My thoughts on the Lost finale—Spoilers!–please don’t read any further if you don’t want to know what happened.
It’s no secret that I’ve become disenchanted with Lost over the last few seasons. It felt like it had become a show more about twists and turns and confusing plot points rather than what it had started out as: a show about the characters and the human condition. The series had opened with a traumatic event—a plane crash—and the survivors banded together, despite cultural differences and opposing points of view, in search of salvation; both literally and figuratively, as we learned through their flashbacks.
Over the course of the final season, Lost revisited the flashback theme, only this time they were flash-sideways; another reality, possibly occurring simultaneously, or perhaps what would have happened if Oceanic Flight 815 had not crashed. We were provided a glimpse of another angle of the characters, and their other fates, so to speak. Meanwhile, on the island, a showdown was on the way, between the Man in Black (in John Locke’s body) and the candidates, those whom Jacob had chosen to replace him as guardians of the island. In the episode prior to the finale, Jack had volunteered to be the one to watch over the island, and kill the Man in Black, convinced that this was what he was supposed to do all along, setting up the finale that was to end all finales.
As sentimental as I did get with the show coming to an end, I kept my expectations in check. This was Lost after all, every time you think they might be on to some resolution they throw in another twist. Yet, as I watched the last episode unfold, all the beautifully written/acted awakenings/reunions of the characters in their flash-sideways lives, I was thinking, wow, this is a finale to be proud of—this may be one of the greatest TV finales ever. Sun and Jin are together again! Charlie and Claire reunite! Juliet and Sawyer—that kiss! Now all we needed was for Jack to be awakened…and I was convinced that that was going to be the end: Kate reminding Jack of their time on the island together and voila he’d be awakened, and everyone would live, and be together again, in their sideways lives.
…however, the last 20 minutes went somewhere else…it didn’t tie up loose ends, it didn’t explain a lot of other things still unanswered…but what it did shed light on was that in the grand scheme of things those unexplained details were not the things that mattered. What mattered were the relationships, the human condition, what it means to survive, and that these people found each other and themselves in life…and in death. We were brought full circle: in the end the Lost survivors did not die alone.
Gimmicky? Perhaps. Epic? Maybe for some people. Emotional? Absolutely. Whatever closure it did or didn’t bring, the ending, well it just is…and the journey, now that it’s over and we can catch our breath and look back, was one hell of a ride.