Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost finale leaves many viewers elated, confused

     ABC's Lost, arguably a significant cultural phenomenon, came to an end last night after six seasons with the two and a half hour long episode, "The End".  The ending was cryptic, as much of the show had been, and today theories are debated back and forth around water coolers and over the web.  Was the island real?  Did any of it happen?  Was it purgatory?  Where did they go at the end?  Why wasn't Michael (Harold Perrineau) at the church?  Why was Penny (Sonya Walger) there?  No one knows the answers for sure, and with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, the show's creative force, taking a media break, no one is likely to know anytime soon.  But that doesn't stop anyone from trying to figure it out.

     The episode centered, as most of the series has, on Jack (Matthew Fox).  After taking up Jacob's (Mark Pellegrino) mantle as island protector, he gave up his life to save the island.  The series began with Jack's opening in the jungle, and ended with that same eye closing in death in the same spot.  Vincent the dog was there, too, making it a perfect bookend.

     I always thought Jack the too obvious choice for the job, and wanted to see Hurley (Jorge Garcia) get it.  I was not disappointed then when Jack handed the reigns to Hurley just before his sacrifice.  Even better, Ben (Michael Emerson) was chosen as Hurley's number two guy, giving him both a happy ending and a position he had always desired.  Though sadly we did not get to see how Hurley and Ben fared, it was revealed that they seemed to do a good job together.  Even more curious, what happened to the six survivors who left the island on the plane?

     In the alternate world, things ended in a much more satisfying way.  Each island dweller remembered their time during the series, though it seemed to have never happened in this reality.  It brought them together and reunited all the couples of the show, including ones separated by death.  Most notable was Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell), which left Kate (Evangeline Lilly) for Jack, and prevented anyone from losing love altogether.

     Many of the major recurring characters and dead main characters appeared, all of them with their names added to the opening credits under "Starring", making for a lengthy list, and hardly leaving anyone to be listed as "Guest starring".  It ended with almost everyone important gathered together in a church, a bright light taking them on the next place.  Each had great moments in the finale, but unfortunately, I do not have time to touch on everyone in this article.

     My theory is that they all died in the original plane crash, and that the island was a way for them to sort out their flaws and learn to rely on one another.  Most of the main characters that died over the run had a breakthrough shortly before they passed.  Also, Christian (John Terry) said that they had created this place, and though he may have meant the church they were gathering in, I took it to mean the island and that world.  What cemented the theory for me was the grim shots of the lifeless plane wreckage over the ending credits, showing no survivors.  But feel free to make your own theories and debate them.  Until CUse and Lindelof come forward, that's all we can hope to do.  The only real mystery left without any hint was, what ever happened to Walt (Malcolm David Kelley)?

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