The Lost series finale – The End aka. The Longest Con

We’re not on an island, guess what, we never were. – Richard Alpert

OK so last night was the lost series finale, 6 years of crazy stuff all tied up into a little ball. Except, it’s not tied up at all. I’ve gone through a lot of forums, and everyone seems to be either confused and disappointed or confused and pleased. Most dont have a clue what it all meant.

In my opinion it was the longest con in television – the fans had it figured out in season 1, so they had to keep adding more crazy shiz, and finally it just blew up and the show jumped the shark (around season 4). Yeah they managed to tie some elements from the early storyline in with the ending, but that doesn’t mean it was pre-planned. Far from it.

Here’s my take. There are two possible interpretations at this point on the main question. Either everyone died in or before the crash or they lived through the crash. My conclusion is that they probably did die (although if it wasn’t for the last sequence one might equally well arrive at the opposite conclusion). The last three shots of the finale show an untouched wreckage, when we know that the Losties in the “fairytale” that was their pre-afterlife scavenged all they could from it, stripped wires, collected clothing and all that.It could also just be the producers saying “Hey, this is where we started, we’ve come all this way”, but I dont think so. The most probable in my mind, is that Locke died in the fall, Kate died in the fire, Charlie died of an overdose, and so on and so forth, and their means of getting their souls or whatever to the island was the plane.

The following is all based on the assumption that they died in the crash or in some way before it (result is the same).

What we know about the show:

  • It started out as a very interesting character study, with a lot of flashbacks to the characters’ lives. This makes perfect sense, they are on the island to redeem themselves, so we need to know what it is they are there to redeem themselves for.
  • As season 2-3-4 went on, it came to be more about random evil plots and twists about who was really good and who was really bad.
  • Then the writers got the word from the network, that they had a guaranteed and set timeframe to work with, and they started actually working towards some sort of cohesive storyline – this is really when the show died for me by the way, the mysterious stuff was all the fun, tied in with character backstories and the interpersonal relations. I, like everyone else, kept watching though to see how it would end.
  • Season 6 has been very little about anything that preceeded it. In fact, Season 1 and season 6 might almost have followed eachother with only a few episodes about jacob and smokey inserted in between. Season 6 is also by far the most preachy didactic christian mythology loaded piece of poop in the whole run of the show. But hey, at least Eko was a pretty cool preacher so it wasn’t all bad (even if he wasn’t in season 6 at all, greedy actors, pfft).

So what is the island, what’s real, what isn’t?

  • It was originally supposed to be a sort of purgatory or limbo, but when the fans figured that out in season 1, the writers had to say “no, no, that’s ridiculous, of course it’s not” – what else were they going to say? If they has said yes, that is in fact what it is, the show would have been cancelled then and there.
  • The losties all died in the real world when the plane crashed. They then came onto the island, which you cannot find nor leave, unless under very specific circumstances (like traveling with a dead person, sort of a piggyback thing). The island is a half-way house, limbo, purgatory, whatever you want to call it. Possibly the plane crash at the bottom of the ocean wasn’t staged but was the actual plane as it was manifested in the real world – the crash only happening on the island in “island world”.
  • The sideways world. This is either a sort of collective delusion that helps the losties come to terms with what happened – lets them find happiness before they cross over into “the light” (another barf-o-rific christian moment). The church was simply the gateway to the afterlife, and the stained glass windows indicate that it doesn’t matter which faith you are of – although with the pretty heavy use of christian symbolism, that seems more than a little sanctimonious.
  • The rules of the island aren’t really rules they’re more actual.. guidelines. To quote .. well you know. The whole not hurting your brother or the candidates thing was a little fuzzy at least. Also sometimes you have to chant to pass your guardian powers to someone else, sometimes you dont.
  • The guardian role means you can control life and death to a limited extent and you get to make some of the rules, but not all, and there is no messing with free will.

What we know about the characters and their resolutions:

  • Jacob. All the major characters lives were in disarray somehow, which is ostensibly why they were “taken” by Jacob. Jacob by the way was sort of the reaper, but with a conscience. If that makes sense. Call him Saint Peter if you want to, cos he was guarding the gate to heaven (or hell, or whatever it was).
  • Flocke aka. Smokey aka. Lucifer. It really is the (nauseating) story of the fallen angel. He wasn’t a very nice kid, and when he died because of it, he got rather angry. Smokey was the test that a lot of the losties had to face in this half-way house of souls that was the island.
  • Richard. For the longest time he was one of the most interesting characters. He has lost his will to live ironically from being granted eternal life (in limbo, so not such a great deal after all eh). When Jacob finally died, he started ageing again, regaining his will to live, driving home the writers point that eternal youth wouldn’t be all people expect it to be, but that all of lifes phases are worthwhile. Didactic I would say – cmon.
  • Jack was a controlfreak with a compulsive need to fix everything and everyone, except his own life. He was also a bit of a drama queen, but he can be forgiven, because who wouldn’t be after working that long on Party of 5. His resolution SHOULD have been letting go, and although there were small elements of that (such as him becoming the “man of faith”) the finale was really about Jack saving everyone. Again. He redeems his biggest flaw by going completely overboard doing that very thing? Lindecuse, you suck at writing. Oh yeah and the sobbing scene at the light, you didn’t have to cut to that over and over and over again. We got it. He ended up almost creepy instead that way. Why the light thingy teleported him out to the usual waterfall, just to he could walk about a bit in the bamboo before dying is beyond me too, but the dog was a nice touch I admit.
  • Hurley was a nice person, I liked him a lot, possibly the most of all the losties (with the obvious exception of Kate, but for slightly different reasons) – his flaw, though, was that he didn’t take responsiblity for his life. He was lazy, he was overeating, and bad things just seemed to happen around him. He blamed it on “the numbers”, which he thought were cursed. In the end, Hurley took responsiblity for the island, and this was his great redeeming moment. The numbers dont need to be explained really, because they werent real, they were Hurleys crutch. Oh and he sees dead people – funnily enough, so does everyone else. I’m sorry buddy, that Libby didn’t make it.
  • Kate. I’m not sure what to say here, but what I loved most about the writing for her was the line “Christian Shepherd.. seriously?”. At least the writers knew they were being retarded. Kates redemption was possibly something to do with her inability to be a part of normal family life? I dont know for sure, but her love for Jack and her helping Claire raise her baby may indicate as much.
  • Sawyer became the family man, a protector instead of a destroyer, and he let go of his rage – pretty straight forward.
  • Ben didn’t go with the losties in the end, because he hadn’t redeemed himself quite yet, although, being forgiven by Locke for killing him helped him some by his own admission. Being the prick that he was, I imagine it will take a lot more forgiveness.
  • The Kwons. They had lost their way, but found their love again on the island. That’s that, just about.
  • Sayid. Having a rather nasty past, redeemed by sacrificing himself in the end for the other losties. In the delusional sideways world also he turns out to be a pretty nice guy. Boring.
  • Mr. Eko. Also one of my favourite characters (badass preacher with a big stick, what’s not to like), he died when he had come to terms with his past, found God and repented (and gotten into trouble with the law in real life not to forget).
  • Michael shook his role as the deadbeat dad, but he never redeemed himself fully, in fact he turned out to be easily corruptible (killing is probably a nono), so he never got to go with the others to the light. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him a new smokie or something, after flocke died and the light was rekindled.

You can really just as well fill in the rest yourselves, everyone has baggage that is in some way cleared away on the island before they are ready to move on.

What was the Dharma initiative all about? Why would they choose to conduct psychological experiments on the island, that might as well be conducted anywhere else?

  • They were in my opinion a pretty interesting storyline, but not much was made of it in the end really – such a shame. Possibly just tied into the various characters’ redemption stories.

What was with the button?

  • Hard to say, one interpretation is that it was solely another of the Dharma experiments – or it could have actually had a real purpose. With the Dharma just being interesing stuff the writers threw in along the way, with no real role in the resolution, who knows. There is a certain element of testing the losties ability to work together and think for themselves all at once, so…

What was up with Desmond being at the centre of the whole thing, yet really serving little purpose? Why did Widmore even want to go to the island (that’s the one storyline that really makes very little sense any way you look at it, but I think it was mostly put in for filler in seasons 3-4-5 or so)? There are lots of other questions you could ask about things that just didn’t make much sense. Like how they got a huge plane off the ground when it had crashed in the middle of the jungle, damaged and with no / too little runway. Do all pilots have amazing-out-of-this-world jury rigging skills to just fix a plane like that? Why do we even need airplane mechanics then? Why would Dharma bring polar bears to an island like this? Anyway, I digress.

That’s it for now, I may add more as I think of it, but really, the series finale was so in your face about a lot of these things, that I don’t think I’ll be thinking about it for much longer – that’s really the greatest failure of the whole thing. I’m rather disappointed with the unoriginal and predictable ending they chose. I’m amazed you can have a career in television writing with so little talent.

If you disagree, and think that the island stuff all happened while the losties were actually alive, I think you’ll find that most of the answers are the same anyway. Only the story will be even more contrived.

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