Whatever happened, happened.
I was one of the few Lost fans that did not like the finale of the series. I wrote a 12,000+ word post trying to process the finale in the immediate aftermath, but all it did was further entrench my thinking that the finale was subpar. I asked friends and fellow Lost fans I connected with online to tell me why I should have liked the finale more than I did. Nothing convinced me.
And yet here I am, a year after the series finale, revisiting it. Why? Because after the finale aired I had a realization about the show that helped me be at peace with how the story ended.
It was all about Jack.
That may be an oversimplification, but that’s how I see it. When I came to that conclusion, numerous questions I had dissipated. Those questions didn’t get answers because the answers didn’t relate to Jack’s story. It wasn’t just with the finale, but the final season. Many of the characters story arcs throughout the final season were pointless, had major plot holes, inconsistent, and only existed to further the story of Jack Shepherd.
And the ending with Jack and Christian? It had to be explained in their dialog because no one ever would’ve figured it out. Those characters built that place so they could find one another? That was something never even discussed, at all, at any point prior to that scene. The most important time in life the characters had was on The Island? Really?
I thought the finale was a bunch of smoke and mirrors. I thought the ending’s goal was to make as many people happy instead of finishing the story. I thought it was an attempt to redefine the narratives of the series. I thought it was as anticlimactic like the season one finale of Heroes. Still…
Still, here I am talking about the show. I guess I must be a “true fan” despite not liking the ending.*
*That was one of my favorite things to see and hear some Lost fans say, “Only true Lost fans liked the ending.” Whatever.
Seasons one through five are great. Yet the lasting impression to me is the finale. Is it fair? No, but that’s reality. People think less of The Matrix because of The Matrix: Revolutions. They think less of Star Wars because of the prequel trilogy. They think less of The X-Files because of its last few seasons. They think less of The Office because of the last few seasons.
In the end, I think less of the show because of the finale.
And I still miss it.
The experience, the community, the discussions, the storytelling, the imagination. I don’t watch much television anymore. Partly it’s due to time, but also what can compare? What show is going to compare to Lost?*
*The other show that ended a year earlier that I followed closely was Battlestar Galactica. Any of the shows I see advertised now don’t seem to be able to hold a candle to BSG or Lost.
The ending may have been flat, and the reasoning used to defend it may undermine the finale’s defenders, but the journey was fun.* For six season, it was a joyous ride. I haven’t rewatched any episodes since last year’s finale. Yesterday, I watched scenes from the finale again. I still thought the same as before, but it reminded me of how great the show was in leading up to that point.
*I liked the reason, “We care more about the characters than we do the storytelling or mythology.” Okay. So what you’re saying is there was no story, or it was bad, but at least those characters ended the series with a smile on their faces. That’s all that matters to you, apparently.
It’s amazing to consider what Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof created and produced with Lost. One year later, I’m still talking about it.* I don’t expect that to change any time soon. My next office will have two Lost ARG posters up on the wall. And, perhaps someday I’ll do that character study of John Locke.
*If the series was ultimately centered around the life of Jack, if he was the key, then I would have much rather had Locke explaining to Jack what was going on in the church in the finale. I can understand why it was Christian, but I think it would have been good to have a scene with Jack and Locke. Not MIB/Locke, but truly John Locke. A scene where there is reconciliation/peace between the two in the aftermath of what happened. A scene where the two converse about how far they have come since they first met on The Island. A scene where the two men of faith could acknowledge where they are because of their faith. There are a lot of unanswered questions, and that’s fine. I still want that scene. If I could make one edit, that would be it.**
** See, still talking about it.
See you in another life, brother.
(The scene that got me hooked on the show.)