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Entertainment :: LOST: The End, Part 1
  submitted on May 24, 2010, 11:19 PM

Emotionally drained.

I couldn't think of a better way to describe my experience of watching the series finale of LOST. It's not like the end was a surprise to me, I've known about it for three and a half years. And I felt like I had a pretty good idea going into the finale what was going to happen. Jack and the Nemesis would have a confrontation. I had a feeling one if not both would die. I thought Hurley might end up taking over. And yet, at the same time, I really had no idea what would happen. What could happen. And then there's the flash-sideways world, a place I found interesting to the extent that I felt like there were a lot of great character moments, great parallels and call backs to scenes from the entire history of the show. I knew there was something more to it than just that, but I didn't know what it was, and really, how could I? So I found myself quite taken with the whole episode. It wasn't a perfect episode, but the things it did well, it did really, really well. And it completely sucked me in, so much so that two and a half hours felt much shorter than that. In the end, the combination of Jack walking to his death, Jack's final conversation with his father, and the last LOST reunion we'll ever see was just too overwhelming for me, and I had myself a little cry. I'm one of those people that doesn't really cry. My eyes might get a little glassy at times, but me being the male that I am, it's certainly a natural instinct for me to make sure it never goes further than that. Couldn't do it this time. It caught me off guard, it really did. It was all just so, beautiful, the way everything ended, I couldn't help but be swept up in it all.

I feel like there's a lot that I want to discuss, but I also feel like it's all still swirling around in my head, and I'm not sure I can make complete sense of it all quite yet. But writing's therapeutic for me, so let's see if putting it all onto paper helps.

The Real World. Our final confrontation. Jack vs. Locke. Good vs. Evil. All of that good stuff. The on island storyline was somewhat formulaic to finish things out, but I guess I was a little comforted by that, because it's the end of the show, don't we need a little normalcy to close things out? I ended up feeling like this was the weaker of the two realities in the finale, but there were some positives to take away as well.

-I really liked all the little moments that the writers still managed to put into the show, even though they were focused on finishing the story. Hurley had a lot of great moments, commenting on how sweet Kate & Jack's moment was together if they weren't all about to die, busting out the infamous Star Wars quote "I've got a bad feeling about this", and his final scene with Jack was as good as it gets. We also got to see Rose & Bernard one last time, which could be looked at as a pointless scene, but from a character standpoint, it was nice to see them again, although they're clearly justified in keeping themselves isolated from everyone else on the island.

-I thought Julius Goat made a very poignant prediction (for once) when he proclaimed that either all of the remaining candidates would die on the finale, or none of them would. It felt right to me at the time, but not just for the candidates. I went in thinking that this could go one of two ways, either pretty much everyone was going to die, and we were only going to be left with two or three characters still alive, or we got our deaths out of the way in "What They Died For", and whomever survived that episode was going to make it out alive. It turned out to be the latter, with only Jack and the Nemesis dying, and everyone else either finding their way off the island, or remaining there to live out their lives. As usual, I did a terrible job of following my own advice when I talked about how a LOST character generally isn't dead until you actually see them die. And then there I go talking about how Frank's probably dead even though we didn't actually see him die, because he's not relevant enough to get a true character death. Relevant enough? What was I talking about? Hello, he's part of the main cast! Hell, if Frogurt and Karl can get official death scenes, why wouldn't Frank? Idiot. At least I was right about Richard. Certainly if Richard was going to die he needed a better death than flying through the air at the hands of the smoke monster. And ultimately, neither one of them died. Neither did red-shirt Miles. It was certainly a surprise seeing them survive, but a welcome one. (For the record, I do believe that everyone on that Ajira plane survived and made it to, wherever Lapidus took them. While we don't know for sure, I think we have some evidence and can infer that this is the case. In the flash-sideways, Kate told Jack that she had missed him for a long time, implying she lived on for a while after Jack died. If she had died on the plane, their deaths would have only been minutes, or hours apart.)

-I've said it before, but Jack's transformation into something more Locke than Jack has been extremely gratifying as a viewer. He was a flawed, broken man when he arrived on the island, but he just wasn't broken enough to truly achieve the greatness that lay within him. It wasn't until he left the island, and lost everything that he had, that he was able to find the faith that had eluded him for so long, the faith that was passed on to him, in a way, when John Locke died. Instead of trying to live his life by fixing everything and everyone that he could, he placed his life in the destiny of the island, and that gave us the best Jack Shephard we could have hoped for. Gone was the stubborn Jack that only did things his way, and instead in his place was a calmer, more open Jack, willing to take lead if he has to, but also to defer and take a wait and see approach if that's what the situation calls for. The character transformation was really effective, and made people like me, who have been Jack haters since before it was cool, emotionally invested in his character once again. That way, when he died, I was sad. Not just because it represented the end of the show, but because Jack had become someone I had grown to care about. Jack's transformation also provided some peace for all of the Locke supporters out there who felt Locke died for nothing, that he wouldn't get any redemption. Jack picked up Locke's flag, and carried it proudly onto the battlefield against the Nemesis. "You're not John Locke, you disrespect his memory by wearing his face, but you are nothing like him". Tremendous line, and carries with it so much depth and history given Jack's relationship with Locke on the island.

-Now, as much as I enjoyed Jack's character in this episode, I wasn't overly impressed with what he did in this episode. I am okay with a certain amount of ambiguity. I don't need to know everything about the island; heck, I'm not even sure I want to know everything about the island. But I guess I did want to know more about the island than what was given to us. The entire process of lowering Desmond down into the light, the removal of the stone, the draining of the light, the red light emanating from the bottom of the island, just the whole thing, it was done without any kind of explanation, or even without any kind of reason. Neither Jack or the Nemesis really knew what they were doing, they just seemed to be winging it. I don't have a problem with that idea, per say, but it's not like we can find out down the road what it was they were actually doing. It kind of reminded me of Ben moving the island. I don't think Ben knew exactly what he was doing, but he had a general idea, and we of course had absolutely no clue what he was doing, but over time we came to have an understanding of what was going on. I think ultimately I found myself not quite as invested in those scenes involving the light because I honestly didn't know what I was looking at. It was something mysterious, something important, but we just didn't know enough to really truly care one way or another how things played out.

-Oh Kate, you had me at "I saved you a bullet". As anyone who reads my blog knows, I have hatred for Kate like no one else on this show. She has always been one of the most selfish characters, constantly getting in the way of things, and even when she has good intentions they tend to be based on some underlying selfish motivation. If she didn't look so good in her underwear she would have been killed off in Season 2. And yet, in one episode, she completely turns it around, which I still find completely baffling. Her shooting the Nemesis was outstanding, and her line was totally bad ass. Even her moment with Jack before he left was touching and heartfelt. Instead of using Jack or Sawyer to best suit her needs, she just laid it out there, proclaimed her love for Jack, then let him leave. Bravo Kate, I salute you. She also talked Claire into getting on the plane, which is all well and good, but they sort of rushed that scene a bit, and we all knew Claire was getting on the plane, so I'm not going to give her a ton of credit for that one.

-Nothing I could say could possibly improve upon what's already there, so here you go.

-I'm really glad we got one more awesome Michael Emerson moment before the show ended. When Jack picked Hurley to become the new protector of the island, Ben was in the background, but was purposely kept on camera, so that you could see his sheer disappointment in him not being chosen. I really felt bad for the guy. To follow that up with Ben's pure elation at the idea of Hurley asking him, Benjamin Linus, for help in protecting the island, really great stuff, and was a fantastic conclusion to a guy who sacrificed pretty much everything he had for the good of the island, but was never able to be the chosen one, until now.

I do have a couple of various theories that I heard that I don't necessarily believe, but I thought they had some promise and were interesting ways of looking at the show, if nothing else.

First comes from Jimmy Kimmel, that he shared with Matthew Fox in his LOST show on Sunday night (I encourage you to check it out on Hulu if you haven't seen it yet). Jimmy didn't have a real in-depth theory about any specific aspect of the show, but rather a broad idea of what the show was, and the perspective it was shown to us in. I really liked how explained it, and it just sort of felt right the way he said it. Anyways, I've transcribed the theory below:

"In a lot of religions, Christianity being one of them, the idea is that life is a test, that you go through your life, and if you're good you go on to Heaven, or Nirvana, or whatever, and if you're bad you don't, you go to Hell or you don't go anywhere. My theory is that the whole show from beginning to end, we were watching Jack's test, his test, and his life on the island was I think his real life. And obviously Jack passed the test. And maybe the characters, maybe each of the characters has their own story and their own test, but this show, I think was Jack's test."

The other theory I heard on a podcast and read a couple of places, but the general idea is this. At the end of the show, Ben and Hurley are talking about Jack, Desmond, and the responsibility of protecting the island. Ben tells Hurley that he should do his job by doing what he does best, by taking care of people. Hurley wonders how they can help Desmond get home since people can't leave the island. Ben tells Hurley that was a Jacob thing, and says that maybe there is a better way. Now, in the flash-sideways, and I'll probably talk more about this later, but Christian tells Jack that the flash-sideways, it's a place they made to find each other, because the most important part of their lives was the time spent with those people. What if Hurley, as the protector of the island, was able to use his abilities to create that place? He wanted to get Desmond to Penny, and off the island, and so he made that place for them to find each other again.

I don't know that I subscribe to the idea, it seems a little far-fetched, plus I'm of the opinion that Ben suggesting there's a better way, what he really meant was looking to improve upon the way Jacob did things, "progress" if you will. Plus I think the creating of the flash-sideways goes beyond what any of us know about the universe, I don't know that Hurley could create something like that just because he's in charge of the island. Still, it's an intriguing idea to think about.

Alright, I wasn't sure if I was going to get this all into one post or not, but since I'm just now finishing talking about the real world, and haven't even touched the flash sideways world yet, I think we'll go ahead and make this Part 1, and you can look for Part 2 to go up tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

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