Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost Rehash: “The End”

LostTheEnd It’s still very hard for me to put into words exactly how I feel about the end of LOST.  A one word descriptor would be “perfect.”  Part of me wants to give it a little more time before thinking about it.  Heck, I lay awake last night for a while thinking about it and what it all meant.  In short, this post will just be a brief rambling of my thoughts.  It’s also a memento to a wonderful series that has finally came to a close.  Heck, it’s also me closing a chapter in my life, as cheesy as that sounds.  I’ve been with the show since it started, and it’s been huge, so for me, the finale was rather momentous.  It was odd watching the last show, knowing that it was going to end and this would be it.  To celebrate, I had a finale party, where I made a DHARMA themed pizza (seen below)!

What Happened, Happened

  • The Island was real.  Oceanic 815 crashed in September of 2004.  The survivors struggled against insurmountable odds and mystical elements to stay alive.  People found joy in life on the Island, despite the hardships.  And in the end, through time-travel and magical deity things, through pain and death, through choices right and wrong, one man found himself and learned to let go.
  • The Flash-sideways was a type of limbo.  It’s purpose was to serve as a place for the survivors to meet up and move on together.  Christian said it perfectly.  “There is no now here.”  Some people lived long lives (like Hurley and Ben) before they died and entered the FS.  Others died on the Island (Jack, Charlie, etc.)  And some people weren’t ready to let go and move on from their limbo (like Ben, Faraday, etc.)
  • Michael and the other whisperers are noticeably absent from the FS.  But, taking Michael at his word, he’s condemned to the Island because of the wrongs he’d done.  He’s unable to pass on.
  • The ending scene has been speculated for a while, with Jack laying down in the bamboo grove and closing his eye.  Still, seeing the look of euphoric happiness on his face as he watches the Ajira plane fly overhead was a powerful scene.  I think that everything we’ve seen on the Island has been one big flashback, beginning with Jack opening his eye in “The Pilot” and ending when he closes it in death.  It’s like the “life flashes before your eyes” saying, and Jack is seeing his life unfold before him.  Again, the joy on his face of seeing his friends leave is moving.
  • Desmond’s line was spot on.  Truthfully, it didn’t really matter about Jacob and MiB.  All the mythology and craziness of the Island was not important in the end.  Ultimately, what mattered was Jack’s choice to sacrifice himself for the Island and for the people he’d grown to love.
  • The reunion with Christian was also predictable, but again, it was very powerful.  For six seasons Jack has been chasing his father, trying to put him to rest, and finally he get’s his chance (sort of).  I liked the symbolism of the empty coffin, of how death really wasn’t a constraint.
  • I love it that Hurley wound up being the ultimate replacement for Jacob and that Ben got to be the Richard-like advisor.
  • The Jimmy Kimmel Live special afterwards was pretty good, too.  Rather funny, I say.
  • I liked the cliff-side fight between Jack and Locke.  Beautiful scenes.
  • Initially I thought that the losties would be moving on to the Island, but I think that is completely incorrect now.  They’re moving on to the afterlife, to the final destination, and it’s important that it’s left ambiguous on the show (since the show was very pan-religious and cross-cultural).
  • I can’t really think of anything I didn’t like in this episode.  It was handled wonderfully, and the cast performed brilliantly once again.  It’s sad to see such an excellent group of actors bid farewell to the Island, but I’m excited to see where many of them go.
  • I’m still not entirely sure what the Island is, why it’s special, and a few other things, but I’m satisfied with that, too.  There’s no real reason in knowing.  Like life, we experience so many things that are beyond our control and we don’t understand them.  That’s what happened to the survivors.  Their lives took them to some faraway Island that was crucial for the fate of the world, but ultimately, they all died.  And really, the character journeys from being lost to found were the important things in the show, not the crazy Island.
  • Thanks, LOST.  Thanks for being an excellent show.  Thanks to the wonderful actors, brilliant writers, amazing directors, beautiful musicians, and everybody else responsible for the series.  It was an awesome ride that is going to be sorely missed.DHARMA Swan pizza, uncooked
    Cooked Namaste!


Jonathan Francis said...

Ok, SOOO glad that you don't think they died in the original plane crash. That seems to be a belief that's gaining steam. I am curious as to why they chose the shot of the plane wreckage for the credits, but maybe it was just that...a shot for the credits.

I think the last image of the show was meant to be Jack's eye closing. THAT is when we see the LOST logo flash, sadly, for the final time. Getting ready to post my full thoughts on the blog.

Great post.

logankstewart said...

Aye, I wonder about the plane crash footage, too. It could be for the credits, but knowing Lost, it's probably got a deeper meaning.

I agree, though. Jack's eye closing is definitely the final image of the series.

Mattson Tomlin said...

nice pizza.

i found myself slightly disappointed that they committed to this kind of an ending. while it was, in my mind, fairly conclusive, and all the big mysteries that really needed addressing had been addressed as well as they could be, I was kind of hoping they would resist a "lets all hug in slow motion" montage of all the cast. I think I would have been really happy if at the last moment, right as Jack's starting to close his eyes, we hear the taxicab click of the monster again- or some indication that things on the island are going to continue wether we like it or not.

Saje said...

One exception... I like to think that they're not moving on to the "final destination" but the next great adventure. Together.

logankstewart said...

@Mattson: Thanks, and it tasted good, too!

I was actually hoping for a happy ending to the tale. The entire journey was dark and full of unhappy endings, I found it only fitting that their afterlife all be together and full of joy. As for the smoke monster, that would've been cool, but I don't think it would've fit. I believe Jacob created Smokie when he threw his brother in the Light, and really the whole thing could be looked at everybody trying to fix Jacob's mistake. But who knows, eh? Maybe darkness existed before Smokie? Surely. And who's to say Hugo won't make any mistakes?

@Saje: Thanks for stopping by, and I completely agree. They're definitely moving on to their next adventure.

James said...

I came to a lot of similar conclusions. I really like your point about Michael, though I'd like to think Hurley could somehow set him free too.

Amanda said...

I wish I had more time to write, but work is calling. I really enjoyed reading your views of what happened. At first after watching, I was rather in shock. But the more I've thought about it, the happier I am with the ending. I think it was a perfect ending for such a wonderful, crazy show.

I see the island as a physical form of redemption. Like Jacob and Man in Black's "mom" had told them, every man has a piece of the light inside of them. I think the light she referred to is that feeling we get when we feel forgiven of our past wrongs; the feeling of redemption we get. And the reason it had to be protected is that if the light ever went out, if the island was destroyed, mankind would never be redeemed. I think our Losties going there and finding redemption and love on the island shows the redemption physically taking place, while the rest of mankind receives that redemption in their hearts. ... IF any of that makes sense lol :)

I'm so sad it's over. I, too, feel like I've closed a chapter in my life. I know you and I both have went through some of our happiest years (marriage, buying houses, major life changes of that sort) during those six years, and Lost has always been a constant. It's like I've had to say goodbye to some of the greatest friends in the world.

logankstewart said...

@James: Thanks for stopping by. Good point. Hopefully Hurley manages to somehow help the whispers find redemption.

@Amanda: Indeed! I had a few minutes of shock and quiet reflection after it went off, where I just sat there and pondered. I liked it, and I agree, the more I think about it the more I like it.

It's amazing how large the metaphors are in this show. Everything can have so many meanings to different people. Great interpretation of the Island.

Ooh, Lost has been a constant... I like it.

Bilski said...

It's been just over forty minutes since I finished watching the finale and I definitely feel the emotional tug of a chapter of my life closing. Yep, that definitely sounds cheesy, but there it is.

The flash-sideways make so much more sense now, but I still feel like the flash-forwards, the time traveling, and the bomb were all left too open for my taste. And if they let Boone in the finale, freakin' BOONE, why couldn't Michael, Walt, or Ecko be there?

Oh well, I don't want to end on a negative note because I truly do believe the ending was done wonderfully and was very satisfying.

logankstewart said...

@Bill: Yeah, it's cheesy, but it's real, too. I'm still thinking about the finale. Not as much, mind you, but still thinking about it nonetheless.

Michael wasn't in the finale because he's stuck on the Island as whispers and he had no reason to be in the finale. Walt wasn't included in real footage (only as archive footage) because he's like 8ft tall now. And Eko, sadly, wasn't in the finale because the actor wanted too much money for what he was being offered and he refused to budge. I rolled my eyes at Boone & Shannon, but I guess since they both died on the Island and they never were bad then that's why they were allowed.

Glad you think the end was well done, too.

Bilski said...

And yet, the more I think about it the more aggravated I am at many aspects of the end. It seems to me the writers/producers are trying to cheat us by saying that all the plot twists, intrigue, and mysteries are pointless as long as you throw in a heartwarming reunion at the end.

It really feels like all the suspense they built up over the years was tossed aside so that they could build a happy, memorable end that pulls at the heart-strings enough to make fans say 'oh forget all that researching and theorizing we did.'

Questions that need answering (off the top of my head):

-What really happens if Smokey leaves the island? / What was the point in killing unLocke?
-What really happened when the bomb went off?
-So flash-sideways is actually purga-limbo...then what was with the flash forwards and time travel?
-Why did Smokey kill Ecko and countless other characters?
-Why couldn't they kill off Evangeline Lilly? I hate her character so much.

logankstewart said...

1. We're not told directly, but we have to take it at value that if Smokey leaves then the rest of the world will end. Jacob made a mistake in creating the Smoke Monster and he needed to be killed in order to return to Island to a peaceful time.

2. The bomb was the Incident that put the losties back into their real timeline. Since the Island is constantly moving (not necessarily through time, but in this case through time), the losties needed to get back to the present, and Jughead succeeded in putting the survivors back to the future.

3. Are you talking about the Flashforwards from Season 4? If so, then that was the actual original timeline after the Oceanic 6 got off the Island and how they lived their lives until they came back to the Island. The time-traveling is related to the Island's electromagnetism and its magic abilities of being able to move. After Ben turned the donkey wheel, this released enough EM to put the Island in spin. The purpose of this flashing through time was to develop DHARMA a bit more, to play with the "can you change the past" question, and see more powers of the Island.

4. This wasn't answered directly either, but I think there's enough evidence to venture a guess. Smokey believed that people were corruptable and that they were his tools to undermine Jacob. Once they were exploited and useless, Smokey would kill them; or, if they weren't candidates then they would be killed, too.

5. I guess so she could shoot John Locke before he killed Jack. Kate's whole purpose in life was to shoot down a crippled man. What a great character...

I hope that helps, Bill. I've listened to the official podcasts for many months now, and the creators said that every question would not be explicitly answered, but that Lost fans were smart and could figure out the rest.

The biggest question is what exactly is The Island? It really doesn't matter, since we're not really ever concerned about setting in fantasy & sci-fi. If a faraway planet has unique properties, we're cool with that, but if an island on earth has those properties, we need to know everything about it? Nah. To me, the Island is a special place that will always keep its secrets, even from its protectors.

Bilski said...

Thanks for making some pretty satisfying stabs at those questions, Logan. I might never be fully satisfied that Smokey would somehow cause the end of the world when he left (he didn't seem to think so). Being the lazy fan I am, I have another question:

What was the point in microwaving Desmond? I know it was coordinated with his first realization in purga-limbo, but wasn't Charlie the real instigator, not the electromagnet?

Also, am I the only one hoping we'd see some cool inscriptions on the drain plug of light? Maybe everyone's favorite numbers? :D

logankstewart said...

I think it's indirectly destroying the world by Smokey leaving. I think the only way he could leave was if the Light was turned off, but by turning off the Light then the lights in everybody else would soon turn off, and the world would not last long. But who knows?

The way I see Desmond is this: he spends 3 years in the Hatch, pushing the button every 108 minutes. All the while, he's developing a resistance to EM. When the Hatch explodes and he turns the failsafe, he gets an extra boost of resistance, which also helps his mind wake up to a greater cosmic understanding. Once he's microwaved by Widmore, his mind wakes up once again, but this time with the greatest of understanding: he knows how it will end. This is his driving force with everything else he does on the Island.

In the FSW, once his mind is awakened, he's a bit confused for a while. Charlie doesn't know what's going on, he just caught a glimpse of it when he nearly died. Charlie doesn't fully realize it until he sees Claire and Aaron. But from Charlie's urging, Desmond sees Penny and knows his role.

But, like everything else on Lost, Desmond's realization has double meanings from Charlie and the EM.

The numbers on the drain would've been fitting, pointing that even Jacob was a pawn of the Island, but alas, it was not so.

Jonathan Francis said...

Yeah Logan, I think you are right here. There just comes a point when we have to try and figure the mysteries out for ourselves.

I did see that Walt will be appearing in some form on the DVD release. Apparently, there's a lot of extra content that could explain some of the stuff you guys have been discussing here. I also saw that they are releasing a LOST encyclopedia in August.

As I said in my blog post, I used to be one of those people who begged for answers and wanted to know every little mystery of the island. However, with "The End," I saw that the purpose of the show has truly been about the characters. In my opinion, the finale was so well done that I learned to let go of searching for all the answers that probably aren't all that important anyway. I think we can pretty much deduce the answers to most of them.