LOST: What to Make of the Finale

Many people will be disappointed by last night’s series finale of LOST. Many will be incredibly satisfied. Count me among both camps.

If you were a fan of the show because it was enthralling, as I was, you’ll love the finale. It had action, romance, drama, comedy, and a generally happy ending. If you were a fan for the mystery and mythology, as I also was, you will be very disappointed as virtually every core mystery was completely abandoned.

Emotionally, I was completely satiated. I was rooting for Sawyer and Juliet to find each other, I was so happy for Claire and Charlie, I thought Jin and Sun played their awakening scene perfectly, Hurley and Libby shared an awakening kiss, and we’d already had our Desmond/Penny reunion. All that was missing was Daniel and Charlotte pairing off. I wish we had seen a happy ending for poor ol’ Miles, but I guess he had his dad.

Intellectually, I was a little stumped. First, by the solution: um… what? So the entire alternate timeline was post-death, or just the church scene? They joined the alternate timeline when they died in the real timeline? Wait… was the real timeline even real at all? I don’t know.

Mythologically, I was downright pissed. Is it okay for the writers to give us 121 hours of programming spurred on by completely mind-bending mystery and then completely and totally abandon virtually every one of those storylines with no explanation?

The central mystery of the show was “What is the island?” It was the center so much so that the pilot ended by dropping its first titlecard after Charlie’s now infamous “Guys… where are we?” That was not only not answered, it was flat out made more complicated in the finale.  In protecting “the source,” we saw Desmond and Jack descend into the light.  First off, going in certainly did not mean a fate “worse than death”; second, it seemed the bottom of the well was man-made! WHA…? There’s another entire story at the bottom of the light source.

Let’s not forget about all the little nagging ones… How does Hurley see dead people? How can Miles talk to them? What is the smoke? Who built the frozen wheel? How does the island “move” when the wheel is turned?  How did Jacob make Richard ageless? What was up with Hanso and the DeGroots? What was the Hanso connection with the Black Rock captain and the blast door map? The questions are limitless, and they go largely unanswered.

So, today, I’m not sure how I feel about the entire thing.  On one hand, I feel betrayed for having invested so much time in the mysteries to be completely ignored.  On the other, though, it was the best 121 hours of TV I’ve ever watched.  Even the less-exciting episodes were still the highlight of the TV week.  I doubt I’ll ever have as much fun with a TV show as I have on the journey of LOST.

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