May 23rd, 2010 brought the anticipated LOST series finale. With that date past, fans of one of the best television shows ever made are set to contemplate all the information the last episodes in this series dumped on viewers. It has taken me quite awhile to formulate all my thoughts into this article about the show's conclusion.
After a second viewing of the long finale episode, I realize the show left plenty for LOST fans to think about. Though a lot was answered in the sixth and final season, so much was left undefined. But as fans know, vagueness and mystery are themes in LOST. Yet, I still feel satisfied with the conclusion of the show.
I want all readers to be aware that I will be talking about all LOST content. I want to get feedback from other LOST fans, so express them in the comment section. If you have not seen all 121 episodes, wait until you are caught up and check back on this article.
The six season series has captivated audiences beginning with Jack opening his eyes skyward to the bamboo trees swaying back and forth across the tropic blue canvas. It only seems fitting to see the show coming full circle with Jack laying to his death looking up to the sky in that very same bamboo patch.
The show starting off with Jack surviving a merciless fall from the plummeting plane and landing safely on his back tells the audience immediately that Jack is very special. We are introduced to all the other characters from the Oceanic 815 flight near the crash sites (minus Bernard who had a seat and a tree to break his fall). Jack however, is laying on the ground in almost perfect condition minus a gash his back.
Even the show starting off from his POV tells us he is destined for something. Though Locke told Jack their island presencet was destiny, the spinal surgeon didn't give into that notion until he saw his friend laying in the coffin. Jack taking on the role of the believer after the real Locke was slain is beautiful writing. The battle seaside between "Smokey" (as Sawyer says) and Jack was not as epic as I hoped, but I can't expect all my tastes to be catered to.
The characters reconnecting in the alternate time line were the best parts of final season. It was most certainly the finest pieces in the final episode. I don't usually tear up much while watching television or movies, but this last episode really got to me multiple times. When Claire had her baby causing herself, Kate, and Charlie to remember the island is a fine example of the wondrous pieces of television I was referring to.
When the characters come into contact with each other or relived experiences from the island, their flashes of memory and their reactions to this remembrance is something that resonated with me more than anything in the final hours of LOST. The biggest tear jerker for me came when Juliet and Sawyer finally found each other at the hospital vending machine. They touch hands and Juliet says, "It worked." Tears, engage.
My understanding of the "sideways" time line in the final season is not Roy Halladay (perfect) From what I understand, all the characters are "living" in this afterlife like world. They all have to find each other to move onto the next stage of existence. Their interaction in the alternate time line helps them realize the time together on the island was the best of their lives. I really don't understand is why Desmond had to make it his mission for the characters to reconnect, and why Eloise Hawking wanted to stop him?
I have discovered not everything I wanted answered from LOST was given closure by the show's finale. Why was the importance of Walt stressed through the first seasons by the show creators, but completely ignored at the end of the series? He is coveted by the Others and is on "the list", but then allowed to leave the island and have no more significance in the show except to appear as a ghostly guidance figure (and with Locke once).
I was disappointed by the amount of time in the overall narrative that was dedicated to Jacob and the Smoke Monster. I believe their story is important like the candidates, and it is only really given one full episode in the final season. I wanted to know more about their dynamics as brothers and their history. I thought only one episode dedicated to the island's protector and potential destroyer was far too little for how important these two are to this sacred piece of land in the middle of the ocean.
Many of these questions are also posed by other faithful viewers to the show. The show's main contributing writers Damon Lindelhof and Carlton Cuse provided excellent answers for many of these questions when they sat down for an interview with Times Talk Live. Unfortunately, their answers are not what most fans are looking for. Much of their insight is shrouded in mystery like their writing. Questions posed are usually answered this way because Cuse/ Lindelhof & Co. want each viewer to derive their own meaning from the show and its content.
Some questions, like the one I had regarding Walt, have simple answers. Malcolm David Kelly was getting too old to play an eight year-old in the show, so the writers penned in Ben taking Walt off the island because he feared how "powerful" this youngster was becoming. However, for many questions fans have, Carlton Cuse responds, "No one is given a book of answers to life, and LOST is the same." Sometimes the audience understands as little as the characters themselves. We all have learned to roll with the punches the island brings. This type of mystery is what makes this show debated and loved across this great country.
Creator Damon Lindeloff's comments about the conclusion of LOST and the mystery still surrounding the show summarizes their mission as content producers best:
“The Sopranos ending only would have worked for The Sopranos. … The great thing about series finales is that they have to fit the show. … We’re going to be as definitive as we can be and say this is our ending, but there’s no way to end the show where the fans aren’t going to say, ‘What did they mean by this?’ Which is why we’re not going to explain it.”