I haven’t talked about Lost much on here, but it is a show that I’ve watched since the very first episode, and now that it ended the way that it did, I have to comment on it. SPOILERS abound; if you haven’t seen it, don’t read on!
Ok, the main thing everyone is asking is, “Did you like the ending?” Well…that is an odd question for me. I can honestly say that I give it a 4/10…but that score requires some explaining.
First, the writers did a good job with the character arcs. They wrote a scenario that gave the audience a sense of closure without putting in much detail. So, all of our Losties wind up dead one way or another, surprise surprise, and in our world we are not sure when or where the off screen deaths took place. Take Hurley for example; we know he was the Protector for a bit, but did indeed pass away at some unspecified time and place in our future.
We know that their souls (the essence of who they were) all wound up together in what is now popularly labeled “Purgatory.” I have to say, I think the writers kind of went PC overboard on the Universalist style church…how many religious symbols, statues, books, artwork, etc… can one crew put into one set dressing? I would point out that to do that, but then have Christ prominently displayed outside the church in many shots, “Christian Shepherd” being the one to open the door to the “next step,” and the Christian faith of several of the Characters throughout the seasons, is an odd choice, since that is enough to get all those against the Christian faith riled up without fully committing.
Now, here’s the thing about a story…it has a plot and it has characters. The characters are there to further a plot and to enrich it. They are not the plot, they are a part of the plot, they are part of the story. That is what I think the creators of the show either neglected to remember, or deliberately ignored in the finale. So, the second part of this review is about the plot in general, not the characters. The plot was, for all intents and purposes, completely ignored. Think about it; we know absolutely nothing about the island or the surrounding mysteries.
We don’t know what the light is, energy of some sort, perhaps tied to spirituality, perhaps not. We don’t know who first populated the island, who the “mother” of Jacob and “Esau” was and why we should believe anything she’d say (or her nutty sons), who built the “plug” that keeps the energy in, why certain people can see dead people, why Walt could control the island off and on the island, why did Kate see a black horse, why did the smoke beastie peer into people’s souls for no ultimate apparent reason, and on and on and on… The island was the main setting, and the main plot device, and it was completely neglected during the finale.
Look, I like good books, movies, and tv shows that make people think and ask questions…so a lot of people really liked the ending. But, here’s the thing…I know about the afterlife, I know about spirituality, I know about the love of a group of people, and friendship, and adventure. I don’t need some vague reference to what happens after someone dies. I was hooked on the show because of the mystery of the island, not the mystery of the humans on the island except as it pertained to the island itself. I love character driven shows too; but the plot is what needs to be advanced through the advancement of the characters. To me, the writers did a fine job on the characters, and a bad job on the plot.
Could this be for future profits and storytelling? I do hope for future storytelling, or answers. The writers did a bang-up job setting a scene and a world full of possibility as far as the island is concerned, they just didn’t give any answers in this series.
To be fair, I’ve seen many criticisms of the show, or aspects of the show, that are based on people just not thinking things through (surprise surprise). For example; no, Jack did not just dream the whole island and all the people up; it really happened. The rules put in place that people are nitpicking; who could and could not leave the island, who could come to the island, were set in place by Jacob (remember the game Jake and his brother were playing, and the brother told him someday Jake could make up his own rules for his own game? Jake used the island to do just that). Purgatory was transcendent, and that is why they could all be there at the same time. Jake picked who he did because they had issues to deal with and needed a life change anyway, so he brought ’em there for his own ends, but also to try to get them to change, etc… etc…
So, there ya have it. I’m glad I watched the show, didn’t love the ending but have my reasons why.