Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST Finale Delivers Classic Hollywood Resolution

And that is to say, it didn't really, concretely resolve anything.

Before I go on my rant, I understand some of you have Tivo'd and some are on the west coast, so DO NOT READ THIS until you watch the ending because there is NO WAY to have this discussion without throwing all the details out there. We clear? Coolio.

When a TV show surrounded in mystery comes to a close, the fans of that show ask for the answers in the wrap up. The trouble with that is, those fans might not like what they see. The show creators know this, so they put in as many answers as they care to in bringing the show to their planned conclusion, then toss out a series of images and wordage as to make that ending speculative. In the case of Lost, we have the "Five People you Meet in Heaven" ending...only with more than 5 people of course. The colored window in back of Jack's father in the church scene represents the world's belief systems as he tells him "I'm dead, you're dead and yea, they are all dead in there" but, since time is irrelevant in Heaven, we don't know who went and when and further, if there was even an island in the first place. If we are to listen to and believe what the writers have put on the screen, then the events on the island were a sort of Limbo..maybe for all involved..maybe for just Jack. Either way, we've been watching Jack's journey throughout the series and now he "gets it" and makes the sacrifices necessary for him to feel his job is done..and can move on. Of course, this makes all the Jakob and his brother fighting for eternity on an island that holds in the evils of the universe plot completely pointless..but who cares. We got to see everyone re-unite in the happy sideways heaven universe and smile at each other. Don't get me wrong, this is highly dramatic stuff for people who watched the show all that time and yanks on the heart strings with flawless expertise. Every actor brought their A game. Many a manly man shed big baby tears tonight. For a casual watcher that wanted in on the finale so they'd know what people are talking about at the water cooler tomorrow, I can imagine the boredom, confusion and numb ass they received.

In the final moments of the show, we see Jack giving up the ghost, staring at the sky as a plane leaves the island. We'd already been told the "Heaven scenario" before this moment, so why bother? It leaves the door open for speculation. The fan is now able to talk about the "REAL" ending of the show. Are they really going home? Are they still in their own limbo? Was the plane taking off a metaphor for Jack's soul heading for Heaven? Who cares. My annoyance begins and ends with all the mystery being thrown out the window in favor of this Heaven answer. How ever you paint it, its a cop out. Would it have hurt them to resolve the events on the island with a little more explanation and keep the sideways universe the idealized world created from Jack's sacrifice, meaning that all that stuff happens after Jack recaps the glow? Who knows why these choices are made. I'm just glad I didn't become more emotionally invested in the show than just being a casual fan. It's over. You can all stop yelling at me now.

Supplemental Notes:

CHEERS! to the show creators selling out to Target on the very last day, with commercials showing the smoke monster bested by a smoke alarm, available at Target on sale NOWW!! I'd like to see a further commercial with Hurley sneaking bite size candy bars during key moments in the show's history, finally explaining why he didn't shed any weight.

JEERS to the creators of the show's history recap for pretending the tail section story line didn't happen at all, even going so far as to block Mr. Eko out of the montage shots. Wasn't he a major player for a stretch??!! You also didn't give Michelle Rodriguez her due, even though she was used in the sideways heaven. Boggles the mind.

My friend Chris says that Ben was hit in the face 108 times over the course of the show's history. I believe him.


  1. "and further, if there was even an island in the first place."

    We know that the island was real and everything that happened there really happened. This was confirmed with Christian telling Jack "You're real, they're real, what happened to you was real". At least that's my interpretation.

    The biggest question I asked myself at the end was "Who the Hell was Jack's son in the 'purgatory' timeline?". The only logical answer I can come up with is that Jack wanted to form a positive father/son relationship. If that alternate timeline was supposed to allow them to get to a place where they were ready to move he needed to let those emotions go.

    I don't know, I'll need to watch it a few more times. As a diehard viewer since the pilot in 2004, the wrap-up was very emotionally satisfying, not so much intellectually satisfying.

  2. They may have all been together in Limbo though. The island scenario was a way for them to help each other resolve their own issues, which is why we saw all their back stories and they were always tied to each other. Hurley got to go into the church because in the end, he fought his fear and was selfless. Ben is just learning, so he wasn't ready. The tail people, well, I guess they just suck at life and death.

  3. My feeling on Ben not going in is because he had some unfinished business. Maybe he needed to see his daughter, Alex, when her time had come, and apologize to her for what he let happen a few seasons ago.

    I also don't think it would've made sense for Ben to be in the church with them during the last scene. It would've made sense to see Ana Lucia, Michael, Walt, and Eko though. The only "tailie" we saw in the church was Libby, I believe.

  4. Nah, only the flash sideways portion was "limbo" or "purgatory" or whatever you want to call it. Christian Shepard says that they did NOT all die at the same time. Some died before Jack, some died after. This allows for Boone (dead in season 1) to be in the church with Hurley (who could have been the protector of the island for a thousand years). Plus, there would be no point to having two simultaneous purgatories going on - the island time line and the no island time line. Add in the fact that characters can't die a bunch of times, that wouldn't make sense. Boone, Shannon, Ana Lucia, etc. went to the sideways time line when they died in the real world, which was the island.

    Now, I see where you got that idea. Jack was laying on the beach in the same place we found him in. I think this is just the writers taking a little artistic license to make the story feel rounded out and complete. We've "come full circle". But, we clearly see the plane leaving the island. That wouldn't make sense if we were really back in day one.

  5. Alpert said at one point, of the island "this is hell" and the creators made a point to show him saying that in that scene during recaps. Beyond that, OF COURSE the plane flying away would make no sense..unless it was symbolism.

    I'm not tearing my brain apart trying to find a deeper meaning to the show, just making a suggestion. Also, if the events on the island did happen to all of them in real life, then we were no closer, at the end of the show, to knowing the truth about anything than we were at the beginning of this season.

    Someone on twitter said it best. It was an emotionally satisfying ending, but not an intellectual one.

  6. I don't know, there isn't too much they haven't explained, to be honest. The numbers didn't get the full treatment they deserved, but we know they were the remaining candidates. Why they were being called out or what their specific attachment to Hurley is, we never really found out for sure.

    Other than that, we got a lot of answers. We know the relationship of Jacob and the MIB. We know what the Dharma Initiative is, how they found the island and what they were doing there. We don't really KNOW what the origin of the other Others was, I guess. We know the deal with Alpert, the Black Rock, the nature of the island in general. We know why so many of the people drawn to the island were "flawed".

    Alpert saying "this is hell" is a clue, for sure. I don't think it's literal, however. Conversely, I don't think the plane flying off is symbolism, that's just too obtuse, even for LOST.

  7. Here's a post I did from way off in left field -

    If you're a Vonnegut fan, you might get a kick out of it.