|The first thing we saw in the first episode.|
There is something beautiful and compelling about the symmetry of this in the storytelling, coming back to where we started, but being a much different person, informed full of experiences, and that goes for Jack as well as the viewers. It fulfilled the classic story archetype of the "Journey" or the "Voyage and Return" in a satisfying way. And even at the very end, the writers were still challenging the viewers with questions about fate versus faith and free will. Was it inevitable that Jack would die there, on the island, in the bamboo grove, no matter what he did? The LOST writers continually challenged their audience to engage their gray matter and think about the story and actively participate in understanding it. That's one of the things I appreciated most about this show.
|The last thing we saw in the last episode.|
I'm still confused as to what purpose the island served, exactly. What did the magical cork at the bottom of the waterfall have anything to do with anything? Why was it necessary to keep the Light Source "corked" and protected? Why did the Light Source turn the Man in Black evil and how did it turn him into Smokey? Why bother with all the Dharma stuff? Why was Dharma even there to begin with? And why focus so much on the importance of the hatches or Dharma if in the end it didn't factor at all into the big finish? Who was behind Dharma anyway? Was Widmore a secret benefactor behind Dharma? Speaking of which, why did Widmore want so desperately to regain control the island? To use and corrupt the power from the Light source? What was his feud with Ben about? Why was Walt special and did the island enhance those abilities? What was the deal with all the fertility problems on the island? Why was it important that Claire raise Aaron instead of giving him up for adoption? Was he special? What was the deal with Ms. Hawking? Could she time travel? How did she know Desmond was time traveling? Why introduce so many weird and fascinating aspects of the story, such as all the references to Egyptian and other ancient civilizations and mythology, if you're not going to address them or wrap them up in some way?
Aside from all the mythology type questions, there's the matter of the ones who went home: Miles, Sawyer, Kate, Richard, Claire, Frank. I'm not typically someone who ruins the fun or the spirit of a film or TV show by complaining about all the practical explanations for how things couldn't have worked out a certain way. It's easy for me to suspend my disbelief and "just go with it". But when they showed Jack looking up into the sky and smiling as his friends flew overhead, instead of being relieved and happy like Jack, it nagged at me - how are they going to have a "happily ever after" when they land back in the good old USA? How in the world are they going to explain that the Ajira flight crashed on an island, everyone died except for Frank and Kate, but when they managed to lift off from the island, they brought back people who were presumed dead from a separate plane crash three years ago (Sawyer and Claire) that just happened to be on that same island, where they also happened to find Miles (who arrived on the island via a secret mission on a freighter) and Richard - a dude who has no identification of any kind. I know we're just supposed to be happy and content in the fact that they survived and escaped the island alive, but this still bugged me. Maybe because the writers had already shown us the reality of the Oceanic 6 and the logistics and problems they had when they tried to re-enter society after going back home after the crash. I guess what I wanted to say to the writers was this - don't play it straight one minute, then cop-out the next. I know you only had a few hours to wrap everything up, but come on...
The bottom line is that, despite the nagging questions, the ending still left me an emotional mess. Seeing Jack collapse on the same place where the story started, after fighting the good fight, and in his last moments, with Vincent by his side, having that happy smile come across his face, then closing his eyes... I still get teary-eyed just thinking about it. Rest in peace, faithful hero.
There were lots of other heartbreaking moments in addition to the one I chose to focus on here. For example, all the moments when different characters were reunited in the afterlife and recognized one another - Sawyer and Juliet at the vending machine, Sun and Jin in the hospital with the ultrasound, Kate and Claire and Charlie. Nevermind seeing everyone reunited in the afterlife... (sniff sniff)
During Desmond's first encounter with Jack, he ended their conversation with his famous little catch-phrase, "I'll see you in another life, brotha." and sure enough, he did. He saw him in the afterlife. (Cool, huh?) Despite my dissatisfaction with some elements of the finale, it was overall satisfying and bittersweet, and I too will be seeing all these characters again soon, as I re-watch the series on DVD. In the meantime, if you still feel like discussing it (this long after the end of the show...I know I'm very late to the discussion party, but humor me...) please leave me a comment and let me know what you thought about this part of the finale. What questions or elements are still bugging you? How did you feel about Hurley being left on the island as the new caretaker? Did you want a scene of Desmond and Penny reuniting one last time? (I know I did.) Leave me a comment and let me know. Namaste. ;-)