LOST: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Biscuits)   

Will any other show ever do the eye shot as well as LOST?

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.

Christian Shephard (JOHN TERRY) opens the door to the light on the series finale of LOST. (ABC/MARIO PEREZ)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.) Juliet (ELIZABETH MITCHELL) and Sawyer (JOSH HOLLOWAY) finally reunited on the series finale of LOST. (ABC/MARIO PEREZPlus, 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.

And that is a wrap, folks! Anyone else need a nap?

20 Responses to “LOST: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Biscuits)”

  1. 1
    Eolivet says:

    I loved it, too, but what I don’t understand is how prevalent this “oh they were all dead all along” theory is (to the point where the freaking L.A. Times TV critic is espousing it!) I thought they were crystal clear, and I absolutely agree with you that the “island time” was real and the ONLY time they were dead was the “sideways” (or as I call it, the flash-WAY-forward ;p )

    (Plus, how would them all being in purgatory possibly jive with the “Oceanic 6″ and flash-forward story? So, they were only sort of dead, but in the alt-world, they were REALLY dead? That just makes no sense. Occam’s Razor, people. :x )

    What amazed me is how much I cared about getting answers. Until I didn’t. That’s the mark of a great series. :D

    • 1.1
      Rae says:

      HAHAH! So funny, I completely forgot that, again while showering this morning, I realized it really was a FlashForward too! Heh. Too bad Desmond didn’t realize that or he might not have been so eager to go down that hole.

      Yeah, I know. Sunil and I just had a similar convo. The more you examine it, it makes less and less sense to say that they were dead the whole time.

      I hear ya. I thought I wanted answers, I really did. But I’m mostly satisified with what we got. I don’t love it all and there’s still a bit of reaching to try and fill in the holes but, in the end, all I cared about was a conclusion that worked for me.

    • 1.2
      Spadada says:

      Oooh, I just thought of more proof! (Since people seem to need it). When Desmond pulled the cork out in the island, he didn’t flash to the Sideways like he thought he would BECAUSE HE DIDN’T DIE.

      How did Desmond die? Aww. How much time did he spend thinking he would never get to the place where all his loved ones were? I hope not long. And I hope Hurley and Ben gave him something to do! Maybe he helped explain the sitch to candidates. He does have a way with getting people to go along with him.

      • Rae says:

        Right. Though I think Desmond thought it was truly a different timeline. Like I felt like Island Desmond represented us in a way, he was so willing to do what he needed to do because he had seen that there was a different life. I don’t think he realized it wasn’t life at all at that point…

        Well, if Hurley has different rules and lets people come and go, then I’m gonna guess Penny comes and gets Desmond on that boat of theirs! Pretty sure she wouldn’t just give up on him.

  2. 2
    Wings says:

    So, yeah – That’s how I take it, too.

    The island time was all real, they survived the crash and all died the deaths we saw, except for those who left the island (Kate, Claire, etc.). The sideways world was them in a sort of purgatory/denial place. And when they were forced to confront and accept their deaths, they could go to the “meeting place”. I like how Jack’s dad said there was no “now” there. Some died before Jack, some long after, but they all appeared as they were when they were most important to each other.

    Loved all that. Could have done without the church setting, even with the stained glass window of multi-faiths. Little too heavy on that for me. But hey, I wasn’t a writer, just a viewer.

    • 2.1
      Rae says:

      Hear hear, on the church comment. I think part of what threw me is that I haven’t felt like they laid the groundwork for that very well. Yes, there was lots of spiritual/religious stuff interwoven into the Island itself but they were always so inclusive that I wasn’t really prepared for how far they went with that last scene. It’s not so much that *I* have to believe in an afterlife or purgatory or whatever we want to call it for that kind of story to work for me. It’s more that I have to believe it’s what the characters believe, ya know?

  3. 3
    Crystal says:

    You don’t have to just pretend that they weren’t dead all along. There are three big key facts pointing to Island=Real, Sideways=AfterDeath.
    1. Jack asks if they’re all dead. Christian replied “Some are… some will be.” People died wherever we saw them die or lived on to natural endings.
    2. Hurley says to Ben “You made a great Number Two.” They had awesome adventures being keepers of the island for who knows how many years. PS: I want this in sitcom format.
    3. Kate says to Jack “I missed you so much.” She lived the rest of her (however long) life without him.

    I just wish that for the people who were still living when Jack died, that in their flashes we’d seen things in their future, too. I feel like that would have helped clear up that point.

    I’m with you on the overtly religious tones. I wish that Christian hadn’t been there. I feel like Hurley and Desmond could have been given the exposition and it wouldn’t have been as religiony.

    • 3.1
      Spadada says:

      Kate says to Jack “I missed you so much.” She lived the rest of her (however long) life without him.
      I didn’t need further proof to understand, but I had missed this detail when I watched it, so thanks. Kate had to live on without Jack for who knows how many years. Awesome to think about.

    • 3.2
      Rae says:

      Bless you. I agree. I didn’t want to pull them all out but the more people try to convince me otherwise, the more I keep returning to all the things that point the other way.

      I agree about the flashes and how it would have been nice to see something from their future BUT I think the flashes were all meant to be somewhat related to the thing prompting them AND, well, that would have given it away sooner than they wanted.

      You know, I don’t mind Christian being there so much as I felt like I needed some closure for Jack and Christian but, yeah, I’d have preferred he not be the one to explain it all.

  4. 4
    Dana says:

    I think we are on the same page. The reason Michael and Walt weren’t there, TTBOMK, is because Walt left so early and did not have the connection with everyone else, and Michael let Hurley know he was “stuck” on the island as a result of his actions.

    Re: the church; was that not the church they went to when trying to get back? Where Daniel Faraday’s mother had her secret room o’ the giant pendulum?

    • 4.1
      Rae says:

      See I wasn’t sure if Michael would still be stuck there after everything that happened? But perhaps. Either way, I think there are multiple ways to explain his absence. It really didn’t bother me because it’s been a long time since he’s had any kind of real connection with this group of people.

      Yes, I did think it was that church. So it made sense in a way, though I kinda wish someone had referred to it has a lighthouse or something.

  5. 5
    Spadada says:

    1) Brilliant title!!!!

    2) I really enjoyed it too and feel, like you do, that once I decided it wasn’t about the answers, this was the ending I needed.

    3) I love this sentence with all my heart: “In fact, I’ll even dismiss it even if Lindelhof and Cuse come out and say that’s how they meant it.”

    4) I would have never guessed being as moved as I was by the final moment between Hugo/Ben either. I think it is not just the characters, but the implication that the island lives on.

    5) I think because they decided to give no answers, they really didn’t need 2 1/2 hours. Places really dragged for me. (And accordingly to eolviet on Twitter, they don’t get credit for the last half-hour ratings wise since 11-11:30 is no longer prime time. So, like, when everyone who just wanted to know what happened tuned in, no one was counting? Poor planning!)

    I get that these people were brought closer because of the craziness they experienced on the island and they Lived Life to an extent they would not have had they never crashed and so all the pain and loss was worth it, and that in the end it is about the people, not the island, but I still would have liked more sci-fi in those 2 1/2 hours.

    • 5.1
      Spadada says:

      Also, just had a realization while reading Cindy’s recaptlet on TWoP. It was Shannon, not Nadia, because Sayid became a changed man when he was with Shannon. With/after Shannon, he was just a man, not a solider. Or something.

      I can even fanwank what him asking Smokie to reunite him with Nadia. When he is dark and broken after the pool, he wants his old life back. He no longer holds the light in him that his time on the island (Shannon) helped him find. Or something :)

      • Rae says:

        Ha. Pauline (below) said the same thing. I admit that’s the best explanation for it that I’ve heard and makes it easier to swallow.

        But you’re forgetting that he gets back with Nadia after the Oceanic 6 return (that’s why I think she’s also connected to the others, because of the time she spends with them after their return) and it’s her death that once again drives him to work for Ben. He’s pretty dark and broken long before he’s dunked in that pool.

        I accept the whole Shannon thing but it’s still the most obviously shoehorned in when it comes to having characters return. (And I really would have been fine if she had indeed sparked his memory and opened his eyes but they hadn’t coupled them up. But then I also had an issue with just how many “love/couples” connections kept happening. I wanted more of a range of profound connections if only because I always thought the “it’s all about love” thing was kind of lame.

    • 5.2
      Rae says:

      1) Thanks! I couldn’t resist… We were talking about the fish biscuits last night so it stood out to me. ;)

      3) Heh. Well, I felt safe saying it for now since they’ve made it pretty clear they don’t plan to explain anything. I’m sure they’ll probably clarify a few things but I suspect they won’t get into that kind of stuff. If there’s any wriggle room in how to take something, they usually keep mum about it and let people speculate.

      4) True. Altho, I think it’s really just that moment of redemption for Ben. It’s really striking to me how Ben is, in those final moments we see him (both in the Flash Sideways and on the Island, so willing to accept his place as #2 when he’s been all about being #1 for so long. The scope of that character’s journey is breathtaking.

      5) I guess my question is… do the ratings count at this point? I felt like they added the extra half hour because they felt like they couldn’t cut it down and that was more about giving us more of the character moments than anything else. It never dragged for me BUT we also waited and then fast-forwarded through the commercial breaks so it also wasn’t 2 1/2 hours when we watched.

      I’m OK with the lack of sci-fi if only because I felt they explained most of it. To the extent that they could and were going to anyway. Or maybe I had just put the questions out of my mind? I can’t really think of something that I really wanted explained that I didn’t feel they gave me enough of an answer to figure it out. Maybe the baby thing. I really did want to know why no one could carry a baby to full term on the island.

      • Spadada says:

        I’ve decided Allison Janey was some sort of fertility/maternal goddess (she had been on the island a long time and it was never explained how she got there and she was all cryptic and annoying like a goddess would be, LOL) and when she killed the mother after she gave birth, she disturbed some sort of order of things and that caused the deaths in childbirth.

        And since Claire was a candidate (or because the other candidates were on the island, thus restoring balance), Aaron was able to come into the world.

        I feel like I need to end every comment with “or something” ;)

  6. 6
    Pauline says:

    Hi Rae… hope you don’t mind that I toddled over from Cabrera’s place.

    I too LOVED the finale and I still have a headache today from all the crying. I’m confused by the people who think the whole series was them dead. Clearly it was the Flash-Sideways World where they were dead… or as I like to call it Flash-Non-Linear. I really think this was the place where Juliet ended up and caused her to say, “It worked.” Otherwise… this ending is the first I’ve ever seen on the screen that so exemplified my own belief system that has been subtly molded by Dr. Michael Newton who has been studying between life experiences through hypnosis for 30 years. I’m a firm believer in Soul Clusters and people coming into our lives to fulfill agreements we make between lives. The missing people in my mind belonged to different Clusters so they weren’t there. Yeah yeah… I’m nutty like that.

    Oh… and I’m not so keen on Churches… but it made some sense to me to have them meet there… it was the only place where they could stick a bunch of props from various faiths… it was a perfect place to stick a coffin and it was the church that sat upon The Light Post Station where Eloise was able to pinpoint the location of the island to send Jack and co back on the Ajira Flight.

    So far as Shannon and Sayid… I understand why it had to be Shannon. She was the first person in his life that just saw him as good… as her hero. As much as he loved Nadia, when she ran into him as an adult, it was as prisoner to his torturer. But of everyone in the world, it was Shannon who saw him as the good man… and in that, he was reminded of the choice he made at death to be the good man and dispose of the bomb. For Sayid, I think it was less about finding his true love and more about remembering his true nature.

    I enjoyed your Post Rae! Thanks!

    • 6.1
      Rae says:

      Hi Pauline and OF COURSE! You’re always welcome. :)

      I know how you feel. It took me a long time to get to sleep last night after all that crying.

      Re: Different Soul Clusters: Exactly! I have no problem believing this set of people were all apart of the same Cluster while also accepting that some people who might have been apart of it might also have a stronger tie to another. (See: Libby is here mostly because of her connection to Hurley. If not for the Hurley connection I do believe she wouldn’t have been there, which seems obvious to say but it explains why others might not be there either. Juliet is another example. She’s important to several of the people gathered but it’s really her tie to Sawyer that stops her from being in a Cluster with her sister with whom she was also had a strong connection.

      I do agree that the church made sense in that it was on the Light Post Station. I think it was more the sudden convergence of so many religious references. The Church, “Christian,” going into a bright light, etc. And, again, it’s not because I don’t believe in that… it’s more that it felt out of character for the show. I know it’s not really because we’ve had references before but it’s never felt so overt before

      OK, I buy your explanation for Shannon and Sayid. I have less of an issue with Shannon being the one to cause Sayid to flash so much as Nadia not being there with him in the end. I guess I just found the love story between Nadia and Sayid more moving than Shannon/Sayid. :)

  7. 7
    Wings says:

    Spadada: I kind of took what Ben and Hurley said as what they were going to do for their first “mission” as the Protector and Number Two of the island was to reunite Desmond with Penny and their son.

  8. 8
    Pauline says:

    I just commented this over at Cabrera’s…. thought I’d bring it over here… I was thinking this afternoon about the science people being unsatisfied with the finale.

    I find it very interesting that this series finale happened at the exact time that there is oil gushing out of a hole in the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

    People are mad that we didn’t find out the island was and how Smokey would have destroyed the world had he been let off the island.

    In my mind, I am choosing to see the island as a metaphor for Earth and the smoke monster as a destructive escaped energy source. See crazy Foster Mom and the boys put it in simple terms in this conversation:

    MOTHER: Light. The warmest, brightest light you’ve ever seen or felt. And we must make sure that no one ever finds it.
    BOY IN BLACK: It’s beautiful…
    MOTHER: Yes it is. And that’s why they want it. Because a little bit of this very same light is inside of every man. But they always want more.
    JACOB: Can they take it?
    MOTHER: No. But they would try. And if they tried they could put it out. And if the light goes out here… it goes out everywhere. And so I’ve protected this place. But I can’t protect it forever.

    Sort of sounds like a metephorical discussion of energy sources: oil, gas, coal, etc. At least to me. We had whole seasons centering around the electromagnetism of the island and how men wanted to dig down into the earth to get to it and try to harness it so it makes sense to me.

    Maybe we should send jack down to the bottom of The Gulf to plug up the hole?