“I got a bad feeling about this.”
I wonder how many LOST fans felt the same way as the final episode unspooled with the sort of musical montage that usually ends episodes. Well, in the words of Sawyer: “Sonofabitch.”
They did it.
LOST ended nearly perfectly.
The-powers-that-be chose to end the story, rather than merely answer questions. Here we the viewing audience were, wondering how the lingering questions were going to be addressed, but it looks to me that show-runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse said, “Screw that, we’re closing all the character arcs.” After watching the characters finish their journeys, I’ll be damned if I can think of any nagging leftover questions that still seem to matter. I feel totally satisfied by the story. So what if we don’t know the original human name of the Man in Black. Walt was “special” because…well, because he was. Maybe all kids were revered because of the pregnancy thing.
Far more important to me, was the fact that the main characters reached some kind of closure. Almost everybody got happy endings in the Sideways universe, while events unfolded on the Island the way they had to. In a way, TPTB had it both ways: They gave the fans the sweet ending they wanted but also played out the brutal endgame on the Island. And on this show, it made total sense for Jack to die, yet still be happy. And the final funereal moments, when everyone was gathered in the church, made clever use of the concept of the hereafter to gather all the characters together no matter when they died. Everyone was dead. Some folks died before Jack (the Kwons), some long after (Hugo). “There is no ‘now’ here,” Christian told Jack. They all gathered because needed to be together. Jack needed all of them, and they needed Jack. And this was a true ending. As Jack told Hurley, “There are no shortcuts. No do-overs. What happened, happened. All of this matters.”
The episode was, of course, not perfect. My biggest problem was trying to figure out why Desmond thought it was a good idea to put out the light. And, more importantly, why Jack thought it would be okay to help him do it. I have decided that the “Heart of the Island” is just what we were told it was: a huge pocket of electromagnetic energy, and Des uncorked it and let it escape (to continue the wine bottle metaphor). Jack replaced the cork, and contained the energy leak, so the Island was restored to full power, as it were.
Jack’s sacrifice revealed his true purpose, and bolstered the prediction I made to my brother a couple of months back: that Jack the healer was actually destined to kill Locke, and sensitive Hurley would ultimately become the caretaker of the Island. If only I had bet on that outcome in Las Vegas! And with a new guardian came new rules. “That’s how Jacob ran things. Maybe there’s a different way. A better way,” Ben told Hugo, who then asked for his help as an adviser.
The episode – and the series ended with perfect symmetry, as the final image was Jack’s eye closing – the perfect counterbalance to his eye opening to start the series. It’s hard to think of a more fitting end that this episode; conveniently named, “The End.”