The finale has come and gone, and we've all had a little time to adjust to the idea that Lost isn't coming back. (That is, unless the creators make that Hurley/Miles buddy cop show I've been pitching.)
But it's probably best to accept that it's over and move on. Since we're approaching a few months past the finale, I thought now would be a good time to take a look back and reflect on the show. Plus, there are a few announcements I've been holding onto, and there's no time like the present to open up the discussion about them as well.
The Finale, Months Removed
We all should have expected a mixed reaction to the finale, and in our own circle of Lost fans it was received fairly well. 86% of poll users thought it was either Pretty Good or Fantastic, leaving only 14% who disliked or even hated it. The reaction on the Internet at large has been more mixed. Many voices I respect have called the ending a cop-out, a slight-of-hand trick to distract from all the mysteries the show never answered.
To an extent, I agree. The show knew it had built up far too much mythology, and decided to make a hard right turn back into character closure. In a way, this is a distraction. If you were invested in the show for the mysteries, I can understand how frustrating this might be. And honestly, who wasn't invested in the mysteries? They became the driving force.
On the other hand, I don't think this shift to character development was as sudden as some people believe. The show was, ostensibly, science-fiction. Around seasons four and five, however, it started to be more about magic. Magic doesn't require an explanation. This trade-off was in itself a narrative magic trick. We had seen scientists (DHARMA) researching and investing time and money into projects revolving around the Island, so everything must have a scientific explanation... right?
Wrong, apparently. The fact is that DHARMA was investigating features of the Island that, to all appearances, are simply magic. The fact that scientists investigate magic doesn't negate the fact that it is magic. One could say all magic becomes science with enough time and research, but for a show set in this time and place, explaining the magic would be laborious and boring.
Is magic a cop-out too? Maybe. But it's one I'm fairly satisfied by. I don't need a specific reason for the magic evil drain plug or Jacob's mother. I don't need someone to explain why Miles and Hurley have powers. They're magic, and that's good enough for me.
However, some questions were raised with importance, but never quite resolved. Namely: Walt, the conception problems, and the Others' obsession with kidnapping children. Perhaps Mother hated humans so much she cast a spell to prevent conception. Maybe the Others thought Walt would unlock this mystery. Whatever explanations we can invent, they aren't official, and the show should have offered some reasoning behind them.
Despite all that, I enjoyed the emotional resolutions. The scene with Juliet and Sawyer, in particular, was perfectly crafted. Maybe getting us all weepy was a convenient, cheap way to forget the unanswered questions, but it worked. We were reminded that we cared about these characters for a reason, and it wasn't because of crazy Island voodoo. It was because the characters, themselves, were identifiable and human. The characters made the show.
In a Way, You're All Winners...
But in another, more accurate way, belle42 is the winner. Apologies to The Simpsons for stealing one of their jokes.
I drew names from all the entries gathered from trivia questions and original articles, and belle42 won the prize. I'm outing her here publicly with the hope that she'll contact me, because in honesty I tried to contact her and found that her Newsvine settings don't allow it. If a long time passes with no response, I'll have to draw another name to win the prize. (The prize being an item from the ABC Lost store.)
And while I'm at it, I might as well mention that The Constant (S4) won our poll for the greatest Lost episode of all time. Runners-up were the Pilot (S1) and Through the Looking Glass (S3).
This is a question I've been getting since before the final season even aired. What's next? Am I going to go through and retroactively catalog each of the Lost episodes that came before my column? Will I move onto a new show? Will I disappear entirely?
The answer is: I don't know. I've decided to leave that question up to you guys, my readers. I enjoy this community, and I'd like to continue talking about TV shows, movies, or whatever may come our way. So, which would you prefer? Are any of this fall's shows worthy candidates for our weekly conversations? Should I give the same time and care to the previous Lost seasons, knowing all that we know now?
Note: If you prefer that I disappear entirely, try to say it nicely.
- What was the deal with Walt? I mean, right?
- Wouldn't Josh Holloway have made a really great Gambit in the Wolverine movie?
- How badly do you want to see Hurley and Ben's spin-off Island ruler adventures?
- What will Steve do now?