Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's Okay, You Can Let Go Now...


I had planned on writing up something about my favorite episodes of Lost, but as usual, life got in the way. That's okay, it is still going to happen, but I did want to jot down some ideas about the finale of the show and my reaction to it and since this is my blog, I will.

"The End" was an episode that I dreaded seeing, primarily because I was afraid that the creative team behind Lost would drop the ball. I feared this because I believed that they were going to pander to their fans and give us answers. Nobody really wants answers, not really. We want understanding, and quite frankly those are two completely separate things. I found the end of Lost to be an emotional, bordering on poignant experience. No, this is not going to be a Doc Jensen explication, because while I appreciate what Doc does and it can be very entertaining, I think that Doc Jensen and all of the other Lost freaks who have been searching for answers and meaning are barking up the wrong tree.... I get to that in a bit. No, I found the end of the series to be great because I was able to find closure for a group of characters that I had come to care about. I wanted to see them resolve, but I didn't need to know the minutia of their after-island existence. It was enough for me to know that there is a crazy-assed island out there somewhere where the world that we know may or may not exist in, and that this sad group of lonely people were able to fight their way off and that in the end they were important to each other.

The reason that I believe that Doc Jensen and the genre fans that are upset about the end of the show get it wrong is that their approach was wrong. To the science fiction geeks: this piece of fiction played the genre straight and true. Everyone forgets that science fiction is never about the science, it is about us, it is about searching for meaning in our lives and using the fantastic to try and find the truths that are out there. The search for answers is never straight, never linear. Doc and his ilk get it wrong because searching for meaning while the story is ongoing is nothing more than an academic trick to show how much you know, not what the story wants us to take from it. Only upon reflection and with time can you determine what a piece of art means to you and what it could and should mean to others.

I'm not sure I'm there yet.... I don't quite know what it all means, but I do know that I enjoyed the ride, enjoyed the ambition and the effort put forth.... I do know that I loved the little moments in the finale, the reunions, the fun little call backs, but there was a moment that really hit me, that I found to be the essence of what this last episode is, and maybe the show (I'll have to sort that out later). It was when Jack was going back into the source, he was telling Hurley that he believed in him and that it had to be him that protected the island, there was a cut-away to Ben, where you knew how hard it was for him to hear that.... for all of the sacrifices he had made for the island, from his own humanity to the lives of those who he loved, that he would never be the one. It was a quick but beautiful moment. You can't get that from a sit-com, or from a procedural or any other network prime-time drama, because they don't aim for that kind of height. They entertain, but to reach the level of art takes more than that.... and over 120 hours of television Lost made it.

4 comments:

Renee said...

Ben's face killed me in that moment. You hit the nail right on the head. It was like seeing a mad dog get shot down in the road. You know it's right, but you don't feel good about it.

Kristin said...

I agree that to demand answers for every little piece of Island mystery is missing the point. Lost has always been about the characters, and the finale gave us a great end to the story. I loved it. Vincent laying down with Jack at the end KILLED me.

P.S. - Doc Jensen loved the finale, too, and had no issue with the unanswered questions. His usual far reaching examinations were initially entertaining but then became exhausting for me. But he's been really great to read this last season.

Homer said...

Yeah, I knew that Doc Jensen liked the finale, I was afraid that I wasn't clear in what I was trying to say... He is entertaining, but I think that his searching for allusions and subtleties got to be too much most of the time.

It was a great end to a very entertaining show.

Cori said...

Yes, it IS your blog. I am so glad you straightened that out for those among us that were SO confused....

I have no idea what you are talking about for the most part. I have not even watched 1 episode of Lost fully.

But all's not "lost"... that's why I have Netflix. I'll Q it and catch up when I run out of things to watch, hopefully soon...

For now, I'll take a rain check to come back to this post....