The finale of Lost aired in the UK at five AM on Monday morning, bringing the story of the survivors of Oceanic flight 815 to a close. As with my previous post about Ashes to Ashes, whilst I could probably get away with writing this post without mentioning what was going on I couldn’t write it without mentioning what wasn’t. So if you’ve not seen the finale, and don’t want to be spoiled, please stop reading now, I’ll see you next week.
Bringing Lost to an end was always going to be a difficult task. So many characters, stories, and mysteries to tie up. For such a diverse range of viewers; for those who watched it for the relationships, to the avid fan-boys who over-analysed every scene looking for the clue that would give away what was going on. And, those viewers were always going to have their own specific needs from the finale. ‘Difficult’ was probably the wrong word.
After the stella ‘Across the sea’ in which we found out what Jacobs role was on The Island, and the awesome ‘What they died for’ in which we saw Jack volunteer for that same role, it all got a bit too much for me so I got up at ten to five on Monday to watch the finale on Sky 1. In all honesty, it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t wait to find out what happened, it was that I didn’t want to have the finale spoiled for me. So I crept into the living room, set the volume on the television to seven, and watched the story I’ve watched avidly for the past six years come to a close.
When Jack closed his eyes I didn’t know what to say, or think. I loved it, I enjoyed every minute of it. It was beautiful, poetic – one of my friends, Jemma, described it as “just what I wanted it to be like ,without even knowing it,” – which it was, and it ended in a way that – until the finale – I didn’t see coming. Within the first few episodes of this season it seemed clear that the ‘flash-sideways‘ were a happily-ever-after for the survivors, but it wasn’t clear as to how that sideways-reality had come about it. Was it the bomb that went off at the end of season five? Was it whatever Widmore wanted Desmond to do? Was it…? I spent a good half an hour or so after one episode drawing a diagram of time-lines, trying to work out where the ‘side-ways’ could have stemmed from, and watching The Jen’s eyes slowly glaze over, but nowhere on that diagram was a plane of existence between heaven and earth that they had made for themselves. It was only when Jin and Sun were ‘enlightened,’ and saw themselves die, that I got just what was going on. I do know some people who didn’t like it; “if they’re queuing for heaven, I’m going to throw a f***ing tantrum.” I’ve read since that a lot of people loved it up until the final ten minutes. But if you were surprised that faith was a major factor in what was going on, then I think you may have been watching a different television series.
I’ve also read some arguments about when the characters died; a popular one being that none of them survived the initial plane crash, and either that all the characters were having “an unconscious collective dream,” or that it was a grand delusion Jack was having as he died. Another being that all the characters died when they detonated the bomb at the end of season five. But I can’t understand how people have come to these conclusions. I’ve noticed on message boards that people seem to get a bit tetchy when they’ve voiced a theory similar to these and are criticised or asked to explain themselves (I’ve so far resisted the urge to do either) and will claim that Lost is open to interpretation, which it is, but not to that extent, and especially not when that interpretation is completely wrong. Bear with me a minute; Pick a character, Sayid for example, and try fitting his story into any those theories; he ‘survives’ the crash of flight 815 ~ after three months or so he finally escapes from The Island ~ chooses to come back ~ gets killed ~ comes back to life (although possibly now as evil side-kick to the smoke monster) ~ redeems himself by saving some people on a submarine, and is killed (again) ~ in sideways world he holds Shannon’s hand, realises that they are both in-fact dead, and then goes to a church in order to move on. If The Island was a collective dream, or a delusion, then what is the point of having The Island and the sideways world? And why would their relationships on The Island matter to them so much, if they didn’t really happen in the first place? Those theories are just plain wrong. “Everyone dies sometime kiddo. Some before you son, some long after you.”
Where the finale left me wanting though, were the questions that we were encouraged to ask in this finale season, which didn’t get answered;
Did the bomb actually detonate at the end of season five? And was it, or did it prevent, the Incident?
What did Widmore intend for Desmond to do?
Just what did Desmond think that Widmore wanted him to do on The Island?
Did Island-Desmond know what the sideways world was? And how did he come to be there?
How was it that Jacob could leave The Island, but MIB couldn’t?
And… I’ll add more when I think of them.
As for questions that we’ve been encouraged to ask in past seasons, I think that I’m most disappointed that we didn’t really get any answers to any of the science or time-travel stuff. Which I could list, but this post is probably long enough as it is. And as I’ve just had e-mailed from my good friend Martin; “So many questions, so many things which make me shake my first aloft Basil Fawlty style.” I really should stop wearing that cravat, tweed jacket, and fake moustache.
I’ve watched The End twice so far, and it truly was a stunning piece of television. The story of the survivors of Oceanic flight 815 was brought to a beautiful and fitting end. However, I’m not entirely convinced that it was enough.