I am torn... so torn.
It ended with a focus on the characters and that is what made Lost great from the start. Still, I could spend hours tearing gigantic holes in the inconsistencies and ludicrous story devices used in Season Six and in the final episode. It was some of the lamest storytelling around.
Still, I am satisfied with the ending. A piece of me wants to leave it at that and not comment further.
But ya'll know I ain't like that
So... lemme start with LAX, the alternate universe, the sideways flashes (a BS name given by people who were trying to trick us-- there was nothing sideways about these flashes). In the end, the entire alt universe was a waste of our time this season. It accomplished one thing-- it gave us some tearful reunions, hugs, and kisses in the final episode. These were emotional moments, in some ways they were the moments I connected with the most of any in the episode, but it was all a cheat.
Purgatory... they were in purgatory. Why do Ben and Elloise want to stay? Heaven awaits and you know you are in purgatory. If Purgatory is superior to Heaven, why wouldn't everyone want to stay? That was really bad storytelling and made no sense. If the implication is that Ben can hang with the Rousseaus and Elloise gets to enjoy her son's piano playing then why is Sayid so eager to move on after finding Shannon? Why does Desmond want to head into the light only moments after finding Penny? What about Sawyer and Juliet? Puh-lease!! It makes no sense at all.
Want more? The purgatory theme was "these people's lives were so connected, they wanted to move on together." Awww, ain't that sweet? Execept half the poeple in that church had never met each other!!! Bernard never knew Boone or Shannon. Penny was in the room-- probably 2/3rds of the people in there had no idea who she was. Juliet was a stranger to a lot of them too. Ben, had he gone in there, would not have known many of them. And what about Christian? Maybe this was supposed to be Jack's purgatory. I dunno, it was just lame, lame, lame... though it was emotional.
Ok, I've wasted enough time on the "sideways" universe... and waste of time is a good way to describe it. It was 99.5% unconnected with the rest of what was going on with Lost. It sucked up vast amounts of time during the final season when we could have been getting more answers and explanation. Gosh, thanks for giving us that little diversion Darlton.
Anyway, onto the action on the Island.
We never learned what Flocke's plan was or what would happen if he got off the island. He went along his "get someone to kill all the candidates" plan for ages but then changed horses at the very end to go with the "get Desmond to sink the island" plan. For a guy who engaged in a decades-long con game with Ben and the original Locke that was incredibly intricate in its planning, it made no sense for him to just abandon everything and swtich to a random "sink the island" plan.
We never really found out what it would mean if he escaped. Did it matter if he escaped once he became human? He clearly wasn't the nasty smoke-monster anymore at the end. For a bad guy, it was awful nice of him not to bash Jack's skull in repeatedly until brains started oozing out after he hit Jack that one time with the rock and knocked Jack out. Either that or he could have just slit Jack's throat. Whew, good thing he did not think of doing either of those things. Lame!!
Lets talk about going into the cave/light. Mother told us it was a fate worse than death. Apparently that fate was only bestowed upon one person, FLocke, because it didn't do very much to Jack when he sat in the pool of light for a while. I know Desmond was immune because he could withstand electromagnetism but Jack sure seemed to die of his stab wound to the chest, not his bath in the light. Pity that the island's magical healing powers had no effect on poor Jack when he was hanging out in the pool of healing with a wound to his chest. Ahh well, that would have been inconvenient to the storytelling so lets just ignore it, ok?
I am dying to know what the rest of the world says when Lapidus lands that plane. Where are all the other passengers? There were some very famous (Oceanic 6) and rich people (Sun and Hurley) on that Ajira flight who have been missing for many days. And now the plane shows up out of nowhere with just a few passengers on it -- including some who were not on the original flight and one (Richard) who has no citizenship or birth records at all from any country anywhere. Woo hoo!!
I am sorry if this post is turning into a rant. I am gonna stop for the moment. I want to repeat that I was satisfied with the ending. I loved watching Lost over the years and had recently resigned myself to it ending poorly, so this episode ended about as I expected it.
Look, here is my biggest problem with the show -- we fell in love with the characters, but the show hooked us with the mystery. For a long time, the two central elements -- interesting characters and a great mystery -- complimented each other beautifully. But then, the time came to resolve the mystery and there really wasn't much resolution. Almost none of the mysterious elements that were dissected and discussed around watercoolers and the internet during seasons 1-5 played a role in the resolution of the show. That's a pity and cheapens all of what we enjoyed over those 5 season.
Alright. I am done for now. I'll almost certainly have more later.
--Jason "my wife is just plain angry right now and wishes we had never watched" Evans
Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk
The most troubling thing for me was the shot of the wrecakage on the beach during the credits. Did this mean they all died at the initial crash, and the island was a pre-purgatory where they needed to find redemption before they could find purgatory where they find each other to go onto whatever is next? If so, then nothing about the plot ever mattered, I would be unhappy with this. For whatever reason, I am more comfortable believing that Jack actually saved the world and Hurley was the new Jacob for years, etc - basically that what they went through on the island had a larger purpose than just individual redemption. But then why show that wreckage? Argh.
****** SPOILER WARNING: "Passengers" the Movie *********
Your rant a few weeks ago comparing the series to Duke basketball is just so perfect here. For 2 hours, coupled with "What they Died for," we came back from the 10 point deficit and sent the game in overtime.
But Juan Dixon then hit a three pointer at the buzzer to win the game.
There are two interpretations one can make:
1) The entire thing was Jack's purgatory test
In this interpretation, the mystical and mysterious aspects are there to simply explain away how Jack's mind is creating and working all these relationships and tests.
However, it's amazingly boring to think of the entire 6 years as a copy of Sixth Sense (or, more recently, Passengers),
2) Just the Flash-Sideways is purgatory,. The island is real, everything we saw play out on the island truly happened, including:
* Jacob and MIB showing up 2000 years ago
* Time Travel
* 2 plane crashes
* The Black Rock
* The Hydrogen Bomb
* The Others
In this case, the explanation of Flash-Sideways is satisfying - and had us on an emotional crescendo for 2 hours. As each pair of soul mates discovered their memories of each other, it was just awesome.
But then the island is real, truly possesses all these powers, supposedly had smoke-monster on it, traveled through time - and phased into alternate realities.
So where are our bleeping answers? Everything from a personal relationship and Flash Sideways storyline was wrapped up so nicely, it took me a while to get upset about not getting any actual answers to all the questions posed over the years. But now I am.
So congrats on the comeback boys, but you still missed the final shot.
Nice to see Jason finally weigh-in. Since he liked my last basketball analogy, let's try this one on for size.
Watching the 6 seasons of Lost and then getting the ending we did, was like watching the Championship game, only this time Heyward's shot goes in. Spellbinding and exciting, but what a crappy ending.
I loved the mystery/sci-fi aspect of the show, but the intricate character development was what pushed this show over the top. D&C promised us many things, but in the end they couldn't or wouldn't deliver.
Now that it's finally over I have to answer the question Maximus asked. "Were you not entertained?" YES, most definitely.
I absolutely agree with all of this! I can't believe what positive reviews this episode is getting in the blogosphere. For what it was, yes, it was well done and there were some good acting moments and we got some emotional payoff. But to wrap up a series like "Lost"?
I'm not in the camp where we have to explain every little detail, but so many important threads were dropped that it just becomes senseless. Ben is a prime example of this. Remember when he was the Master of All Evil? And even his own people were so scared of him that Juliet resorted to posterboard to send an SOS to Jack? Remember how chilling it (initially) was when we realized that some of 'our' people were left helplessly in his power on the docks while Michael and Walt sped away? I was even willing to go with it when he became a sort of International Man of Mystery off the Island. But, yeah.... he ends the series smiling on a bench at a church. Just ridiculous.
And then, really? The key to the whole island was a literal piece of rock blocking out all the bad stuff?? Also, what exactly did the island need to be "protected" from? It was really never made clear what gain there would be in "owning" it. Didn't work out so well for Ben or for Widmore.... and while we're on the subject of Widmore, WTH was that? He comes back to the Island all menacing and stuff, but all he does is fail to set up a sonic fence, get shot by Ben, and introduce us to the annoying and superfluous presence of Zoe.
Just so many things that were really, really badly done.
On a more reflective note, I guess the question I ask myself is knowing what I know now, would I still watch the series? And the answer is absolutely yes, I though the journey was great even if the ending wasn't all I had hoped it would be (to use Coach K speak). If I came across a random rerun of a Lost episode I would definitely watch that as well. What I'm not sure of would be if someone came up to me and said - I've never seen Lost, should I watch it? I used to say absolutely, but not sure now. Much of the fun was reading message boards and debating in between weeks, but with the ending being what it is, it might be hard to recommend sinking 120 hours into it. Maybe a little harsh, but that was my thought last night and still this morning, but need to give it more time.
Also, add to this list pretty much everything pertaining to the temple in the first part of the season - a complete waste of time, especially as it centered around Sayid who was bad but then turned good seemingly at random. And pretty much the entire story arc of the Losties getting blown back to the 70's. It was entertaining, but ultimately almost entirely pointless and we didn't even get the expected emotional payoff of the Losties, with their knowledge of the future, trying frantically to stop Ben from killing them all. Instead, they were involved in the Incident, and it was never made clear whether anything they did helped or hurt that situation. We thought it created Sideways world, but it now seems clear that Jughead had nothing to do with anything, aside from the fact that it killed Juliet.
Jughead stopped them from skipping through time and sent them back to 2007, but did not change the course of previous events (what happened, happened).
"Something in my vicinity is Carolina blue and this offends me." - HPR
One of the things that I think has been divisive for people is: Do you need to see what happened, what something means, where something came from? Or do you prefer to interpret, infer, etc.
I've read several blogs that have said, and I agree, that this show was at its weakest when it was checking off boxes with unanswered questions. When questions were answered in a way that worked with the plot, things were great. When they answered something for the sake of answering it, it often seemed hackneyed and expository (Michael explaining the whispers, for instance. Great answer, crappy way to explain it).
I get that the sideways world doesn't work for people. But on the island, as an example, do you really need to know what that plug does? Can't it be inferred/interpreted in your own mind? Why does there have to be a right answer?
I read on several occasions that Cuse and Lindelof said Lost was like a road trip with a planned destination but no set course on how to get there. They could have mapped out an interesting mythological trip. Instead, they took arbitrary sideroads that often led to deadends.
I, however, bought into Jacob's fireside chat and everything else on the island the last 2 episodes. To each his own I guess. I didn't like the sideways explanation, but I'll admit they suckered me in anyway such that it was forgivable.
They really are just missing one scene in my mind, and that's a scene that would make it so the island had more of a causal effect on the sideways world and why it existed, why the island was underwater there, etc. Hell, show Jacob in the lighthouse watching the sideways world or something like that.
Either way, their decisions make sense based on what we can glean from the internal logic. As for the quality of the story telling, well, I think it was consistent with the whole.
I don't really care about any of the questions that weren't answered. I (like the Losties) feel at peace and have moved on.
"Something in my vicinity is Carolina blue and this offends me." - HPR
I, like many, feel that many/most questions were left unanswered. Beyond that, the answers which are currently bring thrown out seem to ignore large parts of the past 6 seasons. Personally, I believe that this is because there was no master plan. If some random previous avenue doesn't agree with the current plan, the writers/producers just hope that people forget/ignore the earlier parts (or seasons, as the case may be). For instance, on Kimmel they stated that the island was real life. Didn't the Oceanic 6 leave the island? That wasn't an alternate universe, supposedly, but them actually leaving. Of course, the island being real life doesn't seem to make sense given the polar bears and the time travel etc. In the context of only season 6, that hypothesis appears to work, but not in the context of the whole show. Good luck finding a premise that works given the whole body of work, however, as the show constantly contradicts itself and doesn't really answer any questions because the answers don't exist.
Basically, it's like a summer blockbuster. High production values, fun while you're watching, but something that you don't want to think about or it all falls apart. "Why didn't the cops shoot Mickey Rourke when he was running around with no armor but those whips?" "He built a particle accelerator in his basement?" Don't think about it. The real problem with Lost is that the show's popularity was largely caused by a fan base that liked to dissect the show and figure out what was really happening. Oil, meet water.