by Brian Phares
There are two types of people in this world: those who liked the “Lost” finale and those who didn’t. I happen to be one of the brave few who not only appreciated the ending of one of the most seminal shows in television history, but thought it was perfect. Yes, perfect.
My question to you as a “Lost” fan is this: what did you really expect? Did you really think that every single element of the plot would be divulged and explained? That every convoluted twist and turn of “Lost’s” intricate mythology would be made whole? This would be an impossible feat of finale engineering.
Really, what “Lost” is about, time travel and donkey wheels aside, is a group of people stranded on an island attempting to ward off their demons while surviving the most harrowing of situations. What the finale delivered was closure — and it delivered it in spades.
“Lost” didn’t start as a sci-fi show. Season one (arguably the best season) was by comparison a tame character drama exploring the human condition: Jack was coming to grips with the death of his father, Locke was trying to start a new life but couldn’t escape who he really was, and Sawyer was punishing himself for becoming the man he hated. So for those of you who wanted a sci-fi ending, I think you need to re-evaluate your “Lost” roots.
Some criticize the fact that “Lost” devolved into mysticism and magic. But I wonder if it really ever devolved at all. Locke regaining the use of his legs by some miracle? Magic. Jack seeing the ghost of his dead father? Magic. The cursed numbers? Magic. It was there from the beginning and it never left.
Sure, it would have been cool if the alternate universe actually was an alternate universe. My original imagining of “Lost’s” ending involved Desmond merging both universes together with the real Locke crossing over and essentially erasing the existence of Smokey, restoring order and balance to the cosmos. That would have been my sci-fi ending. But I realize now why I wanted it to be that way: I couldn’t accept the fact that Locke was dead. Forever.
No other show in recent memory has had me so invested in the lives of its characters, to the point where I hoped for almost two seasons that Locke would come back from the dead. No other TV finale ever made me cry. Yes, I cried. Maybe not because the writing was so good, but because I had to say goodbye to these characters once and for all. This was what made “Lost” so special. In my opinion, what made the finale perfect was its ability to deliver all of these character catharses in one two and a half hour chunk of glorious TV. And here we are, still talking about it one year later.
Brian Phares is a contributing writer for MTV News and an unabashed “Lost” fanboy. Tell us if you agree with Brian’s defense in the comments section and on Twitter!