Sunday, June 6, 2010

THE LAST WORD ON LOST



"Heaven,
Heaven is a place,
a place where nothing,
nothing ever happens."
- Talking Heads

What should be the last word on LOST? Cheesy? Lame? Cliched? Cheap? Vapid? Insulting? All good options, but I think there's really only one word that ends up describing what LOST became in the end.



Stupid.

I'm not trying to be smug, but I predicted it would turn out like this. I knew it. I think we all did. It didn't happen all at once, but gradually the sloppiness and laziness of this much anticipated season became obvious. There was the wrong date on Aaron's sonogram, then Kate's name not being on the cave ceiling even though it supposedly was on the cave ceiling, the pointless Temple subplot, the Stargate Lighthouse, finally the awkward, stiff, so bad it made me cry scene where Michael was trotted out to give the lamest possible explanation for the whispers.



This scene was when it hit me. I can pinpoint it as the exact moment in time when I knew that this grand finale season was going to suuuuuuuuuuck. I didn't want to accept it just then but as the weeks went by, there was no escaping the reality.



As LOST's finale season careened to its dreadful clusterfuck of a conclusion, carrying the reputation of a once great series on its back, even The Darlton tried to warn us away from hoping for too much. They started to say stuff like this:



"We're going to get killed," said executive producer Damon Lindelof.

They'd been all but screaming from the rooftops that we wouldn't be getting any goddamn Answers. It was all about the characters, yo. Those stupid questions were all red herrings! Not just the big ones, like Walt and Aaron and the Numbers. All of them!



At times they got downright insulting about it:


Not only did Damon inadvertently describe the process by which American kids grow up both stupid and fat, but he made it clear exactly how much respect he had for his audience. Which is to say - he thought we were chumps. He thought we weren't really interested in answers to the gajillion questions he'd posed. We didn't want to see the design behind the mysteries and characters revealed in a brilliant fashion that would reward us for our years of devotion. All we really wanted was cheap, generic junk food. So that's the way he ended his series.

To be fair, we should acknowledge that putting together a great series finale is a daunting project. The history of tv finale success is spotty. There are the famously poignant.



The famously funny.



The infamously awful.



The controversial



And the sublime.


Obviously the boy wonders knew everything LOST had ever been was hanging in the balance on May 23. Carlton Cuse himself described the metric by which he knew they'd be judged.


We don’t know whether the resolution between the two timelines is going to make people say, “Oh, that’s cool” or “Oh, fuck those guys, they belly-flopped at the end.”

So which was it? Cool? Or a belly flop?


I've been MIA the last third of this wretched finale season. It turns out it's not really much fun to hate on something that you once loved. It feels terrible actually.



I'm embarrassed to remember how naively I approached this season, described by Cuse as a precious Christmas present they were going to slowly let us unwrap. I even went back last fall and recapped the glorious Season One in excrutiating detail, believing the hype that we were finally about to revisit that masterpiece and watch all its mysterious potential be fulfilled.



I tried to imagine how cool, how fun, how satisfying, it would be to see the big clock come together under the hands of the master watchmakers.


Instead what we got were gears and springs and meaningless numbers strewn all over the floor like a fish kill of red herrings, while the "watchmakers" mocked the audience for ever mistaking them for people who cared. Yes, if you're wondering, I do feel kind of stupid. I had faith in these two bozos. What can I say?


As tempting as it may be, it's probably wrong to blame Darlton. After all, it was our own choice to keep watching. We decided all on our own to imagine that we were playing some kind of puzzle. No one told us to expect that! Why would we think that a story about six magical numbers that were magically connected to cataclysmic events, or a story about an island where diseases are cured but pregnancy kills, or a story that wove intersecting timelines into a vast interdimensional web of coincidences and fate - why would we think any of that was meant to be a puzzle??? We must really be stupid!


It was our own free choice to gabble away on message boards these last few seasons talking about wormholes and string theory and exotic matter and Schrodingers goddamn cat. We did it long after it became obvious that these two guys weren't able to write that kind of story. It was obvious they weren't quantum physicists. Or even the kind of guys who passed physics in high school.



No one told us we had to prattle like morons about determinism and gnoticism and Manicheism and Buddhism and Catholicism and Egyptology and Philip V. Dick. I mean look at these two guys. Why would we think they had some kind of wisdom to offer?


You know who these two really remind me of now? The two con men who pretended to be tailors in Hans Christian Anderson's The Emperor's New Clothes. They convinced the dopey Emperor he was getting a new set of gorgeous threads, but really he just ended up walking down the street with everyone laughing at the pimples on his butt. The Emperor, it turns out, was us.

At least we were in good company. In the days after the finale, I got calls and emails from pretty much every family member, friend, frenemy or casual acquaintance who had ever loved LOST, or knew that I once did. There were sighs, sad shakes of the head, muttered expletives, viral video exchanges and the always hilarious fancraft that LOST fans had raised to an artform.



The consensus was unanimous:



But how did the finale fare out in the land of media, both old and new? Did they stick their landing or did they ...

?

I realize there were some in the fast food media who, as expected, were bowled over by the cliche overload of the finale. USA Today not only found it "thrilling", " clever" and "profound", but they mocked those of us who'd bought into that silly mystery crap.
If you were looking for explanations for every twist and turn, you didn't get them. (Some viewers won't be satisfied until the producers churn out a multi-volume island manual that answers questions that were never actually posed.)
And as expected, both "I live next door to Damon" Kristin dos Passos and Cheerleader in Chief Jeff Jensen dissolved into predictably soggy heaps of teary satisfaction.
“The End” was an emotionally draining epic that had me crying with almost every single “awakening” and has left me mulling the true significance of the Sideways world, which was revealed to be a Purgatory-like realm created by the souls of the dead castaways themselves. (Purgatory! The irony!) I was so happy The Island was saved. 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. … I loved Ben’s contrition. I loved Locke’s forgiveness. I loved it when Ben told him to stand up and walk again, and Locke did.


But if Darlton let themselves listen to anyone other than their friends in lowbrow places, they probably realized they're going to have to stay in that bunker a little bit longer than anticipated. The New York Times trashed it on both the Arts page:
But you have to think that the gauzy, vaguely religious, more than a little mawkish ending of ‘Lost’ – “Touched by a Desmond” — will not sit well with a lot of the show’s fans. ... The “Sopranos” finale was ambiguous and a bit of a shrug, but not puzzling; to me the “Lost” finale, in the immediate aftermath, felt forced and, well, a bit of a cop-out.


and the Editorial section:
Across six seasons, it’s true, we learned endless facts about the island — about its geography, its inhabitants, and what had happened on it across decades and centuries. But we never learned the whys behind the facts. And with the final season in the books, there’s good reason to think that we never learned them because the show’s creators never had a well-thought-out “why” for their story in the first place. The island wasn’t a real mystery — it was just a MacGuffin.


Max Read at Gawker thought "The Lost Finale was incredibly Dumb", which pretty much sums up the consensus of my inner circle:
Once upon a time, there was a television show about a bunch of people on an island. For six years it was one of the most fascinating things on TV. And then it ended, in the worst way possible. ... Lost ended tonight, and with it the hopes and dreams of millions of people who thought it might finally get good again. SPOILER ALERT: It didn't. What did we learn? Nothing. We learned nothing from two-and-a-half hours of slow-motion bullshittery backed with a syrupy soundtrack.


Televisionary's Jace Lacob tried really hard to hide his disappointment in this piece at The Daily Beast, but he couldn't quite do it.
“The End” didn’t so much answer the long-dangling mysteries—Why do pregnant women die on the island? Why was the character of Walt (Malcolm David Kelley) special? What is this island? What was with all of the Egyptian hieroglyphics? What was the character of Desmond’s ultimate purpose on the island?—as it did ignore them altogether....Considering how much time viewers have spent trying to figure out the relationship between the island timeline and the Sideways one, it is also frustrating that it turned out that there is none—or more precisely, that what happened in the Sideways timeline didn’t affect what happened on the island at all.


Aside from coining the pithiest descripiton of the finale - "a prom of the dead in a chapel of love where everybody is farting rainbows" - Chadwick Martin of Slate nailed one of the finale's main flaws:
There are second chances in life, but there are no do-overs. At least all the time travel, the donkey wheels, the smoke monsters were vehicles to explore the human condition. They were as fantastical as purgatory, yes, but they were also grounded in the terrestrial realities of life, death, and the pursuit of happiness. The show's purgatorial clusterfuck is not. It is a venue for wish-fulfillment. Thus, the finale wronged not just me, but the show itself.

As did Laura Miller at Salon :
A series like "Lost" doesn't need to solve all of its riddles, but it does need to address the right ones.... The comic-book paraphernalia and texture of the island -- its secret bunkers with their code names, Jacob's migrating cabin with its creepy paintings, the ersatz normality of the Others' compound ringed by those sonic pylons and the fantastically mechanical grinding and dragging sounds that used to accompany the appearance of the smoke monster -- were not peripheral to the heart of "Lost." They were the very essence of its appeal.
And the message of the Hero Quest in mythology is certainly not the gauzy, happy, angels-at-the-doorway one "Lost" fans had to settle for last night. Once Jack stepped into the church it looked like he was walking into a Hollywood wrap party without food or music -- just a bunch of actors grinning idiotically for 10 minutes and hugging one another.

Scott Mendelson's fine essay, republished at The Huffington Post, decided that the finale was so bad that it managed to nullify the series almost as a whole, although he - like me - hopes it will still be possible to enjoy the first three seasons before this series started its sad, end date driven decline:
By leaving everything unanswered right up to the end, and then pulling a narrative switcheroo instead of finishing the story that was being unveiled, Lost basically mocked those who bothered to watch from the very beginning, as such rabid viewership proved entirely unnecessary. Thus, the finale of Lost rendered the entire series run relatively pointless and effectively killed any and all rewatchability of the prior episodes. So, in the end, Lost ended for me with season three.
With all that and so much more being said, is there really any point in me writing anything else about this sad spectacle ? Is there anything left that really needs to be said? I'm over it. I could live without never giving LOST another thought. I'm literally itching to erase it off my dvr. But I promised I'd do this. Inquiring minds seem to want to know what it all meant to me. So, here we go, one last time, for old time's sake.


I think others have pretty much covered the shameful way we were taunted with questions that were never intended to be answered, even as recently as the run-up to this season. They were running full speed ahead right up until late April, not only implying that we'd be rewarded for our detective work, but throwing new questions at us! Of course everyone was excited to see what the answer to the puzzles would be. And then we got this:


The superclunker episode Across the Sea. We found out the only thing worse than getting no answers was getting the LAME answers they came up with. Why did they even bother to answer the pointless Adam and Eve "mystery", for instance? Was that at the top of anyone's mind? As compared to things like - who bankrolled all Ben's trips off the Island, who was Penny's mother, why did Libby give Desmond a sailboat, what was the sickness, why did Rousseau's crew hear the numbers on the radio, why did Claire leave Aaron ... not to mention all those silly little trifles like why was Walt so special and why did pregnant women die and what the hell was up with those numbers? But nope. They didn't feel the need to address any of those mysteries. They needed to give us a bogus backstory for two skeletons that almost no one remembered. Why?



My guess is because Damon had stupidly bragged about it back in 2007:
Of course, in his hamfisted way, he managed to prove exactly the opposite. It added nothing to that remembered moment to find out that Jacob, the 40,000 year old virgin, buried his bad twin and his another raising mother in the cave after a night of interfamily murder. We just met these people. They meant nothing to us.



Their story was tacked on, like everything else in Season Six. In fact, the whole finale could have been slapped on at any random endpoint. It wasn't a culmination or an inevitability or a hard earned catharsis. The message that after death we'll all live happily ever after with our bestest BFFs could have been, as one reviewer noted, a perfectly good finale for Saved by the Bell or Happy Days. Or a kiddie cartoon, for that matter.



What's more, by bottom loading all the mysteries and saving them for the end, rather than building them organically into the fabric of the story, they belied the pretense that they were master storytellers. A good story needs pacing. I had assumed their need for a fixed end date was in order to allow them to pace their story. But we all know now that had nothing to do with it.


We could tell that Mama Clegg was not the Island's Eve. She was only another interim hermit guardian, just like Jacob. Someone came before her, maybe the people that carved the cuneiform marks into the big stone plug. Someone before Momsy built the light sealing contraption inside the big shiny hole. Who was that person? Why did they do it? We never really learned why the Island was special, what was the source of its power, what its power really was. We never learned why the Smoke Monster had to be contained on the Island, what would have happened if he'd escaped. We entered the final battle of the story without knowing the stakes.



We just knew it was really important for Jack. Because he used to be a man of science. And now he is a man of faith. Faith in the Island. OK. But why?


The story never created any meaningful metaphor for the Island. It was the "warmest, brightest light you've ever seen or felt." It was a little piece of "something that's inside of every man." The enemy was "evil incarnate". It would all "only end once", except that - since Hurley became Jacob - it didn't! It was a myth that was never told, a myth, if we can even call it that, that never coalesced into anything more than mawkish abstractons. It meant nothing. It was just pretty pictures.



What's more, the characters themselves experienced no consequences. The very same second that The Great Jacksus laid down his life, he was handed his eternal reward. His sacrifice wasn't a sacrifice at all, just the last step in him being handed all the presents and goodies and heavenly lollipops that anyone could ever dream of.



It was a pretty sweet deal. Save the world and go straight to heaven. Doesn't really tug at my heartstrings. Or make me feel anything at all. No stakes. No consequences. No metaphor. No myth.




But all this ground has been covered, and better, by others. Few disagree that in the end the LOST "storytellers" failed in their central mission - to pull together a coherent and satisfying end to the mysteries they themselves had chosen to create. But I was surprised to see how many, at least in the immediate aftermath, seemed to think that the finale succeeded in a different area - that of giving resolution to the characters. It became like the one good thing people could say about LOST - that it was a terrible ending, but at least the characters all got "satisfying resolutions". I don't know where they're seeing that. Maybe people just need to convince themselves that it couldn't possibly be as bad as it all really, really was.



To be fair, not everyone was fooled. But far too many were. If I have to pick what I consider to be the Number One Inconvenient Truth about the LOST Finale, it would be this:

It was NOT "about the characters."

The biggest secret that Darlton managed to hide from us was that the characters never really mattered. At all. Yes, LOST had a great cast of mostly wonderful actors, who emoted the shit out of the material they were given to work with, even if it was often insane nonsense. But charismatic acting is not the same thing as good characterization.


I think the primary failure of LOST's end story was its failure to respect and resolve its characters. Except for Jack, none of the characters got any better resolution than the mysteries did.



Let's start with a somewhat minor, but nonetheless pivotal, character. Claire and her baby, who she'd been apocalyptically warned must not be raised by another, seemed to be mystically connected to the Island.


But then Claire dropped Aaron in a cabbage patch. He got raised by another anyway. And Claire became a crazed axe murderer.




That was her character arc. We never saw how she went crazy. We never saw what happened when Aaron got his Mad Mama back. We missed every interesting thing that Claire's story could ever have been about. All we know is that Claire eventually died and re-birthed Aaron in her self created purgatory while she waited for her big brother Jack to arrive, so she could spend eternity with Charlie - the guy whose death she never even mourned.



How was this character arc resolved? What is satisfying about this characterization? How is it even a characterization? It's a collection of cutesy coincidences - She's Jack's sister! She's crazy like Rousseau! Only worse! - that ultimately went nowhere and meant nothing.


Ok, maybe you say Claire's a bad example, because she wasn't an important enough character. Let's take the great John Locke then. Because no one can say Locke wasn't an important character. How did this great character get his resolution in the finale?



Well, basically he stayed dead.



Until Jack came to fix him.



John Locke, who so wanted to be special and who came to the Island and had his legs magically restored and who had a child's faith in the beautiful Island and who tried and failed to convince Jack to stay and who left what he loved and sacrificed his life for the sake of his Island - his "resolution" was that he got to wait in Limbo Land until Jack - freaking Jack - got around to not only dying, but to accepting that he was dead.



Locke's character "resolution" was to further the glory of Jack, even in death. What once seemed like an epic duel between equally matched protagonists went out with a weak, faint sounding pfffffffft. By the time the big showdown happened, Locke wasn't even there.


Like so much of the audience, Locke got screwed. Sorry, John, you were just road kill on the Highway to Jack's Heaven.



But don't worry. Be happy! It's not like there's anything we can do about it now. Except maybe this ...



Sun and Jin's "resolution" came at the end of three long seasons wherein they both did, collectively, nothing.



Finally they reunited. Then they died the next day, with not even a passing acknowledgment of the daughter who had been at the heart of their story. In Purgatory, or Limbo, or whatever the hell that Sideways bullshit was, they had to wait - for Jack, of course - until they could speak English (the language of Jack's heaven) and follow their dear leader into the light.



We can also add Sayid to the list of screwed over characters.



In post-9/11 America, it was shocking to see an Iraqi soldier in the Revolutionary Guard presented as a sympathetic character. But Sayid worked his way into our hearts, despite being the sickest killer in the bunch, because he was a passionate man. Who loved Nadia.



Nadia was at the nexus of all his moral quandaries - he betrayed his country for her, he betrayed his boyhood friend for her, he struggled off the Island and married her, only to lose her again. And with her death, he lost his soul. His character resolution? Well, first - of course - he had to wait for Jack. Obviously. Then ... uh ... he hooked up with Shannon and he got to go to Heaven!



Did this make sense to anyone???? Was this supposed to be a joke?


Sadly no. They were serious about this shit. See, Sayid didn't really love the woman he'd devoted his life to, the woman his entire story had been about. He only wanted what all men want in Geekland - a blonde American babe.


Hurley apparently lived out his roly poly life on the Island, maybe for centuries, with Ben. Although that might have made a great season of LOST all by itself, we never got a glimpse of it.



Instead we learned that the only great thing in Hurley's extremely long life was Libby, the girl he once almost went on a picnic with the day before she got shot. Nothing else. So once he finally died, he - like everyone else - waited for Jack, and then finally, I guess, he got to have a girlfriend, even if they were both dead.


Sawyer's story ended in Season Four.


We had watched his evolution, one of the most beautiful in the show,



from guilt ridden, self loathing orphan to passionate lover and hero.



But in Season Four, fanboys everywhere rejoiced as Sawyer's hotness got sucked away and he was reincarnated as a neutered Deputy Dawg, flashing big buttery grins at his tall blond Dharma-wife.



And that was it for poor Sawyer. He got to scream and cry while Juliet died ... over and over again ... then he sat on his ass until it was time for Jack to save the world. Then he did absolutely nothing for all the rest of his life until it was time for the most anticlimactic and uninspired cup of coffee in tv history. And then he hugged Jack, and he too got to pass through the pearly gates.



Character? Resolution? I can't find either one in this story. The complex, charismatic character that stole my heart and first addicted me to LOST disappeared the day he jumped off the helicopter and saved the life of the woman he loved. I watched and I hoped and I put up with Carlton's insulting insinuations that we were only watching to see him take his shirt off, but the Sawyer that I loved never ever returned to LOST.



Kate didn't do any better. We don't know when she died but we know she never met anyone better than Jack. That's sad enough. You didn't deserve that, Kate.



This is where the poor character development leads straight into The Second Inconvenient Truth About the Lost Finale:

It had a very depressing message.

In order to believe in whatever the Shiny Happy Afterlife was meant to be, we have to believe that nothing that ever happened to Kate, Sawyer or Claire after they left the Island ever meant a damn thing. They had to wait TO DIE before they could live.



Well, technically, they had to wait for JACK to die before they could live again.


If we accept that the gang in the church had to be there together because they were the only people that truly mattered to one another, we have to realize that all these people lived HORRIBLE lives here on earth. Think of all those who didn't matter to them:



Charlie Hume didn't matter to his Mom and Dad, and neither did Ji Yeon, a fetus for all eternity.


Hurley didn't want to be with Grandpa Tito or Mami Carmen or any of the people who loved and raised him.

Helen was good enough for Locke's purgatory, but she didn't rank high enough to make it into his heaven.


Jack's alcoholic, philandering daddy was the High Holy Priest in his Heaven,



but the old Moms who put up with being married to this creep didn't rate any heavenly reward.



Sorry, Margo, your son just wasn't that into you.


Juliet had no place in her heaven for the sister and nephew she longed to see for so long.



Nadia? She was no biggie to Sayid. Just a passing fling.



Boone never had anyone in his life who meant anything to him at all and the greatest moment of Shannon's life were those few weeks she spent trying to breathe without her inhaler in the Rape Caves before she got shot in the gut.



Kate and Sawyer never missed their mothers either, or Tom, or Clementine, or Kevin, or each other.



The only thing this "heaven" proved is that all of these people lived sad, loveless lives on earth. But so what if life sucked for all the Losties? They got to be in a clean, perfect heaven with all the other pretty people, paired up like the giraffes and zebras on Noah's ark.



In the LOST credo, it turned out the only thing that ever matters in life is finding a Schmoopie. Parents, children, lovers, friends - none of it means a damn thing. The key to life is The Schmoopie.



Throughout the years, LOST made a big show of flashing various religious symbols at us like stolen watches from under a trenchcoat. The Church of Shiny Happy People felt like self parody, what with all the spiritual tchotchkes stuffed into every available corner.



A dharmachakra, an aum, a menorah, a Ganesh ... I guess they couldn't find space to shove in any voodoo chicken feet or Rasta spliffs or Wiccan wands.



But no one should have been fooled. The religious message of LOST was conventional Judeo-Christian group think of the most joyless kind.



Humans must unquestioningly accept the will of a capricious, often vicious Higher Power, because he's Jacob and you're not. Life's a bitch and then you die, but in the religion of LOST, once you find your Schmoopie ... and once the great St. Jacksus arrives of course ... even cold blooded killers can all go to Hollywood Heaven together.


Damon Lindelof: This is the critical mystery of the season, which is, “What is the relationship between these two shows? ... Where’s Libby? Where’s Ana Lucia? Where’s Eko? These are all the things that you’re supposed to be thinking about.

Got that? The only question Darlton cared about answering in their finale season, the ONLY one, was this: What was the Sideways universe? The Sideways that didn't even exist until this season. And what was the big revelation about the Sideways? That it was a completely separate, non intersecting, non connecting afterlife that the characters "created for themselves" while they waited to enter Heaven, or the light, or what the fuck ever. After swearing for years their story wasn’t about Purgatory, they made their finale season all about ... frigging Purgatory! Haha! Gotcha!



It's not that making the story about Purgatory would have been such a terrible idea. It could have been a coherent theme to carry over the seasons, showing us each person's passage to Enlightenment after their death. But this mish mosh didn't even make any kind of theological sense as Purgatory. What was the point of it, except to bide everyone's time until Jackie-poo arrived? Sawyer did not create a purgatory where he could repent for the murder of the innocent sweet shrimp seller.



Kate did not atone for the wrongs she'd done. In fact, she made herself a world where she was innocent, wrongfully accused. All that bad stuff? Nevah hoppened.



Charlie was still on the junk needle in his self created purgatory, only richer than Croesus this time around.



Sun and Jin for some reason created a purgatory where they were even more miserable, where Jin killed people and Sun got shot.



And Sayid apparently filled his self created purgatory with even more murders – I guess the ones he didn’t get around to committing in his killing spree of a life.



By creating a trite, pat purgatory, all the stories we'd invested in suddenly felt shallow and pointless. In one fell swoop, they managed to dishonor almost every character and render their stories meaningless. It didn't reflect the reality of our human experience, where all our acts have real consequences, where we don't have an escape hatch into paradise, like we found out the Losties had. But this purgatory had other problems as well. Basically it just didn't make any goddamn sense.



Was the highpoint of Aaron's life really the day he was born? It's hard to imagine how horrifying this poor kid's life was if the first six hours were the highlight. Or was Aaron just a symbol, not an actual human baby with a soul of his own? Even in death, was Aaron just a prop in Jack's Heaven?




Why was Eloise worried that Desmond would take Daniel away?



If she was "awake" and understood that she was dead, why was she still in purgatory? And why didn't she understand how it worked? She had been paired with her Schmoopie, so why couldn't she get on the Ark?



What was Ben waiting for? Did he need Danielle Rousseau to wake up too?



Because of course Danielle would want to spend eternity with the mouse faced creep who made her life a living hell, rather than the dearly beloved father of her child. She just hadn't woken up yet and realized who her true schmoop was.



Why wasn't Michael allowed into Jack's heaven? He blew himself up with a bomb just like Sayid did. Why did he have to be trapped on the Island as a whisper? Was it because he didn't have a Schmoopie?



And what about poor Walt? Not only wasn't he special in any way, but none of the other 815-ers wanted him in the heaven they created for themselves. Can you believe it? They wanted Libby there, but they didn't want Walt! They wanted Penny there and most of them didn't even know who she was! Boy, they really, really held that puberty thing against him, didn't they?



Why was Juliet Jack's wife?


Seriously. Why in the hell would she create that for herself? And why would she have an imaginary son with him? Forget about the realization that her precious sister actually never meant anything to her. I'm more hung up on that numbingly redundant candy machine conversation. When Miles listened to her dead body, remember that he heard her say "it worked"? What was she talking about? The bomb worked? Her hope to never have met Sawyer worked? No! She was talking about the candy machine of course!



When Sawyer unplugged it and plugged it back in, it worked! Wow! How clever was that? I mean, that's why we all stuck with LOST, wasn't it? For stupid gimmicky shout outs and conversations written entirely in cutesy catchphrases.



See? Look! It was an Apollo candy bar! And Number 23! Holy moly! My mind, she is blown! Darlton, you iz geniuses!



So the whole Sideways/Purgatory/Bullshitland that the characters "created" for themselves after death was not about Redemption (except for Jack.) And it wasn't about Free Will, one of the other alleged "themes" of LOST. The characters may have created this place, but they didn't know they were doing it, and they didn't know why they did it, and most of the connections they unwittingly created for themselves meant absolutely nothing in the final denouement, just like all the connections built into the pre-crash flight and the off Island world meant absolutely nothing.



LOST wasn't about connections at all, you see.



It was all about how many times you can pull a meaningless WhatTheFUCK plot twist on the audience. It turns out, you can pull an entire show out of your ass based on nothing but constant gotchas and contrivances, and you'll be able to fool ... well, a whole lot of people. For a really long time. Like for six years.



I think so far we’ve established one thing: Thinking about the LOST finale is not a useful exercise. The whole Man of Faith vs. Science debate, as presented on LOST, was designed to undermine the value of thought and contemplation, to degrade intellectualism. Just believe. Just have "faith". And what we were asked to have Faith in on LOST was ... Nonsense. On LOST, the Faith argument was used to hide lazy thinking and cheap storytelling. The only thing we were having Faith in all along was Chuck E. Cheese.



So here's another Inconvenient Truth that we learned from the finale:

LOST had no intellectual design behind it.

In the past if I'd seen this image of the Monster being thrown off the cliff:



I'd have dug out my favorite Dore print of Lucifer being thrown out of heaven. But at this point that feels like it would only be giving them a respect they don't deserve. I wasn't impressed that Jack's hicky turned out to be a mark from the tip of a knife. I really didn't care that Jack stumbled to his death from a wound to his right side, like the wound Doubting Thomas pondered in the picture Jack gazed at in 316. I can't be bothered to dig out images to illustrate these things. I get it. Symmetry. Mirrors.


I always did love the visual imagery of LOST, but you can't just throw random symbolic elements onscreen and call that a story.

By the end, LOST had lost all its intrigue for me, 100%. Without a story behind them, symbols alone feel superficial, and cloyingly facile.


I had given up on the idea that there was an intelligent design behind LOST's Famous Thinker Namedropping, but I was still dumbfounded by how incredibly facile and superficial the use of imagery became.




Not only could we tell that a man was good based on whether he was blond and blue eyed (Aryan=Good) and wearing a white tunic, but we could even tell the moral destiny of a baby by the color of his blanket! And see! They were playing a game. Like how the LOST writers were playing a game with us.


I can't have been the only one who misread Damon Lindelof's New York Times editorial some years ago. Remember how he had the audacity to lecture J.K.Rowlings on how she should end the Harry Potter books? I think a lot of people thought he was advising her to be brave, to do the unexpected, to do the unpopular. But re-reading that thing, it's obvious he was saying no such thing. In point of fact, he was laying out exactly the way he planned to end LOST - catering to what he considered to be the stupidity and short attention spans of the American public.
THE BOY WHO DIED...

"We Yanks, however, do not want froufrou endings. We want things definitively tied up. And by “things” I mean lots of people dead."
"We really like gratuitous explosions."


"Because if there’s one thing we like more than explosions, it’s surprises."

I kind of wish, as an American, that people like Damon wouldn't speak for what "we Yanks" appreciate. I'd just like to let the global audience out there know that not all Yanks tell their kids to shut up and eat cheese and not all Yanks are proud of being stupid and unimaginative.



I am one Yank who became totally enchanted by the "froufrou" of LOST's endless literary, religious, scientific and philosophical allusions. Yes, I gradually recognized that it was an exercise in futility, but I still hoped against hope that there was some bare bones design behind it all, some order to the chaos. But the truth is out now: There wasn't any. Ever.

In other words, they were saying that great minds in history had addressed great issues and told great stories ... but Lindelof and Cuse weren't trying to do that. They were just copycats. Who didn't have the skills. Sort of like this:



I think Darlton should have taken this full disclosure thing one step further. The writers who influenced them weren’t Lewis Carroll or James Joyce or C.S. Lewis. Come on, guys! Be honest. The literary influences in your writing room were more along these lines, right?


Killer the dog WAS. Now Killer was born to a three-legged bitch mother. And he was always ashamed of this, man. And then right after that, he's adopted by this man, Tito Liebowitz. He's a small-time gunrunner and, uh, rottweiler fight promoter. So he puts Killer into training, next thing you know Killer's GOOD! He is DAMN good! But then, he had the fight of his life. They pit him against his brother Nibbles. And Killer said, "No, man, that's my brother, I can't fight Nibbles!" And he made him fight anyway. And then Killer, Killed Nibbles. And Killer said, "That's it!" And he called off all his fights, and he started doing crack, and he ffffffff-FREAKED OUT. And then in a rage, he collapsed, and his heart... no longer beat. Wow.
Anyone who ever followed Damon Lindelof on Twitter, begging people to vote up LOST on some poll where it was losing out to Ghost Hunters or something, knows that this dude believed in the power of the button pushers. He said as much in another inadvertent admission hidden in that infamous NY Times editorial:
"I read an article recently saying that 80 percent of American poll respondents said they thought Harry wouldn’t survive the final book. As is the case in many polls, there’s probably a degree of wish-fulfillment here. In other words, we want the little bugger to die."
I don't see how poll watching could ever be a good practice in any creative enterprise. It seems to me that "conventional wisdom" is in itself the death knell of originality. But we do know the boy wonders liked to follow polls, and given the dumbassery of the LOST fandom, this may possibly explain how LOST managed to fail so utterly. Let's look for a minute at the kind of fans who truly and deeply loved this LOST finale. First of all there's people like this lovely young Jate fan:
Fuck you all, dirty whores. Yes I'm talking abotu real people because you suck and fail at life. I loathe you all haters, you deserve all the spit and shit on your faces as you can get for all those years trolling the internet. Our fandom doesn't have any respect? STFU you son of a bitch you! Keep fooling yourselves that Skate was eyefucking the whole season. You're only embarrasssing yourselves, even some decent skaters can see. Yes, there are sane skaters out there who appreciate them sanely.

These are your fans, Damon. You own them now. Don't look now, but they may be all you got left. We've learned now that fanmail campaigns and obsessive poll rigging pay off when the writers have neither balls nor any kind of plan. Sure, you managed to destroy your show's reputation and legacy, and sure, your name will be mud to any LOST fan who ever tried to follow the show on an intelligent level, but you did manage to satisfy geniuses like the poster quoted above. So, uh ... Congrats?



It would be wrong for me to blame the batshit Jate/Suliet fans entirely for how inane and angry the LOST online discourse became. By far the bigger culprits were the vicious, often misogynist fanboy types who camped out at the site run by my old friend DarkUFO. Given Darlton's addiction to pandering to the lowest common denominator in the fandom, there's no way they weren't aware of the whims of Fanboy Central. On that loud, big, spoiler whoring board, any sensible disagreement or alternate viewpoint about LOST was systematically shouted down, mocked to shit and banned out of existence by the torch and pitchfork carrying villagers.


It's sad to think that LOST was once considered cutting edge precisely because of the cyber-conversation that had grown up between fans and writers, a conversation that may have ultimately destroyed the integrity of the story. Laura Miller's Salon piece makes a great case for another Inconvenient Truth:

LOST was "Ruined By Its Own Fans"
From statements the producers of "Lost" have made over the past five years, they developed a dynamic with die-hard fans (and disillusioned fans and skeptical non-fans) that was infinitely more complex than any of the personal relationships among the series' characters. Could it be that in resisting the geekiest, nitpickingest, most Aspergerian demands of their audience they swung too far in the opposite direction, dismissing as trivial everything but the cosmic (the tedious and largely unnecessary Jacob-Smokey background) and the sentimental (making sure that every character receives his or her designated soul mate or therapeutic closure of the most banal Dr. Phil variety)? If so, "Lost" may be the quintessential example of a pop masterpiece ruined by its own fans.
Infintely more complex, indeed. DarkUFO was despised, and rightly so, by the LOST inner circle, because of his thoughtless and selfish spoiling of their big Season 3 and 4 finale surprises. So, was it REVENGE that made Darlton write an endgame that fanboys hated even more than Skaters? If so then the irony of Fanboys and Skaters being on the same side is delicious. Nice job, dudes.



Fanboys and Skaters were the natural enemies of the LOST Fan Kingdom. Aside from Andy Page's smarmy egotism, the defining feature of his site was his petty vindictiveness towards Skaters, most likely because we were the ones who unmasked him for the poll rigging liar and all around skeevebag that he was. How petty was he? I don’t think anyone outside of Fishbiscuitland quite understands. For years he lurked 24/7 on our board under his chosen alias:
mary2009!



Miss Mary mostly just used our site as one of the many from which he’d steal spoilers or pictures or media mentions, all of which he’d post on his own board without credit. But in the run up to the finale, his juvenile pettiness was on full display. One night, when I guess he was getting bored down in that basement bunker, he put on his best squealing imitation of what he thought a dumbass Skater fangirl would sound like:
I juust had my friends sister email me about the finale. She works on the set if LOST She told me that in the finale that Kate tells Jack she loves him Uve now given up on this show after the Juliet kiss scen
And then a few moments later:
They are sending me scans tomorrow. And they will send to dark UFO tomorrow as well I promise I am not lying and this is real I wish it was not: (((((((((
I busted him right away, explaining that even squalid fangirls were smart enough to trace an IP, and he ran straightaway, skirts flying over his head, to erase the evidence that he was, in fact, every bit the petty, juvenile twit we’d always known him to be. Apparently he didn’t want anyone to know that the great and powerful DarkUFO loved to troll among the squalid shippergirls he always claimed to despise. We banned the bastard after that, but Lord knows how many other sock puppets this douchebag had over the years, or how deeply into the pie his poll rigging fingers really were. It’s all water under the bridge now, thankfully – one more reason to be happy that LOST is over.


LOST is over, MaryAndy. Suck it up. You have to go out and get a job now.

MaryAndy may have just been one of the creepy curiosities of the LOST fandom, but his Skate Hate was something that was shared by most of the fanboys who followed LOST, including, it seems the Alpha Nerds who wrote this dreck. It brings me to one of the biggest downers of my LOST experience. Maybe it doesn't quite count as an Inconvenient Truth, but it's a Truth nonetheless.

Nerds hate romance.

In fact, I’m pretty sure that most nerds wouldn't know Romance if it jumped up and kissed them on the mouth. That’s part of what makes them nerds, after all. Sci Fi and Fantasy genres have never been a romance friendly milieu. Romance, when it appears at all, is generally very stilted and unrealistic, and caters to the male sensibility exclusively. Most women in this genre are blond. All women are beautiful, although beauty is completely optional for the male half. It is common, and preferable, in Nerd Romance, that the female abjectly worship her mate. Strangely, though, Nerd Romance rarely features ... s.e.x.



I'm sure many are wondering how I feel about Sawyer and Kate being left flat in the finale, about them being the only couple left out of the great cosmic circle jerk. Every obscure, asexual couple in the show's history, from the non starter of Daniel & Charlotte to the anti-romance of Ben & Danielle got some kind of validation in the story, yet the long romance of Sawyer & Kate, deeply embedded into the fiber of the story, was ignored completely. I was disappointed, but not shocked, and not all that broken up over it. It's hardly the only thing that didn't make sense, and it’s not like it made the finale any worse. I don't think there was any way it could have been any worse, to be honest. It may well have been a blessing in disguise that they didn't pander to Skaters. If they had, I might have been tempted to watch it again, and this way I'm forever protected from that fate.


The gloopy cheese-bubbles that were meant to signal eternal schmoopiness in the "The End" made the Gray's Anatomy's finale look like Shakespeare. I don't think LOST could possibly have trivialized the idea of romantic love more if they tried.


Basically, the way Romance ended up being depicted on LOST, the uglier a romance was,


the less we saw it happen,



the less sensual it was,



the more weird and shallow and gimmicky it was



- the more likely it was to end up depicted as Twu Wuv in the finale.



Sayid and Nadia's series long love story, just like Sawyer and Kate's, ended up meaning nothing. In both cases, the women were swapped out for the leggy blonde at the last second. Meanwhile, Jack and Kate, who spent the last two seasons in a deep funk of apathy towards one another were magically transformed with one last WTF into the most vapid kind of Nerd Lovers imaginable.



These writers had no intuitive sense of how to write romance, and what's more they seemed to have a strange antipathy towards the concept of passionate sexual love. It's incredible, but true, in the entire run of the whole series, there was only ONE deeply romantic, loving sex scene in the full six years.


Yes, it was one of the greatest tv love scenes ever and yes, it will be remembered long after this dreadful finale is forgotten, but still ... Only one! In six years! That's shocking. It almost makes you wonder what other issues these guys were repressing. Women were never important to these writers as anything other than babymakers and schmoopies. Sex for the most part was invisible, except when it was making women pregnant so they could die. But when it came time for the Darlton to imagine what the secret in the bowels of the Island would look like, they created a big rod. And a shiny wet hole.



I know. Ew. But don't blame me. I didn't write this shit. The ultimate denouement of this phallic fantasy was that the big hero man had to stick his rod back into the hole. Then the world was saved. And Jack was bathed in an orgasm of light.



Sheesh. These two guys should have just taken their Jack Action Figure and gotten themselves a room.



The LOST writers, of course, chose to make a love triangle central to their story from the very beginning, and to keep it there and promote it until the bitter end.



For years, we heard - from the mouths of the Darlton themselves - that Sawyer was their Han Solo. Even a Star Wars neophyte understands that Han is the romantic hero of the story. He's charismatic and sexy and adorable in all the ways that Luke is not and can never be. It's a type, an archetype, and an especially entertaining one, in my opinion.



But LOST, since it couldn't be original in any other way, decided that this well loved archetype would be the one, the only one, that would stand on its head. They de-sexed their Han Solo and made sure that he ended up getting gotz in the end of the story. There could be no romantic victory for Sawyer, just like there could be no heroic victory, because nothing could be allowed to deflect any light from the greater glory of the magnificent Jackass. Sawyer's fate, and the fate of Sawyer and Kate as a love story, was one more casualty of LOST's Revenge of the Alpha Nerds.



And here's the last saddest, most Inconvenient Truth :

LOST was never anything more than The Jack Show.

All of it was just passing time until it was time for Damon's surrogate, Jack Shephard, to win all the marbles. The only character that got any true resolution in this story was Jack. Jack became Jacob! Then he gave up being Jacob! Then he killed the bad guy! Then he saved the world! Then he died a great hero, knowing he'd saved the world! Then he won the Kate trophy! Forever! In heaven! If you ever doubted that this was The Jack Show, check it out: No one could go into Heaven until Jack got there. He was even the most important person in Heaven!



It's a very inconvenient, but unavoidable, truth that these two rich, mainstream Hollywood white guys could only envision a story that revolved around a privileged mainstream white guy like themselves. It's laughable to think back at how LOST was once considered a groundbreaking show because of its multicultural cast. As the years went by, the black people disappeared, the Asians learned to speak proper English, the Middle Eastern man became an evil beast and the females all became interchangeable schmoopies. Even the lesser white men had to take a backseat to the Great Jacksus. Locke ended up inert,



Desmond ended up not being very special after all,



and Sawyer was kept around as nothing but eye candy.



The decks had to be cleared to make sure no one, at any time, outshone the Great White Hero. Face it, even Purgatory was Jack's Wet Dream. Who besides Jack got a damn thing out of this Sideways world we're told they all allegedly created for themselves?



Claire was still the unwanted bastard stepsister who was pregnant with a baby she didn't really want. Kate was still a fugitive. Sayid still a killer. Charlie still a junky. Locke still crippled. In Jack's wet dream, Sawyer couldn't even get a woman! If nothing else, that proved that we were living in Jack's fantasy world.


But look at what Purgatory was like for King Jacksus. He was the generous kindly brother to Claire that he had never been in real life. He got both of Sawyer's women before he did, and even impregnated one! He magically cured Locke’s spine. Who needs a miraculous mystical Island when you’ve got St. Jack? Miracles were just all in a day’s work for him.



Purgatory was so custom made to make sure Jack would be comfy in his new afterlife that he even got a whole fake person tailor made for him - David.



Now, David, of course never really existed. Poor kid, I'm sure it would ruin his day to find that out. Once Jack had been convinced that he would have been the bestest daddy in all the world, David, I guess, just poofed away. Jack was done with him, he returned to the void to which all things go that Jack no longer has any need of. His only function was to help Jack work out the all important Jackiness of being Jack.



I really can’t think of any way they could have undermined their quasi-spiritual “message” any more completely than by focusing the entire endgame on the glorification of only one character. I know LOST prided itself on making pseudo-religious pudding out of all the world’s great faiths and philosophies, but I’d really like clarification on which mutant religion they drew their inspiration from for this final act. In what faith is the individual ego considered a viable path to salvation or nirvana or enlightenment? Make no mistake: this final episode was about about one person and one person only. It was about Jack fulfilling all of Jack’s dreams,



about Jack becoming the hero that Jack always wanted to be,



about Jack not being a drunk or a stalker psycho ex husband,



about Jack having the perfect son who loved him perfectly,



about Jack getting the respect from Dad that Jack always wanted,



about Jack fixing everything for everyone just like Jack always obsessed over,



and about everyone loving and wanting and waiting for Jack before any of them could start their eternal afterlives. The message wasn't "Live together or die alone". It was "die alone and wait for Jacksus to lead us into paradise."


With this predictable, but disastrous, narrative choice to focus on only one character above all the others, Lost managed to destroy the last hope that LOST could ever have been a great story with a message that was universal or transcendant. The strength of LOST had once been in the variety of its characters, in the way, that each one of them represented a slice of humanity, a slice of heroism, a slice of each of us. If there had been a truly humanist vision behind the LOST story, each of us could have seen ourselves in some incarnation within the story. We could have come away with some unifying vision of what it means to be human and to be connected to other humans. I think this is what many of us had hoped for. I know I wasn’t the only one who imagined that's what we were witnessing. This TIME Magazine article gives a great interpretation of what LOST could have been, what so many of us thought it would be, but what it sadly decided it didn't want to be:
But Lost has not a single protagonist but a huge ensemble of heroes and antiheroes with checkered pasts. The loser, the con artist, the arrogant doctor, the fugitive, the junkie: each has his or her part in the quest, which has less to do with good beating evil than determining how to be good, less to do with getting the happy ending than finding out what it means to have a happy ending. Collectively, they are — to borrow the title of Joseph Campbell's classic study of myth — the Hero with a Thousand Faces, or at least a dozen or so. It's a concept of heroism for our complicated, connected world, where problems are too complex for a single savior.



LOST's problems weren't too complex for Jack. He solved them all, all by himself. Locke tried to save everyone but only ended up giving the Monster a body to use. Desmond thought he could do it, but he couldn’t. Sawyer, Kate, Sayid, Sun, Jin, Charlie, Claire, Hurley, Ben – they may have moved the problems along, but none of them helped to solve or fix a damn thing. It was Jack, all Jack, only Jack.


The Geniuses in Chief liked to say that the show was telling them what it wanted to be about. We couldn't hear it, being mere peons of the audience, but I guess what the show was telling them was that it wanted to pretend for a really long time to be about cool, intriguing characters and ideas and mysteries ... but then at the last minute it wanted to be about Jack getting his ass kissed, his balls washed and a big fat halo super glued on to his head.


So, LOST is over. Finally. And good riddance to it. Sometimes I still find questions popping into my head. Like:



Why did Kate wear a dress into the church but then showed up inside wearing pants?



Or, if Michael said the whispers were souls trapped on the island, why was Duckett who died in Australia trapped there telling Sawyer “it would come back around”?



And like why did Hurley and Ben have to stay behind on the Island if the Smoke Monster was finally DEAD?


But then I slap myself and realize – I don’t have to think about this shit anymore! Ever! And that’s good, because finally it's safe to admit what many of us suspected, but never wanted to say: It was all bullshit.



Is there anything good to say about LOST in the wake of this debacle? Well, the music of Michael Giacchino was always stirring and emotional. The visuals of this show were magnificent. All kudos to the Art and Cinematography departments of LOST. The acting was often stellar and I hope to follow many of the actors into bigger and better careers. And of course, I’ve made some great friends, some of the smartest and wittiest people on the internet, and we made a home at Fishbiscuitland, which is staying open for business. But that’s about it. This was the kind of finale that nullifies a series, that ruins it forever, that renders any rewatch moot. And that’s not an easy thing to do. That kind of failure comes around only once every few decades. So I guess Darlton can claim that distinction. However, I really don't think they should ever show their faces at another Comic Con.



It occurs to me we still haven’t settled on an actual, literal last word. I think we know what Darlton's last word to the fans was:



But as for myself? I always enjoyed sprinkling quotes on my LOST recaps. How about this? LOST was ...


... a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Oh, well.

946 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Omg fish. The finale was so full of gooey stuff, and I'd loved this show for so long - even though I knew the whole season had been a big long train wreck, I kept giving everything a pass. The easiest way was to try not to think about anything and let them just wrap it up, and inside pray like hell it was going somewhere. And it totally didn't go anywhere, but still even as the finale ended, I wasn't ready to call it Garbage. When they gave us those cheesy "answer revealing conversations between two people" and my wife would start to say "What kind of crap is this?", I would stop her and tell her they were misdirects to throw us off-course. I was almost ready to be angry after the finale ended and I realized the season was even shittier than I thought. Then as that night, and new nights went by, I kept chasing all the problems out of my head, by refusing to examine them. Oh - Jack was a pillhead, alcohol: he didn't really see the smoke monster in LA. I figured everything that seemed not to add up right was just like that with some completely plausible explanation. Then I went through a couple of days of thinking it was my own fault for looking too deeply. But what's deep about a food drop falling from the sky of an unfindable island? What's deep about wanting them to explain what happened in the previous finale when the nuke went off (if it even did)? But I turned all those thoughts off, and remember that I'd gotten quite a lot of entertainment over the years, and I should be thankful for such a wealth of inspiration that came from, of all places, the boob tube! And pretty much, I've tried to not think about Lost since the finale, except I kept coming to your blog everyday to see what you had to say. And now finally your post is here. Only a picture captions in, my anger finally came out and I screamed a big F*** You! to those two jerks named Carlton and Damon (but mostly Damon). That jerk had the audacity to suggest that should watch CSI instead because Lost was too intelligent and messy for me. What bastards to lead us on like this all these years! I feel so much better after reading your post, I've finally purged all these pent up emotions and I think I can let go now lol!

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't agree with the most of this, because I really enjoyed the finale. OF COURSE, there are things that I didn't like, and there are things that I didn't feel totally satisfied. But the journey LOST gave us was so good, that I NEVER would write a post full of images to give it size, when the content is not so good.

And as I am posting as an anonymous, I'll tell you how LOST REALLY changed me.

A few years ago, I was depressive. I tried to kill myself several times. But then I began to watch LOST, and LOST kept me alive, cause I wanted to know what the hell was happening there. So it kept me alive for four-five years, and it gave me my best friends, gave me happiness to live. You can tell me now that this finale meant a lot to me. I don't believe in afterlife, or in God. But those feelings really helped me. And now I want live.

What I'm trying to say is that you guys that only think that the finale completely s*c*s, are seeing in the wrong way. Just look at the full experience, and not only at the final if you haven't like it.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap! That first anonymous post was me, and my wife was flipping out on me for not paying attention to the baby. So I totally didn't proofread. I hate when other people do that. Shame on me, heh.

Carol in LA said...

Wow. Completely disagree.

Matt said...

thanks fishbiscuit. my heart hurts but still, thanks for the brain power cohering darlton's stool.

do you take requests? can i get a couple thousand words on deadwood...or the wire? thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this final review Fish. I feel like the final quote sums it up perfectly. This show for all of its mysteries, characters, and symbols ultimately signified nothing. When I look back at all of the story lines dropped I get angry because they utterly wasted all of the great material they had to make an epic final season. What about Kate's internal conflict between good and evil? Sawyer's struggle to make peace with his past? Sayid's sadness over love lost? Hurley's turmoil over the numbers and his issues with food? Everything that the characters were truly about was dropped. What is worse is that the writers had all season to resolve this. They could have had the characters speak openly for once about their troubles. Instead they sat around campfires all season long, mouths shut. All that ever mattered was Jack, Jacob, MIB, and apparently purgatory. The writers insulted the intelligence and devotion of their fans with this ending and what makes it all the worse is that they had an end date they themselves put in place to make room to put together all the pieces of the puzzle. Instead they gave up, tacked on a ridiculous Macguffin and called it a day. They couldn't even be bothered to try. Goodbye Lost, you will not be missed by me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Fish,

i really needed that!
though reading reviews which are blatant about what utter shit LOST was in the end, still sometimes stir up this bad feeling i have in my stomach,
after Darlton fucked over every serious fan of the story except ppl who watched Lost only for Jack,
made Lost un-re-watchable forever,
un-recommendable to anyone...
i always feel better when i know, that there are people out there who feel just as betrayed and ass-fucked as i did

Lost was a great journey with an utter shit ending,
i think i can live with it, when i make the sideways only Jacks purgatory in my mind,
but i still will never rewatch any minute of Lost, not in a long time...

it was nice knowing you and thanks for all the fishbisquits...
goober

mynamesdan said...

can i just say two things. well, three.

first. thank you. you are a brilliant writer. keep writing.

second. i TOLD everyone not to watch the finale because it could only bring disappointment, and constantly recruited for a boycott in the last month of the show.

third. i watched it anyway. and I told me so.

cheerio fish. write soon.
mynamesdan

LOST SideSteps said...

Thank you Fish, for all the great recaps.

I'm getting all my wisdom teeth pulled this week, and I thought of doing a season one re-watch while I recovered. Only while I'm heavily medicated, of course. After that ending, any lucid re-watch would only piss me off. I tell you, LOST has made me cry many times before, but never for the reasons it did on May 23rd.

I have great respect for many of the actors who put this show together, and perhaps when I look back at LOST, they (and the magnificent first few years) will be what I choose to remember. And you. Thanks again.

Morcegos no Sótão said...

Thank you for writing this, Fish. It gave voice to all the reasons I knew existed for being so hurt and disappointed over the finale... You said it infinitely better than I ever could and I did give it a try.

I'm also grateful because seeing that you, whose reviews I longed for the most, agree with my impressions on the final season make me feel a lot better about hating it when most people around me just think it's the greatest thing EVAH. Oh well.

MJNuts

lostieforever said...

Thanks for your recaps Fishbiscuit. Do you know? The only one theory that fits on everything is LOSTisaGame because I never believed that something so complex like Lost could be only a video game, but if you think about it was all about missions, missions and more missions. Props to discover, changes of roles without any reason, a lot of repetitions and "mistakes", changes of eye´s colours, and so on... Anyway I hope somebody will talk about what really happened between season 4 and 6, in a couple of years. Also, I´m waiting for some kind of critic from Stephen King. It would be interesting for to read!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't happy with Kate's resolution, either, but she at least got to do something good and meaningful both on-Island and in the Sideways. Sawyer on the other hand was just running around doing precisely nothing. And then on the plane at the end Kate was all about Claire while he just sat there all by himself, looking like a sad, lost little kid. Jackass got the Big Ass Fight Scene, the Noble, Sacrificial Death, AND the goddamn girl, while Sawyer got nothing until he died, apparently. It broke my heart. I'm shocked Josh Holloway was so pleased with it, unless he was just being polite.

The writers couldn't even have him remembering his bravery on the Island in those cheeseball "flashes"! Jumping out of helicopters? Ha! Kneeling in the mud to take a bullet for the woman he loved? Please! Running towards armed mercenaries and exploding houses to save his friends? Nosiree! Apparently Darlton would have us believe that was more important to have him remember spooning in bed with Juliet, picking flowers, and kissing blood and gore off her face!

*deep breath*

OK. Now that I've got that off my chest...

Thank you once again for telling it like it is, Fish. I will miss your snark, your wit, and your sharp analytical skills. Maybe a show will come along that's worthy of your time, who knows?

Anonymous said...

Amen sister!

I'm happy to see some people still got enough brain to see Lost was nothing more than a long con after all :(

I am so sad to have invested so much into this show..arg at least I got to see the wonderful Michael Emerson and of course the mystifying Josh Holloway/ Evangeline Lilly pairing.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to make this recap I can only imagine how painful it must have been to think about this finale.

As far as I'm concerned, Lost ended with season 4.

Namaste.

Stefania said...

I completely agree instead!This review is funny and sad at the same time because unfortunately, this is really the final Lost!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much!!! I was waiting for your recap and now I can finally do what Darlton apparently planned for us in the most patronizing and arrogant way writers can take care of their seemingly childish and needy audience: to let go - of frustration and idiotic fans and suicidal cheese-lovers. Because this finale succeeded in only one thing: It actually made me feel suicidal! All the time I had actually HOPED there would be something like a big, fat "Tale
told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"-ring to all of it in the end. One grand and witty approach that would teach us NOT to follow the leader, would teach us NOT to blindly believe into mere symbols and black and white imagery, would teach us NOT to try and be special, would teach us NOT to accept silly myth and religiously wrapped mind-poison (like the one hidden in Virgin Mary statues or behind the facade of a mean old man that sarcastically posed as God and laughed in secret at the feeble attempt of his own son to believe into being specially and immaculately conceived and who spat into the face of the shere concept of faith), would teach us that it is NOT neccessary to earn your parents' love and to learn to accept yourself by saving the world, teach us NOT to try and fix everything and everyone around you, teach us that life IS indeed meaningless and fragile, and that dying for some unknown and abstract concept (like Christianity, or the USA) is in fact the very essence of inhumanity. I thought it would come down to our characters' realization of a grand game of manipulation that Island-God and Island-Mephistopheles played in order to prove some idiotic and meaningless point. I thought it was HUMAITY that should be left as the last word to the audience, not GOD. Humanity that is flawed and meaningless, but still capable of love and bravery when it comes to those that you love. You shouldn't die for the whole world to be praised for all eternity and sit next to the cruelly abusive father-figure on a cloud, but maybe for the person you love when a gun is pressed to his/her head. Nothing more can be expected of humanity, and there is nothing more to it. (I'm not finished, see below:)

Anonymous said...

The Lost-finale made me feel suicidal because I realized this whole world is just a cheesy, money-hunting manipulation factory that plays with its silly audience at will, and they even thank them for it. We have reveled in the thought for almost over 500 years now that "life is nothing but a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon a stage and then is heard no more". This is a sad, but adult tale, and it can be told in various versions and never gets old. But this tale of two idiots drove us back into the worst vision of the Middle Ages anyone could have come up with: The crusades are back! Fight evil incarnate, and you will go straight up to heaven and even receive the hundred virgins... oh wait, no, a good Christian just gets one, and pretty much an ex-virgin, too, but we don't want to pander TOO much to other religions now, do we, Darlton? And why, at least this not-virgin got to stay chaste and act motherly until the day she died and reunited with the man she betrayed and lied to countless times, but apparently adored and loved nevertheless with all of her simple and childish heart.
The story I thought Lost would come down to with respect to science/free will against faith/destiny was a compromise: Yes, there indeed IS a meaning behind it all, there ARE forces in this world that control our fates. But those are arrogant assholes with a sadistic sense of humour - not unlike those two self-styled Powers That Be. Or Were. I would have loved a story that would have told me: Life sucks; it wasn't a sign but only Desmond going to the bathroom; the answer to the Universe is 42; "I don't understand!" and "I was wrong!"; "Clean up you own mess" (like creating your very own plane crash via time travel); or watch out for the man behind the curtain, for he is going to fuck with your life - but still realizing those poor guys strutting and fretting and trying to find love and happiness are like me and I am allowed to create my own meaning in the end: through love, friendship, bravery and accepting myself as merely human. Now I have to live with the fact that a big part of the human race is contend with being fed greasy fast food rainbows and reassuring pats on the head that tell them that all the stories about Santa Clause were true after all and we need not fear this icky postmodern abyss of meaninglessness. Because, hey: Now we have all the opium we need in order to avoid facing our own fragile and fragmentary existence - and even on DVD!!!! God bless America! And fuck you, Darlton! And thank you, Fish!
Our Skies

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the countless write ups that have made us think and laugh over the seasons. Too bad LOST ended on such a low note and so many beloved characters were left hanging in Jack's dreamy purgatory. Though we loved the show for many reasons, season six was just a complete let down. Sawyer and Kate and their incredible on screen chemistry was wasted and for what? So we could be told it all meant nothing and then were forced to sit back and choke on the incredibly unbelievable Jack/Kate pairing? Like you, I was unaware this was the Jack Shepard show and I doubt I would have lasted six seasons had I known. So many characters were cheated that I still find the whole thing unbelievable! Was there no one around to tell Darlton they had jumped the shark? I've read endings on fanfic sites better than what they came up with!
Again thanks for entertaining us and for putting into words what many of us have been thinking since LOST ended!

Brian Monroe said...

Superb analysis of what turned out to be the great practical joke which was Lost.

Clearly they were winging it from day one.

I was tempted to just forget about the last three seasons and appreciate the first three, which were solid and interesing. But after reading that brilliant analysis, I say screw the whole god damn thing.

Boo to Lost, and the aholes which made it.

Anonymous said...

You really said it all, Fish. And the saddest thing is that it really could have been great. They had some great character arcs at the beginning, and I know that there could have been really satisfying answers, if only they'd given a toss and plotted the damn thing properly.

And they had gold dust with Skate - it's so difficult to understand how they just chucked that away, but hey, I have fanfic to put that right.

I will be very interested to see how sales of this season's DVD goes. I won't be buying it.

Thanks for all the fish.

Scotty

syd said...

thank you fishbiscuit, this is exactly how i felt about the finale!

abid said...

Well said.

The best thing about season 6 of Lost has been your blog. Thank you so much for taking your time to do the re-caps and I'm glad to read that you'll still continue with this website.

For me, Lost lost its way during that temple debacle. I'd loved the series up until episode 2 of this season but that was the last straw. The show steadily devolved after that point culminating in that horrible "Across the Sea" episode.

In any case, it's great that I won't be spending any money on the season 6 dvd's.

Anonymous said...

Good review! I like when you aren't overusing sarcasm and celebrating your genius to the extent that the review is ruined, even when the actual analysis is spot-on. They're so hard to get through. I know, criticism can be hard to take. But this last blog entry is really great. (I'm guessing it's your last entry. Are you still planning to post that entry you mentioned that has all the comments you don't like? The ones posted by those readers with "basement-level IQs"?)

Well anyway, I was wondering if you were going to do a reveal. Not like the way you announced that about Andy/Mary, but one that tells us about yourself. I know you are all over the boards. Tell us who YOU are. Who is the Fish? Who is Fiona???

Anonymous said...

LOST was perfect. Here's why.

http://fray.slate.com/discuss/forums/thread/3917692.aspx

Anonymous said...

"LOST's problems weren't too complex for Jack. He solved them all, all by himself. Locke tried to save everyone but only ended up giving the Monster a body to use. Desmond thought he could do it, but he couldn’t. Sawyer, Kate, Sayid, Sun, Jin, Charlie, Claire, Hurley, Ben – they may have moved the problems along, but none of them helped to solve or fix a damn thing. It was Jack, all Jack, only Jack."

I agree some of those characters were basically useless in the end but most of them contributed. Jack didn't do it alone. Locke was the driving force that turned Jack from a MOS to a MOF. Desmond dealt with the EM energy and unplugged the cork. Kate saved Jack at the cliffs. Jack did 3 things in the finale: 1. Stopped the MIB 2. Passed torch to Hurley 3. Restored the light. He NEEDED Des/Kate for #1 to work. And he NEEDED Hurley to accept the role for #2 to work. So saying none of them helped is not true. Charlie/Sayid died for the other characters, or as you put it, they moved problems along. Sun/Jin and Claire have ALWAYS been useless. Nothing new from them. On LOST there has always been an A-team : Jack, Kate, Locke/Flocke, Sawyer, and Desmond part time. Only this year, Hurley took Sawyer's place on team A and bumped him to the sideline with Ben. All the A-team characters contributed this season as they have in all the previous seasons. Its nothing new. Its been like that from the start.

Michael S. said...

Thank you.

the girl on the couch said...

Thank you so much. For three years of recaps that turned out to be more intelligent than the show they were about, and for your honesty here.

After watching the finale I felt as though Darlton had murdered everything I loved about LOST. This post is like a police report- it doesn't undo the crime, but it offers closure in helping us to understand it.

Thanks for all the fish.

Anonymous said...

brilliant analysis, lost season 5 and 6= huge clusterfuck

alcybiades said...

what a brilliant and multifarious essay. Thank you.

I've watched Lost with radically reduced expectations for over two years. The turning point for me was way back in S4 with Keamy and the Kahana, which was just really boring. I will admit that I actually managed to like the finale, but by the time it aired I was watching a different show, only looking for momentary, emotionally manipulated crack-highs leading nowhere with no afterthought.

Anonymous said...

Great review Fish, all that I wanted and all that I needed for putting this show, that I am ashamed to have ever watched, to rest. Because it deserves to go into oblivion, with its creators.

You explained why they didn't give resolutions to all the characters like they claimed to have done and like people is buying (thinking about Sawyer makes me so sad... you're right, his character died in that moment, they didn't really care about him because they are "jacks" in life, jack was their projection so he had to have it ALL)

I can't believe we all wasted our time in something that was revealed so insignificant and ugly.
I can't believe how much of the potential for a great story they had in their hands and they wasted it.

Thanks for this review and for all the other ones. Reading you was one of the best part of this experience. I will follow your blog and I'll be glad if you decide you will write again about something else in the future.
I'll always keep in my mind the great people I met thanks to Lost. That doesn't mean I can't say how much the show sucks, it's a totally different matter.

G

Fishbiscuitland said...

LOST was perfect. Here's why.

I appreciated your link to what I assume is your own commentary on LOST. You consider LOST a success because it left us with the mystery of what life's all about. How then do you reconcile them giving such a detailed explanation of exactly what the afterlife is all about?

Life is something we can struggle to understand. What happens after death is the true mystery. I think one of the most unforgivable things about this finale was that it so arrogantly presumed to present an explanation for life after death - and then did it in a stunningly trivial and ridiculous manner. I found it incredibly insulting, both to my intelligence and to the profound human struggle to understand the great mysteries of existence.

And seriously, nothing can rescue this crap from the accusations of sloppiness, laziness, thoughtlessness that characterized this season and that brought us to the point where no sensible resolution was even possible.

Fishbiscuitland said...

I agree some of those characters were basically useless in the end but most of them contributed.

You're making the same point I did. Even though I could never stand Jack, it wasn't the focus on Jack that bothered me. It would have been equally bad to have the series focus on any one character.

Jack was barely featured in the last few seasons. They had nothing interesting to say or do with him. I never even understood what changed him to a "man of faith". He was just kept in the corner like a log of wood waiting to be pulled out as the Great White Hero in the finale.

I included the Time magazine quote to show how many people had come to believe that LOST was really a tale about all the characters, that it was groundbreaking in that it didn't hook itself to one protagonist. Because it never did, not until this lame finale. The originality and creative vision was so lacking that they couldn't think of any way to wrap things up except to make every last plot twist hinge on Jack - even Heaven was contingent on Jack's presence.

What makes it so shocking to me is they had YEARS to come up with a story that would have done justice to all the characters. I can't help but think that they never even tried, that they were always far more interested in running around promoting themselves and whoring for praise on the brilliance they never really had.

Anonymous said...

"By creating a trite, pat purgatory, all the stories we'd invested in suddenly felt shallow and pointless. In one fell swoop, they managed to dishonor almost every character and render their stories meaningless." INDEED! And because of that, I will at least have the satisfaction of laughing my ass off when sales of Season 6 and the full-series box set perform dismally. I, and many many other fans, can't bear to go back and rewatch earlier seasons knowing how meaningless the story ultimately becomes. Too bad TPTB already made so much money stringing us along for 6 seasons. Oh well.

Thanks for keeping it interesting with your brilliant blog over the years.

Anonymous said...

I appreciated your link to what I assume is your own commentary on LOST. You consider LOST a success because it left us with the mystery of what life's all about. How then do you reconcile them giving such a detailed explanation of exactly what the afterlife is all about?

It's not my commentary, but I do agree with most of it. I do not think Lost was perfect. Although I enjoyed select episodes in seasons four, five, and six, I think they were, as a whole, pretty bad seasons, or at least vastly inferior to the first three. Compared to how poor the last three years have been, the finale was shockingly good, but it was also shockingly good in its own right. I had been underwhelmed by this season, and consequently the show as a whole, for quite some time and went into the finale fully expecting it to suck. Instead, it was beautiful and as perfect as possible and everyone I know who saw it felt the same way.

(I'm just talking about the finale, now, not season six as a whole, because season six as a whole sucked and was a failure on almost every level.)

The finale did not answer any questions about what happens after death. You can interpret it as if it did, of course, but that never even occurred to me while I was watching it. It was much more obvious to me that they were doing something else. The light in the church represents the ultimate destination of death, which they never show us. Even Christian doesn't know what it is. The flash-sideways is just a place between places, or a place between a place and the lack of place. Your issue as I understand it is that they showed any kind of life after death at all, regardless of how temporary it was. So do you also have a problem with all the ghosts who've appeared throughout the show? Although technically dead, they were just as "alive" as the characters in the flash-sideways.

You're stuck on the "afterlife" aspect of the flash-sideways, which really isn't the point. That would be like saying American Psycho is just about some guy who kills people. Like Jack's tattoo (lol), that's what it says but it's not what it means. Not to say that the flash-sideways is as thematically dense as American Psycho, but the reason they put it into the story wasn't because they wanted the story to end with "and then everyone went to heaven." The flash-sideways have been appearing since the beginning of the season, but we didn't know they were "purgatory" (for lack of a better word) until the end of the finale, nor did we have any reason to suspect it. That's because the point wasn't "this is the afterlife." The point was, in part, basically to summarize and put a cap on the characters' long-running struggles and issues. As Kristin Dos Santos put it in one of the few comparatively intelligent things I've seen her write:

"They basically spent the entire sixth season in this place trying to 'let go' of their life's biggest regrets/issues. (Ben's guilt over killing his daughter Alex, Locke's crippling problems with his father, Jin and Sun's guilt over abandoning their daughter and not knowing if she's OK, Hurley's guilt over his money doing evil things, Sayid's desire to save Shannon/Nadia, Claire's guilt over planning to give away her baby, Jack's desire to forgive his father and break the cycle by becoming a good father himself, etc...)"

Anonymous said...

(cont.)
The flash-sideways story was a meta-memorial to the show, its characters, and their journey. When Jack asks why they all needed each other, and Christian says it's because they need to remember, and to let go, he's really talking about us as viewers. Because the church scene is so self-aware, it's hard to interpret it strictly as just another plot-based storyline in the show. The scene isn't there to tell us that everyone lived happily ever after in paradise (it doesn't even say anything like that, anyway), it's there for us to remember everything we went through with these characters and to say goodbye to them. When Christian says "let's find out" what happens next, he's talking just as much about us as viewers moving on with our lives now that this story is over. The fact that this message and idea is conveyed through what is technically the "afterlife" is incidental; the story ends with Jack dying on the island. The flash-sideways isn't there for the plot; it's there for us.

None of this is to say that I full-heartedly support or agree with the writers' decision to turn half of this year's episodes into a season-long retrospective. I think it probably looked a lot better on paper than it turned out. I think they spent way too much time on it; by this point, I've already seen Kate run from the marshal, Sawyer hunt for the man who killed his parents, Sayid pine over Nadia, and I'm over it. I rather would have spent that time on something that actually did matter to the plot, especially since what plot there was mostly involved the main characters sitting around waiting for something to happen or walking back and forth across the island.

That is the kind of problem people should have with the flash-sideways. The "AARRGH AFTERLIFE COP-OUT" line of complaint doesn't make sense to me, because it's getting caught up some mechanical detail that ultimately doesn't matter very much.

Of course, that's just the way I saw it, the way that made the most intrinsic and immediate sense to me. If you want to interpret it as Darlton saying "this is what happens when you die," that's your prerogative, but that's not particularly interesting or original. You say nothing that happened on the island mattered because they all had an escape hatch into paradise. I say that's reading against the text; paradise isn't mentioned once, even as a suggestion; no one knows what happens once the characters are enveloped by the light in the church. That's death, with all its mysteries intact; the "purgatory" world is just a loading screen.

Anonymous said...

Thanks FB for the great review. I was really looking forward to it and you didn't disappoint. You've expressed my frustrations with the finale and Season Six better than I could.

I could have done w/o the inter-Lost-fanbase warfare in the middle, but hey, it's your review so have at it.

Fishbiscuitland said...

The light in the church represents the ultimate destination of death, which they never show us. Even Christian doesn't know what it is. The flash-sideways is just a place between places, or a place between a place and the lack of place.

I'd characterize that as mawkish bullshit that means exactly nothing. No insult intended to you, but it sounds like nonsense. It's clear that the light is meant to be a good place, a place where they'll all be together forever. That's a very definitive description of "afterlife" and it's trite on all the levels I laid out in the review.

You're stuck on the "afterlife" aspect of the flash-sideways, which really isn't the point.

I disagree completely. It was the whole point. It was the only issue addressed in the final season. The writers admitted that themselves, as I quoted.

I don't have an issue with the concept of an afterlife, but what this ending did was diminish the most unknowable aspect of existence by turning it into another WTF.

Meanwhile, struggling to understand life is what WE ALL DO in this world. To throw up one's hands after six years and say "oh well all those mysteries didn't matter because life is ultimately unknowable" can't possibly be described as anything other than a cop out.

it's there for us to remember everything we went through with these characters and to say goodbye to them. When Christian says "let's find out" what happens next, he's talking just as much about us as viewers moving on with our lives now that this story is over.

It's interesting then that the choices they made for these characters reminded me of almost nothing that I had loved about them. It felt completely phony. Plus, I didn't need LOST to be holding my hand because I felt so sad it was ending. How condescending of the writers if that was their intention. Their responsibility was to write a great story, not to provide therapy for the audience who they decided would be bereft without LOST. That really smacks of the self importance these guys became afflicted with. They failed as storytellers. Saying it was all so they could comfort the audience is another cop out.

I rather would have spent that time on something that actually did matter to the plot, especially since what plot there was mostly involved the main characters sitting around waiting for something to happen or walking back and forth across the island.

Here I agree with you. In other words, they didn't write a story for their final act and they gave the characters nothing to do. It was all about waiting for the revelation of the WTF-afterlife.

You say nothing that happened on the island mattered because they all had an escape hatch into paradise. I say that's reading against the text; paradise isn't mentioned once, even as a suggestion;

It was more than suggested, it was in every aspect of the final scene. The blissed out smiles, the loving companions, the hugs and kisses. Were we to think they all stepped through the light and were separated there into sinners and saints? We were clearly left to believe that they paired up with the opposite sex (mostly) and then went into the warmest, most beautiful light (just like on the island) for some wonderful reward. If they intended any other interpretation, then they fucked up every visual, musical and acting cue possible.

Handsome Smitty said...

And I thought I was a sad, sarcastic, depressing fatalist son-of-a-prick! (that last twist of a clichéd female slap is a salute to your proud feminism)

You make me feel good about myself!!!

Seriously, even though your belief-system caused a disconnect for your from what Lost was really all about, you are...were the most entertaining poster of the Lost bloggers. And after J Woods and (please don't kick me) Doc Jensen, also the best overall!

Darlin', life ain't fair. Life don't teach us no lessons; we learn on our own. It's a long or short up-and-down ride.

That's why we find ways to make The End seem like something worthing waiting for, something that gives meaning to our long or short waits, our miseries and joys.

I hope for The End Lost presents. For a long time I have struggled with "payment" to be made by those that are clearly evil. But I finally came to the conclusion, as a parent, that I would give my children every do-over in the world I could for them to become good and expunge their evil tendencies (not that my six are bad to any extreme).

So God, if He/She/It exists, as a creator, a parent, can be no different. I think that the evil acts we commit get "paid for" at the end with the realization of just how wrong we were. Hence Ben sitting on the bench, still working out those issues....

Perhaps The End is all Darkness. Meaning is only get the most out of the long or short time we have. Nothing is wrong with that, either, I suppose.

PS: Gray did not have a 'finale' yet that I know of. A season finale, sure, but not The End. (Although I am about ready to give up on it...)

Fishbiscuitland said...

Darlin', life ain't fair. Life don't teach us no lessons; we learn on our own. It's a long or short up-and-down ride.

I think it's a major misconception that those of us who were disappointed with LOST expected the answers to life's lessons. Not hardly. All I expected, and all we were owed, was a great story. They failed in that mission. That's the bottom line.

Whether or not the Sideways presented a viable explanation of an afterlife is a secondary criticism of the overall lack of design and ingenuity behind the "story".

You have a personal image of God and an afterlife which makes sense to you, but not to me. You've decided arbitrarily that God represents the parent you'd most like to be. Fine for you, but there's no reason there's any universal truth hidden in your personal wish for what/who God should be.

Even so, if the writers had committed to the concept that LOST represented the passage from life to death - i.e. purgatory, as everyone guessed 5 years ago - that would have been a legitimate story structure to build a story around. Instead they chose to tack on some childish fantasy to a story that had for six seasons appeared to be about almost anything but. They never had the guts to commit to any vision for their story and just added on something peripheral and irrelevant - and unforgivably stupid - at the end.

I think the Anon poster who said this was Darlton comforting their "grieving" fans may have been onto something, but that idea only makes me hate it more. LOL, if that's possible.

NoOne said...

First off, fishbiscuit, many, many thanks for the outstanding LOST recaps that you've done over the years. I think I speak for numerous people when I say that I often learned more from the recaps than the episodes themselves.

I'm sure someone has mentioned the theory that I'm about to encapsulate. One way of rescuing LOST would be to have the entire show including Bullshitland be a fantasy in Jack's mind as he dies due to the plane crash. As he cannot bring himself to admit that he was a total failure in life AND in death, his mind constructs the story of LOST as a cop out. In this story, the island world represents a fantasy of how Jack died and Bullshitland represents a fantasy of how Jack thinks he's going to heaven. But in reality, and in a way that Ambrose Bierce would totally approve, Jack dies a miserable broken man in a plane crash somewhere in the South Pacific.

The complex story created by Jack's mind is a testament to his unfulfilled creative potential, but the misogny, the preponderance of blondes, the token non white and Southern characters all point to his childish, frustrated and stunted development.

Anonymous said...

What you meant to say was "I have hated this show from the beginning". What is astounding is the amount of time and energy you have wasted over the last 6 years watching and critiquing something you despise so much.

jakjonsun said...

Fishbiscuit -- you should try analyzing The Sopranos with the same intellectual rigor as you did with Lost. I know it's been over for a few year, but I really feel that everything we could possibly desire from Lost was actually present with The Sopranos.

It covers some deep and profound psychological and spiritual issues, which Lost ultimately failed to do.

For starters take a look back at The Test Dream and the coma dream. I've yet to read a thoughtful analysis (from either a Jungian or Freudian perspective) -- I'm sure you could provide one.

BTW Lost sucked big time

Fishbiscuitland said...

I'm thinking about a different direction to take the blog but won't decide until after a long break.

What you meant to say was "I have hated this show from the beginning".

If I meant to say that, then that's what I would have said, genius. I wonder if all shows are afflicted with as many assholes as LOST's fanbase has been.

Erikire said...

Fishbiscuit recaps were...

... a source of fun & wisdom,
Written by a gifted, full of charisma person,
Signifying a lot to many of us.


ADIOS!

Anonymous said...

"Jack was barely featured in the last few seasons. They had nothing interesting to say or do with him."

Season 4 was all about Jack vs Locke and the O6 storyline, which he was featured heavily in. Season 5 Jack/Ben were busy at the start rounding up the O6 and slow during the middle BUT kicked it into high gear with the Jughead storyline at the end. You can use "barely featured" with Jin/Sun but not Jack.

"I included the Time magazine quote to show how many people had come to believe that LOST was really a tale about all the characters, that it was groundbreaking in that it didn't hook itself to one protagonist."

LOST was never about ALL the characters. Because half the Main cast were basically reduced to background stand ins outside of their respective centric episode. While the other half were the characters that got to always be on the move. And Jack WAS the ONE protagonist that the show hooked into. The Jack character, from series start to finish, was involved or central to every single advancement to the overall/main story of LOST. That can't be said for the rest of the characters.

"Because it never did, not until this lame finale."

What was "Through The Looking Glass" than? That was a finale focused primarily on Jack, was it not?

"What makes it so shocking to me is they had YEARS to come up with a story that would have done justice to all the characters."

What was soo shocking??? Since the beginning of this show TPTB have shown time and time again that only half the "main" characters really mattered to the story. And in this final season and in "The End" I think for the most part( excluding Sawyer) those core characters showed up and they were justified.

Anonymous said...

All in all, a much better critique than the those that gave the finale marks it did not deserve.

I felt sad after almost every episode this last season, but still hoped for a miracle to save the story. The Lost writers it seemed got lazy. Like a socialist worker who's pay is guaranteed, the writers seem to have lost all inspiration for creativity. They had the fans in their pocket as well. So why work hard anymore?

They wasted time on a million silly things, but put zero thought and effort into telling a good story. I wonder how many people asked "Oh Jack why did you sign up for this?" The all important answer: "because I was meant to!"

Sometimes I wonder if it would be a fun exercise to have some sort of a competition for writing a better ending for Lost. But then the awful official ending won't change or go away. And the fact that the Lost writers didn't have a story to begin with leaves a bad taste in my mouth that I want to forget them and their lousy work.

Like many, I won't re-watch Lost again. I won't recommend it either. As fans, we were betrayed.

Thanks Fish for standing your ground and calling things by their names.

Fishbiscuitland said...

What was shocking to me was that they had all that time and wrote something so shallow and pointless. With this incredible cast and the potential to create a story about the human experience in all its beautiful variety, they chose to focus only on the obnoxious twat who was most like themselves - the privileged white male American.It wasn't a bad marketing ploy, necessarily, but it was disastrous on a creative level.

When I say Jack was barely featured, that's inaccurate, and you're right that if we want to see "barely featured" we should look at the Kwons who were kept around for no reason whatsoever.

In season 4 Jack pushed to leave the island and had his climactic argument with Locke - which was the end of Locke's story, for the most part. Since then, I'd say Jack has done virtually nothing. Yes, they managed to wedge him into most plot twists, but it wasn't organic. It was always done through fake contrivances or manipulations.

Jack becoming an addict had a dramatic integrity to it. But he recovered by magic, went back to the island by magic, then sat on his butt for a season until he decided the bomb was his destiny. Then he sat around for another season until it was time for him to save the day.

It was a crime to try and hinge such a sprawling drama on any one protagonist and that's part of why it failed so badly. He never was the protagonist for any meaningful reason. He was shoehorned into every plot point, as you say, but there was nothing organic about it - it was just the presumed primacy of the Great White Male Hero at work.

And in the process, all of the other characters were screwed over- Locke and Sawyer most of all, but also Kate, Sayid, the Kwons, and pretty much everyone else. Hurley seemed to get a lot of play in the final season, but I chalk that up to him being a geek fave. He was always a novelty character. The most interesting about him was the numbers, and of course they shat on that story along with all the other mysteries.

Sooze said...

Before the finale I was ready to buy the entire series on DVD so I could rewatch with my 11 year old daughter - who had never watched with me. Now I don't have any interest whatsoever. That says a lot - I was a diehard fan all the way to The End. After the first week I kept reading all the reviews from other bloggers...hoping their love for the finale would rub off on me and that it would grow on me. It hasn't. I just don't care anymore. Your Blog was the last one I was waiting for - and now I am done. Thanks Fish!

SockeRock said...

You hit the nail on the head with no Nadia and Helen. Locke was all, "Helen who?" so long as he could hold Jack's hand going into the light, and Sayid was the same about Nadia once he remembered his island bimbo.

Analyzing the flash sideways, I don't think it was originally intended to be Purgatory. I think like all the mysteries, Chip and Dale created it but had no ultimate clue what it was, so they settled for the easiest explanation they could come up with, like their answers to the whispers and Christian Shephard appearances being the Smoke Monster.

If this was really a world each one of them created why would Sayid have Nadia unhappily married to his brother? Why would Jin and Sun imagine themselves not married? Why would Jack imagine he's married to Juliet and they had a child together? And who imagined the Jack/Juliet thing? Did she also imagine she was married to Jack and they had a child? Just how did this creating Fakeville work? Same goes for Hawking, Widmore and Faraday. I could see her wanting to have Faraday because a musician and marrying Widmore, but what of Widmore and Faraday? Did they also imagine the same thing or were they unwilling victims in a world Hawking created for them?

Then there was Juliet supposedly being able to see into Fakeville as she was dying, proclaiming, "It worked" How could you see into a fake world you had yet to create when you die? How about Sun hitting her head and not being able to speak English like her Fakeville counterpart?

And what about the whole mirror thing?

It just doesn't add up to Fakeville being what Dorkington claimed it was in the end.

As for everyone in that church, they acted like brainwashed cult members. The Cult of Jack.

I say Fakeville was a world Jack imagined as he laid dying. Now that Jack is finally dead and out of the picture, do a movie that will undo the damage the Dorks did to Lost and hire different writers to end the show with some dignity.

Anonymous said...

"In what faith is the individual ego considered a viable path to salvation or nirvana or enlightenment?"

That sentence alone really says it all about the Lost finale. It really was all about Mr 110% Perfect Jack. Makes me wonder why they bothered to invest any considerable time in the other characters for so long. Pity they dumped on all of them and any of their originally interesting stories by the final season.

Fishbiscuit, thank you for your final Lost write-up. It's remarkable that you could still put all my feelings about the show into words and make it such an entertaining read, when the show ultimately failed to provide inspiration. Apart from appreciating your writing skills, one good thing has come out of this show. I have met several great friends online including you. Thankfully we won't have to wait until the next life Jacksus-style to remain in touch!

- Midnight

Anonymous said...

P.S. I'm sure we all have a bone to pick with Darlton but seriously, the numbers. They owe us. No way the numbers were always supposed to mean pretty much nothing. They just couldn't answer the question themselves. And that sucks!

Anonymous said...

Just adding ...I wasn't the Anonymous with the P.S. but I do agree with it. I suppose they never had any idea for what the numbers should mean.

- Midnight

Anonymous said...

I'd characterize that as mawkish bullshit that means exactly nothing. No insult intended to you, but it sounds like nonsense.

If it's nonsense, it's the same kind of nonsense that's been a part of the show since season two, at the latest ("I saw him when I was... between places."). The entirety of Lost was wonderful nonsense that somehow managed to mean something.

It's clear that the light is meant to be a good place, a place where they'll all be together forever.

You can interpret it however you like. If it spoke to you as something you hate, that's a shame, but I know what it meant to me, and it was nothing like you describe. Or maybe it was. The whole point is that we don't know, and can't know. I'm content to leave it there.

I disagree completely. It was the whole point. It was the only issue addressed in the final season. The writers admitted that themselves, as I quoted.

Damon and Carlton are a couple of yokels. They seem like guys who'd be cool to sit down and have a beer with, but I don't give a damn what they say about the show. What it means is what it means to me; I don't need them to interpret it for me.

The explanation for the flash-sideways is that it's "purgatory" (not exactly, but close enough). That is not the same as the reason it was in the story.

Meanwhile, struggling to understand life is what WE ALL DO in this world. To throw up one's hands after six years and say "oh well all those mysteries didn't matter because life is ultimately unknowable" can't possibly be described as anything other than a cop out.

That's why I specifically pointed out that I was talking about the finale, not the final season as a whole. Season six failed to do almost everything it should have done. I liked a lot of it, but overall, it sucked.

It's interesting then that the choices they made for these characters reminded me of almost nothing that I had loved about them. It felt completely phony.

I have been incapable of giving less of a fuck about the love triangle since season three, but apparently Sawyer+Kate was one of the show's biggest draws for you, so I can understand how you were disappointed. You were deluding yourself if you still thought it was going to happen, though. After Jack got Kate and then lost her in season four and Sawyer hooked up with Juliet out of the blue in season five, it was obvious Kate wasn't going to definitively end up with one or the other. You can't blame the finale for confirming what everyone should have seen coming since last year.

Anonymous said...

(cont.)
As for Sayid+Shannon, that made sense to me, too, or at least more sense than having Nadia at the church would have made. Sayid could never be with Nadia; their entire story is about how something was always separating them (including, ultimately, death), and how that separation drove Sayid to be the bad person that in his heart he really wasn't. He needed to let go of her, something he finally did on the island when he met Shannon. When Shannon died, he went back to Nadia, and back to his self-destruction. When he finally reunited with Shannon in the flash-sideways, however, he was able to let go of the woman whose love destroyed him and be with the one whose love completed him. Or something like that. I never thought the Sayid/Shannon relationship was particularly deep or interesting, but narratively it made sense.

Plus, I didn't need LOST to be holding my hand because I felt so sad it was ending. How condescending of the writers if that was their intention.

I can't imagine investing six years in these characters and their story and not being at least a little sad that that story was coming to an end. It's not like the end of a ten-page short story; Lost was a sprawling, 121-hour epic with a cast of dozens and a huge mythology. We were closing the door on that entire world, and I don't think there's anything condescending about Christian telling us that it's okay to remember the adventures we had there, but, as with all things, we still had to let it go.

It was all about waiting for the revelation of the WTF-afterlife.

No, it wasn't. The afterlife is entirely irrelevant to the plot of the show; it's more of an epilogue than a final chapter. The final chapter was about the destruction of the monster and the rekindling of the light.

It was more than suggested, it was in every aspect of the final scene. The blissed out smiles, the loving companions, the hugs and kisses. Were we to think they all stepped through the light and were separated there into sinners and saints?

Everyone was happy because they'd found each other again, and their journey was finally over. What happened to them next wasn't important; their joy was rooted in their moment of perfect completion.

Who said anything about sinners and saints? You're the one imposing specific religious interpretations. The church was just a place that made sense; the window with the various religious symbols was there to cue us in on the ultimate irrelevancy and limitedness of the Christian paraphernalia.

We were clearly left to believe that they paired up with the opposite sex (mostly) and then went into the warmest, most beautiful light (just like on the island) for some wonderful reward.

There is no reward mentioned in the show. That's a Judeo-Christian interpretation. Maybe that's what happened, maybe it isn't. Maybe they were reincarnated and began the whole cycle over again. Maybe they traveled to an actual parallel dimension and lived out new lives there. Maybe their consciousness were burned out in a final moment of ultimate bliss. What's the sense in being upset about an answer we can never know?

Anonymous said...

Good grief, this was a TV show for goodness sake. I am a LOSTie and have really enjoyed the series, including the finale. These comments seem to be mainly populated by FISH fans and it has been interesting to lurk and read. Obviously a lot of work and thought goes into the original posts. However, the venom directed at Darlton is really amazing. It’s their show. They ended it the way they wanted to. Watch and enjoy or don’t watch. The TV has always had an off button. BTW, I am not an idiot but am instead a doctoral candidate. It’s ok to watch for enjoyment not always ponder the mysteries of the universe. Again, a TV show.

Sheri said...

Fish - what a fantastic recap. I am with you on the destruction of my favorite character: Sawyer. And to have his and Kate's relationship ignored at the end really felt wrong.

I always had the feeling he was with Juliet because he had to be with SOMEone and Kate wasn't around...anyway.

Thanks for the excellent work on the recap - NOW the season is finally over.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Fish! Insightful as always! I'll miss these recaps

Anonymous said...

Fabulous review, you got the last word and it was spot on.

One correction, it was Jack Shafer who coined the phrase "a prom of the dead in a chapel of love where everybody is farting rainbows" about the finale - he had been arguing with Chadwick Matlin all season, pointing out that Lost had lost it, and Matlin finally saw this in the end:

http://www.slate.com/id/2242745/entry/2254778/

It's hard for me to single out anything you said, Ms. Fishbiscuitland, because I loved it all. Especially good was this:

"The ultimate denouement of this phallic fantasy was that the big hero man had to stick his rod back into the hole. Then the world was saved. And Jack was bathed in an orgasm of light."

Which brings us to the man who, instead of screaming at Kate, actually tried to understand her - Sawyer. "... in Season Four, fanboys everywhere rejoiced as Sawyer's hotness got sucked away and he was reincarnated as a neutered Deputy Dawg" and "It is common, and preferable, in Nerd Romance, that the female abjectly worship her mate. Strangely, though, Nerd Romance rarely features ... s.e.x." So true. Would someone in Hollywood with sense please cast Josh Holloway and Evangeline Lilly in something else so all that extraordinary chemistry doesn't go to waste? Unbelievable that these two were making all of the "best on TV" lists then were dropped in favor of a comic book hero sticking a stone in a hole after battling a smoke monster.

One thing, though, the Sawyer and Kate characters did get a plane ride off Jack's Island in the end. If it's all "open to interpretation" as the Lost show runners told us, then somewhere far, far away from Jack's rotting corpse, Sawyer and Kate are living it up together.

I also interpret the cheesy "prom of the dead in the chapel of love" nonsense accordingly (from the comments): "The complex story created by Jack's mind is a testament to his unfulfilled creative potential, but the misogny, the preponderance of blondes, the token non white and Southern characters all point to his childish, frustrated and stunted development."

Thanks again for a super recap, I enjoyed it tremendously. You're the best!

malaica said...

Thank you Fish, that was excellent. I also thought that the whispers explanation was horrible, but kept waiting for better stuff. I'm so stupid.

I don't think I'm hard to please. I even kind of liked Across the Sea (I thought the light could be explained scientifically, even if by enthusiastic physicists off screen. But the finale didn't support that kind of activity). Like many people I thought that no matter how Lost ended, I could still go back and watch the previous seasons and enjoy the wonderful story. But no. I watched the finale twice. After that I haven't watched any TV shows at all. I know it sounds silly, but watching serialized storytelling requires a certain amount of trust, and that's completely gone at the moment. I read books instead. And I'm planning to watch my Wire DVD's at some point (I've seen the end, it won't disappoint me).

I for one didn't watch Lost for the characters - if I did, I would've stopped long time ago. I was fascinated by the Island (the McGuffin). But as the recap points out, the end wasn't about mysteries, and it sure wasn't about characters. It was just really, really dumb. A big cliché, like the stories teenagers write. And I find it extremely sad that so many people like the idea that love and happiness can only be achieved after death.

For Fishbiscuit: thank you for all the amazing and insightful recaps! You're an excellent writer.

For the Anonymous who wrote that Lost kept her/him alive: thank you for sharing this. I'm so happy that you got back your will to live.

Fishbiscuitland said...

The entirety of Lost was wonderful nonsense that somehow managed to mean something.

No, wonderful nonsense would be Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, which I highly recommend. Lost always made a great pretense about meaning something but in the end it did nothing of the kind.

Damon and Carlton are a couple of yokels. They seem like guys who'd be cool to sit down and have a beer with, but I don't give a damn what they say about the show. What it means is what it means to me; I don't need them to interpret it for me.

Of all the infuriating groupthink of this fandom, this might be the most annoying. It's "their show" so they "ended it on their terms" but it doesn't matter what they intended? Sorry, that's trying to have it both ways. If it was all about them fulfilling their creative vision for their own product then they damn well had to have some kind of meaningful vision. I can't imagine saying it doesn't matter what Hitchcock intended one of his films to say or it doesn't matter what David Chase was trying to say with Sopranos. These guys have convinced you both that they have exclusive ownership over their product AND that they're passive bystanders in its creation. Pick one. It can't be both.

You were deluding yourself if you still thought it was going to happen, though....You can't blame the finale for confirming what everyone should have seen coming since last year.

Please don't pull this shit. I specifically said I found nothing I loved in any of the characters. Please read the essay. It took me a long time to write. I'm not responding to kneejerk misogynists who can't understand that a woman can appreciate the full product, even if she enjoys a particular love story within it.

Locke was dead. Kate, Claire, and all the women were NEVER DEVELOPED. Sun and Jin were grinning mannequins. Sawyer was a shell of his former greatness. Sayid was sitting next to a Playboy model instead of his true love. It was pure bullshit. It only reminded me of all the failed potential of this show on a character level. It gave me NOTHING as a fan of the characters. The only character that got any care and resolution was Jack. Whether or happy or sad about this fact, I don't see how you can argue the truth of it.

As for Sayid+Shannon, that made sense to me, too, or at least more sense than having Nadia at the church would have made. Sayid could never be with Nadia; their entire story is about how something was always separating them (including, ultimately, death),

This line shows me you're willing to swallow anything this show shovelled to you. Your description of Sayid/Nadia (couldn't be together, separated by death) could describe almost ALL the other Schmoopie couples sitting in that church. It was asinine, pure and simple. But you're clearly willing to justify absolutely anything you were given.

The bullshit ending of Sayid/Shannon was a mini-parallel of the Sawyer/Juliet ending. It showed that this is a generic Hollywood fantasy by typical hacks with a shallow view of love. They wrote their final story through polls, actor's availability and some condescending belief that they needed to smother the audience in treacle in order for them to feel "satisfied".

Fishbiscuitland said...

continuing....


Maybe that's what happened, maybe it isn't. Maybe they were reincarnated and began the whole cycle over again. Maybe they traveled to an actual parallel dimension and lived out new lives there. Maybe their consciousness were burned out in a final moment of ultimate bliss. What's the sense in being upset about an answer we can never know?

You're satisfied with a non answer to a show that was all about questions. You showed with your original link that you found this to be a brilliant strategy. I found it to be a world class COP OUT. It's cowardice, gutlessness, laziness.

How we define the afterlife is immaterial. The church of grinning idiots was meant to convey one thing : Happy Ending. Your description shows it was such a cheap, generic Happy Ending that we can all imagine exactly HOW happy they'd all be and why.

Sorry, in order to imagine anything, my imagination would have to be inspired. This finale, and this season, did the opposite. It showed that all along I'd been trusting in the creative vision of two guys who didn't have enough imagination to write a complete story. Instead, they trusted in apologists like yourself who were satisfied with just making up whatever you wanted in your own head. More power to you, but I don't NEED to love Lost so badly that I'm willing to buy into that kind of snow job.

Fishbiscuitland said...

BTW, to whom am I speaking when I respond to the Anon who thought answering no questions was a brilliant strategy? Can you identify yourself in some way please?

I decided not to send this final review to Doc Arzt's site. No offense intended to Jon, who was a good friend throughout. Since this is all over now, I've decided I'd rather just respond here on my own blog rather than deal with the abusive assholes that seem to have sadly infested his board as well.

i haven't spoken to Jon since the finale. The only person I've been in touch with has been Jeff Jensen, and I must say, it saddens me to realize that Lost's preeminent voice in the media was probably greatly responsible for the sense TPTB had that we were all so gullible, and so lacking in critical facility, that we'd swallow any lazy bullshit they bothered to throw at us. I notice as the weeks go by, the initial euphoria of fans who needed to believe has faded and the reality is setting in that we really were taken for a very long, and embarrassingly insulting, ride.

Anonymous said...

"Good grief, this was a TV show for goodness sake. I am a LOSTie and have really enjoyed the series, including the finale. However, the venom directed at Darlton is really amazing. It’s their show. They ended it the way they wanted to. Watch and enjoy or don’t watch. The TV has always had an off button. BTW, I am not an idiot but am instead a doctoral candidate. It’s ok to watch for enjoyment not always ponder the mysteries of the universe. Again, a TV show."

The problem with this argument is that it would have been totally fine NOT to ponder the mysteries of the universe. I really like the idea of 42 being an answer to the universe. That is funny and nonsensical and still involves 'deep thought' about the human condition. But Darlton didn't pull a Douglas Adams on us, as I had hoped until the last minute. Instead they had the terrible, terrible idea to actually try to EXPLAIN the universe to us: All the goodness in the world is contained in one Island, the Island is a cork, the smoke monster is the evil whateversomething that wants to destroy it, the Island has to be protected or it turns into Mordor and then sinks...blablabla. But you can't go and cramp Mount Doom into a time-traveling spaceship and then call it a good story. A witty and science-fiction-rigged plot is one thing. I love it, if it's done right. Amazing, world-saving pathos with vulcanoes and sacrifice is another thing. And I love it even more, if it's done right. But you can't start with a witty, intellectual approach and then end everything with your characters going to Valinor (and yes, that's a death-metaphor, too, I get it) with swan-shaped boats. I love both Douglas Adams and (even more!!) world-creating Tolkien, who is very religious in his writing style ("lo and behold" and stuff) as well as in his story, but you can't have both at one time. I am not into religion, not at all, but The Lord of the Rings is my favourite book and film of all times and thirty minutes into the finale I always cry like crazy, even if I don't like animal-shaped boats. But you have to develop such an ending and it must have had a place in your whole story. And what's more, the plot Darlton came up with was neither entertaining nor funny nor witty: It was dumb, embarrassingly stupid even, and made no sense with respect to almost every single detail we had seen before. The actions of the Others, of Jacob, of the smoke monster don't tie into the crappy plot-pile they came up with during season 06. I didn't feel entertained, I felt intellectually insulted. I just wanted a profound, solid ending, but I got rainbow farting instead. I wanted a good story, but I got fragmentary WTF-moments. And even fragmentary story-telling can be great, but only if you stay true to it. Like in Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail, when all the medieval knights are simply arrested by the police. But you can't have it all. All you have to decide what to do with the time that is given to you (hehe). And they just decided they wanted to hook as much people as long as possible. Quality? Plot? Style? Elegance? Irony? No, they just went for the money. I take witty sarcasm and NO answers any time over cheesy-religious and one-dimensional hero-saves-the-world-crap. If you are entertained by this, then I am sorry for you.
Our Skies

Anonymous said...

After The End aired I thought that it just wasn't my story after all. I remembered that it was told very very well for a few years, that I enjoyed it for a long time. Also, I was aware that there were millions of fans who could sell a family member just to be invited in a sobbing feast of that caliber once more. And my point here is not an insult, it is an observation - because I thought that in time I will be able to see what they saw. Not to share their perspective, but to understand it.


However, as a bit of time has went on, I actually feel not even indifferent anymore, I feel sickened to a degree. My first thoughts were only about how the finale does not appeal to me personally, but gradually I came to realize that that ending was very very bad in substance - storyteling and in almost every other possible way. You have laid out most of my arguments perfectly.
Thank you for letting me know that not every person out there kneels before the naked king =)

Though I do not think it is your most important point, it says a lot: "What about Claire's character arc? It's a collection of cutesy coincidences -She's Jack's sister! She's crazy like Rousseau! Only worse! - that ultimately went nowhere and meant nothing"

To add something: I think that nothingness (like snow globe) could have been much better than a bucket full of idiotic decisions they went for.

Thank you for your amazing texts and good luck =)

Nodecode

Anonymous said...

I have been enjoying this blog since the beginning but had never posted anything until now. As many of you, I was a great fan, and I feel like season 1 was the best show I have ever seen on TV. But the last two seasons have really disappointed me, and I truly can relate when you say: "It turns out it's not really much fun to hate on something that you once loved. It feels terrible actually."

For me, it wasnt't the finale itself. It was the realization that most of last season was useless. Even the island plots were mostly useless - either people were just moving and /or sitting around, or even when they showed us something presumably exciting, like the Temple, it just felt... disappointing. For me, it was lazy, as many have said. But it was also moving. I was moved by the end of it all, by the "reunions", by the very end when Jack dies and Vincent is by his side. But I was hoping for much more than that. It feels like the creators relied only on Terry's acting skills, a few twist and turns, make people get emotional, and hoped that most of us would be satisfied. I guess it worked out for them because most reviews were positive.

Anyway, I'm still bittersweet about the whole thing but starting to move on. I'm not feeling like it was a waste of time being a fan until the end, but it is painful to think how great it once was. Just wanted to give you my congratulations for all of the effort you have been putting into Fishbiscuiland. I really enjoyed the ride.

-Cat

Jo Thornley said...

Hey Fishbiscuit,

Love your posts, they're very insightful, and I think you're a great writer!

I don't think I hated the finale quite as much as you did, although there were a few things that disappointed me. (Well, other than Sun & Jin's death... I can't seem to get over that one...)

Right after I finished watching it, I remember thinking:
WTF WAS THAT?!?!? Seriously? That's how it ends? That's life?!? You wait until you die so that you can be with your "True Love", your "Soul Mate"? Doesn't matter how you actually LIVE your life, it only matters when you DIE! So I took it as a "How not to live" thing.

But then I started thinking a bit more about it, and I concluded this: It's about Jack.

Not just "about" Jack in the way that he's the perfect, flawless, heroic protagonist, but in the sense that the last scene, at least, is ONLY about Jack. The whole last season is ONLY about Jack.

The "purgatory" (for lack of a better word) wasn't created by Sun or Jin's life experiences, or Kate's, or Sawyer's, or Hurley's, or so on. The "puratory" was Jack's, and Jack's alone.

Kate was the love of Jack's life, more so than Juliet or Sarah, and therefore when he died, it was her sitting next to him. Jack never really knew Nadia, or Helen, so if he imagined Sayid and Locke with someone, he saw Sayid translating Rousseau's maps with Shannon, and Locke by himself, hunting boar in the forest.

I am not saying this because I absolutely love Kate and Sawyer's story, and because I am SO disappointed they completely ignored it, but say that Sawyer was the person Kate loved most, the "love of her life". When SHE died, she would be sitting next to Sawyer in that church. And perhaps Sawyer would be with her, too, when he died. But the Sawyer Jack knew when he lay on the island, watching the plane fly overhead, was still pinning over Juliet. I'd like to think that maybe Kate and Sawyer did get together somewhere back in the real world, but the Kate that Jack remembers says she loves him, and the Sawyer Jack remembers will always be with Juliet.

That doesn't make up for the slightly lazy ending, I was definitely hoping for something more than Jack's memories all having a family reunion in some church, but it's over, and I'm okay with letting it go.

Thanks again for all your insights, Fish.

Oh yeah, and just so y'all know, I really don't like Jack much, this is just how I interpret the finale... :-)

Island Boy said...

I have been an avid reader of your recaps for a few years, and I have to say that the extent of the disappointment and frustration I am left with, even though you have magnificently expressed your outrage, only faintly begins to capture the outrage I feel by this betrayal of my (our) devotion to this show. To have built this marvelously intricate storyline of mystery and myth, intrigue, fantasy, character and coincidence, and then to go on to totally and irrevocably blowing it all is a crime, a misdeed, a sin I cannot forgive. The fraud perpetrated upon us here should not be left to rest. The island isn’t finished with us yet.

SockeRock said...

Nodecode, in retrospect the ending seems like the final chuckle on the viewers. Darlton liked to belittle the fans and make fun of them, so this was their final ultimate making fun of viewers that actually had faith against all hope that these two idiots could pull it all together in the end.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. And they fooled all the viewers that stuck in with this show more than twice.

I was sickened the moment it ended, wondering how they could pass of that piece of crap as a satisfying ending in any form. I stopped hoping for any answers to the mysteries...nay, I dreaded the lame crap answers they'd pass off, so I didn't want these two idiots to try and answer anything. I just wanted a good ending for the characters and there wasn't. We don't know what happened to the surviving characters once they left the island. All we know is flipper flopped on his side like a beached-whale and closed his eye, and before this sucker finally croaked, he had some ego-maniacal fantasy of the after life where no one could go into the after life unless he was there to go with them.

I'm sorry, but Jack was not more important to Jin and Sun then their child, and they gladly abandoned their child because being together meant more to them, so if they were together, they wouldn't have been waiting around for Jack. Fakeville being Jack's ultimate wet dream is the only thing that makes sense. Jack didn't know Nadia, but he did Shannon, so Shannon was Sayid's true love. Jack didn't know Helen, so, of course, Jack made himself Locke's true love. And we even got a geek fantasy of the fat boy getting a hot chick thrown in for window dressing.

The sad thing is even Jack didn't get true character justice, because the character of Jack died for all intents and purposes when he hooked up with Ben Linus in the season 4 finale. I never bought Jack as man of faith. The writing wasn't there. They didn't even give any real in-depth resolution to his relationship with his father, which we had shoved down our throats ad nauseam. Jack didn't get his ultimate hero's ending, Jocke did. They killed off both Jack and Locke and turned Jack into Jocke and Locke into Smocke, but Jack Shephard was just as dead as Locke was by the end of season 4. They both stopped being the characters they were originally and became pods played by the same actors.

I remember the two idiots proclaiming at the end of season 4, that the finale was like a pilot for a new show, and they were right. After season 4 Lost was never really Lost again. That's for me the show ended as season 4 and the final two seasons was some badly written fan fiction by these two idiots.

As for the finale, it was a badly written parody. We had the smaltzy melodramatic music as someone remembered their rebound chick [or in Jin/Sun's case the child they rejected for each other.] We had Kate's choice: "I love you, Jack, bye! Try not to bleed to death." We had that silly slow-mo leap into the air when the idiot wasn't even near Locke. We had Kate's line, "I save a bullet for you." Which was probably the poor man's version of, "Asta la vista, baby." And then the "Aw, Vincent went to lay by Jack, so Jack won't die alone." Just try not to remember that that dog didn't go anywhere near Jack when Jack was alive and Jack had no relationship with Vincent. So, it wasn't really that aw after all.

I can literally picture those two idiots laughing their heads off as they made this finale as bad as they could, saying, "Lost fans are idiots. Let's see if they think this is great?" And a lot of the fans did, which probably had the two morons laughing even harder.

SockeRock said...

(continued, sorry)


I think the thing that made me mad was they didn't even try to write a decent ending to this show. Instead they gave all the loyal fans that stayed with them through whatever garbage they came up with the middle finger in thanks for the loyalty they showed to them and their show. Instead of being grateful for their loyalty, they spit on them and revealed the contempt they felt for them. And you just don't treat people like that. It's not right.

And the really sad thing is there are a lot of people that still don't get their idols feel nothing but contempt for them, because the ending was a giant F U to the viewers that watched this show.

Jacque LaRue said...

No, wonderful nonsense would be Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, which I highly recommend.

My favorite book is The Truth, and my favorite character is Death.

Lost always made a great pretense about meaning something but in the end it did nothing of the kind.

I'm sorry you feel that way, especially after all the time you invested in it, but it did mean something to me, and it seems like for a long time it meant something to you, too. There was a smoke monster, a time-traveling Scottish man, a frozen wheel that teleported a landmass anchored to the seafloor, women who remained beautiful despite a lack of cosmetics and basic sanitation, and a hero who broke down and cried every other episode. Silliness abounded throughout the first five seasons but it was still beautiful and poignant. You know, somebody a whole lot smarter than anybody here once said, "Lost just has an ideal amount of seriousness."

Of all the infuriating groupthink of this fandom, this might be the most annoying. It's "their show" so they "ended it on their terms" but it doesn't matter what they intended? Sorry, that's trying to have it both ways.

I never said anything about it being their show. It's my show; what they say about it doesn't mean squat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentional_fallacy

Please don't pull this shit. I specifically said I found nothing I loved in any of the characters.

And I addressed two of the ones you talked about the most. Anyway, my point still stands. The love triangle was dead in the water. You can't blame the finale for not suddenly putting Kate and Sawyer together out of nowhere.

I'm not responding to kneejerk misogynists who can't understand that a woman can appreciate the full product, even if she enjoys a particular love story within it.

Really, that's the route you want to go with this? I never said anything about you being a woman or being unable to appreciate the story, especially not in any context that would imply a connection between the two. Oh, but it must have been subtext, right? Anyone who doesn't care about "Skate" is a misogynist nerd with no understanding of romance.

Locke was dead. Kate, Claire, and all the women were NEVER DEVELOPED. Sun and Jin were grinning mannequins. Sawyer was a shell of his former greatness. Sayid was sitting next to a Playboy model instead of his true love.

Locke had been dead for a season and a half. What did you want?

Claire and Sawyer were criminally underutilized this entire season, yeah. Sun and Jin have basically been nothing more than props for the past two seasons, and they were already dead by the finale so I'm not sure what kind of role you wanted them to play. Sayid hooked up with an American blonde, so yeah, obviously there's some kind of White Man's Fetishist Conspiracy going on here.

Anonymous said...

Fish, is there a way that I can contact you directly? I'm assuming that you're moderating the comments & I'd like you not to post this inquiry. I don't know if you're ableto see my contact info. I've posted a few times here this season, and I'm not a fanboy or flamer.

Jacque LaRue said...

(cont.)
It was asinine, pure and simple. But you're clearly willing to justify absolutely anything you were given.

You're right, I've obviously got Darlton's collective dick so far down my throat I've barely been able to articulate my increasing frustration and disillusionment with the show over the past three seasons. I hated the heavy-handed retcons in "Cabin Fever" and the unimaginative, inconsistent Oceanic 6 storyline, I hated the needless continuity errors in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" and the gratuitous DHARMA arc, I hated how all the main characters were sidelined in season six so the plot could focus on two new characters we were never given a reason to care about, but I liked the finale and it made sense to me and I can articulate why it made sense to me, so obviously I'm just some apologist Darlton fanboy who'll jump through hoops to be satisfied with shit. Here's some food for thought: I'm a guy and my favorite character is Jack. Does that invalidate my opinion any further?

You're satisfied with a non answer to a show that was all about questions. You showed with your original link that you found this to be a brilliant strategy.

So if they say what the light is, they're demystifying death, but if they leave it up to interpretation, it's cowardly, gutless, and lazy?

I also clarified later that while I agree with that essay in spirit, I also think the show should have answered more questions. Not all of them, necessarily, but more than it did, and not in the lazy, condescending way the whispers were explained.

How we define the afterlife is immaterial. The church of grinning idiots was meant to convey one thing : Happy Ending.

It was more emotionally fulfilling than happy. I don't think the hero dying alone really qualifies as a happy ending.

Sorry, in order to imagine anything, my imagination would have to be inspired. This finale, and this season, did the opposite. It showed that all along I'd been trusting in the creative vision of two guys who didn't have enough imagination to write a complete story.

I understand that your beef is with the final season as a whole, but I don't understand why you keep bringing it up in your replies to me. I've pointed out multiple times that I was just as disappointed in season six as you were, and I've only been defending the final episode, not the season as a whole.

BTW, to whom am I speaking when I respond to the Anon who thought answering no questions was a brilliant strategy? Can you identify yourself in some way please?

Okay, from now on I will be known as Jacque LaRue.

Fishbiscuitland said...

Thanks for identifying yourself, Jacque. Jack Street - interesting tag.

Silliness abounded throughout the first five seasons but it was still beautiful and poignant. You know, somebody a whole lot smarter than anybody here once said, "Lost just has an ideal amount of seriousness."

What makes him smarter than anybody here? It's one person's judgment that Lost has an "ideal" amount of seriousness. A person's individual opinion is not evidence of intelligence, sorry.

Lost did mean something to me, back when it still seemed like a beautiful puzzle we'd someday get to appreciate in its entirety. But falling flat on one's face and calling it genius isn't "meaningful". It's an excuse for blatant, shameless stupidity.

Really, that's the route you want to go with this? ... Anyone who doesn't care about "Skate" is a misogynist nerd with no understanding of romance.

You admitted yourself all the characters got screwed. So why are you accusing me of hating the finale merely because Sawyer and Kate were also screwed over? You made my point for me, then tried to undermine it by implying my dissatisfaction was entirely due to one thing among many.

And yes, that's exactly how the ugly misogynists in this crowd, and in the writers room I'm guessing, convinced themselves they could shit on this story. I'm sorry to take it out on you, because you are at least attempting civil discussion, but these writers were emotionally tone deaf geeks whose disregard for and disrespect for women was never far from the surface.

I laid out why Nerd Romance is unsatisfactory to anyone who truly enjoys romance. I realize geeks are satisfied with any denouement where ugly men get pretty girls and really hot men like Sawyer don't get any validation. It's part of geek wish fulfillment - part of what the writers were counting on to keep the audience placated.

Unfortunately, they forgot to account for the fact that most geeks in the audience were also rabid fans of the mysteries. If anything, the geek contingent is probably the MOST pissed off segment of the audience. Like I said, Darlton better never go anywhere near a Comic Con if they want to keep their self respect intact.

Fishbiscuitland said...

I also want to thank everyone who has enjoyed these recaps. I'm glad there's at least one place that all the disappointed and disaffected fans can vent about this shit without being subjected to insults and abuse.

Fishbiscuitland said...

Fish, is there a way that I can contact you directly?

Anyone can email me at fishbiscuit_land@yahoo.com

Fishbiscuitland said...

Here's some food for thought: I'm a guy and my favorite character is Jack. Does that invalidate my opinion any further?

It doesn't invalidate your opinion but it does explain why you were able to enjoy the finale. I would be surprised if many Jack fans disliked a finale that was all about him - kissing his ass, washing his balls and nailing a halo to his head, as I said.

Unfortunately, as the TIME article expressed, many of us had different expectations for a story that once promised to be an homage to the universal human spirit. Not just another hymn to privilged white manhood.

I don't think the hero dying alone really qualifies as a happy ending.

Sure it does. All Jack ever wanted was to be a hero. He got that and more, then was instantaneously assumed into heaven. That's not just happy, it's ecstatic.

All the other characters on the other hand either died ignominiously and waited for Jack to join them, or lived hollow loveless lives until they could finally be happy again in Jack's heaven.

I stand by my points. This was a joyless story that posited the idea that LIFE means nothing (unless you're Jack) and we will all get our eternal reward in some child's version of happily ever after. When we're dead. It was gruesomely depressing if you spare it a thought. But I don't think the writers really did. There's no reason we in the audience should have to do their thinking for them and justify their garbage for them after the fact. They had their chance and they blew it.

Anonymous said...

A-fucking-men. And thanks for writing that for all of us other betrayed fans. I really hope Darlton have the courtesy to feel ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

"I really hope Darlton have the courtesy to feel ashamed of themselves."

I wonder if THEY'll ever be able to rewatch the whole series.

Rob said...

For the past few years, whenever I would admit I was a LOST junkie, more than one person would roll their eyes and say, "you know that show is just BS don't you?"

And I would attempt to argue it was more than BS. That the show did have a wonderful, yet unknown, literary point. And they would look at me like I was a fool.

You captured perfectly why the final season disappointed me.

I was wrong too.

Jacque LaRue said...

What makes him smarter than anybody here?

Inside joke.

By "anybody here" I was including myself, btw.

You admitted yourself all the characters got screwed. So why are you accusing me of hating the finale merely because Sawyer and Kate were also screwed over?

The only characters who got screwed in the finale were Sawyer and Claire. I was completely satisfied with what everyone else got to do. For the rest of the season, yeah: fuck that.

I'm not accusing you of anything. Sawyer/Kate was one issue you brought up that I responded to. At the same time I responded to your issue with Sayid/Shannon even more in depth, and later responded to your issues with the other characters. I understand that Sawyer/Kate wasn't your only problem with the finale and I never meant to imply it was.

I realize geeks are satisfied with any denouement where ugly men get pretty girls and really hot men like Sawyer don't get any validation.

Are you talking about Jack? Even if I didn't like him, I'd be hard-pressed to call him ugly. He's a handsome fella. Not beautiful like Sawyer, obviously, but come on.

I would be surprised if many Jack fans disliked a finale that was all about him - kissing his ass, washing his balls and nailing a halo to his head, as I said. ... All Jack ever wanted was to be a hero. He got that and more, then was instantaneously assumed into heaven. That's not just happy, it's ecstatic.

All the other characters on the other hand either died ignominiously and waited for Jack to join them, or lived hollow loveless lives until they could finally be happy again in Jack's heaven.

... This was a joyless story that posited the idea that LIFE means nothing (unless you're Jack) and we will all get our eternal reward in some child's version of happily ever after. When we're dead. It was gruesomely depressing if you spare it a thought.


See, I knew I shouldn't have even brought that up, because this would just turn into a Jackusation clusterfuck. Listen: I like Jack, you don't. I get it. I don't need to read any more non sequitur rants on white male privilege. Jack was set up as the hero of the show from day one. Even if I absolutely detested the character, I couldn't cry foul on his role in the show's endgame, because it was a role the narrative decreed he was always going to play. Yes, Lost was more than just The Jack Show. For a long time, it was at the very least The Jack & Locke Show, or The Jack-Locke-Kate-Sawyer Comedy Hour. But Jack was always the de facto main character, and we both know it.

I already explained why I don't buy your interpretation of the ending. If Jack-centric paradise is what you want to go with, more power to you, but I think it's uninteresting and simplistic and meaningless and lame, and if that's what I thought they were going for, I'd hate it as much as you do. I don't deny that the last couple seasons of Lost were frequently a shallow reflection of what the show once was, but I found "The End" deeply meaningful, for personal reasons as well as artistic ones. I'm sorry you didn't find what you were looking for, but you can't tell me there's nothing to be found.

Fishbiscuitland said...

The only characters who got screwed in the finale were Sawyer and Claire.

And Locke, who had no role to play at all other than waking up and realizing Jack was magnificent.

And Sayid, whose entire story was invalidated with the shallow Shannon nonsense.

And Sun and Jin, who hadn't had a story in 3 years and whose daughter meant less to them than St. Jack.

You don't have to agree.Clearly you don't. I'm not indicting you for loving Jack. But this?

I don't need to read any more non sequitur rants on white male privilege.

Calling it a rant is another fine way to dismiss a valid criticism of Lost that I've read from many others - though strangely not from any privileged white males.

Were we all fools for not realizing we were watching the Jack is Great Show? Sure, in retrospect. But I'm hardly the only one who felt that way, just one who was willing to stand up and say out loud how offensive and uncreative I found it.

you can't tell me there's nothing to be found.

No I can't. I can just say that for ME, who has no motivation to fanwank mediocrity into greatness, there was NOTHING to be found. And clearly I'm not alone, as you fully realize. I am not lying when I say I have yet to speak to one person (offline) who didn't loathe this finale and feel insulted and disappointed by it.

Kaitlin said...

THANK YOU!!!! You have described exactly how I feel. Actually you have all this season.
I'm embarrassed to have invested so much in this show. To have watched every episode multiple times.
I attempted to rewatch the series before season 6 and you know how far I got? Through season three. And suddenly it just wasn't interesting anymore. It was sloppy. And this season was the sloppiest of all.
Thank you for writing this and being such a fantastic recapper. I've read everything you wrote, I just didn't reply much at all. But you've always voiced my thoughts and opinions and I guess it was why I wanted to read your final opinions so badly. And you didn't disappoint. And it almost brings me comfort to know someone else feels exactly the same way about the end and all of it.

Anonymous said...

I have been a major flag-waver trying to justify why the lost ending was actually ok. I tried really hard over the last month to pretend I wasn't disappointed in that finale, but with your therapeutic recap help I can finally face it for what it is. I knew when we saw that cave of light we were in big trouble for the finale. I'll just pretend season 6 didn't happen. I still think the first three seasons are worth rewatching, but a non-ending would have been better than the poor resolution they came up with.

My only words for the finale now, were used a long time ago by Johnny "Rotten" Lydon.
"Ha, ha, ha. Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

Anonymous said...

Fish, I don't think I've ever seen you debate for so long with anybody, but often I don't read many of the comments because its just haters and then that one chick worthlessly defending you with garbage slogans about your greatness (you're recaps ARE great, but the sloganeering she does is silly and only feeds the hate).

I think Jacque makes some good points, but he's really playing both sides of the field - admitting to all the problems with everything and yet explaining that to redeem some of it with his finale interpretation. I'll admit to being very effectively emotionally manipulated in the finale, but only because I wanted to be. I'd kind of given up on a quality ending which really gave the writers a real advantage - I expected something poor and inadequate, and they diverted me with that awesome score and riviting landscapes and battles on clifftop in the rain (did you see that awesome thing where they gave Jack and Locke lightsabers - OMG why didn't Darlton think of that - it could have turned out that jacob and his mother were distant padawans of Qui-Gon Jinn!).

Hehe, I've really enjoyed the conversation here. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

My mother, who had smartly stopped watching the show back in Season 5 when she realized the characters were becoming hollow versions of their former selves and motivations on this show change with the wind as long as it moves the plot in the director TPTB want, came to me after the finale and simply said "I'm sorry".

That's when it hit me. The show will never be the same for me. Not just the finale, but the last 2 seasons were so terrible and LAZY that the show has genuinely been ruined for me.

I feel embarrassed when I think of all the times I defended LOST and tried to get others to watch. I feel regretful that I wasted so many years on this show, on these characters, on this story. I feel ashamed that I actually had faith the ending would make me FEEL something for lost again and bring everything together in a coherent manner.

I didn't expect the finale to blow my mind. The last two seasons were too crappy for me to ever hope for that. But I did believe I'd at least be satisfied, especially with the characters' arcs.
I NEVER expected to hate it as much as I do. To be this disgusted with something I once loved so dearly. And yes Fish, this feels god damned awful.

JThom said...

Fish, I have enjoyed your reviews for years and thank you for taking the time to write one final one for a show you so clearly despise at this point.

I browsed the comments and saw the recent one where you said the fans who initially wanted to like the finale were more disappointed now that the euphoria wore off. I hope the opposite is true for you. Not with the finale, which was pretty bad, but with the series and particularly the first few seasons.

After watching "Through the Looking Glass" for the first time, I said that would have been a brilliant ending to the series. All my friends disagreed with me citing all the unanswered questions. Looking back, obviously many wish the series had ended at that point and I think Darlton felt that way to some extent. As evidence of this, I submit that the finale was basically an exercise in nostalgia. The "reunions" were emotional for purely nostalgic reasons. Claire's birth was emotional but only because it was more so the first time. So if you look at the finale as nothing but a glorified clip show, it holds up.

I disagree that the series was all about Jack. The problem was that most of the other characters' journeys had been long over. Jin and Sun's journey was over before they separated when they both forgave each other and began to trust one another. When he jumped out of that helicopter, Sawyer's journey was all but complete. He, along with Locke, became a leader on the island afterwards, and his relationship with Juliet just provided confirmation of his responsibility. Locke may have been right in TTLG and, as Jeremy Bentham, willing to die tragically (rather than heroically) for the island. Now I will admit, some characters were short-changed (Claire, Sayid). But how can we say that the writers hadn't already done all they could do with Sawyer, Locke, Sun & Jin, Desmond, Charlie, etc. The problem was that the character stayed on the show after his or her (you're right, usually his) journey was over.

Ben was the only character to take any meaningful steps toward redemption in season 6 and his scene with Illana in Dr. Linus was probably my favorite of the year.

And you're also right that it was because they had to wait on Jack. Jack's journey was contrived and soulless but it had been set up that way ever since TTLG when he first wanted to "go back!" They could have ended the show there but I guess I'm happy they didn't and I got to see "The Constant" "There's No Place Like Home" "Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" "Lafleur" and "Dr. Linus"

The "schmoopiness" was overdone but it did give us a bit of nostalgia for when the show was consistently good. Try not to think too hard about the rest - they didn't.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the cathartic voice to my feelings about the finale and the whole experience in general. I don't think I'll ever again watch a show like this in real time. It's DVD's and only after the whole series is over and highly acclaimed. Thanks again for all your recaps over the years.

Fishbiscuitland said...

After watching "Through the Looking Glass" for the first time, I said that would have been a brilliant ending to the series. All my friends disagreed with me citing all the unanswered questions. Looking back, obviously many wish the series had ended at that point and I think Darlton felt that way to some extent.

I think this is true. I also had the idea that the final scene of TTLG would be the ending and they'd show us how they got there. It could have been brilliant. I saw where Scott Mendelsson felt the same way.

I hope you're right that someday we can go back and enjoy the first 3 seasons again. Doesn't feel that way right now but maybe time heals all wounds.

Kimberley L. M. said...

I was a disappointed Skater at first, but to be honest, after I went back and rewatched it, I realised that it was quite a beautiful ending to the show after all. I don't mind it ending with Jack because he was presented as the main character from the start; it started with him and it makes sense that it would end with him. And he got the ending that I always thought would be the most fitting for him: he laid down his life for his friends and saved the day. I think Damon made good on his "Harry Potter Must Die" grandiosity in the end. Yes, your points about the great white male hero and while male privilege are spot on, but this is a problematic trope that has pervaded mainstream American TV shows for a while now and whilst LOST has been progressive and original in some aspects it is still very conventional in others. LOST is a show that future screenwriters and producers will be looking back on for examples on what to do and what NOT to do. We can only hope that the problems with Jack's character, the race!fail and sexism will serve as warnings and lessons to the future generation.

I think that the Jate and Suliet endgames were total retcons and cop outs, but it was clear that Darlton were simply pandering to the huge Suliet fanbase at the end. Hey, at least think of it this way: Skate only failed because of Sawyer and Juliet, not Jack and Kate, a pairing that I think remained stale and unappealing until the very end. Many people became default Jaters simply because they wanted Sawyer/Juliet. It's a shame, and I think the complexity of all the romantic relationships that was built up during five whole seasons was completely dismissed, but in the end I can't really slam the finale as a failure just because my favourite couple didn't end up together. It was very flawed and not at all what I had been expecting or hoping for, but I still found it uplifting, emotional, spiritual and an overall heartfelt send off to quite possibly the greatest series I have ever watched.

Oh, and I'm pissed that we didn't see Vincent at the church. Did Darlton not get the memo that all dogs go to heaven?! ;)

butterfly-kate said...

Thank you for this Fish. This is just what I needed to read to put this series to bed at last.

Thank you also for keeping the board open. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts on new and exciting shows in the future - I hope you'll find something to post about here too.

-- Butterfly_Kate

Cristiane said...

The biggest mistake of LOST was to sacrifice Locke because of a smoke monster and Jack.

The second biggest mistake was to sacrifice Juliet because of Sawyer.

The two best characters they created were Locke and Juliet.

Locke had a fascinating connection with the island. Juliet was the only character part of all the groups. An Other, a Lostie, a Dharma Initiative member.

Both had this calm way of seeing things and used to be on their very own journey.

Through Locke and Juliet the writers had the potential to explore all the mysteries they have created to keep the audience watching (which didn't work very well).

Locke's communion and curiosity with Juliet being connected with the 3 groups could lead to many interesting ways of exploring the island and both characters. The two most compelling they have created.

The third biggest mistake was to make the last season all about Jack and forget about everyone and everything else.

In this last season, LOST wasn't about characters, it wasn't about the island. It was about Jack.

The real believer was dead. The only scientist who was part of the Others, Dharma and the Losties was dead.

A huge mistake. If Locke and Juliet were part of the last season on the island and their uniqueness was fully explored to connect the mysteries and develop all the characters, the last season would had been great.

SockeRock said...

I've actually started watching a show on NBC called Persons Unknown. It's kind of a bit like Lost. All these people were kidnapped and brought to a strange motel, and they have something implanted in them to knock them out if they try to leave.

It's a show that's only running this summer and the answers will be given at the end of summer.

Fishbiscuitland said...

The biggest mistake of LOST was to sacrifice Locke because of a smoke monster and Jack.

The second biggest mistake was to sacrifice Juliet because of Sawyer.


Just one great example of how they squandered the story's potential in order to make it all about King Jack.

My idea was always that ALL the characters needed to be integral, equally vibrant parts of the story. That's the only way a message of "live together" could ever have had any meaning. The minute they latched on to Jack they sacrificed their chance to write a truly great story with any kind of universal message.

I realize the series started with the default hero being Jack, but I had honestly thought they'd amended that predictable plan once they began to write their real story. No such luck obviously.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing the recap, Fish. I don't imagine this was much fun for you. You were alway Lost's most Artful Digger, rummaging through the wealth of images and allusions and coming up with something fresh and insightful. It's terrible to realize now that all of those things that seemed so multifaceted, so portentous, and so lovingly planted for the canny viewer--the books, the names, the numbers, the precrash coincidences--ultimately meant nothing. I don't think your earlier recaps were wasted, though; they'll always be worth rereading, even if the show wasn't worthy of them. I like to think you did this last review more for us than for yourself--to think that you cared more about your audience than D&C did.

I started worrying about the show back in season 4. So little seemed to be happening. Same in season 5. I kept hoping even into season 6. After the Temple longueurs I finally admitted to myself that the mysteries weren't going to be wrapped up in any satisfying way. But I went on hoping that the character stories might be. I never expected an ending to the character stories that would have fit "Seventh Heaven" just as well--better, really.

I don't have anything to add to your critique. I think this final recap and your piece from a few years ago about "The Lost Women of Lost" are the best indictments of the series as a whole. I wish I knew what happened. I wish I knew how a story that started so well, that seemed to have so many fascinating characters, such potential, and such richness--and playfulness!--in its smallest details ended up as a cheese fest of pretty pairings and buttery light. But I'm glad I had your recaps and your insight to keep me amused along the way.

Thanks again,

lizziefitz

Jacque LaRue said...

And Locke, who had no role to play at all other than waking up and realizing Jack was magnificent.

And Sayid, whose entire story was invalidated with the shallow Shannon nonsense.

And Sun and Jin, who hadn't had a story in 3 years and whose daughter meant less to them than St. Jack.


All these characters died before the finale. What kind of role were you expecting them to have? Jin and Sun's nonexistent storyline had nothing to do with Jack. When did they even talk about him?

Calling it a rant is another fine way to dismiss a valid criticism of Lost that I've read from many others - though strangely not from any privileged white males.

I read your point and I understood it and I think it has its place in criticism, but it's not anything I'm talking about or have any interest in talking about. I'm interested in textual analysis, not race studies or feminist criticism. It's a shame that a show with such a diverse cast ultimately killed off or minimized so many of its non-white characters, but it doesn't offend me, I don't think there's any conspiracy behind it, and frankly I find your little catchphrases like "Great White Hero" pretty silly and irrelevant. You throw that term around as if it means something, but you never define it; it's just a derogatory cheap shot that's vague to the point of meaninglessness. Really, it just comes off like you're saying "Jack sucks because of X, and as if that wasn't enough, he's white too!"

And so what if he is? So are Locke, Kate, Sawyer, and Ben, who I would describe as the show's next most central characters. So is Jacob, the show's stand-in for God, and the Man in Black, the show's stand-in for Satan. All of the show's most important characters are white, and most of them are men, so why do you only hold it against Jack? Because he's the hero, or because he's the hero and you think he's a douche? Why bother bringing it up at all if you're not going to talk about it in any more depth than "and he's white, too!"?

I can just say that for ME, who has no motivation to fanwank mediocrity into greatness, there was NOTHING to be found.

You do realize how insulting and belittling that is, right? You're essentially telling me, "You're entitled to your opinion, I just want you to know that it's wrong and stupid." I'm not fanwanking anything and I'm not asking anyone else to. (In fact, I've called out countless people in the past for pulling connections out of thin air and then acting as if they were directly supported by the show. Just call a plot hole a plot hole; no sense trying to be cute about it.) Everything I've said about the finale and thought about the finale comes from the finale. It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal. Your reading is different from mine but neither of us are twisting anything, and I resent the implication that I need to.

And clearly I'm not alone, as you fully realize. I am not lying when I say I have yet to speak to one person (offline) who didn't loathe this finale and feel insulted and disappointed by it.

And I'm not lying when I say I have yet to speak to anyone I know who saw the finale and didn't think it was at least good, if not beautiful. I guess none of us ever "tried to follow the show on an intelligent level."

Fishbiscuitland said...

I read your point and I understood it and I think it has its place in criticism, but it's not anything I'm talking about or have any interest in talking about. I'm interested in textual analysis, not race studies or feminist criticism.

You do realized how insulting and belittling that is, don't you? You're essentially telling me "You're entitled to your opinion, but I'm talking about the text and you're talking about subtextual aspects that aren't important to me as a white male."

It's a shame that a show with such a diverse cast ultimately killed off or minimized so many of its non-white characters, but it doesn't offend me, I don't think there's any conspiracy behind it, and frankly I find your little catchphrases like "Great White Hero" pretty silly and irrelevant. You throw that term around as if it means something, but you never define it; it's just a derogatory cheap shot that's vague to the point of meaninglessness. Really, it just comes off like you're saying "Jack sucks because of X, and as if that wasn't enough, he's white too!

I don't think it's meaningless. That's why I bring it up. And I do define it, you just don't want to hear it.

When this show started it had a huge cast distinguished by its multiculturalism. We had an Iraqi hero, a nutty cripple, a redneck anti hero, a pregnant girl trying to give her baby away, an intriguing Asian couple who spoke a foreign language, an alienated black father and son, a badass female killer and thief ... and a straight arrow rich white doctor who cried a lot because his daddy was mean to him. In other words, we had the whole human spectrum of experience, all ages, genders, races, languages, religions - and who was the default "hero"?

It's a rhetorical question. We know who it was. Same as it always is.

My point has always been that this was a huge error in a dramatic, narrative, creative sense and it was indicative of all the ways the series ultimately ended in an uninspired, dull, uncreative fashion.

And I'm not lying when I say I have yet to speak to anyone I know who saw the finale and didn't think it was at least good, if not beautiful.

We run in different circles clearly. I find my point of view gaining steam actually, as we get distance from the finale. The more people think about it, the more they really really hate it.

Parker said...

Well-thought out, but I think you would have hated it no matter where it landed. Complaining about it just seems futile.

And I have to say, the finales you cite as being exceptional are also shows that didn't involve a central mystery, or much mystery at all. That's not quite fair, honestly.

Basically, a mystery show only works because we never know what the mystery is, and we're always longing to find out. The end will never satisfy. At least Darlton knew that, and chose to give us something else to chew on. Dismiss it if you will, but I don't think those two deserve such derision for trying. A bellyflop sucks, sure, but I think the worse crime is not jumping in the pool at all.

Fishbiscuitland said...

And I have to say, the finales you cite as being exceptional are also shows that didn't involve a central mystery, or much mystery at all. That's not quite fair, honestly.

Fair enough, but they show that LOST also failed on a character level - the one we're being told they succeeded on. I thought the character "resolutions"
were even worse than the mystery non-resolutions. I could have lived with the lack of mystery resolution if they'd written a meaningful drama that respected the mysteries we actually deal with as human beings. Instead they trivialized even those mysteries. Piss poor storytelling, from top to bottom.

Darlton didn't give me anything at all to chew on. And I don't feel bad about mocking a couple of obscenely rich Hollywood bigwigs. I'm sure they're crying all the way to the bank. They screwed the pooch. This is the big time. Getting called out when you FAIL is part of the game.

Anonymous said...

Fish, you're an idiot. I've read your reviews and find your reasoning vapid, seething, mindless, and ultimately self-serving. I don't want to go point by point since that would simply lead to a longer article than what you've written, but it's obvious you only surround yourselves with a bunch of yes-men working only to satisfy your own immense ego. Lost's finale was beautiful, poetic, justified, and ultimately satisfying for those who cared for the show and truly tapped into its deeper meanings. Seriously, most of your arguments devolve into hurried rants. Of course things sound so horrible when you cast them in the worst light possible and boil them down to a silly premise. The finale was "stupid"? It was all about "twue wuv"? That'd be like criticizing the point of an episode like The Constant for being "Desmond needed to find his 'twu wuv' or his head would explode." Sound stupid? In that light, of course.

You clearly just don't get it. In the end, I actually pity you. It's obvious why you posted on Doc Arzt's blog and disabled the comments. You simply can't handle opposing viewpoints, especially when you are so far off the mark.

Kyle from Kentucky said...

i have to be honest. For the last 3 weeks I have been in LOST denial. The show has been such a big part of my life for so long I basically forced myself to like the ending. When all of my friends asked me about my opinion I said well I enjoyed it except for 3 things. 1 - Sayid and Shannon. Really? Sorry Nadia you are not important. 2 - Jate may be fate. But it still don't feel right. And besides thats Damons baby. 3 - Sawyer's storyline got the absolute worst amount of closure.

So I was in denial for a while. Then when I did my final rewatch with all of my lost friends family that all watch the show. there were over 60 people there. They have generally turned to my opinion first because I'm the only one who has watched sinse 9/22/2004. I just felt like bitching and complaining about the finale would ruin the entire series for me and for a lot of them. So I was in denial. I'm a laid back man. But out of nowhere with about 15 minutes left the other night during the rewatch I just go on a rant in front of everyone about why in the fuck does Jack get to be the hero boy that gets all of the last 20 minutes of screentime. It just came out of nowhere. I've hated that arrogant fucker since day 1. So many of the other characters I can relate to. Who in the hell can relate to Jack Shephard except super dork fuck damon L. The L stands for no sex.

So I became slightly awakened at that point.I didnt become fully awakened until I read Fish's recap of the end. At first I was like oh crap she hated it oh crap she hated it...then when she got to the part about how it really wastn' about the characters and none of them got to wrap up a storyline at all I went....OH! she is fucking dead on exactly right.

I am absolutely a Lost nerd. but theres such a difference between Lost nerd and psycho annoying ass fanboy. I didn't have to know every single answer to every single mystery. But I started to get so turned off by some of the answers. The temple storyline was one of those things that back in season 3 you were like oh shit that's going to be good. And it was dog piss bad. What really pissed me off was the numbers. "Jacob has a thing for numbers" - is literally the last word and the closest thing to an answer on them we ever got. O h my god. wat the fuck.

I spent so much time on Lostpedia and reading the books in the book club and endless debates on every single easter egg. But none of it meant a damn thing.

I was thinking about rewatching the whole series in a few years because even if season 6 was god awful I could at least watch the spectacular seasons 1-3. But whats the point? I remember how cool I thought the storyline YOU MUST raise this child alone was. Where the hell did that go. They clearly made things up as they went along I am just shocked that they totally ditched some great storylines which they clearly did.

I mean Sayid and Shannon wat the fuck is wrong with the world. How invested were you and everyone else in the tortured but noble romatic soul of sayid jarrah and soul mate Nadia. Then in Jacks heaven he's with that whiney little bitch he hooked up with for 3 days because as Ana Lucia said that's what people do (on a deserted island). A 3 DAY RELATIONSHIP!?!! OVER THE WOMAN HE SEARCHED FOR FOR 108 MILLION YEARS?!?! That and that alone makes me so furious at Damon L. Sayid and Shannon. I mean how perfect is it for Fish to say that the greatest times in Shannons life were just trying to breath long enough to get shot in the rape caves. Awful writing. I hated Jack so much for so long. he was supposed to die in the pilot how great would that have been. Then at least we couldve gotten some good closure for Desmond, Locke, Sawyer, Sayid, Jin, michael and god knows who else.

Kyle from Kentucky said...

You don't even have to get me started on Walt because everyone should feel the same way about that one. But Aaron was practically a miracle baby. What did he end up doing....Pffft. Dr. Marvin Candle/DeGroots/Hanso were so awesomely mysterious and we all wanted to know so much more...Miles' dickhead daddy... Pffffft....What about how much time people like me spent on the blast door map? Cerberus vent my ass. Like all of that stuff was just a bunch of crap to fuck with us diehards. And Lindeloff just went so hollywood. The last 3 seasons I expected to be so wowed because they wanted this damned end date. So they could tell the story they wanted. Season 4 was below average. Then Season 5 was garbage. Then Season 6 was just goddamn terrible.

LOST was so great for so long. I really am just stunned they ignored or completely changed those extremely important character arcs. What is the point in watching Raised By Another again if it doesn't mean a goddamn thing ever again. I blame Damon for most of the crap.

But I also remember Carlton saying that we were getting to unwrap a Christmas present this year and this part of the story was the best part of the story. Well I guess the present was a big ol heap of poop.

I've got more to say I'm just done for now.

Jacque LaRue said...

You do realized how insulting and belittling that is, don't you? You're essentially telling me "You're entitled to your opinion, but I'm talking about the text and you're talking about subtextual aspects that aren't important."

It's not meant to be insulting, and I never said it wasn't important; it's just not important to what I'm talking about, and it has little to do with what we've been talking about. As I said, I'm just not that interested in analyzing Lost from that critical viewpoint; it's a show predominantly about white men written by white men in a society predominantly run by white men. It comes as no surprise or offense to me that the hero of the show was a white man.

I don't think it's meaningless. That's why I bring it up. And I do define it, you just don't want to hear it.

You don't define it, actually; you just expect us to intuitively understand what it means from the context in which you use it. And I do understand the gist of what you want it to mean, but the gist is that it's just a catchall term for the self-indulgent evils of White Manhood. Pretty vague and not very useful, if you ask me.

My point has always been that this was a huge error in a dramatic, narrative, creative sense and it was indicative of all the ways the series ultimately ended in an uninspired, dull, uncreative fashion.

I disagree but I won't argue with you on this because there's nowhere it can go; our readings of the Jack character and his role in the narrative are just fundamentally different. That being said, as you yourself point out this was always a basic part of the show, from the pilot to the finale. Season one, which was the closest the show ever came to showcasing all the characters equally, elevated Jack to an extent unmatched by any subsequent season. This is a problem you have with the entire show, even the parts you loved; it's not just something you can blame on the finale.

We run in different circles clearly.

Right, folks who followed the show intelligently and folks like your lovely young Jate fan.

I find my point of view gaining steam actually, as we get distance from the finale. The more people think about it, the more they really really hate it.

I'm not sure what you mean to suggest by this. Are you saying I just haven't thought about it enough? Because I've thought about it plenty. Are you saying this alleged increase of people who disliked the finale is evidence of its poor quality? Because I don't think it's evidence of anything.

Fishbiscuitland said...

You clearly just don't get it. In the end, I actually pity you. It's obvious why you posted on Doc Arzt's blog and disabled the comments. You simply can't handle opposing viewpoints, especially when you are so far off the mark.

No actually I did it at Doc's suggestion. It has nothing to do with opposing viewpoints. I enjoy debating opposing viewpoints. It has to do with the generally abusive mindset of the LOST Moonies and how they resort instantly to personal attack. Sorry, I'm skipping over the stragglers who need to log on here to tell me I'm a "dirty whore" and a "screeching housewife" and an idiot. There are only a few of you left out there. This post is for the many of us who felt insulted and outraged by the fraud that Lost became in its final season. If you loved it, go join in the oh-so-coherent lovefest at Jeff Jensen's Imaginarium.

Fishbiscuitland said...

it's a show predominantly about white men written by white men in a society predominantly run by white men. It comes as no surprise or offense to me that the hero of the show was a white man.

I've been unclear then. it's central to the failure of this show precisely because this show was presented initially as an ensemble representing the great variety of our humanity and it devolved into the all too typical nazel gazing about the trials and tribulations of its most privileged member. It COMPLETELY undermined any spiritual, universal message beneath the tale. All the characters ended up being like the insulting religious tchotchkes in the church - just amusing Easter eggs to decorate the story of the only boring annoying prick who truly mattered. It destroyed any possible or intended meaning or profundity within the story. ... Well, that and the fact that even the story given to this one character was lifeless, unrealistic, unmotivated and uninspiring.

Clearly the show had problems beside this one. I'm sorry this is the one we end up belaboring, but it seems to be one that galls you in particular.

I'm also not surprised it ended up being so Jack centric. It's just another area where the show failed IMO, where it fell back on conventional stereotypes and failed to develop an original, exciting story with a purpose.

I'm not saying you're stupid for loving the show. I'm saying that perhaps you were able to enjoy a story that ended up being stupid merely because it flattered your own prejudices, made you comfortable because it shared your priorities and your world view. Just guessing, because it's impossible for me to truly understand how anyone could feel satisfied with this.

Anonymous said...

Dear Fish,

I would first like to thank you for all the recaps. I discovered you at DarkUFO, then finally found this place after desperately searching to find where you had gone.

I didn't hate the finale. There are certain things I hated about it. While I didn't mind Sawyer being with Juliet, I did mind Kate being with Jack. That relationship bordered on abusive, and I was not okay with it. I never liked Jack.

I also didn't like the saccharin sweetness of everyone being paired up with someone in the end. Was that really necessary? And like you said, certain people were conspicuously absent from the church. Was Helen not really Helen? Was this also her afterlife, or was she just a construct of Locke's to make himself happy? Will all these people eventually move on? Will she just assume her fiancee got cold feet and has run out on her? Or will they just disappear now that Jack's left the building?

It's my firm belief that people are able to love more than one person. I've done it. A boy I loved died several years ago. After mourning for a some time, I am now in an awesome relationship with another boy I love. I don't mind that Sayid loves Shannon and that Sawyer loves Juliet. I just wish there had been more explanation in why they were paired off with who they were paired off. Sawyer can love both Kate and Juliet. So, why Juliet and not Kate? Because Kate needed to be with the hero who loved himself more than her and who loved little more than the idea of them? Sayid can love both Nadia and Shannon. But why Shannon and not Nadia? Was Nadia really less central to the story than Shannon? Is it just because they were on the island together? It really does do a disservice to the characters and their relationships.

Anonymous said...

I won't argue with how you felt about he finale. Each fan is entitled to, and technically correct, in their own personal reaction. I do take issue with your assumptions about any and all fans that appreciated it. It's funny that you feel so insulted by a finale becuase you felt it was presumptuous and disregarded your fanship, but you are equally presumptions about the intellect, taste and motivations of fans who enjoyed the finale and disregard our fanship. But whatev. Better to spew all this anger now and get over it, I suppose.

What I really intended to comment on was a misinterpretation of why all the characters had to move from "this life" into the afterlife together, because I have seen a lot of recappers make the same mistake.

Christian did NOT say they were together because they were the most important people in each others' lives, loved eachother the most, etc. He said "the most important time" in their lives was spent together. Big difference.

One of biggest questions on this show was why these people came to The Island and what their purpose was there. Did they have a destiny? And would it justify all their suffering?

Ultimately, it turns out their purpose was to act in concert to protect The Island. Some had to act directly to protect The Island, some were just there to push one another into place. But regardless of their role, the time they spent there was the most important time of their lives, because the mission of protecting The Island was the most important thing they would ever do (remember what Ms. Hawking told Desmond way back in S3?).

This was their destiny, as Locke said all along. And the writers are obviously of a mind that we only achieve our destiny and purpose in life with the help of others. "No one does it alone".

A little preachy? Yes. Very Vonnegut, actually.

And you don't have to like that explanation, but that's the explanation the writers offered via Christian's exact words. The misconception that they all met in the in-between-place because they were all so in love with one another they didn't want to move on alone is not actually supported by anything said in the finale.

Now, hate on. As is your right.

syd said...

bravo to the Anon who said this

Because Kate needed to be with the hero who loved himself more than her and who loved little more than the idea of them

one of my biggest problems with jack, and this finale. is that this big hero of theirs, seemed to be the same egotistical and egocentric maniac of the previous seasons. the only difference was that this time he wasn't obsessed with getting people (aka himself) off the island, now his thing was saving the island. yet we never learn from what/who he was saving it and/or why... why did the island need saving, why was flocke so bad? who was he, why he couldn't leave the island? what was the island? none of this mattered, the only thing that mattered was that jack wanted to fix it!

so basically lost was a show about jack wanting to fix things so that he could feel good about himself... if i knew that the show was about this, i would have stopped watching a looong time ago.

Fishbiscuitland said...

Better to spew all this anger now and get over it, I suppose.

It's not anger. It's a negative viewpoint. The message community for this show was always assiduously censored to drive out any points of view that were unpopular. The big media voice of Jeff Jensen frequently mocked alternate points of view, while elevating his own individual point of view to a pedestal. You're just unfamiliar with seeing a point of view that wasn't part of the online board orthodoxy. So, no anger - just a reflection of a point of view that I find everywhere I go, except on the Lost online posting boards.

One of biggest questions on this show was why these people came to The Island and what their purpose was there. Did they have a destiny? And would it justify all their suffering?

Ultimately, it turns out their purpose was to act in concert to protect The Island.


Nah, that might have been a good story, but it's not the one they told. No one protected the island until the very last second - then King Jack saved the day. There was absolutely no momentum, no integral underlying theme, no catharsis. That's one of my main criticisms.

And if you're comparing it to Vonnegut (to the Cat's Cradle karass concept, I imagine) you couldn't be more wrong. With karass, there would have been that inevitability that we never saw, but there also would have been none of this preachy self awareness. The blatantly egotistic focus on the great Jack would have been completely out of place in the iconoclastic, anti-authoritarian stories of Vonnegut. He would have HATED a character like Jack, would have mocked him, would never have made him a hero in his books.

This was their destiny, as Locke said all along. And the writers are obviously of a mind that we only achieve our destiny and purpose in life with the help of others. "No one does it alone".

Again, stuff we never saw. Locke believed in destiny, but became irrelevant 2/3rds of the way through the story. Just flat out disappeared. Jack kept huffing and puffing wanting to have a destiny - because goddammit, he deserved one! - and he decided the island was his destiny. But we never saw the process. We were just told he became convinced.

None of the other characters appeared to be on any destiny quest and none were integral to the way it worked out. It all happened in one episode, with Jack saving the day. Desmond helped him by turning off the light, but no one else did. And Desmond ultimately failed, was forced to realize he was wrong. Only Jack was right. Only jack succeeded.

It was the opposite of karass. That's a dreadful comparison to make with this particular story.

Now, hate on. As is your right.

Again, not hate. Try and understand. The Lost online community censored out alternate viewpoints - either directly or through the tyranny of mocking fanboys. This criticism has been bubbling out here a long time, in the real world. It's not hate. It's the point of view you haven't exposed yourself to.

Fishbiscuitland said...

none of this mattered, the only thing that mattered was that jack wanted to fix it!

so basically lost was a show about jack wanting to fix things so that he could feel good about himself...


Precisely.

Anyone who still can't understand the criticisms regarding Jack - please read the above. It's not complicated at all.

Anonymous said...

I think I could have accepted Lost as "The Jack Show" if we had seen any genuine character growth.

I don't really buy the whole man of science/man of faith dichotomy as growth, because Jack only became a supposed man of faith after seeing certain things with his own eyes and personally experiencing them. Isn't that the opposite of faith?

The Jack we met in season 1 was a man who wanted unconditional love from a woman regardless of how he treated her. Recall that Sarah stopped loving him when he began neglected her, and Achara drew away when he began bullying her.

The Jack we met in season 1 wanted a father who would never notice, much less point out, his weaknesses, shortcomings, or other faults. Instead he had Christian, who not only noticed Jack's flaws, but had the audacity to want to help Jack either acknowledge them or overcome them.

And, of course, the Jack we met in season 1 had the tremendous inner desire to be a great heroic leader, who fixed everything for everybody.

Um, what changed exactly? Jack's great character growth was that he got handed every single one of his desires on a silver platter. Having achieved all these things, he was able to "let go." Wow Jack, way to work on yourself.

It would have been much more interesting and emotionally satisfying to see him finally learn humility and to realize how many blessings he had already been given--and to accept those as enough. Having accomplished said acceptance, he could have died a contented, but ordinary death. In other words, have him finally able to "let go" of his ego.

Fishbiscuitland said...

Re: the issue of white males as a stand in for the entire human race, a great piece by Emily Nussbaum, who I may have forgotten to link to:

http://nymag.com/print/?/arts/tv/reviews/66293/

What made Lost fail? It’s possible Cuselof’s story was simply so Byzantine no one in the creative team could connect the dots, even with a two-year head start. It definitely didn’t help that the show shifted from a diverse cast to the repeated tableaux of white guys bickering about fate while the female characters were either shot or (worse) congealed into bland love interests.

And this:

...the series had become obsessed, in both overt and unconscious ways, with manipulating its own relationship with its fans, alternately evading and reflecting their critiques, and then finally satisfying them in the most condescending possible way, with sentimental sleight-of-hand...Cuselof had a deadline for years, which should have allowed them to pace out their puzzle’s solutions. Instead, we got cheesy temple vamping and a bereavement Holodeck. It became a show about placating, even sedating, fans, convincing them that, in the absence of anything coherent or challenging, love was enough...

Anyone who thinks that it was just me and a few disgruntled fans who saw Lost's emptiness is kidding themselves.

Mike said...

Fish,

First, thank you for ALL the work.
Second, thank you for putting a serious effort into this particular stance and opinion as opposed to just a "this was poop" short statement.
Third, I still didn't hate it.

The only issue i'd have about your particular expressed viewpoint how negatively you've painted those that could have possibly liked the finale or the totality of the show.

For one, my angle isn't taking it as simple entertainment. And two, just like Locke, "it's never BEEN easy".

I can't say that your viewpoint is "too cynical", but it is more cynical than mine regardless of our final viewpoints.

Thank you again though for all of the work you've put in.

SockeRock said...

I think one of the big problems that Jack the ultimate hero is total phony-baloney crapola, is because until the last couple of episodes he wasn't written like a hero.

He never cared about his own nephew. He never cared about his own sister. He never cared about all the people he abandoned to get his carcass off the island. He never cared about how many people on the island he'd be murdering if his Reset plan had worked and sunk the island. He didn't even have the excuse he was trying to save all his people from crashing on the island to make himself look heroic, when he admitted to Sawyer the only reason he wanted to blow-up the island was so he'd never meet Kate and get dumped.

You can't write someone like this and then canonize this loser as a hero in the final act. How many times has this dude abandoned Claire, his sister? He knew she wasn't on the sub, did he ever for one moment think about going and finding her and seeing if she was all right? What kind of freaking hero is that when he doesn't give a squat about his own family?

And the whole thing about this loser being made protector of the island when he tried to destroy it, since last season [only a few days in island time] he thought it was his destiny to blow the island up, is ridiculous.

As much as the writing for the Jack character was.

Also, going back a couple of episodes, the only reason I can see for killing off Jin and Sun was to make Sawyer look bad and Jack look good. See, it's all Sawyer's fault. If he'd only listened to the all-knowing Jack [who is always wrong] they wouldn't have died. That, and Darlton's sick view that there be no happy parent-child reunions for minorities. Jin/Sun/Ji Yeon got the same deal that Michael/Walt got. They could have let Michael go home to Walt, but he was killed and even though Keamy was a lot worse, as well as Ben, Michael gets to be stuck on the island for all eternity for killing a white woman. Minority Ana-Lucia was never written as being a bad thing killing her, it was only white Libby that was the bad thing, that Michael had to apologize endlessly for and be tramped on the island for life for.

Jack could have been the bright and shiny hero boy just as well if Jin and Sun weren't killed off and got to go home to their child. That would have been a true happy ending opposed to the smiling goons in the Church of Divine Jackness.

I will always think of the so-called flash sideways or Purgatory as Jack's wet dream and his fantasy alone. Why else would the island be sunk, so Jack's plan would have worked. It wasn't a reality they all created, it was a reality Jack created and made everyone fit into his own sick little version of paradise in death. Just like as leader he was a little tin pot dictator who wanted to make everyone do what he wanted them to do.

I don't like to go with the race thing, but it's just so blatant. I mean, when White Keamy gets to be in Jack's heaven after all the horrible things this animal did, and black Michael gets trapped on the island as a whisper for life because he killed a white woman, even though he gave up his life to save a bunch of other white people, you can't deny it.

Fishbiscuitland said...

I think one of the big problems that Jack the ultimate hero is total phony-baloney crapola, is because until the last couple of episodes he wasn't written like a hero.

He never cared about his own nephew. He never cared about his own sister. He never cared about all the people he abandoned to get his carcass off the island. He never cared about how many people on the island he'd be murdering if his Reset plan had worked and sunk the island. He didn't even have the excuse he was trying to save all his people from crashing on the island to make himself look heroic, when he admitted to Sawyer the only reason he wanted to blow-up the island was so he'd never meet Kate and get dumped.


These are excellent, and very obvious, points but I NEVER see them addressed by the cheerleaders for Lost. I can't count how many times I read that "Jack and Kate raised Aaron". Now I could watch Season 4 a thousand times and I'd still see the same thing - Kate raised Aaron, Jack wanted nothing to do with him, he hung around for a little while then bailed on them after behaving abysmally around them.

This is what THEY WROTE. But then a kind of collective amnesia/rewrite set in and the whole cheerleader crowd decided something entirely different had happened, without an iota of evidence ... and the "storytellers" fell in line with everyone who had misread an obvious plot development.

Such a bizarre interaction between fans and writers happened on this show. It was like upside down world.

SockeRock said...

The thing is, this has been going on with Jack from the start. Like in season one when Jack helped torture Sawyer, threatened to withhold medicine from him and made him think he had a brain tumor like his uncle when he knew all he needed was a pair of glasses. I've even tried getting into a debate with some Jack fan boys and fan girls and their answers were always the same.

Jack is the hero. He does bad things because he's a tragic hero. He's also the ultimate hero.

Another way they answer this, at least on Dark UFO's board, was to report you to the moderators and try to get you banned. Jack is also a sacred cow you're not allowed to say bad things about, even if they're true.

Personally, I've never been able to understand what interested them about Jack. He had a bland and boring back story. He just wasn't an interesting character. The show would have survived just fine if they had killed the character off like they'd originally planned.

Like Jack, his fans seemed to be able to rewrite what they saw on screen into the Jack Sanitized version. Like Jack rewrote Sawyer jumping out of the helicopter as a cowardly act, they rewrote the scene where Jack/Claire reunite as this wonderful brother and sister reunion, completely blotting out the fact Claire had to be the one to approach Jack, Jack had no real interest in approaching her, and then after said "wonderful reunion" he abandoned her again.

And they've done this for every single thing he's done. I mean, Jack even says he only came back so the island could fix him, and yet they still go on about how he came back to save everyone he left behind. Even when it comes out of their hero's mouth, they still rewrite it into an heroic act.

jason said...

This comment section is really fascinating. Enjoying it immensely.

Now that I think back about some of the final interviews, Damon and Carlton seem very defensive. Considering the episodes are complete weeks before airing, I think they sort of knew they blew it weeks ahead of time, but they were committed to this flash-sideways and there was no way to stop the Season 6 Titanic from smashing into that iceberg of a finale.

They were just doing damage control on their final press tour.
I can see now why they kept saying that once LOST was over they were going on a media blackout, never to speak of lost again.

Anonymous said...

Your analysis is ridiculous. Get over yourself because you weren't satisfied. So the whole thing sucks because they didn't call you directly and ask for your permission on how to tell your story? I suppose you hate everything that doesn't suit your needs. Come down off your high horse and realize that Lost was loved by many including the finale and that we are not all idiots just because we were satisfied. the many mysteries and the story lines were fine. I don't need to be spoon fed what each symbol means on the columns at the temple. You need to move on.

Fishbiscuitland said...

we are not all idiots just because we were satisfied. the many mysteries and the story lines were fine. I don't need to be spoon fed what each symbol means on the columns at the temple.

Considering we got basically ZERO answers to any of the mysteries, it's good you weren't hoping to learn what each symbol in the temple meant. (I didn't even notice there were any symbols on that monstrosity.)

I realize lots of people are happy to be told they were all set up to be chumps, but I think that conversation is going on over at Jeff Jensen's board.

You need to move on.

That's exactly what we're doing here, buddy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the excellent post! You've expressed everything I thought in a much better way than I could have - right down to the "Emperor's Clothes," shockingly sloppy writing, useless red herrings, and Shakespeare's "tale told by an idiot" quote.

DaveLinneweh said...

I can understand being not into the way they ended the show but I've come to think of it like the girl you fall for when you're young... you have expectations and ultimately reality turns out to be quite different than what you expected.

That being said I was satisfied. Sounds like we'll get a little more mysteries answered as extras on the dvd box set but in no way am I going to discredit the entire show because it didn't go where I thought it would. Currently I'm trying to figure out interesting viewpoints like Jeff Jensen who argues the importance of looking at the whole shebang from the perspective of the island. I'm excited to keep reading what people come up with and what I think of... like when desmond had is flash before his eyes did he just get transported to the flash sideways meetup world ahead of everyone else.

I think it's a cop out to write off the entire show because it didn't end the way you wanted. If anything I think it's really bogus to think the writers didn't put thought into how they we're going to end it. They said they'd go into hiding cause people are going to go... but why those numbers... You're question Fishbiscuit of why did Reusso's team hear the numbers... uhhh cause they were being broadcast by the radio tower... obvious.

When they answered things if it was too direct people didn't like it, like the skeletons or the whispers. I think they handled it alright, wasn't the greatest but it went for the character side, to say nobody was changed that's just silly. Look at Ben's transition... even if he isn't ready to move on and wants to keep living the good life remember what a terrible person he was on the island.

The beauty of lost is that it isn't easy, they left it open enough so that we could think and I guess ultimately there are people who can deal with that or people who think they wasted 6 years. Some of your concerns will be answered in the DVD's but like I said if you think the ending was a cop out ragging on it like a teenager isn't much different. Hope you learn to let go of expectations as I did (I thought it was all a repeating loop) and see what fun people come up with.

Oh and maybe you'll think this is a cop out but it's easy enough to sit back and critique, nobody in this blog has every done anything like Lost and most likely will never. As an artist and painter myself I have to accept some people won't be interested in my work and that's just fine.

David Linneweh

mosquito wenzi said...

Thank you. After reading your recap I actually feel better about the huge disappointment this season was. It's nice to hear someone else say so well what I'm feeling. I was most upset with the fact that the few characters who actually survived the series, apparently lived miserably ever after. With so many characters, we couldn't have one happy ending?

I'd also like to add that I'm a nerd who loves romance. I've always been frustrated with the stilted and unromantic "romance" in most genre fiction.

I was a Skater, too. Back when I was a Lostie.

Anonymous said...

"You need to move on."

They tell us this after THEY read every word with baited breath then post long-winded defensive rants.

Protesting a bit much, eh?

Why "move on" when we can have fun analyzing something so remarkable for the scope of its failures?

You cranky lost-your-identity-in-Lost people could use a nap, maybe.

All's fair in love (or what passes for love on Lost, like the fake rebound bloody smirkette and happy housepet pairing to get Sawyer out of hero Jack's way) and war.

Anon 4:24 and Sockerock, excellent points about Jack.

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness, such low expectations.

"Some of your concerns will be answered in the DVD's"

You mean the long con isn't over yet?

"it's easy enough to sit back and critique"

The best authors in civilization have seen their work critically analyzed. It's customary. Are you are saying this was just pop culture trash, so we shouldn't bother?

"nobody in this blog has every done anything like Lost and most likely will never"

One can only hope.

Kyle from Kentucky said...

When it comes to Suliet I remember how cool I once thought that storyline in season 3 was where Sayid tried his damdest to get answers from Juliet and remember how Jack acted? Like a true hero man......

Then Sayid and Sawyer teamed up to track down Juliet and not let her open the case up and the three of the sat there with a power struggle.

I would say most of us despised Juliet in season 3. Because you never knew if you could trust her. That was what was so great about her character the fact that she was probably always hiding things. I felt the same way about Penny. She always knew more but we never quite found out. Then the next thing you know with Juliet Sun is slapping her and you hated her even more. THEN her and Sawyer one of my 5 favorite characters are soulmates. And we don't even get to see it. It just happened.

Whatever happened .. sucked.

Rachel and her baby, and Juliets inside knowledge 2 storylines with great potential that in the words of Fish went Pffffffft..

Btw my top 5 favorite characters were probably
1 - John L
2 - Mr. Eko
3 - Sawyer
4 - Sayid
5 - Desmond

None of their character arcs were wrapped up well. Thats what angers me the most. I don't care to have to fill in the blanks on the Egyptians, Tovard Hanso etc, but to get no wrap up on the all important characters has left me very disappointed. And the only one that got a good wrap up is the only one I hated with a passion for 6 years Jackass.

Anonymous said...

I would say most of us despised Juliet in season 3.

Not me. She was at her very best then, compelling, powerful, mysterious, and yet still sympathetic. She quickly became my very favorite even over Sawyer.

Then came season 5, and she pretty much went to the bottom of the list from the get-go. I saw no more of the woman I fell in love with, only the actress going through the motions (and we all know it was because she knew Suliet was in her future, and she was NOT happy about it). It baffles me that she was so loved after she became a one-dimensional love interest.

Adam said...

Great recap as always. It pains me that it turned out like this, and I held out hope til the very end that some massive revelation would make sense of it all, but alas I cannot pretend that it was better than it was.

As far as diminishing the greatness of the past seasons, I'm giving it time before I go back to them. I think I will always love seasons 1-3 and even 4 and 5.

Perhaps we can just pretend that detonating jughead killed everybody at the end of the Indicent? That would make a lot more sense than the actual ending.

Anonymous said...

Jack is a loser and nothing more.He never cared about Claire,never cared about Aaron,never cared about people he left behind,he only came back so the Island would fix him.
Kate never loved Jack,thats why he decided to blow up the Island.Thats all facts.
Now about Claire-how many times he left her or didnt cared about her in season 6 i lost count.Jin and Sun deathes only to make him look good and Sawyer bad.
Poor Sawyer was waiting and seaching for Kate for 3 years in the jungle with Jin.The way they looked at each other said it all about who loves who.Sawyer was ready to take a bullet for this woman,jumped from the chopper for her,saved her from the police in the elevator-but guess what this show only about one hero and the one hero only Jacko.
Funny how no one remembers when he was flying on the planes hoping to crash on the island and not giving a damn about people on board,not giving damn about his Great Love Kate,his mother,his nephew.And Kate not giving a damn about him(where hes was,what hes doing).How he wanted little Ben to die..He stalked all the women hes been dating(Sarah,Asian,Kate).Hero i dont thinks so.

Kevin said...

I accepted Sayid ending up with Shannon for the reason I thought the show made clear:

Sayid had a lot to atone for, and he was choosing to punish himself by not being with Nadia. She obviously wanted to be with him, but he felt he didn't deserve her. Maybe he will be with her in another life, but he has more atonement to accomplish first in whatever life comes next. Shannon wasn't the greatest love of his life, but he did love her, and their pairing had much less baggage.

Fishbiscuitland said...

I accepted Sayid ending up with Shannon for the reason I thought the show made clear:

Sayid had a lot to atone for, and he was choosing to punish himself by not being with Nadia. She obviously wanted to be with him, but he felt he didn't deserve her. Maybe he will be with her in another life, but he has more atonement to accomplish first in whatever life comes next.


YOu're entitled to fanwank things, as one almost has to do in order to make "sense" of this finale, but there's no way the show made that "clear".

If Sayid needed to atone for his many murders, if that was the point, why was he hooked up with a hot blonde at all? Wow, some atonement. Did he get a jacuzzi in the heavenly honeymoon suite as well?

I'm sorry. There are many ways to concoct contrived explanations that sound good, but none of them cohere. Because the story didn't cohere. It had no internal structure, design or theme to it.

Kevin said...

I'm disappointed with the finale (and the last few seasons in general) in that they failed to weave together the scattered tapestry the show had become in any complete, satisfying way. Even more infuriating was the way Darlton poo-pooed the idea as silly, and said only the characters mattered. How could they seriously not believe that the mysteries they created were just as important if not even more so than the characters? I believe the Island itself was really the main character, and in the end it was shoved halfway aside for the new storytelling device of the FlashSideways.

That said, I'm not totally dissatisfied with the finale. I felt it was true to the idea that had been there all along - that these characters came from deeply flawed lives and had a chance to start a new life, face their issues and redeem themselves on the Island. They didn't all totally succeed, but they made progress. They continued that growth in the the next world, the FlashSideways, and will likely continue that spiritual growth in the world that follows. I believe the journey we saw was all about progress. The characters were always destined to accomplish that together, and chose to continue to do so.

Meanwhile, the Island was revealed in the vaguest terms to be an important crux between life and death that seems to be the center of all spiritual energy. The Losties accomplished the Island's goal of saving it and the world, and all six seasons were about getting to that point. MANY aspects of the Island and its history were left sinfully unresolved, but I think there's at least enough there to figure out in basic terms what was going on. It's certainly not a "gift" from Darlton as some would argue, but I think we can kind of piece it together.

I am somewhat satisfied with the ending we got for the reasons above, and I feel it connected very successfully on an emotional level, if not so much an intellectual level. I do feel it could have been done better, or that a completely different ending would have been more natural and meaningful.

If the FlashSideways had to be Purgatory, then at least everyone could have met on a beach in the end instead of the church. It would have felt more appropriate to the show than the cliched and stuffy church scene.

And I feel a more satisfying end would have been for the FlashSideways to have been an actual timeline and have merged with the regular timeline. I don't know how they would have pulled it off, but the characters still could have had a second chance in the physical world and the events of that world would have seemed to have mattered more. There STILL could have been some element or hint of the characters meeting in the afterlife, but it wouldn't have needed to take up a whole season.

Kevin said...

Fish, you make a good point about why Sayid should have anyone at all if he needed to atone. At the least, it suggests he values Nadia's opinion far more than Shannon's.

However, Sayid did clearly tell Nadia in "Sundown" that he couldn't be with her because of the things he had done. Here's the transcript:

SAYID: For the last twelve years I've been trying to wash my hands of all the horrible things I've done. I can't be with you, because I don't deserve you.

Dan said...

Hey Fishbiscuit, thank you for all your recaps and dedication to the show, you do have a very unique point of view and its always important to have different points of views on something such as LOST. that said, i disagree with your final recap and assessment of the show as a whole, but chose not to take offense at you mocking those who did enjoy the finale. overall i enjoyed it and felt that Darlton tilted towards the "succeeded as storytellers" side. what i will say is im a bit weary of anyone who proclaims the show a COMPLETE failure (or success)...especially only weeks after its finished. i feel the more honest assessment is probably somewhere in between. but again, even if you were a bit condescending in your final goodbye, and even though our opinions differ largely on the finale, much respect

Micah said...

Just wanted to say after a few weeks of being unsure on how I felt about the finale and constantly telling myself (After re-watching bits and parts of the finale) that I was satisfied, after reading your post I feel I have come to peace with the show.

Fish, I complete 99% with you. Everything you said I agree with. I "liked" the finale, but it wasn't enough. They tricked us, completely. The six season should have NEVER introduced this "sideways world". The six season's BIGGEST mystery was "omg they are all dead!".

Ok, very cool, but who gives a s**t. We wanted a sixth season devoted to what we lived and experienced the first 5 seasons. We got some of that with the "mind-altering love" nonsense and how they were enlightened by the experiences of they had with one another... but ok?

The numbers? (Jacob had a thing for numbers) come on. So did dharma? Is that why they etched them on the hatch lid?

Give me a break.

Thank you for everything Fish.

Time to start loving Fringe.

Fishbiscuitland said...

I get what you're saying Kevin. It's still exceedingly lame. He doesn't deserve the woman he loves, so he gets the hot blond chick instead. Why did killers like Sawyer, Kate, Locke, Juliet deserve to be there at all? Were we meant to infer they'd repented sufficiently? How? Why? Because they suffered? Sayid suffered, maybe more so. And if Nadia loved Sayid, why was she being punished? Why was Sayid getting any chance at heaven at all, when Michael was shut out?

There's no cohesion. They didn't think it through or even make a stab at it. A myth needs a thesis. This had none. It truly did fail on every level, except - for some - as pulp entertainment. That's no crime but tell it like it is. They should never have pretended they were anything other than schlock.

Fishbiscuitland said...

Fringe is great. It really got to me this season, especially the White Tulip episode. In that one episode they became everything I thought LOST was trying to be with what seemed, at the time, like an alternate universe.

John Noble is incredible also. What an actor.

SockeRock said...

The more I think about it, and it makes me sick that I'm actually thinking about it, the more I'm convinced everything in the flash sideways was Jack's fantasy. None of the people were real. It's just something Jack made up as he laid dying.

I mean, come on. Jin/Sun don't care about their child, but they won't go into the light together without Jack being there with them? That's pure ego-maniacal Jack.

In Jack's fantasy Kate is innocent, because Jack has never been able to accept her for who she is, a criminal guilty of everything she was accused of.

Jack's apartment is full of mirrors to look at himself in, while Sawyer's apt is barren without one mirror.

Jack was married to Juliet and they have a child, so he has Juliet, before Sawyer gets him [just like Sawyer had Kate before Jack got with her]. And in Jack's perfect world nothing ever happens between Sawyer and Kate. Jack is also not a crazed stalker obsessed with his ex. They have a great relationship.

The island is underwater because Jack's reset plan worked.

Jack gets to fix Locke.

This is Jack's ultimate wet dream. None of the people were real in Jack's fantasy. They were no more real than his son David. He imagined the whole thing to make dying palatable for himself.

Let's be honest, with all Jack did, he wouldn't be going into some heavenly light, he'd be down in the place with flames and pitchforks.

The light he imagined was the island light he was bathed in after saving the island.

It wasn't purgatory, it was Jack's dream of what death would be like as flipper laid on the ground taking forever to kick off. It was Jack's dream of everyone's life revolving around him.

And that being the case, I believe the people that left the island had a happy life, not the unhappy existence until they could be reunite with Dr. Happy and he could make them all happy just by being in their presence.

Anonymous said...

"I can't be with you, because I don't deserve you."

I don't deserve you, Nadia, because I'm a murdering thug, so I'll take Shannon. (When did Shannon do anything like that? She was selfish and sure, she conned Boone to get some of her father's money, but she would have inherited it properly if not for her greedy stepmother (Boone's mother.) And if Sayid had to atone for his deeds, why not along, as Fish said?

"Maybe he will be with her in another life"

Wait a minute, is that how this religion works? When did they tell us that? Through the doors is yet another life? Then why bother to pair up en masse with the people from the old life? What we saw is not Christianity, Buddhism, nor anything other established religions. They made up their own religion, and didn't feel like they needed to explain that, either.

"Like in season one when Jack helped torture Sawyer"

And add this to the list, when Jack refused to treat little Ben, and Sawyer and Kate had to risk their lives taking him to the Others.

Kevin said...

You're right in that the FSW was not entirely thought out. If that's the path the writers wanted to go, they should have at least had it internally make sense.

As for Sayid, I think it's less about him being punished than Sayid punishing himself. I think he could have had Nadia in the FSW but chose not to. Of course, it makes her miserable, too, and she didn't do anything wrong.

Michael is stuck as one of the Whispers because he wasn't ready to move on, I believe. He doesn't feel he can atone for his murders and he never made peace with his son. The other characters were willing to move on, although they're all in different stages of spiritual progress. Michael is ground to a halt.

Of course, we've seen possibly conflicting versions of the afterlife on the show. For example, is Charlie both in the FlashSideways and appearing to Hurley at the institution? How about Ana Lucia, who hasn't woken up in the FlashSideways but is well-aware she's dead when she pulls Hurley over and warns him not to get caught? I believe the show implied these were spirits Hurley could see and not just visions.

Fishbiscuitland said...

You're trying to justify the mushy quasi-religious pudding you were given, Kevin, but you can't turn it into an actual story. It could be this, it could be that, it could be whatever you want to think it might be. That's not storytelling. That's the writers abdicating their responsibility to tell the tale they were paid (VERY handsomely) to write.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree that some fans try to fill in the plot holes and character gaps by creating their own explanations - but that's Fan Fiction. The writers were paid to write a meaningful story and they blew it. I can't even go back and watch previous seasons because the results were so inconsistent, incoherent, and in many cases, absurd.

Ann said...

Your analysis is ridiculous. Get over yourself because you weren't satisfied. So the whole thing sucks because they didn't call you directly and ask for your permission on how to tell your story? I suppose you hate everything that doesn't suit your needs. Come down off your high horse and realize that Lost was loved by many including the finale and that we are not all idiots just because we were satisfied. the many mysteries and the story lines were fine. I don't need to be spoon fed what each symbol means on the columns at the temple. You need to move on.

HER analysis is ridiculous, but yours is not. HER point of view is invalid, but yours is gospel. SHE needs to come down from her high horse; while you sit happily astride yours. SHE needs to move on while you can't keep yourself from coming back here.

What the hell is your problem? You loved it. Good for you; enjoy the cheese BUT please don't expect everyone else to bow to your superior insight. The fans who didn't love it have as much right to express their opinion as you do. Why not MOVE ON and create your own blog and post your Lost love all over it -- instead of hanging out here and wasting your time?

Why do you feel the need to defend the show? Let Damon and Carlton do it themselves. When and if they finally pull their heads out of the sand and make a public appearance; I hope we get more than the defensive tweets from the two twits that we've been treated to ever since the finale. Fraking cowards!

Henry Holland said...

I literally squee'd when I saw FB's recap up at Doc's place. I agree with most of what you said, having loved the first 4 seasons like crazy.

I especially loved that you took Darlton out to the woodshed for a whuppin', because in retrospect, what else could we expect from a guy like Damon who's only real credit before LOST was one season of Crossing Jordan, a generic doctor show? The misogyny, the way Michael and Walt were treated, the utter betrayal of the character of John etc. etc.

At least my favorite character Ben wasn't, in the end, treated as shabbily as James, John, the Kwans or any of the female characters, so that's a plus, I guess.

Thanks for the awesome recap, FB, some of the graphics like the toes with the middle one sticking up had me laughing like crazy.

Kevin said...

I agree to the extent that I don't think the ending was amazing storytelling. But I do think it was thematically consistent with the rest of the series.

I don't think that's a justification; I think it's a valid interpretation.

Marc said...

i really have no comment as far as what you said fish.. ive had a love hate relationship with ur recaps although this one was sloppy and you seemed to either miss the point on some story threads or avoid them entirely just to make ur point sound stronger.. (ex. the island was being protected prior to the monster.. it was the light that needed protecting) anyway what i really wanted to say is that turning off comments on doc's site was an equally cheap and deuchbag trick to get traffic to ur website as darkufos spoiler obsession (i think he is an ahole too) ps you used to post on his site prior to some falling out which you never chose to mention.. anyway i have always liked/disliked ur recaps.. i wish you would watch it over again with more of an open mind.. after all our favorite characters dying and going to heaven cant be all that bad right? if it is what does it say about our society even for athiests?

also the sideways wasnt all about jack.. u need to watch again

Samuel said...

Perhaps as someone with some insight at least, I may be able to give you some consolation. The way lost ended was never how it was intended to. In the beginning the show was composed as a 3 season arch in which the characters died in the initial flight 815 plane crash and were indeed in a Purgatory of sorts. The main antagonists were supposed to let go of their previous life and their misdeeds and make peace with themselves, at that point they could "move on".However the show was so well received ABC needed more and the subsequent seasons are the result of not having planned out 6 seasons worth. The audience latched on to the mysteries presented so the writers rode those, and added more to keep the viewers guessing, basically digging themselves into a hole from which there was no satisfying exit. In my opinion the show was genius as originally planned, once the guessing game from avid fans came about "Darlton" as you refer to them they just denied every theory including the island being Purgatory because they always thought they could write themselves out of it. Well they couldn't and what you witnessed in the final 3 seasons is the result. The end of the series was what it was because at the 11th hour "Darlton" decided to retreat to the original ending because nothing else was making any sense. Sorry to the disappointed viewers, it was not played out the way it was initially composed.

Kyle from Kentucky said...

Yes but here's the thing about Sundown...Sayid didn't know he was dead yet. If I was Sayid or if I was a writer for Lost as soon as Shannon made me realize I was dead and all that then I would have sprinted to Nadia's house at full speed and kissed the fuck out of her. But na he ended up with his 3 day soulmate Shannon the bitchy blonde with a permanent bruise on her forehead. The alt events of sundown do not do justice to the ending Sayid got because he was not "in the know" yet. Terrible. Just terrible.

Kyle from Kentucky said...

There was a time on this show where I cared about the storylines of many of the females of the show just as much as the mens. But for some reason I didn't end up giving a damn about 1 woman on that show. It was the way they were written without a doubt.

Henry Holland said...

Now that I'm at home, I've had a chance to think about something that FB (and many others) have pointed out: the way storylines were presented as Very Important Things and then dropped like a bad habit.

Ben's my favorite character and I'm still ticked off about how they handled two things with him: Annie and women not being to give birth on the Island. As FB points out, we can speculate and come to reasonable conclusions but the two dweebs in charge never bothered to finish off that storyline.

OK, I can *assume* that Ben and Annie grow up together on the Island, fall in love and she gets pregnant and dies. That's why Ben is so sad when he picks up her wooden doll before leaving for The Purge.

OK, I can *assume* that the reason women were infertile is because Jughead was buried beneath the barracks and....wait, what? The leaking radiation was enough to case miscarriages but otherwise not harm people? Ben knows every nook and cranny of the Island, especially under the barracks and he never knew Jughead was there and maybe that's what caused the fertility problem?

It makes my head hurt just trying to justify it all.

I emotionally checked out from being mega-involved in the show at the end of season 5 when I was told, in no uncertain terms, that Ben and John's whole existences were pointless. I simply wasn't going to abandon ship before the end, but as one of the nerds who cared far more about the mysteries than who the fuck Kate ended up wiZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ (it was always going to be Jack, from the first 20 minutes of the show), I feel played, especially by those pathetic ABC promos that would loudly proclaim "The Time For Answers Is Here" and all that crap. As FB pointed out, they had 2 + years to work out an endpoint and the glowing light is the best they could do? At least Jack dying and his eye closing > LOST made thematic sense.

Raised By The Sound said...

J.J. Abrams does a TED talk where he describes his Mystery Box. It is a box he has had for most of his life and has never opened, nor knows of its contents. To him, this box exemplifies his love and passion for the mysterious and the unknown.

LOST, for me, was an exercise in mystery. What made the show amazing was its layers of allusions and seemingly endless tangents you could explore as a viewer of the show. One person could watch for the love scenes and another could delve into works of philosophy and propositions of fringe science while trying to map out locations of the dharma stations from the clues given. This open-endedness gave the show the ability for individuals to imagine and create their own LOST experience. The mysteries of the show were what made me watch night after night. The questions being asked were always what mattered to me; never the answers.

For those of you who NEED answers, I can understand how you feel, but I don't share your desire (and now seemingly anger). As soon as the show started answering the questions I had, I started enjoying it less and less. And it was NOT because of the quality of the answers, it was simply the fact that answers were given.

Watching the finale for the first time, though, I felt flat and empty. I thought the ending was stupid, obvious, and sort of trivial. But after thinking about it for a while, I realize my feeling of emptiness after the finale was simply the feeling of acknowledgment that a good thing finally came to an end. The show, in all of its six seasons flashed before my eyes, and spread out before me like that, with all the knowledge of the entire story, the air simply escaped. The mystery was over. We finally opened the Mystery Box and what was inside could never be as magical as what we imagined.

Ament said...

I don't know Fish, I remember reading your rewatch posts, specifically the Pilot episode. You pointed out clearly that the show was about Jack from the moment he opened his eye, to how the camera angles pan to what Jack's looking at through his prespective. Yet you seemed shocked that the show ended on him. Don't get me wrong I'm upset about S6 as well, because a rewatch is almost pointless knowing what we know now like "The Sixth Sense" once you know the ending the movie a second time around losses that emotion.

Fishbiscuitland said...

Yet you seemed shocked that the show ended on him.

Not shocked, just disappointed at the stale lifelessness of it. Disappointed they couldn't think beyond one dull white male like Jack when they had the whole world at their feet. Jack should have been a starting point in a story about all people. Instead he was the alpha and the omega of a story that never ended up being about anything. He's a symbol of their lack of imagination and the way that Hollywood writers like these two hacks couldn't think outside the box

We finally opened the Mystery Box and what was inside could never be as magical as what we imagined.

Then they shouldn't have opened it. The idea you've presented could also have been a great story, but they didn't do that either, did they? They answered a few questions clumsily and stupidly, which only exposed them as incompetent mystery writers. You can't write a mystery unless you know where it's going. It's like building a house without knowing what it will look like. It's impossible, yet that's what they did.

Fishbiscuitland said...

anyway what i really wanted to say is that turning off comments on doc's site was an equally cheap and deuchbag trick to get traffic to ur website

I gain nothing from having traffic to my website. Comments are NOT disabled, they're just redirected here where I can respond to them at my leisure. This show is over. I have no need to be abused by maladjusted fanboys. I'm not a masochist and don't feel the need to make a target for ignorant misogynists who are just looking to lash out at an open target.

ps you used to post on his site prior to some falling out which you never chose to mention

The "falling out" has been well documented and the link is in the article. Darkufo manipulated polls, used sock puppet identities and generally poisoned this fandom with internecine hatred in more ways than we will ever know.

Fishbiscuitland said...

Interesting comments Samuel. Are you just guessing or do you actually have information to that effect? We'd love to know more. How did they arrive at the decision to pander to the lowest common denominator in the finale? That's what I'd like to know. When did they decide to cater to the dumbest and least imaginative fans? In other words, did they ever respect this story ? Did they just decide to bail on it at the end or did they always plan to do that?

a little soul said...

Thank you, Fish. This is my first ever comment on any of the Lost blogs or forums that I kept reading for years - I always prefered to pick up smart ideas by other people rather than add my own trash to the chaos of the Internets. I was preparing myself to be disappointed during the last two seasons, but, as most people, I kept hoping against all hope. I didn't expect that much of a letdown. I was equally disappointed by many comments on the finale by all those bloggers who provided their great analysis during the whole show. Now your last word on Lost just basically summarizes all of my own thoughts - well, most of those. Let's say I agree with 99.9% of your ideas (which is a lot!). Yours was the best analysis I read. Now I really feel the Lost chapter in my life is over, and after all, I will keep good memories of how it all began. Lost WAS a great work of art on many accounts, and it just narrowly missed the target of becoming really genius before it took a completely wrong turn. Oh well. Isn't this true for most of us, like, you know, in real life?

I think that's the best way for us to see things.

Thank you again and good-bye.

Anonymous said...

I kept comparing the last two seasons of Lost to the last couple seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and hoping, like with TNG, the writers would redeem the show in the end and give us a kick-ass finale.

But I assumed Damon, Carlton, and co. actually had the same talent and integrity as the TNG writing team. Big mistake!

Anonymous said...

One person could watch for the love scenes and another could delve into works of philosophy and propositions of fringe science while trying to map out locations of the dharma stations from the clues given. This open-endedness gave the show the ability for individuals to imagine and create their own LOST experience. The mysteries of the show were what made me watch night after night.

This sounds to me like an excellent (although irresponsible) way of drawing in as many viewers as possible. While it's true they lost a significant portion of viewers with this approach. No discussion of Lost is complete without considering the financial angle.

I don't believe they were expecting the extent of the resulting backlash, however, and the damage control we are seeing online costs money because lowering expectations by issuing late-breaking statements didn't quite cut it.

About mysteries, those things about life that are best left unanswered were the very answers viewers got, and even those who accepted the finale remarked the story would have been better without the afterlife ending. But there were few answers to the mysteries surrounding the very foundation of the story, and without these there was not a glow of "cool" but a gasp of "WTF".

Anonymous said...

*Starts a slow clap for Fishbiscuit* Now I understand how John Locke feels - "I don't understand" just about sums it up. Congrats, Darlton - you've managed to pull a long con me and millions of others. As a sign of my gratitude, I'm boycotting all of your future undertakings.

Thanks so much for the recap, Fishbiscuit. I hope you keep writing!

Anonymous said...

Your final recap said it all!! What a sad ending to what could have been a great series. Lost ends after S3 for me. Thanks for all the wonderful recaps you've given, and fvck Darlton, viva la Skate!!

Anonymous said...

Our Skies, I wanted to respond, I hope you are feeling better.

Now I have to live with the fact that a big part of the human race is contend with being fed greasy fast food rainbows and reassuring pats on the head that tell them that all the stories about Santa Clause were true after all and we need not fear this icky postmodern abyss of meaninglessness. .

Not to tell you the glass is half full, but you are not alone, if that is any comfort. Think of all the people who tuned out and stopped watching this silly show after the third season. And think of all the people here on this blog and others, saying the same things you are saying. There is intelligent life in the universe. And don't feel bad to have fallen victim to manipulation, it happens to everyone. Also take the bleating sheep comments online with a justified dose of suspicion, remember there are companies who comment for hire. In short, don't let the bastards get you down.

Humanity that is flawed and meaningless, but still capable of love and bravery when it comes to those that you love.

But we know that truly worthy stories are out there, that say all the things you want to be said, we just know now not to look to these fools for anything but being fooled. Take a break from the big three and watch Turner Classic Movies (TCM) for a while, or PBS (Masterpiece Theatre, Great Performances, etc.) when they aren't flooded with pledge drive infomercials, or worthy programs on other networks like AMC, HBO, etc. Rent or buy "To Kill A Mockingbird" - yes, there are those things that drive us to despair at times, but there is also purity of spirit and genuine love, and yes, answers to the mysteries.

McLeron said...

Everyone keeps going on about how great the first 3 seasons were. They are right, but since watching the show in its entirety, I see that the flashsideways purgatory happy ending is foreshadowed in ep 3.05 The Cost of Living. As Eko dies, he relives the most important part of his life (playing football with Yemi in the yard) and gives it a happy ending that never existed (evil random mercenaries don't come along and they get to finish their ballgame and walk off into the sunset)

Im guessing Sayid spent that year married to Nadia thinking 'Eh Shannon was better than this...at least her accent was consistent' Nah kidding, I think Shannon and Sayid are the schmoopies because of that thing about how the island was the most important part of their lives and Nadia was never on the island. Makes sense to me anyway.

I initially slag off everything I end up loving (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, indie music, Star Wars, Family Guy, The West Wing, my girlfriend, etc) and Lost was the only one that I loved instantly. I'm also a big fan of your recaps, Fish, I'm a UK fan who has been reading since 2007 and I am continually impressed with how well they are put together. I am a huge Locke fan (first ep I watched was Walkabout) and also a fan of the finale.

The controversy seems to be all about the flashsideways and that they had a cop out. IMO, the mere existence of that sideways universe copped out everything that happened before, like 'Don't worry, fans! ATL will sort it out for you! Like Locke? Well, he's dead but don't worry he's alive in the ATL' The sideways seemed to serve as some consolidation prize to people who wouldn't get their happy ending with the original timeline. I'm glad the finale copped out their cop out.

The show was fantastic and nothing will ever compare to the level of discussion and debate and unity and dissent it created between fans. I enjoyed the ride.

Fishbiscuitland said...

I think Shannon and Sayid are the schmoopies because of that thing about how the island was the most important part of their lives and Nadia was never on the island.

Penny was never on the island. Michael was. Walt was. Eko was. Ana Lucia was. Etc. There's no consistency to it. What it really boiled down to was - Maggie Grace became available so they used her. That's how this show was REALLY written, according to the conveniences of Hollywood hacks.

The sideways seemed to serve as some consolidation prize to people who wouldn't get their happy ending with the original timeline.

And this differs from what we got ... how? They called it Amorphous Pantheistic Afterlife instead of Flash Sideways World.Different name, same idea. Same lame cop out.

McLeron said...

I understood it that Michael's stuck on the island as a whisperer, hence why he can't go to the sideways. And due to my interpretation of The Cost of Livings ending, I'm assuming Eko is not in the church because he's moved on. Ana Lucia's not ready according to Desmond, so that's an ok explanation for me as to why she's not in the church and the jury's out on Walt. God knows where he is.

Was Vincent in the church? That's the REAL glaring omission.

Jim Roberts said...

Wow... I'm not even sure how to start. I guess I'll start by saying I've read your posts as long as you've been making them. You are one of the bloggers I always looked forward to reading.

I must admit that reading your posts this year were really bumming me out. I always gave you a lot of credit for your points regarding the show and when they started to turn negative I was hoping you were wrong. Until I read this last analysis I had convinced myself you were wrong. I'm actually sad to have to write this, but as time goes on and the finale is further in the past I am realizing that I had convinced myself I was happy with it because I wanted to be so badly. I had let the producers convince me that all the mysteries left unsolved and the inconsistencies didn't really matter, because, after all, this was a show about the characters. I had bought into that (though In the back of my mind I wasn't happy with that that explanation at all) I couldn't help thinking that if they were not going to tie up some of these mysteries, why did they introduce them. THEY are the ones who introduced them after all. I had convinced myself that if the show was in the end about the characters then it really didn't matter. The further the end is in the past the more I am realizing I'm not buying it. It's the small things that piss me off. What was in the box that Ben was so protective of in the flash forwards? What was with the changing picture frames in the house where Miles conned the mother of her dead son? There were many instances of things changing before our eyes from one scene to the next and there never an explanation given. I can't help but believe that at one point they had a direction they planned on taking the show and then for some reason decided to go another way, dropping these things as if they never happened and then getting pissed that we were asking for answers to mysteries THEY created. There is one inconsistency that bothers me more than any and I can't seem to make sense of it. So if ANYONE, whether you like the finale or not could explain this to me I would be grateful.

Although "The Constant" is regarded by many as one of the best episodes of the series, and I agree with that on an emotional level, it created a problem for me I could never understand. It's in regard to the Desmond/Penny timeline. We see that Desmond was talked out of marrying Penny by Mrs. Hawking. The timeline as I understand it after that (until The Constant aired)Des then joined the military, spent time in a military prison, was let out, greeted by Charles Widmore. We see that all the letters that Des had sent Penny were intercepted and she never received them. Then we see that Penny met Des at the stadium were he had met Jack. Des tells her he has to gain Widmore's respect before he could have her, Hence the sailboat race. In The Constant we are shown that after Des left Penny at the Dock Penny never wanted anything to do with him again. He tracked her down and then convinced her to wait by the phone on Christmas eve for him to call. It is implied that this is the last contact he has with her until he calls from the freighter. How does Des and Penny meeting at the stadium fit into that scenario? He was still in the military when he convinced her to wait for the call. How does the story of him getting out and then meeting her at the stadium fit into the story The Constant told?

Continued...

Jim Roberts said...

continued...

Anyway, back on topic. I have to say you have made me admit to myself what I knew all along - That the ending of the show and the last season in general did not do the first three seasons justice. I understand the people who are pissed about this point of view. It's difficult to realize that something you loved so much let you down. I think some of us fight that idea tooth and nail. It bothers me to feel I wasted my time. It bothers me to feel like I had convinced others to get the dvd's and catch up on the show and start watching because it was an awesome show, only to let us down in the end. I've felt like I needed to defend that. I'm now starting to realize that as much as I WANT to, I just can't.

I honestly expected the end of the show to give me cause to watch the show again from the beginning thinking I should have seen it coming all along, Sixth Sense style. I now realize that there was no way anyone had a chance of ever predicting the meaning of the show before the last episode aired. The end of the show sheds absolutely no new light on any of the previous seasons. As much as I hate to admit it, even to myself, that's a bummer.

BTW - Not that it matters I guess, but until now I had never realized you were a woman.. never really gave it much thought. I mean that as a compliment. I had never had a reason to think that your views were slanted one way or the other based on your gender. Still don't.

Quirky Character said...

So true, so true... So painful to admit, but so true...

LostTvFan said...

I honestly expected the end of the show to give me cause to watch the show again from the beginning thinking I should have seen it coming all along, Sixth Sense style. I now realize that there was no way anyone had a chance of ever predicting the meaning of the show before the last episode aired. The end of the show sheds absolutely no new light on any of the previous seasons. As much as I hate to admit it, even to myself, that's a bummer.

Which renders my S1-S3 DVD's completely worthless. I can't imagine watching them again knowing what I know now. I'm not mad; I'm just sad!

dp2 said...

Ah, you're just mad that it left Suliet intact!

Alright, I'm teasing. I respect your recaps. But I do want to say that I believe the Chuck E Cheese thing was always misconstrued, I think sometimes masochistically. I don't believe Lindelof meant it anything more than a metaphor for ending a line of questioning that could never end on its own. You can always ask "But why?", and he was saying you eventually have to stop answering those "but why"s. Who was Mother's mother? But then who was her mother? But then.... ignore time.

Gerry Jackson said...

I don't have a whole lot to say except...you missed it. I've Always enjoyed your recaps but I think a lot of the "fans", yourself included, were simply watching a different show than us. And perhaps did not grow along with the characters as some of us have. I almost feel the finale haters have drawn a line in the sand for us "LOST apologists". Here's hoping you'll learn something during the rewatch. NAMASTE

MeriJ said...

Why do you assume they are going to heaven when they left the “church.” All we know is that they were going together.

Where?

Perhaps to another mortal life where they are again linked to one another. (Maybe this was not the first time.)

Perhaps they were moving on entirely, letting go and no longer existing as ego-bound entities.

That said, your recap brilliantly inflamed all my fears that the show had no ultimate meaning after all. You are dangerously persuasive. Long ago you seduced me to the skater side. Now I need to rebalance by reading someone who still Believes.

Although it feels kind of weird to still be thinking about Lost at all. Especially if you are right.

Right or wrong, you really should watch the finale again. I enjoyed it much more the second time. The first time I was too self-aware, too nervous about whether they would bellyflop, as you say. Much more fun the second time. And more emotionally satisfying too.

Even if they screwed us on the thinking part, they did play the heartstrings reasonably well.
.

Henry Holland said...

In the beginning the show was composed as a 3 season arch in which the characters died in the initial flight 815 plane crash and were indeed in a Purgatory of sorts

Interesting, because I was under the impression that they initially wrote a 13 ep. arc so that if it didn't do well --and its success was no guarantee before the Pilot-- they could wrap up the story. Of course, the show blew up out of the gate and things got changed.

To add to the list of things they didn't think through: the plane crash. They had the plane splitting apart at too high an altitude, it was obvious there's no way 48 people survive that = "Hmmm....they must be in Purgatory". My dad was in the Air Force for 25 years and he said there's no way anyone would have survived because

1) once the plane split apart, dramatic though it was, there was no structural integrity, the fuselage would have splintered in to a million bits

2) even if the fuselage was intact, the G forces would have ripped everybody apart as G forces increase exponentially.

They could have had the intact plane plow through the jungle, that kills the 250 people need to get to the cast + background characters.

Oh god, the background characters. How lame were they? Carrying the same sticks back and forth and back and forth and.... I always hated the way the main cast was in a bubble, rarely interacting with them. I know there's issues of pay and credit for even one line for an actor, but they could have the main cast say to one of them "Hey, did you get the water you needed", the backgrounder nods and that's that.

And when they tried to integrate the background cast, they totally screwed up the Scott and Steve thing.

Oh, time for the Spain v. Switzerland replay, have a nice evening y'all.

Anonymous said...

I played out the Zork series of games with Damon's father David Lindelof. In the last game of the series, if you play it wrong, your score goes from a large positive number to a large negative one and the designation "menace to society" as all your accomplishments are turned around and counted against you. Sorry, Damon, but that's Lost. Well, not the "menace to society" part, because it's only TV.

I've just got to believe what we saw was somehow not the real show -- that they got derailed by forces beyond their control. I don't see how, but maybe that'll eventually come out.

Henry Holland said...

What was with the changing picture frames in the house where Miles conned the mother of her dead son?

Simple continuity error. As you know, things aren't filmed chronologically, even if it's edited together as one scene. I hated the way they wouldn't fess up to continuity errors --my big one: Scott and Steve-- unless they were pestered to death about it and so people would spend hours arguing that pictures changed because Miles was experiencing a time shift in conciousness or whatever. No, the set dresser and continuity overlord screwed up.

Fishbiscuitland said...

I think a lot of the "fans", yourself included, were simply watching a different show than us. And perhaps did not grow along with the characters as some of us have.

LOL! Thanks for the condescension, Gerry. Who is "us", anyway? Personally I prefer to grow along with the real people in my life, especially since they tend to actually grow, as opposed to becoming ever less dimensional and interesting, like the make believe characters on Lost did.

Here's hoping you'll learn something during the rewatch.

There's a lot I still want to learn in life, but Lost is the last place I'm going to look for it. A rewatch is going to be difficult - considering I don't own any dvds and I erased my dvr. Plus, it's time to move on. Didn't you hear?

Anonymous said...

Watching season 6 for me was like watching some movie with a brilliant premise that was ruined with shoddy storytelling. I kept watching because I was hoping it would redeem itself in the end and when it finally ended all I could say was "ugh".

I think the sideways world idea could have been beautiful and I understand what they were aiming for with the whole church full of happy people scene. I get that they wanted the end to reflect the audience's final goodbye to the show. I get that and it would have been cool if they had been able to execute it properly.

The problem is the journey towards that end. They worked so hard at trying to confuse us as to what the sideways world really is in order to surprise us that they ruined the characters and the story in the process. They wanted to keep us mystified in order to keep us watching and, when they realized that they were close to the end date, they crammed in half-baked, Chuck E. Cheesy resolutions so they could preach that ALL THAT MATTERS IS LOVE LOVE LOVE! It surpasses all religions! It is unhampered by Time! Or Death!

Poor execution.

BUT I still love Lost for keeping me hooked since the Pilot. The journey was still enjoyable. It was still packed with beautiful visuals (minus the occasional sad CGI), a moving soundtrack, and brilliant acting. It's details like those that kept me watching, even when I was starting to lose interest in the over-all story back in Season 4.

I've never been the kind of Lost fan to pore over the intellect of it. I never researched the books it featured, or the historical references in it. I was just along for the ride even though it became rocky after season 3. I liked how the writers managed to make me FEEL the fear of the Losties. I liked how my hairs stood on end when Danielle said that "They" were coming to take the baby and then they saw black smoke from the mountains. I was in it for the mindfucks. I didn't try to analyze it, I was in it purely for the pleasure.

But in season 4 onwards the mind fucking turned into sex between a bored married couple. Sometimes it is still good and mindblowing, most of the time it was just... blah.

BUT if it turns out that season 6 was just Jack's wet dream and that was what the Damon and Carlton had intended it to be all along, I will slow clap and give them back my respect. It may not have been an end that I enjoyed initially but it would be an ultimate mindfuck.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading impassioned thoughts even when I disagree. And I do disagree. I wanted more of the mysteries solved, but after letting it digest, I realized the show ended well and the writers/producers did it their way. It's a lot like life itself, there's so much we never know, but that doesn't make it worthwhile.

Anyway, I still appreciate your opinion and your writing style.

Anonymous said...

"Disappointed that they couldn't think beyond one like Jack when they had the whole world at their feet"

I think everything happened in a way where a lot of things we valued were not intended, a mere coincidence - I mean that the writers themselves always intended the show to be a Jack one-man show, but all the "secondary" characters had such an amazing chemistry, were acted so well, that they stood out far more and stole the screen. The writers saw it and used it. However, when the time came where the conclusion was ought to be given in a straight manner, straight from the writers, they could not find in themselves to lift from the initial thinking where the only intention of their story was a formula of "the story told a thousand times before + the "better" manner of telling it". By the "better" manner I mean all the riddles and questions they have posed along the way to keep the viewers coming and left unanswered.

"How did they arrive at the decision to pander to the lowest common denominator in the finale?"

I remember a poll at ABC where people were asked to vote for their "favorite couple". Interestingly, Sun and Jin or Penny and Desmond were not an option. One could choose from Jack and Juliet, Jack and Kate, Sawyer and Kate, Sawyer and Juliet. Sawyer and Juliet won that one and in a few interviews that followed Carlton Cuse metioned that they chose "to change that arc", because people were "reacting so well" to that coupling. Just one example.

-Nodecode

Fishbiscuitland said...

Agreed, Nodecode. They were slaves to the polls, which explains a lot of the creative starvation the show went through. It was a gutless way to proceed but as became obvious in recent years, Lindelof especially was a praise whore.

It was exactly the wrong way to go if he wanted to make art, and in the end, given how poorly this season was received in the thinking portions of the media, he didn't even manage to make good pop art. He just plotzed all over himself. There's a lesson to be learned there, even if it's too late for him now. To make art, you need a vision and you need to follow that vision, not constantly monitor polls and change your direction in order to please the idle dumbasses who sit on them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving us your finale recap, Fish. I agree with you. I have not wanted to admit to myself that Season 6 was ultimately a disappointment, even though I started to feel that things were coming unglued for the series when I saw them "move the island" at the end of Season 4.

Things got worse for me after lovably addle-brained Daniel Faraday was killed off when he inexplicably morphed into a gun-waving loon. Why? In hindsight I think it was to silence the one person who had a real possibility of providing any kind of plausible-sounding explanation to what MIB's "this wheel is going to channel the water and the light so I can leave this island" might mean.

I still had hope, though, that somehow there was going to be an awesome ending that would make it all make sense. Season 6 slowly pulled the plug and let all my hope drain away.

In the end, in my opinion Season 6 was just a six-pack and a sad sunflower. They blew it.

So long, and thanks for all the fishbiscuits.

MeriJ said...

Top Ten Reasons Fish Should Re-Watch the Finale:

10. Until you do, total strangers will continue to annoy you with unsolicited advice on your blogsite.

9. You already have to moderate the blog comments due to the Andy Page noise – if the “rewatch the finale” movement grows, you’ll end up spending all your damn time previewing comments.

8. Even without the greatness we thought we saw in the show, season six Lost was still better than 99% of what’s on TV and 75% of what’s in the theatres.

7. Even without logical integrity or Skate, it was still emotionally satisfying, if only because we did care about these people and the actors did a fine job with what they had.

6. The Sayid-Shannon segment is perfectly timed to serve as a bathroom break.

5. It’s like spinach. Just eat it for heaven’s sake.

4. It might be useful fodder for anger management.

3. Or not. If not, anger still beats the crap out of numbness or apathy.

2. You shouldn’t *not* do something just because jerks like Gerry Jackson say that you should.

1. I am not a jerk – and I am saying that you must do this. –smile–


Seriously, though... The trick to not hating the finale is to let go of what it’s not and focus on the acting and the characters at an emotional level. You already know the bad stuff. None of that will change.

But saying goodbye to these wonderful people whom you spent so much time getting to know is something you should do for yourself.

Even if the finale was just a cheesy montage of remembered emotions about people we used to love, that love was still real. And as intellectually deep and biting as the Fish may be, you are still a romantic.

Fishbiscuitland said...

LOL, I loved your comment MeriJ.

I'll still never ever rewatch that steaming pile of toxic cheese, but kudos to you for a great top ten list!

Anonymous said...

Well, thanks, I actually felt better for some time after Fish's amazing recap appeared - but I should better have stopped reading the comments, too. Like this one:

"Although it feels kind of weird to still be thinking about Lost at all. Especially if you are right. Even if they screwed us on the thinking part, they did play the heartstrings reasonably well."

I don't know exactly why anyone can come up with such a statement after reading this recap - which states very profoundly every single reason why the cheese-dripping so-called emotional parts were an insult to the show's characters as well as to us as emotionally invested fans, not to mention the unhealthy way the show dealt with its resolutions when it came to women, ethnical diversity or religion. I desperately wanted them to tug at my heartstrings, but even in that respect did they fail me, for if I have to turn off my brain and abandon all self-respect as a critical member of society in order to do so, I would rather cancel this appointment. But this might just be due to the fact that, considering my home country's history, I have been taught since early childhood that completely leaving your ability to think behind in the wardrobe can be especially dangerous in the face of emotionally gripping mass spectacles. So those arguing that the finale is watched best without any brains - congrats! And greetings from Germany,
Our Skies

Fishbiscuitland said...

Makes you wonder what kind of heartstrings these people have. Really cheap easily played ones obviously.

Anonymous said...

I found nothing in the finale to be emotionally rewarding.

Sawyer spent most of this season doing absolutely nothing and when he did act, it ended badly and only served to show how amazing and great the hero Jack is. Then he was one of the few who made it off the island, but it didn't matter because that period of his life apparently sucked. When he died he got reunited with Juliet, a character they hooked him up with only in season 5 and with whom he became the boring and domesticated "LaFleur". But hey, Doc Jensen and other media people loved the couple, as did fans on various blogs so why not give people what they want. Why follow the love story that started in season 1 and heavily involved Kate when you can pander to fans who insisted Juliet had to be back and had to be with Sawyer?

Claire was claimed but we never learned what that meant, and it didn't really matter because it looked she stopped being claimed along the way. Then she left the island, but she was also apparently miserable in the real world, after getting reunited with her son. But that's okay, because her son Aaron was also a miserable human being all his life and the only time that matter to him was when his mother carried him and when he was an infant. But hey, people, Claire got reunited with Charlie, the man she never even mourned and maybe mentioned once after he died. Woo-hoo!

Sayid and Shannon? Really now? I get that some people might even like them, but Sayid's story has always been about Nadia (just like Sawyer's was about Kate, I believe). In this case, Darlton were not pandering to fans, they were just going for the surprise factor. Again, they did not respect the character's story.

MeriJ said...

I said: Even if they screwed us on the thinking part, they did play the heartstrings reasonably well.

Anonymous from Germany thought that was stoopid and Fish said: Makes you wonder what kind of heartstrings these people have. Really cheap easily played ones obviously.

I also said: Even if the finale was just a cheesy montage of remembered emotions about people we used to love, that love was still real.


It’s rarely useful to counter emotion with logic. Most people consider me to be an intellectual type. But concern for other people – even fictional ones – is not something I feel a need to overanalyze. If it’s real, I’m going to feel something.

Yes, even in response to cynically exploitative Hallmark moments. I see the cheap set-up -- and in the back of my mind I analyze exactly how they did it. But I still react. No apologies on that count.

Lost did a great job of winning my concern for these characters. I too was disappointed by (almost) all the fails that Fish pointed out.

But I don’t tell my heartstrings when to resonate. They do pretty much whatever they damn well please. And given the alternative, I’m OK with that.

Of course, that may also explain why I’m twice divorced…

jason said...

I was duped by the finale in the first vowing too. I just so badly wanted it to be good that I was blind.

I very much enjoyed how you took the writers to task regarding their comments that it was all about the characters. if it was, why didn't they even give us one second about all the people who escaped on that plane.

and nothing about Dharma, which was such a huge part of this show. that they so summarily brushed this aside, to me was the biggest f.u. to the fans.

I am standing by my premise that the show ended at the end of season 5 when Juliet blew up the bomb and my screen went white. the end.

also, thank you for hanging around so long here and responding to all of our comments.

Anonymous said...

I remember a poll at ABC where people were asked to vote for their "favorite couple".

Just had to comment on this. Polls are so easily hacked. I agree Lindelof and Cuse did not make good creative decisions, but I also believe they did exactly what they wanted to do (in this case, justify the easy way out ending by getting Sawyer out of Jack the Hero's way). They fed the lazy media the buzz words to feed the fans, while they simultaneously fed the fans using social media. It's like Broadcast News, "you knew just when to feed me the next line, you knew the second before I needed it. There was like a rhythm we got into... it was like great sex!" I think they must be feeling very deprived at this point after a heady six years of this.

Anonymous said...

Fish, your recaps were a light in the dark void that Lost became. I only became aware of the beast that is the Lost online fandom last year, and thanks to the DarkUFO site, I was introduced to a whole new arena of assholes I had never known existed. Those dudes would eat your babies if you ever dared to comment about enjoying any other aspects of Lost than the mythology and Jack. If I had a penny for every time I saw Skate (not Jate or Suliet, only Skate) fans dubbed "tween" or told they should stick to watching Desperate Housewives/Grey's Anatomy, I'd be Oprah rich. I've gotten off point though. I'd like to thank you for providing a refuge for those of us who were able to juggle enjoying the mythology, the mysteries, the complexities of the characters, and the sweet sweet lovin' between Kate and Sawyer. As far as the finale, and season 6 goes, I want my money back! Your recap of the finale was oh so AWESOME, totally dead on, and provided more closure (for me) than the finale itself.
-Wendy W

Anonymous said...

Sadly agreed.
It's incredible that they could destroy so completely they own story.

Anonymous said...

I recently just realized this whole thing is even worse than you told here. If they planned all along to have Kate end up with Jack, do you realize how disgusting it was that they ruined Kate and made her seem so drawn to Sawyer all that time, for no reason at all? Of all the women they shitted on with this story they shitted on Kate the worst. They really must hate women these writers.

Kyle from Kentucky said...

I don't hate the heaven thing. I mean I am kind of happy that most of them got to move on together. What pisses me off so bad is that the show became so focused on JackGod. The other thing is the many extremely interesting storylines that I really enjoyed that they eventually completely ignored. Even really big ones. What about the episode "The Man Behind the Curtain". Annie and the volcano talk in the classroom were 2 stories I expected to hear from again. In 3 years since then they never even mentioned the words volcano or Annie again. I felt like I could understand Bens misery better through the love of h is life Annie than just a girl he kidnapped. But I just can't believe they ignored stories. I'm ok with not answering every single mystery. but to completely ignore things that shouldve been addressed is just shocking to me. and another thing for those of you that watched the clip show before the finale did you hear the shots that Damon took at Sawyer. To him Sawyer is just about sex appeal for middle aged housewives I swear. Its unbelievable. I will definitely follow some of my favorite lost actors Holloway, DDKim, Terry, Michael etc but Damon is one person I just can't forgive for the way he started to run things. Fucking rich nerd. He screwed up.

Caroline said...

Adversity makes strange bedfellows. I have to agree with most of this review. The world gets stranger and stranger as I get older.

Anonymous said...

It's funny that Fish always ripped on the fanboys and they hated her, but now I think fanboy geek types are even angrier than Fish. I know a few of them and they are like LIVID at Lost, Damon Lindelof, etc. He is dead meat now with the geek crowd. Just dumping all over the mysteries was not an option, but he did it and he seemed to think it was hilarious. You said his name is mud but I think his name is even worse than that now. Good thing he's rich because he's finished.

Quirky Character said...

I would like to add one thing. What made me especially angry after watching the finale was the fact that I remembered what Darlton said in the earlier seasons: that in the course of the show the plot will be slowly unfolding, all mysteries will be answered one by one, putting together the entire LOST puzzle, and the series finale will be like the last piece of the puzzle put in place. Remember that? Turned out to be BS, like so many other things Darlton said...

Ann said...

"It's funny that Fish always ripped on the fanboys and they hated her, but now I think fanboy geek types are even angrier than Fish."

The fans of Skate, Sawyer and those of us who read this blog and posted on the Fishbiscuitand forum always had more in common with the fanboys and geeks than we did with the typical idiot shippers who watched Lost via clips on YouTube, screamed JIF for six years and mailed sewing kits to Damon and Carlton. Our interest in Lost went beyond just shipping Kate and Sawyer, as this blog proves. We cared about story structure, the tale being told, the character arcs and that beautiful, mysterious island. We cared about the entire show!

We are not the only ones disappointed. There are two very interesting reviews that are spot on regarding the finale and the wasted potential of most of our beloved Losties:

This one at Salon.com -

http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/heather_havrilesky/2010/05/24/lost_finale_unintended_moral/slideshow.html#

And this one at New York magazine -

http://nymag.com/arts/tv/reviews/66293/

The comments made by pissed off (or pissed on) fans are priceless!

Anonymous said...

I thought it was especially cute how in the Feb 5 EW Lost article Darlton said that "the love triangle is CENTRAL this season". But literally a couple of weeks later (I wish I could remember exactly where I saw this so that I could give the exact quote) Darlton made a comment along the lines of "there are more important things going on than the triangle, we're not writing a romance novel here". Now I'm no Mensa member, but doesn't central mean most important? What ass clowns!
-Wendy W

Henry Holland said...

I know a few of them and they are like LIVID at Lost, Damon Lindelof, etc. He is dead meat now with the geek crowd. Just dumping all over the mysteries was not an option, but he did it and he seemed to think it was hilarious.

[raises hand] Count me as one.

What I find unforgivable is the amount of bald-faced lies Darlton told. It was always odd to me that they were so visible and in the media so much, as much or more than the stars of the show. I never saw David Simon, David Chase, Alan Ball and Chris Carter do the amount of press or podcasts/v-casts as Darlton, in fact I couldn't pick Simon and Chase out of a police line-up, I have no idea what they look like.

I wonder if all the lavish praise of the first four seasons went to their heads, to the point they felt they could do what they wanted to (even if it contradicted what had gone before) and people would buy in to just because they were the mighty Darlton.

You said his name is mud but I think his name is even worse than that now. Good thing he's rich because he's finished

Maybe among the ComicCon crowd, but nah, those two made Disney/ABC a TON of money, they'll have no problem getting stuff made for the foreseeable future. The tears of a few million geekboys doesn't matter when you can make a corporation big $$$. Damon especially can always rely on JJ Abrams for a job.

Anonymous said...

"Darlton made a comment along the lines of "there are more important things going on than the triangle, we're not writing a romance novel here". "

It's a good thing, since they're clearly not creative enough to write anything about romance beyond OMG they finally did it! or cheeseball reunion kisses. What an insult to Josh and Evangeline's beautiful acting in the miniarc.

Chris said...

Thank you. That was truly cathartic. In every sense of the word.

I think I'll finish my Lost Q&As then concentrate on writing about Sports or something. You're right in almost all you have said, as usual. Thank you.

One thing, on a personal note - I found Michael Giacchino's score to follow the storyline - epic, especially in Season 1 and 3, but began to wane into nothingness Seasons 4-6 to be honest.

Yeah. Lost. Meh.

Fishbiscuitland, however, excellent. Truly this was the punctuation mark needed to seal the book of Lost for me. Thank you once again.

You also helped me realise something I've always known - Darlton owed us nothing, well, perhaps they did at least owe us a story. But the big things, the phenomenon, the answers, the puzzle - that was a creation by the fans, a creation too huge and intelligent for the writers of Lost. It isn't entirely their fault. They are also not absolved of blame. But neither are we.

Chris said...

Reading through the comments, got about half way down and have a couple of things I wanted to share my opinion on (if anyone cares).


Jack's Addiction.
Wow, I hadn't even thought about how he just overcame addiction through magic. No cold-turkey sweat/panic attacks, nothing. Just Ben telling him to shave and he is all dandy again.

Sayid choosing Shannon.
This is one of the few things I enjoyed, as being a longtime Shannon-hater and an advocate for Sayid-Nadia, I think now that Nadia always represented darkness to Sayid - his past, his torture, his betrayals. Shannon did represent light to him - a new beginning, accepting Shannon without prejudice and her accepting him the same way. While at the time I found the relationship totally perverse to Nadia's memories (and still do - I cheer every time Shannon gets shot), on retrospect I can buy that Shannon would be there instead of Nadia. That's about it really.

The Finale Was Holding The Fan's Hands.
I don't think it's fair to criticise the writer's for developing such an ego to believe that the fans needed an ending that wasn't a story but a goodbye - it is what "we" demanded. We being the fans, the critics, the bloggers and the media. We have said that the fanbase is hardcore. We have went above and beyond the games, we have brought Lost into our LIVES, spending hours upon hours chatting, blogging, fanarting, Comicon-ing, etc etc. We must look like a rabid cult to the outside world, one that could explode if not handled carefully. When big pop bands (Take That for instance) split up, suicide hotlines are sometimes set up for the fans to 'cope'. It is stupid and ridiculous, but we are without doubt one of the most rabid, batshit-insane fandoms out there. The finale was our suicide hotline, a gentle "man, you people need to do something ELSE with your lives and let go. this is just a TV show, look, it's not even a GOOD one at that". It succeeded in it's mission and, to a very large extent, it was a mission we demanded more than a good storyline. It wasn't too presumptious of Darlton to think our lives revolved around Lost and we needed a happy-ending-cum-goodbye, we practically demanded it at gunpoint.

Jeff "Doc" Jensen.
I gave up reading his articles around 2 years ago, when it became blatantly obvious that he was not enjoying the show, but trying his damned hardest to put on a big smile and try to deduce some kind of meaningful, intelligent analysis of Lost's unnecessary mysterious bullshit. Then smile again the next week when all his hard-thought-out and researched guesswork was proved wrong time and time again in the worst manner, and act like the Lost writer's were geniuses outfoxing him. I felt sorry for the guy reading his articles, not entertained. Wether this is how he actually felt/feels or I was just reading too much into it, he helped start me on the road to cushioning myself for a shitty finale. It didn't begin with "Stranger In A Strange Land", it began with "Confirmed Dead" and continued through "The Constant", "The Other Woman" and "The Shape Of Things To Come" (what an apt title - characters dying without resolution so another more 'important' character has his next story arc to follow).


Anyway, enough bullshittery, too many comments to get through. It goes without saying, but as this is such a high-energy topic I thought I should point out - these are JUST my opinions, and I'm not suggesting anybody for a second should have to agree with them. Just felt like sharing while we're all getting stuff off our chests.

Anonymous said...

"What I find unforgivable is the amount of bald-faced lies Darlton told. It was always odd to me that they were so visible and in the media so much, as much or more than the stars of the show. I never saw David Simon, David Chase, Alan Ball and Chris Carter do the amount of press or podcasts/v-casts as Darlton, in fact I couldn't pick Simon and Chase out of a police line-up, I have no idea what they look like."

I've always found this so odd. I was a huge West Wing fan and yet I have no idea what Aaron Sorkin (who created the show and wrote about 90 of the episodes) looks like. BSG's Ron Moore could stand in line behind me at the grocery store and I wouldn't notice.

Damon and Carlton fell in love with their own celebrity when they should have loved their story. They spent more time on interviews, podcasts and media razzle dazzle than they did constructing and writing their tale; so much so that in the end Lost lost its soul. Damn funny that they exited the stage and went into hiding the minute the finale aired. That should tell us all something! Had they been proud of their work; shouldn’t they have stuck around for a bow and the arm load of roses?

Zonker said...

Hey FB, I've been a dedicated follower of your recaps on Docartz, I posted there as Zonker. Particularly appreciated your dissection of the ludicrous character motivations in "The Incident" last year when everyone was praising how great it was. I initially thought "The End" did a terrible job of closing down the on-Island storyline, but the Sideways stuff worked for me. Not trying to change your mind, but its a shame to have you disregard your former love for the show when I think an alternative explanation might make the Sideways stuff more palatable to you. I haven't read through the comments, so if this has already been considered & dismissed, my apologies. Here goes: The sideways was not a groupthink Paradise/Valhalla/Nirvana/WhatHaveYou, instead, it really was more like Purgatory, a false happy place that Desmond correctly discovered needed to be escaped from. So, in this view, Jack's narcissism shaped it, as did Sayid's need to punish himself for being unworthy of Nadia. Charlie was still an addict chasing the Rock & Roll dream. Eloise Hawking was trying for a do-over with her son Daniel. Juliet was still suffering from her "just because we love each other, doesn't mean we should be together" childhood trauma. Desmond wanted so bad to break everyone free from this neurotic false-happyland that he ran over poor Locke, and beat the shit out of Ben again. Only by waking up from the Sideways were the characters allowed to move to whatever came next. Does that help at all?

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