Lost Cause

I’d been pimping the greatness of the television show Lost since I began watching it two years ago. Interesting characters, a fantastic mythology, and cliffhanger endings made it seem like the creators of the show studied and learned from the  best science fiction of the twentieth century.

They cherry picked from the first Star Wars movies, Twilight Zone, and Marvel comic books to make the ultimate television show. It had action, humor, romance, and most important of all mystery. Throughout the six year run Lost  introduced us to one strange phenomena after another. The whole time promising that it would all make sense in the end.

The final episode had me geeked. I couldn’t wait to learn the fate of Jack and Sawyer. There were a hundred unanswered questions from the minute to the grand and I had complete faith the writers of the show would not let us down. It was a two and a half hour series finale (with an hour of that time devoted to commercials), and for the first two hours I was loving life. Swashbuckling fist fights, exploration of new realms and of course more mystery. But then the final ten minutes of the show happened.

Oy Vey!

I don’t want to ruin anything for people who have not yet watched the show, but by allowing the final ten minutes be the worst ten minutes of the one hundred hours of the series, it almost makes me question whether I should recommend Lost any more. Immediately after watching the episode I compared it to a hot date ending with a handshake. But that’s a forgettable evening. Lost’s ending was so cataclysmically disappointing it was more like a hot date where you fall deeply in love, begin making out,  she invites you up to her place,  takes off her clothes and shows you she has a penis. And it’s bigger then yours! (Note: This has never happened to me, but I imagine it would be as scarring as the ending of Lost.)

SPOILERS!!!

Why introduce us to time travel and atomic bomb detonations,   psychics who know the future and temples with waters that can revive the dead only to imply that none of it really happened? That all of this was a dying man’s fevered dream. The show ended with Jack, the main protagonist speaking with his dead father. His father tells Jack that he too is dead and is now reunited with everyone on that tragic plane crash. The end credits show the lifeless debris from the plane crash. It was  all a dying man’s dream.

END SPOILERS!!!!

One of my friends said the repeated mantra of the episode, “Learn to let go”, was a message from the creators of Lost to the viewers. It’s only a show. Stop thinking so much about what it all means.

This reminds me of the time an old Yiddish man told a joke. He had us cracking up  with all the twists and turns a man with one eye took while looking for his wife. After a half hour of listening, right as the man with one eye ended up in Babylon with a chicken and two leprechauns the old Yiddish man started talking about which deli served the best pastrami.

We cried foul. “Pastrami? What happened to the guy with one eye? What’s the punchline?”

“Punchline? You want a punchline?” The old Yid said with disgust. “The punchline is you’re a schmuck. What are you doing listening to an old man for so long?”

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5 thoughts on “Lost Cause

  1. Nice punchline, but I wouldn’t compare listening to the old Yiddish man to listening to Christian Shephard, or lack there of in this case.

    SPOILERS AGAIN!!!

    Yes, Jack did in fact die, but not the way described above. His life was not a dream, unless you simply want to say all of life is a dream. Everything that happened from the moment Flight 815 crashed did in fact occur. All the wonderful stories, flashbacks, flashforwards, it only turns out that the flashsideways were false. However, even they were not a dream. As Christian Shephard said, quite clearly might I add, the Alternate-LA reality where everything was just hunky dorry was nothing more than a meeting place for all the Losties to converge once they died. Let me repeat that….ONCE they died. He made it clear that some of the Losties died before Jack and some LONG after he did. This is evidenced by (sorry school coming in me) the exchange between Hurley and Ben outside the church.

    As I recall Hurley was now the new protector of the island as Jack had made him, so Jack could save the island and everyone else he loved. Hurley, a bit bum fuzzled by the new job asks Ben to help him. He wanted him as his Number 2, while Hurley would be Number 1 on the island.

    Hurley then tells Ben in the Alt-LA reality that Ben was a great Number 2, and Ben replies likewise about Hurley. This implies that both men lived out there lives together on the island until the day they died. Otherwise, why would anyone know who Ben is? Ben was obviously a real person, not an allegory of some hated fate Jack concocted in his own mind as he was supposedly dying in the bamboo when the plane crashed.

    You want more proof. How about Kate’s statement to Jack? Kate said she missed him and acted as though she hadn’t seen him in ages. Kate got off the island in the Fujira jet, along with Sawyer, Claire, Miles, Richard, and Lapidus. They all survived!

    But the most extensive proof is that Christian himself made it clear that what happened, HAPPENED. He told Jack that those people had been part of the most important time of his life. Additionally, everytime someone realized the Alt-LA reality wasn’t real, they flashbacked to their lives on the island and the things they encountered, not to times before that, before the island. Would it not make more sense that had they all died in the plane crash they would have seen the events leading up to being on the island instead of what took place on the island?

    END SPOILERS!!! (Frankly I don’t care anyway because by now the Internet has given everything away).

    To quote Yoda, “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

    LOST was never about the mysteries, it was about the story of the people on the island, and in particularly Jack himself. The story of LOST was about Jack from beginning to “The End” and appropriately the final shot was of his closing eye and him dying.

    As for the wreckage at the end, I believe in all honesty that was a ploy by the producers to stir up debates such as the one happening here. They made the ending so simple and clear that the true twist was them leaving some things open for interpretation so that people would debate what truly happened in the show for years to come. But in “The End”, for me anyway, it was clear as a sunny day in Philadelphia.

    I wasn’t disappointed by this ending, however I can see why some are. People like to wrap themselves up in a story and predict what they believe will be the ending before they reach it. It’s a fun concept but detracts you from what the end of the story truly is…WHATEVER THE WRITE MADE IT. Plain and simple. The mysteries, the myths, the island were all detractors for the audience simply because they wanted to make people think rather than veg out in front of a plasma screen. If you want to veg out, watch Kate Gosselin. Then kill yourself!

    But the disappointment came only from a viewer’s on belief and need to figure everything out, much the same way people didn’t like the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, or Matrix Revolutions, and anything other movie or book or story they have ever heard that didn’t end the way THEY wanted it to.

    For me though, I decided a long time ago to just go with whatever the producers were putting on the boob tube. So in that respect, I was happy in the end. Maybe it was a cheat, maybe it was disappointing to some, but LOST was a fun thrill ride for 6 years and I enjoyed every minute of it. If you’re still confused by “The End” though, I suggest re-watching it. Sometimes it does take more than once to understand something, not matter how simply it is put.

    Feel free to check out my own blog about LOST right here. This was something I wrote weeks ago before “The End” ever came.

    http://thelooper-loopingaround.blogspot.com/2010_05_01_archive.html

  2. Jason,
    I tried to post this on your site, but it wouldn’t let me….
    But if the ending is how you and most other followers of Lost describe in that the alternate universe is purgatory and everyone ends up there when they die with their loved ones from the island, basically the ending is all the characters eventually die.
    That’s it?
    there were so many creative moments in the show so that if they left some mysteries unanswered, fine. But to throw in both the alternate universe and Jacob and Man In Black for the final season and to have neither have anything to do with the other nor have anything to do with the first five seasons was the height of laziness by the writers and made the Sopranos finale where it abruptly faded to black seem like the height of inspiration.

    • Not sure why you keep having issues posting, man. Have to check into that.

      I admitted it could be perceived as a bit of a cheat. The biggest thing is that they didn’t really explain anything. I think that’s what most viewers, and myself included, thought might happen, that the mysteries would be explained. But, would we have been happy if Desmond went down to the source and found an alien sitting there powering the island? Or maybe even God Himself? Or maybe even Betty White?

      I would love to know what the island truly is and I think we deserve an answer for that. But, it does appear that the story was always about Jack and only Jack. So when he died, the story ended. The Sci-Fi fan inside of me wanted more, demanded it! But the philosophical side of me was very, very satisfied.

      Maybe they will do a special show explaining the island and some other mysteries later, even a book. I would love it and would read it. But as I said, they made the ending so simple people have truly stopped and said WHAT? I think we were all prepared for something much more and that’s why weeks ago I decided not to prepare for that, just roll with the story.

      I wish I could soften the blow, but what’s done is done I’m afraid. But ABC did admit the wreckage at the end was only for “fill-in” between the end of Lost and the nightly news. Yeah, I’m pretty certain Cuse and Lindelof did that intentionally!:) Just a lot of fun to mess with people, that is for sure.

      However, will they get another show on any station after this, could be doubtful. Of course now they have Star Trek, so I think they are set.

  3. The issue is that the TV show “Life On Mars” already stole the finale idea that Lost was planning to use, which is in turn stolen from the Matrix. So they had to cop out and grab the finale from the spin-off of “Life On Mars.”

    “Tyler’s 2008 and 1973 realities were both fictitious, created by the onboard computer of a spacecraft that is carrying Tyler, Hunt, Norris, Carling, and Skelton on the first ever manned mission to the planet Mars, in 2035. The crew he worked with in 1973 were just virtual reality versions of his fellow spaceship crewmembers.”

  4. So glad now that I disembarked on the “journey” mid season #1. Thanks for the spoilers. Its saved me hundreds of hours of “getting” Lost.

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