Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lost: The End (Minor Spoilers)

Lost fans have probably already heard enough about the last episode, but here are my two cents:

The main appeal of Lost is its mystery. It exploits unanswered questions in a way that no other show has done. It's mystery porn. And just like other porn, it's not about the release; that's just icing on the face. The build-up—the teasing, the unknown dangling right in front of you—that's what drives the show.

An answer is nice when it comes, but the thrill only lasts a second, then you forget about it, roll over, and go to sleep. Mysteries, though, keep you occupied long after the show ends. They pump through your dreams all night long. They make you squirm in your seat when they suddenly pop into your head at work.

For that reason, I was satisfied with Lost's ending. The resolution of the "flash sideways" slapped around our expectations just enough to keep it spicy. The very last money shot was just right1.  And overall it left just enough unanswered questions to keep Lost lingering on the tips of our minds, fondly remembered as one of the best shows we ever had.

P.S. Some of the "mysteries" that people complain about being left unanswered aren't really mysteries that anyone promised to answer. Why do we need to know who built the statue/temple/cork? That's like complaining if the Grey's Anatomy finale doesn't explain who built the hospital.

(although a few of them probably should have been solved)

1 And I think exemplifies the Stephen King influence the creators have been wearing on their sleeve all along.


picard102 said...

If Seatle Grace turned the dead into clouds of smoke, and was magical; then I think who built the hospital would be a good question to ask.

Phronk said...

The answer would be more interesting, sure, and people would wonder about it more. But I don't think it would be essential to the plot unless the exact mechanism by which the magical hospital turns people into smoke was necessary for a character to overcome their conflicts.

Wings1295 said...

Maybe Michael was a backup, just in case the weirdly special Desmond was killed or something. But, in the end, he wasn't needed.

Phronk said...

Yeah, having Walt in Desmond's place sure would have made a lot more sense.

I'm guessing a lot of the twists and omissions were due to the availability of actors. E.g. Mister Eko dying because the actor didn't feel like living in Hawaii any more. Maybe something similar with Walt.

Wings1295 said...

Anyway, like life, somethings are just never answered. And I am okay with that. Gives fans stuff to talk about and debate on and on. All good.

pixie658 said...

yes yes yes.
One reason I love Lost is the mystery. People need to learn to use their imaginations instead of asking for all their questions to be answered. The most interesting philosophical questions are those without answers.

Jennifer said...

Icing on the face. You are a dirty man, Mr Phronk.

I was pretty happy with the ending. I was just glad they didn't write the whole thing off as a mass hallucination or something.

Phronk said...

Pixie: Agreed! All good things in life have a little mystery. Having all the answers is boring.


Forest City Fashionista said...

Nice porn analogy! I was kind of disappointed in the finale, but I think that I would have been disappointed no matter how it ended, just because there was no way to end a show like that would make everyone happy. But really, could the light in the cave been any more underwhelming? The hatch, the numbers, in the end really didn't mean anything. Walt wasn't at the church because the actor who played him is 19 now, and doesn't look anything like the kid we first met on the island (Nikki Stafford's blog says so)

Candice said...

I like my mysteries solved. I loved the characters, their relationships, the whole story, but only because they developed around the mystery. I like the idea of the wrap-up, but I'm nowhere near satisfied. Goddammit.