I’m still processing last night’s series finale of Lost, as many of you probably are, so this may be the first of a few posts as my opinion evolves. At this point, I am still floored by the ending, but I’ll get to that.
If I was going to judge the show on the first two hours and 20 minutes, I would hands down be able to give it an A+. From day one, Lost has been a character-driven show. At the beginning, there were the flashbacks to life before the island, then there were the life-changing events on the island and the flash forwards and time travel stories, and finally the sideways reality. All of these narrative tools allowed fans to build a strong bond with the characters, which is pretty remarkable when you consider the large cast and potentially confusing storylines. So it was only fitting, and a true treat to loyal Lostees, that the very best moments from the previous seasons were replayed as each character had an awakening.
I must admit, this was a very emotional two and a half hours of TV. I cried. A lot. I cried when Sun and Jin touched in the hospital and saw their baby; I cried when Sayid and Shannon embraced; and I bawled like a baby when Claire gave birth to Aaron and reunited with Charlie. These were some of my favorite stories in Lost, and I sincerely thank the writers for giving these couples a happy ending. With all they have been through, they deserved it.
As the show progressed, I was left with the overwhelming message that the island was a pivotal point of self-discovery for these people, who had been cast adrift in their personal lives prior to boarding Oceanic Flight 815. I was struck by the hopeful prospect that, as Hugo told Sayid, we all decide who we are in life, and no one can decide that for us.
As for the events on the island, the pace of the action was non-stop. I chewed my fingernails as Jack and the Smoke Monster squared off – first in the clearing where Jack challenged him, then at the cave, and finally by the shore. And it was just so great to see his character finally come into his own as the self-assured hero he was always meant to be.
Of course, I would be remiss if I did not discuss the last 10 minutes, even though I am still not sure how I feel about them. I, like most fans, did not see this coming. And I don’t need to point out the vast array of inconsistencies with previous events in the show. That being said, I don’t hate the ending. I’m glad the characters reunited, and were finally given the ultimate gift of redemption. It was, in many ways, satisfying to see such deeply conflicted characters come to such a peaceful ending.
On the other hand, it is such a final, closed ending. Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hugo, Charlie, Claire, Desmond, Penny, Jin and Sun don’t go on. Their lives are over. Granted, many of them presumably lived out their lives off the island (I assume they all died at different times), but many of them did not (Jack, Charlie and Jin and Sun all died on the island). And I’m still not sure of what to make of the sideways reality storylines being somewhat irrelevant. Some of these people had good lives in the sideways reality – Jack had a son, Locke was in a loving relationship with Helen, and Ben was not a bad guy. I liked these stories, and was rather unsettled with the abrupt end to them. Particularly troublesome was Locke’s assertion that Jack didn’t have a son. I just don’t know what to make of that.
Please post your reaction in the comments. I’m sure there are a lot of different viewpoints about the events from last night’s show, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.