I wanted to love it. I really did.
But ever since the “origin story” of Jacob and the Man In Black in the episode titled, Across the Sea (from a whole two weeks ago), I started having my doubts. Blame it on seeing The Man Behind the Curtain. Blame it on seeing bad-ass Darth Vader getting called Annie by a fish-rabbit. But witnessing the beginnings of the enigmatic answer-holders toThe Island made us all realize they held no answers – only more questions.
Last week’s episode – What They Died For – continued illuminating Desmond’s path of getting the other passengers of Oceanic 815 to remember where they’d been, and it gave me hope again about the show’s finale.
So what went wrong, in my opinion? Oddly, I’d say over-explanation.
That’s when you say, What?! But they didn’t explain anything!
And that’s when I’d say, let me explain:
Jacob and the Man In Black were simply better as ageless entities. They’ve been referred to as Yin and Yang; Right and Wrong; God and Satan; Alpha and Omega; Coke and Pepsi. And they were much better for the mystery of it. The second they became brothers manipulated by another who-the-hell-is-this, I understood the reason for the setup was to explain the Candidates. But they still could have remained ageless entities, searching throughout all of human civilization (from Atlantis to the Egyptians to Dharmaville) for their replacements.
INDIANA JONES AND THE EXPLANATION OF LOST
Remember how everybody loves Raiders of the Lost Ark and everybody hates Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? Let’s use the good and the bad to explain the ugly that was The End.
As the finale progressed, and each of our star-crossed survivors found each other again, I’ll admit that I was eating it up. Although what ultimately happened didn’t mesh with what I hoped would happen, that’s still not the only reason the ending didn’t make me completely happy.
So let’s turn LOST into ROTLA to examine the reason why. For the entire movie, Indiana Jones has been fighting Nazis and greedy archaeologists to find the LOST Ark first. This man of science and history has been turned into a man of faith, à la Jack Shephard.
But whereas in ROTLA, Indy’s true faith was tested, I fear Jack’s was not (at least not as effectively, because WHAT THE FUCK WAS THE ISLAND, THE LIGHT, AND THAT POOL?!). And what happened after that would have been like Indy dying and going to purgatory/limbo/Mu/”the waiting place” to finally be happy with Marion Ravenwood (which I would have probably preferred over KOTCS).
It’s not a Snickers bar. It’s hardly satisfying. And it renders everything that happened on The Island and in the Sideways Reality pointless. If this was a Nirvana they subconsciously created, why would they have invited murder, deception, and new kids like David, to exist?
Which brings me back to Jack and the Beanstalk, I mean, Fountain. I couldn’t believe that even a part of me was hoping an alien or an ancient being would appear like the creatures in KOTCS to shed some insight into it all. But no. Not a thing.
I have to live with the stupid, frozen, Island-moving, donkey wheel being relegated to an idea Man In Black devised.
I have to live with the fact that Charles Widmore was nothing more than anybody else.
I have to live with the notion that Kate, Sawyer, Claire, Miles, Richard, and Frank were the only ones that escaped the Island… maybe.
WHAT MY HOPE EVOLVED INTO AS THE SHOW NEARED ITS END
I started hoping that the Sideways Story was an alternate reality created by the nuclear bomb detonation (hence Juliet’s claim, “It worked.”)
I started thinking that Desmond’s true purpose was to help guide all the survivors’ consciousnesses to this reality from the original reality so they could live happily ever after.
I started wondering if Miles would somehow not end up on the Ajira plane, allowing only Frank and Richard to make their escape since they were not shown in the Sideways Story, and the Island would have been destroyed, taking everyone else in the process.
But instead, all I got was an ending that was simply a Sideways Version of the South Park episode, Dead Celebrities:
I found the purgatory part to be a little weak but I think the ending of the Island story was awesome. The fountain and the light are kinda annoying. I guess it was a huge source of electro-magnetism that when tapped into, can move the island, move you in time, give you magic smoke powers, and tear airplanes apart.
The Widmore thing bothers me too. Jacob came to him, showed him he was wrong, and told him to bring Desmond to the Island. Given Season 4 revolving around him, you’d think he’d matter a bit more.
I’d imagine more people get off the Island based on what Ben said to Hurley about changing the rules and sending Desmond home.
I’m surprised that everyone went in the church and excepted their deaths. (Ben might not have but I think he did eventually) You’d think John Locke would be happier with Helen than the people who didn’t freakin’ believe him. Before Desmond jumped down into the light, he told Jack that the Flash Sideways reality was awesome and he was stoked to go there.
I don’t see the purgatory story really being the end-all-be-all of Lost. I find it more the end of the 6th season more than the end of the series. Jack dieing, to me, was the ending of the show’s story.
I would agree that it did end up being All About Jack.
I also neglected to mention one thing. I fear the looming reaction to the finale is going to be like that cognitive dissonance study (http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/psychology/social/festinger_carlsmith_cognitive_dissonance.html )…
Because of all the time put into watching the show, it’s easier to justify “liking” the finale, than admitting we wasted a 125 hours or so of our lives.
It’s like paying $12 to see a movie in the theater and finding something of value in it, whereas if at home it was playing on cable, the channel would be promptly switched.
(FYI – Even though it may not seem like it, I didn’t hate the finale. To me, it simply fell short of what it almost was.)
I don’t think you have to throw away the enjoyment you had in those 125 hours of your life just because 2 and a half hours were shitty.
Don’t be mistaken… only 15 minutes or so were shitty.