Jimmy Kimmel said it best last night: “What the hell just happened?”
Realizing that we’re late in the game as far as LOST finale commentary is concerned, we have one defense – we needed to digest all the information. Sure, everyone and their mother by now has said their peace, but after having spent the better part of six hours in front of the television yesterday we were stuck. So much happened, and to have tried to coherently dissect it last night would have been an impossible move. Now, what’s completely understood is the fact that if you’re not a LOST fan, you probably couldn’t care less about the hubbub. We totally respect that. Call it overrated. Call it sensational. Call it whatever you like, but without a doubt, LOST has got to be one of the smartest shows on network television today. Or rather, yesterday. It’ll be difficult to find the replacement that fits (the question of whether we really need to spend more time in front of the television being a non-issue at this point).
The Time Talks Live LOST Q&A this past Thursday, May 20 – the final hurrah before the final hurrah – allowed viewers to possibly, well, get their questions answered by show creators Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. Of course they weren’t going to reveal anything; even the scene from the final episode revealed nothing if not Benjamin Linus, The Man in Black/John Locke and Sawyer in somewhat of an altercation. (In fact, in response to a question that – if answered – would spoil more than intended, Lindelof stated something to the effect of his having talked about the question for 43 seconds without effectively answering it, apologizing, and going on to the next.) No matter – it was the element of thrill involved in the lives of the people viewers have grown attached to in prior years, in that anything could happen.
During the Q&A, Cuse and Lindelof acknowledged their past mistakes and that, in fact, they did listen to the viewers and subsequent reactions throughout the development of LOST. With an overall logic of making sure to satisfy where appropriate while remaining true to their vision, LOST became more than a cult following – it became topic of discussion on a level of involvement that a network television show hasn’t seen for decades. With cast members Jorge Garcia and Michael Emerson joining the panel, the evening proved to be an entirely inspiring, mutual event.
Last night’s final episode likely gave viewers one of three possible reactions: (a) they were either completely blown away or in love/at peace, (b) they were confused but happy that the characters found their ending, or (c) they hated it overall. Thankfully it seems that the majority of viewers take the stance of (a) and (b) reaction, and not so much (c). Cuse and Lindelof were more than aware that they couldn’t please everybody, but they made sure to end LOST on a note with respect to the characters and the viewers. Instead of handing a final answer to viewers on a silver platter, they left an exposed nerve even more so open for interpretation and therefore conclusion.
We have looked at message boards, answered phone calls, scrolled through Twitter feeds. We have looked for answers where there were thought to be none and this is what we found. (SPOILER ALERT) In the end, the sideways world is the world in which the characters have created to be together and realize the impact they all made on each others’ lives while they were on the island. It was their place to find each other and to subsequently move on. While it appears that everyone dies at that moment, rather, they have died or will die in their respective times, whether on the island or elsewhere. The opening of the church doors represented their transition, and the last scene closed with the end of Jack Shephard’s life (calling it The Jack Show does not offend at this point).
Because this was a character-driven drama, it was about their connections and how their lives were affected and enriched, so ending with them moving on together was fitting of the series. Many will say that the ending provides an appropriate way for viewers to “move on” from the show and characters as well. More importantly, any “loose ends” or questions of “who was special” and “who was not” should be considered less of an issue as far as who these people were to each other. As far as any real-life parallels are concerned, we couldn’t agree more.