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June 4, 2010

Lost: The Finale

When Lost began it felt like a rarity: a mainstream smash hit that blatantly revelled in large dollops of Science Fiction and deliberately hid the answers. Not many would have guessed its success, yet it was successful, in main by concentrating on the characters, the heart of any good story. Those who objected to all the Sci-Fi nonsense were hooked in by the slowly revealed mosaic of the characters' lives, those who loved all the Sci-Fi nonsense (me!) derived extra enjoyment from the sheer bonkers plot. 

Despite enjoying the story, a chunk of the mainstream public became obsessed with "answers". Whilst I became a little nervous that perhaps the makers of Lost would crumble under the  pressure of this quest and that JJ would open his mystery box to ruin everything (especially after the Jacob and Smoke Monster back-story). 

Why did people crave more answers? Answers have been handed out through pretty much every season of the show. Perhaps these people weren't paying attention? Perhaps they were looking for the ultimate truth? Those people will always be disappointed, there is no ultimate truth: The Smoke Monster was a monster, The Island was a magical island. It's not important, these items are the scaffolding for the story, a wonderful, engaging, joyous story. A story with an end that was uplifting and perfectly satisfying.

What did the finale give us? Firstly, The final confrontation between The Smoke Monster and our heroes. What we assumed was the end of the story, but with regards to The Island it's just another chapter. It came down to Jack versus (not really) Locke and both died. Jack eventually finding peace with the realisation of his destiny. Symmetrical and finally ending the thread that began at the start of the Lost story. The final scene an exact mirror of the first scene, just as JJ had always imagined it. Some of our heroes escaped: happily Sawyer finally left The Island, with Kate and Claire and Miles and The Pilot in the crazy semi-crashed plane. Hopefully Miles and Sawyer do become cops in their life after The Island. Hurley stayed on The Island with Ben to be the new Guardians. Desmond was left half dead and stranded with the two of them. Everyone else was dead! All of which sounds perfunctory, merely tying up the threads, and on its own it would have been just that, however the genius of the episode was the flash sideways thread, which the whole season has been joyous, and set up the finale in a beautiful manner.

I had assumed that the alternative reality (or flash sideways if you prefer) was the story of our heroes redemptions: what they could have been, what they should have been. It was payback for all the time we had invested in their characters, a happy moment to watch their potential. Then Said turned bad and Desmond ran Locke over, before turning into the all-knowing puppet master. Right up until quite near the end I hadn't realised what was going on, but the final revelation that the alternate world was the after-life was handled brilliantly. It could have been so cheesey, but instead all of the characters found their love or found their peace, meeting up to say one final goodbye. I absolutely loved the moments where the characters remembered their time on The Island: Claire and Charlie meeting was one of my highlights. Yes it was sentimental and nostalgic, but it was also warm and loving and quite brilliant. A perfect way to finish.

The finale did not disappoint.

Thank you to everyone involved in the making of Lost. You made a classic and I loved it.

Truly, truly wonderful. 

1 Comment

Good review. Great series ending.