Watching The End Of Lost Without Launching Your Television Into The Street

15 May


We’re going to have two choices at the end of Lost, and we’re all going to divide into two groups just like our favorite characters, and it’s going to be like The Emperor’s New Clothes.  They’re going to tell us that their ending is super spiritual and mystic, and that our expectations of clarity are exactly what they’ve been talking about the whole time.  They’ll tell us, not knowing is like life.  That mystery is what meaning is all about.  And that they’re going to leave a huge mulititude of questions unanswered because that’s symbolic of our own lives, how we never get all our answers.

In other words, they’re going to judge the very idea of expecting a good ending as shallow, and then hand that to us as an ending.  Then when we say, “We expected a better ending,” they’ll get a John Locke twinkle in their eye and smile at us knowingly, watching us try to get our tiny little minds around their wisdom and magnificence. 

Of course, you expect an ending with clarity, they’ll say.  That’s the point.  But our point all along was, stories don’t have endings.

And that’ll be the end.  Like the crane defense from The Karate Kid – if executed properly, no can defense.

Our whole show was about you not being able to criticize our show, they’ll tell us, without that critique revealing you as an unenlightened fool.  It wasn’t that they were too lazy to wrap it up – they’re like a kid who misses the ramp on his bike and somersaults into a bush, then says he meant to do that.

Just try arguing with them, if you’d like to participate in a Monty Python skit.

I’m positive this is what they’re going to do for several reasons.  The first is, that’s exactly what Stephen King likes to do, and as I’ve said, I’m pretty sure he’s got his mitts in here:

If you actually plan to read Stephen King’s seven book series, The Dark Tower, then skip down to END SPOILER.  I think it might be considered a spoiler.  

Stephen King spent seven books taking us on Roland’s quest for The Dark Tower, all the while never telling us exactly what the Tower was, just that it stood at the “nexus of all worlds.”

In one of the early books’ introductions, he even says it loud and clear, I don’t know how this story is going to end because I’m too artistic and old school for outlines, but I do know this – one day Roland is going to get to The Dark Tower and see what’s at the top.

Then a few books later, he mystically, nonchalantly said, you must all prepare for the possibility that it may not be Roland who gets there.  I said, Huh? 

Then at the end, Roland gets there, and Stephen King tells us, okay, he’s at the tower, and he’s about to go inside, The End.

But there’s another chapter, and the next chapter he tells us – again, suddenly talking right to us, about the book he wrote and starred in – I don’t think you should follow Roland into the Dark Tower, because the journey is what’s important, not the destination.  Clearly responding to some pressure from the publisher – Come on, man, you promised.  One more chapter, Stephen, that’s all. 

Then you keep reading, and he starts bitching at you about it – oh, you’re the kind of jerk who just has to see what’s at the top of the Dark Tower even though I just told you the journey’s more important.  Well, fine, go ahead.

I’m not joking, that’s his tone, right there.

So Roland goes on up there, and finds a door, and opens it, and says “Oh no!”

And the door transports him back to the first sentence of the first book.  I wouldn’t ruin a seven book series for you if I didn’t think I was doing you a favor.  I couldn’t believe it.


Anyway, that led to an earlier prediction of mine, that the last scene of Lost would be the first scene – Jack’s eye flashing open as he lies on his back after the plane crash.  If this is the ending of this story, then I hereby declare it the worst, laziest ending possible, ruling out actual footage of paint drying on a wall.

The other reason I know that they’re not going to tell us anything, and that they’re going to pass that off as mystically deep, is that they told us.  The crazy lady – just before she killed Jacob’s mom – told her impatiently, something like “Any question you ask will only lead to more questions.”

Not talking to the lady, I’m telling you, talking to us.  Like after six years of unanswered questions, followed by a series build-up this year which told us, “THE TIME FOR QUESTIONS IS OVER!”, now we’re learning that the explanation is, this is the Magic Answerless Question Island, which is why we’re not actually going to answer them.

When someone tells me the time for questions is over, I tend to think they’re going to start answering them.  All they meant was, we’re going off the air now, so we won’t be handing you any more baskets of questions.

A common thing for people to say in defense of the very dissatisfying ending that is undeniably cruising our way, is that there is no way to wrap up all these questions, it’s impossible.

My first response to that would be, maybe they should have toned it down a little then.  If you don’t have time to answer the questions, you asked too many questions or you’re going off the air too soon. 

But my second response is, of course they could answer all the questions.  I mean, not now.  They’ve got three and a half hours left.  I was very surprised to see how meanderingly slow they proceded this season.  You can’t wander around like that and then throw up your hands in frustration, when the clock’s running out.

Besides, they’ve got the most flexible plot devices known to man – time travel, parallel universes, people who don’t age, teleportation.  They could have literally explained everything, all they had to do was pick up the pace.  They still could, just say, then Richard and Hurley got in the time machine, and they went here, here, there, and here, and did these five things, and that explains that.

Remember Farraday?  Where the hell is Farraday, and his mom’s Moving Island Detectin Floor Pendulum Octagon Room?  Seems like maybe they could point a flashlight over there for a second, let a guy know what that in the name of the wide, wide world of sports that was all about? 

Instead they explain mysterious Jacob and his mysterious brother, with a mysterious shipwreck from somewhere we don’t know, and his mysterious mom who is murdered after their births by a mysterious woman, who wants them to stay away from a bunch of mysterious people out in the woods, because of a mysterious light she’s supposed to be protecting.

That’s a bunch of bullshit, everyone.  That’s not explaining anything.  You’re not answering questions, you’ve planted a lush, bountiful question garden.  Like the old story, about the world resting on a turle, so what’s the turtle resting on, etc. 

Turtles all the way down!  That’s Lost.  We’re a bunch of morons, because it’s turtles all the way down.   

I mean, a light?  This whole time, that’s the answer?  A light?

Oddly, I actually kind of liked the episode, if it had been last year.  If I was in the mood for a bunch of intriguing new mysteries.  But I was told that the time for questions was over, and then they hand me this Chicken Question Mark Salad, and tell me, “People who don’t like questions without answers hate freedom.”  And I’m supposed to salute.

So now, for my own sanity’s sake, I’m having to figure out how to lower my expectations to some point where I don’t launch my television into my front yard in a couple of weeks here.  What’s the bare minimum that I can stand to get told?

See, my problem is, I think that they think, that they already explained Jacob to me.  Remember when he showed up and touched everybody, throughout their lives?  I’m going to need to see what that was all about.  Remember when Richard showed up at John Locke’s house, when he was a little kid, showed him a bunch of objects, and got mad at him and left?  I need that explained to me.

What about the Dharma Initiative?  They had the underwater base, the two hatches, a little town, and the Others killed them all – I need to know what the Dharma Initiative was all about.  Do they think they already told me that?

Above all, I need them to not end it as something like And Then The Cycle Continued.  A new group of people crash, Sawyer and Jack are the new Jacob and the Man in Black – this is Shawn Schiller’s prediction here.  That the characters will take on the roles of ealier characters.  And then I’m supposed to be mindblown that this cycle goes on forever.

But if the cycle goes on forever, then why are we watching this particular group here?  It seems like the obvious reason would be, this is the group of people who put an end to the cycle.  If they’re not, then why did they get their own show?

My new right-off-the-top-of-my-head-prediction is, the sideways people all get on the plane for their own reasons, and crash on the sideways island, and the Others are their parallel selves, trying to stop them from doing the same thing again.

On the other hand, I’m just about to take my Time-Traveling-Sawyer-Was-The –Con-Man-Who-Took-His –Parents-Money, right off the table. 

I think a big factor is going to be expectations.  I think the key to enjoying the last of this show, is to drop them as low as you can.  What to expect, is a trainwreck.  Expect to be insulted.  Expect to have people point at the woman’s statement, that questions lead to more questions, and then frown at you for asking questions.

I mean, what if she said, “storylines do not need moved along at all, and it’s fine to sit here doing nothing.”  And then she picked her toes the rest of the hour and you said, what was that, all she did was pick her toes.   Would we all say, Ah, but that’s consistent with what she said, so it’s groovy and cool.

No, expect to be insulted, and that way, if you’re disappointed it will be in a good way, and you won’t feel like you got suckered.


Posted by on May 15, 2010 in LOST, Television/Movies


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7 responses to “Watching The End Of Lost Without Launching Your Television Into The Street

  1. rob

    May 16, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    You are probably right. Just before Not-Locke threw Desmond down the well, like in a Brothers Grimm tale, he told the story of people, long ago, who dug the well to find out why their compass would get all wack-a-doo at that spot. Desmond asked if they found the answer. Not-Locke said no. (sigh)

    • thomaschalfant

      May 16, 2010 at 8:05 pm

      The dude who was the first black president on 24 uses the same smirk on his Allstate commercials that John Locke does, when he’s not answering questions and wants you to think it’s because you’re a dipshit teenager and he’s a wise elder waiting for you to figure things out for himself.

      • rob

        May 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm

        That guy also improved his batting average by learning to believe in himself, not a voodoo god.

  2. shawn

    May 16, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I bet the Mighty Ken Wilber would laugh at this.
    This is one healthy pile of s**t. It’s your story, JJ, f**king end it! (Ha! …”king end it!” That’s not what i want at all…)
    Yeah, the whole knee-jerk Jack-to-be-Jacob/Sawyer-to-be-MIB thing didn’t sit too well after initial thought…seemed too simple. Now, i kinda hope for that sort of simplicity. Wouldn’t answer any deep questions about what the f**k’s goin on but at least would define the series a bit…this is the story of the changing of the guard. Of course, that’s not what they’ve led us to believe…
    Damnit! am gettin all riled up…choking on my own rage here. (Thanks, Moe.)
    I want you to know, Tommy, that i am not going to hold you responsible (physically, at least) for prodding me into this Lost world. After all, my mom also had a hand in bringing me in as well. i am sure that i will be petty enough to give both of you a little bit of the business if what we all see coming actually comes.
    That being said, i am officially declaring my expectations lowered.
    But just in case, am going to watch the final at someone else’s house. That way i will hopefully have more restraint, and if not, at least it will make for a good story…me having to buy someone a tv.
    And what’s with the frickin numbers?!?!

  3. Gelious

    May 31, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Nice speech! I like it. However, you said –
    “Defying the formula, was the formula”
    May be this is exactly the reason why you have no answers given.
    Because the ordinary show always provides some correct obvious answers.
    But Lost is not an ordinary show. That’s why no one is going to answer you. Do you remember Mother?
    “Every question I answer will simply lead to another question.”

    Think of this as of Lost’s formula. Then it is clear that writers did exactly what they were supposed to – opened a few secrets only to reveal the existance of several others unsolved mysteries.
    After all… it is normal to know everything about the show after it has ended. But then again – Lost is not a normal show so… you are not supposed to hear the answers. It would be too boring, too … normal – for Lost.

    From Russia, with respect

    • thomaschalfant

      May 31, 2010 at 9:53 pm

      From Russia – that’s great. We’re getting people from all over the world. I love it.

      Yeah, I’ve made my peace with it, I’m not sitting around here stewing in my rage any more – that really would be strange. And yes, that appears to be their formula. Still not crazy about the formula, sir, but you’re right. I don’t have to be.

      Thanks for coming all the way across the world to comment – I really appreciate your input!


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