LOST Series Finale Review: Was it Really Worth You Going Out Like That?

 *WARNING: If you haven’t yet seen the LOST series finale, don’t READ this, for the love. It contains major spoilers*

It’s been an epic journey, hasn’t it friends? My initial reaction to the series finale was one of total anger. It then turned to a vague acceptance. I think it ended poignantly and movingly–but it just wasn’t RIGHT. I’m so disappointed. I’m a cult fan. I read Bad Twin. I’ve spent time researching the De Groots. I’ve involved myself in The Lost Experience. I know who Rachel Blake is. I’ve spent hours analyzing literary allusions the writers made. I checked out that canonical site about how yellow labs are magical. But in the final analysis, I have to use the epic words of Whitney Houston: It’s not right, but it’s okay. I’m gonna make it ANYWAY.

Keep in mind this is my opinion. I’m aware that many people loved it and thought it ended perfectly. Feel free to comment and tell me why you loved OR hated the finale in the comments.

My immediate interpretation of Christian Shepard‘s convo with Jack about how they were dead was that they died IN the initial plane crash. My mother actually believes this is what happened and thinks the finale was excellent–despite LOST‘s leaving so many questions and sub plotlines unanswered. We disagree. Conversely, while I’ve somewhat made my peace with the show’s (in my opinion) fairly anticlimactic ending, my brother, the ultimate Lostie, remains livid. I believe that the stuff on The Island really happened but I’m confused as to what exactly happens once everyone was “activated” in purgatory/Sideways World. I believe that everyone came to Sideways World/purgatory once they died respectively. For Kate, I believe it was long after. Hurley and Ben seemed to have spent a long time together on The Island, as referenced by their “number 1/2” conversation. I think Jack was in Sideways World for a long time and I really like the concept of everyone agreeing to wait for each other and meet there so they could be together one last time. I may write more later about my interpretation of the finale’s events specifically. But for the moment, I want to talk about my reaction to the show as a whole and what I liked and didn’t like.

Unanswered Questions
There are several outstanding mysteries I’ve literally spent hours researching and thinking about in nauseating detail. And I’d counted on LOST to resolve them. I feel totally let down that they haven’t, honestly. My theory (my last LOST theory) is that it’s all chalked up to a case of massive senioritis, to quote my friend Karen Robinovitz. The writers swore they had a plan the whole time–and I believe that, in the sense that they had a broad outline and knew how the final scene would go. But for me, it was really a play in 12 acts. Acts 1-7 were fantastic, as was 12. But 8-11 were total filler. For that matter, the first hour of the finale was totally a waste of time. I’m sad that I was duped into thinking they had it all mapped out from the beginning. Lest you forget, LOST was extended an extra season. And it shows. While even the worst episode of LOST is better than the best episode of anything else I’ve ever seen–I just feel the show embodied a ton of missed opportunities in the last two seasons. I really believe the lack of answering questions is more about laziness than my own need to “let go.” A brief run-down of SOME of my unanswered questions, about which I’m irate:

  • What is really the DEAL with Widmore and his empire?
  • What’s the story with the De Groots?
  • How did the Dharma Initiative food drop-offs happen?
  • What’s the connection to Tunisia?
  • What’s the significance of Geronimo Jackson (the band featured tons of times)?
  • What’s the significance of Patsy Cline every time Kate’s mother is shown?
  • What REALLY are The Numbers about?
  • What was the deal with Hurley’s imaginary friend Dave? Was he real?
  • How did DESMOND get Libby’s boat?
  • WHY was Libby in the mental hospital?
  • What was Ms. Klue having Walt do and why? For that matter, what was their weird fascination with children?
  • What the hell happened with Walt?
  • What happened in season 3 when Kate and Sawyer were held hostage at the Hydra and Ben had breakfast with Kate and she came back bruised?
  • WHO are the two Arctic dudes sent by Penny to find Desmond at the end of season 1?
  • WHAT is the story of the REAL Henry Gale?
  • WHY did the smoke monster make the same noise as a NYC cab generating a receipt? And why does it make the noises of a bus when it’s blowing around?

What I Liked
In essence,  it comes down to being about the spiritual, and how the people/relationships you make are the most important. That resonates with me, and I believe in its truth. Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof showed us, via Jack that in the end, it’s all about being a man of faith, not a man of science. (Sidenote: Check out this very germane Jackson site that goes into more detail about the religious imagery/decor of the church–thanks to my gal Kristen for passing it along). Love, don’t analyze. I find that deeply profound and it was a really bold takeaway for a network TV show–it treads into mystic territory few other shows would dare to touch. I thought the significance of having the show end the way it began was arrestingly poignant. I loved the iconic closing of the eye–an oft-used LOST image. Showing us where Juliet’s consciousness was when she was dying and muttering about going dutch was GENIUS. I loved that Vincent comforted Jack in his death. I loved that Jack’s time on earth ended nearly exactly once he’d made a complete transition from a man of science to a man of faith. His journey of self-awareness was pretty amazing. I thought it was unbelievably powerful that the man whose catch-phrase was “live together, die alone” found through spiritual enlightenment that you actually die together, as well. I’m not even religious, but that really worked for me.

What I Didn’t Like
But I consider myself a woman of faith AND science. For me, the fact that everything in this show MEANT something was exciting. It was so well written that there were tons of layers to discuss, to unlock, to further enjoy beyond the surface–even in its finale, there are several interpretations of EVERY scene. Each question raised throughout the series provided an opportunity for research and to learn something new. But to leave so many major plotlines to dangle–well, that’s just bad editing. As an editor AND a former literature major,  it pains me. It’s clear that some of the plot was made up on the fly. And they just plum never got around to a bunch of it. Perhaps because the chief writers were commissioned to work on movies such as Star Trek. I believe in the general message of faith. But I find it hard to believe that Damon and Carlton don’t think it’s important to address that certain aspects rife with meaning weren’t wrapped up. And to brush it under the rug in the name of “letting go” just seems insane. It especially upsets me because in the four years I’ve been a LOSTIE (I started watching DVDs of the first two seasons after season two aired, at the incessant urging of my Trekkie/Lostie brother), I’ve converted several people to the Cult of LOST. And I feel I’ve let them down in a way that there are so many things still up in the air. Even worse? All those people I unsuccessfully converted were RIGHT when they claimed the show moved too slowly without clearing things up. “Wait until the end!” I promised them. Who had the last laugh? Not me.

That said, I loved the show and truly believe it changed television forever. I just am disappointed that it ended the way it did when it could have been AMAZING. In short, LOST, I thought I had somebody (or some show) down for me. It turns out… you were making a fool of me. (To a degree). You know. In the words of Whitney.

What did you think? Tell me in the comments!

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9 Comments LOST Series Finale Review: Was it Really Worth You Going Out Like That?

  1. Louie B.

    I hated the finale at first…I even had lostmares the whole night. I have started to make peace with it. I thought I would let you all know a few somewhat cool things…according to some the Man in Black’s name was Samuel, and the last scene of wreckage was not part of the show. No big reveals…but something to ease the pain.

    info here
    http://www.buzzsugar.com/Footage-Wreckage-Lost-Part-Finale-8561828

    http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/05/man_in_blacks_name_revealed.html

    Reply
  2. Michelle

    I went to sleep the night I watched it completely in a funk and depressed because they all died, but as time goes on I realize that I liked the finale. It took me a few days to comprehend everything that happened and I went on a few websites for answers to some things I wasn’t sure about but it was a happy, peaceful ending. I only wish we knew when everyone had died or will die because that was unclear. I think the Kate and Jack relationship wasn’t very honest either because it just seemed like they needed to find couples to sit together in the church. I saved it to watch this weekend and I think I will enjoy it more now that I know how everything ends.

    Reply
  3. A

    Amber,
    I must say that I absolutely 100% agree with you. While I was watching the finale, I was loving what they were showing us. Then, with about 5 minutes left I realized there wasn’t going to be any more big “reveals”. I actually booed when the show ended.

    I feel very much like you said-I was “IN” from the beginning, and willing to have faith that it would all be explained in the end, and it wasn’t. Not. enough. answers. And, yup, again I agree what annoyed me was that the writers had supposedly blocked out and planned out the entire last 4 seasons ahead of time (IE, they were ending the show on THEIR terms, and had plenty of time to wrap everything up). I think it was a very, very weak, blanket ending.

    To paraphrase another friend’s comment (which I think is brillant)–the ending worked on an emotional level, but not an intellectual one. It is one thing to come up the the weird stuff, but it takes a really awesome writing team to actually answer all those crazy questions and twists in a way that makes sense. and they failed to do so-big time.

    Reply
  4. Amber Katz

    @Kristen,
    Ah, you’re totally right about that. I felt uneasy about the whole situation, but I think it’s because I was wondering WHO her husband David was. Guess I’ll continue wondering till the end of TIME. Thanks Carlton and Damon!

    xoxo

    Reply
  5. alexis julian.

    I don’t see how a single one of those questions is relevant.

    “People don’t seem to be complaining about loose threads, really. There are remarkably few for such a complex story. People seem to be complaining that everything was not actually building up to a single, shiny one-liner. “They were all dead”. “It was a dream all along”. “Aliens built the island”.

    But that would have ruined it. It ruined Galactica. It very nearly ruined Twin Peaks.

    Those people, the ones searching not for answers, plural, but for one answer, set themselves up to be disappointed no matter what. If they had received what they wanted, the answer would have fallen horribly short of the expectation. Since they didn’t, they complain about a lack of resolution. The showrunners proved their intelligence here as they did before by ignoring those people and doing what they do best: focusing on the characters. Lost has always split its time evenly between character development and mindfrakking. The finale knew which of those was important and ran with it towards a fitting end for a great series.”

    Reply
  6. Lindsay

    I could NOT agree more – you summed up my thoughts perfectly. I am so sick of Cuse/Lindelof shoving the fact that it’s a character-driven show down our throats. It’s a plot-driven show! We all know this; just give the people what they want. I feel duped. I thought it was a lovely episode, just not as the finale. When I finally realized it was over I looked at the people I was with and said, so, what happened? I can live with not having every question answered, but they needed to at least answer the big ones that were huge story arcs from seasons passed. Whew! That felt good to get out 🙂

    Reply
  7. Corwin

    Apparently, Kate’s bruising is evidenced in a deleted scene where she struggles with handcuffs. I haven’t seen the scene, but I’ve seen that as an accidental mystery before.

    Especially loved the “germaine Jackson site” turn of phrase.

    Reply
  8. Kristen

    Ooh, ooh! Can I answer one for you? Desmond got Libby’s boat when they had a chance meeting in a coffee shop. Desmond didn’t have American $ to pay for his coffee, so Libby offered to pay and they got into a discussion about Desmond entering the boat race. She offered to give him her boat, which had belonged to her dead (or ex?) husband.

    Love your LOST musings, as usual. 🙂

    Reply

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