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"Lost" finale: complete rubbish! (right?)

Akrasia

Lord of Procrastination
Validated User
So ... I just watched the final episode of "Lost".

(Yes, I'm somewhat behind the times. :) I don't bother with cable anymore, and just wait for the TV series I like to come out on DVD. And season 6 of "Lost" just came out. So I impatiently watched it all in 3 days. And now I feel ... :( and :mad: .)

I'm sure that this was discussed already here (probably at length) when the finale aired on TV months ago. But I can't find any such thread now (feel free to link to one). So I'm just going to vent a bit now.

What a piece of crap. I can't believe how awful it was. It's the sort of 'finale' that a high-school student would write after realizing that she had no idea how to end her story. Nothing was explained.

I'm still in shock. And I'm pissed off that I wasted watching 16 episodes (this season alone!) for such a horrible, lame conclusion. *sigh*

My complaints:

1) The entire "alternative timeline" story was the "afterlife". (Apparently Limbo, Purgatory, or something like that -- whatever it was, it was a lame 'Interfaith'/'Unitarian' afterlife, judging by the multicultural/multireligious iconography in the 'church'. If it had to be some kind of 'afterlife' nonsense, at least they could have made it some kick-ass Egyptian afterlife, which at least would have made some sense, given the statue of Taweret, the ankhs, etc.). What an utterly lame way to wrap things up.

But this feature of the final episode -- which alone is deeply irritating -- was not nearly as bad as...

2) Nothing about the "Island" itself was really explained! We never found out anything about what it was, why it could travel through time and space, what the 'energy' it contained was, who exactly "Jacob" was (and why he could live forever [sorta], and why he could influence other peoples lives in the ways he did, etc.), what/who exactly the "smoke monster" was (including why it couldn't harm Jacob thanks to their faux mother, etc.), and many other things that I'm no doubt forgetting right now. I wasn't expecting everything to be explained (although that would have been nice). I would have been satisfied had a few things been explained about the Island. But pretty much nothing was explained...

Damn that J. J. Abrams. He is a master of the immediate plot-twist, but complete crap when it comes to the 'big picture'. Of course, I should have known better, given what he did with the "Alias" finale (although that still made more sense than this one!).

Am I missing something? Did this ending really not suck? Or did I just expect too much (i.e., something interesting, surprising, and that made at least partial sense of the Island)? Or was it, as Max Read of Gawker put it, "incredibly dumb", a series that "it ended in the worst way possible"?
 
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Caldorian

Member
RPGnet Member
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You probably excpected a rational explanation of the happenings in an emotional drama whose core consisted of the characters' personal issues, while the mystery was just the catalyst for exploring these issues. What you got was a very emotional conclusion to the character conflicts, without any real explanations.

I found it highly satisfying on an emotional level. Then again, I couldn't care less about what exactly the Island is supposed to be. For me, the show never was about the mystery. (EDIT: At least not exclusively... Of course, the mystery succeeded to draw me in.)
 

Akrasia

Lord of Procrastination
Validated User
You probably excpected a rational explanation of the happenings in an emotional drama whose core consisted of the characters' personal issues, while the mystery was just the catalyst for exploring these issues. What you got was a very emotional conclusion to the character conflicts, without any real explanations.

I found it highly satisfying on an emotional level. Then again, I couldn't care less about what exactly the Island is supposed to be. For me, the show never was about the mystery. (EDIT: At least not exclusively... Of course, the mystery succeeded to draw me in.)
I guess that's fair. :)

Personally, I didn't find it satisfying "on an emotional level", because it seemed like a cheap trick. (Although perhaps this reflects a nontheist-theist divide over whether an 'afterlife reconciliation' is a convincing way to resolve 'personal issues'? I'm a nontheist, btw.)

My irritation is at the 'false advertising'. Science fiction? Fantasy? Mythology? Something else? If it had stuck to any of those, I would have been happy. But really, the finale doesn't make sense in any of those categories (AFAIK).

I guess that all the focus on physics, metaphysics, time travel, mythology, etc., led me to believe to believe that there was going to be some kind of explanation. I would have been happy had they gone either route (fantasy or sci-fi). I would have been happy with even a minimal mythological explanation ('Jacob' is really 'Osiris' and thus 'Christ' -- would that have been so hard?).

On an emotional level, I cried a lot during the final episode. But those tears felt stolen after I watched the final 15 minutes.

I'm grateful for your reply.
 

Trilobite

This space intentionally left blank.
Validated User
Yeah, I'm with Caldorian on this one; from very early on in the series, I pegged Lost as a series about the characters rather than a series about the island, so I neither expected nor really wanted any "answers" from the finale other than to see what happened with the characters. I think they delivered that, and for the most part I was happy with it. (Which is surprising, because my tolerance for spirituality is very low, and ordinarily I'd think that an afterlife/walk-into-the-light ending would've bugged me, but not in this case.)

I couldn't care less about what the island was supposed to be -- what they gave on that front was enough to satisfy me. I grasped enough of the "rules" of the island to be able to simply accept it for what it is, and didn't feel any great desire to have it explained to me in greater detail.

But I get why the finale bothered other people who were more invested in the mythology of it all than I was. (Now, I'm not sure how anyone thought that they were going to get a giant infodump of backstory and metaphysics in the final episode, given that there was still a story about the characters to wrap up, but I suppose that's something that only seems obvious in hindsight.)
 

bentleyml

Strange Apparition
Validated User
I quite enjoyed the series finale. Not usually a spiritual person, but I liked the more spiritual end to Lost.
 

Akrasia

Lord of Procrastination
Validated User
... (Now, I'm not sure how anyone thought that they were going to get a giant infodump of backstory and metaphysics in the final episode, given that there was still a story about the characters to wrap up, but I suppose that's something that only seems obvious in hindsight.)
I wasn't expecting a complete "infodump". I just wanted something to help explain things. I was willing to cut all kinds of slack (metaphysically speaking). A few allusions to Egyptian Mythology and/or speculative physics would have sufficed. But they didn't even give me that. They gave me nothing.

I have no problem with fantasy/sci-fi stories that focus on 'characters' instead of 'metaphysics/physics/mythology'. I'm a huge fan of P.K. Dick and M. Moorcock. But I was hoping at least lip service to the metaphysics/physics/mythology.

I guess that I found the episode extremely emotional and powerful until the last 15 minutes. At that point, once I realized that everyone was dead and no (minimal) explanation of the Island was forthcoming, I felt robbed.
 

Akrasia

Lord of Procrastination
Validated User
By the way, I realize now that I had a lot of emotional investment in this season. Perhaps this is why that I reacted so badly to the conclusion.

It does support Caldorian's point that the series was primarily about characters and their relationships. I guess that I just feel robbed by the way that those characters and relationships were treated in the conclusion.
 

Rikimaru

Ninja Comedian
Validated User
In anticipation of the finale, I started watching Lost recently. I had quit at the end of Season 2 so I had 3 to 4 years to catch up on. Now, maybe it was watching it all in one quick burst rather than spaced out week by week, but it seemed clear to me that there was never going to be any explanations.

Sure, the show drew focus to the metaphysics of it all, but every time it did the info you get doesn't quite fit with what came before. It doesn't contradict itself, but it doesn't feel like you've learned the next part of the mystery either. More like they've just made up another filler fact to keep the characters on their journeys.

So it seemed clear to me from the end of Season 4 that it was all about the character arcs, and that the info we get about the island was Lost's equivalent of Trek's technobabble.

If the show had had it all planned out all along and fed us bits and pieces along the way, some kind of explanation would have worked quite well in the last episode, but I don't think they ever had one.

So when the finale didn't actually attempt to explain anything I was actually quite relieved. It would have been awful to pull a 180 and try to explain it then after having fed up 6 years of made up nonsense. :)
 

Future Villain Band

Super Moderator
Moderator
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At this point I've probably written about a hundred pages about the last season of LOST, buried somewhere in the archives here as the episodes came out. Suffice it to say, I found the ending of LOST to be very satisfying. I also think there were plenty of answers there although at some point, you get to the point where they have to shrug and say, "It's wizards!" I'm also going to say that I don't think that Earth 2 was purgatory.
 

Dropkicker

Part Time Dilettante
Validated User
By the way, I realize now that I had a lot of emotional investment in this season. Perhaps this is why that I reacted so badly to the conclusion.
Same here.

It does support Caldorian's point that the series was primarily about characters and their relationships. I guess that I just feel robbed by the way that those characters and relationships were treated in the conclusion.
The whole mystery vs. character show discussion was beaten soundly to death in May but I will offer my opinion anyway and be done. If the show hadn't been promoted so heavily as being about the mysteries, the finale wouldn't have been so disappointing. The ending we got is probably the best we could hope for but IMO saying it was all about the characters was just a fig leaf to cover up lazy writing. YMWV.
 
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