Monday, May 24, 2010

Farewell, LOST. Thanks for the ride!

Well, that's it. LOST is over. If you haven't seen it yet, STOP READING NOW!

Okay, let's continue...

As expected, the finale is receiving intense scrutiny. Some, like me, found it gripping, touching, and emotionally satisfying. Others feel cheated that all their questions weren't answered (What's the deal with the polar bear?)

While it would have been nice to know about the bear, the Dharma notebooks, and how Mother got on the island in the first place, the show really wasn't about that. Yes, the uniqueness of what happened on the island was a huge part of what made us love LOST. But from the very beginning, LOST drew us in because of the people. Their struggles with past sins, their need for redemption and love, and their hope in the face of almost certain catastrophe. Even characters we shouldn't sympathize with, like the tragically layered Ben Linus, revealed a humanity that made them relatable. We didn't know it at the time, but it seems Jack gave us the theme of the show in season one: "If we don't live together, we'll die alone." These people needed each other, and the road to them realizing it was fascinating.

One thing that seems to be causing the most unhappiness for viewers is confusion over exactly when everybody died. For the record, everything that happened on the island actually happened (in the story world, that is... I'm a fan, not a crazy person). In other words, the Oceanic passengers weren't dead from the get go, and they didn't all die when Juliet set off the bomb. Nope, everyone died exactly when we saw them die. The sideways reality, which most of us thought was an alternate time line, was actually a kind of cosmic transfer station. It was a way for them to all come together before moving on. Moving on to what? That's left open to interpretation. But the fact that they were all dead and all came together at the same time, doesn't mean that they died at the same time. As Jack's father said, "There is no now here." Time wasn't an issue. So even though Shannon died long before Jack, and Hurley and Ben lived longer on the island, they all came together at the same place.

Despite the feeling of satisfaction at the end, I'm sorry to see LOST go. For six seasons, the writers stretched the boundaries of what we expected to see on network television. They took risks, made bold moves, and asked us to think. As a result, LOST became the kind of show that would spark long discussions about spirituality, philosophy, and when Sawyer might again take off his shirt.

The LOST experience was quite a ride. I doubt we'll see anything like it on TV again. But I'm thankful for what we had. And that there will be a six-season Blu-Ray set available before Christmas.

Oh, honey...


Myra Johnson said...

Okay, finally I can read your post since we sat down and watched the finale this afternoon.


My take is the same as yours--the characters did all go through the island experience for real and died at different times.

My theory on the Flash Sideways story is that (at least for some of the characters) it's the life these characters might have had (or maybe wished they'd had) if their real lives hadn't gone so badly off track.

Jack would have been a successful surgeon and a proud dad.

James would have been a savvy cop trying to make the world a better place.

Ben would have channeled his brains toward helping students achieve their best.

Juliet would have been fulfilled as an OB/GYN.

John would have married his girlfriend and been content with his life.

(I just now noticed all the "J" names in this cast of characters. Exactly what they tell us as novelists NOT to do!)

Jennifer AlLee said...

Myra, I agree with you on the flash sideways. For some of them it's the life they would have had if they made better choices. For some (Ben, Ethan, Rousseau) it's the life they would have had if the island never existed. I have to say, I loved seeing Rousseau, Alex and Ben sharing that happy dinner together.

Yeah, there were a lot of J names... John, Jack, Juliet, James, Jacob... There was also Charles Widmore and Charlie Pace. I think you can get away with it in a visual media because it's easier to differentiate when you're hearing the name and seeing the people. In novels, when you see a lot of names that are so similiar, it's easier to get confused.

Discount coupons said...

I want to stay lost forever.

Leanna Ellis said...

Jennifer, I watched it the first time for understanding. And I think I understood the sideways world as being an alternate reality, a way station, before moving on in the hereafter. And to me, they saw themselves as they believed they were in life. So Sawyer wasn't a con man but a cop after justice, after the man who killed his parents. Kate saw herself as on the run but innocent. etc… Which is kind of interesting to think about their own view of themselves. I watched it again last night, and understanding it, I was then able to bawl my eyes out. :( Very sad to see this show go. But I liked the end and thought it worked well. But still sad. And HATE to see it end.

One thing I haven't really figured out…what was the bomb all about? And what worked with it, as Juliet said?

Hugs from another Lostie,


Jennifer AlLee said...

Le, I had water works going throughout the show! Whenever a couple came back together, there I went, bawling.

I think what Juliet meant by "it worked" is that it reset the timeline. Because when they threw the bomb down the hole, they were in the seventies. But after it went off, everbody was back in the same year (which I think was supposed to be 2008 in the show). But I don't think it stopped Oceanic 815 from crashing. That was one of those "whatever happened, happened" examples.

I'm sad there will be no new adventures with these characters, but so glad the writers took us out on an uplifting note. I think it would be fun to get the whole series and wait till some time next year, then watch it straight through.

Hugs back atcha! It's been fun being LOST with you :+}

Susanne Dietze said...

Thanks, Jen! So much to discuss from this show. I'm still reeling from it. I cried every time a couple remembered each other or their past. The look on Charlie's face when he recognized Claire about did me in. What love.

And what agonized confusion on Jack's face when John told him, "You don't have a son."

I could gab forever on this -- there's so much to process! Thanks, Jen!

Leanna Ellis said...

Jen, it has been fun being LOST together. And I was thinking this afternoon. Maybe that scene when Juliette died had a duel purpose. It reset the time, as you said, but also I think Juliette flash forwarded to the sideways/way station world briefly and saw that she was with Sawyer…and so it worked. That's when she quoted a line from when they eventually are reunited. I want to rewatch season 6 viewing the sideways world as what it is and how the characters saw themselves. Locke still saw himself crippled but okay with it and with his gal. And blaming himself for his dad. He really did have a guilt complex. Ben saw himself being a good son to the father he killed. Interesting, huh?

Jennifer AlLee said...

Le, yes, Juliette absolutely saw what was coming when she talked about the coffee. That's partially why I thought the flash sideways was an alternate reality, one in which the two of them would have coffee and get together again. I had no clue that it would end up being the waiting room to heaven, so to speak :+} Nice twist from the writers.

Isn't it odd that, in the sideways world, none of their lives were ideal? You'd think if they were creating their own realities, Jack would have been in a happy marriage, Locke wouldn't have been in the wheelchair, Ben would have been the principal, etc. Of course, many of the challenges in sideways-land gave them the opportunity to make better choices, which is also a kind of redemption. Like when Ben gave up his plotting to be principal in order to help Alex get her college recommendation. Yes, I'm definitely going to have to watch this series over again. What fun :+}

Jennifer AlLee said...

Susie, the couple that got to me the most was Sawyer and Juliet. I think it's because Sawyer always put up such a wall that, whenever he let it down, his emotions were very raw and powerful. I always wanted him to be with her, not Kate, so it made me very happy :+} It's interesting, though, that Kate and Sawyer both lost the loves of their lives on the island yet flew away together on the plane. Makes me wonder what happened to them after they got back to civilization.