“Lost officially wrapped everything up on May 23, 2010. Has it really been that long?”
It really is hard to believe that it’s already been five years since the series finale of Lost was seen by over 13.5 million households, but that’s exactly how long it’s been since Damon Lindelof and the gang left Losties scratching their heads as Jack Shephard closed his eyes one last time.
Lost was a wild, confusing ride.
One could say the writers crafted too many questions that couldn’t all possibly be answered, and they would be correct. But with television shows like Game of Thrones thriving, where the question of “how” is rarely mentioned when critiquing the HBO behemoth, have television audiences and critics entered a place where it’s now more acceptable to not have answers for everything?
It’s possible. And I hope so.
The question of how is far less interesting than the question of what; I never needed to know how Walt got his “powers,” but I was always interested in what he would use them for. I am far more intrigued with where a character or plot is heading than how they got there. The latter, I think, matters far more than filling in all the blanks about a fictional island having fictional powers.
Filling in the blanks is boring, which is something Sopranos’ creator David Chase would probably agree with. (Or just anyone who talked themselves into seeing the three Star Wars prequels just to find out how Darth Vader came to be, well, Darth Vader.)
What really made Lost special, much like what Mad Men, too, later excelled in, was its ability to give its viewers at least one character or two that you could root for or against (I’m looking at you, Kate). It was the realism and the visuals from the pilot episode that drew everyone in, but it was the character interactions and their stories that kept so many viewers tuning in each week, even it was just to find out where the dreaded Kate-Jack-Sawyer love triangle stood that particular week.
That’s really hard to do, especially with just how many characters the writers of Lost had to keep up with.
The series finale wasn’t the greatest of its time, or even close to being the worst. However Lindelof and the rest of the writers chose to wrap things up on the island, for the most part, I would have been largely disappointed. Not disappointed at the unanswered questions, the bizarre rules of the land, or even what the flashes of the sideways variety turned out mean: I would be disappointed at the reality that I wouldn’t get to see Benjamin Linus play with John Locke’s mind again; I would be disappointed that I would never get hear Sawyer riddle off another nickname for Hurley much to his behest; but mostly, I would be disappointed that, no matter what, it’d all be over and all of these characters that I learned more and more about over the past six seasons would not be coming back into my life next year.
And I think that’s what really matters when trying to come to a rational, fair conclusion of a series finale: How much will I miss the ride, even with all of its flaws and unanswered questions?
Five years later and I can still say I miss the ride.
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