Local, Television Reviews

Lost: “The End” Series Finale Thoughts and Theories

Posted: May 26, 2010 at 6:51 pm   /   by   /   comments (2)

So Lost has finally come to an end, how did the finale make you feel?  From the voices on the internet it sounds like some people are quite divided on the episode and even dogging the series as a whole.  Well fear not, I am not here to try and convince you otherwise but if I happen to pull you into my camp that is fine by me.  So where do I fall with my thoughts on the epic finale? Well I was pretty damn satisfied on almost every level.

As a television program it was thrilling, tense, funny, affecting, romantic, and sad that got my heart racing and my tear ducts rolling.  Whether it was Jack striking fear into FLocke, those same two’s epic fight on the cave cliff, or every awakening in the sideways world, I could go on and on with the wonderful moments in the finale.  The pacing was impeccable, the effects were top notch, and they did a great job at creating symmetry with the series in this final episode.  All the lines they brought back worked and felt right, they didn’t drag out the final confrontation with Smokey, and let the peril of the Island serve as the final act of this arc of the Island’s long, long, history.

The sideways world is where a lot of controversy seems to be falling with anyone with mixed to negative feelings over the finale/show and I must say I liked it and thought it worked to great effect.  I will say that I do not jump to the Christian allegory/Heaven angle that a lot of people seem to immediately go to with this finale and don’t see how you can get to that conclusion given all of the spiritual imagery in the church at the end.

In fact, I don’t have a lot of problems with the spirituality of the finale me being a pretty sound man of science myself.  In fact, I think a lot of the issues people are having with the finale is the fact that it embraces spirituality so much in the end after seemingly doubting it and belittling faith as the series unfolded.  But I think most men/women of science, even if they don’t think it is scientifically possible for an afterlife to exist, would probably admit that if they didn’t have reason it wouldn’t be all that bad if there was a place where we could move on to spend time with the people that we loved.

I also am not of the thinking that the Sideways world was bad, or wrong, but was important in the sculpting of the soul to move on to the next phase of your existence.  Chuck Palahniuk’s short story Obsolete, from his novel Haunted, is actually a great basis for where I am coming from, and where would a final Lost analysis be without dropping a book reference.  It involves the soul having to go through a number of lives and phases before it is allowed to move on to it final resting place and I think that is a great way to look at Lost after this final season.  These characters souls have gone through a lot and maybe they have gone through lives in worlds and universes we never glimpsed on Lost.  I think this view allows you to look very positively and expand upon the idea of Lost while also helping explain their paths as they move on past their Island lives into the unknown.

Also the idea behind all of them getting together and meeting up to spend some time together again so they can move on as a group to wherever they are heading is a sweet idea.  I imagine that the bond of the island would connect you to those you experienced it with in a profound way and them meeting together to move on makes a lot of sense.   And getting to see all those friendly and happy faces together again in that church after some being apart for years.  The best part of the sideways world was the realization of their Island lives and while it might have been a bit slow after LA X, but once Desmond showed up the Sideways storyline was some quality Lost television.

Now I have talked a lot about sideways world so far which we have only dealt with this season.  It worked out for the best I think to give us an affecting and pseudo happy ending and further deepen the mythology of the Lost universe.  But it’s time to get to the meat of this shows story, the Oceanic Castaways on The Island.

Early this season we were kind of given a pretty clear picture that what we have been watching is the final act of the battle between Jacob and the Man in Black.  And while some people worried this might nullify the previous five seasons it in fact helped us realize that their actions, while still a manipulated piece of a much bigger game then they knew, were still molding the castaways into becoming better, happier, people through both life and death.  And while there wasn’t much for the castaways to go through over a few brief days that the Island story consisted of this season many found redemption and purpose before it was all said and done.

And as a wrap up to the Island story, and in turn the story of Jacob’s tenure of the Island, I think the finale did a wonderful job at ending this phase of the Island’s history.  We may not have gotten to know Jacob till the season five finale but this season we finally got to see how the castaways are connected to him and his brother’s story on the Island.  I think when you look back at the series, Jacob’s hand was in play a lot, as was Man in Black’s, but Jacob seems to have been playing the long con and MIB and was always one step ahead.

Jacob’s play with Desmond is proof enough that he hoped he would unplug the light to make MIB vulnerable to death and his final batch of candidates were all capable killers if they decided to take the job: except Hurley.  Sawyer, Jin, Sayid, and Kate were all touched by Jacob well before their trip to the Island and all had killed prior to stepping foot on the beach; funny the two that took on murder most on their own, Sawyer and Kate were the first to be touched.  Jack and Locker were also good bets to fall into the hero role with Jack’s need to save people and Locke’s need to find a meaning in something would find it in the Island.  Jacob surely knew MIB would be threatening Jack’s friends and Locke’s Island in his final bid to get off the Island, pushing both of them to do anything to save them.  This leaves Hurley, who was the last candidate to be touched right before he returned to the Island on Ajira Air, who seems to be Jacob’s final piece in his planned reboot of the Island.  Jacob had probably watched Hurley plenty in his first tenure on the Island and realizing that his other candidates might be lost in the battle with MIB he needed another, more pure than himself even, soul to take over the Island and put it back on a path of positivity.

And the finale successfully carried out my presumed plan of Jacob, riding the menace that MIB had become from the Island, rebooting the Island into a more peaceful place, and placing it under the protection of two very worthy men.  The Island also allowed redemption for people like Kate, Sawyer, Ben, and Sayid while also giving Jack the role of world savior, which is a role he seemed to be born and drawn too, and giving him peace even in death.  As sad as the loss of a lot of characters was over the course of the series there were peace and contentment in almost everyone before they passed on.  Sadly Locke was the only man who never found what he was looking for and only in the Sideways finale did he finally get to find out that everything he went through was for a reason and that he might have been right, in a way, all along.

Sure we never found out the answers to a lot of questions and mysteries but I stopped worrying about that long ago this season.  I was a bit disappointed we don’t have a clearer picture of the Island and what it is exactly but I kind of like the fact that we can imagine what it was like before and after Jacob’s tenure.  The show runners made clear that their goal was character over plot and mystery and in the end I think they knocked that idea out of the park while still servicing the mysteries fairly well.  It was a fantastic finale to the show and I don’t know what could have done better than it was really as I was viscerally and emotionally satisfied with the end of this phenomenal show.

Now the final batch of bullets on the finale, series, mysteries, and what ever else is lingering in my mind about Lost.

-Sawyer and Juliet reuniting was an amazing moment that ranks up there with Lost’s all time best and it had my eyes tearing up more and more as they opened to the Island world.

-Love that Richard is not only able to live as a normal man again, but is getting to get off the Island to live out the remainder of his life after he had his world turned upside down this season.  Also, great subtle way of showing and not telling by the filmmakers.

-Matthew Fox went toe to toe with Terry O’Quinn in the finale and that speech about killing FLocke was just great stuff.

-The commercial break with Jack flying through the air was fantastically frustrating as I was on the edge of my seat but could only laugh.

-Ben as number 2 felt perfect and I like to imagine that him and Hurley ran the Island for hundreds of years and did a lot of great things for people in need as time went on.

-I also like to imagine that Kate and Sawyer stayed close friends and that they served as an aunt and uncle to Aaron and maybe even lived out the end of their lives together in some retirement home both old and frail.

-I am glad that Miles made it off as well as he was one of the most likeable characters on the show once they landed in Dharmaville.

-When it comes to Walt and Michael I am left to believe that they weren’t important to Jacob’s plan and that is why they were allowed to leave so easily from the island.  Michael might have been brought back due to the bond he formed with the Castaways there but I can’t quite figure out why he was left out of the special group.

-I’m of the agreement that the Sideways world was manifested with Jughead’s detonation but I am curious as to why Boone made it in and who thought he should be there.  Or were dead souls on the Island allowed to influence the creation of the sideways world as well?  Did Shannon bring him in after Sayid brought here in?

-Speaking of Sayid and Shannon, I am perfectly ok with them being true loves as Sayid’s soul created a sideways world where he still wasn’t with Nadia but she was given a peaceful and better life than she ever had in the Island world.

-I am glad became a main focal point of the final act of the season as he was way to absent before that.

-One plot line I would have liked to known more of is what Widmore’s intentions with the Island were when battling with Ben before Jacob apparently talked some sense into him.

-Also, what was up with Eloise and how did she know everything, that is a burning question.

-The final shot of the show was perfect and I was ecstatic Vincent came back in the end; though my prediction that he would be the new Jacob sadly fell short.

-I would rank the season’s, though it might be a tad unfair to Season 6 since it just ended, in this order last to first; 3,6,4,5,1,2.  Though that would probably change next time you asked me.

-Season 3’s finale was the best twist, possibly ever, in the show and nearly blew my mind.

-Season 2’s run of episodes from the appearance of Ben till the end was possibly the shows best run, but this Season’s final 6-7 episodes were great, as was Season’s 3 final batch of episodes.

-My favorite episode was Season 4’s, The Constant, which was amazing on almost every level.

-Favorite characters rest with Ben, Desmond, Sawyer, Locke, and Richard; I think.  Juliet was pretty great at times as well with Jack really stealing the show this season.

-Biggest mystery that went unsolved for me was probably who built all the ancient stuff on the Island, who built the statue damn-it?  Though, I am ok with this all the same.

-Michael Giacchino’s score was amazing this season and will stand the test of time as best in TV history if you asked me.

And that will do it for now as I have gone on far too long, my name isn’t Doc Jensen you know, it is has been a great ride and I don’t regret it one bit.  I don’t know if we will ever get another show like this and I will never forget it as it will probably always stand as one of my all time top five shows.  Thanks for following along this year and hopefully I can find something else that will fill the Lost void sooner rather than later.