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LOST Finale: Sad Trombone May 24, 2010

Posted by Rusty in lost, not lifetime.

Alternate Title: No, no, no, no, NO.

A few months ago I used my podium here to hate on some non-Lifetime programming. I’d like to do that again. Don’t know if you heard, but one of the most influential television shows of the past decade or so closed up shop yesterday. And since Lost is one of the few shows I’ve watched from the very beginning to its stupid conclusion, I need to get a few things off of my chest.

The obligatory disclaimer: Lost was one of my favorite shows ever. My weekday social calendar revolved around Lost for years. I am a hater by nature* and I love to complain, so please don’t allow my incredibly negative reaction to yesterday’s finale scare you off from watching the show if you haven’t seen it yet.

(*As mentioned in my last review, I am currently watching Angel and Buffy for the first time. It’s awesome. Highly recommended to all. But when I talk about it with people who are already huge fans (one of whom named their son after a Buffy character), I have nothing but weird complaints about very minor plot points. I am not pleasant to deal with. So I guess this entire post should be taken with a pillar of salt.)

Obligatory disclaimer #2: If you haven’t seen the finale yet or are watching the show and haven’t gotten to Season 6 yet, just please stop reading. And since I am only speaking to the people who watched last night’s show, I won’t get into too much expository detail. You all know what happened.

And Season 6, what a disaster. What a stupid, pointless disaster. The show spun its wheels for months with a bunch of crap like the Temple and the Lighthouse that didn’t do anything for me and then tried rushing a resolution in the final four episodes. Let’s take a step back and look at how the show has evolved itself into failure.

The first two seasons you have a bunch of survivors on a mysterious island with a monster and some hostile natives. Neat! But then! The end of Season 2, the show kind of evolves into a Dickensian romance between Desmond and Penny. By Season 3 we discover the Hostiles may be looking out for the Island’s best interest, but they are willing to resort to great evil to protect it. (I wonder if Richard and Ben saw them genociding The Dharma Initiative when they realized they were in purgatory.) Also, pregnant ladies always die. Which leads for the mad scramble off of the island. Then they need to go back! Also, Penny and Desmond are quickly resolved and the show becomes a battle between two sets of Hostiles: Ben and Widmore. Which is kind of tangentially connected to Desmond and Penny, so, fine. But by the time we get to Jacob vs. The Man in Black/Smoke Monster, no. Too much. The master plot had changed too often and the show’s creators saying that only the characters mattered was code for “we cared more about cliffhangers than story so here we are with a bunch of loose ends that can never be answered.”

And by the last episode of the last season, we got some of the worst television writing in the medium’s history. Basic 101 stuff. What was Smokey’s motivation? He wanted off the island, then he wanted to destroy the island. Ok. Why? Why did he need Desmond? Why did Jacob want Desmond on the island? Desmond turned out to be pretty useless, no? What did Ben want? Why did his motivation change every episode? Same goes for Widmore. That whole war he had against Smokey was for what? He wanted to take over the island in order to protect it? Or did he just want to get back at Ben?

These aren’t ambiguities meant to add shades of gray to each character. It’s just piss poor writing. The entire finale, I was still wondering what it was that each character wanted. And other than Jack and his other candidates needing to save the island, I never got it. I swear to God I am a smart person and I couldn’t figure out what was happening. I watch the show religiously, read a bunch of Lost crap on the Internet, and I had no idea why things were happening. That can only be interpreted as a total failure.

And the sideways universe being purgatory….JESUS CHRIST. I admit, that on an episodic scale, neat. It was awesome to see characters reconnect and to have a big ol’ reunion at the end of the show. I got all weepy when Sun and Jin saw their pasts (although they as a couple clearly did not give a shit about their daughter). I got all weepy when Sawyer reconnected with Juliette. It made the episode very watchable.

But spending an entire season with it? UGH. Not worth it! Weeks and weeks of stupid can not be made up with some weepies.

And the open plot holes….Those open plot holes. The fertility stuff? The very situation that drove the plot when the show was at the height of its powers? Nope. The show cared so little about the fertility stuff that – as previously mentioned – the miracle baby became an afterthought never to be seen again. And what about Jacob’s cabin? What the hell was that all about.

And has there ever been a more frustrating moment on television than when Ben and Hurley were talking about the Island’s rules and Ben casually mentioned that those weren’t real rules, they were just Jacob’s whims? First, how do you know that, Ben? Jacob’s been there for centuries. Second, Jacob is the one who made it impossible to find the island, impossible to boat off the island, and allowed the island to shift in time? AND WHAT THE FUCK IS THE DEAL WITH THE ISLAND SHIFTING IN TIME!?!?

The laziness here is really troubling. And it’s apparent throughout the entire episode. Why does Desmond think pulling The Cork of the Island will be good? He just does. And why does pulling The Cork make Alpert and the Man in Black mortal, who knows, but it sure is convenient for Jack and Kate. And if plugging the Island back up is all you need to save it, I wouldn’t exactly call Jack a hero. I would just call Desmond useless.

This show had so much wasted potential. This awesome science-fiction, mystery, romance thingy became a show about spirituality and religion which freed the writers from having to make a lick of goddamned sense. And even worse, the show ended in an Unitarian Church. Unitarians are stupid. That stained-glass window at the end that had every religious symbol? Stupid as balls. Why not just have Jack ascend to heaven in a Prius with a “coexist” bumper sticker?

And what happened to Cindy the stewardess and the kids!? GOD DAMN THERE ARE SO MANY HANGING THREADS HERE!

I swear I am fine with some hanging threads. I really, truly am. But a lot of these things were driving entire seasons. Seasons I loved and cared about and couldn’t wait to find out what was going on. I honestly feel like I was tricked into watching the last season. There was never any attempt to deal with what had come before it. Boo to that.

I truly hope that I’m not one of those people who was going to be unsatisfied no matter what. Despite my hater status, I’d like to think that I was open to loving this episode. I truly believe that I was. I didn’t care that Sayid ended up being literally soulmates with a character based on Paris Hilton instead of the woman he literally shot himself for and then later married. Shit like that is fine. It’s a finale, weird things like that need to happen for closure. But the show just did not care about what I cared about. And what they cared about was boring and insignificant.

And yes I will be buying Season 6 on Blu-Ray. Why do you ask?


1. Anonymous - May 24, 2010

think you forgot the mystery about the numbers… and ho the fuck was jacob? His mother? the light? And why do they say that the black monster is evil where it's only a kid who wanted to leave the island and who turned into smoke after having being pushed in tle light by jacob?

2. Anonymous - May 24, 2010

Yep, that's J.J. Abrams for you. His shows start off sparkling with wicked promise, then fall off a cliff somewhere on the way to resolution. I am watching Fringe with my heart in my throat, not just because of the twisty plot but because I'm wondering when that other shoe is going to drop.

3. Anonymous - May 24, 2010

I couldn't agree more with all of your points. I feel cheated. I feel like the finale was a total cop-out. The writers basically wrote this ending so they wouldn't have to figure out how to explain everything else. We had smoke monsters, temples and dying pregnant women dangled in front of our eyes, but in the end we were told this was about Jack coming to terms with his death, and you dont need to focus on all the other hype we've been throwing at you for 6 years. It's beyond infuriating.

4. Anonymous - May 24, 2010

I've just watched it. OMG!!! crap, total useless crap. You are so right about it. And hello? Juliet was Jack's wife but Sawyer's love of life? I can buy time travelling, but in this season they just threw all this people to a huge sack and shook it and mixed it without ANY idea how to explain all mysteries they created. It seems that everybody in that church know what's going on. But I don't.

5. Rusty - May 24, 2010

Jack and Juliette were together in purgatory (ugggh) but Sawyer and Juliette were together in "real" life…"real" life being the 1970s because of all the time travel.ARGH

6. Pana - May 24, 2010

I wanted to be able to be all, "Snape killed Dumbledore!" but when my girlfriend asked me how it ended I was like, "uh, well..um.." because WHO THE HELL KNOWS. What was the island? DUNNOWhy were they there? To protect it. Protect what about it? DUNNOI didn't need everything answered, but I needed SOMETHING MORE. I even enjoyed the purgatory sideways, but I wouldn't have picked it over some actual resolution. I wish they hadn't introduced anything new this season – Dogen, the temple? Sayid getting coming back to life all different? I didn't need more questions they weren't going to answer!

7. Michael - May 24, 2010

They were actually in the afterlife? After all those years of the writers claiming that wasn't going to be the twist?All I can think is Nelson going "Haw, haw!" at the entire fanbase.

8. Rusty - May 24, 2010

Not quite. An alternate timeline was set up in Season 6, supposedly the result of a nuclear blast in an electromagnetic field. But it wasn't really an alternate timeline, that was really purgatory.Of course now people are saying the entire thing was purgatory, but I really don't think that.And nothing makes me feel stupider than explaining the stuff that happens on Lost.

9. Anonymous - May 24, 2010

Finale in other words: …As Jack touches his father's coffin, his dad pops out and yells April's fool's…

10. George Moschovitis - May 24, 2010

You nailed it. It was complete and utter CRAP!!!! Such a waste of time…

11. Anonymous - May 25, 2010

I agree with everything you said except for the part about buying the blu-ray. I have seasons 1-5 if anyone is interested.

12. HarmonyC - May 25, 2010

Fringe will never get bad. Ever. Bite your tongue.*cries*So, are we allowed to just complain about TV shows now? Can I finally do my epic post about misogyny in The Office?

13. Discount coupons - May 25, 2010

I really enjoyed the end of lost but feel cheated by the writer's a bit

14. Anonymous - May 25, 2010

numbers …. undead people … peple that do not age … and the plane it took off from the island – what happened there ? alpert where did he finish ? who is jack's son ? where is aaron – r there 2 now ? michael ? dharma ? atom bomb – what happened? BULLSHIT100% BULLSHIT – WASTE OF TIME. Now there is another phobia ++ LOSTPHOBIA = the fear of watching TV series from ABC.total crap. can't complain enough

15. Derek - May 25, 2010

Totally agree. Thank you.

16. HRH King Friday XIII, Ret. - May 26, 2010

You know, I've never seen a single episode of Lost but I still read this entire post and LOVE it. That's what I like about this blog… you don't even need to watch an actual Lifetime (or Lost) tele-drama to appreciate the commentary here. So now that my keyboard is all sticky from Rusty-love, let me say this: Personally, I think everything JJ Abrams touches turns to shit. Mission Impossible, Star Trek Reboot… the man killed off all the Vulcans! He is the master of plot loopholes and open endedness. Do not fall for his crap.

17. graham - May 27, 2010

I heard a while ago that the writers were planning on leaving a lot of loose ends, I went into season 6 thinking that (hell even season 5) so I think although the show is over, "Lost" is far from done. also, I think the stained glass window with all the religious symbols was more for a "however you define afterlife"

18. Anonymous - May 30, 2010

Makes sense that a self described "hater" would dislike Unitarian Universalism.

19. Annie - May 31, 2010

I don't think pulling the plug mad Richard mortal, Jacob finally crossing over did. Which makes sense, since he's the one that made him immortal to begin with. Also, I think going through the waters by the plug is what made Smokey the human Smokey the Smoke Monster, so it might make sense that removing the waters would make him mortal again.

20. Badger - June 2, 2010

Absolutely bang on exactly how I felt about it. I feel a mug for sticking with it for six seasons when I suspected as much at the start of season 3.

21. Leigh C. - June 6, 2010

umm, the anonymous dude who busted you on 'hating' unitarian universalism is awesome, fyi.

22. Phr34k - October 6, 2010

I agree on most terms with what you say in this post and I also loved the Sawyer/Juliette moment.Personally tho it looks to me like the changed out the script writers more than once in the show (which usually turns shows into utter shit). I'd do the last season different for sure.When it comes to J.J Abrams I don't think it's his fault. I loved Alias… I love Fringe and Undercovers. Lost were basically lost on most (hey that rimed even).

23. The Secret of Hidden Lake « Lifetime, Wow! - March 29, 2011

[…] year I wrote a review of the series finale of Lost, aka the day I lost faith in serial television. A major complaint I […]

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