Obligatory spoiler warning, although I’m not sure I’ll be giving anything away – I suspect I’ll spend a chunk of tomorrow drawing flowcharts and diagrams…
Anyway, Lost is over. Was it a good ending? I don’t know yet – we got some great moments (Ben’s redemption, character reunions, Jack going Batman/Mortal Kombat on the Big Bad), but I’m not sure if the resolution served or solved the ongoing mysteries. Not that it automatically matters – the producers have said that the show was more about the characters than the questions, and I agree that’s the most important thing – but Lost became known as the show that was an enigma wrapped in a riddle, surrounded by a mystery. A lot of that fell by the wayside, however, and normally that’s something that bothers me (I’m the guy who likes to think that these sort of shows are largely plotted out from the start), but somehow… Somehow it didn’t matter, because in the end, Lost was about the characters.
See, at some point I stopped caring about polar bears and four-toed statues and hatches. What really mattered was that Hurley got through all this in one piece, and that Desmond got off the Island and back to Penny (I’m allowed one ‘ship, okay?), and that when Ben was offered a shot at salvation that he actually took it. I want to see a buddy cop show with Sawyer and Miles. The fact that they were all pawns in a battle between two opposing forces was almost just gravy; I’d’ve watched a show with them all in if en masse they’d pulled a Rose-and-Bernard and walked away from the conflicts.
In the end, we got a scene that wasn’t a million miles away from another show that finished recently – the revelation that (some of) the final season was actually set in a purgatory-like situation, where the characters gather after their various deaths (it’s more fuel for my theory about TV’s Cosmic Bartender… And maybe its saying something about the differences between US and British culture that in one show the afterlife is an ecumenical church, in the other it’s a pub). Everyone gets to move on to the next life, job done; maybe a bit too neat, but don’t read this as real souls, read it as characters who’ve played their parts and now the writers give them some peace. Works for me.
So was it a satisfying end to six years of mysteries? Probably not. Was it a good end for the characters? On balance, probably yeah. The good guys won and there were moments of triumph. There was the hope of redemption, and a nice ending for Hurley.
And at the end of the day, that’s really all that matters.