Recaps for Lost

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Lost Epilogue: "New Man in Charge"

With the series finale, the writers and producers of "Lost" reaffirmed that the focus of the story was the characters' journey; the island and all its oddities were little more than a metaphor, a mirror in which the true selves of the characters were revealed. It's hard to say just what this epilogue was meant to be, other than a final love letter to the fans. On the one hand, it serves as something of a clever bonus feature regarding certain aspects of the mythology. It's an info-dump, and on many levels, a completely unnecessary one. But by the end, it also reaffirms the fact that "Lost" is about finding one's place in the world and knowing oneself in the process. The setup is very simple. Ben, as Hurley's "Number Two", is traveling the world, shutting down the remaining Dharma Initiative infrastructure that had been left in place to support the island during Jacob's reign as the Keeper of the Source. After all, the difficulties in finding, reaching, and leaving the island were all the result of Jacob's desire to trap the "smoke monster". This brings up an interesting point, one raised long before the true nature of Jacob and the Source was revealed. How does an island move and still follow the laws of physics? How can Jacob, as the Keeper, set the kind of rules that applied over the entire course of the story, yet be consistent enough for Daniel Faraday to apply his revolutionary theories from the fringe of quantum physics? One might argue that the entire fifth season was a long and complicated lesson in Daniel's fallibility; Daniel made the assumption that the island's properties were based in some objective set of physical rules, but that wasn't the case. He recognized the role of the variable, but didn't realize that the only variable in the equation was Jacob. His data was incomplete. At the same time, this may have been the case because on some fundamental level, Jacob's rules had to be expressed in some quasi-consistent set of physical laws. So while it was an expression of his free will (and therefore variable as a result), the manifestation of that will ultimately follows the laws of physics as much as possible. Call it the path of least resistance, after a fashion; the unnatural largely achieved through the natural. This wasn't at all mentioned in "New Man in Charge"; it was just something that was brought to mind by the reminder that the island moved, and thus there had to be a means by which the Dharma supply chain managed to account for that. This is spelled out in this epilogue, but one has to wonder if it was really all that necessary to do so. It was clear that the island was tracked by the Lamppost, that computers were involved, and that there was still a Dharma infrastructure of some kind in place. Did the source of the supply drops really need to be further explained? Perhaps it did; certainly they felt the need to spell out the answer to the polar bear question, despite the fact that all that information was already evident by the start of the third season. The Hydra orientation video was a clever way to frame the exposition, but again, it basically made it feel like a clever concept for a bonus feature devoted to spelling out what most viewers should have been able to figure out from context. (As an aside, this is an example of the producers giving the audience exactly what they wanted, and making a pretty good case for why this wouldn't have worked in an actual episode. As a gift to the fans as a DVD extra, this kind of heavy-handed exposition is fine. But it would have been hard to pull off in a regular episode, where the focus was on discrete, episodic character exploration as well. There's a reason the orientation films were usually cut down to the bare minimum!) The Hydra orientation film was chock full of little connections to help the more mythology-oriented fans find some closure. Again, this applies only to the ones that couldn't reconcile putting the puzzle pieces together on their own. All this information was either directly or indirectly revealed over the course of the series. In some cases, it takes something that was contextually evident and states it bluntly. Very bluntly. While I am being a bit critical and skeptical of the need for such a direct set of explanations, as a fan of the Dharma mythology, this was a nice look into that aspect of the "Lost" universe. A lot was covered, but if there was one element that was most appreciated, it was the confirmation that the energies of the Source were related to the gestational problems that plagued the Others after the Incident. Of course, the exact explanation is, itself, something of an implication. Dr. Chang says, point blank, that the experiments with polar bears at the Orchid involved the unusual electromagnetic properties of the energy there (tied during the series to the Source, of course). He then warns that pregnant polar bears shouldn't be exposed to the Orchid, because this can cause the infamous gestational problems. Unfortunately, that doesn't track with the problem encountered by the Others. If a woman was already pregnant before coming to the island, they were fine. The problem was associated with both conception and gestation on the island. The bizarre time-altering nature of the Source, tapped within the Orchid, certainly factors into that, now that it is absolutely clear that the Incident did take place. The old theory still holds. It's the quick explanation that doesn't quite add up. It's similar to the problem with the "whispers" explanation given in "Everybody Loves Hugo". It sounds good at first, but it doesn't match what was shown and said previously. It's the kind of retcon that really isn't necessary. But if this epilogue does serve one purpose, much closer to the theme of the series as a whole, it is how they address Walt. In the review for "Across the Sea", I noted that the offhand comments about Jacob's brother being "special" effectively resolved the entire question of Walt's purpose on the show. The Keepers of the Source seek out those with unusual abilities that can serve as their replacements. Walt was definitely among the Candidates at the beginning of the series. Being "special" often had a very specific meaning on "Lost", though it manifested in several other ways, depending on the individual. In essence, the specific sign was the ability to see and communicate with the spirits on the island. That quality provides the basis for the resolution to Walt's character arc. Instead of being lost and purposeless, Hurley and Ben offer him the chance to use his gifts to help those trapped on the island. It's a nice way to address the fact that they couldn't get Michael and Walt into the finale, while also adhering to the spirit of the series as a whole. It takes what was mostly an info dump and returns it to the character-based premise of finding oneself. And it also gives the fans a glimpse into the Hurley/Ben era, and how Hurley is slowly but surely changing the rules that Jacob set. The Dharma infrastructure is no longer needed because Hurley has made it possible to come and go from the island without apparent restriction, as hinted in "The End". And now he intends to give Walt a purpose by finding a way to release those trapped on the island. There's still the hint of manipulation on the part of the island's protectors, but it seems a lot more benevolent than Jacob's machinations turned out to be. In the end, does the epilogue serve its purpose? That depends on what one imagines that purpose to have been. If one is looking for the answers to every lingering question pertaining to the mythology, then nothing less than a 10-hour point-for-point Q&A with Damon and Carlton is likely to satisfy. If one is looking for one last pleasant slice of new "Lost" content, as a final farewell to the dedicated, then this does the trick.

Lost: Season 6 Post-Mortem

Coming into the sixth and final season, "Lost" was always going to be up against the high expectations of both its most devoted fans and its most fervent critics. For the fans, this was the culmination of six seasons worth of character and plot building, and the payoff that was promised when Damon Lindelof and Cartlon Cuse famously negotiated a firm end date for the series. For the critics, it was the opportunity to point out all the things that had been left dangling over the years, especially once all was said and done. Much has been made of the notion that the entire series was "planned out" from the beginning. Fans and critics alike tend to overstate what this means. Even the most detailed plan for a television series rarely survives the pilot stage. Examples like "Babylon 5" are rare, and that level of consistency to original outline was due to one person's dedication to story (the creator/writer wrote nearly every episode for the final three seasons). Even so, several changes were required due to casting and budgetary constraints. "Lost" was no different, and given the scope, there had to be a lot of leeway. I firmly believe that Lindelof and Cuse had a basic outline and plan for the scope and direction of the series, and that it was tightened up dramatically once the deal was made to set an end date. It's also clear to me that they would take that basic roadmap and adjust it for each new season, to fit the demands of the narrative, the available cast (especially guest stars), and the budget considerations. And finally, the episodes themselves had to be written with maximum flexibility in mind. This may sound like a fan making excuses, but let's face it: this is not a case of two co-writers putting out a series of six novels, where they can control every aspect of the story and ensure that all the pieces fit together perfectly. This is a television series in which the integrity of the story as a whole, over the course of six seasons, is dependent on dozens of moving parts. As with the aforementioned "Babylon 5", if even 80% of the plot and character elements pay off reasonably well, then it's a massive victory for something of this scope and vision. To their credit, the producers did try to shape expectations by reminding the audience that the show began as a character-centric tale. The first season was almost entirely devoted to character. The plot and mythology elements, while definitely a major part of the show's DNA, were almost always tied to some facet of a character and their personal journey towards (or away) from redemption. After all, nearly every episode had a character flashback, flash-forward, or flash-sideways that illuminated the psychology of the character at the center of an episode. As often as my reviews, commentary, and speculation focused on elements of the mythology over the course of the series, the big questions were always the motivations of the characters. The mysteries of the island were only important insofar as they might factor into those motivations. The worst episodes were the ones that failed to sell a character's choices. After all, what makes the mythological aspects of the show work are the universal themes of choice, consequence, and redemption. So going into the final season, I was more than willing to accept that some of the mysteries were going to remain untouched. It had long since been established that the story was being told from the point of view of certain characters, and they had a galling tendency to only ask questions that were pertinent to their limited perspective. In other words, the characters themselves didn't have a lot of the information necessary to ask the bigger questions. And unlike the audience, those characters weren't exactly in a low-stress situation with plenty of time to puzzle over the nature of the island and its history. Enjoyment of the sixth season seems to have been based upon reaction to two things: the flash-sideways narrative device, and the shift towards the mystical. A lot of fans seemed to hate the flash-sideways segments, but I enjoyed them, even when I was on the "alternate timeline" bandwagon and furiously trying to reconcile the growing list of inconsistencies. In retrospect, the "alternate timeline" explanation simply wouldn't have worked to explain what was presented, so the metaphysical "purgatory" explanation actually makes the best fit. That said, it was a stunning revelation, and I can see how some fans would be taken aback by it. Yet the very nature of Jacob and his unnamed brother were rooted in the mystical, especially once the blatantly mythological tale of "Across the Sea" explained their origins. "Ab Aeterno" introduced the idea that the island was a metaphorical cork in the gateway to Hell. The entire season was laced with metaphysical concepts and metaphors, so the "purgatory" reveal was stunning yet perfectly in keeping with that theme. As already stated, in retrospect, the flash-sideways ("Lost X") material now makes a lot more sense as something of an epilogue to the main story on the island. In fact, if one only watches the "Lost X" material on its own, it makes contextual sense with how it was explained. Several points along the course of the season point to the "purgatory" explanation, including the very first moments in "LA X". While some still speculate that the writers developed the "purgatory" plot twist very late, due to sloppy continuity mistakes earlier in the season, the evidence is to the contrary. If anything, the "Lost X" material works better and better on repeated viewings. While much of the discussion has been devoted to "Lost X", the main storyline ("Lost Prime") was coming to a rousing conclusion. Ironically, if there was one weak aspect to this season, it was not the flash-sideways; it was how the writers tried to wrap up certain elements of the mythology in ways that just didn't seem to work. In some cases, it made an otherwise strong episode decidedly more average. Lindelof and Cuse often spoke out against the notion of giving too detailed an explanation for the mysteries of the island. After all, in typical JJ Abrams form, it was more the idea of the mysteries and what they represented that meant more to the story. If one looks at nearly every genre offering that Abrams and his production/writing cadre has released, there is a central McGuffin. On "Alias", it was the Rambaldi artifacts and prophecies. On "Fringe", it is the Pattern. In "Star Trek", it was Red Matter. In "Cloverfield", it was the monster. The list goes on and on, but the concept is the same. Abrams' success is taking a general sci-fi or fantasy concept and building a character-driven story around it. In many respects, this is very similar to what Joss Whedon does. (In fact, there are many who point out just how fast and loose the mythology elements tend to be on Whedon-driven series as well.) In the case of "Lost", it was the island. The island was never meant to be explained in absolute terms. Instead, it was meant to represent the threatening unknown. It was a metaphor and catalyst all in one: a sort of Shangri-La where these lost souls could find themselves (or die trying). The problem with explaining the metaphor is that it stops being a metaphor. It suddenly needs to have an origin and a purpose. When the writers did try to pay off long-standing mysteries with detail, it often didn't work as well. For example, the explanation for the "whispers" was altogether too pat and didn't fit within the context of how the "whispers" had been portrayed. The explanation for the nature of the electromagnetic/temporal anomaly at the heart of the island was about as close to cheesy as the series ever came. The explanation for the "frozen donkey wheel", while thematically meaningful, never quite rang true. That said, the island was always portrayed as a character in and of itself, and metaphorically, that worked tremendously well in this season. Some might quibble over the vague explanations involving the Source and water, but it was a clear analogy to a human being's heart and circulatory system. The Source was the heart of the island, and the water flowed through it like the lifeblood through our veins. (Which almost demands that one go back and look at the role of water over the course of the series.) Does it matter that the series finale never explained how this metaphysical Source was controlled or regulated by some ancient device, if it was tied to the life-force of every living thing on Earth? Not really. It's enough to know that people have always tried to possess its power, and that someone harnessed it in a way that made it all too easy to extinguish. "Across the Sea" made this conceptually clear by establishing that Jacob was simply the latest in a long line of Keepers of the Source. To take this to another level, what this season revealed about the island is that it was something of a spiritual metaphor, even beyond its supposed nature as the "cork in the gateway to Hell". Granting that within the context of "Lost", there is a much higher power, which created the Source (and therefore the various states of being that play into "Lost X" and the series finale), it is so far beyond the full understanding of the characters and "normal" human experience that it is ultimately only evidence in its effects. Similarly, we knew the universe exists. If we extend the spiritual metaphor in strictly non-denominational terms, "God" could be defined as the conscious totality of the universe. And while we, as human beings, attempt to understand the workings of the universe rationally through the application of science, there are simply many aspects that are still elusive. Quantum theory is supported by many experiments and practical applications, for instance, but it is still mostly understood in terms of its effects. Looking back on the series as a whole, there are examples of humanity attempting to understand the mystery of the island. The Dharma Initiative brought the best and brightest to the island (by their own measure, at any rate), and they only scratched the surface. Daniel Faraday delved even further into the mysteries, and ultimately came to the wrong conclusions based on his limited understanding. Beyond science, there were the pseudo-religious interpretations of Richard, Locke, and the Others. The message, it seems, is that the struggles of the characters on the island, seemingly alive in its own way and beyond definitive understanding, are a reflection of humanity's struggles in the real world. Which, of course, is the essential theme of the series as a whole. The struggles of the survivors of Oceanic 815 were our own struggles, and science and faith were insufficient to capture the meaning of it all. It was the sixth and final season of "Lost" that brought the entire story full circle and opened the door to this level of conceptual understanding. Needless to say, there are many fans and even more critics who found that set of "answers" to be unfulfilling and perhaps even intellectually bankrupt. Yet these are massive philosophical questions at the heart of human experience. It is a false assumption to say that a show with science fiction and fantasy elements cannot ultimately rest on those philosophical underpinnings. As always, I must point to "Babylon 5". While it's possible to view the series as strictly science fiction in origin, the series finale ("Sleeping in Light") reinforced that it was a story about overarching questions about ourselves and our place in the world: who we are, what we want, why we are here, and where we are going. All questions that were at the philosophical center of "Lost" as well. The sixth season of "Lost" earned a Critical Myth rating of 8.7. This is easily the highest rating achieved by any season of a series I've reviewed, and a dramatic step above the already excellent fifth season (8.3). As a whole, "Lost" earned a Critical Myth series average of 8.0, which itself is the highest overall rating for any series that lasted more than a single season. ("Firefly" earned a series rating of 8.5, but as it only ran a total of 14 episodes, this is an unfair comparison.) This is an achievement that has been, in my opinion, capably earned.

Now thats a finale

Lost ended with one of the most watched biggest disappointments ever, where as across the pond the finale of the life on mars/ashes to ashes -verse was far more enjoyable. I personally think the finale of Life on mars (uk of course) was one of the silver screens finest moments, and while its successor didn't go out quite as fantastically, I think few were disappointed as we watched 'them all go to the pub'. Those who were saddened by the turn of events need to remember the show is called ashes to ashes So if you want to escape the oppressive heat with some solid summer TV consider taking a trip to mars and then settling into ashes to ashes, the past never looked so cool.

Lost Finale

Beautifully done, very poetic. Don't feel the need for all the answers, rather individual interpertation of the show is how I wanted this show to close.

Lost 6.17: "The End"

Even before the episode began, it was clear that the final chapters of the novel that is "Lost" would leave some fans displeased and unfulfilled. Nothing that happened in the finale was going to change that fact. Instead of trying to please everyone, Damon and Carlton did what they felt was best for their own story, starting right from the beginning of the sixth season. "Lost" was originally conceived as a story about a group of plane crash survivors with a variety of personal issues who find themselves facing mysterious and dangerous circumstances. And sure enough, that's what the first season was all about: characters searching for or resisting redemption, with the mysterious properties of the island facilitating that process. As the series comes to a close, it is abundantly clear that the series remained true to its original premise. While the writers definitely fed the hunger for answers to the innumerable questions regarding the nature of the island, it was never about searching for the truth about the island. It was about the characters and their journey to personal enlightenment. The writers repeatedly made the observation that the story was being told from the perspective of the characters. And as such, the characters would have to be the ones to raise the questions and demand answers. One could quibble over whether or not the characters would fail to ask about certain details or press for more definitive answers, but these were also characters under extreme stress, internal and external. More often than not, the gaps in information were consistent with the notion that the character themselves would not know to ask for those answers. For example, the "rules" for Jacob and his brother (here called Adam; otherwise known as the Man in Black) were never explicitly explained. They were generally given a basis, and the audience had some context to understand the effect of the "rules", but the character themselves were only concerned with how the "rules" affected them. And that is how the "rules" were treated. The treatment of the Source in this finale is no different. Generally speaking, some ancient people managed to create a device which channeled the geothermal energies under the island into an intense electromagnetic/temporal anomaly, including the ever-important water from the island as a coolant. The device that created/maintained the Source was the metaphorical "cork" that held back the darkness that could destroy the world. There is no reason to think this simple chamber was the full extent of the device. In more definitive terms, it's fairly clear from this episode that removing the "cork" would sink the island. But it might also unleash the geothermal energy, perhaps in the form of a supervolcanic eruption. That would result in a worldwide darkness that would, if powerful enough, kill all life on Earth. Now, one could quibble about how an island that can move through space and time could still be connected to a specific geothermal source. And of course it's hard to reconcile, rationally, how the Source would then imbue an individual with supernatural powers or, in essence, turn a human being into a non-corporeal being of black smoke. This is because those elements don't really need to be explained on that level for the purposes of the story. If anything, the writers harken back to the mystery of the Swan Station, both visually and thematically. The Swan Station, according to the Dharma Initiative orientation film, was built to contain a dangerous pocket of electromagnetic energy that, if unleashed in an uncontrolled manner, would destroy the world. As the characters themselves note, nearly everything about the Source is metaphorically identical. Just as the Swan Station and its unusual properties were never fully explained, the Source is only treated insofar as it has meaning to the needs of the characters. The resolution to the overall series arc is relatively simple. Whether or not Jack actually reasoned out the best way to resolve the conflict is a matter of debate. It certainly seems as though Jack was just feeling things out as he went. But in essence, the island was "healed" using the age-old notion of stopping the heart, temporarily killing the patient, and then starting the heart back up again. While Jacob and Jack both derived power from the Source, it's fairly clear that Adam/MiB did so as well. The clue to the solution of Adam's power was revealed as soon as Richard began to age again. Once the connection to the Source is severed, mortality resumes. Once the Source was extinguished, Adam became mortal in the form of John Locke. Thematically, it always had to come down to Jack and Locke in a fight to the death. Of course, in terms of the mythological cycle at the heart of the story, it also had to come down to Jacob (in the form of his Candidate, Jack) and his brother (in the form of his chosen, Locke) in one final struggle. Both conflicts were based in recognizable human struggles with free will, destiny, and redemption. For this reason, it may have been thematically more pleasing if Jack had been able to overcome Adam/Locke once and for all. It's always more satisfying to see good conquer evil. But Jack was never explicitly good, and while Locke was never explicitly evil. (While Adam/MiB was certainly evil, that wasn't necessarily his innate nature, and there is plenty of reason to doubt that Jacob was definitely good.) But one issue was always Kate's role in the story. Her role in Adam/Locke's demise gives her prominence in the story more meaning, as does her eventual decision to leave the island and help Claire raise Aaron. It also allows Jack to survive long enough to see the story through to the very end in the most symmetrical manner available. (Note that Jack's mortal wound is in the exact opposite site of his body from the wound he incurred in the crash during the pilot.) With the Source extinguished and the island preparing to blow, Jack's impending death and Adam/Locke's death represent the end of the cycle that began with the birth of Jacob and Adam. The old rules no longer apply. If there is one moment that doesn't quite work in this finale, it's the transfer of power between Jack and Hurley. While it is necessary for the overall story, the specific details don't seem to unfold in the right order. Leaving out the details of the power-transfer ritual (which may have been meaningless ritual in the first place), the Source didn't exist at that point. So it doesn't make sense for Hurley to be given the role of keeper of the Source until the ancient device is restarted. Of course, it was cleaner for the purpose of the story for Hurley and Jack to say their farewells before Jack went into the Source chamber, but it was a bit sloppy. Similarly, in "Across the Sea", it seemed as though the Source would render a living human being incorporeal, trapping them in an endless existence, trapped between life and death. By the same logic, Jack should have been similarly affected once the Source was restored. If "Across the Sea" established anything, it's that the Source had no conscious will of its own; while the "rules" of the island were based on the individual demands of the Source's keeper, the Source itself should have been bound by its particular nature. But in the overall scheme of things, that's a minor annoyance that doesn't change the point of the plot. Structurally, the purpose of the Ajira 316 flight and the manner that it arrives on Hydra Island in the fifth season is fully revealed, as is the overall role of Frank Lapidus. It's great to see Richard and Miles make it off the island, and as often noted in reviews for previous episodes, it was evident that Sawyer and Claire would leave, if they managed to survive the final showdown. And the survival of Rose, Bernard, and Vincent was a nice touch, reinforcing the idea that there would always be people on the island. Had Jack survived, it would have made sense for Hurley to be the leader of the eventual New Others. With Hurley now acting as the keeper of the Source, Ben is a surprisingly perfect alternative. This is really the end of Ben's own redemptive arc, and brings his character evolution to a satisfying conclusion. As Jack notes, the properties of the island that trapped people there were unique to Jacob. He wanted to limit access to the island and ensure that Adam/MiB never left. That was how he chose to protect the Source. Hurley can set the "rules" however he wants, which will inevitably give Desmond the ability to leave the island once and for all. So in terms of the overall island story, from the beginning of the pilot to the moment that Jack dies, it all hangs together fairly well. There will inevitably be details that don't seem to add up on closer inspection (the depiction of the Others and the whole mess surrounding the cabin, for starters), but given the real-world factors at play in the development of the series, this is hardly unexpected. **** Of course, that only covers one aspect of the finale, and particularly the season. This episode reveals, once and for all, that the "Lost X" timeline was, in fact, not an alternate timeline. Ironically, the producers tried to say this from the beginning; they made it very clear it was not a competition. Those who speculated that the "Lost X" timeline was a kind of epilogue or denouement were right on the money. Everything in "Lost X" takes place apart from the main story. Once twice does someone in "Lost Prime" interact with "Lost X": when Juliet is about to die in "LA X", and Desmond's unusual journey in "Happily Ever After". Juliet's reason for peering into the pseudo-limbo of "Lost X" is obvious; she was on the brink of death. Desmond, for his part, was experiencing something that should have killed him. So in a sense, he was in a near-death state. The premise of "Lost X" is very simple. Everyone whose souls were not trapped on the island eventually found it impossible to move on, in a spiritual sense, on their own. The events that transpired on the island bound them together as a group; only together could they move on. While it could have been the pain and the suffering that linked them, instead it was the good moments: the love that they shared. This wasn't imposed upon them, but was a subconscious choice. They needed to forgive each other and find closure. If it seems a bit ill-defined or vague, it's because the circumstances varied for each character, yet in the end there was also the group element. They had their individual triggers, but once they were "activated", they were aware of the totality of their shared experience. (And those moments were some of the best and most heart-wrenching moments of the series.) This is directly linked to the redemptive themes of the series as a whole. It's not tied to a specific religion or basis of faith, though the series has always hewed closely to Christian themes. Even the characters acknowledge that "Christian Shepherd" is rather on the nose. And there are similarities to the concepts of limbo and purgatory, which some viewers will no doubt find convenient or offensive. However, conceptually, this explains all of the inconsistencies within the "Lost X" timeline. The survivors of Oceanic 815 built a consensus reality within the afterlife that represented everything they couldn't let go in their real lives. It was the sum total of all the regrets, hopes, and fears that held them back. And as such, they had to come together in the understanding that it was time to let go of the past and move on as one. After all, all those characters were Candidates because they were alone and lost in their lives. In a very real sense, the island gave their lives meaning. To be clear: the writers were not trying to say that the entire series was some kind of purgatory. The events on the island took place. Whatever happened, happened. But afterward, as each of the primary characters died, they arrived within the consensus reality of "Lost X". And since "Lost X" was outside of time, at least in the conventional sense, it took place both well after the main events of the story and at the same time as "Happily Ever After". Also, considering that the spirits of the dead have been a part of the story from the beginning, this spiritual element of the story should be no surprise. If anything, the writers may have been hobbled by their own ambition. They were limited by which characters they could bring back into the story, and for how long. So while the overall effect of the message was not undermined, the details don't necessarily mesh as cleanly as they might have. Of course, this is connected to the problem with the explanation for the "whispers" given in "Everybody Loves Hugo". Some souls are trapped on the island, but the whys and wherefores aren't explained. If Malcolm David Kelley hadn't grown up so fast, would Michael and Walt have reunited in "Lost X", along with all the other happily reunited souls? If Adewale Akinnuone-Agbaje hadn't demanded five times what he was offered to return, would he have been trapped on the island, or among the redeemed? Or is it assumed that when the Source was momentarily shut down, the souls trapped on the island were released, thus able to move on to the pseudo-purgatory stage? But knowing that "Lost X" is really a spiritual epilogue to the main story presents yet another reason to go back and re-experience the story, to see if it stands up to closer scrutiny. Without a doubt, the writers intentionally made it seem as though there was a different origin and nature to "Lost X", so that influenced the interpretation of many sixth season episodes. With no need to reconcile "Lost Prime" and "Lost X", the spiritual and redemptive aspects of "Lost X" will no doubt seem less forced than some believe them to be now. Also, as already mentioned, "Lost X" also served to place the denouement during the same period as the climax. Structurally, this was an intelligent choice. Had the writers tried to bring the main story to a close and focus entirely on "Lost X", even for just a handful of episodes, it never would have worked. This also maintained the narrative structure that had defined the series since the very first episode. But it also gave the audience a season-long opportunity to say goodbye to the characters and remember all the things they loved about them from the beginning. And in retrospect, the narrative convergence of the "Lost Prime" and "Lost X" events will be even more meaningful. The conceit of "catalyzing the awakening" of each main character was a masterstroke. That said, "Lost X" and its purpose is more than just a message that the characters themselves needed to understand and experience to complete their redemptive journeys. It's also a bit of a meta-message to the audience. This story is ended; time to move on now. Don't dwell on the negative; forgive and remember the best of what was, what was loved, what was valued, and carry it forward into the next experience. It may be a bit self-indulgent, but it is perhaps the distillation of the theme that has always been at the heart of "Lost". Overall, this was exactly the ending that the series needed. The heart of the series was always the depth of character exploration and the redemptive theme, and both aspects carried through to the very last frame. While some mysteries were left unsolved, on the balance, the important points were all covered. A thrilling and touching end to a worthy tale.

No Man is an Island - "The End"

I am one of more than 12.3 million people* who tuned in to last night's Lost finale. (I'm guessing you are too.) Just wow. I am so glad that all I can think of to say is "wow." If the ingenious and epic nature of Lost was at all in question, I think "The End" was more that sufficient to prove and solidify it to everyone. Series finales are incredibly difficult. I can't even imagine the challenge, nevermind the pressure, behind putting together a conclusion to something as monumental as Lost. Even the best of the best can falter at series finales - see: BSG. So I didn't get my hopes up for Lost's finale and was ready to accept whatever came. Now I wish I'd let myself have enormous expectations. Because they still would have been totally blown away. "The End" did what series finale ought to do: bookending, reflecting back on the whole series, complementing echoing - and all with what is definitely the best script all season. It answered major questions, but it didn't attempt to wrap everything up in a neat little box with a horrific little happy-ending bow (see: epilogue chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). It ended the series, but not the story, assuring that Lost, though technically over, will never be at an end. And, well, it was a happy ending, and who doesn't like that?, actually. But I can make an exception for this take on a happy ending. Because it isn't a happily-ever-after happy ending. It is a mix of truesweet and bittersweet, and the emotionality is absolutely heartfelt. There is a part of me that wanted to be cynical about the happy reunion crap a la Claire and Aaron and Charlie finally together in the Sideways...but I was too busy tearing up. Those three in particular have always been my undoing, but especially in those moments. There are only three things about "The End" I am honestly unsatisfied/displeased with. The first two are minor: One, What about the children?! I can't contain my worries about Jin and Sun's poor orphaned daughter, and I don't like how Jack's son in the Sideways (Dylan Minnette, who I became quite fond of) is just sort of...dropped out of sight. But I guess I'll have to get over that. And two, it's just depressing that Lapidus never has any function other than "pilot." The third is less minor. "Locke" aka the Man in Black was killed by a GUN. A gun fired by KATE. This is a PROBLEM for me. SO MANY people have gotten shot on Lost and pretty much NONE OF THEM have died from it. Ever. So how does it follow that what is arguably THE major death of the series comes via gunshot, and not at the hands of the person who should rightfully be the killer? Sure, you could argue that having Kate do it in order to save Jack is actually a great piece of emotional poetic justice. Sure, you could argue that the gunshot was just the final nail for the putting out of the light at the Heart of the Island, or that it could well have been the fall that actually killed him. But you'd need an autopsy to confirm that and dammit, I'm just peeved about the whole thing. ...and by "the whole thing" I just mean the shooting...and maybe the fact that Kate did it. But definitely not the Western-style showdown between "Locke" and Jack. That was fucking EPIC - and I don't just mean Jack's starting 300-style jump-punch. The stunt team deserves such an insane amount of congratulations for putting it all together. Tough location + multiple camera angles + rain + that much pressure to be amazing = a lot to handle. And oh boy did they. Speaking of Jack, I think it is important to note that "The End" is the first time where I've truly appreciated what an extraordinarily well-crafted character he is. I feel like I finally understand all the work that the writers and Matthew Fox have put in over these six years. Jack always seemed a little off to me. I can't say how. I mean, he was certainly admirable and I did like him, but there was always some lack of, I don't know, humanness, that set him apart from everyone else. After "The End," I've reached a stage of enlightenment about the character Jack Shephard. I get it now, how he is important not just as a person, but as a tour-de-force of concepts. He really does personify the heart of the story. So yes, "Locke," he is "the obvious choice" for Jacob's successor. And now I feel that I understand why - at least, I think I do. But back from the land of tangents, as far as closing the story and answering that question of "What/where is the Island?" (and also "What/where is the Sideways?"), "The End" was just about perfect. Despite this growing black/white Man in Black/Jacob biblical imagery, the finals answers were not any sort of Heaven/Hell answer. Not in my opinion. Instead, it was just a beautiful conclusion to what has been the main theme of Lost over the course of six seasons. As writer/creator/masterminds Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof noted in the pre-show "Lost: The Final Journey," Lost is "a character study." It is a story about people, and the idea that people, however isolated they feel, always have and need each other. No man is an island.** And so, the final destination for all the characters, whenever they die, is this place "[they] have all made together" (Christian Shephard). It is not a "here" or a "now," but it very truly is. I am absolutely in love with that idea and that ending. Because the concept is so moving on its own. And also because it leaves us with the thought that we haven't seen everything - Hurley and Ben did spend real time protecting the Island, those on the plane leaving the Island with Lapidus got to live their lives, Desmond got off the Island and back to Penny. That's how I'm choosing to interpret it, anyway. I think it is a thought that has merit, but I'm sure there are other arguments that are just as persuasive. The ubiquity is the masterpiece as much as anything. Nothing is cut and dry - there are hints of what the minds behind Lost are thinking or intend, but there is also room to leave the conclusion and messages up to interpretation. The ubiquity, as well as the depth, are what make Lost such a monumental work of fiction. The show is truly an epic. Serial television can be literature***, and this is the proof. Lost is over. And there is a definite void. In the world of network television, and also just in the world. There is nothing to replace it, not in terms of scope or in ability to capture the imagination. And I'm really going to miss it. In terms of post-partum, I think I get off easy. My emotional- and time-committment hasn't been anywhere near six years - not even one year. But I like to think that I'm not totally unaffected in comparison to the diehards who've hung on fanatically since S01E01. I was touched by Lost. Dorkeriffic as it is to say, it is true, and I don't think that another five years would change that. So, RIP Lost. Or, rather, thanks for the memories. And thank you for being so absolutely beyond-words extraordinary. *Current Nielsen estimate; does not count DVR numbers or headcounts of Lost-viewing parties. So, really, it's probs MANY more. **I'm sorry but I just HAD to. I apologize for using it in both title and text. ***I use the word "literature" because that is the best way I can think of to describe a narrative with depth/symbolism/mythology/message - all those elements one looks for in text-based literature; if you have an alternative to offer, please do (This review, plus some slightly sillier stuff, is also posted on my blog at // .)

Lost "The End" Series Finale Review - Season 6, Episodes 17 & 18

Lost came to a close Sunday night with its enormous two and a half hour series finale. Some people loved it, some people hated it; some people may even still be a little confused, but it did deliver twists and turns and unexpected surprises, as only Lost could. *****************************************SPOILERS**************************************************** Episode Summary In the wake of Sun and Jin's death, and Jack being inargurated as the new "Jacob" of the island; Jack, Hurley, and Kate set out to finally put an end to the smoke monster. Sawyer fails to find Desmond in the well, but finds Locke and Ben there instead. The battle lines are drawn when Sawyer announces Locke's plan to destroy the island and Locke tells him that he is going to kill all of Jacob's candidates first, as a parting shot Sawyer exclaims that "We're not candidates anymore," alluding to the fact that Jack has taken up Jacob's charge. Once back with Jack,Hurley, and Kate, Sawyer lets them in on Lockes plan and they all set out to the "heart of the island," over which the inevitable end will be fought. After Locke finds Desmond, saved by Bernard and Rose, he convinces Desmond to come with him or watch him kill them "slowly." Jack's and Locke's groups cross paths on their way to the "light" and all pretences are dropped. Jack tells him he knows what Locke is going to do, and he can't stop him, but he will kill him. Leaving Kate, Hurley, Ben, and Sawyer behind, Jack, Locke and Desmond forge ahead to the center of the island where Desmond is lowered into the light and removes the "cork" at its heart. Suddenly the light disappears and the island begins to shake uncontrolably as if it could give way at any moment. Across the island, Miles tells Richard, "Welcome to the club," as he proceeds to pluck a grey hair from his head; a clear sign that whatever was preventing Richard from aging was now gone. The two paddle over to the other island to destroy the plane as they had planned, but finding Frank Ledpis alive changes that, as now they have a chance to fly it off the island and leave once and for all. As the island continues to shake and rain falls heavily, Jack attacks Locke and hits him in the face, the sight of his punch actually drawings blood stuns them both for a momment, it appears whatever made him turn into the black smoke was gone, and now he was mortal once again. Jack and Locke have their final showdown and after a few exchanges, Jack finds himself on top of Locke with his hands around his throat choking the life from him. Locke strains to reach but eventually grabs his knife and plunges it deep in Jack's side. While moving in for the final thrust, Locke is downed by a single shot from Kate's rifle. Jack kicks Locke's body off of the cliff and it lands lifeless on the rocks below. Knowing the only way for the island to be saved and to allow his friends ample time to leave, Jack heads back, blood gushing from his side, to the light to reinsert the stone that Desmond removed. Hurley and Ben vow to stay with Jack as Kate and Sawyer head for the plane. Outside the cave, Jack, feeling that his voyage was only going to end one way, makes Hurley the new leader of the island. In the flash sideways, everyone begins to realinge with the people that they loved or lost on the island. Sawyer finds Juliet, Clarie meets Charlie, Sayid stops a muggler who happens to be attacking Shannon, and Kate gives Jack his first vision of his past life. Not fully aware or accepting of what he sees, Jack reluctenly goes with Kate to the church where he was to have his father's funeral. She tells him that everyone is waiting inside for him whenever he is ready to leave. Kate sends Jack to the back of the church, into a room that housed his father's coffin. Upon touching it Jack gets a rush of memories and suddenly understands what came before. He opens the casket to see his father but no one is inside. Christian Shepard stands behind Jack and their talk makes Jack realize that not only is his father dead, but he and all of his friends from the island are dead. The flash sideways has been a middle ground for these characters after their deaths to wait until they are ready to move on. The church is a place they all created to meet each other before moving into the afterlife. Christian opens the church doors and the whole place is engulfed in a sea of white light. Back on the island Jack awakes outside the cave after he has reinserted the stone, which once again makes the light flow from the cave and stops the island from self-distructing. He stumbles back to the spot where his first woke after the plane crashed in the first episode, even passing the same old pair of sneakers hanging off of a tree branch on his way there. He collapses onto the jungle floor and through a small opening in the trees canopy, he sees the Ajira plane which is flying over head, taking Kate, Sawyer, Claire, Frank, Miles, and Richard off of the island. Vincent emerges from the jungle and lays right next to Jack on the ground. The camera zooms onto a close-up of Jack's open right eye, and as Jack slowly dies, the eye closes.....Lost. What Some People Are Finding Confusing So they have been dead all along, from the very start of the series? - NO! Everything that happend happend. A sentiment that has been echoed numerous times throughout the series. Everything on the island was real, the only thing that was not happening in their real life for these characters was the flash sideways. How could Jack have a son in the flash sideways if he was dead? -Jack did not have a son. Locke even told him this in the hospital. The flash sideways was a sort of middle ground that these characters were in before they were able to move on to heaven or the afterlife, or whatever you believe in. As Matthew Fox himself even stated, in some religions it is believed that when you die you cannot move on until you acknowledge your own death and the people in it that helped you along the way. The flash sideways was just whatever these characters were making it in their minds when they died, once they "let go" then they were able to moved on to heaven. So they all died at the same time, it must mean Frank, Miles, Swayer, Kate, Claire, and Alpert all crashed while leaving the island right? -NO! As Christian Shepard told Jack, some of them died before you, some a long time after. "How are they all here now," Jack asked. Christian answered, "There is no now here," Time is all relative in the afterlife, they are all dead, but that does not mean they all died at the same time, the church is just the place where they all meet each other before the person moves on. As Hurley told Ben, "You were a great number 2" and Ben tells Hurley that he was a great number 1, implying that Ben and Hurley lived on the island for forever long after Jack died. Why were some of the people in the church and others not? -Some people were not ready to move on yet and some were not going to where this group was going. Outside the church Locke asks Ben if he is coming in, to which Ben replys that he isn't ready yet he still has things to take care of. And Faradays mother asking Desmond if he is taking her son with him, but Daniel hasn't let go yet. He passes Charolette at the concert, but he doesn't have his flash that allows him to let go, he is still living in the space where he gets to be the musician he wanted to be and play with a band he is a fan of. Why was Desmond important, what was his purpose? For this, I quote Mr.Rich909, we both had the same understanding of Desmond, but he worded it very well so i'll let him tell you. "Desmond was important because in truth, he is the one who killed Smokie...the moment he released the Rock, Smokie/Locke, became Mortal, as did Richard....But more importantly, Desmond was the one character who crossed over into the afterlife before he died. When Whidmore locked him in the cabin earlier in the season....When Desmond crossed over for that brief moment, he saw what he thought was another life....that is what he thought the light was, another reality where they can all live that moment, he didn't know it was in the afterlife....In the Flash Sideways, when Charlie takes Desmond into the water and Desmond remembers, he not only remembers his time on the Island, but he also remembers his journey into this afterlife, thus being the first one to realize not only is he seeing his past life, but that he is dead....Desmond is the constant to both worlds and it became his job in the afterlife to get everyone together because he knew that is what he was there to do.....He was to enlighten people so that Jack, the Shepard, can bring everyone to the Gates of heaven...... My Last Comments About Lost Lost has been one of those truely exceptional shows that has pushed the boundries of what is possible for a t.v. show and more importantly the high level of creativity and art that all t.v. shows and movies alike should strive for. They could have easily stretched this out 3 more seasons, making millions more for themselves in the process, but they had a plan in mind for how they wanted to tell their story, and they stuck to that. For that they should be applauded. Many people get the concept of Lost twisted, all of this crazy stuff is happending around them, but at the core and center of the show, as the creators have continuely said, are these characters. If someone asked me to sum-up Lost of them, its was a show about people's redemption and the people who helped you find yours. There is no religious agenda, nothing being pushed on anyone, the writers have made that clear by not saying words like God or heaven or singling out a specific faith. As Christian Shepard told Jack at the end, "No one does it alone, you needed them as much as they needed you." That simple concept is what Lost was all about. The bar has truely been raised. It has been a privilege to watch Lost for these last 6 years and I would just like to thank everyone involved with the show for making it a tremendously special work of art. Thank You.

Lost Season 6 Episode 18 "The End, Part 2" Review

As I stated in the other reviews for the season finale event of Lost this upcoming Sunday, the show has done a great job of not releasing any information as to what is going to happen, and how it is going to end. From the beginning of this season, they motto was all the secrets will be revealed. And we have learned a lot so far this season. But will this show end with some of those questions still unanswered. Can you predict what will happen? Even the website has left no description besides the orginal write up of the pilot episode. Its like a vault! The second part should be the most dramatic part of the show. The first I believe will be the warm up. It is just so unpredictable!

Lost Season 6 Episode 17 "The End, Part 1" Preview

Well on this upcoming Sunday the time has come and the two and half hour event that almost everyone near a television will be watching is here. In the first hour of the episode we will get to have only a couple questions answered. The show has done a great job of keeping what happens in the series finale hush hush. Only providing very little if null details. What is out there can be seen at: . You just never know what surprises are in store when they keep it under wraps.

Lost Season 6 Episode 19 "Final Journey" Preview

Well the time has come and it looks like the orginally sceduled 2 hour season finale Lost event has been stretched to 2 and a half hours. I can only imagine how many questions will be answered in this final episode. The last half hour will probably be a great closing with a lot of the questions we have been pondering put to rest. But will it end they way you want it to? Will there be some questions left for us to assume? It will deffinately be interesting to see.