Monday, May 24, 2010

The End of Lost 2: Further Thoughts: Missed Opportunities

Well, here I am the day after, still thinking a lot about Lost, and talking about it with my family, and that says something about the staying power of the show, including its ending.

But to be more specific -

As I wrote last night, there was great joy in seeing all the people whose lives we have followed finding happiness at last in better-LA.    And I was glad, too, to see Lapidus and Richard alive and pretty well on the island.

But the ending also took away a lot of the joy that the rest of the finale provided, by making this story - better LA - a purgatory, after all.    So many better ways, in my view, that Lost could have gone.   The finale made no use of Faraday, as I mentioned last night, and, if you think about it, no real use of Desmond, either.   Time travel is my favorite kind of story telling, and Lost went in a direction that abandoned both Faraday's hard science fiction time travel work, and Desmond's more mystical kind.

The story was already moving sharply away from some of the fine scientific gambits of earlier seasons.   Dharma was a great retro-science (by our standards) 1970s operation.   What Dharma wanted to learn about and harness on the island - the power of the wheel, for example, which could teleport people to Tunisia and jolt the island through time - was left largely unexplored and unexplained in the end.   Even the source of Jacob and MIB's powers - I liked their story far less than Dharma's - was not really explained, and, like everything else in the six years of Lost, became at best an interesting footnote to the purgatory story.

And even within the purgatory framework, there are holes, gaps, issues raised in the series but forgotten in the finale.   I mentioned Walt last night.  But what about the recuperative powers of the island, that cured Rose, and maybe Mikhail?

The irony about the ending of Lost is that it left off-stage so many of the building blocks and great materials it had rolled out before our bedazzled and eager eyes during the past six years.   Alternate-LA could have had the same satisfying ending, the coming together of our beloved characters which the harsh insanities of life on and off the island had pulled apart, and it could have done this without resort to purgatory, or the dead reuniting.   Lost could done this in life, by applying some of the same science fiction and magic it had used so well throughout the series.

That's the way I would have liked the series to end.    And it's a measure of how great I thought the series was that I regret so deeply that it went a different way.


10-min podcast review of Lost finale: Preliminary & Further Thoughts

See The End of Lost: Preliminary Thoughts: Jack's Story

See also  Lost Season Six Double Premiere ... Three Questions Arising from the Lost Season Six Premiere: Linkage Between Two Realities,  Dead Bodies Inhabited, Who/What Survived H-Blast? ... Lost 6.3:  Kate and Claire, Tenacious Details, and Dr. Arzt's Arse at the Airport ... Lost 6.4:  Better LA, Wilder Island, Some Partial Answers at Last ... Lost 6.5: Jack's Family and Prester John's Speculum ... Lost 6.6: Sayid the Assassin in Both Realities ... Lost 6.7: A Better Ben in Both Realities ... Lost 6.8: The Third Team ... Lost 6.9: Richard's Story ... Lost 6.10: Cloudy Sun ... Lost 6.11: Reunion of Two Realities Begins ... Lost 6.12: Libby and Hurley and Cross-Reality Communication ... Lost 6.13: Make-Up, Break-Up, Everything is Shake-Up ... Lost 6.14: Jack's Tears ... Lost 6.15: Jacob and Esau/MIB ... Penultimate Lost:  Coincidence for Fate

and Preliminary Predictions for Lost Finale

More Lost - see : The Richard-Locke Compass Time Travel Loop ...

and Lost Returns in 5 Dimensions and 5.3: The Loops, The Bomb ... 5.4: A Saving Skip Back in Time ... 5.5 Two Time Loops and Mind Benders ... 5.6 A Lot of Questions ... 5.7 Bentham and Ben ... 5.8 True Love Ways ... 5.9 Two Times and a Baby ... 5.10 The Impossible Cannot Happen ... 5.11 Clockwork Perfect Time Travel ... 5.12: Ben v. Charles, and Locke' Slave ... 5.13: Lost Meets Star Wars and the Sixth Sense ... The Problem with Baby Aaron and the Return of the Oceanic Six ... 5.14: Eloise, Daniel, and Obsession Trumping Paradox ... 5.15: Moral Compasses in Motion ... Lost Season 5 Finale: Jacob and Locke



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