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LOST’s last note

So, here’s the thing:

No matter what, the series finale of LOST couldn’t hope to live up to the hype that preceded it. The problem, I think, is that Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse bought into the hype, played to the hype, and nothing but the hype when the creative team laid out the ultimate episode that presented us with the solution that Jack Shepard died on the island and then met (most of, but not all) his pals in some nebulous, multi-denominational “purgatory” before they all went on to Nirvana, Valhalla, Wal-Mart, heaven.

All in all, I enjoyed the final season – particularly the episodes that gave us more about the history of people like Richard Alpert and his island masters. The series finale itself, for the most part, is undeniably well-crafted and full of engaging, moving moments. But the last five minutes in the church, with the apparent dismissal of Jack’s mom, Walt, Michael, Lapidus, Alpert, plus the ham-handed “we’re all dying now/a while back/eventually” zen thing just didn’t work for me.

Endings are so difficult. I loved The Sopranos, but I didn’t like the cut-to-black during Don’t Stop Believin’. I enjoyed Quantum Leap, but I hated that last episode with God as Sam’s time pilot.

I didn’t hate this finale, but it left me disappointed. If it’s all about Jack’s journey and his demise, then why are we meant to care about Sun and Jin? If we ARE meant to also care about Sun and Jin, then why not Michael and Walt? Charlotte and Faraday? Widmore and Junglestrike Tina Fey? And if this is supposed to have been a spin on “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” with everything transpiring in Jack’s mind as he’s dying from a stab wound, why are we getting points-of-view from other major characters?

In the end, it just felt like six seasons of rationalizations tied up in a sloppy package.

I’ve been running the same fundamental story on OtherSpace for about 12 years now. A day’s going to come when I have to shut down the game and end the story. It’s my aspiration to strike as many emotional high notes as the LOST finale managed, without the mawkish missteps that plagued this TV show from time to time.

But as disappointed as I was in the conclusion of LOST, I found many bits to enjoy in those final hours:

* Hurley’s Star Wars references (as usual)
* Sawyer and Juliette at the snack machine
* Charlie’s reunion with Claire
* Locke and Ben outside the church
* Desmond and Jack both playing “Wrath of Khan” with the island drain plug
* The shot of Jack’s closing eye (after Vincent came to sprawl on the ground next to him)

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