LOST: What to Make of the Finale

Many people will be disappointed by last night’s series finale of LOST. Many will be incredibly satisfied. Count me among both camps.

If you were a fan of the show because it was enthralling, as I was, you’ll love the finale. It had action, romance, drama, comedy, and a generally happy ending. If you were a fan for the mystery and mythology, as I also was, you will be very disappointed as virtually every core mystery was completely abandoned.

Emotionally, I was completely satiated. I was rooting for Sawyer and Juliet to find each other, I was so happy for Claire and Charlie, I thought Jin and Sun played their awakening scene perfectly, Hurley and Libby shared an awakening kiss, and we’d already had our Desmond/Penny reunion. All that was missing was Daniel and Charlotte pairing off. I wish we had seen a happy ending for poor ol’ Miles, but I guess he had his dad.

Intellectually, I was a little stumped. First, by the solution: um… what? So the entire alternate timeline was post-death, or just the church scene? They joined the alternate timeline when they died in the real timeline? Wait… was the real timeline even real at all? I don’t know.

Mythologically, I was downright pissed. Is it okay for the writers to give us 121 hours of programming spurred on by completely mind-bending mystery and then completely and totally abandon virtually every one of those storylines with no explanation?

The central mystery of the show was “What is the island?” It was the center so much so that the pilot ended by dropping its first titlecard after Charlie’s now infamous “Guys… where are we?” That was not only not answered, it was flat out made more complicated in the finale.  In protecting “the source,” we saw Desmond and Jack descend into the light.  First off, going in certainly did not mean a fate “worse than death”; second, it seemed the bottom of the well was man-made! WHA…? There’s another entire story at the bottom of the light source.

Let’s not forget about all the little nagging ones… How does Hurley see dead people? How can Miles talk to them? What is the smoke? Who built the frozen wheel? How does the island “move” when the wheel is turned?  How did Jacob make Richard ageless? What was up with Hanso and the DeGroots? What was the Hanso connection with the Black Rock captain and the blast door map? The questions are limitless, and they go largely unanswered.

So, today, I’m not sure how I feel about the entire thing.  On one hand, I feel betrayed for having invested so much time in the mysteries to be completely ignored.  On the other, though, it was the best 121 hours of TV I’ve ever watched.  Even the less-exciting episodes were still the highlight of the TV week.  I doubt I’ll ever have as much fun with a TV show as I have on the journey of LOST.

9 Replies to “LOST: What to Make of the Finale”

  1. You obviously weren’t paying attention. Most of your ‘nagging mysteries’ were answered before the finale even aired.

    1. Hooray for condescending d-nozzles!

      > How does Hurley see dead people? How can Miles talk to them?
      Not solved. We know Michael explained that they are trapped, but why can these two see/talk to them?

      > What is the smoke?
      Not solved. Is it MIB’s soul? Is it “evil incarnate”? What IS it? How did it get there?

      > Who built the frozen wheel?
      Not solved. It wasn’t MIB, Mother filled in the hole.

      > How does the island “move” when the wheel is turned?
      Obviously, not solved.

      > How did Jacob make Richard ageless?
      Not solved. What gave him the power? Don’t say “the wine.” That’s a non-explanation.

      > What was up with Hanso and the DeGroots?
      Not solved. The whole mystery and mythology unravels with them at the core and then… no explanation?

      > What was the Hanso connection with the Black Rock captain and the blast door map?
      Not solved. Magnus Hanson chartered the Black Rock that ended up on the island; centuries later a very rich and very mysterious Alvar Hanso funds the Dharma Initative that travels to the same island? Coincidence??

      Tell me which questions you think were answered that I missed.

        1. I’m not trying to be. You snapped back with your douchey response, and I’m asking you to justify it. Now, since you apparently can’t, you’re trying to make it appear like I’m arrogant and dismissive rather than acknowledge that the mysteries were not explained. I’d happily recant if you can tell me when those questions were answered.

  2. I agree and I am happy to know there is someone who feels exactly like I do about the series finale.
    I still don’t know how to deal with this ending though. I guess it just takes some time to accept it the way it was.

  3. ADAM S + 100 points

    ALEX – 50 points

    He’s got a great point there buddy. I’d actually like to know the answers to those mysteries if you have that knowledge.

  4. Sure! Some of the core themes of the show where about the mysteries of the island, but at the end of the day the show was about the characters.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m really into the mythology but the mysteries where only there to drive the story of these people.
    They never pretended like they where going to give you big answers, just a small piece of the history of the island and the people who came to it.

    Lets be realistic, would you have ACTUALY liked it if at the end it cut to a grainy video of Marvin Candle (or whatever his name is) and he told you the answers to all your questions?

    Damon Lidelof (one of the writers) said very early on in the piece (season 3 or 4 i believe) that just like life, we where not going to get the big answers and the whole picture, because that’s not what the show is really about.

    Just some food for thought.

    1. With due respect, Luke, your response is the same line of bullshit the producers fed us. No one said ‘this is about characters, not mythology” until the mythology had been sufficiently unraveled. If we knew prior to the hatch, prior to the Dharma Initiative, prior to the orientation videos, prior to the Others/Widmore/Hostiles that the show would never explain these things, no one would have watched.

      The show was incredibly entertaining, but YES, I would have preferred Marvin Candle to give me some answers.

      Remember, the “it’s about the characters, not the mythology” line didn’t even come up until the writers had already written themselves into a corner. They broke the contract they had with us as viewers: they told a mystery without an answer.

      If any book ended like that, it would fail. Imagine Agatha Christie: “So, the murder was never solved, nor did any of the characters ever really ask about it, but the focus of this story is the mental journey of Hercule Perot.” Yeah, never would happen.

  5. “They broke the contract they had with us as viewers: they told a mystery without an answer. ”
    That’s a very good point.

    But we have to remember that the actual story for Lost wasn’t written until post season 1.
    From conception to the end of making the pilot was only something like 12 weeks. Then after they picked up a season they wrote season 1, not knowing what any of the things they created where (the hatch, smoke monster…)
    But then the show went gang-busters and they had to figure out what all these silly things they created are… (the smoke monster, the hatch, the others…)
    That’s part of the reason we will never get the answers, because their just not there.

    But remember, that the show was always about asking questions, and searching for answers.
    And by doing this ending, the show has guaranteed it will stay in conversation and peoples thoughts for a long time to come.

    Also, I think the end is an attempt to encapsulate the struggle amongst the people on the island. In the end it came down to men of faith and men of science. This ending has effectively split the fan-base into these two camps, those who want the straight up answers and not have them be left for your interpretation, those who are comfortable interpreting what happened on their own terms.

    For instance, last night I had a lengthy conversation with a friend of mine about the very end scene in the church. My friend was raised with a Christian upbringing, I was raised in India and my beliefs sit more in eastern or (what some would call) new age, beliefs.
    My friend interpreted the flash sideways world as limbo, and the scene at the end, was them coming to terms with their sins and entering heaven (the bight light behind the church doors).
    I however interpreted it as more of an intangible place their conciousness has gone in order for them to come to terms with all the horrible things that happened to them throughout their life.

    Alas, I digress.
    At least it got us talking, ey?

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