This review may contain spoilers.
After six seasons, Lost ended its run with a stunning and emotional two and half hour event.
There was no way it could live up to the stunning amount of hype that preceded it. Certainly, there was no way the creative team would answer every question they raised. And logically, they couldnt bring back nearly every original cast member in a meaningful fashion. The finale was destined to disappoint.
But it didnt. Not even close. Instead, fans of the series were treated to what should go down as one of the most satisfying season finales in television history.
I remember when the incredibly popular, long running series M*A*S*H* ended its run in 1983. I have long since forgotten the details of the episode, but I remember working that night in one of my meaningless, adolescent era minimum wage jobs. We all watched it on a portable 13 inch set because it was not an event to be missed.
For some reason, I don’t believe I will ever forget the end of “Lost”.
I also remember the end of Seinfeld in 1998, which set the bar for atrocious series finales. It is memorable because it strayed so far from the original basis and premise of the show and the endless string of cameos through a courtroom setting was sickeningly contrived and ridiculous, even for Seinfeld.
Somehow, Lost managed to stay true to its formula until the end, flipping between the island and the alternate realm. They brought back most of the important characters, albeit briefly, so we could say goodbye. And by the end, I understood everything. I always suspected that the title Lost spoke more about the characterssocial and spiritual existence much more than it did their physical predicament, but this episode drove that point home.
Tearful reunions were the order of the night; Sun (Yunjin Kim) and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim), Sayid (Naveen Andrews) and Shannon (Maggie Grace), Jack (Matthew Fox) and Kate (Evangeline Lily), Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell), Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) and Claire (Emilie deRavin), and finally Jack (Mathew Fox) and his father Christian.
And when reunions werent taking place, reconciliation served a satisfying substitute. Locke (Terry OQuinn) forgave Ben (Michael Emerson). Jack (Mathew Fox) finally understood Locke, and found a place of mutual friendship and respect with Sawyer.
Yet in the end, it was all about redemption, and fittingly, it was the story of Jack that ended the series. Regardless of who your favorite character was, this show has always been about Jack, proven by the fact that all of the Oceanic survivors waited for him, before moving on to their eternal reward. It was fitting. It was beautiful.
I teared up a few times during the episode. A little when Jin and Sun gained their awareness. A bit more when Charlie and Claire reunited. But most when Vincent came back to lie by Jack so he would not have to die alone. And when Jack looked up, the plane flying overhead looked like a cross. It was beautiful and painful at the same time.
Some may argue that the end was not satisfying enough. Others may be angry that the alternate reality was a waiting room toward their final rewardâ€”a holding place so they could all move on together. Those looking for a happy ending may be angry because all of them are indeed dead. At least we know there wont be any reunion shows to destroy the wonderful legacy it leaves behind.
Most likely, the final image, which shows the wreckage of the plane on the shore of the island, is likely to cause years of speculation and debate. With no sign of a human camp or survivors, people are bound to wonder if it all really took place.
For me, it simply reinforced the fact that the crash indeed did occur, and some struggle for salvation took place. It really doesnt matter if that struggle took place on an island or within the hearts and souls of those aboard; the struggle led to salvation and redemption. For what its worth, there is ample evidence in the episode that the island and the events were indeed real.
In the end, it was all really simple. For six years the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 were Lost. In the end, they found their way. How could it get any better than that?
Ben did not move on with the others. Apparently, he knew he needed more time at redemption. It was logical. He did not deserve to move on yet.
Lapidus (Jeff Fahey) survived the submarine explosion. Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell) got a gray hair.
I loved Kates line when told Jacks fathers name, she said, Christian Shepherdâ€”are you serious?
What Didnt Work
It would have been nice to include Walt (Malcolm David Kelly) and Michael (Harold Perrineau). It may have been nice to see Mr. Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) again also. Still, they did a remarkable job bringing back most of the key players.
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
Lost stars Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Terry OQuinn, Josh Holloway, Jorge Garcia, and Michael Emerson. The End was written by Calton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. It was directed by Jack Bender.
Lost aired on ABC.