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July 23, 2014

'Lost' Ending: A Finale for the Ages

by Kelly Woo, posted May 23rd 2010 11:55PM

Spoilers ahead for the 'Lost' finale ..

"Live together, or die alone," Jack Shephard once told his fellow survivors of Oceanic Flight 815.

'Lost' fans across the country took that proclamation to heart, gathering together in groups small and large to watch the series finale of one of the most celebrated and discussed shows in television history.

Consensus, live and from the Internet: Emotionally satisfying (if confusing as hell).

In New York City, at the AOL Television-sponsored viewing party at Professor Thom's bar, the emotional finale was met with near-universal acclaim (and audible sniffles).

"It was extremely surprising, unexpected, satisfying, confusing -- like everything else 'Lost' has ever done," said Paulo Maya.

His friend Rael Kenny agreed. "They finished it exactly how the entire series deserves. I was saying something before I walked in here - tonight's episode doesn't matter. 'Lost' is seen as the entire series, it shouldn't be seen as one episode. [The finale] exceeded my expectations. I'm f***ing over the moon."

"I was satisfied, I thought it was appropriate emotionally, I thought it was appropriate in terms of the mythology of the series and I thought that it was well executed, " declared another party-goer, Emily Hughes.

"I'm not quite sure I understood it fully," Alex Pine said, "But perhaps upon reflection, it will make sense.



Before the finale, many fans and writers listed questions they wanted answered. Brian Kimmelblatt hoped to get more information about Jacob's cabin. That didn't happen, but he still "liked [the finale] ... It was good in its own way. I definitely think I need to sit on it and think about it," he said.

As for the unsolved mystery of Jacob's cabin. "That was something I was looking forward to, but I think that I can draw my own conclusions on that," he added.

Not all viewers left as satisfied, though. Several party-goers, who refused to be named, complained, "Nothing was explained."

Leading up to Sunday, three friends -- Mike Berlin, Alex Green and Aaron Rosenthal -- spent 94 hours watching the entire series of 'Lost,' in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most consecutive hours of watching television. They hoped to raise $100,000 for the charities Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Doctors Without Borders and The Nature Conservancy.

So, after 94 hours straight -- was it all worth it?

"It was great, it was a fun experience," Berlin said. "More than anything else, it was the fact that we were doing it for charity, for something that all three of us deeply believe it ... and to do it with my friends was a personal joy for me. And it was fun too because we all enjoy the show."

It may take some time for the finale and the entire series to sink in, but Berlin believed fans will go back and find new facets to the 'Lost' story.

"From watching it back to back to back to back, there are a lot of things you start to pick up on," he said. "If anybody ever decides to watch it in the same manner -- and I hope they never spent the 94 hours we took to do it -- I think they'll find that there's this real congruency and a fluidity in the story that has never been attempted or successfully completed like 'Lost' just did on television."

Across the Internet, critics' reactions raged from euphoric to grudgingly admiring to outraged.

TV Squad's Jason Hughes wrote: "There has been nothing like it on television, and there may never be again. That it succeeded at all is a miracle."

"'The End' was an emotionally draining epic that had me crying," wrote Jeff "Doc" Jensen, on EW.com

"It was daring -- I'll give it that," wrote Emily Nussbaum, in New York magazine's blog Vulture.

"We learned nothing from two-and-a-half hours of slow-motion bullshittery backed with a syrupy soundtrack," wrote Max Read, at Gawker.com.

More 'Lost' experts weight in on Instant Dharma



Fans were equally divided. Read on for thoughts we got from Seed.com:

"The ending of 'Lost' was easily one of the best series finales of all time. It captured the true spirit of what the show was about: the characters themselves, the magic of the island and the beauty of community. It was an emotional closing that brought back our favorite characters and explained various elements that have left us puzzled from the beginning. They still kept parts of the storyline a mystery, but that's okay. Having all the answers is boring and doesn't invite a continued dialogue." -- Wendy Gould

"'Utterly disappointing.' Those were the words that I heard from many of my friends tonight, who joined me to watch the series finale of 'Lost.' After six seasons with the show, I truly was hoping that they would find a way to tie up all the loose ends from the episodes. However, I think what they actually did was leave just enough mystery to leave the window open for a spin-off. God save me now, because we all know what happens with spin-offs." -- Benjamin Williams

"In six years, 'Lost' has been a great show with twists, turns, and not to mention questions. On May 23rd it all came to an end. I only have one question: 'Did they hire new writers for the finale?' It was the worst episode in the entire series. Questions remain, the couples that should have been together were not, and people who were dead came back to life or did they? No everyone died and they all held hands and went off to their afterlife as one "big happy family"? So I ask a few simple questions why did they bring in "Jacob or the smoke monster" to begin with? Did they all die in the original crash, during the final credits they showed the crash on the beach. Was this really purgatory like originally predicted six years ago? What ever happen to Walt and his "special ability"? They needed another season to answer questions and come up with a better ending. " -- Kelly Brooks-Bay

"Although there are still questions to be answered, I was satisfied and moved by the 'Lost' finale. I felt that the concepts of the Man In Black/Smoke Monster and the island light source were explained enough to inform a discussion about the show but not so much that only one explanation about 'Lost' could be acceptable. Going into the finale, I believed that 'Lost' was a video game with set rules, timing, and objectives, as discussed in www.lostisagame.com. However, the finale drove home a 'bigger than us' theme instead, with strong religious undertones (e.g., the name of Jack's father, Christian Shephard; the characters' final meeting in a church; the heaven/hell dichotomy of the island source; etc.). In all, I thought the finale was brilliant and confirmed that the heart of 'Lost' was the characters rather than the island. Even in the flash sideways timeline when the plane landed safely in LAX, the characters' lives were destined to overlap. Finally, the closing scene was pure magic, with Jack's eye closing in the same spot in which he found himself after the crash, with Vincent by his side. I am still processing the finale, but at this point, I feel that the show was a fantastic six-year journey and a rare gem in the sea of primetime television." -- Jennifer Griffin


What did you think about the finale? Were you satisfied -- or left wanting to know more?

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davidbuettner01

I thought the show was amazing, I watched it throughout April and last night all 6 years in a month, and I was confused yet took on everyone and I think they all dies in the crash, the ending of meeting each other in heaven was purely magical, well done to the producers, the storylines were good but some of the sideway flashes were confusing that said it made good reaction to the overall events. Now I,ll be lost myself nothing to watch on TV unless I watch lost all over again.

May 08 2011 at 5:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sinatra4

I am on the fence. On one hand, I really liked parts of this final season, but on the other, I think it could have been a much better ending. An ideal ending would have been where the H bomb did not reset the island, and all of those "flash sideways" into a parallel dimension were actually taking place AFTER the true island reset.

That true reset could have been when the light was extinguished, Jacob's brother was killed, and then Jack relights the center of the island. When the island is reset, it could have disappeared and the alternate timeline could have then been put into effect. When they were encountering each other afterward and remembering things, they could have moved on in real life knowing what they had done and living as an extended family afterward.

The ending just left me feeling empty. When you die, you see the ones you love. It's something that's been universally accepted. So what was the point of the entire show? That they reunite in the afterlife? Not my type of ending, I guess...

May 31 2010 at 12:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bobbie

I loved the ending. Vincent and Jack got to me. That was a beautiful ending. I am glad that everyone was together at the end. Isn't that how it is suppose to be? As far as answers to questions about certain things about the island, I think the writers and producers wanted to leave that up to us. For us to make our own conclusions about what the island was all about since so many of us have different views on metaphysical things. The left it up to us to decide. great finale!

May 31 2010 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Junior 1967

yes, us unintelligent "perfectionists" will never be stupid enough to appreciate the blatantly unansweered questions in the series. They must be laughing about how they dangled a carrot for 6 years and how the producers laughingly admitted throwing useless "clues" in the show such as Hurleys choice of comic books. What an insult to our... oh wait how can they insult our intelligence? We who object to that are not intelligent anyways. Duuuuh.

May 31 2010 at 8:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Junior 1967

I watched Lost from the start.
Yes, the character development was riveting as much as the suspense of what the heck is going on was.
But I will never ever watch a series by the same producers again because the unswered questions are "too much" for me. They made such a big deal about some of them, such as the need for a fertility expert (Juliet) etc etc. And the watchers who suggest that only the intelligent viewers can appreciate it make me even more frustrated. If you complain then you must be unintelligent. Well I am not unintelligent and I feel like I watched a meaningless series. Yes, I liked the finale, but it was not satisfying.

May 30 2010 at 10:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Zach

Here's what I got out of the finale- What happened on the island was real. What happened when the survivors left the island was real. It was not until they died at their respective times did they go to the Purgatory, which started on the plane. They built the Purgatory for themselves, somewhere they could go back to after their deaths to help them let go.

Lord, it was an amazing ending. To say that I am satisfied would be an understatement! :)

May 30 2010 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
STEPHANIE

ENDING SUCKED. ANGRY. ALL THOSE SEASONS...TO THIS?....NOT EVEN A POTENTIAL FOR A MOVIE.

May 29 2010 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
decco

i'm disappointed that since season 2 they tried to make it highbrow, going down a convuluted science route with signposts to famous pioneers only to forget about them. most people would accept not all questions would be answered but to avoid them all together makes a mockery of the dedicated lost viewers with an ending they've denied all along.

May 28 2010 at 8:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
c jones

ok. I think it was a good season. But I ask you, if you could watch this season without the flash sideways universe stories, would it not be a much greater season? Conversely, if you were to watch JUST the flash sideways universe stories, that would also be a good season. But those stories had no meaning ultimately. Jin and Sun died in the sub, Sun did not get shot while pregnant while Jin was tied up in a freezer. Ben as a great teacher? NO. I would watch that show but it is not the show I came to see each week. Take out the sideways and it is a great season. They could even have edited it down and made the sideways into a nice finale, where they all wake in purgatory or whatever it was and reunite to go into the light. My problem is every sideways story lost meaning because of the ending, when I was led to believe it had relevance to the island story. I think I liked both stories, they just didn't fit the two worlds together well in the end. They could have done it better, like if the alt universe was a creation of Smokey and as Smokey was defied, or people like Jin and Sun died, the world changed towards salvation of their souls and becoming the waiting place the finale set it up to be. But it wasn't a waiting place or anything else relevant to the storyline as none of it really mattered in the end except the reuniting of friends and loves, and that could have been done just in the finale without clogging up the rest of the season. Still, as someone else said the finale and the entire series was better than 90 % of everything else on TV. I feel the series would have been better served with Jack saving the island and maybe the world, and watching his friends escape on the plane and then die in peace with the dog by his side. the afterlife should have been an afterthought, a gift to the viewers for the last 30 minutes. Jack and the plane lands in LAX, we see everyone meet and remember, and they get together to welcome Jack to what comes next. The end. Why complicate it with a season of sideways stories that made no real sense to the reality of the series, but made us believe they did have meaning to the show's reality? It was an effective ending but it could have been better with more island life and less sideways tales that ultimately led nowhere.
Jack fixed Locke's back... Now meaningless. Sun getting shot... Now meaningless. The entire concert... Now meaningless. Sayhid and his brother's family story... Now meaningless. But the island stories this season and in the finale... a fine way to wrap it all up. I wish there were more of the island! (Maybe Hurley could be the new star of a revival of Fantasy Island as the new Mr. Rourke with Ben as his 'Tattoo'. "The plane, boss, the plane!")

May 28 2010 at 2:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cindy

I have never missed an episode of LOST.. not ever. Those of you who think everyone died in the plane crash have not been paying attention, or have not been watching all the shows. Furthermore, in the Finale, Jacks Father, Christian told Jack that this is REAL, and that everything that happened to him on the island and everyone he was with, was real, and happened. I believe everyone died at different times.. Jack, we know, died on the island when his eye closed...Sawyer, Kate, Claire, and the pilot and the other guy may have died in the plane crash while escaping the island.. maybe they didn't, but it's a possibility if you want to draw your own conclusion. But they were not in Hell on the island.. they were still alive and experiencing all of what we saw. Someone said Hurley and Ben may have been on the island for years and years protecting it.. they are correct.. or maybe they died that day.. we don't know, but I agree with whoever said they died at different times, and some may have lived to be old..The sideways thing was their purgatory, and Desmond was the first to realize what was going on, and it was fitting that he would bring them all together to realize it. I thought the writers did a damn good job, and although I'm sad to see the show end, and would rather they had lived in the end, I still appreciate great writing and we don't always get what we want, now do we? This has been my favorite show for the last six years and I feel it's one of THE best ever on TV. God bless to all the talented cast.. especailly my eye candy Sawyer.. and God Bless the Creative writers.

May 27 2010 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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