When The Sopranos ended, I was disappointed, but I wasn’t left thinking, “Wow, they completely dropped the ball on this. What a damn shame.”
Dear writers of Lost: That’s exactly what I’m thinking now.
What the chosen ending of Lost verifies is what most of the speculators have been saying for a few seasons: there would be no way to adequately wrap up the criss-crossing plot lines, the unending questions, the bottomless allusions. They feared that the show was begging for a big cop-out, catch-all ending. I feared they were right, but hoped that the most original show to grace network TV since ‘The Twilight Zone’ wouldn’t go out that way. Surely the writers of this unique show would prove them all wrong.
Well, they didn’t. They couldn’t have proved them more right if they’d had Jesus and Krishna themselves make an appearance on the island and tell Jack that, “everyone will go to a warm, lovely place that they made together to be together to remember that they were together somewhere for some reason, because that’s what people have been wasting their time for six years to find out.”
I’m being harsh, I know, but I’m a little cheesed off right now. Despite the ending, I have enjoyed the show and appreciate how it has, for the most part, shined with originality amidst a sea of formulaic crime and hospital dramas. But with that pedigree, which has drawn a loyal legion of followers few shows in the history of TV can boast, all the more reason that it should have ended with something other than a predictable “we’re all dead and happy now” cop-out.
As to the producers claiming that they knew all along how the show would end, all I can say is I hope you’re lying. Because if you really had this in mind all along, if from the start you planned to duck virtually every interesting question you raised and instead stick us with a lame, inter-faith, karma-purgatory dose of nonsense–you’re a cruel gang of bastards.
Better that you just come clean and admit that you didn’t have a clue how to end the show, and figured that since you were bound to disappoint many viewers no matter what you did, you’d just go with a vague, quasi-religious ending and paint it all with enough potent sentimentalism to spackle over the cracks. We’d still be disappointed, but would respect you more if you admitted that’s how it went down.
As it stands, Lost will go down in television history as a great show that ultimately fell apart. The suspenseful enigmas that kept people watching were eventually the show’s undoing–it quivered, shook and finally crumbled under their compounded weight. Too bad, but I suppose you can only ask so much. I only wish the makers of Lost would have chosen to go out a different exit than the back door to mediocrity.