By Sean Harris ’11
An eye closes.
A church fills with bright light. A dog lies down next to a dying spinal surgeon. The credits roll amid shots of the original wreckage. And the discussion begins.
The series finale of “Lost” titled “The End,” which aired May 23, was certainly not the most watched finale ever, with an average of 13.5 million viewers who stay tuned throughout the two-and-a-half hour long last hoorah according to the New York Times.
However, it definitely has a shot at being the most talked about with its rabid fans being split into two after a very polarizing final 15 minutes.
And after my initial shock and disappointment went away, I realized what I had just watched gave me a fantastic conclusion to an amazing series that was well worth the time I put into it.
As a longtime fan of “Lost” I have been looking forward to this for years, and for the most part it doesn’t disappoint.
True, not enough answers were given, which is why I identify with the other side of this argument. And no, I’m not a person who believes that the show was always about the characters.
But with all the answers given as well as the amazing closure for these characters, I can honestly say that I am in the camp that loves the “Lost” finale.
Those who haven’t been watching the series since the beginning might get lost here; consider this a fair warning. If you are interested in a detailed synopsis of the show, its characters and anything else “Lost” related, check out www.lostpedia.com.
What happened in the actual episode? In a nutshell, Jack (Matthew Fox) and the Man in Black (Terry O’Quinn) face off as Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) tries to catapult the survivors into the “alternate” universe.
When this backfires, Jack sacrifices himself for the island, Hurley (Jorge Garcia) takes over with Ben (Michael Emmerson) as his adviser and the remaining survivors fly away from the island on the Ajira plane.
The scenes set in the “alternate” universe see the survivors coming together and remembering the events of the island.
And then Christian Shepherd (John Terry), Jack’s father, drops the final twist “Lost” will ever have: They are not in an “alternate” universe but rather a place they created where they could let go of issues they had before moving on; essentially, a sort of purgatory.
The episode alone would make my top five, and there are some pretty epic moments to be seen. A perfect example of this is the scene where Jack and the Man in Black finally exchange blows on top of a crumbling cliff.
The scenes where characters remember their experiences on the island are also handled very well, especially the Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) scene, something that was foreshadowed since the beginning of the season.
And of course, the final scene, where Jack lies in the bamboo forest where he first landed while Vincent comforts him is an amazingly touching scene. Juxtaposed with the castaways moving on, the ending comes pretty close to being perfect.
Standout performances for the finale come from Fox and O’Quinn who have played their hero/villain roles perfectly throughout the sixth season. O’Quinn especially deserves some praise for his menacing portrayal of the shape shifting Man in Black.
It’s not the finale that suffers from lack of answers but the series itself. There were missed opportunities in every season to explain things.
In my opinion, the sixth season was one that bookended the series quite nicely, and I don’t think it would have worked out as well if they had tried to tie up all the loose ends.
The writers gave the audience the next best thing; a fast-paced final season that had some amazing episodes, moments and twists. Basically everything a “Lost” fan could dream of.
I don’t think an explanation is needed for everything, sometimes being wrapped in secrecy is the better, if more maddening, choice. And sometimes, enough is implied to fill-in-the-blank.
Even though “Lost” has ended, it will be discussed for years to come, and remains one of my favorite TV shows ever.
Some could also make the argument that “Lost” has opened a new chapter for television itself; a chapter in which serialized shows get the respect that they deserve.
Goodbye “Lost”; I’ll see you in another life.