"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Monday, May 24, 2010

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

First, here's what I think we saw in the ending of Lost: alternate Los Angeles (which I've been calling better LA, because our characters seem to be leading much better lives - for example, Sayid gets together with Shannon tonight, as Sawyer does with Juliet) turns out to be a foundation for a meeting in a church, in which many of our major characters are congregated. They're waiting for Jack, who has just died on the island, to understand his deepest fate. They're all dead. But, as Christian (also dead) explains to his deceased son, they all died at different times - Sayid and Shannon, Sawyer and Juliet, Hurley and Libby, Desmond and Penny, Locke, Sun and Jin, Charlie and Claire, Rose and Bernard, Jack and Kate, etc.

But the etc is not everyone else.   Michael and Walt are missing.   Faraday and Charlotte are not there.  Neither are Eloise and Widmore.   Some of these absences are explained, sort of.   Eloise, in alternate LA, knows she killed her son in original Lost, and doesn't want to lose him again.   But no explanation is given for Michael and Walt, who in fact did not appear at all this season (well, Michael did, but as a ghost on the island to Hurley).

Some of this finale was emotionally powerful.  Hard to have a dry eye when Sayid and Shannon got together, and even more so Sawyer and Juliet, and Jack and Kate.  But even this had aspects that inexplicably contradicted what we seemed to know.  Sawyer and Juliet were soul mates, but wasn't Sayid's truest love Nadia?  So Shannon was there because of the brief love the two had on the island, which is more important because this is really Jack's story, Jack's journey, and Jack knew Shannon but not Nadia?  Ok,  but there are a lot of suppositions there.

And there were missed opportunities.  Earlier in the season, for example, it seemed that Faraday in alternate LA was going to figure out a way to stop the H-bomb from going off, and reverse what followed.   What happened to that?   

Nonetheless, this ending did finally explain all the inexplicable coincidences that we've been seeing throughout Lost - such as Jack running into Desmond on the steps of the stadium at the beginning of Season 2.    I've been saying ever since then that the inexplicable coincidences provided the keys to understanding what was really going on in Lost.  So, now we know that the coincidences were the parts of the connections of the characters, both before the crash of 815, and after, and building to what we saw tonight.   In Jack's story, these characters were connected throughout their lives - connected because they were significant to Jack.  In other words, the inexplicable coincidences in the flashbacks are in some sense connected to Jack's take on his life.

I'm going to watch Jimmy Kimmel and some of the Lost stars and alternate endings.  I'll be back soon with more.

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

See The End of Lost 2: Further Thoughts

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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Anonymous said...

the ending was better than we could have hoped for ... but don't get carried away... it's a TV show...

and what did those numbers means?... we missed that detail...

tvindy said...

The numbers were kind of explained. They corresponded to the different candidates. (No clue why they were on the hatch, though.)

What I want to know is what was the smoke monster. It was clearly powered by the island but wanted to destroy the island. When Jack mysteriously appeared outside the glowing cave, I thought he had been transformed into a smoke monster just like Jacob's brother.

Anonymous said...

The ending was satisfying on an interpersonal level, and that is the flash that they hope to distract us with as they basically throw up their hands and tell us that no matter what happens, we all end up dead and together with our friends anyway. Never mind the Emperor has no clothes, he's a great guy and look he's dead so it doesn't matter that he's nude anyway.... right?

Eric said...

Earlier this season Michael showed up on the island and told Hurley he had to stay there as a punishment for what he had done, which explains why he wasn't there.

As for Walt, I read somewhere that he was supposed to be a major character through the whole series, but they overlooked the fact that the actor would grow up over the course of six years, even though the show only takes place over three (and the first three seasons are only two months or so). So they basically cut Walt out of the show and only gave him a few token appearances.

One thing they never answered: who built the temple and the statue?

TheLooper said...

So what can I say about "The End"? Well, I'll start with some words from John Locke, "I was wrong."

This show has never been about what any of us thought it would be about. We've all spent years trying to figure this whole thing out, coming up with the most scientific possibilities, theological possibilities, metaphysical possibilities, and in the end, it was the simplest, easiest and most human explanation for the show ever.

Keep it simple stupid, I once wrote in one of my own books. And as complicated as this show became at times, in the end it was the story of us all.

I believe this is what Paul will extrapolate on in his next post about Lost...probably the final post about Lost for some time.

Although it might take some time for many viewers to wrap their heads around the ending, it was the only ending that could have taken place.

After all, when have we ever gotten all the answers we ever wanted in life?

JumpedtheShark said...

Poorly written and ridiculously concocted ending. The entire final season was a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Jumped - I thought it was a great ending! My take was that it was an adventure about a group of people who were alone, they had no one, they were dubbed a tremendous responsibility, and they were all LOST. In the end, after they saved the world, after they made sacrifices, they were all together in "the end" (when they died), no longer alone, no longer LOST.