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7 Reasons the 'Lost' Finale Was Satisfying and Disappointing

by AOL TV Staff, posted Dec 17th 2010 3:00PM
'Lost' series finale
Countdown to Festivus on Dec. 23: On the seventh day of Festivus, TV gave us to ... seven ways the 'Lost' finale satisfied and seven ways it disappointed.

For some fans of 'Lost,' last May's series finale brought relief in the form of answers to longstanding mysteries and tear-inducing character moments.

But for other fans, the finale produced only disappointment.

As it had for its entire run, 'Lost' divided viewers over its finale. Did the ending provide enough of a pay-off for sticking through six seasons filled with unlucky numbers, a smoke monster, time traveling and a four-toed statue? Two of our writers take opposing viewpoints ...


Jo Garfein: 7 Things I Loved About the 'Lost' Finale

Not only is seven not one of THE numbers, it was challenging to narrow down the list to just seven aspects of the 'Lost' series finale that were remarkable, inspiring and satisfying.

1. "This is a place that you all made together, so that you could find one another."
Boone, Charlie and Claire, Desmond and Penny, Hurley and Libby, Jack and Kate, Jin and Sun, Locke, Rose and Bernard, Sayid and Shannon, and Sawyer and Juliet created the Flash Sideways world together so that they could find one another after passing away but before collectively moving on, because the most important part of their lives was the time that they spent with each other on and off of the island. The Flash Sideways was an incredibly beautiful notion and gesture, a necessary step preceding the afterlife "to remember and to let go" together.

2. "Everything that's ever happened to you is real."
In other words: whatever happened, (actually) happened. The crash, the island, the time travel, the flashbacks and flash forwards, the Oceanic 6 ... all of those experiences and events served a specific purpose, and were necessary to create and sustain emotional resonance with the audience for six seasons. The last 10 minutes of the series finale, in the Flash Sideways church, was the perfect denouement to everything that took place in the 120 episodes leading up to it.

3. "Everyone dies sometime; some of them before you, some long after you."
It was a bold choice to refrain from letting the dedicated masses witness how and when the remaining characters perished, aside from Jack and Locke. The open-ended nature of many post-island relationships sparked endless possibilities that have been entertaining to contemplate: Claire reuniting with Aaron, Sawyer meeting Clementine, Lapidus buying a hairbrush, etc.

4. "There is no 'now' here."
While everything in their lives before, on and after the island all occurred linearly, the Flash Sideways world did not exist in any particular time. It was their creation location, a pit stop between the stairway to heaven and the road to hell, awaiting each character at the exact moment they experienced the essential island epiphany to reunite before ascending or descending to their final destinations.

5. "Don't mistake coincidence for fate."
It was far from coincidence and quite fitting that Hurley, Jack, Kate and Sawyer were the final four fighting to save themselves, their friends and the island in the end. After all, they were the quartet that the Others kidnapped after Michael lured them into a trap to get Walt back, the very four on the dock in the season 2 finale. It was their fate to live together, die alone -- and then reconvene in the Flash Sideways.

6. "I can fix this."
David Shephard was a figment of both Jack and Juliet's imaginations, a crucial and sentimental Flash Sideways construction that allowed Jack to prove he could be a better father than his own, and Juliet to have delivered a healthy baby of her own and then care for it as she would have done for her sister Rachel's. David's sole purpose was to illuminate a redemptive road for his parents, and his presence provided a surprisingly touching element to Jack's ultimate journey.

7. "You can't change the past."
The subtle differences in the season 6 flashes illustrated the desire for their pasts to be improved upon before moving on, which is why the Flash Sideways presented more ideal circumstances: Faraday was following his dream to become a musician instead of a physicist, Hurley was finally able to bring Libby on a picnic, Ben cared for his father and was protective of Alex, Jin and Sun were able to conceive sans fertility issues, Widmore and Desmond were friendly, Sawyer had the opportunity to experience the right side of the law, etc.


[Follow Jo on Twitter @jopinionated; she will be analyzing & defending 'Lost' for the rest of her life]
Katy Kroll: 7 Things I Hated About the 'Lost' Finale

'Lost' was must-see TV for me during its six seasons. Was I one of those people who obsessed over every little detail and jammed up message boards with conspiracy theories? No. But I had faith that the producers meant it when they said the island "wasn't purgatory." So, how ticked was I when that's exactly what it seemed to be in the series finale? Let me count the ways I thought the ending sucked.

1. Lack of Payoff
This one's obvious: There were too many unanswered questions! (Why couldn't women have babies on the island? What was with all the hieroglyphics?) I won't go as far as saying the entire series was a bust, but I'd totally risk a nosebleed to time-warp back to the ignorant bliss of seasons past and forget that this horrible ending ever aired. Think I'm overreacting? Watch this doozy of a refresher course on all the loose ends they left hanging.

2. Too Many WTF Moments
And not in a good, season 1 way. In fact, there was literally a point where I thought I'd gouge my eyes out while kicking in the TV screen. Shouldn't Boone have wound up with Shannon instead of Sayid? Why were some characters in the church while others weren't? If the island wasn't purgatory, what the hell was it?!

3. Epic Fails Prevailed
If I had a dollar for every time I thought the show was about to redeem itself, I could pay a shirtless Josh Holloway to stand around my apartment all day. When everyone was pairing up in the alternate universe, I thought, "I'm down with this being about finding true love." But that's not where it went. When Jack ventured into the heart of the island, there was a glimmer of hope that he'd become the smoke monster, leaving him to clash with good guy Hurley. Nope, foiled again. For a while I was even rooting that everyone had died on impact, making the entire series a deathbed delusion. Wrong!

4. Worst. Couple. Ever.
I hated that Sawyer and Juliet wound up together. (Yeah, I said it.) Juliet annoyed me from the get-go with her blank stare and crooked smirk. Then, she turned Sawyer into a boring sap. Don't get me wrong, I liked that he had a soft center underneath that hard shell, but he made a better badass than obedient boyfriend. And it made no sense that one-look wonder Juliet wound up with both him and Jack. The Jack-Kate-Sawyer love triangle dominated several seasons, so shouldn't Kate have been the one double-dipping?

5. Laughter Was Not the Best Medicine
Sawyer's nicknames and Hurley's 'Star Wars' references always made me giggle, but the finale achieved an uncharacteristic level of ridiculousness -- from the magic cork to Claire's three-minute backstage birth. And then there was the final clash between Jack and Locke. It was just plain laughable when Jack went sailing through the air, fists clenched, like some video game hero as gun-toting Kate saved the day looking like a lame mash-up of Sarah Connor and John McClane. They may as well have had Nikki and Paulo in the background cheering them on.

6. Too Much Desmond
I know, I know. A lot of people loved him. For me, though, he was best in small doses, and he was technically a secondary character ... until he hijacked the whole story. Honestly, wouldn't Hurley, Sayid or even Ben have made a better final prophet? But Desmond's starring role wasn't the only casting letdown. It seemed like a slew of side characters took over the show. Come on, were you actually psyched to see Miles, Lapidus and Richard make it off the island while pretty much everyone else ate their dust?

7. Not Enough Boone
I've missed those baby blues ... and all they gave him was a 30-second beatdown that didn't even win him the girl? And don't get me started on where people like Mr. Eko, Michael and Walt were. Guess we'll see you in another life, brothas.




What did you think of the 'Lost' series finale? Did it satisfy or disappoint you?



Yesterday on Festivus: 8 Elder Statesmen Who Reigned Over TV
Tomorrow on Festivus: 6 Late Night Shows -- Winners and Losers of 2010

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waswolf

One of the most unsatisfying, ridiculous, pretentious shows of all time. What was the point? A plane crashes, everybody dies. So what with the years of meandering pointless episodes. I would wager an excessive amount of cash that the writers did not have a clue as to the story arc when it started and just made it up as they went along. Write yourself into a corner? Hell, lets have time travel!! And, hey, have people come back from the dead too!!Incomprehensible to me how any logical, rational individual could find merit in this timewasting trivia. wasemanderS plsnfn

December 21 2010 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Susan Terral

I guess that is a good example of the differences in the world and that we are all welcome to have our own opinion. When I was reading the article, I was thinking how Jo's made perfect sense to me and Katy's was...it is hard to pin point. I know I thought who in the world is this person. Not that I begrudged her her opinion, I was just amazed and sorry that some people didn't have the amazing experience that I had watching Lost. The really funny thing is some of the parts she hated the most were some of my favorite parts: I liked Sayid with Shannon, I loved Sawyer and Juliet as a couple and their scene at the vending machines was so touching, Jack's fight with MIB at the end and then Kate shooting MIB was perfect, and Desmond is always the icing on the cake. I hope some day those that were disappointed with their Lost experience can find something where they enjoy the journey, learn from the experience, and gladly apply those lessons to their lives instead of walking away disappointed.

December 18 2010 at 8:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Susan Terral's comment
Jean

Dear Susan,

As a disappointed fan of the ending of Lost here's a couple of things: get real and please keep your pity to yourself or for those who really need it (like the starving masses of Haiti for example). Those who were and still are disappointed in the show have had good reason to be disappointed. If the "journey" was all that was important, why the hell spend so many freaking hours on apparently superficial details like I dunno, women's inability to have children, why exactly MIB couldn't leave the island (even before he was the Smoke monster), that darn statue, what the island IS, etc...Many of those who are disappointed had an amazing experience watching the show and that is why they're disappointed, they were expecting so much more. So now that experience is forever marred by an ending that felt like a betrayal of trust. So if I wanted to make a passively-aggressive smug comment like you did, I'd say I feel sorry that some people could be satisfied with such a poor conclusion to an otherwise wonderful serie.
And by the way, my life is fine thank you very much without having to extrapolate lessons from a TV show.

December 20 2010 at 12:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kaz

Funny how y'all are marching in lock step behind Jo's lackluster summation of LOST's finale. Didja all notice that in her # 4 and #7 she agreed with nemesis Katy's assessment about it appearing to be Purgatory, Limbo whatever u wanna call it. Lock Step Jo was just sugar coating it for all you comic book bunnies. Katy actually gave it some thought and some heart. The degree of numbness and gullibility shown in these comments is unsettling. LOST lost it at the end. Why can't you accept it? Katy did. Amen.

December 18 2010 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kaz's comment
Kharma Initiative

Hello kaz,

What I noticed was that in Katy Kroll's introduction, she was upset with the show because she, "had faith that the producers meant it when they said the island "wasn't purgatory." So, how ticked was [she] when that's exactly what it seemed to be in the series finale?"

This wasn't at all what the island turned out to be in the series finale. It may have been tough for Ms. Kroll and some others to follow, but it was the "Flash-Sideways" world - which was only shown in the sixth and final season - that had any similarity to Purgatory. Nothing else in the show, including the island, had anything to do with or was anything like Purgatory.

Starting from that incorrect assumption will screw up anyone's enjoyment of the finale, so no wonder Katy Kroll felt let down.

Jo Garfein didn't agree at all with Katy in her points #4 and #7 "about it appearing to be Purgatory" as you said. What do you mean specifically by "it"? The island? Or the Flash-Sideways? They are two very distinct things, but you really have to be following the very dense and perhaps overly complex plot of the show to see that.

January 18 2011 at 7:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
darquemode

I will never understand the people that say that this or that question was not answered. Firstly, most of what they DEMAND an explicit answer for was answered on the show alread, but more over... it is almost irrelevant to the series anyway. The show was a journey (mostly one chracter's journey) thru life. Now, take one day of you life... no one block of a walk downtown. I do not know who made the buildig on my right or why it has stonework gargoyles- IT does not matter. I do not know why the barista works at teh coffee shop, or why she is wearing purple socks despite them clashing with her outfit - it does not matter. I do know I walked a block to get a coffee the details along the way helped me get there but in the end... do not matter much.

December 18 2010 at 1:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brenda

Too much Desmond???? Are you kidding me. Did you see season 5 & the first part of season 6. Loved the series as a whole, but Desmond's storyline at the end was not quite what I was expecting. That he was miraculously unique, because he could survive huge doses of electromagnetism was kind of silly.
I didn't like how they left him unconscious in his final scene on the island. His character made the show extra special for me.

December 18 2010 at 9:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob Walley

As my family entered the 6th season we all expected to finally have the answers to questions that had accumulated since episode 1. By the time the finale closed we had come to realize that the questions mattered little and that a much larger and more important story had played out before us. Once again, we had been fooled and misdirected, and the payoff was glorious. We won't see a show or a story like this again for a very long time, but we have plenty of time to examine it again and again...

December 18 2010 at 9:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tobordab

Dude, I have an adopted sister, no blood relation. But she IS my sister.

December 18 2010 at 7:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1fanboy2many

maybe I'm wrong, but weren't Boone and Shannon brother and sister?

December 17 2010 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RebootTheMedia

I wrote about this in my blog post "Lost Finds Meaning": http://t.co/7TCOUHU. note: it takes a leap of faith...

December 17 2010 at 10:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stacy

Come on!! You couldn't find someone better to write the " I hated it" side besides someone who whines about characters she hated?? um, hate to tell you this but Desmond was just as important at Ben and it made perfect since that he was the prophet.
Really, I actually liked how it ended, but I can think of more insightful comments against it then Katy did. Like JSisLOST said, give show a REAL challenger.

December 17 2010 at 8:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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