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Lost Ends 955

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the talk-amongst-yourselves dept.
Unless you live in a hatch somewhere, you are probably aware that Lost has ended. If you want a simple, clear explanation of exactly how the series resolved, Lost Untangled will do nothing to clarify things for you. For everyone else, I provide this discussion thread for you to complain/revel in the most spoiler-laden manner you desire.
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Lost Ends

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:31AM (#32322374) Journal
    Note: what follows is my own opinion. Many viewers that were more attentive than I were very satisfied with and emotionally moved by the ending.

    I've always been bicuriously Lost as the show would sometimes give me a feeling that something more was going on that would eventually be revealed. So, having caught a number of episodes early on, I started watching Season Five religiously in order to prepare myself for the ending. But at the end of Season Five with no end in sight and only more questions and more characters (and a freaking reset button that later turned out to be a multiverse splitting mechanism), I gave up. Until I watched the last episode last night in hopes that the island would have some greater meaning. It didn't. Well, it tried to I guess but everyone's got their own interpretation of what they saw last night.

    So many questions I have went completely unanswered. Questions about Walt, why Faraday never recognized Desmond (the guy that unexpectedly gave him the constants to time travel one day) when Faraday landed on the island, the properties of the multiverses (some people seem to care about the futures of the other multiverse even though they shouldn't know about it until they're dead), why the black cloud killed who it did and left others (especially now that we know more about the black cloud), the list goes on and on. The worst of it is if you take each character individually and reassemble their timelines in sequential order that the episodes slowly piecemeal it out to you -- everyone is a goddamn psychotic sociopath. No rhyme or reason to the actions of half the characters. And it's not even Lord of the Flies neurosis ... just unexplainable U-turns in morality and logic.

    The show started out very concrete, real and physical and slowly absolved into symbolism with last night being such pure symbolism that you cannot say for sure when they died or what the afterlife was or what the church represented or where they went at the end when the doors were opened. It reminded me of a few anime series I watched in this respect where the shows digress into absolving themselves of anything earthly or logical in some sort of ethereal climax of visual and auditory sequence or cues. Problem was that none of Lost's resolutions sat well with me.

    I sympathize with the writers as they had no idea how many seasons they would get but in the end I must admit I found the writing to be more or less utter drivel. Designed only to get you to keep watching with little if any satisfactory explanations. Everyone was a chaotic actor in the past, present and alternate multiverse. Writing that many flash sideways [wikia.com] scenes as plot devices is -- quite frankly -- juvenile at best. Also the lead writer had refuted the theory that everyone was dead, in purgatory, in heaven or in hell. Yet, at the end they're clearly in some sort of afterlife.

    The series offered closure on what happened eventually to everyone but no closure whatsoever as to what the island was and how its mechanations functioned -- even on a magical fantasy level. I was intrigued with Donnie Darko when the ending was left open to interpretation but Lost takes it to a whole new (unbearable for me) level. I hope other people enjoyed the ending but for me it was a complete indication not to devote anymore time to this series or these writers. Still better than 85% of what you'll find on TV but that isn't saying much.

    They could have done a lot of neat things with tying down loose ends, explaining the island and completing their work. Instead they gave us this. And finally I see no further point in discussing it because there's no hope of ever explaining anything. Unlike a finely crafted classic novel, the grand symbolism and allusions are too abstract to nail down. So what's the point? Everyone's going to experience the series differently and for me it was just some guys writing a seria
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by gyrogeerloose (849181)
      Uh, what he said...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      My issue with Lost is that the entire series was sold with the premise of 'theres a mystery, watch to find out what it is'. Its built up and built up, so many things are hyped and then discarded, and when we get to the final episode ... nothing.

      Battlestar Galactica was bad enough for me - they had a decent storyline they were following which had plenty of potential, but it all got spoiled for me when the writers admitted halfway through Season 3 that the entire Final Five thing was an accident. They on
      • Written by Wiki (Score:2, Interesting)

        by linzeal (197905)
        From what I understand they had their own internal Wiki which became where they hashed out a lot of the mythos. That is no way to write a narrative that you can tie together into coherent story arc.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by penguin_dance (536599)

        One of the biggest mysteries last night was where did they suddenly find a roll of duct tape to fix the plane?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          In the toolbox that I would imagine (hope) would be standard issue for ALL planes for fixing minor issues in-flight -- cushion gets torn? Tape it and let the maintenance guys fix or replace it when the plane's back on the ground. Sign on the bathroom falls down? Tape it. Some button or knob (ideally not inside the cockpit) that shouldn't move does? Tape it.

          Even if it wasn't part of some standard issue toolbox, I imagine Lapidus would have stashed some extra tools on the plane before taking off -- aft
        • by tophermeyer (1573841) on Monday May 24, 2010 @12:25PM (#32324718)

          One of the biggest mysteries last night was where did they suddenly find a roll of duct tape to fix the plane?

          Ductus ex Machina?

    • by Capt James McCarthy (860294) on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:57AM (#32322712) Journal

      Ok. What happened on the island did happen. It was the real timeline. The 'other' timeline was not created by the bomb going off. It was just a jumping point into purgatory. Those who showed up at the church, became at peace with their 'former' timeine and moved on. So, others who were not there but on the island could have moved on before, after, or not at all (eloeise Hawking for example). Faraday had not had is 'wake up' moment yet with Charlotte. But he may since he just met her there. Then move on later. So the 'sideways' timeline could have been thousands of our timeline years since Hurley could have been guardian for the island for who know's how long before he joined the group at the church. Sawyer could have lived to be 90, but then died and reverted back to the 'sideways' timeline so he could join the group at the point of time for him/them that was the most significant. The show wasn't about the island itself. It never was. It was about the folks who survived the initial crash and moved on. The second flight did leave the island. And Jack did die in the bamboo. But it took them all to die on their own time before they all met back up in the sideways. So Ben had not yet been at peace with his actions to enter the church. It's all very Catholic at it's core. Now if you were looking for what the island was or were it came from, that, I'm afraid is going to be another story. Or you could use your imagination. That is the idea here. Every person enjoying the story at their own level.

      • by Oldstench (1180217) on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:22AM (#32323044)

        As lovely as the conclusion was for the characters, it does nothing for the viewers who were sold for 5 seasons on the concept of the mysterious island with shitloads of secrets which give rise to even more questions that would eventually be answered. Unfortunately that is not what we got. It feels like the writers painted themselves into a corner and were unable to come up with a satisfactory wrap up regarding the island's secrets so instead gave us as pseudo-Jacob's Ladder ending. No thanks.

        • It is *very* simple actually. And those answers came a few episodes early.

          The heart of the island is filled with energy. It is the same energy that fuels life. Jacob guarded that energy and used it to protect candidates so they didn't age, and healed miraculously. As a punishment for someone trying to steal that energy, they would be turned into the "smoke monster", which could only wear the faces of dead bodies on the island.

          Go back and watch the pilot. The show was always an allegory about good and evil. The island was split time and time again into two groups of conflict, and those conflicts were smaller facets of a larger conflict.

          Did you watch Star Wars and complain that the Force was never explained?

          The only reason people expect more from Lost is because when there was a reveal, it was so rewarding. It showed how deep the show was, how well thought it was, and how much meaning there laid in so many aspects of the story. People complain that they didn't get more of that instead of celebrating on how many great moments of revelation there were.

          Watch JJ Abram's "Alias" some time. The show was predicated on revealing twists, but that show really was made up as they went along and became ludicrous very quick. Instead of having twists for the sake of twists, Lost was amazingly consistent while still surprising.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Culture20 (968837)
          The whole point of leaving the Island as a mystery is to point out how unimportant the Island is. The show was about the main characters. The Island was a place, or at best, a series of events drawing the main characters together. Do we know the mysterious lives of all the background characters? No. Why should we care more about an inanimate object (no matter how cool)?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by CaseM (746707)

            That's a cop-out and you know it. Initially the writers had no idea how successful Lost may or may not be. They introduced ideas even in the pilot which are still unexplained. For God's sake, why did the smoke monster kill anyone (like the pilot of Oceanic 815)? Why did the smoke monster kill everyone in the temple in Season 6? The writers were reaching. This whole "it's all about the characters" nonsense is just fanboy apologetics.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Omestes (471991)

          I kind of like that kind of story, but then again I think Twin Peaks was the best show that was ever on T.V. I like stories that don't wrap up neatly in the end, and give you a precise answer to all the mysteries. I feel that the more surreal things are, the more they mirror life. There is no definite answers in life, there is mostly mystery, ad hoc explanations, and various flavors of hypothesis that exist to be endlessly mulled.

          That is how Hollywood killed every movie based on a Philip Dick story; by w

      • by GooberToo (74388) on Monday May 24, 2010 @11:13AM (#32323736)

        J.J. Abrams has a consistent formula which rarely seems to fail from a commercial perspective. From an artistic perspective, it always seems to fall flat on its face leaving everyone completely unsatisfied and confused, like a recent ex-virgin wondering about what the hell just happened.

        Formula:
        1. Create an excellent concept.
        2. Create interesting and varied characters. Usually horridly and obviously flawed.
        3. Create an ever growing mystery for the audience; to wit you're sure the character flaws can feed.
        4. Continue to build a mystery such that nothing makes logical sense, characters don't feed or develop in any meaningful way. Characters follow no logic and betray their character at every turn. Hopefully the audience will believe this has to do with the ever building mystery rather than a failing of the Abrams. Realistically, it has more to do with the fact there was never a real plan, story arc, or long term development by Abrams.
        5. End the story in a completely illogical manner such that it punishes the audience for trusting Abrams beyond the beginning of step four; whereby it becomes very obviously not only is Abrams unable to deliver any substance, its plainly beyond his ability to do so.
        6. People walk around scratching head wondering what the fuck just happened while trying to explore their own meaning in a story which never had any meaning from the beginning. All personal meaning is strictly coincidental as Abrams never delivered anything.

        So for those who found meaning in Abram's effort, congrats! You found more than was ever provided, intended, or eluded. In short, it means you're more creative than Abrams. And if you didn't find meaning, congrats! You've been bitten yet again by Abrams' epic ability to fail at story telling. Even worse, his epic ability to destroy completely awesome story ideas.

        Like nuclear war, the only way to win is to not play - anything in which Abrams participates.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Pollardito (781263)
          I think you're making this out to be more sinister than it is. I will totally agree that the problem was that the show was setup as one single enormous arc, but that there wasn't a single, consistent plan for that arc. But there was no sinister plan to not fully flesh out that story. There's just an acknowledgement that a TV show has to have flexibility to allow for fickle audiences to be pulled along with more of what they seem to have liked, to allow for fickle TV executives that might cancel the show
      • by J-1000 (869558) on Monday May 24, 2010 @11:46AM (#32324148)

        So the 'sideways' timeline could have been thousands of our timeline years since Hurley could have been guardian for the island for who know's how long before he joined the group at the church.

        And he still didn't lose any weight!

    • by mttlg (174815) on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:14AM (#32322948) Homepage Journal

      They could have done a lot of neat things with tying down loose ends, explaining the island and completing their work. Instead they gave us this. And finally I see no further point in discussing it because there's no hope of ever explaining anything.

      The final twist was that the show wasn't about the island at all, it was about a bunch of annoying characters. I passed on the first season because I had no interest in a "bunch of people stuck on an island" show (without even a million dollar prize), but decided to watch when it looked like the show was more than that. Surprise, surprise, it wasn't. It was a good show, and the ending was fitting, but it's still frustrating for the creators to basically say that all of the mysteries never really mattered. The numbers? Just numbers. Walt? He's busy trying to live while being officially dead. The rules? Oh, that was just a Jacob thing, he's gone now. The Frozen Donkey Wheel? That's just the magical escape hatch, no big deal. The statue? Just a statue that got hit by a ship a while back. The smoke monster? Hey, Target has smoke detectors for $10.99. And the light? Just leave the key in the ignition and the world won't end. What was the point? As Charlton Heston would say, "It's people. Lost is made out of people."

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rubycodez (864176)

      I've only seen half of one Lost episode in my life, and I thank you for confirming my determination that it would have been an utter waste of life to watch.

      had to laugh at "unless you live in a hatch somewhere" phrase in the article, seems to me that would describe the viewing audience. well ok, I'm just as bad, I love anime, waiting for Black Lagoon OVAs, 8th episode of Hellsing Ultimate, Shana third season, etc.etc.

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:24AM (#32323074) Homepage

      SPOILERS (of course)

      Well you're not going to get a complete explanation of the island. What has been explained is that somehow it's the seat of all life on earth. It's something akin to the garden of eden.

      Walt: Walt is "special". There's not much more to it than that. Lots of people in the series are special somehow.

      Faraday & Desmond: I'm not sure how much of it is an unexplained loose-end. Both Faraday and Desmond had become somewhat unstuck in time, Desmond due to the hatch blowing up, and Faraday as a result of his experiments. We never get a full backstory on Faraday and we're never shown events from his point of view, but it's possible that somehow he's experiencing things out of order. Otherwise, it's just a minor snafu on the writer's part.

      "the properties of the multiverses": There were no multiverses. The "universe" where they didn't crash on the island never happened. It was all a sort of purgatory that was taking place long after the rest of the events of the show. It took place after Kate and Sawyer and the rest escapes the island, after Hurley became "the chosen one" or whatever. Everyone is dead. The rest of the events of the show are real, and take place in a single timeline.

      "why the black cloud killed who it did and left others": The smoke monster was blocked from killing any of the "candidates" by Jacob. We don't know exactly how Jacob's magic worked, but that's why the smoke monster couldn't kill Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, etc. Anyone else he let live was incidental.

    • by frovingslosh (582462) on Monday May 24, 2010 @11:57AM (#32324296)

      I too am very dissatisfied with LOST. Some things were just badly written. To me this goes back at least to when Charlie died, even though water physically could not have filled the room above the broken port hole, and continued through the final episode, where suddenly Jack, Kate and the rest were traveling across vast stretches of the island in hours or minutes when it had previously taken days to cover so much ground. And even things that were supposedly explained this season made no sense if you look at the whole story. The smoke monster was revealed to have caused the appearance of several deal people, including Jack's father. But we also know that smokey could not leave the island. Yet Jack also saw his dead father manifested while he was in L.A., before returning to the Island. How can a viewer even hope to figure out anything in a story when they do stuff like that?

      There were many many story holes, far too many for me to list here. But one that really needed some sort of explanation was the Darma food drop that happened shortly after the crash and saved Hurley from a much needed diet. Why was there a Darma food drop if all of Darma had been killed years earlier? Who did it, and what else are they doing? How did they even make a food drop on the Island, the mysterious nature of the Island should have made it unreachable by air, Darma had to use a sub to get there other times. But the message to viewers who were trying to actually figure out the story and make some sense of it was "screw you, the writers don't care about such things, we just want to have melodramatic deaths and church scenes with the major cast (but curiously none of the extras who also died).

      And the ending made no sense at all taken with the departure of Kate, Sawyer and Clair on the plane. How does Kate end up at the funeral dead if she managed to fly off the island alive? Why even bother to get that group to the plane, if it is meaningless if they reached it or not?

      The writers of Lost promised that they had a full story in mind when the series started, that they were not just making it up as they went along. That either wasn't true or they were some of the worst writers in history.

      Some shows are just entertainment. The viewer knows not to spend any time trying to figure out much of anything, because it would be time wasted. But Lost presented itself as something different. It claimed to have an underlying logic behind it. Viewers were encouraged to try to understand the riddles of the island. In the end the loyal viewers were betrayed.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cl1mh4224rd (265427)

        How does Kate end up at the funeral dead if she managed to fly off the island alive?

        Christian Shepard: "Everyone dies some time."

        They spoon-fed that one to you and you missed it.

      • But Lost presented itself as something different. It claimed to have an underlying logic behind it. Viewers were encouraged to try to understand the riddles of the island.

        "It claimed to have an underlying logic behind it" != "There will be answers to everything mostly spoonfed to you." Being a sci-fi nut, I'm painfully aware of unintended plot holes and inconsistencies. Every show has them. Well, every show that networks let last longer than three episodes. But just because a few things aren't explained

  • Two word summary: (Score:5, Informative)

    by yoshac (603689) on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:31AM (#32322380)
    Jacobs Ladder
  • Guess I live in a hatch then... Don't watch too much TV.

  • DC;TS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:33AM (#32322404)
    Don't care, too stupid
  • by Lord Grey (463613) * on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:35AM (#32322416)

    The subject lines, they just write themselves.

  • It was ok. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by flitty (981864) on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:35AM (#32322426)
    It was just ok. Given that Battlestar was the last finale I watched, it handled similar material in a much better way. Given the terrible ways it could have ended, it was good enough. Some people will be mad that some questions were never answered, and I would have been happier if the last episode focused more on the island than the survivors, but really, given how they didn't have an ending written when they started the series, they did a fairly good job of cleanup.
  • Answers (Score:5, Funny)

    by linebackn (131821) on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:36AM (#32322436)

    If you want a simple, clear explanation of exactly how the series resolved, Lost Untangled will do nothing to clarify things for you.

    If you were expecting answers... you have been watching the wrong show for the last 6 years.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by identity0 (77976)

      I watched the final episode of The Prisoner, and that was so obtuse it could very well have been explaining the mysteries of Lost as well as ending The Prisoner.

      So, I have no need to watch this last episode of Lost. It was all about men in robes and dem bones, right?

      Dem bones dem bones [youtube.com]

  • Or did Dr. Smith screw things up again?
    • No, the doctor actually "fixed" what was broken. Except that we don't know what was broken.

      Amazingly, the island has a wheel that can move the island through time and space, but if you uncork it, all the water sources on the island dry up, you get a lot of rain, and yet the island falls apart rather than sinking into the ocean (nothing at all that you would expect to happen when you uncork something and all things that are NEVER EXPLAINED).

      A lot of people tell me that I missed the point, that we had a char

  • Fucking FINALLY (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:40AM (#32322486) Homepage

    I'm tired of hearing you people constantly talk about this steaming pile of ass. Lost is, quite possibly, the most overrated show that has ever been on television.

    And yes, I've watched it...a friend of mine convinced me to watch the first two seasons, and even that was almost impossible. How people obsess over this show completely eludes me.

  • My take (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:42AM (#32322514) Homepage

    I am not much of a TV watcher but a coworker loaned me the DVDs to watch on the bus during my commute in the Fall of 2008 and I kept up with the show ever since. For the first two seasons I was riveted. The cliffhangers, the mystery, etc, etc, etc. With the first half of Season 3 the show started to fall apart. They came back with a clear vision in the second half, supposedly, but I never saw it materialize.

    Yesterday I sat down with my wife (who only started watching it in Season 5) and we watched as nothing in the final episode answered any questions. No, the fucking light at the center of the island didn't tell us shit and that stupid fucking ending with some sort of allusion to the afterlife was absolutely stupid. People had been suspecting that all along and knowing that many people did you would have thought the writers, being paid as much as they were, would have come up with something more shocking than that--but they didn't.

    I am glad that I only wasted two years of my life watching that show rather than the 6 many others did. It started with a plane wreck and it ended with one. We were all duped. The least they could have done was provide everyone watching with some of that Dharma beer in rusty cans to help ease the pain.

    • I am not much of a TV watcher either. When Lost first came out I was interested, but I missed the first couple of episodes because I forgot it was coming on. Then the trailers for the show looked pretty dark and maybe a little freaky, my wife doesn't deal well with that sort of stuff (she gets nightmares if she watches shows like that (even when the show isn't particularly scary). Then when the show started to take off and I heard my co-workers talking about it, it reminded me of a show from a few years bac
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Thanshin (1188877)

      a coworker loaned me the DVDs to watch on the bus during my commute in the Fall of 2008 [...]
      I am glad that I only wasted two years of my life watching that show.

      Wow! That's a freaking long commute.

      You should try to find a job in your own continent.

  • Idiotic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:46AM (#32322548) Homepage
    I remember the producers of Lost saying at some point either during or at the end of the first season that the mysteries of the island would all end up being explainable scientifically. Not necessarily pure science, but at least the sort of semi-plausible science-like stuff most sci-fi is built on. For most of the first two or three seasons they were flailing around, but for the most part it still seemed there could be a plausible explanation for everything. The introduction of Faraday and all of his scientific mumbo jumbo lent credence to that idea.

    Then, over the past two seasons, the show took a sharp turn into religious territory and it became increasingly obvious they were going to take the easy way out and make it all into some ridiculous religious/spiritual allegory of some kind, albeit one so confused that no one would ever be able to make any real sense out of it. It reminded me of the Matrix, where the first movie was more sci-fi and the second and third were all a bunch of confused pseudo-religious nonsense.

    I was primarily disappointed with their complete abandonment of any attempt to explain anything scientifically, and instead lean on a literal Deus Ex Machina by making the whole thing into a spiritual "God (or some other spiritual entity) did it". That sort of thing has been done to death. Hell, Battlestar Galactica was explicitly a religious allegory from the very beginning, and even it explained more stuff pseudo-scientifically than Lost did. Regardless of what they may say now, I think the Lost creators started out with a show that would have been much more scientifically based, but ended up having to extend it beyond what they thought they would. After wandering in the wilderness for much of seasons 2 through 4, they were backed into a corner and took the easy way out by waving the magic religion wand to "explain" everything away.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bunratty (545641)
      I remember them saying distinctly that they would not give a scientific explanation. They gave the example of the horrible midicholians explanation in the Star Wars prequels as to why such explanations are always disappointing. They said they like the Harry Potter series where it's never explained why some people are born witches or wizards. They just are.
    • Re:Idiotic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AntiDragon (930097) on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:39AM (#32323266)

      It reminded me of the Matrix, where the first movie was more sci-fi and the second and third were all a bunch of confused pseudo-religious nonsense.

      Ahh, sorry - you've lost me. There was only ever one Matrix movie.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:47AM (#32322564)
    I gave up on "lost", it seemed to be a meandering plot with hints but no resolutions. I am about to give up on "flash forward" for the same reason.
  • All I can gather from the last episode was that everything that was presented, happened to the characters. It wasn't a dream, etc. They did get stranded on the island, they did get off it and they did return.

    The flash sideways scenes had no specific date/time associated with them. In fact, from what I can tell, it was actually some time in the future as it was a type of purgatory where all the dead "friends" meet up to realize they are actually dead and need to move on. So in that sense, it's in the fut

  • "It was all a dream" Classic final ending plot. The show had too many loose ends to properly tie up.
    • Re:5 word summary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bunratty (545641) on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:05AM (#32322822)
      It wasn't all a dream. After the Losties died (after the very real events on and off the island), they went to purgatory, aka the flashsideways. Then, realizing that they were holding on to their fantasy about what life would have been like without the island, they accepted what happened to them and were set free.
  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:56AM (#32322704)
    What the hell was that black smoke thing in the first series? You didn't see it at all through two or three, and I got so bored by then that I gave up.

    So, black smoke monster; What was it?
    • by Guysmiley777 (880063) on Monday May 24, 2010 @11:04AM (#32323616)

      So, black smoke monster; What was it?

      The physical manifestation of the writer's lack of talent?

  • by heckler95 (1140369) on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:57AM (#32322714)
    I think the most revealing part was during the closing credits when they showed the wreckage on the beach with no people. My interpretation is that the entire series existed entirely in Jack's mind as the plane crashed and all passengers died on impact. Similar to the common cliche of one's "life flashing before their eyes" during a near-death experience, but in this case the result was actual death.

    Many people who have a near-death experience describe comfort and moving toward a white light. This has been explained by science as the brain flooding itself with dopamine and other pleasure chemicals because it knows that it is dying and might as well go out feeling good. I think the series was an interpretation of that phenomenon - realizing that he had but seconds to live, Jack's brain created this vivid melodrama based on the wishful thinking that he'd actually survive the crash. The islands electromagnetic properties explain the crash, and the hope of reversing the crash and sending his life on a more fulfilling path (flash-sideways with Jack finding love, having a son, etc.) provides comfort.

    With that being said, I think the writers took the easy way out and I'm quite disappointed having invested a significant amount of time in the series. I'm sure there will be plenty of post-game analysis and people will find tons of symbolism that was intended and even more that wasn't, so at least the discussion and speculation may fill my need for closure.
  • by bunratty (545641) on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:03AM (#32322790)

    I don't understand why other Lost fans haven't liked the last season of the show. The big questions were answered, but they seem not to like the answers provided. I've been a fan since the beginning, and I thought the end was beautiful.

    The one part that left me wondering was the shot of the fuselage in the credits. The best explanation I read was that it's the final remains of the 815 crash after all the Losties died. It's the mystery that other people brought to the island in the future will wonder about, like we wondered about the hatch, the statue, Henry Gale's balloon, and so on.

    • The shots of the fuselage camp on the beach were simply nice reminders from the producers and/or ABC of where the story began. In nerd-speak, they're not "canon." The story of Lost ended when Jack's eye closed.

      The best explanation I read was that it's the final remains of the 815 crash after all the Losties died. It's the mystery that other people brought to the island in the future will wonder about, like we wondered about the hatch, the statue, Henry Gale's balloon, and so on.

      If you watched the show from the beginning you'll remember that in the story, most of the fuselage camp washed away from an unusually high tide a few weeks after the crash. So it won't be around for future island inhabitants to wonder about.

  • by pedantic bore (740196) on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:07AM (#32322844)

    Never heard of such a thing, but sounds appealing. Anyone know where I can get one?

  • by baxissimo (135512) on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:15AM (#32322950)
    Both The X-Files and Twin Peaks used this formula of just throwing more and more weird riddles and sci-fi mysteries at the viewer with answers always seemingly to come in just a few more episodes. I never saw Lost, but it sounds like a repeat of that. The Matrix series was a condensed movie version of this phenomenon. I wish writers would just come up with a story that has an ending and tell it. Joss Whedon seems to be the only TV writer who can actually manage to do that.
  • by Darth_brooks (180756) * <clipper377.gmail@com> on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:17AM (#32322968) Homepage

    Lost is merely the logical continuation of the "Gilligan's Island / Seven deadly sins" theory. I mean, let's look at the evidence:

    -Purgatory: The Island. (Duh.)
    -The fat lovable guy ends up in charge.
    -Since Gilligan is of course Satan, and the island's personification of evil is the "magic smoke", and we all know that Bob Denver, aka Gilligan, was a fan of, ahem, 'Magic Smoke' himself, we can draw the logical conclusion that The Smoke Monster is the spirit of Gilligan himself, keeping people on the island permanently....

    Feel free to continue the argument ad nasuem.

  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:20AM (#32323016)

    I can safely say the only episode I've ever watched, and will watch was last night's finale.

    My take...

    They all died in the crash,
    The island was purgatory.

    Removing the rock from the island was akin to "pulling the plug" on the series and would send them to hell and cancel all hopes of future syndication.

    The multi-religion church at the end was symbolizing a positive afterlife which we all know means eternal life in syndication.

    Personally, I'm just glad this shit is over. Now we can get back to watching reality TV, b/c using actors is overrated.

  • by Tei (520358) on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:21AM (#32323038) Journal

    For some reason USA is soo obsesed with religion, that has to add a (final) religion layer to everything. What could look fun in politics (with a president thanking Cron or Thor or Kratos or other god ), is really out-of-character in science-fiction.

    My particular pet theory is that a good % of the USA residents have supernatural feelings. Since is something that is shared by a soo big group of people, summining a supernatural concept in a vague way, can get you credits. Something like fanservice, but for a broad number of people. Of course, It also excluse these withouth supernatural feelings, but that seems a minor-minority even on science-fiction (?) and fantasy.

    I make me angry to have supernatural entities like ESPers in Star Trek, or in Silverberg books, but I have learned to live with it. If you want to read the production from USA, you have to tolerate some intense level of supernatural feelings. At least is somewhat vague... is not like Iran, that probably have a urgency real about how you must think and what you have to wear.

  • by tekrat (242117) on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:24AM (#32323078) Homepage Journal

    It seems to me that a series is *so* much better when the writers KNOW what the ending will be BEFORE the series airs. This way, the entire series can work towards the ending, with the result being much more satisfying.

    The subject above lists three series I felt were fucking epic, because the ending matched what the series was all about from the very first episode. It wasn't just "make shit up as you go along", and then after you've run out of material stringing your audience along for as long as you can, write up some mish-mash of an ending that really doesn't have anything to do with the rest of the series.

    The Star Force got the Cosmo DNA and got back to Earth, The Alliance accidentally created the Reavers by trying to make paradise, and Sheridan kicked some Shadow ass (and paid the ultimate price, twice!).

    I've never watched LOST, but I knew from the begining they had no plan to really end the series, so, I never bothered to even try to get into it. I'm sorry if you did. Next time, choose more wisely.

    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday May 24, 2010 @11:14AM (#32323750)

      It seems to me that a series is *so* much better when the writers KNOW what the ending will be BEFORE the series airs. This way, the entire series can work towards the ending, with the result being much more satisfying.

      The best part about B5 is how JMS could set up things that would pay off years later. One of my favorite bits was Vir's answer to Morden about what he wanted. Then years later, looking up at that head on the pike and waving. Classic!

      A good example of crappy syndication writing that I don't really blame on JMS was what happened with Garibaldi and Bester. We had a perfect ending in season 4 with Bester talking to Sheridan and realizing he was up shit creek. Of course, with Season 5 greenlit, JMS had to retract that resolution and make it all according to Bester's plan. Understandable, JMS didn't know he'd get a 5th season. But that's a rare, rare shortcoming in B5 and utterly common in every other form of long-running fiction.

      In a mystery it is absolutely essential for the writer to know who did it, how, and why. The trick is laying out the clues in such a way that the reader could have worked it out on his own the whole time, doesn't figure it out until the revelation, and then kicks himself in retrospect because he realizes he had every clue he needed in those earlier chapters. And you're exactly right, you have to work backwards from that conclusion to lay the groundwork. There's always room for new ideas and improvisation but there's absolutely no room for crap like the BSG Final Five wankery.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Late Adopter (1492849)

      It seems to me that a series is *so* much better when the writers KNOW what the ending will be BEFORE the series airs.

      Absolutely, but you can't do that on television. You have no idea how many seasons you'll get to run for, so the best thing to do is create some short term arcs, some longer ones, and weave what you can. If you get popular, make up more stuff to tie in with the longer-term arcs.

      What we really need is a return to the miniseries. Even a 1-season television show, that knew in advance it was only 20 eps (or however many) long, would be able to plan out a complete and interesting story.

  • are those who have to show up in a thread about lost and bash the show

    i never got the show, but obsession with the show is completely harmless. i don't hold it against anyone

    what bother me is people who don't like the show... but have to come in and shit all over someone else's harmless enjoyments

    we all have our quirky likes and dislikes that are easy to ridicule or put down. so what? most socially well-adjusted folk don't have an irrational need to pick on others. if you do have such a need, this reveals nothing about lost, it reveals something about yourself: a poverty of character and some sort of unresolved self-hatred and self-loathing. lose your pathetic need to go out of your way to menace other people's harmless hobbies

    oh who am i kidding... this is the internet. mindless negativity seems like that's what the internet was created for

    carry on then, aggressively ultranegative losers. the internet is yours, unfortunately

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Damek (515688)

      Meh. We all had to listen to Lost fans rave on about the show for six years. Yawnorama. Critics may be annoying, but it'd be worse to have a never-ending circle-jerk over the show.

  • Lazy, lazy writing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by positronica (961435) on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:51AM (#32323432)
    Does any one else think that the writers were making up even the finale as they went along? Personally, I think the explanation of the flash sideways = limbo was something they tacked on at the very last minute. In fact, if you re-examine the last season, I think it’s clear that the flash sideways was originally intended to be a true parallel reality of sorts.

    1. A submerged/sunken version of the island was shown in the flash sideways world.
    2. Kima, a murderer that everyone on the island hated, was present in the flash sideways world.
    3. In the beginning on the flash sideways, it was implied that it took something like a near-death-experience to catch glimpses of the other timeline. By the end though, apparently any strong emotion was enough.
    4. Faraday in the flash sideways specifically thought that the flash sideways was the result of something they had done with a nuclear bomb.
    5. When Widmore put Desmond in the magnet shack, the impression was given that Desmond was able to jump between both realities.
    6. Some of the Lostaways had pretty harsh and painful lives in the flash sideways which would seem weird for a group created dream world.
    7. When fake-Locke cut Jack's neck on the island, his neck in the flash sideways began to bleed as well.
    8. Eloise didn't want Desmond messing with things in the flash sideways.

    Now, I'm sure if you try hard enough, all of the above can be explained away, but taken as a whole, I think its obvious that the writers created the ending of the flash sideways world completely on the fly, and I would go so far as to say there's good evidence that they didn't even figure out what they were going to do until quite a ways into the finale itself. In fact, it’s entirely possible that even during the concert in the finale the writers still hadn't figured out how they were going to end things. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't figure out what to do until the point when they were trying to figure out what Jack would find inside his dad's coffin.

    P.S. And I get so sick of people defending the show by saying "Its about the characters." That's like defending a Michael Bay movie by saying "Its about the FX." A good show should be about the story, of which characters, plot, and presentation are all a part.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Gabrosin (1688194)

      6. Some of the Lostaways had pretty harsh and painful lives in the flash sideways which would seem weird for a group created dream world.

      You just nailed the whole point of the flash-sideways world. The entire point.

      The characters of the show, in some stage of their afterlife, were given the opportunity to experience what life without the island would have been like. How and why this happens is left unexplained, though it's pretty consistent with a number of religious beliefs about the nature of the afterlife and the re-examination of your own life as a part of that. It wasn't "heaven". It wasn't some fantasy world where everyone gets eve

  • by bobdotorg (598873) on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:59AM (#32323548)

    Thought for sure that in the last episode they would find Gilligan.

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