Were you “Left Behind” with the “LOST” Ending?

Well, it didn’t quite work for me, I can tell you. (This is one time when I would be keen to know PE’s take on an issue.)  I was left afterwards asking WTF was that all about? Sorted most of it out, in the end – I got the idea that the “alternate reality” was supposed to be some sort of post-death sorting house, a kind of purgatory before “the next phase in the journey” (as Jack’s dad put it – that was a bit corney). Just as corney was that window in the “church” behind Jack’s dad as he was saying it. Reminded me of the sort of thing I encounter almost daily through my work. As some commentators have said, the final episode of this six year series might have worked at some points on an emotional level, but failed on an intellectual level. In all of this, I am generally in agreement with this commentary here from the New York Times.

Nevertheless, for all that, I found the series engrossing. It kept my interest for the last six years pretty well, and I am feeling now a bit like a twenty-one year old who just finished reading the last Harry Potter novel and realises that there will simply be “NO MORE”. I was lucky enough about a week ago to come across the full DVD sets of the first three series of LOST in a second hand store for a very reasonable price. By the time I finish rewatching them, I may be able to pick up last night’s episode in the same shop…

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10 responses to “Were you “Left Behind” with the “LOST” Ending?

  1. Matthias

    Could never get into it,but then I am not a great fan of Channel Seven ,especially their journalistic ethics
    ‘If it’s dirt ye seekin call peter meakin”

  2. Past Elder / Terry Maher

    Well, reluctant as I am to voice an opinion, since you asked —

    The bottom line is, as long as Juliette is in it, everything else is negotiable and tolerable. She is the complete babe in all aspects, and speaks Latin too.

    Other than that, I was disappointed. It turned out, after all the character-building and science fiction, to be a They all died and went to heaven thing.

    Apparently the sideways time shifting was to resolve the future and past time shifting. Judas in a time machine.

    The check out person at the supermarket thought it was “purgatory” too. I guess purgatory is a universal mythical superstition.

    My older son wished they had shown some resolution to the characters who appeared in one episode only a few seasons back, to end up buried alive due to a paralytic toxic reaction, some Poe stuff there.
    I think the female of that pair did some pole dancing. A retrospective would surely have been in order.

    All in all, a weak ending to an otherwise good series. I understood the logic when the writers determined an end date, so as to write a more coherent series to lead somewhere, but really, was They all die and go to heaven the big ending?

    But Juliette was there, so it’s OK.

    • Agreed with all that – except perhaps the Juliette thing which I can’t confess that I have ever shared.

      It all ended up a bit like the “Five People you meet in Heaven” – another bit of “mythic” purgatory stuff, if you like.

      Endless possibility for someone to write an alternative ending, of course, which actually ties up all the loose ends.

      The end of these sorts of epics are always problematic. I never liked the ending of Harry Potter for instance.

  3. Past Elder / Terry Maher

    You know,David, I got into LOST quite by accident. I missed the first season altogether, no attention whatever, but when the Summer reruns began, there was a tornado watch, and at the top of the hour I turned on my bedroom TV to see if the little weather icon was there, and what should I see but a plane breaking up in mid-air.

    My altar boys days served me well, as my favourite phrase from the Litany of the Saints (which is also known, sans saints, as The Litany, in my present context), “Holy S#&$” immediately came forth.

    My younger son came in to see what the fuss was, then my older to see what the joint fuss was, and we were hooked.

    I still say to have introduced all the philosophical and scientific twists, complete with naming characters thereafter, to end with They All Died And Went To Heaven is just weak.

  4. Rebecca

    I forgot you watched Lost David!
    I received the first five seasons as a Christmas gift and I managed to watch every episode before the final season started.
    I’m one of the Losties that wasn’t disappointed in the ending – maybe the emotional stuff was more engaging to me than the scientific!
    I thought it was beautiful, if not a little confusing. I rewatched it on Thursday morning just to get a handle on it (benefits of maternity leave!).
    It did remind me of Five People you Meet in Heaven though.
    The only thing I was disappointed in was the watering down of the Catholic elements that had been present throughout the whole series by littering the church room with other religious statues and symbols!

    • I managed to watch every episode before the final season started.

      Was this while waiting for the boys to arrive?? How could you possibly watch THAT MUCH TELEVISION in a couple of months?

      • Rebecca

        No, it was actually after they were born!! I’m breastfeeding them and in the early days it would take about 40 minutes each, the same length as an episode!
        The television has been my best friend during feeding times! We have Foxtel, so I record everything and fast forward the ads.
        I haven’t worked out how to feed and read a book yet!

  5. I’m with Rebecca… I thought it was a beautiful ending. Yes, I loved the mythology of the show, but I loved the characters more, and I got enough answers to the former to be very happy with a character-centric finale.

    And to be clear, it was only the Sideways reality which was “purgatory”… everything else — including the on-island events — happened before their respective deaths.

    Easily my favorite show of all time (followed closely by BSG and The X-Files in a [very] distant third).

    • The “purgatory” reading of the sideways reality was enhanced for me by rewatching the interplay between Hugo and Ben at the end, where Ben says he is not ready to “leave” yet because he still has some things to work out – and given the number of death’s he is responsible for – Jacob, Locke, his daughter, and a host of other etc. – this is perhaps understandable. Hugo, on the other hand, was always the “saint” of the story. In a more popular understanding of the afterlife and ghostly existence however, there were the references to “letting go” – which is usually what people say of ghosts: they are spirits who have not yet “let go” of this reality.

      Of course, one should not read too much into popular television writing, however! 🙂

  6. Past Elder / Terry Maher

    Well, everybody here knows I am Lutheran now and not Catholic, but, perhaps here is something non-controversial.

    The “heavenly” ending was entirely disappointing to me as, shall we say, Christian. Man is always trying to come up with some sort of version of an afterlife, and LOST descended into just another such attempt.

    All the scientific etc references went right out the window, and we have another version of death and life after death that, if Christian revelation is indeed from God, just doesn’t exist.