Or anyway, LOST is finished. I’ve watched the show for all six seasons, often with increasing frustration, despite its many promising leads and loose ends, and books like Finding Lost (seasons 1-6) by Nikki Stafford—just read everything she’s been posting—and Lost’s Buried Treasures by Lynette Porter & David Lavery.
Collection of Lost finale reviews by people more invested and who have more time to think and write about it than I:
Ken Tucker of EW highlights the extremely obvious Christian themes. Jeff Jensen of EW talked with Christianity Today on how Lost may encourage people who live in a secularized, rationalistic, relativist society to think about faith and spirituality:
These are people who don’t believe in God. They don’t believe in supernatural possibilities. They don’t believe in universal values, ideas like redemption, or good or evil as concepts that are real. These are good, decent, thoughtful, intelligent people. There’s something about the way they were raised, the culture we live in, and the world in these times; these things are so deconstructed and have been so poorly modeled that they can’t even believe in these larger ideas. We can’t even begin to put a face on them like Jesus. We have to talk about these ideas and whether you could believe them. What I find is that Lost occupies that level of conversation. Do you even believe in things like redemption? What is redemption, really? Do you believe in something like good; do you believe in something like evil? Do you believe that these objective values actually even exist? Do you believe that all you are is just stuff? Are you supernatural and natural? Is there spirit in the world or are you a spiritual creature?
Jimmy Kimmel (thanks to Carlton & Cuse) offered some alternate endings that we didn’t see, all of which make the one we did seem—better?
Alan Sepinwall, who hasn’t written a book, but has watched the whole series and is usually right about most things, sums it up quite well:
Of course, those are two extremist views of “Lost” – all plot vs. all character – and I suspect most of you fall, like me, somewhere in between. And because of that, I’m still wrestling with my feelings about “The End”….
But as someone who did spend at least part of the last six years dwelling on the questions that were unanswered – … I can’t say I found “The End” wholly satisfying, either as closure for this season or the series.
I’m not saying there’s a right or wrong answer for any of those questions, but when you deliberately go vague and spiritual on your ultimate resolution, you inevitably run into the same kind of fuzzy afterlife logic that leads Robin Williams to star in “What Dreams May Come.”
So very true. And may I just add here that What Dreams May Come is near the top of my “most cheesy sentimental claptrap movies ever” list. And I say that as someone who truly, deeply believes in an afterlife.
Cultural Learnings says (more or less) that it shouldn’t have worked, but it did. (That brief summary doesn’t do justice to his thoughtful and insightful review.)
And sci-fi blog io9 is (with some good reason) mostly disappointed (thanks to Nikki Stafford for this link):
In the end, it’s hard not to see Lost as the longest con of them all. Not because we didn’t get enough answers – it’s really true that after this episode, I don’t need any more answers than what we got. But because all along, Lost seemed to be a story. Until the end, when it wasn’t. In the end, it was just a bunch of stuff that happened.
We’ll have to wait a bit to see how the zeitgeist as a whole decides to think of this episode – maybe it’ll wind up getting a free pass, because the show as a whole was so good. Maybe it’ll wind up getting damned. But let’s hope that people do remember how great Lost was at its best, since Lost was such an influential, successful show, and I hope somebody else eventually tries to duplicate all of its achievements.
Certainly, whole seasons went by that felt like “just a bunch of stuff that happened,” and I remained dubious about the creators/writers/producers ability to plan and execute a truly coherent narrative arc for Lost. They came closer than I expected once they announced an ending. And they left fans and critics plenty to talk about.
I have to add one more, from Rob Will Review:
The basic message I got from the finale was that many of the puzzles that have perplexed us for all of these seasons have been red herrings and that what we should have been paying attention to all along weren’t the narrative games but to the characters. In the end, it doesn’t matter what the island is, but what it represents…
…At the same time, would any definitive answers the show provided be as satisfying as each viewer’s personal pet theories? It’s highly doubtful, since a huge, vocal portion of viewers voices dissatisfaction with every mythology revelation that occurs….
…For me, it was always a fascinating hour of storytelling that provide thrills, chills, and many things to ponder, but one which, more importantly, introduced me to some characters I came to care for very much. … It isn’t perfect, but it is a hugely impressive, epic narrative, and arguably the most complex example of storytelling the television medium has ever produced.
Especially good point about the fact that no answers would completely satisfy all viewers—or even most of them. Better just to tell the story you want to tell. Nice work by Rob, whom I first encountered as an active and highly perceptive poster to the All Things Philosophical on Buffy the Vampire Slayer board—he was in high school then and there’s just no stopping him.