>After Six Seasons, “Lost” is done. I’ve been saying this for a while now, and this series finale that aired Sunday confirms it, “Lost” is the best show on television. Probably one of the Greatest of All-Time. I will admit when it first aired, and I heard all the buzz on the show I wasn’t interested. I generally am not into shows that have a concrete plot that you have to watch every week to slowly get answers to. Basically series that promise a resolution at some point, because if the show gets canceled you’ll never know the resolution. And sometimes shows forget what their initial plot was and end up ruining the purpose of the show. Or worse, the resolution isn’t worth the wait, and I’m happy (very very happy) to say that this finale was definitely worth the wait.
Even though I didn’t want to get caught up, the hype was too much so I Netflix’d the first season of “Lost”, watched the episodes back to back, and fell in love with the show. It was always so much more than just a show about people stranded on an island. From the start there were mysteries about the island that were so odd and compelling, but the genius thing to me about the show were the Flashbacks. Each episode would center on one character, and so much would be revealed about the person they were before the crash and why they act the way they do on the island. And these flashbacks were always synced with the action on the island with so much heart and emotion. Making the show more of a character study than a sci-fi action show.
When the Series Finale ended this past Sunday, I was more than satisfied because the important thing was that they had a great resolution and it was totally character based. One theory about the show (which mainly comes from it’s haters) is that the writers really didn’t have the full scope of where the show was going to end initially and were just making up new stuff as they went along. I don’t believe this theory, I’m sure they didn’t have everything specifically planned out 6 seasons ago, but I’m sure they had at least a vague blueprint. Even if they were making it up as they went along, they did an excellent job faking it. Not only in this episode, but this season was really great at answering a lot of ongoing questions with the show, but doing it in a pretty natural way where it wasn’t just one character randomly spouting off lines that would fill up any plot holes.
Two episodes in particular stand out to me and they both went back centuries to tell their story. “Ab Aeterno” told us the story of how the ageless Richard Alpert ended up on the island, and formally introduced us to Jacob and The Man in Black and gave us an idea of their opposing views about the island. Jacob’s “wine is evil” speech cleverly gave some insight into the purpose of the island while still keeping some mystery about it. “Across the Sea” was an episode set entirely in the past and showed the birth and growth and eventual separation of Jacob and his twin brother The Man in Black. This episode explicitly revealed why the Island had it’s “mystical” powers, and why Jacob and his brother were on different teams and wanted totally different things. Their adoptive mother (who killed their birth mother who was shipwrecked on the island) told them their duty was to protect the “light” in the center of the island, A light she said that shines in all men but must be protected against men who were trying to take that power and use it all for themselves. However when The Man in Black (who is what the “mother” calls “special”) found out what really happened between his birth mother and his adoptive mother (his birth mother’s ghost showed up to him, representing how he was Special) and was filled with anger towards his adoptive mother, who also told him that there was nowhere else outside of the island. His mission at that point was to get off the island, Jacob stayed with the “mother” and became the islands official protector in her place. A fight ensued between the two brothers, and The Man in Black fell towards this “light” and emerged as the infamous Smoke Monster.
Something the “mother” did was make it so Jacob nor his brother could kill each other. So for centuries the Man in Black was trying to kill Jacob so he could get off the island. With Jacob knowing this, he needed candidates to fill his spot. Enter the cast we’ve known and loved for years. They were all handpicked by Jacob to possibly fill his spot. They all shared the same type of despair and loneliness and needing a purpose in their real lives. Jack (unsurprisingly) took the spot because he felt more than anybody that he had a purpose on that island. And this is both in present time, and when the show adopted the Flash Forward bits and showed him as just a truly unhappy man off the island. He came back to the island solely based on this blind faith that he was supposed to do something there. And though he didn’t survive very long after becoming the new protector, in a very important and complicated way he was meant to do something and his purpose was fulfilled.
Mythology aside, this finale was like I said before very character centric.
And I have to bring up the flash-sideways the show adopted this season. At the end of the 5th season, Dan Farratay the physicist hatched a plan to set off a atomic bomb on the island which would change time and make the Oceanic crash never happen. While it looked like the bomb didn’t make any difference (except it did bring everybody back into the same time. The Time Jumps in Season 5 were strange… but worked to me somehow) on the island, but instead of Flashbacks or Flash Forwards we got Flash Sideways… which was their lives if the plane never crashed. With weird circumstances though, Sawyer was a cop Jack had a son and different things were different in each persons life. All season long I was curious how these Flash-sideways would explain themselves in the end.Towards the end of the season Desmond made it his personal mission to get the Oceanic flight survivors to “let go”. And little by little they showed a few characters having this moment of “enlightenment” or a moment of “love” where they are re-connected with a survivor and they see in a flash their whole life on the island. Jack ended up being the last hold out in this finale episode, but throughout there were heartwarming moments from Charlie Claire and Kate who all had their moment when the Flash-Sideways Claire gave birth. And the most effective “moment” came after Flash-Sideways John Locke had a corrective surgery from Jack and when he could wiggle his toes he flashed back to the moment on the island in the pilot where he realized that on the island he could walk.
I actually don’t want to give away the ending and how those Flash-Sideways lives beautifully resolved themselves. There may be some readers who haven’t seen it yet, and even though I’ve spoiled a lot about the sixth season that ending is so great and emotional and appropriate I want them to feel it the same way I did. It was just so great because after investing in the story and the characters so long, I wasn’t let down and I was happy for all of them. And like I said before, the Finale was very character based. And even than, there are years and years of stories you could imagine happened on this magical island.
Another thing that I feel necessary to mention is the acting. Especially the acting of our main cast in their Flash Sideways life. It seemed that once they each had their moment of “love”, they knew something that the viewer didn’t know. It’s like they were happy, and you could imagine they would be if all these great memories came flashing back, but there was something more. Something mysterious that the viewer couldn’t put their finger on, and was finally revealed in the last 15 minutes of the finale. Evangeline Lilly’s acting when she saw Jack in the Flash Sideways world and told him how much she missed him, even though he didn’t know her, and the looks she gave him were amazing because like I said the viewer wasn’t supposed to know and each actor played it as such. Just an amazing Finale to an amazing show.
And it’s been two weeks since the Finale, and I could have passed in writing about it. However I’m such a big fan of this show, and this finale was so impactful and emotional personally, I didn’t feel right about NOT writing about it. And seriously, trying to wrap my words around all that I wanted to say was quite difficult. It’s here now though. And I just can’t wait to get that Complete Collection Blu-Ray when it’s released in August, so I can re-live the show forever. (In fact, a few years ago when I read that the show was ending at a certain date, it became a dream to have all seasons and watch them all back to back to see if everything fits. So maybe I’ll post another review once I’m finished there)