Monday, May 24, 2010

Why the Lost finale did not "suck"

ABC image/ Jack and Vincent prepare for the end.

WARNING: I am going to talk about the end, because last night the show "Lost" ended. I think it's OK to do that.

Last night, while I was waiting for the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" special to start, I popped on Facebook and to see what people were saying about the "Lost" finale. Overwhelmingly, one word was coming up again and again - "sucked." I won't get into why we can't be more eloquent in our criticism here, but I am here to tell you why it did not, in fact, suck.
This obsession with answers that cropped up in season six of "Lost," and became almost deafening the closer the finale got - I'll admit, I got a little caught up in it early in season 6.
The closer it got to the end, the more I reverted to my "Lost" mantra, I am along for the ride. And today I understand perfectly what they were doing.
The "Lost" finale was about closure, not answers.
As I watched people reunite, still wondering what was going to happen, I didn't even think about wasting time, or what made the island so special. Because who cares. In the end, the island was mystical and had electromagnetic energy and a lot science geeks got off on that, but what really kept us watching were Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Sun, Jin, Locke, Ben, Charlie, Claire, Desmond, Sayid and Kate - well, maybe not so much Kate (although she was awfully good in the finale). It was the characters.
The last 15 minutes, I could not stop sobbing. I was sobbing as much about saying goodbye to the show as what was happening on screen. And the final image, although it now seems obvious, I never tried to figure out what it would be, and therefore it was a beautiful, perfectly appropriate coda.
You can say I'm thick for not figuring it out. I will tell you I got to experience it fully for not obsessing about being "first" for knowing what it would be.
And when you think about it, many of the answers were already there. I read a particularly annoying article the other day with "50 questions 'Lost' must answer!" - What was the Dharma Initiative? - seriously? A failed attempt at Utopia thwarted by a murderous Ben Linus. Next question? No wonder Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof did an interview with Wired magazine where they basically said "Lost" fans are toddlers always asking "why? why? why?"
I miss the characters already. Namaste.


Anonymous said...

People like you make me sick. You ignore the fact that you just got shafted and come up with a bunch of bs as to why it was awesome.

Guess what: It wasn't awesome. In fact, that was one of the biggest let downs in TV history. I honestly half expected it to all be an autistic kid's dream!

There were no answers because they had no answers. They presented a bizarre story which raised a ton of questions, and got people viewing, which increased ad revenue. That's all that mattered.

They completely went against the norm with this one. Normally stories have an ending. This was a total cop out and the entire Lost show was just one big cash cow that will never have repeats now that everyone knows it was all BS.

LittleTechGirl said...

I just posted about it myself. I liked the ending. I did not think it sucked at all.

But, I am one of those that loves the theories and questions. I love trying to figure out what is going on, just for the sake of discussion. I don't always need to know the answer to everything though. It's all about giving us something to think about. And as I say in my post (, that is the nature of the whole show.


Kathy said...

I went in to the Lost finale knowing that I wouldn't get all of the answers I wanted. The writers threw in so much crazy stuff in the early seasons that it would be impossible to create an inclusive, coherent narrative, though I appreciate their efforts in the last two seasons.

What I appreciated was that the ending made sense within the rules that the show set for itself. It didn't pile on extra mythology or offer a tidy explanation with no bearing on what had come before. The closest they could have come with that would be a bunch of three-toed aliens showing up saying the island was part of an intergalactic experiment. Nobody would've liked that.

The creators of the show always maintained that the show was about the characters. I didn't always like that (hated the flashbacks), but at least the ending stayed true to that belief. Fact is that a bunch of people got stranded on a bat-shit crazy island, and the stuff they did there mattered. Then they died. As weird as it reads when written, I can live with that ending.

w f weber said...

LittleTechGirl: Michael did explain that he and others who had done "bad things" were now on the island as the "voices." I think Walt just grew too tall. And the actor who played Mr. Eko, always one of our family's favorite characters, turned them down for a guest appearance. He hated Hawaii! Sometimes real life gets in the way. Your other questions, maybe some of your other fans can address!

ted s. said...

I agree with your view, Wendy. Good characters make for good stories. I thought it was a fitting finale. It's impossible for a television event like this to meet everyone's expectations and live up to the hype, but this ending left me satisfied. (Though I'd love to see the Smoke Monster get a spin-off, as parodied in The Onion.)

Nate said...

The finale did not make sense, even according to the rules the show set up for itself. For 6 years we were watching a reality on the island. The flashbacks, flash forwards, and flash sideways, were to help enhance the "reality" story at the moment, give the viewers a deeper understanding. To end the show in a flash sideways can not possibly give anyone closure. They needed to finish the story on the island.
It was the worse finale they could of possibly written

Scarp said...

I think it sucked because the island was supposed to be the hero and they explained NOTHING about it. They had the entire season to do so and blew it.

All we are left with is Jack's feelings. I feel shafted as the previous person said.

Nichole R. said...

I felt it was an acceptable and satisfying ending for a fictional TV series. Had this piece of work been the culmination of a six-year New York Times investigation that promised to disclose the secrets of the universe, I’d have felt ripped off. But seeing TV characters -- who I’ve followed for six years -- get to reconnect with one another was rewarding and comforting to me. I don’t think it was a masterpiece, but I also don’t think it sucked.

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel superior to pretend that you got something out of the finale, good for you. The finale sucked.

Here's a good study in contrasts for you. "Ashes to Ashes" ended on Friday. Find that and watch it and then you can see how a series is supposed to end.

Anonymous said...

I could care less about having my questions answered, and the ending still sucked. It was just a bunch of crap strung together for 2 hours so the last 10 minutes would make sense, which went a little like this. Guess what..... everyone eventually died. But even in death they ended up together. The End.


doser said...

It absolutely sucked.

How any Lost fan can be anything but pissed off right now, I do not know.

They used the ending everybody guessed 5 years ago.

I am angry to the bone!

Worst. Finale. Ever.

Anonymous said...

I'll be honest, I went into the finale expecting little answers - in that regard I was not let down.
As far as the actual episode itself I am bitterly dissappointed.
The on island action was all terrible; particuarly the very convenient mortalizing of smokey so he could be off'd in a pretty unspectacular way. The magic cave felt very "unLost" and was also pretty anticlimactic as was all the plane stuff.
All season long I hated the flash sideways, but I thought by the end we would discover their significance and perhaps even rewatch them more fondly after we understood them. After the big 'reveal' I now feel like the flash sideways were even more pointless than before. A lost-character specific purgatory.... what a f--ing joke.
I'm such a huge fan of the show I honestly didn't think there was a possibility I wasn't going to love the finale. As someone already said, it was pretty much the worst end they could have possibly written.

Anonymous said...

You people who liked it are dumbasses. It's okay to end a show like The Sopranos without, well, ending it. Because that show WAS about the charachters and their extraordinary lives. Lost, on the other hand, was all about the mystery of weird things and weird people on a freaking weird place. Not knowing the why's make the whole six years long experience pointless. Fuck Jack, Locke and all them sorry assess. I WANT ANSWERS. I feel cheated.