Alright Lost, you got me. Where's the real finale?

Well, ABC's sprawling Sci-Fi/Fantasy/bait-and-switch series Lost is over. And while I won't use cliches like "end of an era," in a way, I hope that it is. I hope that with Lost's conclusion network TV dramas regain their sanity and place focus more on grounded plotlines and believable characters.

Once again, Spoiler Alert

Lost's finale consisted of two storylines. The first took place on the island as Jack assumed his role as the new protector and set out on his plan to kill Smocke while Miles, Richard and Frank got the plane in flying condition.

Meanwhile in Bizarro World, Hurley and Desmond continued their mission of waking up the candidates, as they planned a final rendezvous at an undisclosed location.

While the on-island plot was urgent and involved some long overdue conflict between Smocke and the rest of the candidates, the events in Bizzaro World were far more evocative or emotionally manipulative, I can't tell which. As each candidate was reminded of their other life, the audience was treated with a flashback montage that distilled the essence of each character. And while that may have been an overt bit of fan service, it was still satisfying to be reminded of just how far the show has come.

The more resonant epiphanies tended to involve couples. Jin and Sun's self-realization was genuinely moving, as Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim successfully conveyed experiencing an entire life over the course of a few seconds. Likewise, Sawyer and Juliet's moment was long-overdue.

On the island, Jack's plan to stop Smocke worked, but left the island in peril and himself mortally wounded. His final scene with Kate and Sawyer was touching and his moment with Hurley hit hard, too.

But here's the problem with the finale: the final scene.

First off, the one positive: the contrast of the candidates joyously greeting each other, while Jack stumbled to his death and smiled as he saw the plane full of his friends fly home. That was powerful.

But it was completely negated by the final scene between Christian and Jack where we learn that the candidates have gathered in some ethereal place where everyone gets what they want and the decisions, suffering and emotional weight they (and thereby the audience) have accumulated over the last six seasons, is utterly meaningless.

Yes, you could interpret that as a philosophical statement about death and rebirth, a recurring theme in the show. Or you could see it as lazy writing and one last metaphysical cheap shot to give the audience a point to debate.

While the entire show was exquisitely produced and acted, it wasn't quite the swan song it could have been.

"Not leaving. Moving on."

No more predictions to make for future episodes, but I can always speculate on the future of the actors' careers.

Matthew Fox: With only one project even in development, according to IMDB, Fox will probably be off the radar for awhile. He's a fine dramatic actor, but his film choices have been less than stellar.

Fox has said outright that he's done with TV. When his bank account starts to get light, we'll see how serious that statement really is.

Josh Holloway: Holloway wants to do movies. He told Movieline recently he's giving it two years and then going back to TV, if the silver screen doesn't work out. Holloway kicked himself for missing out on a chance to cameo as Gambit in X-Men: The Last Stand.

It'd be great to see Holloway get hooked up with a director that would know how to use his inherent likability and good ole boy charm. Maybe Lost creator J.J. Abrams or Robert Rodriguez, two directors that have a way of making movies fun, even when they're not always great.

Naveen Andrews: Andrews got a great bit part in Rodriguez's underrated "Planet Terror." It'd be great to see him bring his vulnerability and temper to another movie character. Maybe a director like Alfonso Cuaron could make use of him.

Or he'll end up on 24 as a hero/villain within two years.

Evangeline Lilly: Lilly is starring in "Real Steel" a movie IMDB describes as, "A boxing drama set in the near-future where 2,000-pound robots that look like humans do battle." In other words, it's "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots: The Movie."

Like Fox, Lilly's also said no more TV. It looks like she won't be returning to her Live Links roots anytime soon.

Terry O'Quinn: O'Quinn wants to do another show with Michael Emerson for ABC about hitmen that live in the suburbs. Past that, who knows. O'Quinn's been a bit character in movies, but it looks like he's ready to settle into something more regular.

Michael Emerson: See above.

Jorge Garcia: Garcia has roots in comedy, so it'd be good to see him return to that. His role on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" was memorable enough to get him his part on "Lost," in the first place.

Daniel Dae Kim: A cast member with multiple projects in the works! Kim is already cast in the TV remake of "Hawaii Five-O" as Detective Chin Ho Kelly. He's also in the upcoming Matt Damon Sci-Fi movie "The Adjustment Bureau," which is based on a Philip K. Dick story.

Yunjin Kim: The show's other Kim is actually quite famous in her native South Korea, so she can always get work back home. In the meantime, she's got a role in "The Unconditional," a movie in preproduction with scant details.

Nestor Carbonell: Smokey-eyed Carbonell is the voice of Leeu in "Noah's Ark: The New Beginning." His other show on CBS got cancelled during its first season, so he's probably waiting on Christopher Nolan to finish the Batman 3 script. Maybe he can reprise his role as the mayor.

And that's it for Lost

But there's always Breaking Bad, Treme, The Tudors and Party Down...


smerdyakov 12 years, 10 months ago

"lazy writing and one last metaphysical cheap shot to give the audience a point to debate"

I'll give it 'lazy writing' and 'metaphysical cheap shot,' but I'm done debating/talking about Lost. WTF. After all the creative turns the show took over six years, how is it that they only thing they could come up with for the end is that "everybody dies"? Six Feet Under reached that same conclusion but with a real-deal moving finale that made you feel like the time you invested in the characters — and the characters' stories themselves — /mattered/.

Lost's ending is so convoluted and nonsensical that, at best, all you can make of it is "every question leads to a question." That's not a creative conclusion to a story, it's just a cop out.

Megan Green Stuke 12 years, 10 months ago

While there were no big, cool surprises and enlightening explanations of what the island is, or what has been going on there for the last several hundred years as I had hoped, I kinda liked the ending. I mean, we know enough about what the island is and who all the people are. We got resolution to the bizarro world as well as the island world, and, yes, everyone dies...sometime.

There were some great moments, and as I have been telling my friend Deb for weeks, Hurley was Number 1, as I had secretly hoped. We know that Hurley and Ben were 1 and 2 for some time, we know that some of people got off the island and went home to live out their days. And that's all okay with me.

The show is a metaphysical exercise, so I expected an ending similar to what we got. That said, the dialogue in the Christian/Jack exchange at the end rang hollow.

Also, where were Michael and Walt in the big meet-up in the sky?

Luke Walters 12 years, 10 months ago

On one hand, I liked the explanation of the existence of the alternate universe. I thought it made sense in the context of the show and was a satisfying emotional end to the story. The writers did a good job of closing out the season-long story arc of the flash-sideways.

On the other hand, they left entirely too many big questions about the location we've been following since the pilot episode. We don't really know what the deal is with the island, because anyone on the island who may have known the truth was written to be untrustworthy. They built up Jacob to be something of a god, but it sort of turned out that he only knew what "mother" told him. I wish they would have explored the origin of the island in greater depth (including that confounding statue). No explanation on the inability for babies to be conceived AND born on the island or how Walt was special.

The truth is, I'm not sure they could have ended it in a way to satisfy everyone. I'm relatively satisfied with the ending, and appreciate the six years of solid TV Lost gave me.

Megan Green Stuke 12 years, 10 months ago

Also no explanation of exactly what the deal was with Desmond (how did he get that way?)

Walt and Michael were absent in the last scene. Why?

What about Elinor Whitmore/Hawking in the last episode? She seemed to know things but no explanation of why or what... and the bit about "not taking her son" I didn't get. Why not? What??

And the stupid statue, yes. And who were the people in the temple, and what were the "tests" they gave? Who put them up to that?

Why didn't Jack turn into a smoke monster?

After further consideration, I didn't like it as much as I thought I did (or wanted to).

Luke Walters 12 years, 10 months ago

I agree on the Desmond bit.

As far as Michael being absent, his spirit was stuck on the island for being a dick.

My guess on Ms. Hawking is that she is stuck in Purgatory land, and doesn't want to move on.

I, too, wondered about Jack no becoming Smokey. But, the man in black did die when he was tossed in there. Maybe Jack is the new MiB, but we just don't see it.

I wonder if there isn't some sort of movie or miniseries coming some time that will focus on what happens on the island between Hurley becoming the new Jacob and everybody dying and meeting up in the Feel-Good Land of Acid Flashbacks and Romance.

sallyt 12 years, 10 months ago

I can't help but believe that by the time we finally reached the end of the series, there were only two directions the writers could have gone: A, some fantastical home run of a finale that both wraps up the series and delivers a humdinger of twist at the end, or B, something nonthreatening and open to gentle interpretation. And I think hoping for A was a little too pie in the sky.

That being said, I'm OK with the ending. I don't think it was awesome or mind-blowing or anything, but it was OK. I mean, at least it wasn't purgatory or "all a dream," and it kind of makes me point and laugh at everyone who nitpicked and analyzed the crap out of everything that happened.

Now, as for the Ben/Hurley spin-off series ... I have been dreaming of this ever since those two split an Apollo bar outside Jacob's cabin, and it would likely be the best thing of all time. Who's with me?

Luke Walters 12 years, 10 months ago

I was rooting for Hurley to become Jacob all season. I was disappointed when it was Jack, but held out hope that Hurley would end up with the mantle. I would love to see a well-done spin-off dealing with the post-Jack island and how Hurley chooses to wield his power.

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