LOST End Series Finale Review - Mania.com

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LOST End Series Finale Review

LOST: A Fond Farewell

By Joe Oesterle     May 24, 2010
Source: www.joeartistwriter.com


Dazed and Confused
Confused? I am. Though not as confused as I was when I heard about the LOST Spin-off. Apparently Ben, Baby Kwon, Father Mulcahy and Klinger all signed up to do a new dramedy entitled, “AfterLost.” Talk about hi-jinx.
   And yes, let’s talk about hi-jinx, because It’s 2:00 AM, I’ve watched this show once for fun, then once again while taking notes, and I still not sure I fully understand everything. I haven’t spoken to anyone about this other than my girlfriend, and to be honest she’s too busy crying to discuss what we just watched. (Twice) I am fairly certain, regardless of the early morning hours, I can hear a certain percentage of the viewing public screaming foul. “They were dead the whole time? I called that back in Season One! This is some serious hi-jinx!”
   Were they dead the whole time? We know at the end Christian assured Jack that everything that happened to him was real, but does that mean he had a son? Didn’t that happen to him, or was that all just the dream he was supposed to wake up from. Yeah, probably just a dream. Locke told Jack he didn’t have a son, and that seemed to shake Jack’s foundation a bit. So I guess that was just part of Jack’s dream. The dream Rose tried to wake Jack from way back in 2004, otherwise known as February 2nd 2010 during this season’s premiere.
   Please bear with me, because I’m still pondering as I type this. Jenn (the girlfriend) is still awake and her tears have subsided, but we’re still debating whether or not they all died when the 815 originally crashed. That could have happened - couldn’t it? Or, did some of those passengers miraculously escape death only to die in this season’s finale?
   At this moment I’m thinking, based purely on Miles ability to commune with the dead in his own way, that Claire died in that explosion a couple of seasons ago. Claire definitely registered as a walking corpse on Miles’ deadometer. Dammit. I don’t know. I get why Lapidus, Miles and Alpert were on the plane, but not sure why Sawyer, Claire and Kate had to board as well. Was it just to make Jack’s eventual final eye close more dramatic? Sawyer, Claire and Kate were in the church for their own funeral, but the other guys weren’t. So, if everything was real, did those guys make it off the island, and did Sawyer, Kate and Claire just disappear from that plane? Is there a universe somewhere in which Frank Lapidus, Richard Alpert and Miles Straum are wondering what happened to the three other people in that Ajira plane?
Still Not Sure
   Maybe they were all dead too. Lapidus could have really died in the sub. Alpert could have been killed by Smokey’s tree toss. Not sure how Miles may have died, or if any of them actually did die. Sonuvabitch this hurts my head.
   Hey! How the hell did Penny die? She was at the big funeral. But where was baby Charlie? Did Des and Pen never have baby Charlie? The Kwons apparently never had Ji Yeon. Or did they? If everything that happened to them is real where are the offspring of the Kwons and Humes? At least we can be certain everyone in the church was going to heaven. We of course know this because Nikki and Paulo were nowhere to be seen.
   Without figuring out if I figured this ending out, I figure I can say I still enjoyed the show. Of course, it’s hard not to like a tear jerking, happily ever after ending – even if all the good guys died. But did I feel cheated? I’m still not sure.
Maybe If I Just Write Out My Thoughts…
   Let’s discuss the show itself and maybe I’ll put it together – for myself at least. Jack confessed to Sawyer that he didn’t feel much different after being anointed as the new Jacob. So Jack did not receive an epiphany from Jacob’s wine?
   Hey, maybe I just got an epiphany too. Hurley, while going on about Yoda, and quoting the one phrase that’s in every single Star Wars film - both the good three and the ridiculously shitty three – “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” follows that up with, “…this would be sweet if we weren’t all about to die.” For now at least, I take that as Hurley informing us all that they are not yet dead. Though I still maintain Claire may have been.
Freedom of Choice… Kind of
   Speaking of Hurley, here’s another thing that has me perplexed. How come when the big man parks his big Hummer outside the big motel he stresses to Sayid he has an option in whether or not he stays with Hugo? He informs Sayid he thinks he’s a good guy and tells him he’ll be happy if he sticks with him, but he emphasizes Sayid’s freedom of choice. This freedom for some reason does not apply to Charlie. Hurley tranqs the blitzed Brit and takes him to the concert against his will. Could someone clear up that inconsistency for me please?
   Like Lassie, it appears Vincent also rescues people who are stuck in wells. More likely it was Rose and Bernard who pulled Desmond out, but they appear to be more effective in covering their own tracks. Not that it mattered, because Smlocke picked up their scent, and after finagling a guarantee to never harm the old couple, Desmond accepted his journey with the cranky dark cloud-man.
Wakey Wakey
   Back in the Safe Landing Universe (SLU) or what we now may refer to as the Dream World (or DW for those of you who love initials) Miles informs Detective Ford that he just saw Sayid Jarrah at his father’s museum concert benefit thing, and asks him to check in on the Korean couple at the hospital. At that same moment, the Korean couple are being checked in on by a certain baby doctor/baby mama/ baby oh baby.
   Dr. Juliet goops Sun’s belly up (that sounded way more sexual than it actually was) and triggers an awakening for Sun. Soon after, Jin also “wakes up” to flashes of island heartache and joy. They laugh, they cry, they learn English.
   Up the hall a few rooms, Dr. Jack and John Locke, are making small talk. Jack previously had Locke’s skull X-ray superimposed over his own face, leaving the audience with an interesting view of duality of these two bitter and loving frenemies. At the same moment DW Jack is lightening the mood by telling DW Locke he may kill him on the operating table, Original Timeline (OT) Jack is laying it out for Smlocke, “I’m going to kill you,” snarls OT Jack, and OT Jack isn’t lol-ing. “See you on the other side,” winks DW Jack.
Not Nadia
   Turns out Sayid’s big love wasn’t Nadia after all. Now that one reeks a little of “let’s pull a clever fast one on the audience,” but most of us already entertained that notion and rejected it. We’ve seen Sayid haunted by his love for Nadia before the Oceanic crash, on the island, back in the real world as an Oceanic Sixer, and also in the DW. It’s hard for me at least to buy into the big love of Sayid’s life not being Nadia. How long could he have really known Shannon? 3 days? 3 weeks tops? Danny and Sandy had a whole Summer of lovin’ before returning to Rydell High. That makes sense. But we’re supposed to believe Sayid and Shannon’s devotion for each other rivals that of the Australian virgin and the Greasy Thunderbird? Sayid and Shannon never even made out under the dock - though they did stay out till way past 10 o’clock.
Are You Ready To Rock… Or at Least Roll?
   Meanwhile at the social event of the year, many of our characters have assembled at table number 23. (See Hurley’s famous numbers.) Even Desmond is surprised to find out that Kate and Claire have already formed a relationship.
   Every big act needs a warm-up guy to whip the crowd into a frenzy. This man should never be Pierre Chang. Sadly for Daniel and the Driveshafts that’s exactly who it is. 
   You know what’s more bizarre than the bass player of an experimental rock fusion band leaving the stage in mid-performance because he fancies the pregnant bird in the audience? It’s when the bass player of an experimental rock fusion band leaves the stage in mid-performance because he fancies the pregnant bird in the audience, and both he and the chickadee are stone cold dead already, but don’t yet know it.
   Do you know how to make a dead bass player and his dead girlfriend realize they’re already dead? Answer: The dead girl gives birth.
   In an episode full of mirroring scenes, Kate once again assists Claire as she gives birth to baby Aaron. Once Charlie touches Claire’s hand he realizes all is well and they’re all dead.
Two Sides. One Light. One Dark.
    Meanwhile on the island, Desmond, who has been walking through this story like a man who knows the ending, suddenly isn’t sure if he read that last page correctly. After being lowered by Goofus and Gallant, Desmond pulls the proverbial cork out of the proverbial wine bottle, but instead of disappearing in the beautiful light, all hell is proverbially breaking loose.
   Smlocke smugly takes his leave of the cave, but Jack doesn’t care for his tone, and tells him so with a couple of punches to the back of his head and at least one on the kisser, which much to Smlocke’s surprise draws blood for the first time in a couple thousand years. Without the beautiful light, they’re no longer immortal. Smlocke is still thoroughly immoral though, so he grabs the nearest rock (neither white of black but grey) and smashes it on the side of Jack’s very vulnerable head and makes good his escape.
The Two Bens
   While on the topic of good and evil, let’s discuss one Benjamin Linus; a man who knows a thing or two about both sides. While it did look like Ben was happily about to turn Sawyer over to Smlocke earlier in the episode, it’s impossible to tell what his true motives were. It certainly looked as if Ben was once again up to his old selfish ways, but he’s been a very ambiguous character from the get go.
   What isn’t so vague however is how Ben sacrificed himself in order to protect Hurley from a falling tree. That was just Ben reacting without thinking – and his natural inclination was to be good. When Ben declines to join the rest inside the church, both Locke and Hurley understand. Ben, while by this time is more good than bad, is good enough to realize he’s not good enough. Yet.
…and the Winner, is….
   Here’s one thing I think we can all agree on; it’s dangerous to run down a slick rocky mountain during a thunderstorm at a guy with a big sharp knife. I guess we finally found out how Jack got that cut on his neck. What we didn’t find out is if DW Locke’s balls still ached from OT Jack’s well-place tempest crotch kick.
   And how ‘bout that Kate saving the day in the nick o’ time? I know many of you out there can’t stand Kate. I was once like you, but I’m glad that I publicly came out a few weeks ago and renounced my Khater membership. Like Smlocke kicked Jacob into the flames, Jack kicked Smlocke off the cliff. Smlocke fell like a man falling from a tall high rise. Who’s your daddy now Smlocke?
   Jack makes yet another hero’s journey back to the caves with Hurley and Ben in tow, but not before Kate kisses her man, and mirroring another pair of good guy criminals, she and Sawyer plummet into the water like Newman and Redford’s Butch and Sundance.
Jack, You’re Going to Be Late For Your Own Funeral
   Back in the DW, John Locke wakes up from the anesthesia and his dream state around the same time. He’s wiggling his old man toes, and really should have taken a nail clipper to those things before he went under. He’s not engaged, and he informs Jack he doesn’t have a kid. Those were just more happy dreams to keep them from wanting to wake up. He’s a little surprised Jack has yet to rouse up yet, but he’s hopeful and happy it will happen soon.
Goin’ Dutch
   Down the hospital hall in the break room, Detective Ford has his hand caught in the candy jar, and no one by now is surprised when he’s caught by his lady love, Juliet. The candy machine wasn’t functioning properly, but that’s not what Juliet was referring to she told Miles from beyond the grave, “It worked!” And it did work. Once again mirroring a previous scene, the two are embrace in a passionate kiss and agree to split a coffee in the future. Personally, I rarely drink the stuff, but I’ve already had 3 large cappuccinos and 3 more cans of Coke. It’s almost 5 AM for me. Doesn’t look like I’ll be getting any sleep for another 12 hours either. It does however look like DW Jack is going to wake up soon.
Hurley is Number One
 OT Jack meanwhile swears Hurley in as the new him. It’s not Hurley’s dream gig, but then again, DW Hurley has been wide-awake for some time now. A little communion beverage in an old Oceanic water bottle is the perfect chalice for Hurley’s transformation.
Jack is lowered and Desmond is raised. “See you in another life, brother,” Jacks smiles.     
 He then manages to put the plug back in the Jacuzzi of Life and Death, and just lies there laughing uncontrollably for a while as the magic water starts to refill. Jack probably had his butt on the nozzle, and let’s all admit it… if a regular hot tub nozzles feels good there, imagine what an enchanted underwater deep soul enema feels like. Must be heaven.
A Man of Faith(s)
   Speaking of which, Kate can’t wait for Jack to get on board the Cloud Nine Train, but she’s dead, so she’s got time. Go in the back door, and I’ll meet you inside, she tells him. So Jack walks by the outstretched arms of Jesus, and into a very religious room. Very religious. All the major beliefs are represented. Catholicism and Judaism of course, but also the other Christian divisions as well as the Hindu, Shinto, Islam religions too.
   I think many of us realized a bit before it happened that Jack wasn’t going to wake up until he confronted the coffin. We also probably surmised Christian wouldn’t be inside, which means Jack would finally realize, like Bruce Willis did before him, that he was dead for some time now.
  The news was at first upsetting to Jack. Unlike the rest of his departed friends, Jack had resisted waking up the way other guys keep hitting the snooze button. Even though OT Jack was a full-fledged hero and man of faith, DW Jack was still not completely sold. When he finally believed however, he was given a champion’s welcome and a seat of honor as his tennis shoe wearing daddy opened up the doors to the light. Close up on OT Jack’s eye, this time closing, and cut to black. The end.
Not Same Time, Not Same Channel
   Except this isn’t the end. This is just the beginning of what will likely become weeks of spirited debates, I told you so’s, what did this mean, that sucked, that was great, and mostly, what will we do with our Tuesday nights now? So while I would like to go to sleep for a day, it’s now 6:00 AM, and I’m a half an hour from the shower.
   It’s been a great six year television run, and on a personal note it’s been great discussing, debating and theorizing all the minutia on this website with you people. I made some pretty impressive predictions during this time if I do say so myself, and I may have even been incorrect a time or two, but who’s counting? I had a great time as a viewer, and an even better time as a reviewer.
   Thank you all for getting LOST with me, and I hope you’ll continue to read me on these pages and on my own site. And now, the camera fixes in on an extreme close up of my blood shot eye as I close it for a second and then pop it open real quick to realize I’m still alive, and to borrow a phrase from a mobisode, I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me.
Did our questions get answered? Check out our 11 LOST Series Finale Questions

About our writer: Joe Oesterle is a seven-time published author. His latest book, “Weird Hollywood” is due out September of this year. In the meantime, please check out the animation section of his website. Once you’re there, watch ‘em all. The guy just pulled an all-nighter for you. Watch his damned cartoons already OK?



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endomayne88 5/24/2010 9:26:50 AM

If you need some cheering up after the finale, check out this EPIC LOST parody:


cheekymonkey 5/24/2010 9:35:47 AM

A- is a good grade for this one.

I thought the fact that they were dead was for the SLU, not the island.  Hurley telling Ben that he was a good #2 and Ben returning the compliment, I thought, meant that Jack and the others in the SLU were dead and in a purgatory type state, while Jack and company on the island were not...that was reality.  The only sticking point for me was the coffin from season one being empty...did that mean they were dead from the beginning, which the writers all said no to over the years, or that you should never trust Oceanic with your luggage?

I like that it was an open ended finale...it wouldn't be Lost without it. 

Thanks for the reviews Joe...

Versutus 5/24/2010 9:44:23 AM

So - Safe Landing Universe is the purgatory. And as Christian Shepard said - time is meaningless in the SLU. So - anyone who died in the Real universe - 'met up' after they died - regardless of when it was that they died.

Part of this also means that everything outside of the SLU actually happened... Jack died AFTER saving the island... (Note the tennis shoe is old and mouldy - not crisp and white from ep 1). Hurley and Ben went on to 'run the island' for seemingly many years after (You were a great number two... You were a great number 1). Sawyer, Kate, Alpert... all made it off the island and lived their lives. When they died in their own time - they awoke in the SLU... waiting to 'remember' so they could move on... The part about Sayiid making a choice - you have to choose 'heaven' or 'hell' - you can't have it chosen for you.

So - No real answers as to what the Island actually was - and how it did the amazing things... but a nice job tying up everyone's lives on the show and leading to some form of closure.

Also - IMHO - Ben is neither good nor evil... he is just working things out as a man still - hence the staying in 'purgatory' a while longer... I guess to support his daughter and find happiness with Rousseau...

Great series - and a dern good finale... I just didn't understand the part where Apollo turned and Starbuck had disappeared...



isgrimner 5/24/2010 9:49:13 AM

Great series, probably my favorite of all time.  Still not sure of everything in the finale, guess I'm still digesting it.

I guess the people who weren't in the church at the end are kind of like Ben and not ready?

Joe at least you kind of got your Sawyer/Juliet coffee moment, though no actual coffee was drank. 

kissstation 5/24/2010 9:56:25 AM

I was SHOCKED at the ending, but after drying my tears...yes I cried, it kinda made sense that they would end it like this.  An awesome show.  I am going to watch it again for the next few weeks.  Hell may watch the whoe series again on Netflix.   Thanks for the reviews!  It keep me current!  Great job!

Hobbs 5/24/2010 9:56:45 AM

So the SLU was the purgatory for our characters...what a waste...and no, I didn't hate the episode but no way was it an A minus...I think Joe is still in shock.  

I agree they weren't dead throughout the whole series because then the SLU would have been a purgatory for a purgatory.  Plus six of our heroes got off the Island for a while, the Dharma deal was coming and going from the Island and had a big Corp. set up on the mainland.  I've heard more than one person throw the "they were all dead on the island" thing out there but it doesn't support the story we've watched.  

I don't have a problem with the SLU being a purgatory but it wasted a WHOLE season on it when they could have  accomplished it all in one episode instead of 18.  Then they could have spent all free time answering the questions they left floating out there.  I went into this finale with low expectations and not expecting them to answer anything they didn't have to but I'm very disappointed in the final because they really could have.  I said it last week, when you look at the final season of Lost you can look to the SLU's as the low point of the series.

Joe, I agree, the is Ben is evil or not question might have been answered by the fact Ben wouldn't enter the Church and move on with the rest of them. Maybe he lived the rest of his life as Hugo's number 2 doing the right thing but even in the end it wasn't enough to let him move on but he wasn't in hell either. That could be one of those left open for interpretation things the writers were talking about. That's how I choose to look at it.

Overall I give it a "C" and I still dont' think the writers had a clue on how to tie everything up which is why so much is left unanswered. Part of me feels like I read a mystery novel that was never solved. Even though I enjoyed the characters I felt cheated at the end of the book.

At least it didn't suck as I was afraid of. I would have ended it with Jack and Smlocke playing Backgammon and Smlocke telling Jack how much he wants to kill him, Jack answering "I know." Thus the battle between Good vs. Evil continues as it always will and only the players change. 


kissstation 5/24/2010 9:56:58 AM

...KEPT me current.  oops.

BobKM 5/24/2010 9:58:59 AM

I found a moment to post the comment here that I wrote up before.  I'm going to be too busy today to read the review or do any more commenting, in fact, after this, you might not hear from me for 3-4 days, but I'll be back.

I'll throw out a few quick observations. I'll try to skip over some things in the show that had a major impact, because once I got started writing about them, I'd go on too long. . .

  • The Q & A that followed Jimmy Kimmel special is available now, 11:14 long, and then the same stuff in 3 smaller parts. (If you're like me, you went to look immediately when Kimmel announced it and couldn't find it.) Most of the questions were weak (unlike the "Times Talk" Q & A), and even Jimmy complained, but the way the cast answered was good enough to compensate. (My guess is Kimmel's staff was looking for questions that hadn't been asked before and that led to some dumb questions.)
  • No one in the studio audience reacted when Boy Jacob popped up behind the comic book and Dharma lasagne! I'm guessing that's why they had him pop up again later behind Jimmy.
  • Kudos to (locally-headquartered retailer) Target for treating the finale like a major event and doing custom Super-Bowl-style ads. I liked the smoke detector ad best, but the barbecue sauce was good, too.

Now a little about the finale itself:

  • I liked that Jin and Sun could speak English after they remembered, and how that made me anticipate what could happen as more people remembered. And Juliet's way of pointing it out (perhaps for people in the audience too emotional to notice otherwise) was nicely handled.
  • While some people may still be unhappy with aspects of the cave of light, I think putting the long waterfall shaft in there and reminding us of looking down into the hatch was a nice touch. And I got to have my Desmond spelunking prediction come true.
  • Also glad Hurley got to make a major contribution as Desmond's SLU helper. Seems like I predicted (or wished for) that a very long time ago, and it finally happened.
  • They just ignored the explosives on the plane, didn't they? (Unless I missed the 15-second scene it would have taken to find them and disarm or remove them.) That was sneaky, letting us wonder if they'd go off.
  • I liked that they explained there is no "now" in the SLU (I guess in our Mania group, we might as well still call it the SLU). We are free to speculate that, say, Hurley and Ben ran the island for 500 years, and Hurley got to see some sci-fi future stuff. (Maybe Ben didn't live as long; he should have worked out all his issues in 500 years.) Stuff like that will be fun to talk about.
  • There are a lot of questions left to discuss, and many in the area of Why wasn't (fill in the blank) in the church? Weren't they "ready?" Or weren't they important to Jack? And could every one there "move on," or would some stay to help others that weren't ready? Or does each person who is not ready have their own "SLU" including both people important to them and all the other not-so-important people? (I did suggest an infinite number of SLUs once, but not quite in this context.) Another look at Desmond's last talk with Eloise may provide clues to all this.
  • Many of you had talked about whether Jack would die. In retrospect, why weren't we all saying "Jack's eye will close at the end?"

Well, I've already gone on much longer than I expected.

Speaking of looking at things in retrospect, despite the remaining questions, many things in that finale seemed like they turned out just as they had to. So a great 2-1/2 hours leading up to the last scenes, and then, a (mostly) satisfying ending.

- - - - -

OK, I just realized maybe Ben had worked out his own issues, but was staying to help others within that SLU become "ready" and move on. (Ben got to become Hurley-Jacob's Ben-Richard, and now he'll be the SLU's new Desmond!?) But that assumes this particular SLU wasn't just for Jack. If that was Jack's SLU, and there is one for each person, that would mean it had served its purpose once Jack moved on.

OK, now I must move on.

See ya all later!

dnbritt 5/24/2010 9:59:20 AM

I agree, Cheeky.  My read (and granted, anyone's read is probably just as valid), was that the SLU was the "purgatory" state people have been postulating.  It was pleasant, and allowed the survivors to live their lives the proper way and find the people they needed to find and be with, so they could in the end put their lives in order.  The island was the real world.  As for when Penny died, like Christian said, there is no "now" here.  They all died at different times.  They perceived their arrival at their salvation at the same time.  Bit of a mind bender there, but that's how I see it.  We just so happened to watch Jack's entire arc, right to his real death in the real Island universe.  However, he arrived at the afterlife at the same time as, say, Charlie, who died before him, and Penny or Desmond or Sawyer or Kate who died after him (in Island/real world).

ddiaz28 5/24/2010 10:00:02 AM

I will definitely miss this show.

I'm back from England and ready for some discussion.  Although I assume there will be markedly less since there's no more Lost to speculate about.  Other than the many open ended mysteries that were left over.  I for one loved the finale.  I'm sure many people will hate the fact that so much was left up in the air.  But Cuse and Lindelof made a great statement during the pre show that it has always been about the characters, and that is what shined in this finale.  Everyone seemed to have their moment and there were so many great ones.  I seriously had to get a tissue cuz everytime someone had one of their "awakenings" I teared up.  And Jack and Kate's parting was so well done.  There were some really great scenes that I found myself laughing with contentment at because they were done so well.  The one that comes to mind is when Jack tells Smlocke to his face that he's going to kill him, and how is a surprise.  That scene was priceless. 

Overall I like the SLU explanation.  I just keep asking myself that if they all "created" this purgatory in order to find each other, why did they have to be "awakened" to remember their lives?  

Versutus, funny BSG reference.  On a serious note, I love how both these epic sci fi shows have been able to weave religion and faith into the science and mythology of everything in their respective universes.  It's definitely a reason that they had such wide appeal and personally made them so much more enjoyable to me. 

Now that I've given my initial two cents, I gotta read the review =)

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