*** Spoiler Alert: This post contains spoilers about the ending of ABC TV show Lost. If you haven’t watched the last episode or don’t want to know how the series ends, then don’t read on!***
It’s happened: I’VE FINALLY FINISHED WATCHING LOST. After nearly a year of ceaseless suspense, roller coaster rides of emotions, and investing an impressive number of hours in this series, it feels strange to officially be done. There will be no more waiting on the edge of my seat to see who will be arriving next on the island, no more tear-jerking moments when a beloved character dies or shocked gasps when a completely unexpected twist occurs. I’ve grown to love (and loathe) these characters over the past year, and to suddenly be without them feels wrong in some way. However, the show must go on (no pun intended).
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you most likely know about my adoration for this show. I’ve used #hollywatcheslost on Twitter to document my feelings throughout the series, and I wrote this gushing post about my obsession with it last summer. In fact, I even wrote an Odyssey article recently titled, 11 Reasons Why I Love LOST Despite the Imperfect Ending. (Hint hint: I have mixed feelings about the ending.) For the past year I’ve tried desperately (and succeeded!) to avoid spoilers, so I went into the controversial, mysterious, hyped-up series finale knowing absolutely nothing about what the conclusion would hold. I’d been told by many that it was anticlimactic, confusing, and unsatisfying, but I was determined to watch it with an open mind.
Here’s the thing, though: those people were (sort of) right.
Even though it’s actually been weeks since I finished watching Lost, I still have countless mixed feelings about the ending. I’ve tried my best to think it over, talk with other people who have watched it, and ultimately form my own coherent opinion about it, but there’s just so much that I don’t know how to put into words. How do you sum up something that you don’t fully understand?
While watching the nearly two-hour-long final episode I kind of predicted what direction the ending would go in, but I definitely didn’t guess it entirely correctly. In actuality, the ending revealed that the island had been a sort of purgatory (but not really purgatory, as explained by J.J. Abrams in this video), and the characters had to learn to “let go” before they “moved on.” In other words, they all died. This is my interpretation of the ending, at least– I was so confused by what was going on that I’m not sure if I understood it in the way that it was meant to be taken. After researching online, watching videos, and reading this particularly helpful article, I feel as though I have a little bit of a clearer understanding of what happened. However, that raises the important question: Is there really one correct interpretation of the show? Surely there’s the interpretation that the producers of the show hoped to convey to the viewers, but how is that any different from an author’s intent when writing a novel? We often develop our own loose interpretations of written stories, and therefore I believe we should be able to do the same with stories on-screen.
The ending was certainly okay, but I was expecting something more shocking or climactic after everything the characters went through throughout the entire series. While it does help explain some things, it also leaves a lot of plot holes wide open. Another problem I have with it is that it is so different from what the show originally was in the beginning. It’s the kind of ending that you can make work with the story in hindsight, but it feels sort of patched together. I didn’t get the vibe that this ending is what was planned when the series first started out. Of course, I understand that the writers changed a lot over the course of producing the series, so obviously it’s difficult to make the ending perfectly fit everything. With that said, I do think that they could have thought of something more creative, because it feels like they took the easy way in some ways.
My favorite part of the finale was the very last scene, when Jack’s eye closes for the last time. It was so clever how they mirrored the very first scene of the entire series when Jack’s eye opens. I love cyclical endings like that, and I have to admit that I’ve never seen it done as well as in Lost.
Now, I should probably discuss the infamous issue of the love triangle: Should Kate have ended up with Jack or Sawyer? Personally, I feel as though she would have been fine with either of them. On one hand, Sawyer shares Kate’s feelings about running away, committing crimes, and feeling like an outsider. However, Jack and Kate have certain connection that Sawyer just can’t seem to match. I’m glad that Jack finally declares his love for Kate in the end because it’s clear that he adores her in a faithful way that Sawyer could never uphold.
Overall, I would describe the last episode of Lost as unsatisfying, but okay. As time has passed since I’ve watched it I’ve come to accept it as a decent ending, given the circumstances and my incredibly high expectations. Do I believe it could have been done better? Yes. Did it do an adequate job of ending the series in an emotional, surprising way? Also yes.
Ultimately, I still love Lost. It’s a fantastic show that had me hooked from beginning to end, and the character development is simply incredible. The plot may be wonky at times, but I love it nevertheless. And yes, I did cry when Jack died at the end– who wouldn’t, after watching everything he’s been through? I’m sure that Lost will be a show that sticks with me for a long time to come, and I can’t wait to revisit it in the future.
Farewell, Lost. Thanks for a wild ride.
What do you think of the way Lost ended? What is your opinion of the series in general? Let me know in the comments section below!