The end of "Lost"

I started writing this post at about 12:30 this morning because I couldn’t sleep, and my mind was whirling with “Lost” visions and questions that I told myself I wasn’t going to dwell on. It never fails, my mind is always most active before I try to sleep.

My instant reaction to last night’s “Lost” finale was this: I was very, very pleased … It worked.

Of course, all of my sentiments were thrown into a tailspin when Kates finished watching the finale about an hour behind me and called, seemingly more lost and confused than I. Our interpretations of the finale varied, which seems to be occurring across the country today, and probably will for weeks and months to come. For my friends still catching up on previous seasons via DVD, good luck.

Still, I’m quite comfortable with my interpretation, thank you very much -- that everything we saw during the first five seasons was real life for the Oceanic 815 survivors. I’m contending that the remaining survivors died at the end of Season 5 when Juliet detonated the nuclear bomb at the Swan station, and here’s why:

… Juliet detonated the bomb and everything went white. Even the “Lost” title screen with white letters on a black background was reversed to black letters on a white screen. As if everything was entering a new dimension.

… The sideways lives started appearing after Juliet detonated the bomb. The survivors got the “reset” they had hoped for, the plane landed safely and they began living in purgatory.

… In the finale, we heard the line “It worked” multiple times, which is what Juliet said in the Season 6 premiere just after she detonated the bomb.

… I also think the bomb detonation is what ultimately sunk the island, as we saw it in the opening sequence of the Season 6 premiere -- not whatever magic Desmond tried in the cave of light during the finale, as Locke/Smoke Monster/Man in Black/Whatever He Was tried to have us believe.

… The Season 5 finale, in which the bomb was detonated, was titled “The Incident.” Perhaps it was the incident that killed the remaining survivors?

I could be way off base. And I probably am. But that’s so the beauty of “Lost.”

Kates -- and a multitude of fans, I’m finding -- interpreted the finale by concluding all of the castaways died in the original plane crash, and everything that followed was a complex journey through the afterlife …

But that theory contradicts Christian’s parting words to Jack in the church -- that some died before and some died long after. The exchange leaves the impression that Hurley and Ben were still very much living on the island after Jack died. That Kate, Sawyer and the remaining survivors really did fly off the island in the Ajira Airways plane. And that Hurley really was “a great No. 1” to Ben’s “real good No. 2.”

By the way, my favorite line of the night …
Sawyer (responding to Jack‘s recap of Jacob‘s instructions): “Sounds to me like he didn’t say anything about anything.”

Hugo: “That’s kinda true, dude. He’s worse than Yoda.”

And keeping with the “Star Wars” theme, Hurley added later: “I got a bad feeling about this.”
The entire show -- with all of its ties to religion and mythology -- is wide open for interpretation.

I caught Evangeline Lily’s appearance on Letterman a couple weeks ago, on which she said the finale represented “Lost” nicely. After watching the finale tonight, I understand what she meant …

If you’re complaining now that it didn’t make sense … what did you expect? The show has never made sense. But the finale made sense for “Lost.”

As frustrating as it was at times, the whole journey of the show was a mind-blowing puzzle of epic storylines that were never clear. If you thought the finale and all of its answers were going to be handed to you on a silver platter, than you’re missing the beauty and art of the show.
With its rich characters and sumptous score and ingenius plot turns, “Lost’’ is a triumphant work of art — yes, anti-TV snobs, I did say “art.’’ That’s why the ending of “Lost’’ raises age-old artistic questions ...

But when it comes to “Lost,’’ the equation isn’t so easy. The beauty and innovation of the show is the way it coexists with its audience, which goes online after every episode, asking and answering questions, analyzing screen shots, sharing theories that are sometimes more intriguing than anything that aired on TV. “Lost’’ is a collective experience, which is why catching up on DVDs will be possible, but unsatisfying — like watching the Super Bowl a week later, alone.
All theories aside, the final scenes were beautifully written, choreographed and shot, with some inspired music for an extra punch. As the final moments played out, I couldn’t stop smiling, chills were running through my spine, and I was tearing up -- all at once. ... Sawyer and Juliet's reunion. The smirk on Kates face as she left Jack in his jeep. Locke forgiving Ben and rising out of his wheelchair. And the way Jack stumbled to the very same spot where he landed on the island, and closed his eyes in a reversal of the way the whole wild journey began ...

I loved the way the survivors found each other and reclaimed the memories of their pasts. I delighted at seeing Shannon reappear in front of Sayid, and for me, that was the moment the finale really started clicking. That was the moment I gave in, realized the finale was heading for one grand reunion and settled on the notion that not all of the island’s mysteries would be put to rest.

So what if we didn’t get clear cut answers to all of our questions -- to the polar bear, the numbers and why exactly Richard didn’t age -- or why, in the end, he did age? All of that, too, remains open for interpretation.

Finally, I thought Christian’s parting words and his church scene with son Jack couldn’t have been more symbolic -- to the show, and to the situation playing out in our lives right now. It occurred to me toward the end of the finale that the show ran parallel to our life in K-Town ... The memories of watching the “Lost” premiere on a September night in the fall of 2004 and being mesmerized by all of its thrilling sequences, while Kates and I were still unpacking boxes in our new home, remain etched in my brain. For those six years, “Lost” was an escape from reality that no other television show provided us. In the last six years, there was rarely a television show that we consistently looked forward to watching more, and there was never another show that forced us to drop everything we were doing for an hour -- every Tuesday, Wednesday, or whatever night we chose to watch it on DVR -- out of fear that we might miss something very important. Talk about a fitting title, we got lost in the story-telling.

In my mind, there’s only one other show in our lifetimes that consistently captivated Kates and I on a weekly basis and created a similar stir when it retired: “Friends,” which ran parallel to another important phase of our lives -- the collision of our youth with adulthood.

Just like I’ve said there will never be another show like “Friends,” there will never ever be another show like “Lost.”

And so, in the words of Christian …

Moving on.

Here are some of my favorite passages from the day's reviews ...

The Chicago Tribune ...
And after all the present-future-past machinations on this show, time did seem to stop in the last 20 minutes of the "Lost" series finale. The closing sequence was a hymn, it was an emotionally cathartic sendoff, it was a beautiful reunion and a testament to what the show was about: Creating your own world. Creating your own fate. Creating a community of people that you can't exist without -- in any sphere, before or after death.
EW ...
Lost last night was a combination of a greatest-hits album and a lively Sunday-school lesson. Everyone was forgiven; everyone smiled. If The Mary Tyler Moore Show hadn’t done it first, I suspect that the Lost producers would have had every member assembled in the final scene gather in a group hug.
The Boston Globe ...
The déjà vu revelations came on in the characters like a love drug, as Kate delivered Claire’s baby, as Sayid saw Shannon, as Sawyer and Juliet re-met cute by the hospital candy machine. When they all sat in a church at the end, ready to “move on,’’ it was like a flashforward to the sentimental “Lost’’ reunion show that will inevitably take place 10 years from now.
USA Today ... 
Thrillingly, cleverly, and in a manner that tapped into the simple, profound truths of great American works like Our Town, the show spelled out for viewers what it has been saying all along. Lost is about life and death, faith and science, spirit and flesh, and has always stressed that the title refers to the characters' souls, not their location.
More good reads and links ...
a 'Lost': A Character Gallery
a 'Lost': 30 Key Deaths
a YouTube: Lost eyeballs
a A swan song for Lost' composer
a In ‘Lost,’ Mythology Trumps Mystery
a It’s not even over, but they feel ‘Lost’
a The Men Who Made ABC’s ‘Lost’ Last
a As Lost Ends, Creators Explain How They Did It, What’s Going On
a Daniel Dae Kim on 'Lost' Finale: 'I Wanted to Find Some Kind of Closure'
a When it’s time for TV series finales, parting is almost always botched
a Lost Like Us: Will Cubs Ever Leave the Island?  ... Clever.

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