I saw this reader comment on a Lost article that I read today, and found that it summed up my general reaction to the finale --
I enjoyed the finale… but I’m left feeling like the finale didn’t fit the history of the show. The first 5 seasons seemed to have been revealed to all be about the ‘light vs dark’… and this final season had been building the big showdown with the MIB. Then the finale comes along and diverts the attention to all the reunions. I agree that it was great to see all of the ‘awakening’ moments… but it seemed that all of the tension and mythology that had been building was wasted. A quick fight on the cliff top, plug the hole again and it’s over. From a character point of view it was a hugely satisfying finale… however the island story seemed to fizzle to nothing."
That being said, I haven't read any in depth analyses (is that the correct pluralization?) of last night's series finale. These are just my thought on the episode. They may or may not be true, and I may have some details wrong, as I'm prone to forget things.
Emotionally Manipulated, Big Time...
The awakening and reunion moments were nice, but looking back on the finale I felt like I was being distracted from all the other stories, questions, and mysteries that had been developed over the past 6 years. Was this finale really the best possible way to end the 6 years of smoke monsters, Hurley birds, four-toed statues, and time travel? I don't think you can say it was.
It was, however, a fantastic finale to all of the emotions that were built up in season 1. Honestly, all of the tears that I shed last night were based on season 1 memories. That's where my heart has always been, and I think the producers did an excellent job of wrapping that up for us.
So much, so much of Lost was all about Island hocus pocus. They dropped the ball big time when it came to finishing any of those story arcs.
As a series, Lost suffered from some poor planning (or lack thereof) and story management. I'm 100% fine with the show ending on a character-heavy episode, but the writers should have shifted the primary focus away from the Dharma/Others/Widmore/
I never expected to receive all of the answers to the questions the series posed, but I did, absolutely yes, expect some. But...
Ok With Not Knowing Everything...
Because I guess none of it matters anymore. Who cares why Walt was special, or what the deal was with pregnant women, or how a shining light can turn someone into a Smoke Monster? The writers of Lost seem to be telling us that the answer to the show's mysteries, both big and small, is simply, 'because.' Or at least, 'In this time and place for the characters, the answer is simply, 'because.''
Even though I would have preferred to know more about the Island, I'm fine with it. If I had to leverage knowing the answers to the Island's mysteries against the emotional payoff we were offered from seeing the castaways reunited, safe, happy, and progressing, I would choose the latter.
Happy To The Point of Tears About...
Claire having her baby and saying, 'It's Aaron!' I bawled. I knew all along they would take care of Aaron (and Ji Yeon).
Claire and Charlie remembering each other. I bawled uncontrollably. I posit that they were the best Lost couple ever.
Jack telling Desmond that he had done enough, then telling him that he would put the stone back into place. Oh, man. So heart wrenching. That was a moment for all of the Desmond fans out there (of whom I occasionally considered myself). It was good turnabout for battle weary Desmond.
Locke, oh Locke. Freedom and peace at last. But, he's moving on without Helen!
Jack's Island death was very well played, in my opinion. Completely epic. I loved it. I thought it was beautiful. I loved that Vincent was there (who else thinks that Vincent and Jack's son were somehow connected?). I was so happy that he was ok, completely and totally ok, at long last. I was strangely proud of him for taking himself back to the place he started and laying himself down to peacefully die. I loved that he smiled when the plane flew over head. All in all, I just downright loved that whole moment.
Everyone moving on together. I'm glad the main players were there, and I'm glad that they were going someplace positive as healed and whole people.
Locke, again. Just everything about Locke. God bless John Locke. Seriously, he carried the show, and the writers deserve much praise for the way they handled his character.
I really, really wanted Ben to go inside the chapel. I know he did some terrible things, but, come on, so did Sayid! It made me cry that he wasn't moving on with everyone else, but I loved the moment that they gave him with Locke. That tore my heart out and ripped it to shreds. Actually, I'm tearing up right now just thinking about it. Even though I was sad, I was also proud of him for taking his time with the whole process and trying to make peace with himself.
Jack died alone. I thought it was a beautiful moment, but it still made me sad. More than any other moment in the finale, that scene really drove home the point that it's all over -- the series, the stories, the characters, everything.
Desmond's theory about letting the light drain didn't work. I really want that to happen. So, that stream is just sitting there again, ready to be destroyed by some other bad seed? Not happy about that. I've realized that as much as I loved the mysteries surrounding the Island, I really wanted the Island to stop being the Island at the end of the finale. I wanted all the magic to disappear, I wanted the spells to be broken.
The show was so Jack centric, and so was the finale. At the same time, I have to admit that it was an easy way to neatly bookend a story that bounced all over the map.
The music was trying so hard to elicit my emotions. It was beautiful, no question about it, but after a certain point I felt like it was too much. The finale was packed with poignant moments that didn't always need such heavy scoring.
Flocke just kinda...died. While I'm happy that they didn't waste time on a huge battle between him and Jack, I guess I just wanted something a little bigger.
The silhouette shot of Jack and Flocke on the cliff. Jack jumping down the cliff towards Flocke all Brad Pitt in Troy style. Hawe-some.
I loved, loved the scene between Hurley and Ben outside of the cave. I loved what Ben said to Hurley about not having to do things the way Jacob did. I thought that was awesome, and, to me it proved that these 'rules' aren't universal truths. Just as you can step into them, you can step out of them.
I loved that Hurley gave Ben what he so desperately needed, what we all need, really -- not to be number one on our own, but to be someone's number 2. To be needed by someone you can trust. To have a purpose and the chance to prove yourself and seek redemption.
I love that Jack knew that Hurley was meant to be the long-term Island guardian. I love that the key to Hurley's leadership was just to be nice to everyone.
Crap, I'm crying again!
I liked the idea that the characters had created the Sideways World by the power of their heart's desires and the need to find a place of peace where they could find each other and move on to something better. I think we all have a sideways world that we've built for ourselves. It's a place to find the people we're connected to, to start what couldn't be started before, to finish what couldn't be finished, to forgive and ask forgiveness, and on and on.
I laughed when...
Hurley said Jacob was worse than Yoda.
Miles said he didn't believe in much, but he did believe in duct tape.
Sawyer/James met the Kwons in the hospital room. I loved the look on Jin's face when he addressed Sawyer as 'detective.' Hilarious.
When the next group of Islanders will leave.
Didn't Desmond tell Eloise that Daniel would eventually leave, just not with him? I'm glad the producers gave us the comfort of knowing that all of our favorites will eventually have their own departing experience.
My thoughts On Time Travel/The Nuts and Bolts of Sideways World...
Well, Christian pretty much summed it up. Where is here? When is here? I believe that everyone is still tied to the reality that we know. Kate, Sawyer, Lapidus, Miles and Richard got off the island and lived. Hurley and Ben stayed and ran things together ('You were a great number one.' 'You were a great number two.'Oh, the tears.) Jack died. He joined the ranks of the other castaways who had previously died -- Charlie, Boon, Shannon, Locke, Sayid, etc. That's where they all stand in what we would call the present.
As far as all the people in Sideways world, as Christian said, some of them are dead, some of them are alive and will die many years after Jack did. I don't think it matters in Sideways World if you are alive or dead in the present. I don't think Sideways World is connected to 'time' as we know it. Alive or dead, the whole group was moving on at the same time. I think 'leaving' meant letting go of the Island experience and all of their emotional baggage. I think it meant going someplace where they could be free. Where, specifically, that is in space and time, I don't know, and I don't think that matters. Are Kate and Sawyer 'alive' now someplace? Probably, since we saw the plane leave the Island. But I think that Kate and Sawyer were also sitting in that church and moving on with their alive and dead castaway counterparts.
Yeah, that pretty much sums up what I think about the 'Where are they?' issue -- The individual soul is the sum of the parts, and those parts don't have to be together in the same time or space.
My Thoughts On Destiny...
The Island was a crucible for the castaways. Was it solely Jacob's will that brought them there, or did a fate that worked in Jacob's life also work in theirs to tie them to that mysterious place? I like that idea better, that Jacob never controlled their circumstances -- at least not in the eternal long run -- that something bigger was at play. Jacob may have brought them to the Island, and while the Island was the backdrop for their experiences, I honestly believe that each of the castaways had it in themselves to reach the same spiritual wholeness off the Island that they accomplished through their experiences on the Island. I just think that the Island was the best place for them to do so, or even better, a place of last resort for them. Mother said that each person has the Light inside of them, and I think that if people nurture that light it will take them wherever it is they eventually want/need to go.
Some people say that Lost argues against destiny, and I may agree with that on some points, but I think the series argues strongly in favor of the destiny of progression, meaning that the natural direction of the human spirit is towards something brighter and happier than the present. A higher plane of self-awareness is waiting for all of us somewhere out there, and we will head there with the people that helped us achieve that state.
So, I only have two questions left...
Is some part of each of us trying to get off an island somewhere?
When will our awakening come?