Lost: the Series Finale


So, I, like many many others, watched the Lost series finale last night. In fact, we made a whole event of it, watching the special, then the episode, and then the Jimmy Kimmel Live interview with the cast. At the end of the night I had an ache in my head and a lump in my throat. And I’m still asking myself why the show ended the way it did.

I was a late watcher of the show. I didn’t start watching until the show started showing repeats mid-season in the first season. At that point, my brother (who brought the show to my attention) and I started watching it together. And we’ve followed the show ever since. Based on my reading experience (I’ve come across A LOT of literature, where I have had to accept much on faith), I’ve been pretty accepting of most things that happened on the show. I’ve never really questioned the why of things that happened, and I was glad when the writers deigned to give us some answers. Everything weird that happened or something that I didn’t understand … well, blame it on the magical island.

Nearing the end of the show, I still found myself doing that. Oh, a crazy woman that lives on this island, killed someone so that she could have her kids, and now has these magical powers to give one eternal life (as long as no one kills him) and to make it so that neither one can hurt the other (and I’m assuming that was supposed to last as long as she was alive, because Jacob sure did hurt the Man in Black when crazy mom died) … well, it’s the crazy island. It’s a sad thing when the viewer has a chance to see an origin story, and still comes away from it by being confused by the origins of yet another character. Where did crazy mom come from?

As the season rolled along, I had high hopes that the hydrogen bomb had really worked. Maybe it had created a fissure in time, and somehow we had an alternate reality. In this alternate reality, or flash sideways as they are called, everyone had a chance to be a bit better and there was hope that they could all live happily ever after. I had hope that, as the people died one by one on the island, they became fully conscious in that other alternate reality. I always expected … wanted a do over for these people, but that wasn’t to be.

In the series finale, we saw the characters in the flash sideways begin to remember their past connections, their soul mates. Daniel remembered Charlotte. Charlie saw Claire. Desmond remembered Penny. Jin and Sun remembered English. Sayid finally left behind Nadia, and remembered Shannon. Hurley remembered Libby. We don’t know how Boone remembered. Locke remembered that he could walk. James/Sawyer remembered Juliette. And Jack … Jack finally allowed himself to remember Kate and everyone else. But as they remembered one by one, I knew that this reality had been too good to be true. And that it wasn’t an alternate reality. At best, it could only be a dream. And then, they took even that away from us. As Jack lays dying on the island, we see the Losties reuniting in that church after they have all died after having lived their individual lives.

I’ve heard of two theories that are floating around right now concerning the end. One is that Jack died after that initial plane crash and all of this … six years of trials and tribulations … were just the delusions of a dying mind. The second theory is how Christian Shepard presented it to Jack; all of these losties died separately and at separate times, but they all came here, to sit in limbo, in a world they created together, so that they could reunite and then go in to the light together.

In theory one, all of this is Jack’s delusion. And that doesn’t work for me. If I was dying, and breathing my last, I would not be thinking about random strangers, giving them backstories, and hoping to reunite in death. That, I believe, isn’t even a contender.

Theory two is more realistic, and that is what gave me the lump in the throat. Every time someone died on the show, I had hope that everything would be reset in the end, that there would be a do over. I hoped that these people we had come to know would get their happily ever after, but as I watched the finale last night, I had to relive all those deaths and realize that they had been the final end for those characters. Boone’s accident. Shannon being shot. Ana Lucia and Libby being shot. Michael’s death. Jin and Sun’s drowning. Sayid’s sacrifice. Charlie’s sacrifice. Locke’s murder. And so on and so forth. These people came to limbo, and created their own little world, based on what they wanted or what they felt they deserved. Locke had his fiancé, a father that he had hurt, and himself in a wheelchair. Hurley was lucky with money, but unlucky in love. Sayid still didn’t have his Nadia. Jin and Sun were together and pregnant.

One by one, as they remembered, they reached out to those that were ready, and helped them to remember their past lives and to come to the realization that they it was time to let go. Jack was the last one to remember, probably because he had tried so hard to protect all of these people. Some of them weren’t ready to leave just yet, they needed to work out their guilt (Ana Lucia and Ben), and others would never be ready (Michael, on the island). But, ultimately, our losties went into the light. Together.

I felt horrible when the series ended. For theory two to work, we have to believe that everything that happened really did happen. There was time travel. There was a smoke monster. There was a mysterious light (that was never explained … I mean what does the island have to do with the salvation of the world?). There was eternal life. There were ghosts, etc. And, yet, with all of this at their disposal, the writers couldn’t give us a happy ending for these long-suffering characters. Why? Why couldn’t the writers make it pure fantasy or sci-fi and make that alternate reality. Why did they settle for ultimate death for every single character? And that was why I was disappointed.

Ultimately, Lost finished and left its audience with even more questions. The only people on the island were Hurley, Ben, Desmond, Rose and Bernard. And I wonder what happened to them? How long did Hurley and Ben live? All we know is that Hurley was a “good number 1” and Ben was a “good number 2”; that hints at a good relationship that we will never get to see. Maybe that is why Ben is so much better in the afterlife. Did Desmond go back to Penny? What about those that left the island? How did Richard adapt to the modern world? Did Claire become a good mother? And did Sawyer and Kate settle for each other? Or did the plane crash, due to shoddy repair work or a lack of enough fuel? These are questions that will never go answered, and I have to be fine with that.

Therefore, the end is what I make it. It is part what I have to believe, and part what I choose to believe. I am sad that it ended, and I can’t even say that I am happy with the ending. Well, at least Kate finally chose someone and can’t change her mind.

I just hope that your Lost adventure was as interesting as mine.


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