloodthirsty enemies. But Lost saved the Pixies’ bloodthirsty “Gouge Away” for its imbalanced denoument, in which someone we already know (an alive John Locke) shows up, yet again, in another form (the dead Jeremy Bentham) to set the feedback loop back into motion. Bo-ring. The Pixies aggressive classic gave the scene a bracing chaser, but after it was over viewers were left back where they started. Which is to say, nowhere.
Testing patience used to be the Pixies’ modus operandi; check any of their purposefully alienating videos for more on that. But Lost has had four years to do something different, and instead it has done the same thing over and over again. Like Shyamalan, some Listening Post readers might argue. And sure, The Prisoner did the same thing, but its creator and star Patrick McGoohan once complained that the series went on too long — at 17 episodes.
While it’s nice that others are catching the Pixies’ comet tail to bring their own products some much-needed credibility — will anyone here watch Fight Club for any other reason than to hear “Where Is My Mind?” at its end? — it would be even nicer for them to spend less time exhuming their dead plots and characters and more time creating new brain-teasing possibilities.
In other words, Lost, we get it: The island can be “moved” and its inhabitants can travel through time. Let’s follow that white rabbit, shall we? At this point, you can kill off every character for good and start over with a whole new batch. I don’t mind hearing something I’ve heard and loved before, like the Pixies’ “Gouge Away,” but I’m so tired of seeing the same thing I’ve seen and disliked before.
Take Black Francis’ advice from “Gouge Away:” Break the walls, and kill us all, with holy fingers.
This article appeared at Wired