Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ranting On...the Lost Finale

I'm going to be honest here and admit-I never really got the hubbub surrounding the finale of Lost and why some people insisted it was terrible.  I watched the episode live, one of those rare circumstances that I actually watched a program when it was airing and not just waiting for my TiVo to catch me up (though honestly Lost was always a show I needed to watch live), and quite frankly I took the day off after the finale from work as I knew I needed a day to sort of recuperate from such an event.  I also didn't read any of the reviews for a few days after, as I wanted to go back and parcel through things, seeing if I could find a couple of clues that were lying around in the finale just waiting for me before someone cleverer pointed out to me.

So it didn't occur to me while watching that anyone could possibly be disappointed.  Any disappointment I had was with certain characters not showing up for the big goodbye (namely Mr. Eko) or them cutting a specific character's revelation (Boone and Ben in particular I wanted to catch) and having to say goodbye to the series in general.  When people started to react with absolute vitriol, saying that Damon and Carlton had wasted six years of their lives I became deeply upset, but mostly shocked-who couldn't be satisfied with this finale?

After all, we had spent years getting to know all of these characters, and they were all here, receiving happy ending after happy ending after so much heartache.  Reunions (Claire and Charlie! Sawyer and Juliet! Sun and Jin!) abounded, and we got to see a couple of questions that we truly wanted answered, namely who would make it off the island, who would stay on as its guardian, and who would die as a result of what was happening to stop the Man-in-Black from leaving.  It was all riveting stuff.

And anyone who didn't get that, I just don't really understand if we were watching the same show.  As I've pointed out multiple times this week, I too had mysteries that I wanted solved, but I had A) kind of given up hope of any of them other than the immediate "who lives" question being answered in the finale as surely that was going to be about goodbyes and nothing more and B) none of them I wanted so badly that I would ever chastise such a beautiful, heartfelt swan song for the series.  Honestly, even the ones that bug me the most (can they just publish a memoir of Charles Widmore or something?!?), I could live without knowing if it meant more time with the castaways rather than having some sort of minutia giving me details about what happened on the island.

Plus, anyone who was hoping for some grand reveal, like the Island is heaven or the source of life or something like that had too high of expectations.  Philosophers have dealt with the questions posed by Lost for centuries without coming up with definitive answers, and I think the show did a pretty decent job of pointing out how it stood on select stances, putting friendship, love, and sacrifice to a higher cause high up on the list of things that matter in a lifetime.  To not get that, and still be obsessing about who built the Statue rather than realizing that it no longer mattered in the scheme of the story is foolishness.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't go back and go through the show and its mysteries and try to solve them for yourself, or not to be a little frustrated in hindsight over a lack of a resolution as to what Daniel was studying in Ann Arbor, but don't say that it was a waste of time and don't bag on a series finale that was a cut above pretty much every other one I've seen.  Series finales are always disappointing-there's always some loose end that didn't get tied up or a happy ending you didn't ask for or that feels too neat, or perhaps you just weren't ready to say goodbye.  But Lost had a great finale, as best as could be expected, and people who say the show went on too long or that the finale was stupid are well, haters that weren't fans to begin with, if you ask me.

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