So here it is.
I’ve been putting off writing this post at least in part because it signifies not only the end of the series, but a significant portion of my blogging activities.
For the better part of the last 5 years (I didn’t start blogging about individual episodes until the Premiere of Season 2) I’ve taken my Thursday (or, as it ended, Tuesday) nights collecting my off-the-cuff results and putting them out there for the world to see, share & comment upon.
It’s been very gratifying and enjoyable, but at times it was also a lot of work.
More often than not, I’d have a long list of comments and theories waiting in my inbox the morning after.
I got LOST and I loved every minute of it.
Now some folks are using the LOST metaphor to completely justify the series finale, The End. I’m not going to be quite so gung ho, but I did enjoy it very much. It was a fitting EMOTIONAL ending if perhaps not the most INTELLECTUAL ending that many folks anticipated.
First, I’ll dispense with my minor quibbles:
- Eko, Michael, Walt
- ABC’s added confusion
Using Season 6’s Flash Sideways storyline as a weigh station for our Losties as they moved between their (mostly) Island-based lives and the afterlife was brilliant in one sense. It provided a nice cover/thumbed-nose to all the haters who speculated that the Island itself was Purgatory.
Well played, Darlton!
But exactly what relationship did that reality have to the overall story arc of our Losties?
Some have theorized that each character gave themselves the kind of “life” in the Flash Sideways that they thought they deserved.
Others (myself included) thought it was another parallel universe/reality/timeline that would eventually merge with the Island storyline.
Darlton had always said that this wasn’t an alternate/alternative to the Island, but something equally “real”. If that’s the case, if the exposition there served to greater explain our characters, I’m still going to need some time to unravel all the little bits we learned about everyone.
I’m actually undecided about whether or not we can learn anything new about each character from this Flash Sideways if, ultimately, it was only a rest stop between Life and Death.
Like I said, a quibble.
I understand the realities of making a television, I honestly do, but I really wish we’d gotten more closure on the fates of some of the first two season’s BEST characters.
I could care less about these questions:
What was Walt’s power?
Why did Smoky kill Eko?
Why is Michael stuck on the island as a whisper?
But I would’ve liked to have known just a little more about those connected to them: Yemi, Vincent the Dog (who looks to have lived out his life with Rose & Bernard [though he wasn’t in the church] & Susan.
Again, minor nitpicks, but I wanted some of the closure for those outside of the church group.
We can discuss Ben not entering the church, but I think that’s just an indication that he wasn’t ready (or someone he was waiting on) to move on.
And I realize that Eko’s exclusion was contractual in nature: they didn’t want to pay him a king’s ransom.
I also understand that promo departments have to drive viewership, but I think part of the blame for fan confusion/backlash about the ending stems from the heavily promoted axiom of “answers” as opposed to “closure” or “goodbye” that would have been more in keeping with the timbre of the finale episode and, ultimately, the series overall.
Phew. What a wreck of a run-on sentence.
Also, they truly fucked up airing the beach view of the plane crash post episode/over the credits.
Many mistook this to mean that the Island was not real (contradicting Christian Shephard) and thought everyone died in the initial crash. Not so.
Others thought this meant Ajira 316 crashed a second time. Also not true.
ABC had to issue a press release explaining themselves, but they really did marr the ending and mess with the perceptions of the fans, many of whom were looking for some kind of Deus Ex Machina to tie up everything. [Sidebar: the mere fact that episode 19 of Season 1 is named Deus Ex Machina should have tipped you off that maybe they were going to toy with questions & answers a wee bit]
I think what we got was much more satisfying, gratifying and respectful than Desmond’s Electromagnetism, Faraday’s “Constant” or Mother’s “Light” explanation could ever have been.
That said, I still want to know where Christian’s body was after the 815 crash. 😉
For those that want closure/exposition/explanation, let me direct you to 2 minutes, 50 seconds of awesome, narrated by nerimon, who closes thusly:
“For me, Lost is a show that isn’t about the story, it’s about how the story is told.”
We had flashbacks, flash forwards, flash sideways, time travel and all things Desmond. We got to see the survivors and their antagonists/protagonists through a huge number of lenses and told to divine (pun intended) our own truth about their natures and ultimate destiny for ourselves.
On the flipside, there are unanswered questions, which I’m happy to discuss, if that’s the kind of thing you’re in to.
My own take?
I’ll just put out a couple of though-starters:
- Jacob::Old Testament God; Smokey::Satan; Hurley::Jesus Christ/New Testament God
- The symmetry/asymmetry of Lost’s storytelling
YMMV, and I know there’s enough religion going around on LOST to start our own denomination, but that’s my reading on things.
Add in Adam & Eve in the cave (actually Mother & Smoky) and maybe the island is some kind of Garden of Eden, minus original sin.
I don’t know. Makes my head hurt.
Maybe the Island is just a MacGuffin after all, and I’m OK with that.
The first decade of the 21st century gave us both 24 & Lost, two shows that played with the rules/mores or TV storytelling like no other shows had done before.
While it infuriated new viewers, frustrated current viewers and sometimes confused the Hell out of both camps, the circular, flashing, interwoven storylines are what made LOST great.
I looked forward every week to reading blogs for Easter Eggs, book & music references and the subtle, hidden connections between each and every character.
If Jack’s “Live Together, Die Alone” statement was a rallying cry for the Losties, the finale showed us that each one had to “die alone” so they could eventually “live (forever) together”.
I’d still like to know what happened to Hurley, Ben, Desmond & Penelope after Jack closed his eyes, but that’s a different story.
Did Sawyer really reform after Ajira 316?
Did Kate go back to a life of crime (or was she captured) [she survived TWO plane crashes!!!]?
Did Lapidus get a hero’s welcome?
Did they start their own “Ajira 6” backstory to explain everything?
As you can see, my questions aren’t about Dharma (science) or Others (faith) since, to me, those groups were just stand-ins (at times) for various sides to the Island argument.
Jacob v. Smokey
Locke v. Jack
Ben v. Widmore
All of them explorations of what we saw back in Man of Science, Man of Faith back in Season 2.
In the end, I got as LOST as the characters, and LOST *in* the characters, as I ever wanted to be.
No explanation of time travel or the numbers or the light or the hatches would ever be as satisfying as the thought that what mattered, to those people, was spending eternity together based on a few hundred days together (plus three years) on an Island.
MacGuffin or not, I’m happy that plane crashed and even more happy that the story was told (and eventually ended) with us winding our way back and forth over times and stories to a place where we’d all have to sit back and reflect on what happened.
I’ll leave you quoting the inimitable Bud Cadell:
All of this here (and maybe even the show itself) was just my two cents. Agree or disagree, like or dislike, I’ve enjoyed the journey and your company on it.
If you ever lurked or commented or linked, please stop by in the comments and say hello and/or goodbye.
I’ll see you in another life, brutha.