Lost Finale review
|REVIEWS - TV|
The finale of the island saga is as mystifying - and mystical - as anyone could have hoped for...
I have to admit, I didn’t want to like Lost. I didn’t watch the first season, for fear that it wasn’t going to live up to the hype that was surrounding it. Then a friend of mine loaned me the first season on DVD, and my wife and I wound up watching it straight through in several nights (that pesky work schedule gets in the way every time). We were hooked, and have followed closely ever since. It’s definitely not a show for the casual viewer, which is why you see so many people on fan forums getting frustrated about how nothing is ever resolved, and how too many questions are asked that are never answered.
One complaint came from a friend of mine who claimed that you could miss most of the episode, and just watch the last five minutes, because that’s when the big reveal of the week happened. But if one were to have done that, they would have missed the little pieces, the small details that made up the rich tapestry of the program. All too often, that’s where you were introduced to characters that would play larger roles later on in the ongoing storyline. So, were we, the dedicated fans who stuck with this epic tale for six years paid in full with last night’s finale, or were we given the proverbial finger by the creators?
This last season has been extremely well done. Where the other seasons had flash backs and flash forwards, this season had a unique alternate universe, where things played out differently for everyone involved. The plane landed safely at LAX, and everyone went on to their new lives, completely oblivious as to whom everyone else was. Over the course of the season, their lives started to merge, and as they met one another, they were given glimpses of a life they didn’t know, but somehow remembered. A life where they were all on the island.
"Last night’s two and a half hour finale gave us enough answers to make the six year investment worthwhile"
Meanwhile, on the island, things were getting pretty screwy. Locke, who had been revealed to be both living and dead at the end of last season, was taking over. Everyone’s worlds had been shaken (again), and new sides were taken. We were given the full back-story for Jacob and the smoke monster. We saw people that had been absent from the story for quite some time suddenly brought back into the fold. Answers were slowly given, making some frustrated, while making the rest of us that much hungrier for more, knowing full well that all the answers meant the end of the story.
Last night’s two and a half hour finale gave us enough answers to make the six year investment worthwhile. It didn’t completely explain the island, but left a lot of things for the viewer to decide for themselves. In the end, we were left to interpret what exactly is so special about this place that has driven so many people to find it, destroy it, or preserve it. In fact, interpretation seemed to be the theme of the night. More time was spent in the side-verse than usual, as the characters were all being brought together for some big event, which no one seemed to eager to talk about, other than everyone needed to be there.
On the island, Jack, who had taken over the job of protector from Jacob, was on a mission to stop Locke/Smokey. He enlisted the help of Desmond to help put out the mysterious light that glows in the heart of the island. He is then able to kill Locke, while being wounded in the process, and stop him from leaving the island, which we can only assume would be as bad as the Ghostbusters crossing the streams, times ten. The few who survived this last row on the island finally escaped. In the end, we were left with Jack, whose last great feat was to bring the light back and restore the island. Then there were Hurley, Ben and Desmond, with Hurley being anointed caretaker in the event of Jack’s death. He is left with only one question: What do I do? Ben explains that he will do what he’s always done: Help others.
The two decide to get Desmond back home, and Hurley takes Ben on as his second. In the alternate universe, we see that everyone has assembled at a church; the one where Jack had planned on having is father’s funeral. Kate leaves him to enter, and tells him that he’ll join them when he’s ready. “Ready for what?”, he asks, only to be answered only too enigmatically, “To leave”. He enters the back of the church, only to be greeted by his father.
"I can understand why some would feel upset by the finale. I watched it, and only hours later did I realize that I loved it."
Then it dawns on Jack – he’s dead. Christian explains that this is the place that the group had made themselves, a sort of meeting place for when they had all passed. He tells Jack that the time spent with these people was the most important time of his life, and that they were all going together. Some died before him, others lived long lives and died after him, but they were all finally together again. Locke and Hurley both talk to Ben, who is sitting outside the church. For reasons unknown, he’s not able to come in. We can only speculate that he has his own penance to pay before joining them. As the group inside seat themselves, Christian walks out the front doors and into a brilliant light. Then we see Jack, in his final moments on the island. He is able to rest assured knowing that the others escaped, and that the island would be safe. He closes his eyes, and we fade to black.
I can understand why some would feel upset by the finale. I watched it, and only hours later did I realize that I loved it. Sure, it’s steeped in philosophy and conjecture, leaving much to people’s imaginations and beliefs. But for a show like Lost, this was the only fitting ending. No, not everything had an explanation – polar bears certainly come to mind – but it was a beautiful ending. I don’t know that any other ending would have worked for this story. There is no happy ending, other than the final gathering of these lost souls, finally ready for their next journey, where ever that might be.
Some had died, others were on their set path, and Ben – a truly tragic character – had finally been set right, even if not fully absolved. I do plan on getting the seasons I don’t already have on DVD and doing a marathon, to catch every little piece to this elaborate puzzle. And Jack, the doctor who thought that he had ruined everything, became the savior that was needed in the end. This, alone, should be closure enough. Bravo to the creators of Lost, for telling such a compelling story.
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