Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost Series Finale Review

SPOILER ALERT. Okay, you've spent six years watching Lost and trying to figure it out. What do the numbers mean? How come there's a polar bear on the island? How come Hurley never loses weight? So did we get answers from last night's series finale? Sort of. I'm going to review the final episode and discuss the meaning of it. So if you don't want to know about the ending, stop reading until you see it, then come back.

The show bounces between sideways world and the island circa 2007? Most of our castaways in the sideways world are happy. Whereas, back on the island, Jack (Matthew Fox) has become protector of it. Smoke Monster aka Fake John Locke or Smokey (Terry O' Quinn) wants to get off the island. He's evil incarnate. He forces Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) to enter the lighted tunnel which gave birth to him. Jack helps with the confidence that Smokey will be destroyed by the act.

Back in sideways world, Desmond continues to bring the castaways together. He believes that they will remember their lives on the island. Wait a minute. They were miserable on the island. They're happy in sideways world. Why do this? But I digress. The memories cause them to recall their relationships and they all head to the church for a reunion.

On the island, Smokey's plan backfires as he now becomes mortal. About to escape, Smokey stabs Jack. But one cant' forget that Kate (Evangeline Lily) is good with a gun. She kills Smokey. Jack tells the survivors that he must restore the island. He takes Hurley (Jorge Garcia) and Ben (Michael Emerson) with him. You see Desomond had removed a giant plug that extinguished the light. Remember that the island is like a cork to keep out the evil in the bottle. The other survivors hop onto a plane and leave the island. Jack knows he's going to die in the effort, so he tells Hurley that he must become protector of the island. Hurley asks Ben to be his assistant. Ben happily accepts.

In sideways world, the survivors all meet at the church. Ben tells Hurley he can't enter the church. Jack is told to enter through the back by Kate who tells him that they are moving on. Jack enters a room where he meets his "dead" father, Christian Shephard. (John Terry) The room is full of Christian artifacts. Jack is told he's dead. Hmmmm. Jack's dad is named Christian. But I digress. Jack reunites with all his friends from the island in the church. As they all celebrate, the camera is forced backwards to a child's snow globe. Sorry, that's the finale to St. Elsewhere. Okay back to the show, Christian moves down the aisle and opens the back door where a bright light similar to the gold color beams over the survivors. Back at the island, Jack stumbles out of the tunnel and onto the beach where the camera zooms in on his eye echoing the first shot of the series. The eye closes. And that's the end to "The End", the final show for Lost. Or is it? Watching the credits you get a shot of the plane wreckage on the beach. Could that be a hint?

Like all of "Lost", this series finale was emotional and well acted by the cast. The writing was good in the way it handles the dialogue. But it's the finish that gets lost. First, I don't' believe that the heads of Lost, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse knew where it was going to go after the pilot. The show at one point embraced science fiction. The mysterious Dharma Intiative was into meteorology, parapsychology, zoology, and electromagnetism. But this season, the show veered wildly into New Age religion. Going to the light is something out of the canceled "Ghost Whisperer."

So what about the end? I think the fans who thought the whole thing was about purgatory were right. The plane wreckage as the credits rolled seemed to give me the push on this theory. The passengers of Oceanic 815 are all dead. Kate's line about moving on is telling here. The golden light as the door of the church opens comes from afterlife experiences. Go to the light when you're dead. Ben can't go into the church because of all the evil he has done. He must complete certain tasks before he can leave. So he's stuck in purgatory or sideways world.

Okay, this is where my theory gets somewhat blown up and why this last show kind of stinks. If they are in purgatory, assuming they all died in the plane crash, why is Hurley left in charge of the island? If he's dead, how can he be left to take of the island? Didn't he leave with the rest of the survivors to go into the light? Argh! "The End" doesn't provide many answers but unfortunately starts more mysteries. Update: There's a consensus on the web that the Island was real. Sideways World was a place where they could all get together after dying. Oh, and time has no meaning in Sideways World so Hurley could become protector of the Island and meet up with Jack. Don't ask me about how they survived the nuclear blast. This is lazy writing. That explains nothing about the Island. The grade will be changed to D.

This show went off the rails by taking the religious angle. Combining science fiction and religion is not a good idea. That's because they don't match. Faith and science are usually at conflict. This last season finished with a jumble of religious New Age ideas. Look, I didn't want all my questions answered but can we make some sense of a little of it?

As far as series finales go, "The End" is not as bad as the X-Files (it's' about creation of super soldiers?!) but not as good as the bittersweet Cheers. The bar in Cheers doesn't get blown up but still exists. Sam (Ted Danson) tells a customer that he's missed last call and he's sorry, "We're closed." Great end. The X-Files jumped the shark at season eight but started to get bad during season six. Lost started to go bad during season five when it veered into religion. The grade for the series finale, "The End" is D. The grade for the entire series is B minus. Namaste.

No comments: