Monday, May 24, 2010
Lost: The End
You want another insight into my chaotic head? For years now I've made the series finale of Lost a benchmark in my life, a goal that I had to reach. I was always a little worried that God, with His sense of humour, would have me drop dead a week before the finale just so I'd never know how it ended. Along the same lines I've decided, well in advance, to avoid becoming interested in anything after the age of 70, just so He can't screw me out of the answers to that too :)
Now . . . it's over. I made it.
And you know what? The word that comes to mind when I think of the finale, more than any other, is 'satisfied'.
As always Lost stayed devoted to the 'story', a true rarity on TV. The characters moved us and spoke to our hearts, but they existed to move the story along, not to bump it to the side. I love that, just as I love characters like Jack and Desmond.
What also impressed me is that through all the confusion and all the theories, Lost stayed true to its own canonical beliefs. There was an unapologetic belief in the spiritual, and the unflinching rule that 'what happened, happened'. There was no reset button, no 'it was all a dream'. For the characters, free will is real and powerful, even in the face of fate, but what is done is done; no amount of wishing will absolve them from facing the consequences of their actions. They may come to terms with the past, but they can never outrun it.
As to the finale in particular: I think Jack's fate on the island was what it needed to be, a necessary (and freely chosen) sacrifice as part of Jacob's long con; that the means of Smokey's defeat was surprising and emphatic; that the role of the Protector went to the person who was always destined to carry the burden. I also think the duct-taped jet using a dirt runway was a stretch, but who am I to argue with a majic island?
For the record, I think the resolution to the 'flash-sideways' was poignant, sweet, and most importantly, absolute. We know their fate was was exactly what we saw on the island - what happened happened, no takebacks. We also know that in the end it all mattered immensely - and didn't matter at all.
I think back on the last shot of the series, that perfect bookend to the pilot, and I'm torn between a smile and a tear.
Lost, I'll miss you. It's been a hell of a ride.