Monday, May 24, 2010

My review of the last LOST

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!
So after six years and all the twists and turns and time travel and coincidences and mythology, we learn that LOST is just a retelling of the story of Christ. Jack is the chosen leader, saves the world, dies for our sins, is reunited with his “Father” (whose name happens to be “Christian” as opposed to say Schlomo or Habib) and the “Christian Shepherd” leads everyone happily into the light.

So depending on your personal beliefs you either found that ending enormously satisfying or the conclusion of the world’s longest shaggy dog story.

It certainly was a feel-good ending (even though everyone was dead – hey, at least the party had a theme) and the lead-up to it was LOST storytelling at its very best. The action sequences were thrilling, mysteries were solved, but by far the best part of the episode was the romantic reunions. Call me a softy but I got choked up at the Sawyer-Juliet scene. And is that true that if you unplug a vending machine the candy will come out? Or is that only in the after-life?

The Sun-Jin scene was beautiful (I’d like to think that seeing flashes of their life on the island is what caused them to instantly learn English; that it wasn’t the result of the Sonogram), and I was so happy for Charlie and Claire after all they’d been through. The Sayid and Shannon hook-up was a little weird though. I thought the love of his life was Nadya. But no matter, each scene melted my heart. And at the end of the day I cared so much more about the characters’ fate than the island’s. Besides, you don’t need a mysterious force to blow up the island. Just let BP come in and start drilling offshore.

A few random observations:

I was hoping Richard would be real excited taking his first plane flight. “Hey, look at these little trays that come down from the back of these seats!”

Also, good luck getting through Customs, Richard. Saying you’re from the Canary Islands in the 14th century is not going to get you into America, buddy.

So I guess we’re saying that Ben’s going to hell? At the end of the day he’s the one person who didn’t join “the others”? Or maybe he didn’t want to go in there because in the six year run of the series every person in that room had beaten the crap out of him at least twice.

How did they get the giant tree trunk off of Ben? They seemed to be having some trouble with it. Maybe Superboy did it and they can wrap up SMALLVILLE too.

At least the show didn't end with the screen going black.

When the plane flew over the island one last time weren’t you hoping they’d look out the window and see “Goodbye Hawkeye”?

In the church scene – other than Rose, not a lot of people of color. Where was Michael and Walt? How come Penny was there and Mr. Eko wasn’t? Penny never was even on the island.

And how come Clair’s baby was there and not Sun & Jin’s? If these were supposed to be the most important people in their lives wouldn’t their kids qualify over say, Boone? But of course, that bothered me from the episode a few weeks ago when Sun was trapped in the sinking submarine and drowning and Jin elected to stay with her and die. Why didn’t Sun say, “We have a daughter, you idiot! Do you want her to be an orphan? Go back and…glug glug… raise your… glug… daughter!”?

Ultimately, I thought they did a sensational job of wrapping up all the characters. I especially loved that Hurley became the new island protector. I assume he’s still rich from winning that lottery so boxes of food from Spagos can be airlifted to him instead of Dharma Project supplies falling out of the sky.

The thing I appreciated and admired the most about LOST was that in six years, every single episode, I could never out-guess them. The level of imagination was second-to-none. On the one hand I feel a much needed sense of closure now but on the other I will miss the show terribly. My thanks to the staff for a great great ride.

LOST definitely was a groundbreaking television show. I’m sure people will be enjoying the DVDs for years. And this concluding episode is sure to become a Christmas and Easter tradition.

Tomorrow: My review of the last 24. I guarantee they won't make that Jack a Christ figure.

68 comments:

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
emily said...

Unplugging the candy machine, Desmond unplugging the light, Jack restoring it = rebooting?

Seriously, the finale was so very, very brilliant. Nitpickers -- and there are always plenty -- should be Ben-beaten and locked into bear cages.

And the Emmy winner is...

Emily Blake said...

I was a little weepy and then they went all out with that damn dog. As soon as he lay down next to Jack I just lost it. I think Vincent was the real unsung hero of the show.

Diragor said...

Here's my nitpicky issue:- how is it that *everyone* except Jack, possibly the smartest character on the show, seemed to have instantly understood that they were dead as soon as they got their big flood of memories from contact with another character? Jack had to get the contact memory thing from Locke, Kate and an empty coffin, then STILL have it explained to him by his father. Admittedly, the exposition was probably necessary and Jack was the last one to understand so that's where it needed to be explained, but it doesn't make much sense how that worked.

That said, I enjoyed it.

danrydell said...

As a writer, Ken, how do you reconcile the story problems? Not just the whole series but in that last episode? Don't get me wrong, I loved it, but there were some very big holes in the story and conflicts in the structure of the whole thing.

MBunge said...

"As a writer, Ken, how do you reconcile the story problems?"


If you're wondering how they eat and breathe, and other science facts...

La La La...

Then repeat to yourself "It's just a show, I should really just relax"!

Charles H. Bryan said...

@Diragor I had two thoughts on why Jack was so slow on this.

1) It may have been in character, him being a stubborn damn grudge holding empiricist. Perhaps also because he was in a happier place -- jeez, he had a teenage son who had grown to like him.

2) Creatively, I think it was hard to choose who should trigger the flashback -- Locke, Kate, and Daddy Dearest were all, um, candidates for that position. If it fell to just one of them, it would have seemed that there was some dramatic payoff missing.

Also, I think Dad's exposition was meant to clear up some questions viewers might have, or because he knew his son had a skull made of cement.

The more I think about the show, the more I like it -- both the show AND the thinking about it, which I guess really is the gift of Lost.

Linda said...

At this point the comments are mostly positive -- thanks, Ken! Everyone is going to have his/her viewpoint but the supercilious, condescending ones (i.e. from a previous thread that someone is proud they never watched an episode) really tick me off.

I got what I needed: Ben Linus' redemption and a emotionally cathartic ending. And not having everything wrapped up is fun. Sometimes serialized shows are impossible to re-watch but "Lost" is going to be interesting to see again.

My own personal post-"Lost" wish - (and posted on other blogs as well) - Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson go on a tour of "The Odd Couple."

Simon H. said...

My impressions after sleeping on it for a night.

As a character piece it was brilliant, moving, and powerful.

As a mythological piece, it was good, but not great.

As a whole, it was an extremely satisfying end to one of the great shows of our time, though not a perfect one by any stretch.

As for Ben staying, one could look at that as needing to stay in purgatory to redeem himself for his many, MANY sins. Either that, or it was because he wanted to bop Alex's mother some more. That scene with him apologizing to Locke near the end had the waterworks going with me I'm almost ashamed to admit. Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson are just brilliant together, and I do hope they can work together again someday. Maybe a wacky Odd Couple-like sitcom. Ken, I think you might have your next hit show there....

MBunge said...

"Everyone is going to have his/her viewpoint but the supercilious, condescending ones (i.e. from a previous thread that someone is proud they never watched an episode) really tick me off."


The attitude that you're some sort of moron or Philistine if you think LOST might possibly not be the best thing ever doesn't exactly promote good feelings.

Mike

Gridlock said...

If this were the end of a book, it would be "underwritten and hastily finished via a deus ex machina"..

LOST did a lot of things very well, but when you go back and watch it again you're going to end up with a lot of dead ends and a story that builds to something you won't even be given clues about until the final 2 episodes.

Overall, meh; the show hyped itself up as being a huge tale of human struggle and self-discovery and ended up as watchable scenery and a couple good characters. If you want to write a character-driven TV show, set it in a bar. If you want to make the world's most expensive TV show ever and make your USP that you're building up a huge cross-cultural mythology, then don't finish it with a sub-par fistfight, a shot in the back and some mumbo jumbo about hanging around until you can let go of something.

Concept: 10/10
Execution: 4/10
Acting: 11/10

Kevin M said...

I once had a couple Mormons walk up my driveway on Christmas Eve and try to convince me to believe in their thoroughly amusing mythology. They were wearing pressed suits, stylish but underspoken neckties, and their breath was minty fresh and clean. They didn't use coarse language, and spoke in a measured tone, confident and unassuming.

When they were done, I asked them if they'd be willing to give me their own home addresses.

"Why?" they asked.

"I was just curious to see if I could go to your house on one of your holidays and convince you to give up your own religious beliefs...and do it in a manner that didn't make you feel that I was the rudest, most condescending and arrogant bastard you ever met."

On one level, they were really nice people. On another, I wanted to punch the smug SOBs for making my little community feel like Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and on Xmas Eve.

That's how I feel about Lost. On one level, it was a fantastic show with more suspense than any ten other shows.

On another level, it was a ridiculously violent, psychologically abusive exercise in self-indulgence that, over time, left me wondering if the writers just threw stuff in because it made no sense...and then spent the next six weeks lamely constructing sense.

Paloma said...

I just loved it
Glad to see most of comments are positive but im waiting for the you know who's with their "they didnt explain this!, they didnt explain that!

Personally i found it really satisfying. A powerful end for a great show. And yes, i cried like a baby with the reunions and as Emily way above me said, i just lost it when Vincent lay down to Jack too

Linda said...

Mbunge -- The attitude that you're some sort of moron or Philistine if you think LOST might possibly not be the best thing ever doesn't exactly promote good feelings.

I don't know where you got the idea that I think LOST was the best thing ever and those who didn't think so were morons. It's the person who states they are proud of not having watched a show (and then commenting on a blog post that's about that show) that are rude to fans who, for whatever reasons, like the show.

I'm not interested in declamations such as "It was bad because..." (or even "It was great because..."). I AM interested in those posters who begin their posts with "In my opinion..." or some such variation. It allows for respect for other points of view.

El Snacktator said...

Although El loved the storytelling, El remembers the creators saying long ago that when it was all said and done, it would all make perfect sense. El did not feel that.

Hollywoodaholic said...

Lost apparently = the ultimate Rorschach test (based on posts). You get out of it what you put into it; whether snark, ridicule, love, faith, redemption, frustration or satisfaction.

And, in the end, what more could you want from a television show?

Dana Gabbard said...

I only intermittently watched the show--enough to be familiar with the overall but not steeped in all the details. It obviously had sensational production values, great acting and some very strong storytelling. But it also came off often as self important and hinting much and delivering well short of the hints. Sort of like Star Trek:TNG two parters which always went with the least interesting resolutions.

Making it up as you go along is no sin. Tolkien had no idea why Gandalf disappeared at a key point early in LOTR, but carried forward sure he'd figure it out at the appropriate place in the story. And did so. David Gerrold once explained writing The Man Who Folded Himself (a time travel novel) involved every dozen pages or so encountering a plot problem that would make him stop and spend a few days figuring out the solution. But he solved them.

My beef is Lost feels like the creators got caught up with their own significance etc. and fell back on lazy non-answers as a substitute for doing their job as creators. I'm sorry but for me it was not making the best use of the tools that had at hand.

This same weekend Legend of the Seeker had what is 99% likely to be its series finale but while convoluted and filled with the accumulated mythology it resolves the season two storyline in a way that was satisfying to me.

Thank goodness Terry O’Quinn in the two hour self-congratulatory documentary before the Lost finale dismissed this whole changed television talk by talking of it likely to be something they'd look back at as being a unique moment in their careers. Heroes just got cancelled and I don't see any super-story type shows slotted for the fall. I know one friend who loved the show because it harked back to the classic adventure type shows of the 1960s that networks just don't do any more. Don't forget ABC ran the show but it also fired the exec who greenlit the pilot (Lloyd Braun).

Lost continued and deepen the trend toward continuity in drama shows I have written about here and elsewhere on the net. But I don’t see it taking full advantage of the promise of what it could have been. Just my opinion--maybe I am a glass half empty type of guy. You mileage may vary...

Napa Valley Hobo said...

I hated it. Even the one thing they explained they didn't explain.

Maybe someone here can help me out.

So the "side-story," as they called it in the recap, is the after life, except they don't know they're dead? But then they all go to church and talk about how they now know they're dead?

BigTed said...

I imagine Ben didn't go to heaven because, while the castaways apparently forgave him for being a MASS MURDERER, there were plenty of other souls up there just waiting to give him more beatings.

BigTed said...

I imagine Ben didn't go to heaven because, while the castaways apparently forgave him for being a MASS MURDERER, there were plenty of other souls up there just waiting to give him more beatings.

Wavedeform said...

The final episode of MacGuffin Island. No real answers, just emotional manipulation. Essentially the same ending as "Ashes to Ashes" on the BBC, fwiw.

I don't understand why they bothered to wrap everything in Science Fiction clothes if they weren't going to respect that and instead tell a character-only story. With the ending they gave, the bulk of the series could have been a western, a cop show, a medical show.

To me, the proper use of science fiction is to tell a funny story. The LOST writers seemed to have used science fiction trappings only to tell a story funny. I would have found the "Bardo church" much more acceptable, if they had at least _tried_ to address some of the science fiction aspects first.

It's funny that all the things that people obsessed over for the last six seasons don't matter, given this ending. Maybe that's the point. Still, LOST was the only show that was worth talking/thinking about for a long time.

- C

p.s.
Chalkboard from last night's Simpsons: End of "LOST": It was all the dog's dream. Watch us.

danrydell said...

@mbunge, no, I'm talking about things such as what how can they have Jack think Desmond should put out the light he's supposed to protect? How did he think that was going to be a good idea? Why build up the suspense of "the plane needs to take off now!" when they actually could have waited as long as they wanted.

gottacook said...

As a big fan of Patrick McGoohan's THE PRISONER, I now have more insight into why he wrote its final episode "Fall Out" as he did. Many of the series' original viewers in the UK in 1967 were utterly unsatisfied by "Fall Out," which essentially answered none of the questions raised in earlier episodes while throwing in several whole new strata of mysteries. BUT... there was no dialogue that had the effect of retrospectively wiping out my investment in the story (i.e., the scene between Christian and Jack), and the investment of apparently many other viewers as well. Therefore, the questions raised by the premise of THE PRISONER were still pertinent and the series could be watched again, not just in spite of but because of its lunatic last episode - whereas in the case of LOST, despite the show's wonderful cast and the artfulness of the whole presentation, I can't see myself spending even one minute watching an episode again.

Hollywoodaholic said...

@Napa Valley Hobo ...

Here's the best recap I've read, from Gary Sussman at TV Squad:

"What is the flash-sideways reality? As Christian Shephard explained at the end, the alternate timeline, in which Oceanic flight 815 lands safely in Los Angeles, is a purgatory, a collective dream, mutually created by the souls of the castaways (and a few close outsiders, like Penny), a way for them to rediscover each other before moving on to the next spiritual plane. It's also a place for the characters, all of whom have heavy baggage (and not the kind you pick up at the carousel), to let go. (Which is why those characters not ready to let go, like Ben or Michael or Ana Lucia, didn't end up in the church at the end.)

"Does that mean they all died? (The shots of the empty plane wreckage over the closing credits has led some viewers to infer that no one survived the initial crash.) Well, they did all die, but not at the same time. Everything that occurred on the island, including the deaths of Boone, Shannon, Juliet, Sayid, Jin, Sun and Jack, really did happen. But so did the escape of Kate, Sawyer, Claire, Miles, Frank and Richard on the Ajira jetliner; they died sometime later (hopefully, after making it to safety and living out their lives). Hurley and Ben stayed behind to run the island and also, presumably, lived out their lives, as did Rose and Bernard. In the collective dream limbo, however, time doesn't matter, said Christian, so the souls didn't meet up there until everyone was dead."

If you find that 'hooey,' then just go with the dog dream.

Kirk Jusko said...

What about Jack's son in the sideways world? He was just a puppet of sorts who never had a thought in his head. What about all the years, or what appeared Jack wasted loving something that never existed?

And what exactly was Mr and Mrs Widmore's role in the whole thing?

I liked the finale, but i can't help wonderin'

benson said...

Okay, that's it. No more Japanese food for Bob Hartley.

paul in kirkland said...

"Making it up as you go along is no sin".

"My beef is Lost feels like the creators got caught up with their own significance etc. and fell back on lazy non-answers as a substitute for doing their job as creators. I'm sorry but for me it was not making the best use of the tools that had at hand."

This is *exactly* my issue. Was the finale good? Sure. And if you took Season 1 and stuck this finale at the end you'd have a great season. You'd also have fewer holes, even with all the flashbacks from intermittent seasons.

How many shows have the ability to go out on their own terms? Not a whole lot. And I can't think of one that was given three full seasons, HALF OF THE ENTIRE RUN OF THE SHOW, to line things up.

And instead of taking this great opportunity to create a nice ending that makes sense, they spent literally the entire time adding more nonsense, and then completely disregarded it for the finale. It's either really poor showrunning or an incredible display of hubris; I tend to think the latter.

rita said...

@ wavedeform:
Essentially the same ending as "Ashes to Ashes" on the BBC, fwiw.

thank you for pointing that out! (and tbh, i am still somewhat peeved by the last episode of the original 'Life on Mars' -- can't be bothered, though, to watch the remake.)

Whitney said...

One tiny nitpick- this probably wasn't Richard's first flight. We've seen him twice off the island- once when he recruited Juliet in Florida, and when he visited a young John Locke. So, I'm going to guess that while he took the sub or a boat to leave the island initially, that he had to have flown on a plane somewhere. (I took his "is that good" just to be him hoping that the plane was fixed, not him genuinely not knowing what a plane sounded like)

MBunge said...

"Glad to see most of comments are positive but im waiting for the you know who's with their "they didnt explain this!, they didnt explain that!"


Not to belabor the point, but you can now say that LOST spent a decent amount of its time on the air spinning out mysteries it never had any intention of resolving and twists it never had any intention of explaining. Being a little put off by that is not nitpicking.

I do think that the LOST finale is notable because it not only gave most fans an emotionally satisfying conclusion, it also gave most critics confirmation that the series was largely pulled out of the creators' butts.

Mike

Chris Carmichael said...

I had a splendid ride for six years, and Ken, this is probably an event that won't happen again for a very long time.

Money, and shooting in Hawaii was very expensive. I rank this as equal or better than Battle Star Gallactica.

A splendid time had by my eyes and noggin.

Now back to baseball -- already in progress.

Gregory said...

I'm certain Richard had various fake passports hidden on his body from when he'd left the Island in the past. He'll be mowing lawns in southern California in no time.

And I don't think Ben was going to Hell. He had a life in Purgatory. A girlfriend and surrogate daughter who loved him. Why would he want to leave?

Dave Creek said...

The problem with the LOST finale was that it was generic. It would also work with 24's finale tonight: Jack Bauer's dad could tell him, "You're a patriot, Jack, but you've done some bad things. Plus, you were actually killed in season one." Jack: "You're right. Let's walk toward the light."

It would even work with LAW & ORDER, which also ends tonight. Certainly it would explain the massive turnover in the cast over the last 20 years. And make Jerry Orbach the ultimate Method actor.

So after the disappointing endings of TWIN PEAKS, THE X-FILES (admittedly only semi-serialized), BSG, and, now, LOST, I'm done with serialized shows. Of the ones I've watched, only THE SHIELD came through with flying colors.

Anonymous said...

@Dave Creek

you actually didnt like the ending of BSG ???!!

and the guy above is comparing an amazing, explanatory, resolving and exciting ending with the bluff that LOST last episode was?

are you people serious...?

fk

Alice said...

Friday Question. What would you have done had it been your task to write the last episode (and only the last episode) of LOST?? Of course having watched every episode but without any insight from the writers/creators.

Wavedeform said...

So far, just about my favorite ending of a long running serial was for Six Feet Under. It fit with the show and I found it very satisfying.

BSG, not so much.

The LOST finale was almost like you had been keeping up with Sherlock Holmes stories, but those Sherlock Holmes stories never had any resolution to the mysteries contained within. There was a promised extra long finale story that was going to prove that the authors knew what they were doing all along. When that finale showed up you discover that the mysteries had no real solutions, and that the stories were written to get Holmes and Watson laid a lot. If you were only really committed to Holmes and Watson, you found this a satisfying ending, but if the mysteries were much of the reason you were following things, you felt cheated.

D. McEwan said...

" Kevin M said...
That's how I feel about Lost."


You felt like Lost rang your doorbell on a holiday, and tried to convert you to a different religion? My Lost came over the TV, and only when I turned it on. I could always turn it off, just like I've always closed the door in the faces of Mormon missionaries foolish enough to knock at my door.

I loved every minute of Lost, and when the finale was done, I was just as big an atheist as when it began. Harry Potter didn't make me believe in magic either, but I enjoyed the stories.

D. McEwan said...

"Napa Valley Hobo said...
Maybe someone here can help me out.

So the 'side
[ways]-story,' as they called it in the recap, is the after life, except they don't know they're dead? But then they all go to church and talk about how they now know they're dead?"

Okay (you mustn't have been paying very close attention), the each found out they were dead when they had their "remembring" moment, one at a time. They got together at the church, not to talk about it, but to move on together. All this was perfectly clear on the show.

"Wavedeform said...
To me, the proper use of science fiction is to tell a funny story."


Well clearly you forgot to tell them that science fiction is only for comedy. you also forgot to mention it to Robert Heinlein.

Obviously, science fiction can be used to tell any sort of story.

"danrydell said...
how can they have Jack think Desmond should put out the light he's supposed to protect? How did he think that was going to be a good idea?"


When Jack drank and became like Jacob, he learned he had to shut off the light temporarily to shut off Locke's immortality and be able to kill him, and then it had to be turned back on again. I thought that was very clear.

"Why build up the suspense of 'the plane needs to take off now!' when they actually could have waited as long as they wanted."

Take another look at the plane-taking-off shots. The runway is falling apart and disintegrating as they roll down it. They left at the last possible second. Again, it was right there on the screen. All you had to do was look at it.

"Kirk Jusko said...
What about Jack's son in the sideways world? He was just a puppet of sorts who never had a thought in his head. What about all the years, or what appeared Jack wasted loving something that never existed?

And what exactly was Mr and Mrs Widmore's role in the whole thing?"


David Shepherd never existed. He was just a fantasy Jack didn't know he'd invented.

Mrs. Widmore wasn't ready to let go of her restored son.

I understand that LAW & ORDER's series finale tonight has promised to answer all your questions, for 20 years of mysteries.

D. McEwan said...

That Jack's father was named "Christian Shepherd" has been kind of shouting from the screen for six years now, as was Jack's always shepherding the castaways about.

As an atheist, for me it was a shaggy dog story, but a damn good one. So it was to some degree a religious fantasy? So what? I can watch The Lord of the Rings without believing in wizards and hobbits and elves too.

Like you, I was a sucker for the reunion scenes. I cried when Hurley was grinning to see Charlie again, even though Charlie had no idea who he was. I cried when Charlie and Claire recognized each other, and when Sawyer & Juliet did also.

Lindeloff & Cuse promised 5 years ago that they would never kill the dog, that Vincent would still be there at the end. I loved Vincent's last scene. Good doggie.

Jin & Sun didn't instantly learn English; they remembered that they already knew it, and yes, that scene made a mess out of me also. I cheered and applauded when Juliet walked in the door, even though I was expecting her, as I'd been certain for weeks now that she would be David's mother.

Ji Yeon is almost worse-off than an orphan. She'll be wealthy, but she's being raised by Sun's mother and her evil father, who will screw her up as badly as he screwed up Sun. Sun should have yelled: "Go save our daughter from my evil father!" That would have gotten his butt moving.

I completely agree about Sayid and Shannon. Sayid carries a torch for years for smart, strong, stands-up-to-torture, Nadia, but his purgatory girlfriend is Shannon, the excruciatingly annoying, spoiled, shrieks-when-she-gets-a-hangnail airhead. Obviously his work as a torturer is sending him to hell, because anyplace you're stuck with Shannon would be Hell! Shannon's death was the only thing Ana Lucia ever did that I liked.

As others have pointed out, Richard's been off-island a number of times before, though by submarine, not airplane, but that's not to say he didn't take flights once he got to the mainland.

None of the people flying back will have passports, or any other sort of luggage, but Richard probably has an off-island stash of them, just as Ben had when he went off-island in season 4, and other identities established. Slack will be cut for plane disaster survivors making it back.

More bothersome to me was flying a jumbo jet at 30,000 feet with - what? - plywood nailed over the smashed windshield, and the whole thing held together with duct tape. Also, Kate violated her terms of parole by leaving California, so she'd be going to prison when she got back.

Ben had big crimes to atone for, like say, genocide. He'll need longer to do it. One assumes he was redeemed a bit in his years as Hurley's "Number two." (Shit?) Jacob was at least 2000 years old. How long, I wonder, will Hurley live?

Where was Michael and Walt? How come Penny was there and Mr. Eko wasn’t? Penny never was even on the island.

Michael's ghost is stuck on the Island, whispering. That was made perfectly clear several episodes back. And as for Walt, he's now so tall, if they'd brought him back, we'd have thought the Harlem Globetrotters had finally shown up. Seriously, he's no longer the little boy who was all Michael knew, so they couldn't bring him back. Mr. Eko refused to do the show. There was bad feeling between he and the cast and crew when he left. Apparently he's "difficult". (But GORGEOUS!)

The baby Aaron at the reunion must have been imaginary, for Aaron was older than that whenever he died, since he was three and fine when we last saw him. Whatever was so important about him was never explained. Maybe they didn't bring in an imaginary Ji Yeon since ghost Sun was still pregnant with imaginary Ji Yeon.

Hurley'd given all his money to his parents. That was stated a couple seasons back.

D. McEwan said...

So, what was scarier on the LOST finale; The Smoke Monster or the Meg Whitman commercials?

Wavedeform said...

D. McEwan said... "Well clearly you forgot to tell them that science fiction is only for comedy. you also forgot to mention it to Robert Heinlein.

Obviously, science fiction can be used to tell any sort of story."

I didn't mean funny-humorous, I meant funny-peculiar. The LOST writers used science fiction elements and the mythology of the island for no apparent good reason, at least they really didn't play into the eventual resolution. The same ending could have been slapped onto a war story or a cop show.

The LOST finale falling back on a deus ex machina ending felt pretty bankrupt, to me. At the end of the day, all the time travel, the flashbacks & flashforwards, the Dharma Initiative, the mystical island and all its trappings, were apparently only there to make these people have an intense bond, so that they could tell a 15 minute story at the end about them gathering in a Bardo-like church and "moving on." The science fiction elements were not essential to the story, and seemingly were colorful baubles that made the ride more interesting so people would not notice that the destination was suspect.

D. McEwan said...

" Wavedeform said...
I didn't mean funny-humorous, I meant funny-peculiar."


Then you need to write with greater clarity, particularly when criticizing the work of real writers, like Lindeloff & Cuse.

"The LOST writers used science fiction elements and the mythology of the island for no apparent good reason, at least they really didn't play into the eventual resolution. The same ending could have been slapped onto a war story or a cop show."

I'd love to see a cop show or war story that ended as Lost did. Now that would be funny, and I mean funny ha ha.

No apparent reason? In a show which had a men of faith vs men of science debate and struggle going on since season one? The Island was littered with temples and scientific stations, representing the two primary approaches man employs to invesitagte the Unknowable. The Source in the heart of The Island remained a mystery, impervious to discovery by either approach, and the show strongly implied that you need a balance of both. (I see this in the show. I son't agree with it in real Life. I am very much a man of science myself.) The science was essential to its themes all along as the mysticism was.

It didn't "fall back" on a deus ex machina. It was always going there. What was important was how the characters reacted to their tests: who rose to their challenges and who failed them. Sorry the show wasn't dumbed-down and simplified enough for you, nor conformed to the rigid genre rules you've invented and wish to impose.

Anonymous Internet Man said...

Wavedeform, you nailed it. I was suspicious of this show 6 years ago when it came out -- it claimed to be a sci-fi show, it *looked* like one, but it just didn't smell like one. If you're going to have your characters experience weird stuff just so they can be at peace with their own lives -- then why any ONE specific kind of weird stuff versus another? LOST went out of its way to get specific about what KIND of weird stuff they encoutered, as if it made a relevant difference to the characters' lives (and in a good story, it would have), but they apparently capped it by saying, "Well the particulars of the weird stuff didn't matter so much, what matters is that you move on from it.". Which makes me glad I never let myself get hooked, cause that's not what the promo department was selling.

D. Mcewan, chill a little bit. The fact that you enjoyed the show doesn't mean its creators actually did their homework, which, from everything I've read post-finale -- they didn't.

danrydell said...

@DMcEwan: Good point about Locke's mortality. I didn't make that connection earlier, but I don't think Jack knew that. He said he thought Desmond was a weapon of some sort.

Like I said, I loved the finale, but there were questions and issues. And it is cheap to have alll these mysteries stringing fans along and then not explain, at least partly, a good chunk of them.

The next time these guys do a show, they're not going to get a free pass from the audience. The audience won't be as patient.

Mike Bell said...

I apologize if a previous comment covered this (my allergy meds just kicked in) but writing for Lost HAD to have been the dream gig of all dream gigs! Think about it - Polar Bear in a jungle? What does that mean? It'll mean whatever we want it to mean. Move the island? Why the hell not? Hatch? Natch. Frozen donkey wheel? Is there any other kind?

Write yourself into a corner, then employ anything to write your way out.

"I finished the Locke/Sawyer fork fight."

"Does it make any sense?"

"No."

"Even better!"

I'd really LOVE to read the network's notes on Lost.

"On page nine: Kate gives birth to a hand grenade...does it have to be a WW2 German potato masher hand grenade? Couldn't it be an American "pineapple" hand grenade? 'Band of Brothers' still tests through the roof!"

I will miss Lost for the simple reason that for six seasons they wrote whatever the hell they wanted and still made it gripping and entertaining. And touching.

Dana Gabbard said...

Reading the comments (pro and con) have clarified in my mind why the finale felt false. It wasn't earned, but played on cheap emotions to provide faux closure. Sure many longtime viewers were suckers for the reunion stuff but sometimes giving the audience what it wants is poor storytelling. A creator should be willing to know when fulfilling expectations isn’t the goal to telling the story.

On the other hand I don't see how the mysteries were going to be explained since my vague impression from viewing a scattering of episodes is there would be no vehicle for doing such baring have a Mr. Exposition introduced in the final episode.

Most of the characters treated all the outrageous trappings that accumulated over the years in the most mundane fashion. Rose and Bernard and Charlie asking "Guys, Where are we?" seemed to be the sum total of authentic reactions to it all. Stations and drilling etc. happened but no one seemed to ever having any sense of a big picture approach. Curiosity was seemingly curiously missing.

Harry Potter ended with the character exploring the underlying mythology of the magic that had been built up in the previous books and made discoveries that helped him defeat the bad guy. Harry isn't the greatest magician (we all know that is Hermione) but he cares and eventually works at gaining an understanding that marks his actions as heroic. Who on Lost remotely fits that bill? During the entire sequence involving the mystery cave did anyone show any awareness or hint they had worked to try and learn how this glowing mystical stuff worked? No, they went forward based on vague guesses. And thus in the end a utterly baffling set-up is restored and the series is OK with leaving things as such.

It is the Producer’s prerogative to decide to do this. But I can say the emperor has no clothes and switch off the TV, unsatisfied.

And again your mileage may vary...

P.S. - those Meg Whitman ads were fare scarier than anything else during the finale. BRR!

Rock Golf said...

Am I the only one who thinks the LOST writers got the mythology backwards?

That is, Desmond should have plugged the hole to stop the light escaping (and therefore render MIB mortal) and that Jack should have been the guy to remove the cork and let the light back out.

-bee said...

I was loving the finale through the first 3/4. I wish the sideways world had been an alternate timeline like the show's creators had been leading us to believe it was, but oh well.

I didn't hate the whole 'death's communal waiting room' thing, but as I am not a Christian or indeed a believer in any sort of divine heavenly creator - it left me feeling kind of alienated.

All in all though, Lost was a uniquely wonderful display of narrative invention with some really fine performances (yay to Matthew Fox for rising to the occasion in the finale) and great production values (including the brilliant musical score).

Wavedeform said...

D. McEwan said... "I'd love to see a cop show or war story that ended as Lost did. Now that would be funny, and I mean funny ha ha."

As I mentioned earlier, Ashes to Ashes, which just finished its run on BBC, was a cop show that had essentially the same ending as LOST.

D. McEwan continues ...Sorry the show wasn't dumbed-down and simplified enough for you, nor conformed to the rigid genre rules you've invented and wish to impose.

We get that you loved the ending, honest.

---

What's that writing rule? Something like If you see a gun in the first act, it has to be used by the third?

The trouble with LOST was that it showed so many "guns" early on, then in subsequent acts those guns turned out to be spears, or maybe fish, and eventually they didn't even matter.

Abrams has a TED talk where he talks about his mystery box. Because he never opened it, he doesn't know what's inside, he prefers the mystery to the reality. It seems like he treats his shows the same way; he doesn't know what the mystery really is, just that mystery itself is interesting.

Paloma said...

"Not to belabor the point, but you can now say that LOST spent a decent amount of its time on the air spinning out mysteries it never had any intention of resolving and twists it never had any intention of explaining. Being a little put off by that is not nitpicking.

I do think that the LOST finale is notable because it not only gave most fans an emotionally satisfying conclusion, it also gave most critics confirmation that the series was largely pulled out of the creators' butts"


I understand people that were so hooked on the mysteries they somehow felt disappointed with the finale. The thing is, this show was never about that, it was about the characters. The creators have spent AGES saying this. They knew the ending all along, Mathew Fox knew from day one how Jack was gonna end up and why. So yes, they used all the mysteries to atract people? deffs. i started watching because of that, but i stayed because of the characters stories arc. Not about the island mysteries. Thats why I found it satisfying. This show is by no means perfect, but i think it served its purpose.

Wendy said...

Why wasn't Sun & Jin's daughter Ji Yeon in the church/waiting room? She was never on the island. She might have been conceived there, but she wasn't born there and hence, has no first-hand memories to connect her to the island.

Now, the argument could be made that baby Aaron would be too young to have first-hand memories as well. However he at least was born there, and was still inside Claire when her island memories came back.

Anonymous said...

"So yes, they used all the mysteries to atract people? deffs. i started watching because of that, but i stayed because of the characters stories arc."


Okay, but using mysteries to attract people -- when you don't do the background work to decide what those mysteries really are -- is a cop out. It's a bait and switch.

You don't have to reveal everything. You can let the viewer figure some things out. But there has to be some there there.

Imagine Hercule Poirot saying, "And the killer is... well, it doesn't really matter, because the important thing is the valuable lessons we've learned from each other on this case."

Or if the Man Who Knew Too Much cuts away from the big orchestra scene to show Stewart & Day reunited with their kid.

Or we never find out Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

If you make a mystery show... you can string things along for six seasons, but you have to end up resolving the "mysteries" you've set up.

Lost fudged it.

BonzoGal said...

D. McEwan said: "So, what was scarier on the LOST finale; The Smoke Monster or the Meg Whitman commercials?"

THANK YOU! The Whitman/Poizner ads were a hoot. (To those outside of California- they're two nutty folks running for Governor. Lord knows we have plenty of those, but these ads were on par with the best political ad parodies.)

The ending ticked me off the same way reading the last of the Narnia books did: I felt like I'd been tricked into reading a Christian morality story.

One hell of a story, though- I had to remember that I'd enjoyed every minute of it up to that point.

MBunge said...

"I understand people that were so hooked on the mysteries they somehow felt disappointed with the finale. The thing is, this show was never about that, it was about the characters."


I'm sorry, but that's just nonsense. If you took a time machine back to season 1 or 2 of LOST and told viewers just how inconsequential and meaningless so many of the mysteries were, that most of what they were watching would end up having little or nothing to do with how the story ended and wouldn't even be explained, you can be damn sure they would've been pissed off.

Over at Comicon.com, Dan Carroll has a great description what the premise of LOST eventually turned out to be...


"Plane crashes. Survivors get fucked with by magic guy who has magic powers. Because magic guy wants one of them to take over for him.

Also: polar bears and time travel."


Mike

D. McEwan said...

"danrydell said...
@DMcEwan: Good point about Locke's mortality. I didn't make that connection earlier, but I don't think Jack knew that. He said he thought Desmond was a weapon of some sort."


You are right. Jack merely had faith that this would lead to the solution. He realized that turning off The Island's power made Locke mortal at the same moment The Lockeless Monster did, when he punched him and Locke bled. He'd taken bullets and daggars to the chest without bleeding up till then, so that was the tip-off that he'd been made mortal.

"it is cheap to have alll these mysteries stringing fans along and then not explain, at least partly, a good chunk of them."

Had they done that, it would indeed have been bad, but they did explain a good chunk of them, just not all of them.

"BonzoGal said...
D. McEwan said: 'So, what was scarier on the LOST finale; The Smoke Monster or the Meg Whitman commercials?'

THANK YOU! The Whitman/Poizner ads were a hoot. (To those outside of California- they're two nutty folks running for Governor. Lord knows we have plenty of those, but these ads were on par with the best political ad parodies.)"


You're welcome.

To you outside-California folks, Meg was the CEO of eBay, and was on the board of Goldman-Sachs. She and Poizner are currently torturing Californian TV viewers with non-stop attack ads aimed at each other.

The thing is, each accuses the other of being a "Secret Liberal". They accuse each other of such horrors as supporting Obama, and not "protecting our borders" (Each proudly announces they support Arizona's show-your-papers Nazi law. In other words "Get the Mexicans!" is a tenent of each one's campaign, playing to their voter base's racism).

For me, the big joke of their ads is, if either of them were actually as the other's ads describe them, I would vote for them, but they're both deeply evil, although Meg is probably the more evil by a slim margin. We also have a Republican woman trying to run against Barbara Boxer for the senate whose ads curdle the blood as she proudly announces her support of everything I'm against, and decries all that I support. We have people running ads day and night that basically say, "I'm a Smoke (and mirrors) Monster; vote for me!"

Norgard said...

The thing is, this show was never about that, it was about the characters. The creators have spent AGES saying this.

You're gonna have to very brave now: they were lying.

There's actually an interview with Alan Sepinwall where they flat-out admit that they pull the characters along whatever strings they need to make the show "mysterious". That's pretty much as opposite of "about characters" as you can get.

Paloma said...

i dont have to be anything!
jesus christ guys, yes they didnt answer everything and chances are they were never going to, and yes they did whatever it toke to keep the "mystery" going, what i meant was that the end they filmed was the ending they had in mind all along, and i LIKED IT. thats all! i honestly thought i would be disappointed about unanswered stuff but thing is i got the closure i needed for the show, and i didnt know it untill i saw it.
so if you didnt like it or thought the whole show was shit, well good for you, its your opinion and i respect it.

MBunge said...

"so if you didnt like it or thought the whole show was shit, well good for you, its your opinion and i respect it."


People are entitled to like whatever they want. I enjoyed both FANTASTIC FOUR movies.

Here's the thing. Even though I like them, I still recognize that both FF films were crap.

People who make genuinely complex and challenging TV like THE WIRE should have to share the stage with creators and shows that only pretend to be those things.

Mike

Dana Gabbard said...

Paloma, thanks for your comment "i got the closure i needed for the show"

It crystalizes my realization--the ending was for the viewers, not the characters. Folks here and elsewhere have already noted in terms of the show itself how inconsistent aspects of the reunion scene was. But that is because it wasn't for the characters but to allow the audience to have a feelgood moment. It ended up being the equivalent of a dias of folks at Comic Con in front of an adoring audience.

Which is all and well, if that floats your boat. But at least for me it was false, insulting pandering and a shame.

D. McEwan said...

"MBunge said...
People are entitled to like whatever they want. I enjoyed both FANTASTIC FOUR movies."


Thank you. I can now comlpetely dismiss any opinion you express.

Smacklab said...

Been ages since I commented here...

I loved the lost finale til Christian showed up... If I cut that bit of my mind I think the ending was inteligent and endearing... I loved the reunions (Sawyer and juliette for me too - /cry) and the island resolution was great too...
But... I think the ending made it a cliche... A cop out... Too broad for me to love it... I can live with all the forgotten mysteries (walt is the hardest - he was too important)... Not every show has to be all about god, heaven and hell...

on a side note... They lindenoff and abrams have been sayin since season 1 that they weren't in purgitory or they weren't dead.... What extrodinary lengths to go to... Creating an alternate universe just so they don't have to lie to us :-)

Dana Gabbard said...

And now we hear the DVD set will have an eiplogue with Ben and Hurley. How do we feel about that?

Rob said...

@DanaGobbard Are you freakin' kidding me? I'm sure the writers thought that the realizations would be a great way to callback the previous season and give the audiences a tender moment but they existed for reason that was important to both plot and characters. With most of the 'realizations' it was not the 'realizations' themselves, it was how the characters reacted to it, that made us tear up. The pure state of bliss on Locke's face as he learns about his past life. The Charlie and Claire reunion after they realize the life they had shared and so on. The realizations were infact genius in the sense that they put us in the shoes of the characters experiencing them.

It pisses me off when people complain that the show didn't explain "anything". The show explained about 80% of the mysteries they raised. Another 10% they gave us enough clues to piece them together. Only about 10% of the mysteries were completely unsolved. Check out lostpedia's "mysteries" page. it is now almost completely solved. http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Portal:Mysterious

D. McEwan said...

"Dana Gabbard said...
And now we hear the DVD set will have an eiplogue with Ben and Hurley."


And now we hear that from where? What is the source of this rumor?

Wavedeform said...

Rumor source:
http://www.shoppingblog.com/blog/520103

Anonymous said...

it was a pretty nice touch calling Ben "number 2".. I guess Jack is "number 6".

Juliet saying "it worked" about the candy machine reminds me of them blowing up the nuclear bomb (and she said "it worked" according to the korean guy)

DopeAddict said...

I watched. I cried, for personal reasons having to do with adoption/reunion, plus Jack's death was beautiful. That said...

All the people saying "it was about the characters, not the mysteries" are merely pulling the wool over their own eyes, ignoring the gaping holes and omissions in the story so they don't feel like they wasted 121+ hours of their lives watching this donkey's ass of a TV show.

I enjoyed parts of it, but overall it was obvious the writers had no effing idea where they were going or what they were doing, and the fact that they admitted as much doesn't make it OK. It just makes them look like what they are -- bozos who took people for a ride yet expect to be called geniuses.

Dana Gabbard said...

Rob, what you describe isn't storytelling but pandering to the wish fulfillment of viewers. And the undealt with 5-10% are the core issues and big ticket stuff. That is insulting after six seasons of endless claiming of the deepness of it all.

News of the DVD bonus is now been splashed all over the net.

Political blogger Bill Bradley has an interesting essay on the finales of Lost and 24.

I am not so emotional that dodging doing the job of telling a story by offering up feelgood endings etc. is a suitable substitute. Lost in the end was about nothing because it wanted significance but offered cliches instead.

Sorry but the emperor had no clothes. My opnion, your milage may vary...