Lost: Life, Death, And Everything In Between (My “Review” Of The Lost Finale)

And it’s over.

Blink, blink.

Whoa. Wow. Huh.

That just happened.

Oh — just in case, this post needs a big honking SPOILER WARNING all over it, which at this point I feel should go largely unsaid. If you still need a spoiler warning about the Lost finale, you might want to… well, avoid the Internet today. And maybe tomorrow. Actually, just come back next week. Ironically, you’d do well to find yourself a distant island.

If you want to review my “thoughts of the moment,” you’re free to time travel backwards and check out my semi-drunken (read: semi-coherent) live-blog of the finale.

To be clear, it’s not like I’ve had a lot of time to process this thing. I’m not hungover or anything, but I am damn tired, and this coffee hasn’t kicked in yet (read: hasn’t kicked my teeth in yet). So, my thoughts on this finale are likely to evolve and change. My thoughts on the Sopranos ending ping-ponged wildly, and I ended up liking it a lot less once David Chase opened his mouth about it.

It’s possible I’ll end up really disliking this finale.

I know a lot of you probably do dislike it. I don’t necessarily blame you. It’s a different ending. It’s heavier. Meatier. Cheesier. Those who watched the show for the geek side, for the mysteries only, will be more disappointed than fulfilled — the finale failed to really address any of the little mysteries, instead choosing to focus on the big mysteries (by which I mean the Big Mysteries we all as people deal with). Y’know, it’s not like we had a finale that ended up, “Holy shit! Eloise Hawking is actually Claire! And this is Victorian England! It’s been aliens this whole time!” And the people who were looking for that kind of finale, well, you’re going to be disappointed.

I get it.

Alternately, I’ll be a bit of a dick and ask: what show did you think you were watching?

Anyway, what I’m saying is, this finale was really all about the characters, and for me, that’s as it should be. My very initial reaction to Christian Shepherd telling his son that they’re all dead was a burst of anger and incredulity, but that was a really short sharp shock that quickly faded. And as the episode went on and I thought about what it all means for the show, for these characters, and for me as the viewer, well, dang. I started to get this kind of warm glow about the whole thing. My reaction, in the evolution of one-word bursts would be: “Hey! Huh? Oh. Oh! Ohhhhh. Yes.”

Five stages of grief. Really, really fast.

At present, I loved it.

I reserve the right to change my mind. This isn’t an election. I’m allowed to flip-flop.

But right now, I feel this was the right ending to that show. Brave, bold, a bit maudlin, and answered the biggest mysteries while leaving the little mysteries as naught but crumbs to be swept under the rug.

You want more specific thoughts? Well, here they are — though, again, these are basically uncooked blobs of cookie dough. They’re not done in the oven, but here they are, regardless.

• I’m a bit surprised that some people think they all died in the plane crash. Like, the original pilot episode plane crash. Are people saying that? What’s your evidence? I don’t buy it. If that’s the case, then this entire show didn’t make sense, because… how’d these people all find one another? Why is the ending, in which they lurk in purgatory, about them all coming together and once more realizing their connections? If they all died in the pilot episode, then those connections were meaningless. And thus, the entire show is meaningless, and it might as well be a retarded kid dicking around with a snowglobe. Unless there exists some evidence that I missed (which is where my view of the finale could turn surly)? To me, Christian Shepherd made it clear that Jack’s life happened — all that stuff with the island was real. It’s just… y’know. Well…

Everybody dies. You can say that about this finale. “Oh? The Lost finale? Yeah, everybody dies.” Except, that’s only because this takes it to a very long view. The Sideways world was never really sideways (told you!). It is, in its own weird way, a very, very, very forward flash-forward. You could make a reasonable guestimate and say that Hugo served the island for a long period of time — a lifetime or two at least considering how long Jacob did the job. And if Ben lived as his second in a way like Richard did, well. So, they all die, but they all die eventually, and when they do, they’re here. In this place that is both later and between.

• Differently put, in the finale, everybody lives until they die.

• And that’s kind of the message, isn’t it? We all live until we die. It’s about the choices we make. It’s about the journey. It’s about the life. It’s about what we do with it. The choices we make for good or ill.

• I saw that Cuse and Lindelof a few days back had said that the final images of the show are meant to be a head-scratcher. At the time I thought we’d catch a glimpse of like, another island or something, but this time, we were treated to images of the — or a — plane crash. Not sure what that means. Did Lapidus crash the plane? (Lapidus! Noooooo!) Are we just getting one last look at the wreckage? Is this a hint that another plane crashed on the island? I dunno. Oh, and the first person who says, “It’s proof that they all died in the pilot because there’s the plane in pieces and nobody’s walking around” gets a boot to the trachea. Except, I just said it, didn’t I? Damn. It’s really hard to kick myself in the throat.

• What was with the shoe in the bamboo when Jack was walking? That was weird. Wasn’t there something about his Dad and shoes?

• That ending — the very ending, Vincent, the eye closing, the plane overhead, that’s a great ending. That’s some full-circle shiznit, right there. Equal parts “gut punch” and “unclenched sphincter.”

• Obviously we’re still treated to quite a few unanswered mysteries. I’m okay with that. We can intuit answers, or we can make up our own. In a weird way, the bold stroke of “everyone lives until they die” (or, put differently, live together, die alone, except then die together again) obviates the need to answers in a grand sense. It’s like, “Why did Walt have powers? Does it matter?”

• Even still, I do wonder if those 20-30 minutes on the DVD will answer some of the more niggling mysteries. What’s up with Walt? What’s up with Eloise Hawking? Is she actually forestalling her son’s journey forward? Lots of little outstanding mysteries. Any questions that bother you?

• One of the questions or memes going around is, “Well, I guess so-and-so [Walt, Michael, Mikhail, Mr Eko, etc.] didn’t deserve to move on and is in Hell.” I don’t know that this is it, exactly. I did like Harold Perrineau’s answer that Michael is still on the island, trapped there — but even still, we could assume that one day he’s going to make it to this Sideways purgatory. On the fiction side, all those people maybe just haven’t finished their journey yet, haven’t reconciled their sins and successes, haven’t scoped their life in light of death. On the reality side, hey, it’s a TV show. They juggled a helluva lot of people in that situation. I’m sure it wasn’t easy making that all happen, so, let’s remember that making a television show is like juggling cats. Cats that are on fire. And shoot bees out of their mouths and kitty buttholes.

• Interesting irony that all along, the creators have been saying, “The island isn’t purgatory.” And they’re right. But that was a good distraction, a clever magic trick, because while the island isn’t about purgatory, the entire sixth season damn sure is, and the Sideways world is exactly that. They juked us. They juked the stats. Nice work, dudes.

• Long show, but never felt it. By the time the end came, I was like, “It’s over?”

• So, was the Sideways world about the characters reconciling guilt and such? My wife points out that Locke’s scenario about his father actually mirrors what happened to Boone in some ways — must Locke first work through that before he can “let go?” Jack’s journey in this regard is clear: he’s a man with Daddy issues, and so he becomes the Daddy and gains a son with those same issues, and he must work through them. If you look hard enough, will you see this journey for all of them? Maybe not. Hurley’s isn’t clear — then again, Hurley isn’t a guy with a lot of guilt, and maybe it’s not just about working through guilt but working through your own failings and frailties. Kate’s is a bit more clear — she ends up incarcerated, and also must reconcile with Claire and Aaron.

• And yet, what’s Desmond’s role in all of this? He’s an active participant. He’s actively going around and trying to get them to all move on and let go together. It’s more than just, “These characters need to come together and undergo the revelation of life to pass through this place of death.” Desmond is actively trying to force it. That’s interesting. There’s something there. I don’t yet know what it is.

• I do have a few disappointments: Ben as a character still pinballed around the place. I wanted to see more of his con against Smokey — or, was he even playing a con? Was he really suckered in by Smokey’s promises? He was obviously hiding that walkie, so it feels like he was maybe trying to get one over. He so swiftly goes from, “I’m with Smokey!” to, “I’m Hurley’s number two!” that it felt like he didn’t earn that pivot.

• We missed out on the Desmond and Penny reunion, and that stings a little bit. The other awakenings were so sweet, I really wanted to see the one where Desmond undertakes that most personal of awakenings, the one where he goes to Penny. I hope this is a deleted scene. Because as it stands it’s like, “Boop! Hey, look, they’re together in the church. Okay, it’s over!” These two were the romantic rock of the show. Kind of wanted more there.

• Smokey was a bit easy to dispatch. Not that I necessarily wanted that slasher, “Oh holy crap he’s not really dead!” moment, but the “grand battle” was given a bit of short shrift. It’s okay, I guess — it ends up not being the point of the episode, really, but even still. You want a little meat on those bones.

• I do like that, in a way, I can imagine how the show goes on. In a way, the time between Jack dying and the actual Sideways world could be equivalent to years, decades, even centuries. We still could imagine a world where Lapidus’ plane makes it off the island, where Hurley and Ben have wacky island adventures, where Eloise Hawking and Desmond are still active vibrant forces in the island culture and the mysteries surrounding it. I don’t know that we need to see these addressed; I just like that the end is a long con but the short game is still being played.

Anyway. Them’s my thoughts for now. A very successful finale, suited to the show. It’s always been a show about life and death, hasn’t it? At its core? The journeys of these characters mattered, and here we see why.

Sound off in the comments. What did you think? Now that we’ve all had a (little) time to process, how’s the finale look in your head? How’s it feel?

62 comments

  • Ah, but Desmond had his reconciliation with Penny episodes ago, which is why he tried to awaken everyone else, remember?

    I absolutely loved the ending. Every awakening between people had me bawling, and then the one-two punch of Vincent coming to lay down with him? Waaaah. Good dog.

    • @Stoney:

      You’re right, of course, the stadium. *smacks head* That’s what happens when I write pre-coffee, post-booze.

      Still would’ve liked to have seen something small between them, but that might’ve taken too much away from the rest (timewise). And it’s appropriate, then, that they’re the first to “awaken” in that moment of love.

      — c.

  • Like I said on Twitter, the shoe was a callback to the pilot. He reversed his walk from that episode, and likely died in the same spot he woke up on the island to begin with. The shoe, we can assume, was debris scattered from the crash.

    I don’t like the word “purgatory” in context with the X timeline, but that’s just me. Purgatory, to a girl who was raised Roman Catholic, carries negative connotations. I like to think of it more as a lobby. A place of waiting. To remember each other. To find each other again. To file en masse into the shiny chrome and glass elevators and move on to the party in the penthouse. I know that Purgatory in its oldest definition is a place of cleansing, where souls can go to await their final rest, and that’s pretty much exactly what the sideways universe was. It’s just a personal thing: I can’t reconcile all that joy and peace I saw on the Sideways characters’ faces with the name of a place to which unbaptized babies are condemned. Just can’t do it.

    So, to me, Sideways is a lobby. A really kickass Green Room with an open bar and a karaoke DJ that never quits. Where it’s happy hour forever and you never have to leave your family and friends ever again.

    RE: Eko, Michael, Walt, Daniel, etc. In order to move on, you have to forgive not only the sins against you, but your own sins. That’s why Benjamin decided to stay where he was. He was finally becoming happy without the need for interlocking Venn-diagram Machiavellian schemes, but he hadn’t yet forgiven himself. He was a fair bit along the way though, by apologizing to Locke for everything he ever did to him, and telling Hugo what a good job he`d done.

    Michael, eh. I doubt it’s because they couldn’t get Harold Perrineau back. I think it’s because Michael still hasn’t forgiven himself for Libby and Ana Lucia. Ana Lucia? I don’t think she’s forgiven herself for Shannon. You can’t let go if you’re carrying baggage.

    Eko? I think he moved on before the rest got there. His story on the island wasn’t about drug addiction or killing people — he’d already been a horrible, terrible man. His story on the island was about redemption and cleansing his soul. He didn’t need a presence in the Sideways universe to show us that.

    And I don`t think Eloise was evil. I think she was just a mother who didn`t get enough quality time with her son and wanted to try and make up for that. I mean, look how much having knowledge completely boned Daniel in the normal timeline. He went crazy, he had brain damage, and he died. I think Eloise is trying to make up for and forgive herself for her part in all that. She`s well aware of what the Sideways universe is — that much is made obvious by any of her conversations with Desmond — but hasn`t moved on yet. Because she cannot, or because she will not leave until Daniel is ready, really ready to go, in his own time.

    • @Maggie:

      a) Shoe — yes, you’re probably right. The shoe as just a piece of local debris makes sense. And more I think about it, them simply panning over the wreckage in the final shots are a true reversal of them opening of the pilot, and that works, too. Diggit.

      b) Sideways as Purgatory (originally mistyped as “Pugatory”)? Yeah, it carries baggage and so “Limbo” might be a better term. It’s not quite a happy hour, though, because they all have to get through the good and the bad to find reconciliation.

      c) Michael — they probably could’ve gotten him, yes, I just mean that it’s possible he was filming another show or something. Actors have to work, of course, and schedules don’t always play nice.

      d) Eko — true dat.

      e) Eloise — no, not evil, but selfish. It just feels like her own inability to move on is keeping Daniel from moving on. Then again, thematically that’s resounding considering what the show has to say about parents and children, and further, it still probably means that *Daniel* will move on when he’s ready.

      Very interesting finale. Plays on a very interesting character level — interesting, since many TV shows work predominantly on a plot/story level first.

      — c.

  • They’re calling him Smocke? Ok, I thought his death was perfect. Here’s why.

    They’re people. Regardless of whether or not they’ve been invaded by the essence of others, they’re still people. Jack proved that when he drew blood, and they fought like people do. Not overly amped up Hollywood fighting, real people fighting. People who DO want the other person dead, but don’t have the luxury of having had trainers choreograph the exchange. To me that was one of the best fight scenes I’ve ever watched. I bought it (although I did in fact yell, “UM! First do no harm?????” at Jack when he tossed Locke off the edge since that was flat out murder).

    Hubby and I were trying to figure out Ben’s deal last night. It could be SO many things. He’s punishing himself for his bad deeds regardless of Locke’s forgiveness, so he’s choosing to remain in Purgatory. He’s not dead yet so he can’t move on, but he’s figured out over the years a way to extend part of himself into their world. Blahdeblah. Awesome. I loved to hate him, I’ve loved his acting in every show I’ve ever seen him guest in, and I thought his simplicity last night was perfect.

    As I mentioned last night, the pseudo-newborn pulled out my heart, which was a bit upsetting. I haven’t produced milk in a year, and my chest throbbed listening to the “feed me” squeaks. Cheap shot, producers (ok, If someone reading this doesn’t know me, I do know they can’t cue a newborn to make specific sounds). What that moment did was lubricate my emotions to the point where everything after left me a teary mess.

    Fionnula Flannagan is absolutely the most beautiful woman on the planet, regardless of age. I’ve thought that since I first laid eyes on her in ST-TNG, and I’m sticking to it.

    Back later. Kids beckon for diaper changes.

    • @Julie:

      Who’s going to change my diaper? Huh? HUH?

      Nobody, that’s who. *sob*

      Anyway.

      Not-Locke’s death was good, I’m not really bothered over it — it’s just, Lost often does that kind of spectacle very well, and that scene was bad-ass enough where I could’ve used another minute or three of that level of bad-assery. Not so much complaining, so much as, I could always have more. MOAR CHOCKOLATE NOM NOM NOM — that kind of thing.

      I thought Ben’s ending was good. I just feel that sometimes the writers get… convenient with the placement of characters when they can’t reconcile them otherwise. Like, that whole island story with Ben and Smokey and then at the end with Hurley is missing some earned character moments is all. They might be on the cutting room floor, of course. Still, Ben’s such a critical component of the show, I hate to think we missed out on some notable turns.

      — c.

  • After a (truncated) night’s sleep in which I processed the finale somewhat, my feelings toward this finale — and by extension, this season — are complicated.

    One of the writers’ touchstones has always been Stephen King, and like King’s deeply flawed opus THE DARK TOWER, LOST is, at root, a story about how and why we tell stories. I think going into the finale with that in mind informs some of the choices the writers made in these last three hours — particularly in the handling of the flashes sideways.

    Ah, the flash sideways. On a very basic level, LOST had three modes of storytelling. Flash back, flash forward, flash sideways. I think in retrospect, it’s easy to argue that flashes back and forward were essential to the story being told; anyone who wants to argue that is welcome to, but I’m going to accept that as a given. My problem with the finale is, I feel the ending rendered the flash-sideways conceit inessential to the story, and disingenuous to boot.

    Why? Because of when the writers chose to start using them. Jughead goes boom. Sideways world begins. And as far as the viewers are aware, sideways world runs more or less parallel to what the writers called Island present. Which, from a storytelling perspective, given the way both flashbacks and flash fowards have been used on the show, seems to indicate that there are stakes in the sideways storyline that have a bearing on the action on the island. Only we find out in the final minutes of the series that’s not actually the case. What happened happened. The sideways world is a slow-motion epilogue, peppered throughout the final season with no intent but to mislead.

    I’m not saying that’s the only purpose of the sideways world; it’s not. But it IS the only purpose for telling that story in the manner that they did. What redeems the sideways story somewhat is that the action on-island was typical LOST moving-of-pieces, and as such, didn’t always allow for the character moments that really are the heart of the show. The sideways world had those in spades; it allowed these characters we care about to find peace, allowed meaningless deaths (in many cases) or violence borne of violent circumstances rather than of evil intent to be wiped from the slate — not in a cheap way, but in an earned way. As an epilogue, then, it was at least somewhat successful (whether you think it was completely successful is going to have a lot to do with how the final scene at Eloise’s church sat with you).

    Still, I can’t quite shake the feeling that by employing flashes sideways (and heck, by calling them flashes “sideways” in interviews and the like), the writers were screaming THIS IS IMPORTANT TO WHAT’S GOING ON ON THE ISLAND, and I don’t think in the end they made a case for that at all.

    But hey, at least whether the finale worked or not is fodder for discussion. More than could be said of, say, BSG. And the difference there, finale for finale, is that LOST stayed true to its characters, even if you think the storytelling faltered. Which I maybe do. Or not. I can’t quite tell.

    • @Chris —

      I’m not too freaked out by the Sideways model or the misdirect — the “Flash-Forward” offered a similar misdirect until we realized the truth of it. Further, you could look at this Sideways Limbo as actually just a deeper flash-forward, because it seems to take place at a distant unnamed point in the future, when all the characters have finally died.

      You’re right, I think, to suggest that this show at a deeper level is very much about stories and storytelling — as I noted the other day, the narrative conventions and literary techniques are literal in this world. It’s like, there exists a psychic undercurrent by which one can “read” the story forwards or backwards.

      The Sideways jukes that a little. It doesn’t bother me, but I can see how you could interpret it as being out-of-step with the previously ordained models.

      — c.

  • I also think Hurley’s “redemption” was more about his unrequited love for Libby, cut short by Michael’s treachery. His only real problem was that he was useless with women, perhaps a reflection of the uselessness he felt when Libby died. And she was key to his awakening.

    Also. RE: Ben. I came to a realization about Ben in the finale, even before he admitted his selfishness and jealousy to Locke outside the church. All he ever wanted to be was valued. Like John Locke was valued by Jacob and the Others. Like Jack Shepard was valued by the castaways. Like he valued Alex. But he never was. Not until Hurley looked at him, frightened and alone, and asked him for help. The look that dawned on his face when he realized that he was valued after all, I think, marks the pivotal moment that moves his miserable existence into one that’s not necessarily happier, but more content.

    • @Maggie:

      I’m close to agreeing, but I think that in a way Ben’s movement to redemption is about him realizing he’s valued in a different way — he always wanted to be “special,” but here, Hurley’s the special one. I think him accepting (yet again) a secondary position, but doing so happily, is actually a mode of redemption. Prior to then, Ben always wanted to be top banana.

      — c.

  • See, I think the FlashLimbos were important to the story. Not so much the plot of what action was happening on the island, but the character arcs from the main characters from all 6 seasons (with, of course, a couple of exceptions). We got to see first hand how Locke, Sayid, Charlie, Desmond, Jack, Sawyer, Hurley etc etc saw themselves and changed over the course of the show. It was more about the Lost As Character Study aspect of the show that they’ve talked about since like Season One.

  • I do — although I think if you’re feeling charitable toward the writers, you could argue they used a long-con rule of threes to subvert expectation with the third storytelling mode.

    And there’s a lot to the finale that does hold up. “Live together, die alone” bears out, with the core Losties banding together to do what Jacob (or Jack) alone never could. The concept of the long con coming back in the form of what I’m assuming was Jacob’s plan all along, moving pieces into place such that Desmond unplugs the glowy cork just long enough to get Smokey dead, and then Jack replaces it, once more bringing stability to the island. Plus, the character beats for Hurley, Jack, Ben, and heck, most of the rest of the cast, were beautiful.

    In all, I didn’t hate the finale. I didn’t love it, either. But the show itself was a complicated one, and the resolution was destined to be as well. In all, regardless of one’s feelings toward the finale, it’s clear they did a hell of a thing…

  • @Chuck: We share the same point, I think. Ben realizing he doesn’t have to be SPECIAL! to be special.

    I think that the difference this time in the secondary position for Ben was that he knew Hurley. He knew Hurley took care of people. He had spent years learning about Hugo Reyes, and he knew Hugo’s personality wouldn’t really allow for deceit or dissociation.

    One of his major beefs with Jacob was that he’d never seen him, and Jacob dismissed him completely the very first time they met, which triggered violent rage and allowed Ben to kill Jacob. (Despite being a cold bastard, I don’t think Ben would have killed Jacob quite so easily had Jacob not said, “What about you?” to him two seconds prior.)

    And now, here’s Hugo, who even Ben acknowledges is best at taking care of people, turning to him for help and advice. Admitting that he’s experienced. That he’s valuable just the way he is. Ben’s had all these little wakeup calls over the years, these little nuggets to tell us he’s not completely an asshole — adopting Rousseau’s baby instead of killing it, his reaction after Alex dies, his reaction to the Man in Black wearing Alex’s face, his dissociation after murdering Widmore — but that look on his face right before he accepts… I think that was the biggest one yet and, like I said, the true pivotal moment.

  • One little thing I would have liked: when Smokey fell off the cliff and died, I’d have been happy if his body went back to looking like Original Recipe MiB.

    • Heh. Original recipe.

      Yeah, actually, when the whole “end time” came, would’ve been interesting to see MiB — and hear his name, if only for that resolution.

      — c.

  • Ok, we can’t use Limbo, Chuck. Limbo is where the innocent dead spend their time because they were never baptized into Christ. Babies go to Limbo (not anymore, the Church realized that was a terrible and upsetting notion). These folks are sure as hell not innocent. 🙂

    (Here endeth the Recovering Catholic Soapbox Lecture)

    What Chris said. Rich and I watched the special before the show started and it did a nice job of helping us understand what went on over the couple of years we missed. While we were watching we were confused about what was going on in this particular episode, pretty much the way the rest of the world was I guess. However, after the credits rolled Rich looked at me and said, “I’m still confused,” and I said, “Me too. But it was a beautiful thing.” He agreed.

    I’m going to agree with Miss Maggie here about the unseen characters and their lack of forgiveness for themselves. If I recall correctly, Eko had pretty much come to terms with his past and was actively working to better himself when Smokey took him down, so that makes perfect sense to me. I do have to say that not seeing Michael last night was a bit of a disappointment, because aside from the annoying, “WAAALT!!!!” Rich and I really did enjoy his character.

  • Alright, a slightly less inane comment (or just a longer-winded version on inanity):

    First off, I was very happy with the ending to Lost. I was not blown away by any means, yet somehow, I not disappointed in that. In fact, the only thing that disappointed me in watching it last night was when I said “Betcha Locke is in the coffin” and Maggie went “Nah. it’s empty. And Christian is behind him. Now bend over and swallow”.

    What amazed me about the episode was the pacing. I can’t think of how they could have nailed it any better, the quick-and-slow scene structure was absolutely perfect for the episode. I think a lot of people were surprised that two and a half hours had passed.

    On the minutiae: I don’t want to go into each and every character bit. I will say, on the subject of Dear Mister Linus, that I was happy and amazed. See, I didn’t feel that Ben needed a couple of more pivots to go from “I Like [s]Ike[/s]Locke!” to “Hugo for Class Prez”, I think that over the course of five years we’ve learned that the person that trusts Ben the least really is himself. Hurley has an amazing capacity for trust, and giving it to Ben gives them the perfect duality – trusting niavitee mirrored with guarded manipulations. I was insanely happy with how Ben just waited outside. I don’t think that it wasn’t really him not being ready to move on per se more than it was time for him to finally enjoy his Loading Screen Land family.

    And yes. I chose Loading Screen Land. Apparently you can’t say purgatory or limbo without drowning a baby up in here.

    • @Rick:

      I don’t have any overarching issues with Ben — I just think the writing there was hasty. Maybe it needed to be given how much went into the making. But, he’s a smart and complicated guy, and I would’ve liked more insight into his movements is all.

      Also: bend over and swallow? Damn. Maggie works you from every angle.

      — c.

  • I’m reminded of Dead Like Me, in regards to the flash sideways. These characters died, but in their deaths, they “created” this world to help each other and themselves work through their shit.

    I walked away disappointed, but having slept on it and having talked it a little, I’ve realized that the episode

  • (Oops! Hit reply too soon!)

    I realized that my reaction to the finale was a little unfair. The finale might’ve not been to my liking, but it was truly a Lost episode. It didn’t betray the core style, but reinforced all of the themes and stylistic elements of the show. I’m just not as huge a fan as I used to be, or as the target audience for the show is.

    I did like that Berbard and Rose weren’t i n the flash-sideways. That they might’ve lived out their lives together, in peace and love, and gone to their deaths without regret or remorse. A good ending for them, I think.

    Noah

  • An ending similar to one of my favorite movies, “Jacob’s Ladder.” It had really good emotional closure. And about all the unresolved mysteries: As in Philip K. Dick’s book, “Maze of Death”, the puzzles are a Borgesian labyrinth that serve to distract people from the real metaphysical truth; they’re an obstacle to resolving their “issues”, not a key to the Answer. IMHO.

  • @Maggie Carroll

    Everything you said was perfect, I was going to leave a detailed post, but there’s no point, you said everything exactly as I would have.

    The only thing I will say is as Harold Perrineau said, Michael is one of the whispers on the island. That is his fate. Perhaps at the end of everything, when the light goes out, the island sinks and the mysterious field around it disappears, perhaps then he’ll be able to join the waiting room to begin to make his own journey.

    • (said this on Facebook, and feel like it could be echoed here:)

      I’m okay if people didn’t like the finale; that’s their right. I won’t make them defend it. Alternately, I don’t want to have to defend why I liked it. I saw one author call all those who like the finale “apologists,” which feels dismissive. I’m not apologizing. I liked it. I thought it was well-constructed and the proper end for that show.

  • I need to mention that my toddler is currently obsessed with the concept of “perfect,” and I’ve three times today already assured her that something was “perfectly perfect.”

    Damn them.

    • @Paul:

      Actually, for all its goofiness, I was okay with BSG’s end. My complaints there are fairly middling and not really worth broaching at this stage of the game.

      — c.

    • One point of clarity on the Lost finale:

      Why in the Sideways world do we see images of a sunken island? Seems off. I assume it’s because in its own way the “Limbo-esque” purgatorial realm still has its own timeline, for lack of a better term, where time flows and consequence matters in its own way, and so for the arrangement of events to play out accordingly, the island must be gone in that, erm, “realm.”

      Still, a bit jarring.

      — c.

  • That’s a good point – what in the hell was the point of showing the island sunk? None of the characters knew it, it existed purely as an shot to the audience. Was it simply tossed in for misdirection?

    Or did Hugo eventually sink the island?

    Or did the island sink the world?

    Or did the thing do the other thing?

    Also, let’s just call it “Fluffy Fiddle Land”. I doubt anyone can take a steep objection that. And if you have some trauma involving a fluffy fiddle, by all means, elaborate.

    • I was molested by a Fluffy Fiddle, and then a Fluffy Fiddle killed my hamster. With a ping-pong paddle.

      No, I dunno why they showed that. Misdirection, I have to believe, unless there exists a deep undercurrent of, “Wow, we really don’t know how this is going to end or what the Sideways timeline means.” Which doesn’t feel accurate or even possible, mind.

      — c.

  • If you go with the theory that it’s a very forward flashforward, that it exists on another plane of reality altogether, then the island sinking makes sense insofar as none of the characters need it to be there anymore. They’ve lived their lives. They’ve done their time. The island, for them, is unnecessary, and it being on the ocean floor represents that.

    It’s not needed. It’s laid aside. It’s not unimportant, because it’s the core of their journies together, but it doesn’t have to be a major point anymore. It can rest below, beneath, a foundation of sorts, and let what happens next happen, above and beyond it.

  • Maybe the Island exists, even in that realm? It transcends physical planes of existence? I don’t even know.

    Noah

    p.s. I loved the BSG finale too. We should all talk about it some time.

  • Put ’em up, Rick. I specifically attached a smiley face so I wouldn’t be taken seriously. WHY didn’t my smiley face work? What do I have to do so as not to be taken seriously? Is there some other emoticon that would convey my wiseassery better? I can’t put the beer mug in here. It’s not Yahoo Messenger. Really. Outside. You and me. Right now. I bite.

    *cough*

    From Wikipedia-

    The Limbo of the Patriarchs or Limbo of the Fathers (Latin limbus patrum) is seen as the temporary state of those who, in spite of the personal sins they may have committed, died in the friendship of God, but could not enter Heaven until redemption by Jesus Christ made it possible.

    (Chuck, for all intents and purposes, comes closest with Limbo than those who keep using Purgatory for this show.) To wit-

    Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment[1] in which the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven. This is an idea that has ancient roots and is well-attested in early Christian literature, while the conception of purgatory as a geographically situated place is largely the creation of medieval Christian piety and imagination.

    None of the folks on this show died in a state of Grace.

    Ta-DA!

    Chuck wins. The entire rest of the Internet loses. I call it.

    WHEEEEE! I love migraine meds.

    • This battle is tepid so far. I really expect one of you two to take it to a whole other level.

      Oh, and also saw a good reference to not Limbo, not Purgatory, but the Tibetan “Bardo.”

      — c.

  • Okay okay, how’s this.

    I’m wrong because I’m a woman. That makes about as much sense as someone saying you’re stupid because you were raised south of the Mason-Dixon. Now, having been down here for 15 years I can assure you that’s bullshit. What IS true is that due to your region of birth you smell funny.

    Catfish stink.

  • I refer you to my previous argument. In case you forgot:

    @Julie: Well, you’re wrong because you’re a woman. Duh.

    I even corrected a typo to ensure that it is completely understandable.

  • I think the detonation of Jughead created a parallel timeline where the island sunk and everyone’s lives played out accordingly. Parallel 2004 is an afterlife only in metaphor. That doesn’t explain how Christian came back to life or what that white light is supposed to mean, but I suspect the writers simply erred on the side of poetry.

    Then again, Eloise’s church IS over the Lampost station, which is connected to the Island’s mumbo-jumbo energy in some manner. Maybe they flashed to yet another disturbing universe?

    • @Dan:

      I’m not entirely sure that it’s an afterlife only in metaphor — it doesn’t feel like poetry to me. It feels pretty clearly like, “Hey, we’re all dead, and now we can let go and leave this place.”

      Jughead’s detonation — it’s possible that it had an effect? My thought is, they basically just caused The Incident. So, what they did was what always had to happen, and the only effect of Jughead’s blast is that it catapulted them into the future (er, present) (er, Back to the Future) so they could defeat Smokey.

      — c.

  • I’d buy that if not for Juliet telling Sawyer “It worked” as she was dying and if not for the Desmond’s sideways flash when Widmore left him in the microwave (so to speak). Oh, and if not for Daniel Widmore’s bit about already having set off a nuclear bomb.

    Or maybe I’m just desperate for a non-mystical explanation. Back when the question for Coincidence vs Fate, they gave me time-travel. It was an unexpected middle path and I loved it. I really hope they were trying to do the same for the afterlife.

    • Dan:

      The line “it worked” was a misdirect — she says that in the Sideways “bardo” reality when the snack machine trick earns Sawyer his Apollo bar. “It worked” wasn’t ever meant to refer to the nuke going off. She was on the cusp of death and was witnessing that between world.

      At least, as I understand it.

      — c.

    • That’s not to say that the “limbo” world isn’t still… y’know, a world. I think it may very well be; I’m not convinced that as a spiritual reality it doesn’t necessarily “exist,” per se, but it seems to definitely follow its own laws. But I still think it’s possible that people in a way are potentially born there and had to go through “life” there. Maybe. Kinda? Sorta?

      Hell if I know, is what I’m saying. 🙂

      — c.

  • Dead Like Me: but instead of being in a different body, the world is what’s changed, or mirrored. I keep remembering the ep with the old guy who wanders around naked, and thereapers are stuck following him around until he finally “gets over” what had kept him there.

    Or maybe that plane (heh) of existence is lik The Room of Requirement from Harry Potter? It’s different for everybody, except when eveyone’s inside together, thinking the same ideas.

    Maybe?

    Noah

  • I loved the final episode(s). To me it made perfect sense that they had become lost (heh) inside some sort of pre-afterlife. I’m a little confused as to how Desmond was able to jump into it and back (rather than the traditional time travel he seemed to be doing – unless, off course, he only ever jumped forward into some sort of afterlife where Eloise was aware of everything that happened.

    [EDITED TO REMOVE SOME STUFF — love, the management]

    I had a few questions unresolved about Lost, that kinda make me want to watch the whole thing again. For one, wasn’t Smokie not allowed to directly kill Jacob or any of the candidates? Now I’m sure he stuck a big knife in Jack’s side with the intention of killing him. I’m also pretty sure (but might be wrong) that Mr Eko was a candidate – his name appearing amongst all the others – and yet didn’t he get killed by Smokie?

    Other things like dead people appearing off the island – Christian appearing to Michael to tell him he could go now before the freighter blew up. How could Smokie do that?

    Loved the fact the hole in the cavern seemed plugged by a giant stopper not entirely unlike that one in the bottle of wine Jacob explained how the island held in evil away from the world.

  • As we say over here – bugger. Apologies for spoiling stuff – I hadn’t really counted on people who watch it not having watched it yet.

    *slaps face*

    One other thing about Lost – did the dead people that Hurley kept seeing ever correlate with the versions that appeared in the ‘waiting room’? Because I remember stuff like Charlie talking to him at the hospital, and Anna Lucia telling him that Libby said hi – and yet there was nothing to suggest that the people we saw on the other side had any knowledge that they were dead and could’ve skipped over to the real world. Most obvious in Anna Lucia’s case since she doesn’t even seem to recognise the characters the last we see of her.

  • Sneaking in here to make a couple of comments now that I have finally WATCHED the last episodes. (Got really lucky and read/saw/heard any spoilers – so Yay!)

    The shoe in the bamboo looked a lot like the shoes Jack’s father wore in the funeral home. And like one of the peeps earlier said, rolled back to the 1st episode.

    I might be alone, but those last pics with the credits? I didn’t take them as a new crash. Just an empty set shot from the beginning of the mess. (I can be dense though…)

    Anyway, to me, the whole sideways line was to show us what it was the peeps were protecting. This place, this journey, and the moving on are what the light on the island is! That’s why when the doors were opened there was the yellow light. Basically these people helped guard the place and process that we all will get to go through once we’re gone. If black smoke had won, that ability to reach peace and move on would have been gone.

    I was pretty much crying my eyes out the last hour of it. lol. And I’d forgotten about the blonde for Sayid! So that was an awesome surprise! I dunno, I liked it. Next day and still do.

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