'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
Complete 'Lost' Finale Coverage"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?