Although I supposed I really did like a lot of Lost's final episode (the Sawyer/Juliet reunion, Jack's act breaking, jumping punch on the cliffs), and while I still think Lost is the Best. Show. Ever. (see: "Through the Looking Glass") After a couple days, I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to get over the completely bizarre, abrupt and disappointing "flash" universe revelation and the now canonized ultimate fate of our Losties.
I'll start with my awakening: There's a short piece in nymag that details the vehement denials of the creators of the show regarding the theory that the island is "purgatory," or "limbo" or whatever.
The fact that this "classic" purgatory theory was so concretely denied by both J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof and then for it to be so integral for at least half of the final season, I kind of find it hard to ignore. I would like to view what Doc Jensen called "the Church Bus to Heaven" as merely a lame conclusion to a disappointing season. But I'm getting the sneaking suspicion I might have been had.
And it's not like the build-up to a conclusion of the Sideways world is just important to me. Lindelof himself earlier this year said that this "flash" universe was so important it's explanation is "the only answer we owe." I'll just write out the full context of this quote since it's so damning (hee hee), and I don't want it to seem like I'm being mean. PS. This message was broadcast directly to us fans via nerd publication Wired Magazine:
Lindelof (emphasis added): It’s not just what would have happened if the plane landed; now Jack has a son and there are these changes. The audience is saying, “I hope they explain the relationship between these two stories,” and that, to us, is the only answer we owe.
And then, they went with Purgatory for that answer. So, in addition to not really answering and/or getting back to a lot of stuff once seemingly so important (see ANY of Becky's pre-finale hopes), the Flash-Sidewayses (Christ, I can't believe I'm still calling them that!) ended up being a big ole bowl of nothing.
Here are some new questions:
What did the thin on-island events of the finale, OR THE SERIES AS A WHOLE, really have to do with the Purgatoryverse? How long had Jack been in limbo for since he explicitly died before Kate? Why did this collective mind-meld invent a son for Dr. Jack? Why was only Jack showing wounds from his death? Why did Sayid need to kill fake
Keamy Mikhail in limbo to get to go to heaven with Shannon? Why was someone like Bernard still a dentist but Sawyer was now a semi-happy cop? Why was Penny at the damn church? Had she ever even met half these people?! All of these question now appear so silly, I can't help but feel kind of embarrassed even asking them in light of what they chose to go with.
It would have been nice to wrap up the show's last season in a more tangible way, with stuff related to what we've actually been been following for years. Not some last minute vision, and final season invention, of something so completely distant, so unrelatable and so on the nose religious it feels like it's from a different plane of storytelling and not really about a magical island in this world.
(I should of course also say: if this isn't the case for you, and everything clicked when that white light came pouring into the church, I'm glad it all came together in your eyes. Or if the show was still worth all the trouble even with a lame finale, that's totally cool too.)
But there still seems to be two points here. 1) This was Lost's big finale and they went with the one theory they had explicitly said they weren't doing all along. And 2) Why? At the expense of rushing the island storyline along (which consisted almost entirely of "cork gets taken out of a plug, cork gets put into a plug,") and leaving out what were some of the real questions posed earlier by the authors of the show, it feels like either: A) Darlton decided to be like, self referential or something or B) these whole six seasons were kind of just a long con.
The part that original nymag piece that really shocked me into this sad post came when the author, who is surprising not Emily Nussbaum, posits a post-finale question posed by fans. "'Why didn't Darlton care at all about the show's mythology?!'" To me, that really drove home that this is the end. And in the end, the show's creators and authors decided to not give us longtime Lost apologists much to defend the show with. And, most depressingly of all, I don't get to watch another episode next week.
So there you have it. I hope you aren't infected by my darkness too much after reading this. Then again, part of what made Lost sincerely worth all this time was trying to make sense of this crazy world with wonderful, smart, terrific people like you all. I hope one day we all get to sit in pews and and bathe in white light together. So I can't wait to hear what everyone else thought. Re-watch soon?
Namaste and Good Luck!