This scene epitomizes my feelings for the television series Lost. A while back on my blog, an entry indicated that I would be doing a season by season review of the series, and since then while debating the different methods of reviewing and what criteria I would use, I kept running into one problem: I hated how the show ended.
The finale to Lost was polarizing and I am one of those who hated it. It was a cop out. It was cheap. It was unfulfilling. It said, “To hell with the loose ends, let’s toss it all into the heavenly ether and hope you take it as gospel”. Yeah, mmhmm… bad!
Upon beginning the show I was instantly hooked. There were so many elements that had congealed so perfectly that it was hard to tell where one ended and another began. The characters all had back stories which were, mostly, interesting and thematically relevant to the ongoing plot, and the setting was beautiful if you’re into the whole crashed-on-the-beach-bum scene. Even the gorgeous soundtrack aided in extracting not only the emotions the actors were portraying, but also from the audience (me).
Yeah, the soundtrack got to me sometimes. Several times.
It was hard to imagine the show running out of steam, since every episode added new mysteries and differing shades of grey to the characters and their motives. Even the island itself was a character in many ways, and it had its own secretive and terrifying ways of manipulating the survivors of Oceanic Airlines Flight 815. Then once meeting The Others and discovering inhabitants on the island (scary natives?) who come and go at will (scary scientists?) or want to return (scary rich people?), things really ramped up.
No that’s not a scene from Lost, despite the beachy setting, but it may as well have been because there was a moment that equaled Fonzy jumping the shark in its incredulity. At the end of season 4, the infamous and duplicitous Ben turns a wheel and *ahem* moves the island. Not like a boat, which might have been more plausible, but like a time machine. Thus began a series of flashing all over the frickin’ place, but mostly sideways between alternate and past realities.
By this point the writers had run out of directions to flash. Gone were the days of using flashback to paint pretty backstories for us, which they nearly over-did anyway. I mean, how many memories can some of these people have without living some kind of Hinduistic past life? Then they flashed forwards, which was supposed to be a surprise. So sideways was all that was left.
It was by this point that I was running out of patience. In their attempt the keep things fresh, the writers began to abandon some of the early mysteries of the show in favor of developing new ones around characters that came on stage later and demanded too much screen time. It was exhausting, and I was really thinking about “breaking up” with Lost since it was treating me so badly.
I persevered thinking that my diligence would have been rewarded.
That was a silly mistake.
Dead people kept coming back to life, and black smoke became all too familiar and less sinister, and the whole feud between ancient brothers who like tanning together at the foot of a three-toed leg statue was finally explained in some kind of Cain and Abel storyline.
The writers were definitely aiming for epic territory (which they achieved if epic failure counts) but it was all too strained and far removed from the feel of the first two seasons. The show always bordered on a sci-fi feel, but the last seasons were way too much in the vein of Edith Hamilton’s “Mythology” fan fiction.
Duck Your Head!
The finale confirmed that our friends on the island were playing an overlong game in limbo. During their odd celebration of this I noticed all the characters smiling. They were so happy about something. What must it be? That all their actions on the island were completely meaningless because they were already dead? No, that’s not funny. Was there some kind of joke I was missing?
Guess the joke was on us for spending six seasons waiting for them to walk through a damn door.