“Lost” finale leaves a lot to be desired

There’s an old adage in show business — leave ’em wanting more. With last night’s finale, “Lost” showrunners Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof took that line a little too far, offering up one big, metaphysical argument while leaving many questions unanswered.

Slate’s Laura Miller argues that the show’s fans might be to blame:

Could it be that in resisting the geekiest, nitpickingest, most Aspergerian demands of their audience they swung too far in the opposite direction, dismissing as trivial everything but the cosmic (the tedious and largely unnecessary Jacob-Smokey background) and the sentimental (making sure that every character receives his or her designated soul mate or therapeutic closure of the most banal Dr. Phil variety)?

If so, “Lost” may be the quintessential example of a pop masterpiece ruined by its own fans. The comic-book paraphernalia and texture of the island — its secret bunkers with their code names, Jacob’s migrating cabin with its creepy paintings, the ersatz normality of the Others’ compound ringed by those sonic pylons and the fantastically mechanical grinding and dragging sounds that used to accompany the appearance of the smoke monster — were not peripheral to the heart of “Lost.” They were the very essence of its appeal, what that show did better than any other. If I want to contemplate the nature of good and evil, I’ll turn to Nietzsche or Hannah Arendt (or, for that matter, Joss Whedon), and if I want ruminations on love, give me Emily Brontë or John Updike (or “Big Love”). From “Lost” I wanted less profundity and more fun. And I still want to know what the deal was with those numbers.

Ree Hines of MSNBC had a problem with the actual ending:

Sometime after his “Hey, kiddo!” and Jack’s understandable “What-the-what?” reaction, the silver fox explained precisely what the alternate reality was — a place Jack and his past pals created to have one giant, post-mortem meet up.

That’s right. It wasn’t a different thread of reality created by the time-changing blast Daniel Faraday suggested. That makes too much sense. Instead, it was all just some oddly plotted excuse for everyone (minus Michael, Walt and loads of other characters) to get together after their respective deaths but before they moved on to whatever follows.

What was the point of everything before that? What about all that alt-action? The alt-escapes? The alt-killings? The alt-family members who don’t really exist? (Sorry, David! And sorry anyone else who paid attention to your now meaningless story.) There weren’t any.

The end.

Really this time.

Those who spent the better part of the last six seasons wondering where in the heck the sometimes frustrating, almost always entertaining mystery could possibly go finally got their answer. If they can make sense of it, that is.

In the end, the electromagnetically charged mystery island gave way to a hug-filled waiting room leading to a pan-spiritual afterlife, led by the aptly named Christian Shephard. Whew!

It’s a daring way to end “Lost” — leaving plenty of questions unanswered and winking out on what has to be its least satisfying twist to date.

At least no one can say they saw that coming.

In other words, the ending was a surprise, and not a good one.

In terms of opinion, I fall more in line with Hines than Miller. While I see Miller’s point, the time to answer many of the questions that plagued her — the meaning of the numbers, why children were being abducted, how the island came to be, etc. — was not the finale. Those should have somehow been answered earlier. Within the context of the finale, it didn’t make sense for Jack to stop Ben and say, “Hey, why did you kidnap Walt anyway?” or “What’s the deal with the numbers?”

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LIVE BLOG: Lost 6.17 / 6.18 – The End

Welcome one and all to tonight’s live blog of the “Lost” series finale. As you can tell from the episode’s title, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof aren’t messing around when they say that this is the last we’ll see of our beloved Losties. No silly spin-offs, or God help us, feature films, but I guess you can never say never when money is involved. With that said, however, I’m not going to pretend like I’m a seasoned pro at this whole live blogging thing (in fact, it’s the first time I’ve ever tried it), so bear with me as my updates will likely be subject to a slight delay as I gather my thoughts and update the post, all while keeping track of the action onscreen. Continue to refresh this page for all updates and feel free to comment below. Enjoy the show, and don’t forget to check back after it’s over for my final thoughts.

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Countdown to the “Lost” finale

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It all started with a plane crash, but in the six years since “Lost” premiered, ABC’s hit drama has become about a lot more than just a group of castaways trying to get off an island. From polar bears and smoke monsters, mysteries and revelations, and enough jumping back and forth in time to give audiences their own nosebleeds, it’s been one helluva ride. With the series finale only a few days away, however, it’s time we finally come to grips with the fact that our favorite show is ending for good.

At least it’s going out with a bang, as last Tuesday’s lead-in to the finale appears to have set the stage for what is sure to be an incredible farewell. On Earth-1, Jack has agreed to remain on the island as its new protector (while Kate, Sawyer and Hurley celebrate the fact that it isn’t them), and Smokey has devised a new plan to exploit Desmond’s superhuman resistance to electromagnetism by blowing up the whole damn island, hopefully breaking his centuries-long imprisonment in the process. And over in Earth-2 (a mirror universe that’s like some kind of “Matrix”-esque simulated reality where the Losties aren’t cognizant of their Earth-1 lives), a recently awakened Desmond has begun to dole out his own version of the red pill by jogging their memories and assembling them all together at a concert in Los Angeles. How this will tie into the lives of the surviving Losties on the island remains the biggest question of all, but I think it’s safe to assume that it’s one the writers plan to answer before it’s over.

And don’t forget, I’ll be live blogging the series finale this Sunday starting at 9PM EST right here on Premium Hollywood. ABC will also be airing the original two-hour pilot Saturday night, a two-hour preview show Sunday before the finale, and a special edition of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” directly after. If that’s still not enough, be sure to check out Bullz-Eye’s brand new
Lost Fan Hub for interviews, DVD reviews, and much more.

To help get you in the mood, I leave you with this, a somewhat upbeat look back at the many deaths that have occurred throughout the course of the show. Enjoy.

  

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Lost 6.16 – What They Died For

I’ve been cautiously managing my expectations for the series finale since the beginning of the season, but after tonight’s incredible episode, it’s hard to imagine being disappointed anymore. Just looking back at last week, it’s funny to think how critical a lot of fans were about that episode. Now, one week later, it all suddenly makes much more sense. Granted, we may not have needed an entire hour dedicated to the history of Jacob and the Man in Black, but without that episode, there’s no way they could’ve progressed the story any farther.

There are only four Losties remaining (the same four, mind you, that Ben had Michael bring to him at the end of Season Two), and Kate is out for blood. She wants to exact revenge on Smokey for killing Sun and Jin, and with no other options left, they decide that the only way to get off the island is to kill him. But first, they have to save Desmond from the well. On the way there, however, Hurley is approached by the mysterious Other kid, who steals Jacob’s ashes and runs off with them into the jungle. When he finally chases the kid down, he discovers an adult Jacob sitting by a fire, who tells Hurley that once it burns out, he will be gone forever. That means getting down to business ASAP, so when Kate starts asking questions, Jacob seems more than happy to answer them. Ah, if only he were this cooperative from the start.

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Still, it’s nice to get some answers for once, including a confession from Jacob that the reason he brought them to the island is because he made a mistake a long time ago – namely, in the accidental creation of the Smoke Monster. He didn’t take all the blame, though, suggesting that they needed the island just as much as it needed them. Perhaps the biggest revelation, however, was the fact that Jacob only crossed Kate’s name off the cave wall because she became a mother to Aaron, and if she wanted the job of island protector, she could have it. In the end, though, it was always going to be Jack who volunteered to stay. The fate of the island is now in Jack’s hands, although if they manage to kill Smokey, who knows, maybe he won’t have to serve as protector for very long.

Elsewhere on the island, Ben, Richard and Miles finally arrive at the barracks to pick up the C4 when Widmore and Zoe show up looking to call a truce. Ben’s not interested, and when Smokey arrived minutes later, you pretty much knew that things weren’t going to end well. Richard had the audacity to try and talk to him, but Smokey just plowed right through him, seemingly killing him in the process. Ben, meanwhile, made a deal with Smokey to kill the rest of the Losties in trade for having the island to himself when Smokey leaves, and his first order of business is to give up Widmore’s hiding spot in his old house. Smokey doesn’t waste any time in slitting Zoe’s throat, and Ben shoots Widmore in the back – but not before Widmore tells Smokey that he brought Desmond back to the island as his fail safe in case all of the candidates were killed. Now, Smokey is looking to exploit Desmond’s resistance to the electromagnetism on the island by blowing it up, but if there’s no island (or cork) left to contain him, does that mean Smokey is just free to go as he pleases? And if so, why didn’t he try this earlier? On a related note, it was great to see Ben back to his old self again. It’s hard to imagine Smokey holding up his end of the deal, though, so I would either count on Ben being killed by Smokey or stabbing him in the back to help the Losties.

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Lost 6.15 – Across the Sea

Ever since we were introduced to Jacob and the Man in Black at the end of Season Five, fans have been foaming at the mouth for more answers about their past. And with only two episodes until the series finale, it seems the writers have finally deemed us worthy of exactly that. Though it wasn’t as great as everyone was probably expecting it to be, tonight’s episode did fill in some of the gaps. In fact, along with shedding some light on the early lives of Jacob and MIB, it also explained why the latter is so damned obsessed with leaving the island… or did it?

Here’s what we do know. A pregnant woman named Claudia washed onto the island after surviving a shipwreck many years ago, and upon meeting another woman in the jungle, she gives birth to a pair of twin boys. The first is named Jacob, but because she wasn’t expecting to have more than one, the other is never given a name – and it remains without one after the woman kills Claudia and raises the two boys as her own. Flashforward to their teenage years and the unnamed child (who we now know as the Man in Black) finds a box on the beach containing white and black rocks that he fashions into a game to play with his brother, Jacob.

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When the boys come across some other people on the island, however, they run back to tell Mother, who tells them that the visitors are evil. She later explains that the two of them are on the island for a reason, and that she’s made it impossible for either of them to hurt the other. She then takes them to a glowing waterfall in the jungle to show them just what they’re supposed to be protecting, and though she refuses to say exactly what it is, she warns them that the visitors will try to take the light, and if it goes out, it will go out everywhere. Of course, if MIB had been paying attention, he would have caught this slip-up, as Mother had previously told him that there was nothing else in the world beyond the island. Of course, that’s quickly remedied when the ghost of MIB’s real mother visits him in the jungle and leads him the other side of the island where the survivors of the shipwreck live. She also tells him about her murder at the hands of Mother, and although MIB tries to convince Jacob to come with him until he can figure out a way to leave the island, Jacob stays behind.

Flashforward again to their adulthood, and though they now live on separate sides of the island, Jacob and MIB still get together to play their childhood game. MIB even admits that Mother was right about the other men being evil, but he needs their help in order to find a way off the island. And as it happens, he’s done just that by digging into areas of the island radiating electromagnetic energy (or as he calls it, places “where the metal acts weird”), in order to locate the source of the glowing waterfall. But when Mother finds out about his dig site – one that includes the yet-to-be-frozen Donkey Wheel that will allow him to leave the island – she throws him against the wall knocking him out. And you wonder why the guy has been holding a grudge against her for all these years.

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