Live Together, Die Together? End of the Road for the Lost Saga
It should go without saying that if you’re reading this and you don’t want Lost spoiled for you, that this should be the last sentence you read.
Those that know me well know that I’m pretty critical of Lost. My whole family and a large group of my friends are religious followers of the show. And while they’re grinning from ear to ear at the end of a new episode discussing what’s going to happen next, I’m more often than not the guy sitting next to them rolling my eyes and groaning, “That was retarded.”
The truth is, I’d probably be sitting right next to them toting my very own Darma Initiative t-shirt if not for the fact that I felt betrayed as a fan beyond the show’s second season.
You must understand, it’s not that I don’t like Lost. It’s that I really liked Lost until I felt the writers began to insult my intelligence. I’ve jumped ship on shows that were sinking before. I haven’t watched an episode of Heroes, for instance, since the start of season three. But Lost always had just enough during what I’ll call “the bad seasons” to keep me intrigued.
Jack’s spinal surgery on Ben, waiting week after week to find out who the Oceanic Six were, the 1970’s darma station, and how could anyone forget, “WE HAVE TO GO BACK, KATE!” All signs of a pulse for a show that I still contend began as one of the best shows ever to be produced for television, only to be beaten within an inch of its life when they decided to turn a giant wheel that shot out beams of light and made an island vanish into thin air.
How could a show that let me down so many times do what it needed to do to provide a worthy ending to preserve the dignity of the first two phenomenal seasons? It couldn’t, and it didn’t. But that’s not to say it wasn’t good. You have to give the writers credit for the flash-sideways. Undoubtedly more interesting than what was happening on the island itself, seeing the characters meet for the first time all over again was extremely refreshing. And the closure the ending minutes provided was just about as perfect as it could be. Except for Eko! WHY NO MR. EKO?!
The Lost writers have been denying the “purgatory theory” for as long as it’s existed. And maybe they copped out by tweaking it just enough to get by, but I’m OK with it. Because that, unlike many things in Lost, I can get my head around. Sure they didn’t exactly hold true to their end of the bargain. Not everything in the show was explained, as promised. But all the holes they dug themselves in those middle years couldn’t possibly be filled. It wasn’t fair to expect it. And for all I know, they intentionally left enough controversy and debate in the finale to do what they do best- stir the pot and keep their fans intrigued and interested.
So I ask myself: Am I giving the writers too much credit? All they had to do to make a heart-warming finale was show some hazy archived flashback footage of earlier days on the island, play that sombre piano ditty, and have some slow motion embraces of the gang that everyone has come to love over the years. And yeah, all of that happened, but I do think they deserve credit. The show coming full circle with Jack and Vincent on the island, the plane overhead, and everyone together in what was the final end of their journey… I got the closure I was hoping for and they sparked a desire for me to go back and re-watch the series from the beginning. And what more could I ask from a TV show?