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May 23 2010

(SPOILER) "Totally Lost" talks Buffy finale as Lost's own climax approaches. Spoilers as they discuss all of Lost up to tonight's finale of the landmark series. The comments below also discuss the finale in detail.

Is there a comparison to be made between Desmond Hume's role in Lost, and Spike's sacrifice in "Chosen"? Dan Snierson and Doc Jenson discuss in part II of their show.

[ edited by Andy Dufresne on 2010-05-24 16:41 ]

I'm going to watch it! It'll be my first time seeing a LOST episode live since I was 10 in Season 1. I've been re-watching the whole show at super-speed for the last month, and I watched all of Season 6 in the last 24 hours. Actually, I still have 3 episodes left to finish before tonight! Got to hurry! The explanation of the island really does sound pretty much exactly like a hellmouth!
I can't wait.

They have already said that what the island is won't be precisely explained. It is a special place, with certain properties and secrets, and THAT is being addressed, but they are avoiding medachlorians.
Well, the TWOP forum for Lost is predictably broken right now, so I'll say it here.

What a fantastic fanale! I was worried that they would do something stupid that would ruin the whole series, but it was perfect.
Medachlorians....Andy D, you may want to run now! ;)
The Lost finale was amazing! I am so sad now and in tears. That is all I will say.
Really, I thought it was lame and the typical All 4 of Joss' series finished stronger.

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2010-05-24 06:12 ]
@Charmuse: Did you not listen to Christian? He quite clearly explained that
I haven't followed this show since Season Two but, let me emphasize, *please* invisible any thoughts and opinions about the finale that give things away so as not to spoil, even vaguely, those who are waiting to see it. Thank you.
Sorry, SNT, I assumed *SPOILER* on the header was enough. My bad and I apologize. And Chrisham, yes I did. I stand by my statement.
charmuse:
Maybe it's just me, but I was really disappointed with the Lost finale. When
Well, I think Buffy would've came up with the same solution.

(Heh, I'm so evil. Right to the core I tell you!)
Was up at 5am this morning to watch the Lost finale live on Sky One. I really enjoyed it and
I think the BBC's ending to 'Ashes to Ashes' used this kind of concept a whole lot better I'm afraid, and they didn't take half as long getting there either. *g*
I was worried that they would do something stupid that would ruin the whole series ....


Well IMO, that's exactly what they did. Not necessarily "ruin the whole series", but the ending was made of cop-out flavored fail. Again, IMO - but I can't think of any way it could have possibly ended, that I would have hated more than this.

ETA: The speculation in the video (#2, the only one I watched) would have made a whole lot better ending than the one we got.

[ edited by Shey on 2010-05-24 12:17 ]
I had some problems with "Chosen" when it first aired (mainly because I was expecting something a little more "epic" and longer than an hour--but that's because I read the leaked script and thought it was fake), but looking back, it holds up as a fantastic finale. "Chosen" is far better than Lost's "The End". At least with "Chosen" I didn't feel like I wasted years of my life on a stupid piece of crap.
Even "Not Fade Away" was better than "The End"...and I hate that finale!
charmuse: it was a cop-out the same way as saying "it's magic" is a cop-out: a one-size fits all contrivance that can be used to conveniently explain away any plotholes or loose ends that come up. Sure, it technically works, but it often leaves the viewer feeling cheated. Because, really, it's cheating.
I don't understand the upset with the finale. It made perfect sense and it was there right from the beginning. The story was about redemption, good and evil, love and hope and people coming to terms with their flaws and their lives. Finales may always leave the fans wanting something else because the fans just don't want the shows to end. Buffy, Angel, The Sopranos all had endings that left a majority of their fans disenchanted. I don't feel I wasted a minute on LOST. The characters, the twists and turns, made it fascinating TV. Perfect TV, no but what is? Buffy is still my favorite show and Chosen was a far from a perfect finale. It tried to be and a lot was tied up but still there was a lot that left many fans with wanting a different conclusion.
I agree HMG. That's why I stated that it was a copout in my original post. I just feels like such a wasted opportunity for epic greatness to me. But that's just my opinion. Many people I know adored the finale.
I can understand the fans of the mystery side of this show being frustrated. But the more I think about it, the more I think they stayed true to the philosophical heart of the piece.

As for the other pillar of Lost? Character development? Nailed it. They nailed it perfectly, because this show has studied and tested its charcaters like no other in recent memeory (okay, Buffy, but nothing else) Every character has a clear arc of change, a fuel for their pathos. It's been a heart breaking, soul searching ride.

Lost. A true original. We will miss you.

[ edited by Andy Dufresne on 2010-05-24 15:59 ]
biffsbabe, "Buffy, Angel, The Sopranos all had endings that left a majority of their fans disenchanted. Really??? Why do you believe this?

Riker, its funny how we each have our own ideas and reactions to these endings. I LOVED Not Fade Away. Loved it.

LOST turned out to be very similar to a Verse show in that we have a funky magical world where many unexplained things are common-place but that is secondary to the interesting characters we meet within that context.

The only thing from the LOST finale that I didn't 100% love was all the schmaltz in the church. And what about Ben Linus sitting outside? Apparently, he got to join the rest at the church and was allowed to enter the side-reality because of his unseen good work as Hurley's number 2. I have to wonder if he wasn't "able" to enter the church because of the things he had done? (i.e. murder) Does anyone have an interpretation of that particular plot point?
@alexreager

Some characters I imagine just didn't want to move on yet. Ben had a life with Danielle he wanted to enjoy. Besides, when he was sitting on that bench outside the church, I think he felt terrible for what he did on the island, so yea, he definitely wasn't ready yet. Even though he remembered being the new Richard with Hurley, the memories of the island were still fresh in his mind.
Alexreager -

The show was ultimately about forgiveness. I took it that he had earned his redemption, a redemption he had decided to work for since Illana said"I'll have you". But he still doesn't quite forgive himself. I think he needed a minute.
It just feels to me that they purposefully sidestepped answering any questions to the island mysteries by focusing on the magic sideways ending. They should never have crafted so many mysteries if they never intended on answering them.
Riker,

Out of interest, which mysteries were you hoping for? I admit, there were a few I really wanted to know (why is Walt special), but by and large, we got the important ones.

Lost is now like an impressionistic, labrynthian piece of art. It is there to disect, debate, discuss, and disassemble. It, like Buffy, The Prisoner, and Twin Peaks, will be the subject of many a learned individuals examinations. I LIKE that I still have to wrestle with some of these questions. Lost challenged me for 6 years with its boundless imagination and I shall miss it terribly.
Azzers - actually I thought it was the whole series, not just the last season. I mean, just look at what she said about the characters, versus how they were prior to the last season. It had to have been the whole series.
The problem is a standard one in television arc-based drama: you have a fine story you want to tell which will deepen in dramatic tension and also complexity with each passing season. The problem is, you don't want to write from a strict outline because that won't leave you enough room to explore. You want to be able to adapt to the actors' take on their characters for one thing. And sometimes you end up finding interesting things along the journey that simply never occured to you in the beginning. So you leave some things open. Unfortunately, you don't know from the beginning how your show will end. And so you end up crafting an ending that will hopefully fit. Almost always, the fit isn't perfect. The best ending for a drama I've ver seen is The Shield: they tied it all up perfectly, paid off every character's journey in a satisfying way. Unfortunately that's a true rarity in television.
Out of interest, which mysteries were you hoping for? I admit, there were a few I really wanted to know (why is Walt special), but by and large, we got the important ones.

Darlton said that he was special like Hugo and Miles was special (paranormally) and that it made him of interest to the Others.
Well, it's over, it was a fun ride most of the time, and I'd lowered my expectations considerably for the series finale and the episodes leading up to it. Gonna agree with what a lotta folks have been saying, it [mostly] did justice to the characters and their arcs (and some didn't end, obviously, ). I'm a sap, because after all the death and tragedy on this series, I did like seeing a lot of the

I don't feel like getting too into it at the moment (even after a night's sleep, still not really in the mood to discuss it all). I'm glad we got an explanation for the flash-sideways 'verse/timeline, and points to them for subverting my expectations, even if it was with a familiar device (any explanation would've felt familiar, most likely, but they had a better chance of putting an original spin on it with a genuine I thought we were past the explanation/theories and I guess the writers never lied in regards to that because the

I was hoping for actual alternate endings (even if they were just half-assed ones done to throw spoiler-hounds off), not parodies, during the Jimmy Kimmel: Aloha to Lost thing with the cast (found it kinda funny that they hired the kid who played Jacob-as-a-boy to just randomly pop up in the background a few times). The Sopranos' ending has been spoofed so much, Lost is really late to the table on that one. The Survivor one is pretty old as well (though I got a chuckle out of Sayid getting a "confessional"/interview, talking to the camera). And Bob Newhart, really ? I know it's one of the most famous twist-endings in TV history, but there's another that's been spoofed to death. Were these Kimmel's ideas ?

[ edited by Kris on 2010-05-24 18:20 ]

[ edited by Kris on 2010-05-24 18:21 ]
Andy,

Here's a few of my biggest questions...

-What's Libby's backstory?
-Why did the Others take Cindy and the kids?
-What exactly is the island?
-What exactly is the light at the centre of the island?
-Why is Walt special?
-Where did the Others come from?
-Why can Hurley speak to ghosts?
-Where did the Egyptian statue come from?
-What's up with Alvin Hanso and the Dharma Iniative?
-What makes these group of castaways more special than any other?
-What happens to Ji-Yeon now that she's an orphan?
-Why couldn't most women conceive on the island?

They brought back Cynthia Watros for two episodes (one of which she didn't even have any lines) and still didn't explain why she was in the mental hospital, etc.

It was awful. They ignored the meat and potatoes of the island story in favour of giving everyone a happy ending. Now I love happy endings, but not at the expense of what the show was truly about.

[ edited by Riker on 2010-05-24 19:11 ]
Riker, what's sad is that there're even longer lists of questions than what you've already brought up.

Hah, speaking of Cindy and the kids...they never did explain how they'd gotten so brainwashed (well, Cindy at least. The kids may've just been following her lead out of legitimate fear of their situation). I guess, with Hurley now in charge and the "everyone has to stay!" Jacob-style rule of the island is now over, they could let Cindy (and anyone else who wants to leave), go back home with Desmond on the sailboat. Or why Cindy hadn't been killed like the Others do to a lot of outsiders. Why even bring Cindy and the kids back (all the same actors, too--impressive!), if you're just gonna feature them as suddenly-enslaved-by-Smoke (another phenomenon that was never properly explained, especially in regard to Sayid and the rest of the Others--with Claire, I can just buy/fanwank that three years alone and without her baby, and unable to find where the heck all her friends went, drove her nuts, Smokey didn't even need to "claim" her for that).

I don't think we were ever gonna get an answer as to what the island is, exactly. "It's just an island", is one explanation (that happens to house some sort of indeterminably important "light"/magic--the consequence of the light going out appeared to be nothing to the rest of the world, the island would just sink, boo fucking hoo. Despite the island's healing properties, more people died horribly on it than were saved/healed, so good riddance if it sinks--one of the things I loved about the Sideways Timeline, which ).

The Others, I can chalk up to being descended from folks who crashed (by ship) on the island over the centuries. Those that managed to survive or were under Jacob's protection (the Temple had been there for a while, so anyone who made it there would've been safe from all of Smokey's killings, the way he killed everyone other than Richard aboard the Black Rock, for example). There was nothing to indicate that Others weren't already on the island prior to Richard arriving in 1980. Though given that Jacob made Richard his go-between/intermediary, perhaps Jacob had no contact with any of the Others until Richard and until he decided to start using humans as pawns in his game against his brother. I know, it would've been nice to have gotten an Others backstory (or seen it interwoven throughout a more expansive Richard or "Brothers" backstory--although we did get to see some Romans named as "Others" in the two thousand and nine-years-ago backstory episode a couple weeks ago...but they weren't connected to the modern day Others, because CrazyMother killed them all off somehow). But for this particular question, I can live with my fanwanks and the breadcrumbs left throughout the series that could lead to forming our own workable conclusions. Everyone's mileage is gonna very though, as far as what they're okay with not having answered.

I can buy that Egyptians ended up on the island at some point and built the statue (of Tawaret, goddess of rebirth and probably a couple other things, knowing Egyptian mythology a little) after they noticed the island's healing properties and, maybe at some point, utilized the Temple's extreme-healing-and-sometime-resurrection pool. Never expected to get an answer to the Egyptians (well, I did maybe a little when there was the slight possibility that Richard was an ancient Egyptian, but then last season they had FauxLocke say "Good to see you out of those chains, Richard" and that was easily connectable to the Black Rock, so he couldn't have been any older than 14th Century Spain, basically. At first I was slightly disappointed that Richard didn't turn out to be as old as it was sorta hinted he might've been earlier in the series, but then again, if he'd lived as long[or longer] as Jacob and his brother, he may've grown just as disconnected from humanity, and as careless with their lives, as those two did).

Sun told Jin that Ji-Yeon was staying with her mother this season. Sun's mom seemed okay, so as long as Sun's dad isn't a major influence, she'll be okay. Orphans can and do thrive (and she's not really an orphan if she has extended family there, ready to take on parental duties).

I'd really like some answers to the pregnancy questions too. Women could conceive on the island, at least up until 1977. Juliet delivered baby Ethan from Amy, Horace Goodspeed's wife. That's at least one baby and mother we've seen survive from conception-to-birth, living solely on the island (Sun's was conceived on island, but she was safe because she gave birth off-island. Claire's was conceived off-island, might've been at risk given that the Others gave her some drugs--possibly vaccines--and gave birth on-island, but I guess since she didn't conceive on-island, she was fine). What the rules are for all this, why the Island kills the moms in their third trimester, is a huge unanswered question. The show concerned itself with this mystery for the first four seasons (and there was the worry of it in Season 5 when it was time for Juliet to deliver Amy's baby, even if it was never directly referenced again), so to drop it was a major misstep, IMO.
I really liked the Lost finale. The show was always about the questions, occasionally about the answers, and mostly about the characters. Fitting ending.
-What's Libby's backstory?
Well, she told Desmond her husband was dead, and she gave his boat away to Des. Seems a little drastic unless she needed to get rid of it to cope. She probably had a nervous breakdown when he left.

-Why did the Others take Cindy and the kids?
Under Ben's rule, they needed members.
-What exactly is the island?
The island is a piece of rock over a very large pocket of electromagnetism/strange matter. So much so that it needs someone to protect it.
-What exactly is the light at the centre of the island?
biggest part of the pocket of strange matter/electromagnetism

-Why is Walt special?
Probably a similar reason that Hurley and Miles are special, because of the Island and Jacob. But there were reports of Walt being in the finale. He'll probably be inserted into that extra 20 minutes of footage for the DVD.

-Where did the Others come from?
The Others are just people on the island that got there one way or another. Richard gathered them up and now they work for Jacob

-Why can Hurley speak to ghosts?
Because he can? I don't think this really needs to be answered.
-Where did the Egyptian statue come from?
Some egyptians built it when they went to the island.

-What's up with Alvin Hanso and the Dharma Iniative?
They came to the island to study the strange matter. When they got too close to The Source, Jacob had them killed. Just look at what Mother did in "Across the Sea". It's that same concept. People come to the island, they discover The Source, but the protector gets rid of them

-What makes these group of castaways more special than any other?
Because Jacob chose them.

-What happens to Ji-Yeon now that she's an orphan?
Ji Yeon is not an orphan. She is living with her grandma.

-Why couldn't most women conceive on the island?
Darlton suggested in a podcast that the pregnancy question was already answered. They could have babies before the incident, but not after. So I guess we're supposed to assume the incident is the reason. It just wasn't spelled out for the viewers.

The only real questions that I can come up with right now is the vagueness of the Jacob's Cabin storyline, and Walt's powers. The rest I think can just be assumed.

[ edited by clubsilencio on 2010-05-24 20:53 ]
I gave up watching Lost years ago when it became apparent that there were making it up as they went, that there was no overarching narrative involved (this came only later, and was far from compelling, so far as I could see). But what I find most interesting here, now, is that the finale was watched by only 13.5 million people, which is less viewers than CSI gets on a normal day. While the number may appear high, it was clearly an indication as to how far the show had fallen in terms of viewer interest.
Lost hovered around 10 million viewers for years, Dana. That was enough to sustain it. In terms of 18-49 (where the $$ is) it was big.
Hi Clubsilencio,
I appreciate your attempt to answer the questions, but you're not the show. And my opinion regarding how awful the finale was has not changed.
Why're we all that interested in viewer interest, anyway ? It's not necessarily indicative of overall quality of a show (a whole lotta viewers are fickle and don't stick with a show for more than a season or two to begin with, regardless of whether the writing's any good). Plenty of cancelled-in-one-season shows just didn't get the viewers, even when some of them were well-advertised and had prime timeslots.

Lost was never in danger of getting cancelled throughout its entire six-season run, so it's kind of irrelevant. I only worry about ratings and viewer interest when I'm in the midst of watching a show I love that I'm afraid won't receive a proper conclusion (and even then, I don't worry about it in the same way I'd worry about arguably more important, day-to-day life problems/challenges, 'cause I can't/don't know how to effect other viewers, en mass, to such a degree that I'd be able to influence the numbers).

[ edited by Kris on 2010-05-24 22:38 ]
I always assumed the pregnancy thing was a result of the electromagnetic radiation on the island. Seriously... Several important questions about this show can be answered with "electromagnetic radiation."

Most of the "big" questions people seem to have were hinted at (enough to give people a solid idea) over the course of the series. When I first started the show, I watched the first five seasons in a few weeks. It's easier to pick up the answers when the questions were asked just a few hours ago instead of several months ago. So I've never had much trouble understanding this stuff.
Riker, Thank you for telling me i'm not the show. That is why I attempted to answer the questions with actual evidence from the show. Bits and pieces have been hinted at throughout the series, which is what I base my answers off of. That being said, i'm sorry you did not enjoy the finale. I did immensely.

[ edited by clubsilencio on 2010-05-25 00:18 ]
Lost actually seems like a show I would watch. I was young when it first started, so I don't think i would've appreciated all the philisophical stuff that it delved into, but judging from the series finale, I probably would've been a fan that would be extremely mad with the ending. I don't know becausse I didn't see it all the way through, but I generally don't like it when shows/books/ movies end like Lost did. i've just been so used to that kind of ending being a huge cop out, but apparently it fit in with the rest of the series so i'll have to go back one day and watch Lost from the beggining.
gossi, I know that but it is not the point. The show had a dedicated fan base (shades of Buffy, right), with some fans who were religious in attempting to interpret it, but it failed to do as well as other bigger shows- and truth is, at least so far as I can tell- that the six season arc was "forced" on it by frustrated viewers tired of being jerked around. Put baldly.
Haven't read any interviews indicating that the writers crafted Season 6 specifically to address the "frustrated viewers tired of being jerked around", not sure where you've gotten that from. They've rarely bent to fan pressure before (okay, they killed off Nikki and Paulo, two unwanted/badly written newbie characters, in a creative fashion during Season 3) and if they were gonna make Season 6 specifically to satisfy the aforementioned brand of fans, they would've found a way to work more answers into the series.

How can that statement be qualified by "and truth is" and then contradictingly be followed by "at least so far as I can tell" ? Dude, why're you interested in continually pissing on this series (a significant portion of the recent viewership are perfectly capable and only too eager to do that to start with, sometimes justified) even though you gave up on it during its second or third season and haven't watched since ? Just basing your opinions on the reviews you've read online ?
Dana, that has got to be some of the craziest revisionist history I've ever seen. "Forced" on it? If Darlton had wanted to keep writing lost, they could have kept going for a while. They weren't CSI numbers, but they were certainly passable.

I'm much more likely to buy the writers stance that they asked to end the series. Why? Because no network wants to retire a good series until it is well past it's prime. And when the ending was announced, the entire thing became much more coherant extremely quickly (although much more science-fiction at that point as well.)
My, totally unsupported by poll or any other kind of data, take is that nearly every one of the many, many Lost fans I know was thoroughly satisfied with the final season, right up to the ending. It seems that most complaints centered on Season Two, but that the show since then was largely very well received.

(Of course, one could argue that those who continued to watch through to the end were the self-selected hardcore of fans; still, as a general principle, I think the number of fans says very little about the quality of the art. So long as there are enough to sustain it, as gossi points out.)

Kris, let's not get into personal attack-mode, OK? Ta.
clubsilencio,
I'm just very tired of people attempting to force me to like the finale when I absolutely hated it. I'm annoyed that people are defending and apologizing for the mistakes of the producers. The finale was awful...I'm just glad it's over and I'll never have to watch it again, although it pains me that I dedicated 6 years of my life to it.
iker, Thank you for telling me i'm not the show. That is why I attempted to answer the questions with actual evidence from the show. Bits and pieces have been hinted at throughout the series, which is what I base my answers off of. That being said, i'm sorry you did not enjoy the finale. I did immensely.

And thank you for answering, because it saved me the trouble of saying all the same things - because of what I saw on the series.

What really confuses me are the people who object to them making it up as they go along. What do they think writing is?
Hee hee. Thank you redeem147. I've never understood that complaint.
Not everyone uses the make-it-up-as-you-go-along writing model though. Some folks come up with an idea (either a concept or a specific moment--whether it's the ending, the beginning, or a key moment in between that's crystallized in their mind as the concept they wanna build the story around), and plan it all out before they put pen to page. JMS used this for Babylon 5 (being smart about having "trap door" plot devices/workarounds in case actors wanted out of their contracts or the show didn't last long enough). Joss Whedon has said he had ideas of where Firefly was going and that Dollhouse would've lasted five seasons, if ratings had been good and he'd had his way. Alan Ball envisioned a 4 and then 5-season Six Feet Under.

Not all TV writers start out with no idea of how long they'd like to go. It's different from writing a book, of course, because they're at the mercy of how well their show does with the audience and how well the network supports their series, but even so...doesn't seem like such a strange thing to have a plan, even an intricately detailed outline to guide you, keep continuity tight, and ensure fewer glitches along the way. Can always change up/tweak the stuff that isn't working, like if certain actors you intended as couples just turn out to not have all that much chemistry.

If they all just made it up as they went along, we would have only episodic TV, or at best, only season long story and character arcs, nothing season-spanning. It's nice to see a variety/have a variety available in case you're into one type of TV storytelling over another.

[ edited by Kris on 2010-05-25 07:32 ]
But Kris, Darlton said they did know how it would end. Whether by that they meant the other universe, or Jack's eye closing, I don't know.

When I write, I sometimes have a vague outline, and I usually know where I'm going. I still make it up as I go along.
This video explains why we who hated the finale hated it SO MUCH. http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1936291

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