June 01, 2010

Some final thoughts about "Lost"

So, I know many of my readers out there are fans.  Here are some things that come to mind, now that the finale's been marinating in my mind for a week now.  Beware of spoilers.  Brain dump commencing:
  • First of all, I thought the finale was beautiful, and recasts the entire run of the show in an entirely new light.  Done right, I think the way you end a story tells you what it's actually been about from the beginning.  Just like Battlestar Galactica: they told you in the very first episode what the whole series is about when Adama asks "why are we, mankind, worth saving".  In the same way, "Lost" told you very early on in the catchphrase "Live together, die alone."
  • Then again, I'm a bit bothered by the shifting motivations for Jacob & The Man in Black.  I mean, is Jacob trying to convince the Man in Black that humanity is worth saving to convince him not to leave the island?  Good luck with that.
  • I love the intermeshing (if that's really a word) of the mystical and the sci-fi.  Electromagnetism as a catch all for all the weird time & space distortions on the island.
  • I really love the resolution of Ben's story.  After all the horrible things he's done, he ready does still have some work to do, doesn't he?  :-)
  • So, Miles, Kate, Frank, Sawyer, Claire, & Richard all escape.  Somehow, I don't think this "Ajira Six" is going to get the same treatment as their predecessors.  Can you imagine Frank trying to explain what happened to the other 40+ passengers on his plan?  Can you say "jail time"?  And, really, where are these others going to go from here?  I suppose Kate becomes Claire's nursemaid, which means Sawyer probably won't stay to far away, which means Miles won't stay to far away either.  Richard's path would be the most interesting after this.
  • Jack's story, while triumphant, is, ultimately, a very sad one.  I mean, yes, he sacrificed himself and saved the world & all that, but only because he realized that he had nothing else.  Whatever Jacob had set in motion for Jack at the very beginning had stripped his soul completely naked and left it laying in the street.  Of course he'd take that job!  Hurley still has a family that loves him.  Kate has a child.  Sawyer's too bitter.  I felt really sad about what he'd come to by the end, despite his resolution in the afterlife.
  • And don't even get me started on John Locke!  I suppose his demise ultimately served the purpose of catalyzing Jack, but, man, talk about the suffering of Job!
  • I LOVE the final confrontation with the Man in Black.  May trump Sayid vs. Keamy as the best fight in the series.  Just absolutely epic.
But, at the end of the day, the true triumph of the show is that they could accomplish something so vast & complex, but still make it ultimately in service of character, above all else.  In many ways, Lost is the opposite of "The Wire", where story trumps all, especially character.

In short, a masterpiece of TV story telling.  As far as genre shows go, very little can even touch it.

But, if you're a fan of Lost and you haven't watched the new "Battlestar Galactica", you are really doing yourself a disservice.  The plot is not as complex, but the seriousness of the storytelling and the authenticity of character & performance are on the same level as "Lost".  It's equally spiritual, and, like Lost, you don't realize just how much until the end.

Actually, now that I think about it, "BSG" is kind of the mutant love child of "Lost" and "24", because it's just as ruthless as Jack Bauer's home town, and just as political, but still is a good solid genre show firmly based in characters.

Lost rocked.  I'll miss it.
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