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How I learned to quit worrying and like the finale

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I'll admit it. I was disappointed by the Lost Finale when I watched it. For six years I gave up my Wednesday (and later Tuesday) nights to Lost. It was a magical escape, filled with characters that seemed like friends and a setting that was a place of wonder and mystery. In the finale, however, the characters were resolved, but that wonderful Island was left as an afterthought. I didn't want answers to all the minutia of all the mysteries of Lost (I don't even think that would have been possible), but some nod to the history of the Island as an important part of the show. I would have even settled for the classic Highlander explanation: "Why does the sun rise in the morning?" (implying: who knows?). But I did expect it to be stated. And I had justification for believing it would be.

That justification came in the weeks leading up to the finale. As we all know, the Lost Finale was big entertainment news, and the Darlton crew made the rounds. I heard them on NPR. They were on podcasts. They had interview videos on abc.com. And more than any other interview I remember, there was the Diane Sawyer interview on ABC-TV. "We'll found out what happened to Walt", "MIB's name? Interesting question, watch on Sunday", "Will we know what the source is? Watch on Sunday". Now, had I been less excited about the finale before it aired, I might have noticed that the main message was "watch on Sunday". LOL. ABC, for its part, also stoked the fires of expectation with promos like "All your questions will finally be answered" and the like. So understand that this was my state of mind while I was counting down the hours to the finale.

Then came the finale. Yes, the characters were resolved (sort of). But none of the other mysteries were there, after weeks of build up. I was understandably upset.

Then came the twitter responses. "If you didn't like the finale, you just didn't get it". "Some people are too stupid to have understood the finale correctly". "If you didn't get the finale, you never really cared about anything." (These are all real tweets, by the way) "How dare you call yourself a LOST fan if you didn't like the finale" (a blog on this very site).

Which made me even more upset. Angry even. People, trust me when I say I GOT IT. Seriously. You don't need to explain it to me like you are a foreign tourist, talking louder and louder in the hope that the message gets through. I read Milton and Dante for FUN (true). I speak better Latin than Fake Mom does. I understand the symbolism and spiritualism of the ending.

The constant flaming and sheer arrogance made me even more angry. I lashed out on the way back. The "flash-crapways" I called it. The answers on DVD? Yeah right (and, by the way, I'm still not believing that part about the DVD... I'll wait for YouTube, thank you very much).

I wanted to say: tell me what was so special about the character-driven aspects of the finale? Other than the fact that they are tenuously linked to "let go and move on" together (hardly an original plot, but it was interesting, I'll give you that). Sawyer and Juliet got together. *SHOCK* Did you really not see this coming? Jack and Kate? Desmond and Pen? Claire and Charlie? Sun and Jin? Hurley and Libby? Which of these revelations surprised you enough to make them Lost-worthy?

Although the hook-ups were well done, no Lost fan could really call them surprising. A bit like Love American Style to be honest. In my opinion, only a few of these interactions rose to thought-provoking: Eloise begging Desmond not to take Daniel with him, and Jack's reunion with his Dad, Ben and Hurley at the church. (And OK, Vincent and Jack at the end.. have to admit I got choked up there even the first time).

So, this is where I was yesterday. Sworn off ever watching Lost forever and flaming at people who loved the finale. Then I read Joe Hubris' excellent blog post here on Lostpedia entitled "A Great Ride Ends with a Fizzle". This blog was closer to where I was than anything I had read since the finale. And I realized something. The reason I was disappointed with the finale was all due to external forces, not Lost itself. The Darlton "half-truths". The silly flamers after it was over. Yes, the episode was rather predictable, but it was beautifully acted and presented. I realized I wasn't disappointed with what WAS there, but what WASN'T there.

I also thought about all the time I had spent watching this show over the years. I really enjoyed the show up until the finale, and I didn't want to corrupt those years in my mind. And somewhere deep down, no matter what I said, I really wanted to watch Lost again.

So I decided to clear my mind of all the pre-finale interview BS and watch it again. This time I watched it with no ABC/Darlton driven expectations. I have to say that I liked it much better. Of course I still have questions (doesn't everyone), but that almost certainly would have been the case no matter what the episode had been.

In the end, I decided if Lost could use backwards time, forwards time, and sideways time, a natural progression might be a total lack of time ("there is no 'now' here"). So I again cleared my mind a bit, and then thought about the last scene as "flash-upwards" (for lack of a better term). The final scene in the chapel was presently quite brilliantly on the second watching, as long as you aren't waiting for anything else.

So, if you were like me, and hated the episode the first time, my advice is: clear your head of everything you may have heard, read, or seen about what the finale would be. Especially what the producers have ever said, denied, or promised. Know this time (in advance) that virtually no island-type questions are going to be answered, and get yourself OK with that before you watch it. If the couple hookups annoy you too badly, put your mind in neutral during those parts a bit. But watch those last 15 minutes without expectation, and experience one brilliant scene.

On the second watching, I liked it much better. I think you will too.


--Bobrobatl 15:23, June 1, 2010 (UTC)

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