Saturday, 29 May 2010

Lost: how I found the finale

Lost has been a part of Lauren's and my life since almost the beginning of the show.  We started watching it together during the first season, before we started going out. We've been glued to the screen when the Others took Walt, when Ben turned the wheel, when Juliet exploded the bomb.
So last week we were, of course, feverishly anticipating the final episode. But we were also a bit worried. We've loved the characters and their back stories, the humour, the weirdness, the tangled plots. After six years though, how could they tie up all the plotlines, reconcile the two 'alternate worlds' of the final season and explain the many mysteries? Would the end be one big fizzer?
Thankfully, no. The finale was flawed but satisfying - like the show as a whole.
The ending has divided viewers. A lot of questions were left unanswered. The sixth season answered a lot of the long-running mysteries of the show - even if the explanation of what the island was was all very vague and mystical - but off the top of my head, we still don't know why the Monster killed Mr Eko, why women died during their second trimester, the nature and cause of the infection, what the deal with the giant statue and all the other Egyptian stuff was, or the full story behind the Dharma Initiative.
My biggest disappointment though was the lack of Mr Eko, one of our favourite characters. It was great seeing almost all the other dead or departed main characters (except Walt and Michael - perhaps the ghost of Michael needs to get over his purgatory on the island before he can move on with his son, as Ben has to deal with his remaining issues) show up, and I expected Mr Eko to make an appearance. Perhaps as a priest in the church at the end - that would have been appropriate and satisfying. However, if you believe this piece of gossip from the E Channel, it was just a case of the actor and the studio not being able to establish a fee. Lame.
Hopefully the DVD's special features provide more answers and some Eko.
However, because the show became famous (or infamous) for its bizarreness and myriad of unanswered questions - which both put a lot of viewers off and while keeping the devoted hanging on for resolution - it's easy to forget that Lost was more about characters than plots. And in terms of characters, the final was a deeply satisfying.
The revelation that the parallel world was some sort of pre-afterlife afterlife where the characters would meet and deal with some of their issues really worked. There was always a lingering feeling that things were too perfect in that world, that lives crossed too much to be coincidental. And it made the reunions of the characters who had died tragic and sometimes pointless deaths more meaningful. Both the idea that we have to leave our baggage behind and move on - a recurring theme of the show - and the idea that it is the people we know best who help give meaning to our lives are well, really quite meaninful.
And all those reunions? Cheesy maybe, but I nearly cried a few times - particularly when Juliet met Sawyer by the candy machine. Wonderful. Especially as his 'constant' wasn't Kate!
The final season of Lost wasn't its best - that'd be the first and (Lauren argues) fifth seasons. There were some awkward plot shortcuts - like Widmore's hurried explanation that Jacob had made him see 'the error of my ways' - and it was annoying that Ilana didn't get a proper backstory. It felt like the season was an episode short.
But for all that there were some cracking episodes - the back stories of Richard, Jacob and the Man in Black among them. The deaths of Jin and Sun were deeply moving. Hugo was, as always, excellent. And Jack and Kate, who I thoroughly wanted dead by the end of the third season, continued their rise back into being good characters.  Despite my Eko disappointment, both the final episode and the final season have settled well into my head.
Now, like the plane, like Jack's soul, it's time to move on. At least until the DVD.


  1. Walt perhaps couldn't return because he's an adult now and it would look funny ...

  2. Yep, Mr Eko wanted 5 times as much money as they were willing to pay him. He was meant to be around for the whole series, but wanted off the island, so was written out. I'm gonna venture that Smokie killed Eko because Eko wasn't a candidate, and therefore expendable/killable.

    The Egyptian stuff was answered satisfactorily: The island has been around for a long time, and has moved around the world - at some point, Egyptians probably found it. The fertility statue was probably built in order to combat the fertility problem, which maybe returned when it was knocked over.

    My guess is Smokie, unable to kill candidates, at least tried to prevent more being born by making it impossible to concieve on the island. I don't think MIB Smokie was the first - it was hinted that his 'Mother' had strange powers similar to his - and the Egyptians drew images of the Smoke monster around the island.

    Or... the fertility problems began with the Incident, which is plausible.

    I think the mysteries are great - keeps us talking - and in a way we saw the island from the point of view of the characters - who never found out completely what the hell was going on in the end, really.

    Anyway... - Dan.