I want to preface this post by pointing out that I am a huge LOST fan. I discovered the show midway through its second season, and from there on, eagerly waited for every episode to come out so that I could download it, watch it, theorise about it, discuss it with people online (lostpedia, darkUFO), then mourn the lack of LOST for another week. What I am trying to say, is that LOST is a big deal to me.
I don’t want to spoil the show for anyone, so please, if you haven’t seen it, don’t read on. You might want to watch it one day, and this will ruin it for you.
THE REST OF THIS IS FULL OF SPOILERS
So where can you start with a finale like that? The internet is buzzing with people who’d watched the show from start to finish, furious that there were next to no answers in the finale. I must say, my first reaction was, “WHAT?” It took me a while to digest everything that happened in the last 15 minutes. I was initally unsatisfied. I went to bed that night somewhat upset. I needed to see it again. LOST means too much to me to be a little disappointed with the finale.
So with the hindsight of a second viewing, I’d like to point out what an absolutely stellar episode it was. From the images of our beloved LOSTies at the start, both on the island and off, accompanied by that beautiful music, to the epic struggle (and that superman punch that never happened – anyone else notice that?), to the cascading realisations, to the heartfelt Hurley moments, to that wicked twist of an ending… it was really superb. The acting in that show is unmatched, in my opinion. Watching 2 hours of these actors giving it their all, pulling on our heart strings like that, it makes you wonder why movies rely on such a select bunch of “a-grade” actors. Almost all of the LOST cast were unknown before it. Terry O’Quinn might just be my favourite actor at the moment. Or maybe it’s just that Locke was such an awesome character. Michael Emerson as Ben, too. But the real standout of this episode, in my eyes, was Jorge Garcia, aka. Hurley. The scene where he refuses to understand how Jack was going to “make it out” to the realisation that he wasn’t going to, followed by the welling up in the eyes, was perfection. I loved it. The look on his face when Charlie opened the door for him in the “alternate timeline” made my eyes well up with joy.
Anyway, about the outcome. The whole twist was that the “alternate timeline”, which we were led to believe was running side by side with the original “island” timeline after the bomb was detonated, turned out to be some sort of pre-afterlife meeting place for all our LOSTies. The religious overtones were hurting me, but then I guess the whole show has been pretty religious from the second season on.
My understanding of it is that:
1. Oceanic 815 crashed on this island (because Desmond didn’t push the button when he ran off chasing his buddy from the hatch)
2. All the crazy things that happened on the island were real (but most of it wasn’t explained )
3. The time travel was all real, as were the flashbacks and flashforwards.
4. The flash-sideways timeline (or now, afterlife-timeline) isn’t real. It was made by all the Losties so that they could find each other and collectively move on.
The thing that hurt a lot of fans is that all the crazy mystical stuff that happened on the island wasn’t explained. In fact, the series finale only gave closure to the “afterlife timeline” mechanic, which had only been introduced in the last season! Cuse and Lindeloff introduced the “afterlife timeline” at the start of season 6 with no intention of using it to answer questions or affect the original timeline, but instead used it to distract us all, then make IT the final twist, which is frustrating to say the least.
My take on it is that it’s perhaps a nod to the fans. What I mean is, if we are able to “let go” of the idea we had the whole time that all these questions and mysteries were going to be answered in one blockbuster mindblowing finale, then we will be able to truly remember and enjoy the time we had with the LOSTies on the island.
That’s my take on it, that’s what I am holding on to. The show meant a lot to me; it was 6 years of my life, and there’s no way I am going to let it go to waste. I participated in all of the online side-stories – “Hanso Foundation” etc..
I now think that it was a good idea NOT to answer all of the mysterious questions with scientific answers. “WHY?!?!” you may ask. Because it would have ruined all the theories and mysteriousness that we loved the show for in the first place! Here’s an example. Go back to “Across the Sea” – the episode featuring the Jacob/Man in Black backstories.
I think the LOST community collectively hated that episode. I know I did. They’d talked up Jacob so much for at least 3 seasons… I wanted the back story BIG TIME, and then they gave it to us… and they couldn’t sastisfy us. It was a massive let down to find that there was nothing particularly supernatural about the two and there wasn’t a big Angel vs. Demon or God vs Satan battle… they were just brothers given a gift by their “mother”. If they did this with all the Dharma shenanigans and the other mystical stuff, we’d ultimately be let down, and probably have no fond memories of the show!
All I can say to those who were disappointed is to wait for the box set in August, get yourself a copy of the lostpedia bible, and go through the whole series again. It won’t be a frivolous activity. Hey, an even better idea is to find a LOST virgin, and sit them down at the TV with you, and re-watch the show vicariously through them! I think you’ll find that while you explain as much as you can to your new LOST-buddy, you realise that most of the questions you want answered actually are – while retaining their mystery, too!
I am honestly able to say that I enjoyed the entire series, finale inclusive. I would’ve loved explicit answers, but I think the right decision was made in the end. I watched a couple of pivotal episodes, and some questions are answered (not explicitly) if you listen and look hard enough (in the right places).
Long live LOST, the greatest show to ever grace the silver screen!