As it begins, so it must end. After six strong seasons, one of television’s most profound and baffling dramas has come to a close. Lost – what was it about? What do we know? And did it really matter? Let’s discuss.
First I’ll say the usual blah-blah SPOILER ALERT, because I’m about to talk about last night’s finale. And if you still haven’t seen it and you’re reading the internet, what are you thinking?
All photos below courtesy ABC.com
Gut reaction – I really liked the ending. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but then again I wasn’t sure what to expect. Maybe I thought it was going to be focused on free will and the Losties would end up deciding whether to live in one world or another. But of course what we learned was that this new world wasn’t so much a world at all. It was what I’d call a collective unconscious meeting place. And what a great place – hey, Juliet! Missed you! Oh look, it’s Shannon! Ah…the joy of reunion. Because really that’s what the finale came down to – a way to reunite the characters we have loved and lost over the years in a place of peace. As they said goodbye to each other, we were also able to say goodbye with a smile and a tear. What we needed was closure with our friends, and that’s what we got.
Now, let me tackle some of those burning questions and choice moments from last night’s marathon episode.
So the sideways world isn’t real?
I’d say this is one area left up to interpretation and will be debated for years to come. On the one hand you might say that it wasn’t, as the description from Christian Shephard implied that Jack had created it in his mind. But it wouldn’t make sense that it just sprung from Jack’s mind – take Ben, for instance. Jack’s mind would have no idea or perception about Ben’s storyline involving Alex and a certain woman with a French accent. That’s why I favor this idea that it’s a place of shared experience, and some will be there for some time “working things out” while others will move on when they are ready. I’m still a little unclear as to why Eloise didn’t want Desmond to “take Daniel away,” however.
And the mystery of the island is what exactly?
Clearly the metaphor of the island is mythical. I think of it as Pandora’s box in reverse. In the classic Greek myth, Pandora opens the box and releases all manner of evils into the world – envy, anger, pride, etc. But she closes the lid just before hope escapes. On our island, I think those evils are contained (corked, if you will) and what’s holding them in place is a powerful wellspring of faith and positive energy. By replacing the stone, Jack ensured that evil wouldn’t spill out and extinguish the good.
Which leaves Hurley as the new Cork Protector.
Yes – clearly Jack wasn’t meant to truly replace Jacob. He did what he always needed to do – fix things. His whole life was this constant attempt to perform a heroic act that would be selfless, but somehow it never worked out just right. Finally he was able to do that, and let go. Which leaves Hurley as the true man of faith and protector of the island. Which is what I’d been hoping for last week, anyway. Now he gets to star in his own island sitcom with Ben, in which they get into wacky adventures, occasionally encountering Rose, Bernard and Vincent!
So why was Desmond in the church, but Michael wasn’t?
Christian made it clear that these were the people that had a powerful effect on Jack’s experience at this point in his life, which explains why some non-Oceanic 815 people came to the party – Juliet, Desmond, Penny. But I think this place in space/time/mind might have its own set of rules. And I’m guessing murdering someone in cold blood for personal gain doesn’t go over very well. Sorry, Michael. Looks like an eternity of the whispers for you.
Any other thoughts?
I have to give props to Evangeline Lilly for this episode – I’ve found Kate such a difficult character to get behind for so long. But in the finale she was amazing – I just loved her. Easily her best performance since the pilot. I also loved all the reunion moments and flashbacks, which reminded us how far we’ve come – like bringing Boone back – hello! Sun and Jin made me cry for the umpteenth time. The grins on their faces when they walked out of the hospital room looking at Sawyer – priceless! It was all just well-executed – often you saw what was coming and didn’t care. Then again, I predicted Eko would somehow officiate a service in the church, but I guess that would have been one step too far! Ooh – and I loved that the stained glass window in the church showed many denominations to make it clear this wasn’t a church of a single faith – it’s just a place of spirituality. Nice touch.
And before I leave you, let me offer some parting thoughts on the six seasons of one of my favorite shows. I’m going to borrow from my pal Mr. Robleto (a.k.a. BabyDaddy) and answer his fun questions.
- Most heartfelt moment: Well you know I’m a sucker for my girl Sun. And her scene at Jin’s grave in “Ji Yeon” just about killed me. Runner-up – Rose being reunited with Bernard in season 2. That’s faith!
- Best turnaround: Benjamin Linus, who turned from evil to good so often he’d give Dr. Jekyll a run for his money.
- Most shocking twist: I still remember shouting out loud near the end of season 1 when Locke pounded on the hatch, and the light came on. Whoa!
- Most confusing Islander: I’m going to have to go with Walt. Due to his premature exit from the show we never really closed the loop on what it was he could (or couldn’t) do, and why the Others wanted to capture him.
- Most frustrating writing slip-up: Introducing Nikki and Paulo at all. And giving them a full episode to star in. Boo! Heck, I’d take another Ana Lucia episode over “Exposé.”
- Best of a bad situation: Sex in the bear cage. Pretty much the only redeeming quality of that time on Hydra Island.
- Worst of a bad situation: Fish biscuits.
- Worst episode to date: “Stranger in a Strange Land” in which we learn that the origin of Jack’s tattoos is boring, and Bai Ling is a terrible actress. I give this a slight edge over “Exposé” which at least featured a cool scene of Sun slapping Sawyer.
- Best episode to date: Not a cop-out – it’s the pilot episode. It was a cinematic tumult of characters and action that left me reeling and hungry for more. And I came back every week for 6 seasons!
That’s it for now, folks. Please feel free to add your questions and comments below. I could talk about this for days, seriously.