Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lost and found.

So okay, the Lost finale. I love that show, and it had me riveted from the day I started watching it. A few seasons didn't grab me like the first two did, but overall, I've never seen a show quite like it. My friend McPal and a couple others on my friendlist, and no doubt many more of the watching public had issues with the end. But not me.

I was emotionally satisfied by the ending. Enough answers were given that I could live with it. Why were they on the island? How come they were all so connected with each other? That was answered.

Less important things were left hanging. Like, where did Jacob's mother come from? What was the man in black's name? Who built the statue? What made Walt special? Why wasn't Michael's character in the finale, or Mr. Ecko's?

Would knowing where Jacob's mom came from make the show better? I mean, hell. Everyone washes up on shore via boat or plane or some other accident. That's probably how. And that's probably where her predecessors came from, too.

Does the man's name matter? Being a mystery is kind of fun. I loved the movie Once and I have no idea what their names where, or what the woman said in her native language, and that didn't ruin the movie for me. Actually, it enhanced the experience because you're left to think about it after it's over.

One could speculate that the statue was built from the various civilizations that have lived and died on that island from the beginning. With all the magical properties surrounding the place, it could be a representation of a religion. Who knows?

Michael likely wasn't there because he betrayed them all and essentially left the group. Walt's story lies somewhere else in the world. Mr. Ecko's stay on the island was brief and he didn't make connections with everyone else.

The story was about the island, yes, but mostly the characters. Who were they? How did they grow? What did they mean to one another? And watching them all remember made my heart ache. I teared up. And you realized, okay, so we don't get to know the rest of their stories. But we do know they get to be together in the end.

And is that so bad? So ***SPOILER*** Jack sacrifices himself, and Hugo is the new Jacob and Ben is like his new Richard, which gives Ben the role he's always wanted. Hugo can send Desmond back, and James, Kate, Miles, Richard, the pilot, and Claire fly away, and finish out their lives in ways we don't get to know about. Now that the last of them has passed away, they meet up again in the hereafter. And we learn that as they died in real life (Juliet, for example), they get a flash of being together again in the afterlife.

The final images of Jack back where he started, watching the plane fly away as the dog watches over him were iconic.

It wasn't an They're All Dead plotline, or even an ending, really. It's more like an epilogue we get to watch while we're still taking in the story. The end is that Jack and Desmond saved the island (And thus everyone everywhere) and Hugo took over where so many before him had come before, and would come after. We'll never know all the island's secrets, and it'll keep people talking. But we got to know the characters.

This was a case of the journey outweighing the destination. The only thing I'm bummed about is that it's over.


  1. I can honestly say that my problem wasn't the unexplained mysteries, or even the missing characters in the finale (although much of that did irk me). My problem was the overall sense that we've been lied to -- that the writers swore up and down that they had a plan, and that this season (and the ending in particular) made it clear that they didn't. They took the audience for fools.

    I've been defending the shows vision against detractors who said that it was all convoluted nonsense, but now I have to admit that it kind of was. It's difficult to justify an ending that claims it's all about the characters, in a purgatory that ultimately has NOTHING to do with the island. The island AFFECTED those characters. It attracted the audience. In the end, the writers abandoned what was essentially they're own premise, and gave us sentimental quasi-religion and all-too-happy afterlife resolutions. That's just lazy.

    The one thing you have to admit is that they delved far too much into the mystery and mythology, and painted themselves into a corner. They took it too far, when simplicity could have given way to much more meaningful characterization.

    The last season was rife with red herrings and absolute plot holes, and signs that they'd lost direction and were flying by the seat of their pants. The things they introduced and the images they gave us -- the island at the bottom of the sea, Dogen and the temple, Jack's son David -- didn't ultimately figure into the ending they decided on, and so were completely forgotten in the resolution. It's not misdirection or metaphor if it doesn't contribute meaning -- these story elements were last ditch stabs at conclusion that they couldn't make work.

  2. I don't mind all that. In a way, I'm glad it wasn't wrapped up in a tidy package, you know? Somehow the remaining mystery pleases me, like the island and its secrets will live on, and what other stories it'll have to tell, and what unknown stories came before it.

    Yeah, some things are red herrings, but they could also be seen as a complex story in which not everything is about something. Sometimes, as in life, stuff is just there or it just happens. Sometimes in a narrative it can just be about expanding the journey, rather than about reaching the destination. I enjoyed the ride.