So this is the end.
Tomorrow’s finale of Lost marks the end of one of the most enjoyable hour dramas in TV history.
We’ve been following Lost from the first season, and frankly I’m more than a little depressed about saying goodbye to it.
Like many others, I’m still waiting to for a bunch of questions to get answered. The funny thing about Lost is that the answers never seem to blow your mind. They always make sense, and to that end feel a little disappointing. You expect your mind to be blown, but instead the answers fit the clues so well that you just have to nod along and say, “Ok, I get it.”.
Take the alternate timeline that still has yet to be resolved. We know it started when Juliet (who is my bet to be the mother of Jack’s son), set off the atomic bomb. Her dying (after dying?) words indicate that they succeeded in destroying the island. Even though that time line seems mysterious, it actually makes some modicum of sense for all fans of sci-fi time travel. What actually doesn’t make sense is why when the bomb went off did everyone suddenly wind up back on the island in the future. They should have been obliterated, not time traveled. Zombie Locke (aka Smokey the Air) is trying to get off the island in that time line, but what world would be trying to get back to? It would make more sense if they were all stranded in some sort of nowhere (ala The City on the Edge of Forever). Instead, they are right back where they started. How does that figure?
You see, it’s bait and switch. We’ve accepted the ‘original’ timeline as normal because we are used to it, but in reality it requires some serious explanation. Meanwhile the timeline that makes sense (the alternate now) is the one everyone wants explained. No matter what happens tonight, we are going to be left with more questions than answers. I suppose that’s ok. That would just be in keeping with the spirit of the show.
What I expect to find out is that the survivors from the alternate now will somehow cross over…(cross backwards?) to set events in our timeline in motion. Don’t ask me how that will be explained…I have no freaking idea. As my questions below indicate, I think Libby’s ‘dead husbad’ (whose money was used for Desmond to buy the boat that first got him onto the island) was Hurley. Temporally that makes no sense, but I suspect that’s where things are headed. Eloise Hawkins will have a similar kind of purpose. She seems to be a ‘floater’ who is aware of and immune to the temporal changes that ripple out from decisions made on the island (remember he interaction with Desmond in the jewelry shop all those seasons ago?).
My own list of what I need to know is brief:
1. Why did Libby give Desmond money to buy the boat that he took to get the island? Why was she in a mental institution in the first place?
2. What’s the deal with Walt?
3. Why was it that that ‘only Claire’ could raise her baby? That was set up as a major plot point early, but has just flat vanished.
4. Is the island purgatory? (just kidding)
Mostly, I’ve stopped trying to figure Lost out. That’s the highest compliment I can give a show. I’m the guy who tries to solve every mystery ahead of time. I’m usually rife with theories and ideas. With Lost, I’ve shut of my need to solve, and I’m just enjoying the ride. Next week, I’ll start rewatching the whole series from start to finish. My wife and I did that with the X-Files a few years ago, and loved it. I’m looking forward to taking it all in again.
There are so many things to hope for from this final episode.
There are characters that I want to see find happiness (Hurley, the real John Locke, Desmond and Penny); there are characters that I just want to see go out in a blaze of glory (Ben Linus); there are characters that I just want to see go (Kate).
There are philosophical questions that I want an answer to. I’m intensely deterministic (let’s just say that I like four of the five petals on Johnny C’s flower), but I’ve always respected the ‘mystery position’ that holds that ‘destiny’ and choice are sides to the same coin and cannot be adequately separated. It’s this position that I sensed in last week’s discussion between Jack and Jacob.
And yes, there are questions and little details that I’m just dying to find out about.
The departure of Lost means that I’m mostly just left with Smallville (which was stone-cold incredible this season, including the great finale) to satisfy my nerd TV jones. I’ve picked up Fringe into my rotation (thanks for the tip Shake), but it’s a poor substitute for the X-Files and Lost.
Good bye Jack, John, Charlie, Hurley and Ben.
I hope you find your way home. Wherever (and whenever) that is.