What the hell just happened for the last 6 years?
I talked about it more at my old blog than I have here, but Lost is one of the only TV shows I bother with anymore. And despite what a lot of fans are feeling this morning, I don’t think following it was a waste of time. Somehow, writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse created a final episode that was maddeningly obtuse and greatly satisfying all at once. Which, as Alan Sepinwall points out, sums up the entire series:
Ultimately, “Lost” didn’t succeed because of the mythology. We’ve seen too many examples of mythology-heavy, character-light series fail over the last six years to think that. “Lost” succeeded on emotion, whether that emotion was fear of the monster in the jungle, or grief over Juliet dying, or joy at Desmond reuniting with Penny, or thrills at Sayid’s breakdance fighting and Hurley riding to the rescue in the Dharma bus. When “Lost” was really and truly great, it locked you so deep into the emotions of the moment that the larger questions didn’t really matter.
Yeah, for such a sparsely populated island, it sure did have a lot of blind alleys. Some of those once-and-future unanswered questions I gave up on a long time ago: What was up with Walt’s psychic powers, and how were they going to explain the way he went from Gary Coleman to LeBron James overnight? Why did the Others need fake beards, anyway? And some still bug me: How the heck was the island able to time-travel? How come it’s invisible to the outside world? If “Dead Is Dead,” how did Sayid come back from the, uh, dead?
The most disappointing part is that they never explained what the island actually is, other than the home of some sort of mysterious ancient Egyptian hot tub of evil that we only learned about a couple weeks ago. (Which had the weirdest plumbing. Since when does pulling the stopper on a bathtub make the faucet stop running?) Watching it, there was still a part of me that said, “Okay, at least they’re going to explain who or what is doing all this stuff. They have to give us that much, right?” Guess not.
But putting nitpicky things like logic and common sense aside, the character moments were almost perfect. Some of them seemed shoehorned in, like the way Sayid and Shannon hooked back up. But the way they brought everybody back together in Purgatory or Heaven’s waiting room or whatever that place was… “Closure” a word that’s greatly overused, but it’s as good as any. It felt like the story of those characters was complete, even with all the loose ends. That last scene between Jack and his dad was one of the best things those guys have ever written. I started getting annoyed with Jack somewhere around, oh, the third episode of the entire series. But finally, at the very last minute, they made me like him. They made me want him to be okay. They made me glad I followed his story, and the story of all of them, all the way to The End. Even if it was, quite literally, a shaggy dog.
So what did you hate about it?