Lost series finale review: ‘The End’

Lost: The EndJack gets beaten and battered in the final episode of Lost.

Warning: Major spoilers follow for various swaths of “Lost” in general, and the series finale in particular. I urge you NOT to read this review if you have (1) not watched “Lost,” (2) remained spoiler-free on “Lost” and (3) ever intend to watch it (which I highly recommend).

As I’ve said before, the true genius of Lost was that it could be so many things to so many people. Because of its vast array of diverse characters and settings (in its various flashbacks, flash-forwards, and this season’s “flash-sideways”), it could do so many things as a narrative universe — episodic, serialized, weaving in and out and connecting characters in Short Cuts-like ways.

And because all of these characters were stranded together on a mysterious island with bizarre electromagnetic properties, a mysterious smoke monster, and apparently no hope of rescue, there were so many stories to be told, and plenty of conflicts to be had along the way. Also, lots of teamwork and camaraderie. It was a community of necessity. Sometimes dysfunctional. Sometimes working well together. Often pitted against outside forces (like the button, or the Others, or a band of Widmore’s mercenaries). And sometimes pitted against one another.

And because of the structure of the show, there was almost literally no limit to how much new information we could learn about the characters. Because this was a narrative that could jump around in time — first in terms of narrative devices like flashbacks, and then later with actual sci-fi time travel — there was a never-ending amount of new information the writers could convey in a purely cinematic way. They could almost always show, rather than tell.

And because this show enjoyed a production unlike many others — and, given the economics of the industry’s future, unlikely to be equaled on network TV ever again, I’d guess — this became not just a series about these characters and their community on this mysterious island, but one of the most cinematic and best-looking TV series ever made, of any genre (partly because it contained within itself nearly every genre).

In short, the real key to Lost was not in its mystery, but in its characters, storytelling, and structure.

Truth be told, if you look at Lost as a big mystery to be solved, you may very well be disappointed with “The End” and season six as a whole, because the secret to the flash-sideways is revealed here as something that is simultaneously completely brilliant and indicative of the season’s big secret being, at its narrative essence, a somewhat dishonest cheat.

The last 15 minutes of the show had me in a stunned silence. It was moving, it was powerful, and as my fiancee and I sat there watching it, I was fully aware that neither one of us said a word because we were so transfixed by the reveal that was unfolding before us, and what it meant. After the screen faded to black, my reaction was simply, “Whoa.”

Followed about a minute later by, “I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be pissed about that ending.”

That was a gut reaction. I’m not sure how many people were pissed, or sort of pissed, or sort of accepted it while also feeling partially cheated. I can say that I am not pissed about the ending. I found it rather satisfying, even if it ultimately revealed many secrets of Lost‘s final season to be red herrings.

Emotionally, it packed a wallop. I went back and watched it again a few days later, and I was even more affected by the final minutes the second time than I was the first. The show really finds the perfect notes in arriving at the revelation that the flash-sideways are actually a purgatory-like afterlife. Jack Bender’s direction, Michael Giacchino’s score, the way Kate looks at Jack and invites him inside the church with the serenity of knowing something great waits inside, and Jack’s trepidation throughout, right up until he puts his hand on his father’s coffin — all of this has a sweeping spiritual feel, an emotional current that few hours of television ever attempt, let alone reach. I thought it was exceptionally well conceived and executed.

As a character piece, the final moments belongs to Jack (as he dies in the parallel narrative on the island), and I thought his conversation with his father was something that worked both as a purely emotional character payoff and as story exposition that finally explains once and for all what this “place” is. As exposition goes, this is about as elegantly done as I can imagine it. A line like, “There is no ‘now’ here” explains all that needs to be said and absolutely no more; yes, everyone in here is dead, but they all died at different times and ended up here together. Time is no longer strictly linear. To emotionally evoke something as mysterious as the afterlife within the confines of strictly earth-bound images is a tall order that requires a pitch-perfect tone and precise performances. They pulled it off.

Also consider that these final minutes pay off with some wonderful character beats. Probably the highlight of it all was the culmination of Ben’s arc. As portrayed by Michael Emerson, Ben has been one of Lost‘s greatest assets — a villain and a liar who has done terrible things (and who deserved all those beatings he received over the years), and yet he has always been complicated and fascinating, and for me there was always the hope that deep down he could be redeemed.

The way his arc wraps up, with his decision not to go inside the church because he simply is not ready, displays a perfect note of ambivalence about the character. He knows he has done awful things — most especially to John Locke — and he is sorry and wants to be forgiven. But he has not forgiven himself. Will he ever be able to do so? Does he deserve redemption? Rarely has a note of ambivalence felt so perfectly right and satisfying and been emblematic of what the character itself represented.

And there are plenty of other satisfying payoffs where that came from. Claire and Charlie and the baby delivery: good stuff. The Sawyer/Juliet scene at the vending machine: really great stuff. Sayid and Shannon: well, two out of three ain’t bad, I guess. (More on that later.)

As a finale, “The End” works both as an exercise in suspense and as a grand storyline/character/emotional payoff. “What is the nature of the sideways universe?” has been the big question driving much of season six, and if you had asked me if the show could possibly have held that secret until the final 15 minutes of the final episode and yet still made it satisfying, I’d have told you it was impossible. Why? Because I’d have figured the flash-sideways would be explained in sci-fi parallel-universe terms, and that ultimately the sideways universe would have to be destroyed or otherwise resolved apart from the island storyline — something I’d assumed would be impossible to do in the final 15 minutes. The twist of making the flash-sideways a spiritual epilogue to everything else is a brilliant move that I’m guessing few people saw coming.

Which of course brings me to the other part of this review, which must admit that, no, “The End” (and season six) is not perfect.

Part of the reason we couldn’t see this ending coming is because it is, at its core, a massive exercise in narrative misdirection. The sideways universe is revealed here as a limbo created by our characters where they could find each other before moving on to whatever awaits them at their next/actual afterlife destination. Fine and good. But why, then, does it look exactly like Los Angeles after Oceanic Flight 815 has landed, in an almost-but-not-quite replica of where the characters were headed before the real flight crashed on the island? Why must they go through this process of discovering each other on a plane of existence that so much mirrors real life?

The answer is simple: Because it’s a narrative device that must fool us into thinking it’s a parallel universe instead of what it actually turns out to be. This place was not created by the detonation of Jughead as was strongly purported. The writers were playing tricks on us.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment stemming from this trick on the audience is that the season’s great opening teaser image of the sunken island — a truly inventive and intriguing mystery — turns out to be a complete red herring that doesn’t mean anything. While I fully appreciate that the solution to the sideways universe is what it is, I am also very frustrated that certain intriguing clues dispensed throughout the season — most especially the sunken island — wind up meaning nothing. They were just diversions.

A lot of people wanted to “solve” Lost like a puzzle, and that’s not an unreasonable approach to the show given what it has been throughout its run. But season six represents a puzzle with many clues that are dead ends in retrospect.

What about all the other people who populate this place? Are they real like the Losties are real? Or are they phantom illusions who exist as false projections? While the final minutes really nail the otherworldly notion of this place, there’s a weird disconnect when you consider that the afterlife is also a place with car chases and gun battles, hospitals and baby deliveries.

In one way of looking at it, if Lost is ultimately just a laboratory for ambitious experiments in narrative storytelling, I suppose there’s some leeway to be granted here. My enjoyment of Lost is not wrapped up in my ability to solve it. It’s just that there’s a certain amount of logic that I want to apply to the show, even though I accept that logic is honestly not always the point. I’d hate to get too hung up on determining whether the finale makes enough “sense” on logical terms, because those honestly aren’t even the terms it wants to live or die on. It wants to live or die on character and emotion, and on those it delivers.

You could make the argument that the finale is the ultimate example of how Lindelof & Cuse have used the Lost universe and all of its structural narrative devices in order to deliver a series finale that brings back as many characters as possible for a grand, satisfying reunion. (Of course, even there, I would say it’s not perfectly realized: For example, why do Sayid and Shannon end up together in the church at the end instead of Sayid and Nadia? No, Nadia wasn’t on the island, but neither was Penny, and she’s here. I just don’t buy Shannon and Sayid as that transcendentally important to each other.)

As for the action on the island, I enjoyed the hell out of it, even if half of the rules were arbitrary. There are some great cinematic callbacks (Locke and Jack at the top of the waterfall peering down as the camera descends), an epic fistfight on a cliff between Jack and Smokey/Locke/MIB (in the grand tradition that the hero and villain must duke it out to settle things that are much larger and more complicated than just the two of them), a white-knuckle race to get the Ajira plane off the ground, and effective uses of dark skies and storms to lend everything plenty of atmosphere.

Granted, the whole business with the magical light at the bottom of the waterfall and the cork that turns it on/off is nothing more than an arbitrary concoction, and a fairly silly one at that. And the show seems to make it up as it goes when it comes to the island’s mysterious magic. Smokey apparently knows little more than anyone else about how it all works (when the cork is removed, he becomes mortal; had he not been killed, would he have become immortal again upon the cork being replaced?). And Desmond’s impervious nature to electromagnetism ultimately doesn’t matter; when Jack puts the cork back in, the light doesn’t kill him any more than Desmond.

So, it’s not exactly iron-clad here. Of course, this is all academic debate, when what I should really be talking about here is entertainment value and payoff. And I can’t really argue with the finale on those counts at all. It works exceptionally well. I wasn’t expecting “The End” to make perfect sense of the season or the series. And it doesn’t. But it was a hell of a ride and it paid off where it mattered. It is fitting that the finale is representative of Lost as a whole — ambitious and entertaining and well made, but with its share of logical caveats.

In many ways, “The End” strikes me as an ending that has an effect similar to the BSG finale. People will come in with certain expectations and will be delivered something else — something that I believe honors the series and the characters, but may not satisfy those who want to solve the puzzle to their satisfaction (even though they may not know what the satisfying conclusion would specifically look like).

Perhaps lost in shuffle when we get too wrapped up in the business of logical dissection is that “The End” honors Lost thematically and emotionally about as well as I can imagine it. If some of the pieces have to be fudged in getting there, I suppose that’s not the end of the world. Because of the size and weight of the series’ mythology, you could argue over the merits and demerits of “The End” forever. I’ve said my piece; now you can say yours.

Finale rating: ***1/2

Footnote: You can file this review under “better late than never.” The blog has not been a place where I’ve been prolific the last couple of months. Such is life.

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29 comments on this post

John R
Thursday, July 22, 2010, 2:14 pm (UTC -6)

Bugger. Shouldn’t have read that. I’ve just got to the bit where we find out that Locke couldn’t walk before the crash. 🙂

Eduardo
Thursday, July 22, 2010, 2:22 pm (UTC -6)

I pretty much agree with the sentiment regarding this finale. I really enjoyed it.

Lost had much going through the character department to be written off as a disappointment, plot-wise.

The End really worked in spades when it comes to action and character payoffs. I’d written off any possible answers to the island’s mystical properties the minute I saw Jacob’s flashback episode. Any attempts to answer such questions would inevitably result in new questions. Ultimately, the questions mattered more than the answers ever could. In the end, the mythology is best left as it is: an everlasting mystery (much like the use of the force on Star Wars).

I also agree that Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were very much playing the devious writer/producers who were flaunting their ability to misdirect the audience throughout much of the show’s run. I can’t wait to see what their next project will be.

For now, I’ll be checking Tron Legacy, which was written by Lost executive producers Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.

In retrospect, there are parts to this finale that only improved with repeated viewings. Most notably, Jack and Locke’s final confrontation was uberepic, right down to the use of the storm, and outstanding cinematography (not to mention Giacchino and Bender’s usual stellar work). The opening montage to the episode is also one of my favorite moments (Giacchino rocks again).

Jack getting to kiss Kate and getting her to admit her love for him also felt like very well earned moments. It really took 6 grueling years to get this honest outcome.

Jack’s death was also very much the best outcome possible. The man of science developed into a man of faith and sacrifice. He finally fixed himself and the thing he despised the most, achieving inner peace. The shots of him lying down next to Vincent were absolutely perfect. Matthew Fox really earned his best actor emmy nom, even if he stands no chance against Bryan Cranston. This was really Jack’s hour, more than anything else.

Emotionally, the episode hits all the right notes. Getting Hurley and Ben to live on carrying the Lost legacy is also fitting. Sawyer and Claire really deserved the chance to finally escape. Plotwise, it closes down the necessary plot threads, while leaving a few open (such as the promised 12 minute epilogue coming on the DVD/Blu-Ray edition, that will showcase Hurley and Ben).

I half expected the Sideways universe to be something other than a result of the Orchid bomb blast, but I didn’t see the post-mortem angle coming.

Brendan
Thursday, July 22, 2010, 2:47 pm (UTC -6)

Pretty much my feelings. Same thing as BSG… again, wish some of these mysteries were at least adressed, but when you change your expecations and just watch the episode on its own merits, it’s fantastic.

Dennie
Thursday, July 22, 2010, 3:21 pm (UTC -6)

I don’t agree. I didn’t see the ending coming, I’ll give them that, but when you twist the story around like this you better make sure you do it right and that is where the writers failed. There are just too many inconsistencies and highly illogical things going on here. I mean a purgatory where people have babies and get shot? And why were so many people missing in the church? Where was Desmond and Penny’s kid? Aaron was there, why wasn’t their kid? Where was Waaaaaaaaaaaaalt? And while we’re on the subject of little boy wonder, we never found out why he was so special. And what’s the deal with Jack’s son who actually wasn’t his son?

I also didn’t buy the cork thing. Pulling the cork makes the island explode, but it doesn’t matter who does it cause Desmond’s “ability” eventually didn’t mean diddly-squat. Why do you become a smoke monster when you’re touched by the light and why didn’t Jack or Desmond turn into one?

There’s just too many unanswered questions and silly storytelling going on for me to enjoy the finale.

I don’t mind not being given all the answers. BSG didn’t answer every question either, but I thoroughly enjoyed the finale and didn’t mind at all not every question got answered. Why? Because the story just made sense. Because it was believable. And because it didn’t involve anything silly like pulling corks.

The final episode of Lost doesn’t deserve more than 2 stars on the Jammer scale or any other four-star scale for that matter (unless it’s a logarithmic scale, then it would probably only be 0.5 star)

Eduardo
Thursday, July 22, 2010, 3:29 pm (UTC -6)

Jack’s son David, the way I understand it, was a way for the writers to address Jack’s long lingering daddy issues.

He needed a way to settle the old ghosts, and try to become what Christian was never able to be (despite them being very similar people with the same job and same issues): a good, responsible and caring father figure. He needed that experience before moving on.

David wasn’t real, just a product of Jack’s post-mortem subconscious. Locke pointed that out, which was one of the last things Jack needed to realize before discovering he was himself dead.

Eduardo
Thursday, July 22, 2010, 3:30 pm (UTC -6)

My point is, had they made this Jack character arc with Christian Shepherd himself, it would have created a number of plot complications, and would have killed the surprise in the finale’s last 15 minutes.

roger
Thursday, July 22, 2010, 3:43 pm (UTC -6)

Dennie, those questions you pose don’t really affect the quality of the show as a whole and certainly not the quality of the finale, which never even promised to answer anything. The finale was meant to do one thing and it did it wonderfully well: resolve the character arcs.

Much of the show revolved around metaphor and philosophy so it’s not really important to get a concrete answer to everything.

David
Thursday, July 22, 2010, 7:51 pm (UTC -6)

I wouldn’t give it more than 2.5 stars out of 4.

By the end of season 5 the series was poised to launch into the final season and take everything they had been developing and wrap them up by providing the final answers and pieces of the puzzle with everything building to the series Big Final Moment–6 years in the making. So like someone mentioned LOST is something that if you attempt to appreciate as a Completed Whole you are going to be disappointed. It is probably best to view it more of a series comprised of various narratives within the larger series and within them more mini-narratives.

It seemed that as soon as Jughead detonated and season six premiered the writers themselves seemed to have been reset to the mentality they had in seasons 2 and portions of season 3. The tone is so different from S3-5 it is jarring. It is back to a stalling mentality, a slow pace, no answers.

The problems this year wasn’t that it was continuing in the footsteps of seasons 3- 5–in my opinion that was its biggest mistake only if it had done so it would have been brilliant–instead it was a mechanical bore that wasted 18 precious episodes. Instead of exploring DHARMA, Hanso, the ancient civilization, Ann Arbor etc–stuff the audience was interested in–they gave us characters shifting back and forth from one camp to another, from one island to another; characters as plot devices or with precious little to do(Jin Kidnapped Plot Device, Sun struck her head, Claire’s arc was as big of a mess as her hair, Sayid arc as explained by L/C was convoluted & unsatisfying); the new narrative device i.e. sideways flashes were boring; the attempts to look back at the series in its final episodes fell absolutely flat(all the old faces returning as nothing more than cameos, the gratuitous namedropping, the old sets like the cave or the cages where it felt so obviously that they were screaming to us–”Hey look remember these back in the early years”); Jacob and MIB were not provided a satisfying origin story; lots of unanswered questions leading to a feel of incompleteness when looking back at the series as a whole; no real clear Threat or Goal to frame and help drive the season as we had gotten in the previous years; no narrative urgency and most importantly the distinct feeling that the writers tried to go the traditional route in how they approached the final season the way any other drama would forgetting that LOST was its own unique animal.

That was one of the most disappointing things about Lost in season 6 and the series finale–LOST was doing such a marvelous job of keeping it together and knowing what they were doing that it wouldn’t fall apart so close to the end yet it did. I thought for sure LOST would finally be the first series to do Mythology right.

LOST really took the Mystery Genre to the Nth Degree–it was so labor-intensive for the viewer. And like any mystery–it has its intriguing teases, clues, puzzle pieces, major & minor mysteries. What Lost did well in those first 3 seasons is build up the mystery of those various mysteries–Dharma, the hatch, the Black Rock, Richard Alpert, the smoke monster, the statue, the Others, Jacob, the island, Ben etc. But like any mystery the time comes when you have to provide answers and explain the mysteries. Just as important as actually answering them is the answering them satisfactorily.

I thought for the most part LOST did answer a lot of the questions to my satisfaction. A lot of them we got complete answers–who were the Oceanic Six, would they find rescue, what was the statue, why didn’t richard age, what was the incident, who was richard etc. But then there were some that the writers started answering but I saw as never being truly finished and so that contributed to a feel of incompleteness with regards to the Mythology like the nature of the Smoke Monster or the mystery of Jacob’s cabin or the Dharma Initiative/Hanso. Then there were those mysteries where we did get answers but I didn’t like them i.e. who/what Jacob was, what the whispers were etc.

When I look at the series now after it is over I see my assessment of it as being as unique as the series itself. Basically the story and my opinion of it were captured in flashes. LOST was a series where you started out with one perspective of it and your satisfaction with it on its own then as new pieces were added along the way and a spin on a scene or mystery resulted you would go back and see a scene or storyline in a new light and reassess the developing story.

I’ll still remember how eerie it was when the smoke slithered across our scenes late in season one but this time I’ll know what it is and what the origin of it was and be let down. I’ll still be creeped out when the Others dressed as Deliverance rejects kidnap Walt but a little letdown by the fact that the Others were a mundane bunch just recruited to protect the island. The Hatch will still be ominous even though it turns out to be a research station. I’ll still remember how intrigued I was by the teaser in “The Incident” when we first see MIB and Jacob and remember how curious I was about their stories. But now I’ll also know answers won’t be coming or won’t be satisfying which sours things to a degree.

I know people have been arguing that it was always about the characters but honestly I always flt S1 was good for characters and building up the mysteries and atmosphere. But S3-5 were heavily centered on Plot and Mythology and since I always felt that was the series’ strong suit for me those were the best seasons of the show–fast-paced, tons of interesting revelations, twists, strong cliffhangers, continuity, action, pulling disparate threads together, ambitious epic storytelling, intriguing plot developments, compelling character dynamics among the various personalities, pain-staking attention to the details, outstanding production values, expansive cast of characters spread out all over the place, multiple locales and sets.

But yeah like I’ve mentioned over the last few weeks that when we saw that some of the survivors get off the island and find rescue it left you wondering how they could top this? What could they do to up the ante in its final season when most of us thought that that particular question would come then not smack dab in the middle of the series run. And the answer was sadly nothing.

“Theres No Place Like Home” in season four really was the series turning point in retrospect–it was the big moment that they never could outdo. Don’t get me wrong I think Season 5 was very very good and they really managed to maintain the same quality as we got in the last half of season 3 and all of season 4 but season 6–the year it really should have hit a climatic point just fizzled.

I will say that switching back to a character focus so sharply in season six and pretty much relegating the mythology and plot to the sidelines was extremely jarring. Not only because it felt dictated by the fact this was the final season so naturally they thought it is time to induce sentamentality in the audience but also because the character work was nowhere near as good or compelling as say in season one.

They had us invest in the mythology and the mysteries stringing us along with the repeated promises they had learn the lessons of other botched mythologies and everything was mapped out and just stick with them. In this final season, they acted like bored children who grew tired of playing with their mythology and just chucked it neglectfully aside and decided now they wanted to play with the characters.

L/C wanted to go back to serialized dramas’ more traditional roots–slow the pace, focus on the characters. But I had two issues with this–1) the character arcs/stories they set up for the final season were boring and not compelling for the most part and therefore insufficient to draw my attention towards them and away from the more compelling mythology and 2) it felt this was only happening because that is what they felt final seasons of shows should do.

I could care less about Jack/Kate/Sawyer. Sayid the zombie was botched. Claire’s arc was just as badly mishandled as her hair–now we know why no hairbushes–Smokey hid them so Claire’s hair would look like crap. Hurley was just annoying. I don’t give a crap about Libby/Hurley. Jin spent the season as a Kidnapped Plot Device and Sun struck her head–woo hoo major character work there!. Locke was dead. MIB and Jacob failed after started out as intriguing figures. Boone, Shannon, Michael, Ana Lucia, Eloise, Widmore made pointless cameos. Richard was a plot device, Ilana an exploding Plot device. Ben was pretty much non-existent.

The only one that had any semblance of a satisfying arc was Jack but he was made to look like an idiot more than I would have liked.

So yes the series finale had a very good idea in how to tackle the emotional side of things–these characters–both on and offscreen had become a family and had such a bond because of everything they went through that it transcended death. However, these characters were all over the place spread out for so many years that it just didn’t feel that the idea was genuine to these particular characters. If you had done something like this on BSG, DS9, TNG I would buy it–LOST not as much.

I waited 6 years for this! This just felt like going through the motions. This was just so long and drawn out. Just a mess in the end and I hate to say that since I was a huge LOST fan but this was not their best work. The only stuff that worked were isolated character moments.

The mythology feels incomplete and like a work in progress-which was fine when the show still had more episodes coming and the hope was held out the answers would eventually come. But now that it is over and there is no story left to tell since you know like the title says it is “The End” it does feel very unfinished and I don’t like that much. I expected to go back and armed with subsequent information provided later on and a lot of stuff would click but now it is just going to sit there and I’ll know answers will never come in a lot of questions/mysteries and I feel like a dup expending energy on them. That kinda sucks. It is like they got tired and just stopped caring about answering the mysteries while the audience never did. Bad form, Carlton and Damon. We saw the tunnel but not clear how he became smoke–did the EM field turn him into that? And the whole DEsmond failsafe think sort of petered out. Disappointing.

Character-wise–well a lot of characters had their arcs wrapped up long before the finale. Sayid’s went off as well as a wetblanket, crazy Claire just didn’t add up to much of anything–still don’t know exactly why Smokey took her–strikes me as more of a plot contrivance that offered up a shocking moment in season 4 than part of some bigger plan and those kind of gratuitous twists I’m not crazy about. Sun and Jin’s arcs when not trying to get back to the island and constructing grid searches was to be reunited. They got their nice moment followed by an abrupt death. Old scenes, old faces are present–decent not the best I’ve seen. Although the best scene the whole time that really hit the mark was Juliet and Sawyer–they were the one couple on this series I actually was invested in and was rooting for–this was one of the truly moving scenes in an otherwise mechanical 2.5 hours along with the Christian/Jack scene at the very end. So not alternate timeline but afterlife explains why Ana Lucia wasn’t ready to let go–she was always stubborn and I could see her having a difficult time with it. Didn’t care for how things were wrapped up in real life on the island.

The Jack/Kate stuff cared as much about it as I ever did which is to say not at all.

What about Ilana/Jacob?–seriously no flashback–every other time we’ve gotten a similar snippet like we did in the season five finale we usually have seen how it fits in with everything else. I was also willing to give writers the benefit of the doubt when they blew up Ilana but if that was all there was to her then they handle recurring characters this season as well as Heroes.

I did agree with Hurley(Hurley was stull annoying as ever and that smug grin that he greeted Charlie with..ugh) saying Jacob said a whole lot of nothing. One of the criticisms I had for this season. I expected answers. And you could argue that Jacob’s non-answer answers and reveal last episode of not really know what his plan was is perfect meta-commentary on Lindelof and Cuse. I hate be so harsh on a show I enjoyed for so many years but they botched it at the last.

The Jack/”Locke” confrontation on the hilltop was exciting. The reveal of the Light was one of those memorable LOST moments and very majestic. But the spectacle and build up to what we see in the heart of the island is anti-climatic after 6 years with the whole mystery of the island and then a tease of it in “Across the Sea”–some bones of people we don’t know and some strange plug Jack idiotically lets Des down there to remove and wreak havoc.

He sucks as Protector–I mean he is going to get the island destroyed on his first day on the job–oops he must have forget to establish RULES and the first one is don’t be an idiot so since Jacob wasn’t much brighter then Hurley is perfect for the job–he has been an idiot many times but Jack forgot to mumble the incantation.

Desmond doing that was just so blatantly contrived. We never learned how Des was going to be a failsafe to stop “Locke” exactly either–given lipservice. MIB’s death was lame and anti-climatic. I even prefer Sisko sending Dukat to “hell”–it was more satisfying.

The pacing is more measured which surprises since this is LOST and the series finale.

I liked the BSG finale “Daybreak” better and as a LOST finale this wasn’t as good as some of the other LOST season finales.

TNG’s AGT is still the gold standard followed by MASH and BSG(it spat on the mythology but at least the character moments were much better than what we got on LOST tonite). LOST did nothing to threaten that or come close to threatening it. I even enjoyed DS9’s “What You Leave Behind” more. This was decent, okay–I’ve seen worse, much worse but I just expected so much more from LOST. And the fact that I’m not writing paragraph after paragraph about the millions of things I loved about the finale and how fantastic it was tells me it fell short in many ways. LOST just didn’t put much effort into this season.

Jim
Thursday, July 22, 2010, 8:43 pm (UTC -6)

I have to agree with Dennie, although i would rate it a little higher. While the end of the character arcs was for the most part satisfying, I can’t agree with Roger’s statement that the finale was only meant to resolve these arcs. A good portion of the episode was plotting, including the magic cork/fantasy elements and the defeat of the smoke monster. I can agree that the finale was character driven, and that it didn’t promise to answer everything, but after building up mysteries for so long I really expected something more satisfying plot-wise.

My main issue with the episode was the sideways universe storyline. While it brought many good character moments, I felt that it just didn’t work. Ultimately the problem with “It’s not real” stories for me is the way they de-value everything that came before them. The episodes earlier in the season that focused on the sideways universe are diluted for me now as they ultimately meant very little.

Since the sideways universe isn’t “real” these stories exist only for further character development, and while that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I felt much of it was rehashed material such as Jack’s need to save everyone, Kate’s run-ins with the law, or Locke’s acceptance of his life in a wheelchair. Maybe if the earlier episodes had focused less on the sideways universe, it would feel like less of a cheat.

That being said, the rest of the plot was handled decently, given that this show put itself in the position that the X-files was in where there were just too many plot threads to weave them together as cohesively enough to be satisfying. It was clear to me in “Across the Sea” that although I though I thought I wanted answers, if they were going to be handled with that type of fantasy silliness (The Cave of Magical Light? Give me a break) I would rather just not have the answers.

Ultimately, the character arcs were more important to resolve, and I agree with Jammer in that regard (Sawyer/Juliet was very well done). Like with BSG, a problematic finale doesn’t ruin all that came before it and LOST was very compelling for most of its run.

The sum up my thoughts:

Finale: ***
Season 6: **1/2

P.S. Jammer do you watch Breaking Bad? I love that show for many of the same reasons I love the Shield, and I know you are a fan of the Shield as well.

TS
Thursday, July 22, 2010, 10:23 pm (UTC -6)

I never really got into the mythology too much when it came to LOST and I saw the same thing happen with this finale that happened with BSG’s. That is: a lotta people hating it just cause it either didn’t answer their questions about something or they weren’t please with the answers they got.

When it comes to character-driven shows like this, I (surprise, surprise) care way more about the characters and their resolutions.

So yeah, your finale thoughts were pretty much exactly like mine. Sayid + Shannon = huuuuh? After he was pining for Nadia the whole season/most of the series??

I liked the overall season more than 5 or 3 (easily the worst ones in my book), but probably wouldn’t say it was as engaging, satisfying or interesting as 1, 2 or 4. Great show, in any case.

TNG reviews to follow soon? Probably not, but hey, one can hope. 😛

Dan
Friday, July 23, 2010, 12:59 am (UTC -6)

The mystery of the nature of the sideways world wasn’t an arbitrary writer’s trick. It was reasonably presenting us the world through the eyes of the characters. Subconsciously, Jack believed that the island really *did* sink to the bottom of the ocean. We, like Jack, didn’t understand the true nature of the place until the final revelation, and that is as it should be.

Why does the afterlife look so much like the “real” world? Well, that’s part of the story, part of the exploration of death and what that experience is like. It rings true to me. It’s certainly more than an arbitrary misdirection.

I think the idea of spending the last season in the afterlife is perfect in a lot of ways. It provided, in retrospect, a deep exploration of one of the show’s major themes: death, and what lies beyond (if they hadn’t done something like this, it would have left their treatment of the afterlife rather shallow and gimmicky — the real substance is here, not in the glowing cave). It provided a meaningful chance for the characters to face their issues (another major theme: everybody has issues) despite those conflicts often remaining unresolved at the time of their death. Of course, it was superficially entertaining to see characters we love interacting in a different situation, many of which we thought were permanently gone. And it did all this without cheating: “whatever happened, happened”; “dead is dead.” It’s brilliant.

Sammy J
Friday, July 23, 2010, 6:53 am (UTC -6)

I would have to chime in with those who respectfully submit that the writers were being devious, if not worse. I loved your review, Jammer, and completely agree with many things you say – the show has much more to offer than just its narrative mysteries, and for most of its run I was satisfied with that.

I think the primary issue for me is the same issue that affected BSG’s final season (and coloured my opinions of that finale in much the same way). It’s all very well and good for television writers to say “we’re not just about the mysteries and the questions; we’re about the characters, and the themes, and the driving ideas”. And what the writers plan is often very different to how much hype the network and the fans give the ‘mystery’ part of the series.

But in the final seasons of both BSG and LOST, the writers – in my opinion – came to believe the hype as much as we did: “Why was the island sunk?”; “Why couldn’t Sun speak English anymore?”; “What was Starbuck?”; “Who was the mysterious God figure?”. I did not require answers to any of those questions when they first arose, because I accepted that the writers would lead me in the right direction. Any excessive hype over the ‘mystery’ was an inevitable part of television as a mass medium. But by the time LOST ended, the writers seemed to be throwing in endless mysteries – like the Sun thing – and endless teases (like, let’s be honest, the number of outriggers in season 6… none of which ends up being that from the infamous shooting scene). They’d taken on that hype, and were enjoying it far too much.

In the end, I’d personally say that the sins of Ronald D Moore were crueller than those of Lindelof and Cuse. LOST, one could argue, left us to fill in the blanks for the most part. So much of season six was character-based, which really should’ve been the tip-off that it wasn’t going to be all answers, all the time. Mr. Moore crafted his entire final season to look like one big mythological orgasm, and then didn’t come through.

Having watched the first seasons of both shows back in ’05, I gave up on LOST and pushed on with love for BSG. I would never have believed that you could take Sayid, Sawyer, Kate and – God forbid – Jack on arcs that would actually grab my attention as a lover of character-based drama. LOST did that spectacularly, and I take my hat off to them, and am very glad I returned to the show.

I don’t require definitive closure on a series – hell, the finale of The Sopranos is one of my all-time favourite episodes of television. It was pure bliss; thematic closure in every sense. And in that respect, LOST did very well.

*However*, having said that, I will find it easier to rewatch BSG than LOST. Because at the end of the day – probably more through the fault of being on network TV than anything writer-based – LOST ended so many acts and episodes with big gasping cliffhangers which in retrospect don’t often mean much. Or so I think, anyway.

Incidentally, isn’t it interesting that both of these shows which featured many thematic and narrative coincidences, and were both forced to become more episodic at times, leading to fan distaste, then both ended by revealing that the actions of pretty much all the characters were just the movements of pawns, often predicted or pre-planned, by a higher being whose motives remain murky and ill-conceived?

David
Friday, July 23, 2010, 1:01 pm (UTC -6)

For all those saying it was about the characters and the mythology was just there to move it along–let me point out that many a drama did pure character-driven stories and didn’t leave people disappointed. Why? Because they didn’t introduce and saddle themselves with a mythology that was at the very heart of the show.

For LOST the mythology was as important as the characters if not more so I would argue. A lot of times they were there providing answers, exposition and reactions as well as being moved around and into places storywise the writers needed them. If you read the interviews, the Q&A, read transcripts all they talked about was plot and mythology. I know it has become the mantra since the end of the series that it was always about the characters but in my opinion that is revisionist history. Go back and watch S3-5 and those are plot-based seasons focusing on teases, exposition, twists, intriguing plot developments, seeding threads, pulling threads together, establishing a timeline, showing how things unfolded with action adventure thrown in.

So I don’t think it is unreasonable for fans to expect satisfying closure on all the questions raised over the life of the series otherwise why did L/C continuously encourage with a cheshire grin us to overanalyze and dissect everything they did if it wasn’t going to add up to something. If it all was meant as some means to an end they should have discouraged devoting so much time to the mysteries. And I’m tired of hearing Moore, L/C say it was never about the mythology–if you don’t want to be burdened with an expansive complicated mythology and they feel it distracts from the character work then here is a novel idea–don’t develop one. Just do self-contained season long arcs that aren’t overly ambitious and overshadow the characters a la DS9.

I’ve had two months to reflect and I still think S6 was weak and the finale underwhelming.

David Clark
Friday, July 23, 2010, 2:21 pm (UTC -6)

When I first saw the finale I would have given it a 3 star rating, based on Jammer’s scale. However, after a couple of months I would now only give it 2 stars. For the show to get 4 stars from me it needed to deliver on two counts, it needed emotional payoff and plot payoff.

I agree with Jammer in that the emotional payoff was spectacular. The final ending wrapped up the characters in quirky yet satisfying way. It was nice to see them all together and all smiling. I thought they handled Ben extremely well, it doesn’t let him off the hook, yet there is hope and a possibility for redemption. The ending religious symbolism also pulled together a lot of the doubts, fears, strengths, and weaknesses of each character. Finally, my favorite scene was the penultimate scene between Jack and his father. I thought that hit all the right emotional notes without descending into melodrama or emotional manipulation. They went with the “less is more” approach and pulled it off perfectly. In summary they earned full points for the emotional payoff.

Unfortunately, the plot payoff was horrible. I think that David’s analysis of the plot problems are spot on. If this series was just about the characters, then why invest so much time in the mythology? In the first couple of seasons the mythology was a device for driving the characters forward, and so one could justify the mythology on the basis of character development. However, by season 4 the plot was everything and there was very little that we learned about the characters. So, at a minimum 2 seasons (4 & 5) were dominated by the plot. You can’t make the audience process and sit though all of that and not have it have some sort of payoff in the finale.

Anthem47
Saturday, July 24, 2010, 1:31 am (UTC -6)

That’s about the rating I had in mind too, Jammer. I’ve obssessed over this show since Day 1 and I found the finale satisfying. I felt the answers they presented were good, though I wished the whole narrative as a whole “fit” better (but serialised writing is a tough job, people forget. I can’t imagine writing a chapter at a time and releasing it, having no way to go back and tweak what’s come before, it’s a unique beast!).

I use Walt all the time as the best example. I think many people wanted him addresed in season six, wanted to know how he was special. The answer seems to be in the end, he just was. And I’m fine with that. No one watches True Blood and asks “why is Sookie telepathic? I want answers!” She just is. I think Lost had a lot of questions leveled at it that were never questions in the first place.

On the other hand, I did hope Walt would come up in some way purely to answer…well, “why” he was special, but as in what was his function? From a writing point of view, was his specialness introduced for a reason or was it by itself his story? (Possibly a bad example actually, I think they wrote out Malcolm David Kelly purely because of his growth spurt and if not for that his story might have turned out differently). Again, this is all material you would clean up a second draft, if you had that luxury.

People also wanted an explanation for the numbers, which was something I didn’t expect. I saw people demanding to how why the numbers kept reappearing. I thought it was just a stylistic flourish. You don’t watch American Beauty and wonder where all the roses come from. And really you can’t answer that, given that numbers are a human concept anyway. If they turned out to be the combination to a lock or some kind of plot device, you’d still be left wondering how they kept inserting themselves in the lives of the Losties. It’s not a question you can answer.

The fact that the numbers of the last six candidates turned out to be the numbers is either another example of the “flourish”, or maybe shows that those six people were so important that the universe was trying to tell them something, at best.

Things that really blow my mind are ‘what is the Source’, ‘what is the Island’ type questions. How do you expect them to explain that? What is the origin of the planet? The Source was probably always there. People even want to know who was the guardian before Jacob’s mother, who was the first guardian? But how far back can we expect them to go?

The real brilliance and the main reason I respect the finale, whether it was intentional or not, was that it split the fans into Men of Science and Men of Faith. I thought the show was always fantasy at heart, so a Gaia-like “heart of the island” that exists there but also exists inside us all, as if the life of the island is also the life of us all, didn’t seem like a stretch. No more than a sentient cloud of smoke anyway. A great number of fans though were expecting sciency explanations for everything though, I think. I didn’t realise that before season six, although it’s fair enough, the fantasy elements were not as overt until season six. I’m not even religious or particularly faithful, but I’m happy to take fiction on its own terms.

I’m not a complete finale defender though, hehe. Like I said above, the narrative didn’t always “fit”. Walt seemed functionless, a dead end. Lapidus was I suppose required to fly people around, but I wish they had the time to flesh him out.

Worst of all for me, the whole theme of birth and fertility felt unfinished. Given birth was possible in 1977 at the latest, they seemed to be implying the detonation of Jughead somehow caused it. Again, an answer I’ll deal with, though I think they could have spelt it out more clearly. Blowing up a bomb next to the source of life might lead to unexpected consequences like that I suppose (and blow people forward in time apparently). I don’t know, there’s a shaky, fantasy logic to it but I don’t find any of that satisfying.

Jacob’s cabin is also infuriatingly messy. The Others thought it was Jacob in there but it was actually MIB trapped in ash (muttering help me to Locke and turning into Christian to confuse Hurley and us). But he was also outside as the smoke monster? Was his consciousness trapped in the cabin? Again, maybe you can piece that one together and I like my fiction to be hard work, but a bit more “flow” to the whole thing would be nice.

Sorry for the lost post, a mixed bag of pros and cons. Overall, I enjoyed it. It wasn’t the tidy ending I hoped for regarding the mythology, but it answered enough to leave me feeling content and hit most of the rights character notes.

PS As an aside regarding Sayid and Shannon. I didn’t like that either, but here’s the thought I had to explain it. I think sometimes love can be a plague on our souls. Even between two good people who love each other, sometimes they’re not meant to be and they’ll push and fight for it so hard until destroy everything around them. Just like the whole theme of letting go, Sayid had to let go of his love for Nadia.

It’s sort of oddly related to why Sawyer and Juliet worked, despite how awkward it felt at first. Kate and Sawyer were cut from the same cloth, they fit each other so well…but their relationship would have been anything but smooth. It’s like their feelings for each other were *too* epic, too big for themselves. Juliet on the other hand was a nice counterpoint for him, calmed him down. Their relationship clicked with fans, I think, because it felt normal somehow. They didn’t end up together because of a fate-induced, meant-to-be, perfection, but because they liked each others company and decided to give it a shot.

Does that make sense? Even in the afterlife, maybe Sayid was aware that he loved Nadia too much. You’ve got OMG-meant-to-be, I’ve-spent-years-searching-for-you Nadia. Or you’ve got Shannon, bit of a fling, but it was comfortable, it kind of worked. Their love wasn’t bigger than each other, it was the right size.

grumpy_otter
Saturday, July 24, 2010, 2:38 pm (UTC -6)

I agree with David completely, in both his posts, except he said it a lot better than I could. All I can say is — WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP! I didn’t start watching LOST until Season 3; a friend convinced me that I would love it and so gave me the first two seasons to watch on DVD before Season 3 started. I was amazed at Season 1, which I watched in a marathon weekend session–this was some of the best TV I had ever seen. Seasons 2 & 3 kept me relatively entertained, though I was starting to get irritated with all the new questions popping up–and no answers.

Sometime during Season 4 I stopped making sure my Tivo was set to record it. It had become obvious to me that there was no way to satisfactorily resolve all the scientific mysteries they had created, I was tired of trying to keep track of all the damn new characters, and I was really sick of Jack’s chest-beating.

I tuned back in for the finale after catching up on the plot on message boards and pretty much laughed my way through the whole thing. Complete and utter cop-out.

And does no one recall, WAYYYY back during Season 1, that the writers stated in an interview that the characters were “not in heaven or hell?” Well, I guess they didn’t lie since it was “Purgatory.” I call shenanigans!

It’s sad to me because they started with such a cool concept–then wrote themselves into such a convoluted snarl that they couldn’t get out without a big ol’ “deus ex machina.”

Vincent
Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 12:36 pm (UTC -6)

I heard a theory about Jack’s son, David, that I really liked. David is actually the son of Jack and Kate, concieved on the night before the Ajira flight. And in the sideways world, it was Jack’s chance to get to know the son he never was able to meet. Since everyone else in the flash-sideways was based on a real person, I like to think David was too.

Evan S
Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 1:58 pm (UTC -6)

Sorry, but I have to disagree. The entire season was a waste. Nothing was answered. Way too many things were nonsensical in the show with no explanation.

This movie pretty much sums up my problem with the show:

http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/05/25/lost-unanswered-questions-college-humor/

SarahM
Friday, July 30, 2010, 9:49 pm (UTC -6)

I meet in the middle, as it were. I was highly dissatisifed with much of Season 6, but I generally enjoyed the finale and found it hit the right notes on a character level. Season 6 tried to be two things without doing either particularly well. The first was character resolution. But…we got a half-assed Sayid darkness/redemption plotline, a let-down of a reunion for Jin and Sun, and very little interaction or emotional fall-out between any of the principle characters. And, of course, many of the mysteries ended up going nowhere.

Where the finale triumphs is actually feeling like it does these characters and their finales a decent service. It /felt/ right, even if it wasn’t narratively satisfying on all levels.

I’d still rank Season 6 behind every previous one except maybe 3 as a whole, though. It had brilliant moments (the Richard flashback, most of the early episodes and, yes, the finale) but as a whole it just wasn’t as a strong as I wanted it to be.

grumpy_otter
Saturday, July 31, 2010, 9:23 am (UTC -6)

Thanks for posting the video, Evan S–that was hilarious!

It got me thinking about SO many things that they set up as though they were significant, then dropped completely. I could almost hear the writers in some scenes–

“Wow, this will be cool!”

“But what will it mean?”

“I dunno. We’ll just kill somebody off to make the audience forget about it!”

methane
Tuesday, August 3, 2010, 7:12 pm (UTC -6)

Grumpy said:

“And does no one recall, WAYYYY back during Season 1, that the writers stated in an interview that the characters were “not in heaven or hell?” Well, I guess they didn’t lie since it was “Purgatory.” I call shenanigans!”

Yes, I do recall that. They weren’t in purgatory at all in season 1. Or 2-5. The scenes in the ‘alternate universe’ in season 6 were in purgatory, but none of the other scenes were. All of the stuff on the island happened in ‘reality’.

I generally agree with Jammer. As an atheist, I should be more bothered by the alternate universe resolution, but it was a fantasy show, and I can accept it on those terms. The finale overall was strong, with a big emotional heft, but having all of the alternate universe stuff being relegated to the afterlife does undercut the rest of season 6. Things like Sun (in the ‘living universe’) being given essentially nothing to do for over a season become bothersome.

Looking back over the whole 6 seasons, though, I still rate it as a fairly strong series.

litg
Monday, August 9, 2010, 9:34 am (UTC -6)

Anthem47,

Totally agree about Sayid and Nadia. I think that the pain she recalled in him, of what he had done to her, meant that instead of simply loving her, Sayid felt compelled to love Nadia as a kind of redemptive action, to make up for what he had done to her. I think that love poisoned everything about him.

His relationship with Shannon, brief though it was, was cleaner, without baggage attached to it. And let’s face it, a lot of the bile towards Sayid/Shannon came from the fact that Shannon wasn’t the most likeable character. Doesn’t mean Sayid couldn’t have loved her. I’ve seen lots of people I couldn’t stand happily married.

Matt L
Saturday, August 14, 2010, 3:03 pm (UTC -6)

You pretty much nailed my thoughts Jammer.

mike
Tuesday, August 17, 2010, 9:54 am (UTC -6)

I thought it made sense.

The entire series was set up as a way for the characters to grow past what they saw as their imperfections. It’s about the growth of consciousness. The rest of it was clues and setting.

Sayid and Shannon made sense if you understand that every major character in Lost was Lost not because they crashed on an island but because they were attached to a false image of themselves. Sayid didn’t get Nadia because it would have been a constant reminder of who he saw himself as- the torturer and killer. He needed to get past that and Shannon loved him regardless of his past- he would have never gotten that from Nadia.

Shannon needed to get over being the shallow slut. She had just gotten to that point when she was abruptly killed.

Likewise, Jack needed to fix something big because everything he had fixed in the past ended up more broken than before. He needed to prove to himself that he had worth beyond being his father’s son [since destroying his father didn’t give him that satisfaction].

Sawyer needed to get over his pain and need for vengeance but more importantly needed to learn how to trust and that he was bigger than the next con.

John Locke needed to understand that he was far more than his body.

But all of them really thought that all they needed to do to be happy was get off the Island.

But getting off the Island wasn’t the panacea they thought it was because Jack quickly realized that getting himself off the Island wasn’t going to help him find himself, only fixing the situation and getting everyone off the Island would.

So staying on the Island was a failure and running away from the Island was a failure. What was left? Destroying the Island so it never entered their lives! If only that would happen then everything would be perfect, right? So Jack changed his strategy trying to detonate Jughead to set everything right.

Jughead worked- Juliet said so. Because she saw that it gave the lostaways the ability to imagine life without the Island. Of course that led to another place where the lostaways still had their inner turmoil to deal with.

So staying on the Island, leaving the Island and “deconstructing” the Island resolved nothing. The lostaways were all lost in their personal dramas yet again, letting themselves be defined by their circumstances instead of using circumstances as a stage to do what they want.

Only Desmond and Eloise were fully awake in the sideways world/purgatory because they were the only ones who understood how to remember themselves thanks to the timeshifting that took place after the Hatch blew and they defined their lives by what was important to them. Eloise took a service to self path but got caught up in being famous/powerful.

On the other hand, Desmond took the service to others path by embracing the chance to be hero he couldn’t be on the Island. He helped everyone to remember who they were so they could move on to the next adventures in their lives, even when it meant doing questionably moral things like running over John Locke.

Maybe this is a long way of saying it was about the characters, I’m not sure.

David Payne
Saturday, August 28, 2010, 9:58 am (UTC -6)

Jammer, it’s been really interesting reading your views on Lost, especially to see how much enthusiasm you still have for the show in it’s final season. As someone who was there from the start, I’m sorry to say I became tired of the formula during the last two seasons. Although I do believe that was also because the show wasn’t as strong in these two seasons. As with 24, I have to think hard to remember the there was a time when I really loved the show. Your reviews help remind of that. I think you’re reaping the benefits of watching it within a shorter time span on DVD. But I am curious about where you rate the show in the grand scheme of things. Where do you think it fits in when compared with other shows?
I don’t think I can really add much more to this thread that hasn’t already been said, except to say that I think despite some good character work, Lost was still a show that always put mystery before character. It presented itself as a mystery show first and foremost from the very first scene and I always felt that the characters were driven by the plot. Most of the interest in the characters tended to stem from surprises that the writers would work into their backstory via flashbacks. BSG in comparison I think was a character driven drama that had mystery elements in it.

ManOMan
Friday, September 10, 2010, 4:19 pm (UTC -6)

I WANT TNG REVIEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TH
Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 1:43 am (UTC -6)

“My enjoyment of Lost is not wrapped up in my ability to solve it. It’s just that there’s a certain amount of logic that I want to apply to the show, even though I accept that logic is honestly not always the point. I’d hate to get too hung up on determining whether the finale makes enough “sense” on logical terms, because those honestly aren’t even the terms it wants to live or die on. It wants to live or die on character and emotion, and on those it delivers.”

I think this mostly sums up my position, though I’m a little more hung up on logic than you. It still bothers me that there are soooooo many strings left hanging. The sunken island is one. The question of why Adam and Eve (really “mother” and “dead-MIB” with their black and white stones) are suggested in season 1 as having clothes deteriorated roughly 40-50 years. Odd that the bodies are really hundreds of years old. They were always claimed by the creators as the main clue placed in season one to prove they knew what they were doing from the start, and yet they were way off on the dating.

It’s things like that that I wish could be answered. Like how Ethan ended up as an other, or why they introduced so many Dharma-ites in flashbacks never to really utilize them as characters ever again. There were just too many red herrings throughout the series that tick me off. The worst is probably the inconsistancies with the smoke monster. And why Dogen had the power to keep smokey out of the temple, and why ash protects you, etc. etc. etc.

I enjoyed the ending, but I felt that a massive fistfight and a cork, and an explanation that the only reason THESE people were on the island at all is because Jacob thought “well, these people have nothing to live for.” and his “if you still want the job, you can have it” after crossing Kate off”. That’s a pretty lax statement considering the precision of the numbering and crossing off names at the lighthouse and the cave.

Alas, Lost will never have all its loose ends tied, but It was still a great show

scootergirl
Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 12:44 am (UTC -6)

For me the island, and it’s various mysteries, has been as much of a character in “Lost” as any made of flesh and blood. As a result I was, and remain, ambivalent about Season 6 and the finale in particular. While it resolved the arcs of the human characters it never resolved the arc of that compelling and baffling chunk of land that for many was one of the reasons for watching this show week after week. I also found the finales usage of purgatory and heaven to be a major letdown. The show had been so original in it’s ideas, so off the beaten track, that a play on concepts that have been core beliefs for billions of Catholics through the ages was downright pedantic. I am not putting down these beliefs but rather saying that from “Lost” I expected something, well, a bit more mysterious.

Fenne
Sunday, January 16, 2011, 5:29 pm (UTC -6)

Well, I’ll keep it short, having watched the finale about two hours ago.

In the end Lost felt a lot like:
1. a big cheat just to keep me in front of the tv (or in my case keep me buying the dvd’s/bd’s, which in the case of season 6 were very expensive);
2. characterwise (since the mistery turned out to be only a means to an end, i.e. see nr. 1) they could have done in 3 perfect seasons what the they eventually did in 6 not so perfect seasons;
3. the closer it got to the end it felt a lot like watching the Matrix Reloaded (“When?” “You’ll know when”; “How?” “You will know how.” “The Island wants (or doesn’t want) this.” “The Island wants (or doesn’t want)” blah blah blah);
4. and then (althoughs from a narrative standpoint well executed) season six felt about as satisfying as ‘These are the voyages’, which was a fake holodeck ‘adventure’ on TNG’s Enterprise and (yes, I still remember it) Bobby Ewing’s Pam waking up in Dallas after an entire season of nothing but a dream.

Lost created a lot of mistery and last september (bought the bd’s in october) I predicted to my friend that Lost could only end in disapointment. I hoped I would be wrong. I find I wasn’t. Emotionally it was a reasonably nice ending. Much like BSG ended. But considdering the expectations that were created, it really felt like a waste of time. Until a few hours ago I looked forward to watching all seasons again to check whether ‘it all fits’. Now I know there’s no need to. It simply doesn’t. If I had known this in advance, I wouldn’t have bought the entire series on dvd/bd. Yeah, cheated is the word.

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