I used to wonder how “Lost” would end. Now I’m wondering by what means a lover of science fiction and mysteries can discern which work of art to partake of simply for the deliciousness of its physical execution, and which art deserves and can withstand more complex theorizing and philosophical discussion.
“Lost” was brilliantly filmed and acted, and often very well written, but I’m very ticked off that the ones in charge of this story refused to finish it. I can deal with open-ended, ‘draw your own conclusions’ types of stories that are more about motivations and human nature than answers and plot, but if you make up your own specific and fantastical universe with different physical rules from our own, I’d rather not be tasked with writing your ending. I also don’t like being told that there IS a satisfying ending which makes sense (you haven’t just strung me along) when it isn’t true. The makers of “Lost” should be ashamed for having lied to us. In my opinion, their ending is no ending at all. To me it equals Pam Ewing waking up and finding Bobby in the shower, rendering the entire previous season of “Dallas” just a dream that she woke up from. That was funny once.
“Lost” gave us a ferocious polar bear on a tropical island, time travel, machines that stop events from happening while having no apparent connection to them, a woman dressed like an ancient Greek or Roman who can affect the world with a light at the bottom of a pool or a cave or whatever — if this is poetry then call it that! Don’t pretend it’s a drama with a beginning, middle and end. Why not choose the form that supports your art? Why present it as a mystery over years of cliff hanging chapters with plotlines and characters to keep straight, when there’s no need? If it’s only about the beauty and emotion and fear and love that the mind can conjure up in its dream state, and we should just enjoy it just as it is, then let us know we don’t have to worry about the plot or the physical connections.
You have to be better writers than these, to make this sort of story work for the extended amount of time that they took to present it. I can’t think of any filmmaker who would have been able to make this work with the ending they used, outside the basic two-hour movie format or at most, the constrains of the trilogy. I know there were people who were happy with this ending. I’m not writing this for them. I’m writing this for those of us who agree that as a whole, “Lost” is a poor epic poem, too specific for what it seems to have been meant to be, too distracting from its ‘philosophical points’ or the artistic urgency its creators may have felt when the idea first came to them. (Or am I wrong? Was it mainly produced to sell commercials?)
Perhaps I’m not the best person to explain my point here, but I think the late Rod Serling would have understood exactly what I mean. And he would have been able to express it very well. In his hands, “Lost” would surely have had a satisfying ending. He would have wanted nothing less than that for a story that captured so many people’s imaginations for so long.