This post is six years in the making.
Warning: Spoiler Alert!! If you are a LOST fan and haven’t seen the finale, turn away — NOW.
Six years of theorizing and postulating. A month of brainstorming cool theme party ideas. An entire weekend of cooking and baking. An ass-numbing session in front of the computer, designing graphics and printing labels for the food buffet (ex: Jack Shephard‘s pie; eClaire‘s; Sawyer cream & onion dip). Two and a half hours of emotionally-wrenching boob tubing. And lastly, a sleepless night of tossing and turning, mentally examining every frame of last night’s swan song.
LOST is more than a TV show. It has become a cultural phenomenon. A highly-touted water-cooler topic, praised and picked-apart; the fodder for many fights and the subject of an arena of articles. Today’s Lostie is the equivalent of the 70’s Trekkie, only with greater social acceptance. When something of that magnitude ends, it creates a major ripple effect which will spark debate for years to come.
Tons of reviews, both amateur and professional, express mixed reactions: confused, elated, disenchanted, in denial, and downright pissed. What strikes me the most isn’t how people feel, but how angry they get at people who feel differently. A village of judgmental, accusatory know-it-alls, ready to chase non-conformists with a flaming pitchfork. Just because someone has a different interpretation or opinion of Lost’s finale doesn’t make them stupid or a lesser fan. People from many walks of life and world views watched this show. Of course there are going to be multiple takes on it. Varying viewpoints should be food for thought, or disregarded altogether. Not a reason to spew hate and venom. Those who try to force their beliefs on others ―either through punishment, mocking, or denial of basic human rights, are decimating the very values and principles they claim to espouse.
Get fired up. Offer your take with conviction. The most exciting games are played between the biggest rivals. But there should be an unspoken respect; an unwritten disclaimer: These are opinions, not undisputed fact or irrefutable law. No one has to agree, and truthfully, it would make for a very stale, Stepfordian world if everyone did. But every person has the right to think and believe what they choose without fearing for their life or livelihood. Simply put: Live and let live. (Or as the Dharma recruits might say, “Namaste”.) Too often people think the anonymity of the internet makes them inculpable or impervious to inflicting wounds. Just because you never see your victim, doesn’t make their pain any less real. Words can hurt… pen mightier than the sword and all that. Speaking your mind = good. Lambasting someone to try and prove your (unprovable) point = bad. If you must decry the absurdity of an opposing viewpoint, do it out of that person’s earshot. Not necessarily polite, but much better than a public stoning.
Okay, so far this post has been about the importance of respecting diversity and considering all angles before landing on your resting place. But I’d also like a personal purge, to share the thoughts that kept me awake last night, prisoner to a fencing match between my ceiling and clock.
Since I first experienced the bizarro happenings of the Oceanic survivors, I was captivated. This show was really different, original, and superbly produced. Every element from location to set design, casting to special effects, writing to scoring, was done on a cinematic level. Cut to Josh Holloway shirtless, and it’s television gold. There were some clunkers over the course of the series (Paolo & Nikki who??), but overall, an unparalleled yarn was being spun, and I couldn’t wait to tug at next week’s thread. With three shows left, I started to get a little wary; it seemed like they were taking us down a decidedly divinable path. But I felt I should give benefit of the doubt; trust in the producers repeated declarations that their show wouldn’t resort to tried, common story arcs. I crossed my fingers and went into last night’s episode with the highest of hopes.
Those final two and a half hours receive my top marks for acting and production. The character development was cohesive and conversational styles true to form. I was moved to tears over the beautifully-crafted romantic reconnects, as well as Jack’s powerful death scene―alone in his agony, emotionally and physically spent, his fatally-wounded body blanketed between sand and sky, Vincent trotting up tenderly, loyally lying by his side. Impactful, heart-tugging imagery, no question.
Overall, I was disappointed. As previously cited, I don’t begrudge people their beliefs, nor am I trying to denounce or belittle any faith or sect. I do feel gypped that a show replete with brilliant and original sci-fi themes, in the end, resorted to simple, overused religious parables. Putting theology at the core of the Lost universe felt very forced and disjointed to me. Like going to a Metallica concert where a sermon breaks out. (Or in reverse, going to a church which turns out to be a Hedonism resort.) Felt like a bait and switch. Like Cuse/Lindelof changed their original plotline under pressure from conservative network heads, or to spite fans who correctly guessed their saga in advance. So much was left unanswered, things that had became pop culture lure, launching hundreds of frenzied fan sites, just swept under the current like invisible plankton.
See below for a hilarious sampling of the many unresolved mysteries
(a shout-out to my firstborn for sharing):
Spoken in Don Adam’s Maxwell Smart voice: “Missed it by THAT much”. Up to the last ten minutes I felt like it was a great blending of past to present, theories to realities. What I thought would happen: Our beloved Losties would eventually cease to exist on the island, because it was merely a learning platform for them; a dream-state created to deliver life lessons. Once learned, everything they experienced there would coalesce with the ‘sideways’ world―which would turn out to be the ‘real’ one―upgraded, improved versions of who they were at the onset. The island was a head trip; a training ground for personal growth and enlightenment, teaching them how to appreciate life and be the best they could be in the ‘real’ (disguised as the sideways) world. That would have been aces with me. Try as I might to find satisfaction in a finish that killed off everyone (every main character – dead), leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I suppose some people found it rewarding to know they were all together in the end, journeying in the afterlife together. Sorry. Doesn’t cut it for me. I wanted to see them thrive in the world, inspired and strengthened by their trials of fire, bolstered by the knowledge of love lost and found. I wanted the payoff of seeing them happy and alive, after watching them suffer so much. I was robbed of that reward and that leaves me feeling empty after investing so much time and thought in this episodic era.
I welcome comment, whether in agreement or discord. Being exposed to different schools of thought is important. Life is a classroom, and the day I stop learning is the day I stop living. How can I hope to grow and develop if I cut myself off to any ideologies? It is in sorting through the garbage that I find the gems. I couldn’t know what to believe if I didn’t have the unbelievable for comparison. Life constantly evolves, and hopefully, my wisdom and understanding with it.
“Too much agreement kills the chat.” ~ John Jay Chapman
“Not enough kills the spirit”. ~ Platinum Pink
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Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.
I’m with you, not happy with the way they ended things!It was enjoyable to watch, but I really expected more. I, too, was hoping they would all live and their time on the island would have given them direction in life. After 6 six years of loyal watching, I’m left feeling a bit cheated, but still thankful for the journey.
Wow…..you are a fantastic writer!!! Although the ending still left so many questions unanswered and was definitely confusing, I was okay with the ending because I was happy to see that the characters found what it was they needed (love in various forms for most of them) to give them peace in the end. I must say your ending would have been great,too. Maybe the writers wanted it to be literally the end so that there was no chance of a spin-off like the Star Trek – the Next Generation….
I don’t think “no chance of a spin-off” exists in Hollywood. Pre-quels are the new sequels. :)
Thanks for the writing comps, and I’m glad the finale, and series in general, left you with a warm fuzzy.