And that’s it. Lost‘s finale has aired and the saga of the survivors, others and every one else is complete. Of course the show went out big. The episode was two and a half hours long. It put the fate of the island and everyone that was ever touched by it on the line. But was it a satisfying end to one of the most significant television series in recent memory?
Yes and no. It hasn’t had much time to sink in yet, but I feel a lot like I did when Battlestar Galactica ended a year ago (yes, I am namedropping arguably the two nerdiest shows of the last decade). A major theme of both series were the conflict between science and faith, and both erred on the side of the latter in the end. But with Lost, and all its twists and turns, it makes a lot more sense.
Emotionally, this episode was definitely a success. The plot played out pretty much like a movie (especially thanks to its feature length) with Jack and his crew facing off with the Man in Black once and for all. Meanwhile, in the flash sideways universe (if we’re still calling it that) all our heroes start finding each other and remembering their history together. It all builds to a surprising last half hour and a beautiful last shot. I’d call that perfect.
But there is the issue of all the unanswered questions the show leaves. We didn’t get too much new info from the finale, however I would argue the ending was good enough that I didn’t really care about most of my remaining confusion. The only thing that really bothered me was the light, and corking that light, and why Desmond was the guy for that job. Maybe I’m just missing something there. But that probably could have been done better.
What was the point of the numbers? Why weren’t Michael and Walt in the church? The episode succeeds without answering this question, but it is indeed nagging me. I have to think the answer is because Walt is too grown up now, but wouldn’t age not matter in the sideways universe? Did Jack just really not like them? It seemed weird to feature Vincent so heavily but not even mention special ol’ Walty boy.
But I don’t get to ask these questions anymore. I hardly got to, after only catching up with the show earlier this year. I might have had a different experience with Lost if I hadn’t come in as late as I had. The show took a real turn from people surviving on a strange island to something really different, and I could imagine a lot of the bigger twists along the way could have turned viewers off. But as someone who came in looking forward to seeing the craziness that I heard only Lost could deliver, I was not disappointed.
After six years of polar bears, smoke monsters, pressing buttons to save the world, and atom bomb time travel, Lost is done. The show built itself a crazy mythology and a huge fanbase obsessed with figuring it all out. In the end, they didn’t give all the answers. But they gave enough.
P.S. Jack got to jump punch the Man in Black. This precedent is set. If you’re named Jack and in a TV show, you must jump punch someone at some point.