Lost Series Finale: Live Together, Die Together.

24 05 2010

Finale season has been a doozy this year! And tonight, we also have to bid Jack Bauer farewell, but that’s a topic for another post.

This morning, all the buzz is about Lost.

First, some background: I watched the first season and half of the second season on TV, then I moved away to college and dorm life interfered. I picked Lost up again in summer 2008 and blazed through seasons 2, 3, 4, and enough of season 5 to get caught up with the season airing on TV in March of 2009. I saw the rest of the show on TV as it aired, ending—as we all know—in an epic showing last night. Because of the inconsistent nature of my viewing, the middle seasons kind of blended together and I relied heavily on my roommate to explain certain things for me this season. It all came together and I feel like it makes sense now, but I would like to go back and re-watch the whole show at some point.

There’s been a lot of moaning and groaning this morning about the finale, and we all knew that it wouldn’t satisfy everyone—what ever does? I myself had some issues with what I originally perceived to be “too religious” a message for the end, but the stained glass window in the church helped me to get over that: It had symbols for all religions, and the show is more about the characters’ personal journeys and their individual quests for redemption than about sending a religious message. It all makes sense to me, too—I like that life on the Island was real and what we have lovingly dubbed “Alternate Dimension Land” (that is, the Flash-Sideways reality—hereafter referred to as “ADL”) was a sort of holding area so that the castaways could meet after “letting go” (the show’s central message) and before moving on. Time is not fixed in ADL, so the occasional feeling I got regarding events happening out of order makes sense. Also, I’m perfectly satisfied with Christian’s explanation to Jack: “We all die. Some went before you, some after.” We see that the Ajira flight makes it, because it flies over Jack’s head as he is dying with Vincent beside him, and we know that Hurley and Ben go on to protect the Island. So, even though these people all died at different times and therefore will show up in ADL at different times, the non-fixed time made this acceptable for me. The show ended with Jack because this was Jack’s story, but it doesn’t mean that the story ended with Jack.

There are still questions, sure. How can the Island move and how is it connected to the Tunisian desert? Where did Hurley’s numbers come from? How did the woman who “adopted” Jacob and the Man in Black come to be on the Island, and where does her power originate? What would have happened if the MIB/Smoke Monster/Un-Locke had been able to leave—nothing? Or would evil have escaped into the world? Would it have even mattered since the world is full of evil anyway? What’s up with the four-toed statue? Why do pregnancies fail on the Island? How did Desmond get to be so damn special? How did Jacob leave the Island to visit the future castaways and touch them? What happened to the Ajira crew and Hurley/Ben between Jack’s death and the resolution/redemption in ADL? These and other Island-centric questions were all ones I was hoping to have answered, but honestly, I’m happy to sit back and draw my own conclusions (or read message boards and let other people make suggestions for me). What it comes down to is that the producers likely didn’t have all the answers themselves, so they gave us this somewhat-predicable but ultimately satisfying ending that addresses the personal journeys more than the Island mysteries. And that’s okay. A lot of the Island-centric stuff was explained if you know where to look, or can be explained if you just think a little. And watching the whole show again will certainly clarify things some more.

I believe the Island and its power is meant to represent the “soul” of the world. Hurley was the best choice for the Island’s ultimate protector—he was the heart of this whole operation, after all. I also am fine with the concept of letting go of your flaws and your mistakes and taking the Island’s lessons and moving on. The Island chose these people because they all needed healing, and their castaway comrades helped them find it. Poor Michael and Walt, though—too bad Malcolm David Kelley (Walt) had to grow up and therefore wasn’t able to mesh into the time-stands-still idea for ADL, and his specialness was never really addressed. I think those two deserved redemption along with the rest. But it makes sense to me that Ben (and Ana Lucia?) was not ready to move on yet.

I guess I believe that Juliet setting off the hydrogen bomb worked to set up ADL (although the blast could also have nothing to do with it), where everyone could gather, but those not killed in the blast continued living their lives (on or off the Island) and eventually died and met up with their deceased comrades. And even the explosion makes sense, because they needed that to happen to both resolve the time travel plot (that is, set the Island straight) and stop the Dharma Initiative from releasing the energy that would have destroyed the Island. Somehow, even though I’m not a religious or even a very spiritual person and even though I would have enjoyed having more science fiction/fantasy elements in the finale, it all worked out for me.

I never expected all of my questions to be answered. I’ve enjoyed the Lost roller coaster for the past six years, and the characters all ended up happy, together, healed, and enlightened. Even if they’re dead, who am I to complain? I thought that they all may be dead about a billion times over the course of the show, so why not?

My major complaint was the Jimmy Kimmel Live episode at midnight! Seriously, why string us along with the promise of alternate endings if you’re just going to give us parodies? (Though I do love me some Jeff Probst.) It got me to watch Kimmel’s show for the first time ever, but I certainly won’t be tuning in again. Although, Kimmel’s chat with Matthew Fox (Jack) was excellent, and it was nice to see the cast members (anyone else think at least a few of them—Naveen Andrews [Sayid], Emilie de Ravin [Claire]—looked… kinda drunk?).

Lost: The Final Season was a winner in my book, along with the show as a whole. I don’t know when we’ll have an epic adventure like this again, and I’m eagerly anticipating having some time to re-watch the entire show at some point in the near future.

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