Viewers still lost after the finale of “Lost”

I wanted to write some thoughts on “Lost” before I begin talking to others about it.

**Lots of spoilers, so leave now if you are the one person in the universe who hasn’t watched it yet.**

Well, two and a half hours later and no one knows what’s going on.

While that’s not entirely true, it became pretty clear that after the finale there were still a whole lot of questions left unanswered.

I was watching a local newscast right after the finale and they were interviewing an “expert” “Lost” blogger, who said she believed that they were dead the whole time, which I firmly believe is NOT the case.

Some critics didn’t even seem to get it. Even this New York Times critic thought they were dead the whole time, until he rewatched it and heard from other viewers:

On rewatching the scene last night it was immediately clear, as many of you have pointed out, that the characters hadn’t been dead all along and that the narrative was meant to have stretched for some undefined period of time after Jack’s death. Mea culpa. That new understanding will be reflected in my longer take on the finale, to be posted later today.”

So did the creators of “Lost” succeed? I think so. The show was always about the character arcs, and less about the mysteries of the island. In that respect, we got to spend some time with our favorite characters in the sideways/purgatory lives, which was meaningful and enough closure for me.

There were some beautiful parallels to past seasons of “Lost,” most obviously Jack’s eye closing and Locke’s fall from the cliff. And there were some beautiful moments when true loves were reunited. The flashes from the island when one of these characters would remember their past were powerful because we too were remembering their past on the show.

A word about the purgatory story line. I’ll admit I had a moment when I thought, “I can’t believe they pulled the ‘you’re dead’ thing!” but after sleeping on it, I realized that it fits the show. This show is about the big issues: love, destiny, and life…and death. Because no matter how many times they outran the polar bears, or battled the Others or healed from a gunshot wound, death is inevitable, even for Richard Alpert.

“Lost,” if nothing else, proved that nothing is certain but death and TV finales.

I’ll miss “Lost” for everything it did for TV. Proving that audiences will commit to a show that takes patience and loyalty. Showing how to do an ensemble cast show right. And proving, once again, that TV makes anything possible.

Here’s a list of what other critics had to say:

Televisionary: “To me, the end of Lost‘s narrative is the final scene of Jack in the bamboo grove, his story having come full-circle to the place where it began, a lone sneaker dangling solemnly from a bamboo tree, its laces now rotten and old where once they were new.”

Los Angeles Times: “Saying what the Island is is like saying what the meaning of life is; it’s a question you can ask but never receive a really satisfying answer to.”

Time: “The End” was an epic, stirring two and a half hours of television, full of heart and commitment, that was true to “Lost”’s characters as we knew them from season one.”

Entertainment Weekly: “I was so moved by Jack’s heroism and sacrifice and the glorious significance of ending where he began, as well as that Doubting Thomas allusion there at the end.”

TV Fanatic:I found myself almost bored, anxious to get everyone enlightened so we could get to the show’s overarching resolution.”

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