So how about that Lost finale, eh?
I loved it. Unequivocally. I laughed. I cried—Oh how I cried. I didn’t get answers to many of the questions I’ve asked throughout the years but then the genius of this finale (and this final season?) was that it convinced me those answers weren’t important. Quite frankly, rarely have the answers we’ve gotten from Lost lived up to the questions or the theories we’ve all worked out together. So, yeah, in “The End” I didn’t care about answers. I cared about finishing out the story of the survivors of Oceanic 815. In that way, the finale delivered while also paying a great deal of homage to things we’ve loved about this show for six seasons.
Which is not to say everything about it worked for me, the explanation of the Flash Sideways world? I’m good with it. The last scene in the church? Not so much. Ermm, I mean, it was nice to see everyone gathered together for one last harmonious moment. Those moments were the hallmark of this show for a long time so it’s a nice way to end it. But the heavy religious overtones (and, seriously, you can all it spiritual if you want but when a “Christian Shephard” – thanks, Kate, for finally standing in for me and rolling your eyes over the obviousness of that name – leads people into a bright light it falls more on the religious side for me) didn’t quite work for me. Admittedly this probably says more about me than the show and the direction they chose to go with that scene. Luckily it was followed by a final visual that most definitely did work for me. Man, oh man, the tears when Vincent settled in at Jack’s side!
ETA: Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with a show having a religious aspect. But this show has always gone out of its way to not tie itself to any one religion/philosophy/belief. Not so much here in the finale. The sudden heavy-handedness was what I found jarring.
I also have some serious issues with the idea that Shannon is the one who helps Sayid see the light. (Literally?!) I could maybe be persuaded to believe she’d need him but there’s no way Nadia isn’t his constant. And Nadia was a part of their combined world so there’s no reason she couldn’t have been the one there with him at the church. Hell, she even appears in the pilot! Granted, she was in a photo but it was established from the get-go that she was a huge part of his life and I can’t buy that he’d let go without her at his side. BUT, I get it. They wanted as many of the original cast there as possible. And Shannon and Sayid were a love story given a decent amount of screen time on the show so I went with it despite my misgivings. I’m just going on record to say that Boone and Shannon were two returnees I could have done without.
On the flip side, I totally didn’t care about any of the people who were missing from the final group shot. Most definitely Walt. The Island had a huge impact on his life but, in the grand scheme of things, these people were only in his life for a short time and are not nearly as significant to him as he may have been to us. And Michael. Michael chose Walt over everyone else so early in the series that it’s not hard to see how these are not the people he’d choose to go into the light with, no? It absolutely makes sense to me that he’s not present.
Of course, my refusal to acknowledge the possibility of these people having been dead all along probably helps. Otherwise, I would question why Walt and Michael weren’t there. (And I’d have to be OK with Shannon and Boone.) But I dismissed it last night immediately after Greg admitted that was how he took the scene between Jack and Christian and the scene with Jack back in his original spot from the pilot. I’ll continue to dismiss it regardless of the people bringing it up in commentaries and reviews. In fact, I’ll even dismiss it even if Lindelhof and Cuse come out and say that’s how they meant it. Thank goodness this show leaves so much room for interpretation, eh?
As to whether it’s a collective subconscious/afterlife (after-conscious?) or just Jack’s is something else that seems up for interpretation. I prefer to believe we’re seeing each person’s version of their own afterlife. Especially given their appearances in each other’s afterlives. Those are just further proof that, indeed, these are the people who became most important to them in the end. The coincidences work for me in that regard. (Much like the original coincidences kept them all in each other’s orbit, as though some force was always pulling them together or sensed their eventual importance.) Plus, it gives greater significance to those scenes this season. For instance, if it’s all Jack’s take, Sayid’s “afterlife” it’s not nearly as meaningful as knowing it’s how Sayid himself imagines laying his issues to rest. Plus, not sure I’d buy Jack giving Sawyer and Juliet their “it worked” scene at the vending machines. (And what a scene it was!! Look, I’m not a big fan of that pairing but, after having to watch Juliet die what seems like a thousand times this season, even I was happy to see those two crazy kids reunited.)
When the night started, I admitted to my friends the only ending I’d have a hard time accepting was a dream scenario. If it turned out to be all someone’s dream, I’d… Well, I dunno what I’d have done but I definitely wouldn’t be writing this glowing commentary! And that’s why I cannot accept that they all died in the plane crash and the entire show has taken place in some kind of purgatory. For one, that truly would invalidate most of the stories we’ve seen. For another, how did all of these other people get involved? In order for people to realize they were in limbo, they had to re-connect with those who had a profound effect on their lives. Some of those connections come with people they met after the plane crash. If they were dead originally then shouldn’t all of their real connections come from people who were pre-plane crash or directly involved in the crash? Or is there just a bunch of other people wandering around in purgatory thinking it’s the real world? Of all the ideas this show has asked me to believe in over the years, that would too much. Especially if we’re given no hint of it until the last five minutes of the show. Sorry, I guess I just need to believe the Flash Sideways are happening AFTER their deaths post-plane crash and, whether or not that’s the truth, I’m thankful we were not given a definitive answer either way so I can believe in my theory and you can believe in yours.
I’m leaving a lot out here. Partly because there’s just so much. Partly because tears well up in my eyes every time I try to think of specific scenes. Seriously, as I was mentally composing this post in the shower this morning I had a total meltdown thinking about Ben and Hurley and that last scene on the church steps. Apparently I’m lot more invested in these characters than I thought. I really am going to miss them. I’m sorry for those who hated this finale but I’m so happy it’s left me so content. It was a great way to say goodbye.