Let’s just have me come right out and say that I’m a rabid Lost fan. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on.
The finale blew my socks off. I clapped. I felt like crying. It was a more beautiful ending then I could have ever hoped for. They didn’t answer all the questions I had long hoped they would, but they went beyond all of that and gave me something more; they gave an experience. I know lots of people were disappointed. Some people wanted it to end differently. Others make me wonder if they watched the same show I did. Yet I have, thankfully, had some small conversations here and there with others who liked it as I did.
After spending an entire day being capable of thinking of little else, I’m going to run through an easily-manageable, five-point post going over what I’ve figured out and what I feel about the end of what I think is the greatest TV show ever made.
1. It was more true to the spirit of the show than what anyone who was disappointed could have wanted. It reminded me that in spite of all the philosophy and literary references, in spite of the time travel, in spite of the mysteries, the surprises, the mysticism, this was a show about people. It was about Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Claire, Jack, Sawyer, etc. It wasn’t about the massive, 4-toed, stone foot, or what’s in the temple (two of my favorite mysteries). It was about Ben . . . about Locke . . . about Rose and Bernard . . . about Desmond and Penny. That’s why I was so sad when Boone died. That’s why my heart sank when it was revealed that Locke was still dead. That’s why I threw my arms up in anger when the Smoke Monster killed Mr. Eko. Because I cared about these people. I cared about what they meant to each other. I cared about what their lives were for. I spent six seasons rooting for Jack to open his eyes to the world around him. I spent 121 episodes believing that Sayid was not the evil man he thought he was. That is why a character-centric ending, one that ended with their eternity, was infinitely better than one that explained what the source of the island’s power was, and how time travel was possible on it.
2. Without mysteries and questions, it’s not Lost. Now I could have used something showing us who it was that was shooting at Sawyer, et al. in that boat while they were bouncing through time. But other than that, one of the best things about Lost has always been discussing it with fellow fans. What would we have if the writers answered everything? We wouldn’t have our show anymore, that’s for sure. We’d have a big pile of, ” . . . hmph. Well . . . there’s that.”
3. No answers to most lingering and difficult questions could ever have been satisfactory. What if Cuse and Lindelof went the route of explaining everything? Remember–this is a fictional story, which means writers have to make everything up. What pleases one fan will tick another one off. In fact, it was this very thing that probably annoyed me the most about those pessimistic fans. It seemed beyond their ability to understand that their love of the mystery is greater than any answer that can be offered, so they complain and pout about something they didn’t like, and sometimes write the show off entirely. Well guess what–it’s not your story. I prefer to have it be told to me then have it all happen my way. Where would be the fun in that? And I fully realized this after the last episode–some of these mysteries are more fun being left to us.
4. Yes they’re all dead, but they didn’t all die. That seems contradictory, but it’s not. I’ve been irritated all day by reading comments from various people on articles and the like regarding the last episode. The one that gets me the most usually goes something like this, “So they all died at the end? Jack actually failed and they all died? I don’t see how that’s good!” *SLAP* No. Wrong. Let me explain it for those who might have been a little confused. Jack saved the island, then he died. Hurley and Ben lived on as the new “Jacob” and “Richard,” respectively, and did eventually die–but probably not for centuries (source: Ben–“Hugo, you were a hell of a number one.” Hurley–“Thanks, Ben; you were a hell of a number two.” They lived on, guarding the island). We can safely assume that everyone on the Ajira Air plane made it home safely and lived full lives, as well as believing that Rose and Bernard lived their last days in peace, and that Desmond got better and made it back to Penny and his son (source: Jack–“They all died, too?” Christian–“Everyone dies eventually, Jack. Some of them before you, others long after you.” This tells us that some of the people in the church lived on after Jack died). The “sideways universe” was a kind of purgatory, a first-phase afterlife. I don’t have all the answers as to why their alternate lives were the way they were (Sawyer being a cop, Jack and Juliette having a son, etc.), but I do know they needed to all remember their “real” lives with each other, and then reunite, and then they spend eternity together. There was no twist that told us it turns out that Jack failed, or that the island was purgatory all along, or that the plane Jack saw as he was dying was Oceanic 815. The ending was a very happy, bittersweet one. It was not dark. It was fully conclusive; we don’t have answers to every little question, but we see everyone come together after all their lives are over, and stay together forever. So we can speculate about the adventures of Hurley and Ben, or what it was like when Claire saw her mom and Aaron again . . . but we know the end to their story. And it’s good.
5. I’m very very pleased. What a ride that was. I’m excited for when I can watch through it again; I wonder what I’ll catch then . . .