Inq. of the Week: The End of Lost

Dave’s poll about cursed frogurt…errr, no I mean cursed items, from two weeks ago showed that a whopping 55% of you like cursed items depending upon their implementation. This kind of hesitation is exactly how I feel about them, as I know quite well how they can be used in a bad way by some DMs to completely ruin the fun of the game instead of adding to it. However, a very respectable 31% of you love cursed items in all forms and believe that the inherent risk is a part of the game! A small 8% of you hate cursed items altogether, and the remaining 6% are indifferent or some other attitude towards our not-so-pleasant magic items.

As you’ve no doubt heard by now the finale of the show Lost was on last night, and since my wife and I have been big fans of the show ever since the fifth episode (we caught up on the first four within a day or two of seeing it) we were very excited to see how things would end up.While the series as a whole had some rocky parts in the middle around late season two and early season three, for me the show has been one of the only American made shows to keep me enthralled for an entire run from start to finish. It’s even more rare that I watch a show while it is being broadcast, it’s much more likely that I catch shows on DVD years later such as Sopranos, of which we’ve just started watching the first season.

With the kinds of storytelling, writing, and topics that Lost addressed it’s really not that surprising that there are large groups of people who either loved or hated the finale. My personal opinion is that if you hated the finale then you probably weren’t a fan of a lot of elements presented in the final season, but I’m more than happy to be proven wrong on that one. I think it’ll be really enjoyable to see how the finale ranks in a poll and to discuss it with people in the comments, so please share your thoughts and feelings on it below!

[poll id=”163″]

(The comments section will most likely contain SPOILERS, so read at your own peril if you haven’t watched Lost or the finale of the show yet.)

Comments

  1. Balseraph says:

    I watched season one with rapt attention!
    Then with increasing swiftness, I lost interest in the twists and turns and slowly answered questions.

  2. I thought it was really interesting that though LOST was kind of presented as a science fiction show, it ended up being a fantasy and, if I’m right, might best be described as an extended fairy tale.

    But I agree that if you liked Season 6 in general, you probably liked the finale. It was really clear throughout season 6 that they weren’t just stranded on an island, and that a lot of what was going on was not happening via any explicable means.

    I’m glad they dropped the pseudoscience and attempting to explain things like regenerative healing and time travel as ‘electromagnetism” almost entirely in this season. Sorry folks, we in geekdom call that magic.

    The ending surprised me in that it has stayed on my mind all day today (I watched it via Hulu)…well, yesterday and today now. That’s pretty rare for a show.
    .-= Doug´s last blog ..LOST: Fantasy and Fairy Tale =-.

  3. AlioTheFool says:

    I hated it. I watched the show for the sci-fi not “character stories”. If I wanted that I would watch a soap opera.

  4. TheMainEvent says:

    @Alio: Thats an interesting take on things. I think that the show was clearly written to be a bunch of character stories with mysterious/sf/fantasy framings. The flashback/forward/sideways conceit (which is so utterly brilliant, yet its been done for so long we fail to mention it) really are character-driven devices. The show is moved by character interaction for the most part, with the ‘mysteries’ being plot sticks/macguffins to move things along. Sure, I can understand loving those elements, but its hard to have watched the series and thought it was anything but a character driven program.

  5. AlioTheFool says:

    @TheMainEvent: Sure, it was a bunch of character stories. So is any show on tv or film really. I’m not a fan of tv/movies, and I only watched LOST for the same reasons I watched Dollhouse, Buffy, Angel, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, V, and for a very short time Fringe and Flash Forward. It’s the fantasy/sci-fi elements that interest me. Everything else is soap opera material. I have been a 24 fan as well, but that was because Jack Bauer, like Jason Borne or Chuck Norris before them, is just a machine, so it may as well be fantasy. When I want character stories I read, and even then they must be fantasy/sci-fi stories. Just character stories alone isn’t enough for me. From LOST, I expected answers (I wanted “all” the answers, but would have been satisfied with some. Not only were there no answers given, the finale presented even more questions. The finale made the entire series fail for me.

  6. Wrath-x says:

    If the finale answered ALL the questions about the island for me it would have been a fail.. no more speculation with friends, no more talking about Lost, no more imagining what was going on?

    That is what was fun about lost. What was great about watching lost was the character development.

    For me the ending was fitting. it ended the characters stories. It was never about ending the lore.

    Did I like the reality end with the magic stopper? not so much. But, I loved the flash sideways ending and the very last scene of the show.

  7. Nicholas says:

    I felt that the finale was very satisfyng emotionally, especially considering few if any of the great “mysteries” were answered. Of course, I was a fan since the beginning and had pretty much assumed that most of the mysteries would never be satisfactorily answered from about season 3 onward.

    I had that opinion because LOST routinely treated us to endless bait-and-switch regarding where answers would come from. Starting with “The Hatch,” then the mysterious Others and their enigmatic leader Ben Linus, then the DHARMA Initiative, then Charles Widmore, and finally the ageless Richard Alpert and Jacob himself… And in each case, as we learned more about each of the characters who were supposed to “know” the answers, we find out that in fact they know less than we do.

    The Hatch we ultimately doubt whether it was real or a psych experiement. While “real” provided no true insights.

    The Others and Ben promised much, knew little. Go back and view the early Ben appearances, and especially after he has Jack, Kate, and Sawyer hostage. He seems so all-knowing. He “summoned” Anthony Cooper to the Island. HE KNOWS THINGS… Ehhhh… Not so much in the end :-p

    DHARMA, mystery scientists with their experiments and pseudonyms, we pored over their orientation filmstrips frame by frame on YouTube and studied their Stations for clues. By season 5 we are actually among them, and find them to be a bunch of clueless hippies, with very little insight or answers. The stereotypical short-sighted geniuses playing with forces beyond their ken.

    Charles Widmore, billionaire genius trying to subjugate the Island. One time leader of the others. In the end we find he was just as much of a selfish, power hungry prick as Ben with no motive except for personal aggrandizement. At his death he reveals that Jacob appeared to him and got him to join Jacob’s side and try and do… something.

    The ageless Alpert has apparently been doing Jacob’s will for 150 years or so, and apparently never asked Jacob for much clarification, but simply assumed things were going according to plan.

    Jacob. Running the Island for thousands of years before his demise, we ultimately learn that he inherited the Island, whose mysteries predated him. Experience may have taught him how to manipulate the Island’s mojo, but it seems in the end we the viewer already know more than he does.

  8. Nicholas says:

    Oh and I missed the final bait and switch. Late in season 6, after knowing Jacob has no more answers for us, we still are led to believe that Desmond – both on the Island and in the LA-Verse, knows the final secret. Turns out Island Desmond was mistaken – he took a glimpse of the afterlife and mistook it for a real world… While LA Desmond, in the end he did know a secret – the realization that they were in the afterlife in that Sideways-verse.

  9. Nicholas: I’ll probably respond more thoroughly when I have some more time, but just had to point out that the Hatch was very much real (and not a psych experiment). The first time Desmond didn’t push the button the Oceanic flight was torn in half (though to what extend Jacob was involved in this happening is not clear at all, to bring the survivors to the island). Then when they finally didn’t press the button, the electromagnetism was streaming out uncontrolled and Desmond had to use the fail safe switch to disperse the energy (and, coincidentally enough, turn himself into the final fail safe switch for the island).

  10. Nicholas says:

    @Bartoneus – I agree. Sorry I wasn’t more clear, I concur with what you said, and I did state in my post that the Hatch was eventually shown to be “real” for the reasons you state. But I stand by my point which was the Hatch didn’t provide any real ANSWERS. Those were just details.

    Consider the context, in Season 1 the castaways are on a weird Island with increasing mysteries. Locke and Boone discover the Hatch and spend a lot of time secretly digging it up. Then we see there are the magic numbers ON the hatch. Then all the stuff with Desmond and DHARMA. But in the end, that was a vehicle to give us some details, and more questions. It didn’t provide answers as to what the Island was or what was really going on.

    Even as late as Season 5, when the characters who were sent back to the 70s where they connected with DHARMA came up with the idea that they could use the Hydrogen bomb to destroy the Hatch before it was built and thus stop their plane from crashing… That was ultimately a red herring. They in a classic time paradox actually caused the very “Incident” that CREATED the Hatch as the survivors found it. It also served as the red herring so we wouldn’t guess what the true nature of the “sideways” flashes were.

    One could argue that the Hatch did provide the “answers” of what caused the crash of Flight 815 (Desmond’s failure to press the button on time) but that is disingenuous – as we also know that the “Button” and conditions surrounding the Swan Station were caused by their own actions in 1977. So in reality, the crash of 815 created the Hatch, not the other way around :-p

    And regardless of the mechanism of the crash, they were all fated for the Island anyway as Jacob selected the Candidates – some as children (Kate, Sawyer), others as adults (Jack, Locke, and the Kwon’s). It is not clear however whether he selected them as Candidates in linear time, or whether he used the Island’s time-travel properties to select them all simultaneously, but just chooisng different points in their lives to touch them.

    So in sum, I do not say the Hatch was not cool, or did not provide good details or story. My point was that it was the first of many things presented as being the potential Wizard of Oz – the Man behind the Curtain that could explain all, and it (and all others subsequently) turned out to be smoke and mirrors.

  11. Nicholas: I agree with you on most points, though I am not so certain that the hydrogen bomb going off was “the incident” that was mentioned the whole time as causing the creation of the Swan in the first place. Now I haven’t re-watched all of the series yet, but I’m pretty sure they made it clear that the incident was a different kind of disaster. Also if you remember there was an electromagnetic incident that then caused the crane and Juliet to be pulled down into the ground. That said, you could definitely be correct, I just think it was left more up in the air whether or not that was the cause of the incident.

    What I’m saying above is that the biggest thing the Hatch and Swan served to answer was why the plane crashed, and I don’t see the paradox as a certainty and so it’s not as invalidated as you say above (for me, at least). Then again, the whole “Jacob brings people to the island” thing does invalidate all of that in some way, but this is one of the several questions or situations I would have loved the last season/finale to address.

    All things considered, the fact that we are still discussing it makes me incredibly happy with how the finale played out, and my wife and I have been casually discussing it for the last week and no doubt will continue to do so for a long time (on and off, i’m sure). Again, when I get some more time I’ll go through and discuss some more of what you brought up in your original comment. 🙂

  12. Nicholas says:

    @Bartoneus – Fair enough. And I concur in that by leaving these mysteries is better in many respects. However, while we can debate the minutiae of how significant the Swan was, would you not agree with my basic assertion: The Swan did not explain the secrets of the Island to the castaways, or to the viewers. Even if I stipulate that fine, it explained the plane crash, becasue as you say the “Incident” could have occurred independent of the Bomb blast (and in fact it does appear that the result of the EM release + the Bomb blast was that the Time Travelers were simply sent back to their original timeline, given all that it was STILL just a drop in the bucket, and served to show us that DHARMA had virtually no answers.

    Cut away these sidetracks, again my point was the Writers teased us that the Hatch held answers, but it really just gave us questions. Just like they later teased us that Ben, Widmore, DHARMA, Richard, Desmond, and even Jacob knew a lot more than they really did.

    Ultimately the story was about Faith. As such there weren’t any answers to be had. Even the MiB didn’t know for sure what would happen – he simply had faith that his “mother” was crazy and there was no good reason to imprison him (and Jacob had faith that his mother was right and his brother had to stay). And as far as on screen goes, we still don’t have any definitive proof that the MiB was wrong. We just have faith. 🙂

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