Well, our favorite mind-warping drama has finally reached its end, and it’s sure to be controversial to Lost‘s legions of fans. Those who watched hoping that it would answer some of the more mystical questions brought up by the show were no doubt left disappointed and angry, while those who watched it mostly for the characters were left with a satisfying but very unexpected denoument. I for one did not expect for much to be explained in the vein of how things happened but knew that creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse would spend the final 150 minutes of Lost explaining what happens to our favorite group of castaways. Some may call that a copout, but for me, Lost has always been more about the characters than the mythology, and in that respect, the series finale did not disappoint.
“The End” shows us the final fates of the “Man in Black” and of newly christened protector Jack Shepard, and we find out who gets off the island for good and who winds up staying. We also find out that Richard Alpert and Frank Lapidus aren’t quite dead after all. Perhaps more importantly, we find out exactly what the “Flash-Sideways” reality was all about and how it links to the events on the island. To risk spoiling anything (and if you’re reading this, you no doubt have seen the finale anyway, so there’s nothing to spoil), the “Flash Sideways” is a limbo of sorts in which most of the original Losties (plus Ben, Desmond, Penny, and Juliet) are given an opportunity to move on into the afterlife together. This ending may be a little too Sixth Sense-ish for some, and I have to admit that it’s a tough thing to really wrap your head around. My reasoning behind this angle is that these characters’ time on the island forever linked them and that the island created this “Flash Sideways” reality so that they all can find one another, be reminded of who they were, and then enter eternity in peace. That’s probably the best explanation we can hope to gain from these final scenes.
I will concede to Mr. Knize that this was the weakest season of Lost, but I do applaud how it wrapped up the overall plot in its own unique way. Just about every character got an ending to his or her particular arc, for better or for worse, which is no small feat for such a large cast of characters. Subsequent viewings of this season on DVD will determine how well this final season fits with the previous five seasons, and frankly I can’t wait to start the show over again from Season One and relive this crazy trip. Overall, I’m amazed that such a deep, multilayered, genre-spanning show was so consistently popular with a general audience for six years, which is a testament to the amazing talents that have worked on this show, from the writers and directors to the amazing cast and the fantastic score by Michael Giacchino. For one of the most unique and surprising series finales in TV history, “The End” gets 4.5 out of 5 Climactic Showdowns, the season as a whole gets 4 out of 5 Inflated Expectations, and the series as a whole earns 5 out of 5 Eyeline Closeups.