I really can’t believe it’s over. We live in a post-Lost world, people. What am I going to theorize about, debate, puzzle over, or frantically obsessively watch? Well, Lost, to be honest. Because, like the best works of fiction, it doesn’t hand you answers to all your questions upon turning to the last page or watching the last scene. I’ll watch it again and again over the years, because it’s that good. It’s an achievement unmatched in the history of the medium. A six year, pre-plotted (to a large extent) telenovel. The finale on Tuesday wasn’t the highest-rated send-off for a show. Lost has never hit the viewing public with a Friends-like cultural atomic impact. It was immediately popular, but more in the way a bestseller is. Word of mouth spread it, people who watched it banded together, converted more who watched it on DVD, and before you know it everyone was hooked. So how can you possibly address all the questions you’ve raised in six seasons of intricate plotting? How can you possibly make everyone happy? You don’t. Lost has never really cared much what the network or anyone else had to say about the chapter of the story they were telling. Tuesday’s finale was the last chapter, and if I constantly refer to this in literary terms, it’s because-to me at least-that’s how it’s always been, and the finale was even appropriately called “The End”.
This is going to be a bit of a no-frills review because, honestly I don’t want to spoil it for those who are going to watch it on DVD. I don’t want to take away the experience I got to have. There’s been so much mainstream press over it though, that we can hit the basics. Season six has followed two parallel realities. In one Oceanic 815 never crashed and landed in Los Angeles, sending the cast off on the paths they were walking before the plane hit the island. In the other, we pick up after the cataclysmic end of Season 5, the curtain is drawn back on the major players on the island and sides are chosen as those players come to the end of a very long game.
I didn’t believe they could cover as much ground as they have this year. Each episode one or several major revelations were dropped on us as we hurtled towards the events of Tuesday’s installment. Every book has its slow parts and even I’ll admit some seasons of Lost seem to meander (though I wonder if they will in retrospect), but this season seemed over in a blink. The two storylines are merged and an end is reached. In the 2.5 hours the finale lasted, almost every major character in the show’s history was seamlessly woven into the ending. I care about these characters. Flaws and all (and all Lost characters are flawed) they’re almost real people to me, and to get to have this beautiful goodbye to them on top of a brilliant and subtle end to the epic was a true gift. I love the ending. I think it’s magnificent; every bit as powerful in its profound quiet as the first season opener was with its explosion of sensory fire as you experienced the crash. It brought everything full circle. It’s the best finale I’ve ever seen to the best TV series I’ve ever watched. And I can’t wait to watch it again.