Reaction: LOST, The Series Finale

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I was expecting the very worst end possible for Lost: another round of unanswered questions, new characters to muddle the story arc, tons of techno babble, and at least one farfetched dues ex machina. Yeah, my expectations were set to a record low and I was ready to walk away from the television in total disgust. Instead, Lost ends with a clean finish to the story arc, characters fulfilling their destinies, and a ton of spiritual techno babble that left me satisfied. At least for now.

I include the last qualifier because I remember the finale of Battlestar Galactica leaving me wanting more. Yes, the story was done and we finally reached our promised destination but some of the mystery still lingering with the question of divine intervention (aka Angels in Space). Lost, on the other hand, made a clear separation between what the real world and the imagined universe. A separation and explanation that has me cool for now but I wonder how I’ll feel about it in a few months.

The other reason I’m cool with the ending is that I predicted at least two key parts of the finale. Status = Pleased with myself.
(Spoilers be here)
So what the hell did exactly happen?

Best I can figure, the Island was the real world while the Sideways world was another island. Yeah, they “traded one island for another.” Meaning that, in the actual end, no one got off the Island. Confusing, huh?

Not really if you dismiss a linear time line and open up to the possibility of a pocket universe with no time constraints since it has no physical constraints. Techno babble alert! Simple speak, the Sideways world belongs to all the major characters, except for the ones they couldn’t get to film the finale, with every character entering the Sideways world when they die and leaving it when they’ve made peace with their passing. For some that died early on the series, they’ve been in Sideways world for a while; folks like Hugo and Ben, will enter it when they die; the one thing they share in common: Oceanic 815. We could see it all from everyone’s point-of-view or we could see it from one perspective, Jack’s.

So in the end, Lost is all about Jack and how he comes to grips with his destiny, which costs him his life, and how he deals with his death. If you’re a fan of Jack, you’re probably happy. If you’re a fan of Sawyer, ask for your money back.

Meanwhile, back at the Island, Jack did fulfill his destiny as guardian of the Island but only long enough to give into faith and accept everything will work out when he’s gone. The full closure ending, with the return to the bamboo field and Vincent laying with him and the closing eye shot is way too neat for my liking. Ditto with the Titanic like, all the happy dead people montage at the church. In short, we didn’t need the last twenty minutes or so of the finale.

Suggestion for a better ending? The light in the cave comes back in and Jack is transformed to a white smoke monster and continues his role as Protector of the Island in non-corporeal form alongside Hugo and Ben. The Island stays the same but the protectors have changed their outlook on their roles moving away from the fraternal bickering of the previous regime and dawning a new age of bi-partisan cooperation. Sound familiar?

My dreams of scriptwriting aside, the final fight between F-Locke and Jack rocked the house. We were waiting for a showdown and finally got one. If it could have been drawn out into a larger fight using as much of the Island as possible with the rest of the gang coming through and taking sides, it would have made for some damn good action film level goodness. Believe that. Cuz don’t you want to see F-Locke getting all Rambo and Jack learning to use his new protector powers? Or do you want to see all the Losties crying one-by-one as their life purpose is justified to them? Grown people sobbing, whack. Grown people sobbing en masse, hella whack. Grown people sobbing en masse but happy about it, Dr Phil.

Above all, the Lost creators stuck to their creative vision and gave their all to making Jack, the flawed white privileged male who has given up his faith for science, into their model for modern redemption. To paraphrase: Go Native, young man. Find your natural self, give up Facebook, eat a seafood diet, get lots of outdoor exercise, and all will be well with the world. At least that’s my interpretation.

Could the finale have been better? Yeah, especially if they made the Sideways world ending more meaningful and not just a spiritual layover stop. More Hurley always equals more ratings, Hugo scenes when he takes over as guardian of the Island were pure money. More Psycho Ben is better than Docile Ben, I kept waiting for him to push Hurley down into the well since I like Ben better when he’s killing folks.

It sounds like I’m griping a lot but the true test is if I buy the Season Six DVD to relive the craziness that was this final season. Am I down to look for all the little clues in the Sideways world telling me it’s not real? Can I handle Zombie Sayid’s puppy eyes? Subject myself to the Kwon’s beautiful tragic deaths? Right now, I’d say yeah which means the producers did their job right and now we can sit back and wait for the fan fiction writers to produce the novels, graphic novels, and amateur videos that will keep the Island going on.

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  1. Members of Team Desmond are pleased over here.

    Anyway, I am still thinking about the trope of reverting to the spiritual explanation when all other possibilities are too muddy to write your way out of. (This is why deus ex machina prevails!)

    Am still wondering — Sayid spends the Hereafter with Shannon? Not Nadya?

  2. I could never get my head around the Sayid/Shannon story, as Sayid had been beautifully pining over Nadya from the beginning. For him to suddenly fall in love with the most vacuous woman on the island didn’t work for me. His “awakening” should have been with Jack or Hurley.

    My other issue is the complete dismissal of Miles (he didn’t even get a “he’s not ready yet” mention!). That guy spent 3 years working at the Dharma Initiative with Sawyer, Jin, Hurley, and Juliet! Just because he never had a love interest doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have been in the church. Interesting aside: I just remembered he was also on The Sopranos for a few episodes.

    Anyways, all in all I kinda loved the idea that all the button-pushing and bomb-building and hatches and science (okay, but what is the deal with the island and pregnant women, really?) amounted to…not much in the face of the human connections. Live together, die alone.

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