Monday, May 24, 2010

P.S., JJ doesn't care what we wanted.

[This post is going to be about the series finale of LOST. If you haven't seen it but plan to, please go away (for your sake!). If you don't care, you can also click the X at the top of the screen. I know not everyone cares about this show. I won't be offended. Also, commentary is welcome, and comments from those who disagree are also welcome! Just no mean jabs at me or my opinions. Thanks!]

I really didn't want to write a whole post (on a fashion blog, no less) about a TV show finale. Mostly because this really isn't the venue, but I've been working myself up for the past several hours after reading many (in my opinion) annoying comments about the show's ending. I think this show is important even though it's just television, because it dug deeper into our culture and society than most other shows ever do. It can teach us a lot if we want to learn. Also, I may not be the most credible source to talk here and I'll admit why right off the bat: I came into this show half-way through (season 4). Therefore, I may not have as many questions or emotional ties as many who begun at episode one. So take this as you will. :) That being said... I have some things I want to address. About how it all ended up, in my opinion, and in what I've gathered from watching and reading re-caps. You may disagree, and that's ok! But here's what I really think is going on and what our take-away is.

One: Some people are really not getting this, but the Island was NOT purgatory. I really think this is truth and not just opinion here, so I want to be clear that thinking the Island was "not real" or "afterlife" is a wrong understanding of the show. In fact, the flash-sideways can't even be said to have been purgatory. It was a sort of "resting place" between reality as we know it and whatever happens next. It was a place each member sort of unconsciously (through their interactions and meaningful relationships with one another) created together. Jack wasn't dead since the pilot; we saw him die, just like we saw Widmore die and Jacob die (to name a few). And the Island and it's magic were real-- all the interactions were real. In fact, more real than many other shows I've ever seen, ever. That's the beautiful thing about LOST, and this comment I read in a Salon post summarized it very well (barring one point with which I disagree, which I'll mention in a minute):

"I finally get it…and it’s brilliant.

Al those questions, the stupid minutiae of the lost-verse were there specifically to illustrate the truth of “none of this matters”.

The whole thing was, as I suspected, a faith/religion/spirituality allegory…but the allegory was on a more subtle level than I’d considered until this morning.

The story, like our spiritual lives, was about one thing and one thing only: LOVE. Community, compassion, right vs. wrong.

Religion is not about wine & wafers or burning bushes or “defense of marriage”. It’s about making us love one another.
The Lost story wasn’t about numbers or three-toed statues or hieroglyphs…it was about LOVE."

Which leads me to, two: hate to break it to you, but JJ Abrams does not care that your (or my) hopes and dreams about his series did not come true. He can't make everyone happy. If you wanted there to be a happy ending with every bow tied up in a neat little knot, sorry. Was I sad that many things were unanswered? Yes, I was. Is it ok to talk about what questions were left unanswered? Of course (and I am)! But, am I letting that ruin what was a beautiful and amazingly moving series and finale? Hell no. I realize that maybe there is an even bigger lesson to be learned here in all this: as humans, we always get caught up in the minutiae of questions that sometimes just don't matter. And sometimes, we need a little something to remind us what really matters... which is love, and people, and relationships, and the meaning we make of all of it. I might be wrong, but I think that's what the producers wanted. They wanted us to look back at ourselves, blush a little, and wake up to the truth that sometimes, we overreact. We make things more important than they really are. Why did the island get there? Who was the mother that killed the twin's mother? What was up with the mystery of island baby births? What was Dharma really all about? To those questions, I must say: Whatever! (although I admittedly was hoping to understand the baby phenomenon...) It was plot, it was substance that was needed to keep the show going (sidenote: I do disagree a little with the commenter that the plot details meant "nothing"-- if the show taught us anything, it's that nothing is nothing. The details were a part of an important plot, though I can understand why some became slightly irritated... but we have to delve further). It was what life is made up of-- lots of intracacies and questions and some things we can never explain. In the end of it all, we don't need answers, we need meaning. (and personally, I believe the end of life doesn't give answers-- i.e., there is no enlightened sort of "death-to-new-life"-- but will hopefully bring meaning, if were lucky enough to see it.)

Sure, we want answers, but come one... ya'll knew we wouldn't know everything. That was specifically said by the producers a while ago... we won't have all the answers. They can't answer them all, and it is possible they wrote themselves into a few corners. (Let's give these people some credit here 'cuz they're human and can't create a flawless and complicated 6 seasons.)  But please, don't allow your anger to cloud one of the most beautiful and moving series finales this generation has seen (hyperbolic? Maybe. I'll allow it). And look a little deeper than the surface questions. I say this because I think people are really robbing themselves of the joy of the show if they don't let go. The characters were tasked with "letting go." Now it's our turn.


  1. finally! a positive post about the season finale! everything i've been reading is just a bunch of people who are pissed off about how it ended. i thought it was beautiful. i totally agree with everything you said.

  2. I tried to keep my rant short bc I would have gone on forever, haha, glad you took the time to make yours coherent bc mine would have been all over the point making map...

    Wonderfully written Justine. I actually was scared reading your title thinking you were a hater, but I was wrong - you stand EXACTLY where I do. The more I think about the show/ending, the more and more I like it and realize how PERFECT it was. My favorite show in history and it ended as well as it started. ::tear::

  3. PS - in addition to the short synaposis on perez that I linked on my blog, this one (while long) bought up a lot of interesting connections that I hadn't thought about yet

  4. Thanks, erinn! I don't know how i feel
    Sent from my iPhone
    On May 24, 2010, at 6:20 PM, "Echo"

  5. Ooops. haha... Ok, so I think the problem with this all is that people are getting confused about chronology. Season 6's chronology is not linear between flash-sideways and island-time. There is no way to say that what was happening on the island was happening at the same time in the flash-sideways; in fact, I think the flash-sideways was not within time at all, which makes it more confusing but also allows for us to say that everyone died on their own time, though Jack's life was focused on for the show. Corn-fusnig. heh :)

  6. Yes.. that's it... Jack died at that moment on the island... in his "in limbo" (flash sideways).. was running when other had already died in the past - Charlie, Faraday, the Kwons, etc.... Maybe Kate, Sayid, Hurley, and Ben lived on another 10, 20, 40 years. Kate said to Jack "I've missed you for SO long"... who knows how long they were separate btwn their deaths.

    also on a totally separate note, I'd like to point on my thoughts on David (Jack's son)... I think this was Jack's illusion in his 'sideways' or 'in limbo' status to get closure on his own relationship with his own father. David was supposed to represent Jack. When they reconciled their relationship it was able to give Jack the sense of acceptance/accomplishment from a father - or him being able to project it on his own hypothetical child to prove that he isn't worthless or unvalued they way he felt he was with his father.... thoughts on that??

  7. I like that, Erinn!! I never thought about that, but it does make sense...
    obviously, the son was never "real" in the sense of actually born, but he
    was a means for Jack's closure. My husband made an interesting point, too:
    why do you think Jack would imagine himself divorced in the flash-sideways?
    Why wouldn't he have a happy marriage? Another thing to think about.

  8. i used to watch LOST and then I stopped but my DH is really into it. I'm glad you saw the positive in the finale :)

  9. I think thats just one of those things you don't bother questioning... in the sense that they said in the mythology episode that everyone answer with lead to another question. I assume it was just a way work Juliet into the story to connect with Sawyer, maybe it was also supposed to be a filler for his old ex wife Sarah (Clare from Modern Family- love her!)

  10. "that every* answer will lead to another question" (not everyone)

  11. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I absolutely loved the ending it was beautiful and powerful. I loved every moment of the finale and cried throughout. It was real human emotions and focused in on the big picture. There will never be a show like LOST.

  12. Great analysis, I pretty much completely agree with you. I can't believe how many people thought the island was purgatory after the episode; I thought they made it abundantly clear that it wasn't. I also totally forgot about the no babies on the island thing until I read this. Now I wish they'd explained that too. The one thing that bothered me a lot for some reason was Sayid being with shannon at the end when I thought that Nadia was the love of his life.

  13. Well, one thing we don't know is whether what we saw in the flash-sideways
    was what happened for each of them, or if it was tailored to Jack's life
    only. So maybe there is a different flash-sideways "reality" for each unique
    person and we just saw Jack's flash-sideways. So that could have been
    because that's the relatinoship Jack knew for Sayid-- it's what was relevant
    for *his* life.

  14. Really nicely put!

  15. I hope my opinions haven't been a thorn in your side, Justine! ;)

    I am perhaps too analytical about the whole thing. I had assumed they were not going to follow the religious/allegory/spiritual thread and continue with a thriller/mystery/action storyline and felt that it fell flat on that end. For some reason I thought it would fall into place like a really tight bank heist movie where all of the clues make sense in the conclusion.

    Also I was totally confused through the whole show because my boyfriend (who has only seen this current season) kept asking me who what and why about everything. Which I couldn't remember. I think this summer we will do a full recap. I usually enjoy things like this much better the second time around.

  16. not a thorn at all! hehe... I understand your point, and I do agree, but I think what I'm saying is we have to take it for what it is and was rather than what we had hoped. and in that, it was perfect. The hubs and I are planning on rewatching it all on Roku (we can stream them thru Netflix for free) to see if it flows a little better. What I've also found is that many questions *were* answered, but it's hard to remember a lot because there were so many questions... Check out Lostpedia if you haven't already!!

  17. Nothing could match the first season of Lost, and I think the show would have been in big trouble after that if not for the addition of the fantastic actor who played Ben. But I never stopped watching and enjoying Lost. The final episode worked well for me even though it was so sentimental. It answered some of my questions (like, who was Sayid's true love, Nadia or Shannon? OK, it's Shannon). And it left room for imagining my own answers to other questions. I think it was a good ending for a truly great show.