On Monday, with fanfares and simultaneous transmission at stupid times throughout the world, the final 2 episodes of Lost were shown. Well, sod that silly o’clock stuff. I taped the repeat on Tuesday, and watched it today.
It’s been a long ride. I remember being keen to see the pilot, because it started with a plane crash, and I was such a frequent plane traveller at the time, I thought there might be something I would learn in case of emergency. Needless to say there wasn’t! But the first series was quality stuff, and attracted a lot of viewers. As time has passed, and the confusion has increased rather than decreased, a lot of people let it go, and stopped watching, but I hung on in there. It remained a series with remarkable vision throughout – it had deaths of major characters throughout, plane crashes (yes, more than one, and seen from all the possible perspectives), mysterious computers, conspiracies, messages from the dead, time travel, and even a nuclear bomb!
And now it’s over. So what did we learn? In the end many of the mysteries were not answered (how did they keep their hair looking so good throughout?), many of them were (we did find out why the island was important) , and some were sort of answered (what was happening with that parallel timestream?).
The final episode reminded me how much I liked the character of John Locke (the actual Locke, not the Locke Monster), and in many ways, although the actor that plays him won’t get the modelling jobs that some of the others have, I think he stands out as one of the best parts of the show. Mind you, I’ve liked him in other things too. The episode also made me think about how beautiful the real island of Hawaii is, which has been a great backdrop to the series.
But what of the ending itself (spoilers here)?
I guess it did what the makers intended it to do. With the end of any series, there’s often a desire to give some completion, but to make it open-ended enough to give the implication that the characters go on to do other things (“The road goes ever on and on” as Tolkien says). By having two different finishes, on the island and back home, it gave them the opportunity to do that. It’s clear that some of the characters went on to do other things – Hurley’s compliment to Ben about being a great Number 2 speaks volumes of lives spent together on the island in the years to follow.
I liked that Ben continued to be a conflicted character and didn’t get a simple on-screen redemption, but seems to have gone good in the end with Hurley.
I am pleased that they did explain why the island was important (thank goodness).
I liked that Desmond got quite a bit to do in the last few episodes, as I always liked him.
Likewise, it was nice to see Rose, Bernard and Vincent the dog again, as they were always cool.
But we never find out why Walt was so special (he wasn’t even in the final ever-so-religiously-neutral church scene).
Or where the polar bear came from.
Or what Widmore wanted to do with the island.
Or how the Locke Monster interacted with Widmore’s group when they were living on the island, or why they left it.
But I like that Hurley got his moment in the sun as the new guardian – that’s fitting.
Over all, I am not displeased, though I am still at a bit of a loss how the parallel time-tracks thing fitted together. I guess it didn’t – it would seem that it was invented by the characters as the lives that they would have had if they hadn’t gone to the island. Or something. That could have been better resolved.
But part of me is just glad it’s over – it got dragged out quite enough I think!