Author Topic: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)  (Read 8249 times)

Offline anavrin

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My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« on: May 24, 2010, 12:08:25 PM »
I'm aggravated. And I'm not alone. For the past six years, several million viewers and I have anxiously awaited and devoured each new episode of what was one of the best and most clever television shows of all time. We followed loyally. We ate up the side games and webisodes, hoping for additional clues. We sought out screen captures and grasped onto the Easter Eggs, trying to solve the mystery before they could tell us. We spent our late Wednesday nights dwelling on theories, unable to sleep, and spent our Thursdays hashing things out with our friends, real and "imaginary."

For six years, we followed along, trying to piece it all together, with the promise of answers. An end in sight. The greatly-anticipated finale. Well, we should have known that it wasn't going to go well when we still had so many old questions looming with half a dozen episodes left. With three episodes left. Two. One. There was no way to wrap up such an enormous and complicated plot with so many unanswered questions in just two hours.

What is perhaps the main point of my frustration came to me on the brink of sleep last night, after an hour of brooding. So much of the plot of this series was focussed on the island and its mysteries. Executive producers Damon Lindelof and Cameron Cuse even said, in the commentary to the first season on DVD, that a critical point to this series was that the *island* was a main character of the show. Yet, when it came to the finale, precious few questions were answered about the island at all. Instead, we got to see everyone come together in the "flash sideways" (which was, admittedly, gratifying) only to learn that it's just where they ended up after they all died. What?!

Even if I buy that theory, I felt cheated to have that all patly wrapped up in the last 10 minutes of the show AND I feel downright raw at the questions that the writers and producers left unanswered. To me, it felt like the producers were back in college, writing the ace answer to an essay exam, and then looked up to see 5 minutes left on the clock before they had to hand in their blue books. Ninety-five percent of what was written was spot-on and a the very top of the game, but the last bit was crammed in to fit into time constraints, leaving a large gap in details between the body of the work and the conclusory paragraph.

I wonder whether this is to some extent a reflection of the 2007-2008 Writers' Strike, which (if I remember correctly) cost Lost between five and eight episodes in its 4th season. While the plotlines in some of those shows seemed a little hurried, shouldn't they have been able to recover that ground in two years? Or was this always the plan? The cynical side of me believes that the plan may be even more devious and greedy, requiring folks to purchase the DVD set to gain the answers not freely given on last night's broadcast, an idea which gains some backing form the MTV News headline this morning, "'Lost' Creators Promise More Answers After The Finale."

In any case, I will miss this show, which I anticipated with glee every week. I will likely buy the season 6 DVDs to round out my collection. I'll miss these characters, which the "finale preview" correctly pegged as people we've come to know and love over the years. But I don't know that I'll ever be able to look back on this series fondly as long as the enormous list of questions remains unanswered.  And I don't know that I'll ever go back and watch the series through again, as I had hoped to do to connect all of the dots and clues and Easter Eggs together.  There is no "Aha!" moment, like in the movie The Sixth Sense, that would allow me to go back and watch the entire season with a new vision.  Now that I know that the dots and Easter Eggs were not clues at all, what's the point?

Offline MachThree

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2010, 12:16:59 PM »
I understand your frustration.  I felt frustrated too as I started to realize that answers would not be forthcoming.  But then I accepted that and just tried to go along with the ride.  I thought the finale was excellent, given what they tried to do with it.  But a lot of people wanted answers, not what they ended up doing, and I can certainly see how this leaves them feeling unfulfilled. 

I think Darlton's biggest mistake was not being more forthright with the viewers a long time ago.  They waited until at least halfway through season 6 before they started hinting there may be no answers.  Meanwhile, they posed more and more questions, and dangled the promise of answers to get people to watch and, yes, make money for themselves and ABC.  So eevn though I think from the audience's standpoint it was a mistake, and if Darlton actually gave a damn about the audience, they'd think it was a mistake, in reality I think they're laughing all the way to the bank and think themselves to have done perfectly.

At this point I'd probably say something like "even though they seem like nice guys" - only, to be honest, they don't.  Most of the time in interviews, they come off as snarky, arrogant smart-asses, talking down to people who don't know the grand inside joke that only the two of them are privy to.     

Offline BurkRoyer

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2010, 12:31:35 PM »
Happiness and unhappiness in life boils down to one word: Expectations.  When we create them, whether it be for our significant other, kids, friends, our leaders, etc, we are just setting our selves up for disappointment and unhappiness.  Especially, when we create unrealistic expectations for others.  If the expectation is met, (which it rarely fully is) we think, "I expected that.  How boring"  When they go unmet we think, "How could I be let down like that? I'm upset"  If they are exceeded we think, "Awesome! I feel great."   So, what's the secret to happiness.  Don't have any expectations.  That's not saying have low expectations.  It's just saying, appreciate what's been given you.  There were a multitude of expectations set for the ending of Lost.  It would be impossible for the writer's to met them all.  Those that were the happiest, were those that enjoyed the story for what it was.  And when considered in the light of most other shows, Lost's ending was amazing and I feel great!

Offline Maxor127

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2010, 12:38:29 PM »
They said the island was a character on the show.  Vincent was a character too.  Your problem is that you were too focused on the mysteries.  When you think about most of the things they didn't answer, while they might be cool to know, they wouldn't have affected the story and there was really no organic way to answer a lot of those questions.  If they were to just explain a lot of the lingering mysteries on a dvd, that would be cool.  But I don't think the show should've revolved around answering those mysteries.  They probably could've connected some of the mysteries together in a cohesive whole better, but oh well.  There are only a couple lingering mysteries that I think they really should've spent time on, like mystery boat shooting at them during the flash.  I feel it could've all connected better.  But still, a minor complaint.

I do think the finale could've been better though and I can understand why people would be frustrated with the whole alt timeline thing.

Offline vickilynn

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2010, 12:41:43 PM »
Let's face it, our world is full of mysteries that may (or may not) get answered at some point in our progression. I don't want some show's writers to answer those life mysteries for me, because at this point it is all subjective anyway.

Offline BurkRoyer

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2010, 12:43:15 PM »
I thought it was pretty obvious that it was Jacob's group on the Ajira plane that shot at them?  Because they stole their boat...

Offline BurkRoyer

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2010, 12:45:57 PM »
Let's face it, our world is full of mysteries that may (or may not) get answered at some point in our progression. I don't want some show's writers to answer those life mysteries for me, because at this point it is all subjective anyway.

True, answering all the question would have destroyed the mysticism of the show... We can now answer those questions ourselves with our own imaginations which will always meet our expectations :)

Offline anavrin

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2010, 12:48:00 PM »
They said the island was a character on the show.  Vincent was a character too.  Your problem is that you were too focused on the mysteries.  When you think about most of the things they didn't answer, while they might be cool to know, they wouldn't have affected the story and there was really no organic way to answer a lot of those questions.  If they were to just explain a lot of the lingering mysteries on a dvd, that would be cool.  But I don't think the show should've revolved around answering those mysteries.  They probably could've connected some of the mysteries together in a cohesive whole better, but oh well.  There are only a couple lingering mysteries that I think they really should've spent time on, like mystery boat shooting at them during the flash.  I feel it could've all connected better.  But still, a minor complaint.

I do think the finale could've been better though and I can understand why people would be frustrated with the whole alt timeline thing.

But the mysteries are what kept us watching for years.  The whole "all these people are linked and meet up in some nether space after they all die" is completely unsatisfying and, frankly, quite trite after 6 years.  Did we really watch for six years to be satisfied with "we all live our life and meet up with important people after we die?"  I didn't.  The story was interesting precisely because of the mysteries of the island and the strange people whom the Losties encountered.  I had no great emotional moment when Jack was talking with his father and realized that he and everyone in that "reality" were dead.  Just joining in the great collective groan.

Offline opgelost

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2010, 12:54:27 PM »
I liked it. They didn't give a single answer.
It's like life. You have to find your own answers, your own way to explain things and find your own meaning.
Everybody saw his own version of Lost the last 6 years. There is not just one truth, there are a lot and the makers
are not going to tell us which one is right.

Offline opgelost

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2010, 12:55:34 PM »
Let's face it, our world is full of mysteries that may (or may not) get answered at some point in our progression. I don't want some show's writers to answer those life mysteries for me, because at this point it is all subjective anyway.

True, answering all the question would have destroyed the mysticism of the show... We can now answer those questions ourselves with our own imaginations which will always meet our expectations :)

Like a selfcreated timeline?

Offline KoKoNut

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2010, 12:56:48 PM »
I have to agree with anavrin. I feel  the same.

I was invested in the characters and was so happy that they were all reunited. Used up half a box of Kleenex at each reunion.

But then the ending itself. How they explained it all? Really?  I mean, am I that jaded? OMG, I'm going to hell aren't I?  

I understand they couldn't explain all the mysteries. It's just...for me, it felt like they didn't explain really anything at all.  I don't know how to express it. I just feel like it was wrapped up so quickly and I"m sorry...so generically. Ugh.

I'm glad that most people were happy with the ending. I just wish I were one of them.  :(

Offline BurkRoyer

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2010, 12:56:55 PM »
Let's face it, our world is full of mysteries that may (or may not) get answered at some point in our progression. I don't want some show's writers to answer those life mysteries for me, because at this point it is all subjective anyway.

True, answering all the question would have destroyed the mysticism of the show... We can now answer those questions ourselves with our own imaginations which will always meet our expectations :)

Like a selfcreated timeline?

Maybe after we die, we can all meet up in the afterlife and answer all the questions of Lost ;)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 12:58:26 PM by My Sideways Self »

Offline vickilynn

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2010, 01:01:17 PM »
I liked it. They didn't give a single answer.
It's like life. You have to find your own answers, your own way to explain things and find your own meaning.
Everybody saw his own version of Lost the last 6 years. There is not just one truth, there are a lot and the makers
are not going to tell us which one is right.
I like this!

Offline lostlady

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2010, 01:07:21 PM »
I liked it. They didn't give a single answer.
It's like life. You have to find your own answers, your own way to explain things and find your own meaning.
Everybody saw his own version of Lost the last 6 years. There is not just one truth, there are a lot and the makers
are not going to tell us which one is right.
I like this!

Yes, perfectly said!

Offline anavrin

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Re: My musings on the finale (and I didn't like it)
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2010, 01:11:27 PM »
It still felt like two completely different stories.

It didn't matter what happened on the island.  Might as well have been the cast of The Office or Seinfeld or Babylon 5 or anything else, any 50 people who have something in common, then tack on 10 minutes at the end where they all meet up after they've died.  Why bother to weave such a compelling story about this mystic island if it's not germane to the conclusion?  If you're not going to tell us anything about it?  It feels as if the Sideways was the story they wanted to tell all along and the island is throwaway, which stinks because the island is what kept a large lot of us watching.