Were we mad that the finale didn’t answer all the questions? Do we still wonder how that bird was able to say Hurley’s name? Did we want something besides a good vs. evil redemption story? Not really. We think that everything the show didn’t explicitly answer can be figured out through thought and subsequent viewings of the series. Or they were questions that didn’t matter that much. Seriously, present us with a legitimate question about LOST that you are hopping mad that the show didn’t ever answer, and we will try to answer it. We are satisfied with what we know.
The greatest thing about the island was its mystery. Once you dissect that and lay all its guts out on the table, it loses its mystery. There are people who want answers to every question, but there are other people who just enjoy the ride and get that there are things, not just on TV but in life, that we don’t get spelled out for us. Grey areas are fun. They are playgrounds for the mind.
Plus, the finale was a wonderful emotional ending that was true to the show’s (sometimes cheesy) big heart. And it added a dose of spirituality that the show was famous for. We think the element of mystery and the spirituality and philosophy is what made it great. Because that’s what creeped us out and reached us on a deeper level than most shows. Hurley got the island, and the show gave hints as to what the characters did after the finale/before death, but didn’t explicitly tell us, leaving us full of hope.
Over time, we got attached to our favorite characters, but LOST’s themes were what really brought the heart. Leeard didn’t even realize she was emotionally attached to any LOST characters until Jin and Sun died together. It wasn’t the characters that made this show stand out (even though they were complicated and interesting and sympathetic). It was the themes. None of the other LOST copycats (Flashforward, V, The Event) GOT that. They just thought people wanted a sci-fi serial with some action and mythology. Not so. We want universal themes, well-articulated, that resonate with most people.
The characters had such rich journeys. Locke had never accepted who he really was. He wanted to be the hunter, the warrior, and the athlete. He wrongly picked the knife when he was a boy, he didn’t want to go to science camp, etc. He didn’t know how to embrace the kind of special that he was. The island gave him purpose...but, shockingly, that didn’t end too well for Locke. We were shocked that the show went there. It gave us this character that we hated, felt for, and were fascinated with. The show gave him so much to do and built him up. Then it killed him and his last thoughts were that he was confused? For a while. Jack’s journey from control freak to humble savior was annoying at times, but it paid off. Most of the characters could have carried a TV show all on their own, with just their own stories.
The way the show played with time was also a huge plus. The flashbacks that tied everything together and got us off that island. The flashforwards and sideways. Desmond’s mind hopping around his life. Who DOESN’T love time travel when it’s done well. It’s nerd heaven.
Let’s look at a few of our favorite things, characters, and moments from LOST.
1) That moment in the season three finale where Jack says, “We have to go back!” and we realize that we had just seen the future and they got off the island. Mind. Blown.
2) That moment when we realized that Locke had been in a wheelchair after that guy (rightly) told him that he couldn’t go on a Walkabout.
3) The episode “The Constant” where Desmond time travels and ends with a phone call to Penny. You know you cried, and if you didn’t, check your pulse, because you’re a zombie. For the most part, LOST could have done its romantic stuff better. We weren't exactly wanting to rip our bodices off watching this show. Desmond and Penny got to us, though, and so did Juliet and Sawyer.
4) Ern’s favorite scene in the whole series? The whole scene where Ben talks Locke out of killing himself only to strangle him. We don’t think we breathed through that.
5) Hurley. Just Hurley.
6) And Ben. Whoever thought we could care about a genocidal, jealous, lying, creepy, bug-eyed, cold, kidnapping dictator like Ben? But we did. Ben and Locke had the best material, as characters, and the actors delivered.
7) Those creepy numbers that we still know by heart.
8) All the daddy issues.
9) The episode where Michael kept trying to kill himself, but he couldn’t.
10) That some of them actually got off the island for good.
11) Feral Claire.
12) The episode “Greatest Hits” where the show actually managed to convince us that Charlie was a beloved hero rather than an annoyance.
13) The fact that Echo died (even though his death was really lame), because we found him boring, and he knew jack about Catholicism.
14) Every Locke back-story episode.
15) Every mention or sight of Sawyer loving reading or Little House on the Prairie. And all of his nicknames.
16) Creepy episode titles.
17) One of us also thought the pilot was extra good.
18) In the finale, when Ben asked Locke for forgiveness and they made up. So sweet.
And some things we didn’t like:
Walt (well, one of us thought he was useless), Charlotte and Miles, Nikki and Paulo, the Kate love triangle, the Bai Ling episode (obviously), Juliet’s sad death, that whole part of the finale where the goal was to unplug the drain and get the light back or whatever (we loved the finale, but that made no sense), the episode with young Jacob and his young brother, that they pulled a Sixth Sense on us for a whole season (they could have just created the final concert meeting place for the emotional ending. The sideways world could have collided with the island world in a different way, and that would have been more satisfying.), that manipulative episode where Sun had her baby, and the fact that The Others could have served a bigger purpose.
Overall, LOST didn't go with the regular TV formula, and for those looking for more than just quick entertainment after work, it was one of the greatest shows of all time. And we defend that finale.