Green Room

The Betrayal of Mystery

posted at 1:04 am on May 25, 2010 by

Note: the following includes spoilers about the finale of Lost.

If you enjoyed the finale of Lost, I’m not writing this to challenge your taste.  You have nothing to apologize for, or defend.  There’s nothing “wrong” with cherishing the fine acting and emotional resonance of its reunions and farewells.  For my part, I loved the early years of Lost, which I would happily have declared the greatest television drama of all time, in the moment when Jack’s season-ending “flashback” was shockingly revealed to be a flash-forward.  I absolutely hate what the show degenerated into.  I thought the plot of the finale was a stunning act of creative cowardice, which no amount of effort from the talented cast could redeem.  I offer these thoughts as a memorial to what I thought Lost was trying to be, and a critique from someone fascinated by the art of storytelling.

The most common defense of the finale, along with the formless mass of random events and dead-end plotlines the series became, is the assertion that only the characters truly mattered.  The plot was a bit of intellectual stage lighting, designed to illuminate them from various angles.  Personally, I think both plot and characters are essential components of drama.  Does anyone seriously think Lost would have been nearly as popular if it had followed the exact same characters, living humdrum lives in suburbia?

To excuse the empty “secrets” and arbitrary plot points of the show is tantamount to saying it only matters who the characters are, not what theydo. This is a profound contradiction of the philosophy expressed during the show.  Much was said about the importance of making choices.  The wizard Jacob explicitly states, in one of the last episodes, that his millennia-long existence has been shaped by his desire to give others a choice in determining their fates… but the characters, and the audience, are completely in the dark about the rules and consequences governing these choices.  Powerful forces, like the Smoke Monster, operate by utterly arbitrary rules, revealed very late in the game.  In other words, the choice being offered to our heroes is a blind choice… and how is that really a “choice” at all?

The audience was kept in the dark as much as the characters were.  This was coupled with annoying prods from living plot devices like Eloise Hawking, who were inexplicably certain about various arcane matters.  The central drama of the last season revolved around the Smoke Monster attempting to escape from the island… until he suddenly decides to destroy it instead.  What made him think he would be able to accomplish this?  What made anyone think his escape would destroy the world, beyond the assurances of completely mysterious characters who make no effort to explain what they mean?

There is little real dramatic tension in a contest with random rules and imaginary stakes.  The early seasons of Lost were gripping because we embarked on a voyage of discovery with the characters, exploring the dangerous mystery of the island by torchlight.  By the end, everyone was plodding back and forth across the bland expanse of that island, blind pawns in an ancient contest whose rules and outcomes they couldn’t begin to understand.  It might have passed for dreary existential humor in a bull session down at the college coffee shop: our only real choice in life is deciding whether we want to be white or black tokens in a game we’ll never actually play!  It’s a poor excuse for storytelling, though, and I find it melancholy to watch good characters fumble through a bad story.

I’ve got no problem with sorcerers, demons, and magic caves as elements of a heroic fantasy.  I do have a problem with a story that pretends to be something rational, only to drop such elements on the audience at the eleventh hour, to cover the embarrassing inability of the writers to finish what they started.  Not even the most satisfied viewer of the Lost finale can pretend the show began with an honest confession that its puzzles were random and insoluble.  A commitment was made to the fans, both implicitly through the scientific trappings of early episodes… and explicitly through interviews given by the producers… that it would all make sense in the end.

The show achieved its greatest popularity during the years when eager fans flooded chat rooms with theories about The Numbers, The Hatch, the island’s fertility issues, the “sickness”, the frozen donkey wheel, the “special” children, and countless other plot twists.  If the producers had stated none of these riddles would ever be solved, most would be completely forgotten, and some would simply be dismissed as sorcery, those chat rooms would have turned into ghost towns overnight.

It’s not merely a question of riddles left unanswered.  The show lied to its viewers, repeatedly.  Remember Juliet saying “it worked” after the atomic bomb went off, followed by the last season’s opening shot of a submerged island in what appeared to be an alternate timeline?  That wasn’t some sort of clever misdirection.  It was an outright lie.  The reason everyone immediately rewinds The Sixth Sense after seeing it for the first time is that it plays fair. It shows the audience certain things, with complete honesty, and the audience misinterprets what it’s seeing.  It’s the difference between pulling a quarter out of someone’s ear with sleight of hand, versus knocking them unconscious and stuffing a coin in their earlobe.  The kind of cheating indulged by the Lostwriters will cost them their feet, if they ever run afoul of the madwoman fromMisery.

What happened at the end of Lost is the betrayal of mystery.  Storytelling requires a commitment of trust between author and audience.  Lost squandered six years of that trust.  None of the plot elements from the first two-thirds of the story had anything to do with its resolution.  The end of the story came from out of left field, as if the Harry Potter series had ended with a cop shooting Voldemort dead.  Sorry about all the fuss and bother, Harry.  Guess that whole “Chosen One” thing was just a dead end.  You were still a great character, though!  Give our best to Ron and Hermione!

That final scene in the Church of the Non-Denominational Afterlife was touching, but it was almost a separate story from the ugly mess lurching to a halt between the endless commercial breaks.  Jack’s painful walk to his final resting place gave his character the dignity of a tragic, yet uplifting end.  It matters that the reasons he died, along with everyone from unborn children to Dharma scientists and unlucky French explorers, were pulled from the creative oven half-baked.  Too much of their collective story was left to our imaginations, and we aren’t the ones getting paid millions by ABC Television to write this stuff.

The parts I don’t mind scripting for myself are the wacky adventures of Hugo the White, as he teleports around the globe and tries to… subtly manipulate people into making the fateful journey to his mystic island.  “Dude, you should totally catch that flight to Sydney.  And, um… insist on an aisle seat, okay?”

Cross-posted at www.doczero.org.

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Comment pages: 1 2

I will have to agree to disagree with Doc Zero,

but jjraines i totally agree with you

kathleen on May 25, 2010 at 9:15 PM

“I don’t understand how people think the alternate reality arc in this last season was a waste of time or pointless. It was about coming to grips with what the characters thought were their fatal flaws in their lives…. Jacob brought them all to the island because they were flawed and accepting their flaws is what gave them peace in the end. I loved it.”

Great point, wish I’d said it. Agree totally.

“All pretty much solved, save the neatly bowed ribbon.”

Yes, I think most of those things are clear enough. We learned the origin of the donkey wheel; the Man in Black built it to move the island and facilitate his escape, but his mother sabotaged the project, leaving the wheel buried until Widmore et al unearthed it.

The Numbers are a bit unclear to me, but I’m assuming Jacob arranged for Hugo to win the lottery with those numbers, thus setting him on a path that would lead him to the island.

In any case, what matters is how the show speaks to you (if it does). The mythology stuff was always less compelling to me than the characters’ story arcs, and I agree with several commenters that the explanations provided for much of the mythology were rather disappointing — so why would we want even more “answers” like that?

sauropod on May 25, 2010 at 9:16 PM

hrh40 on May 25, 2010 at 7:59 PM

Two words that immediately make Firefly>Lost.

RIVER.TAM.

Rightwingguy on May 25, 2010 at 9:16 PM

Exactly right! Doctor Zero has just written almost the same thing I was thinking after the last show aired. His comparison to the sixth sense was perfect.

lanesmerge on May 25, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Doc,

Are you still t’d off that Rescue from Gilligan’s Island was not true to original plot lines that Mary Ann never had a boyfriend?

I know I am.

Let it go brother. It’s a stupid show.

Now, I need to get back to writing emails to try and get The Sarah Connor Chronicles brought back.

BierManVA on May 25, 2010 at 9:32 PM

I never watched a single episode.

Ha! I win.

SunSword on May 25, 2010 at 9:34 PM

I’ve never watched any of this show, but I feel that you could replace “Lost” with “Battlestar Galactica” and convey the same meaning…

liquidflorian on May 25, 2010 at 10:04 PM

I love this column. I don’t think I’ve read anything that better describes my ultimate disappointment in the finale than this. Spot-on.

MikeknaJ on May 25, 2010 at 10:13 PM

There are people who really liked the finale and those who didn’t. However, I find it arrogant and obnoxious for someone to say that the reason people didn’t like it was because they didn’t understand it. The finale wasn’t difficult to understand, it just wasn’t the ending that some of us were hoping for.

Rose on May 25, 2010 at 10:14 PM

I didn’t notice…did they give the dartboard a producer’s or writer’s credit?

James on May 25, 2010 at 10:19 PM

This was the greatest summary of why the ending of this show completely was horrible..

It was almost like the producers were pissing right on the fans heads.

“This doesn’t matter, you know? Him destroying the Island, you destroying him. It doesn’t matter.” – Desmond Hume

Desmond was right after all.

johnnyboy on May 25, 2010 at 10:21 PM

I did kinda like the sideways reality, though, and looked forward to its explanation. I’ve always been fascinated by alternate realities and how a life’s trajectory can pivot on something as simple as a glance to the left instead of the right at a given moment.
SukieTawdry on May 25, 2010 at 7:35 PM

You should check out the old school SciFi show SLIDERS

You may not like it but that IS what Lost is, and always was. Because you and others do not recognize that is on you — not the writers. They told the story they wanted to tell, and it was beautiful.

jjraines on May 25, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Thanks for saying what I been thinking. To add on to your comment, I’ve watched, re watched and thought about the end. For everyone else, think about this, who will be your person/group to greet you and walk to the backdoor of the church with? Maybe it’s time to refocus on some relationships of the people you care about. Who would you rather be at the end, Jack or Ben? With people you care about and that care for you…..or alone on bench outside hoping to make amends?

Other missing point I just thought of was how intertwined the characters were prior to flight. In some of the characters back stories you would see different Losties in the background.

VikingGoneWild on May 25, 2010 at 10:26 PM

It was always about the characters, within this mysterious environment. It did all matter, but ultimately because of how it was relevant to their journey.

You may not like it but that IS what Lost is, and always was. Because you and others do not recognize that is on you — not the writers. They told the story they wanted to tell, and it was beautiful.

jjraines on May 25, 2010 at 8:57 PM

I have to respectfully disagree. There are many others here who also avidly watched the show and listened to the podcasts (“this is what answers looks like”–sound familiar? That’s a direct quote from Damon Lindeloff, sir.) We get it. And some of us disagree with you.

It is very easy to say in the wake of the show that it “was always about the characters.” OK. Fine. If that is truly the case, then why did Lindeloff and Cuse devote countless hours of podcasts and exclusive interviews entertaining fan questions and debating endless minutiae regarding the inner workings and mechanics of the show? And why did they then, late in the sixth season, start aggressively deflecting the questions they repeatedly stated would be answered?

I say this as an avid fan that appreciated the merits of the finale, but also one who appreciates its shortcomings. For the past few weeks, the executive producers of the show have been on a campaign to manage expectations among their fan base. If one read these interviews and listened to their words, one could see this coming. The answers (the ones provided anyway), would be oblique in nature. Lindeloff and Cuse knew all too well that they were on the precipice of polarizing their fan base.

With that in mind, please don’t make sweeping, generalized statements that do nothing more than selectively quote Cuse and Lindeloff in their “expectations management” phase. If you are truly speaking from the perspective of someone who from day one believed that the mythology was secondary and not necessary to the plot, then I commend you on correctly guessing the final direction of the show. But given the nature of podcasts, the fielding of incredibly specific fan questions hand-selected by the exec producers, and the hours they spent debating minutiae themselves in their writers room–the show was not always about the characters at the expense of mythology.

“They told the story they wanted to tell.” I believe a more accurate statement would be that Lindeloff and Cuse told the ending to the story that they wanted to tell. While the finale was unquestionably moving, it flew in the face of six years of online games, podcasts, easter eggs, and carefully crafted plot points. Perhaps it would be more accurate to assert that the mythology was merely window dressing, a complex red herring meant to misdirect the audience away from the actual endgame, which was quite simplistic at its core.

So we will agree to disagree. I liked Season six. I liked the finale on many levels. Over the course of the six year run, I was thoroughly entertained and am glad I watched the show. But in the final analysis, Lindeloff and Cuse failed to follow through on outright promises they made to their most dedicated fans–everything from Dharma food drops to the true intentions of Charles Widmore. Promises they never should have made if their final stance was to be that “it was always about the characters.” Really? Then why keep introducing new ones?

The fact that one could watch a two-hour synopsis of the show, followed by the series finale, and come away with a strong understanding of LOST in total illustrates that a rich tapestry of supplemental characters and mythology were rendered ultimately superfluous and unnecessary.

The show’s most devout fans, the ones who dug for answers and avidly listened to podcasts for multiple seasons, deserved better than to be deceived into expecting something other than what was delivered. That is bait and switch, sir. Regardless of the beauty of the finale.

So I respectfully disagree with you, and we will have to agree to disagree.

hungrymongo on May 25, 2010 at 11:25 PM

The finale was moving, but not very satisfying. A more satisfying ending might not have been as moving.

The series began going off the rails at the end of, I believe, Season 4. This was the season in which what seemed like a series of Jack flashbacks were actually flashforwards.

Jack’s desperate return to the island was hardly an example of free will, which, at least in Season 6, was something that Jacob valued highly among his “candidates.” His being haunted by the ghosts of the island, plus his extreme reaction to Locke’s death, were, in retrospect, coercive plot devices to get Jack and gang back on the island.

Along the way, there was time travel and a clearly sci-fi trajectory to the series. In fact, a more satisfying ending would have been that the flash-sideways, which started as a an alternate reality, would overwhelm and become the ultimate reality. The “awakenings” of the characters in the sideways world would have been the ultimate time travel: living your life and experiencing your death elsewhere and reawakening in a newer, better timeline. How is that any less credible than what actually happened?

Instead we get a Cuisenaire pureed, quasi-religious ending that pulls at the heartstrings but does not persuade. An ending fit for a man of faith, not a man of science. Furthermore, we are supposed to conclude that the island, the mythology, the arcane, cryptic features were merely window dressing, just an intellectual confection. Sure, and the ecumenical pseudo-religious ending was meant to be “substantial”? How so? How is the White Light at the end of the church any less whimsical than the Egyptian statue? One man’s nirvana is another man’s delusion.

Lost was a great, but flawed series. Those of us who are fans of its cleverness are probably not going to become devotees of its mysticism.

EMD on May 25, 2010 at 11:51 PM

I was very satisfied with the finale and feel the show is one of the best in TV History.

For me, I wasn’t expecting the show to give us answers to all of the island’s mysteries. As Jacob and the MIB’s “mother” said,”Every question I answer will only lead to another question.”(Did Midichlorians make the Force cooler in the Star Wars movies?)

RedRobin145 on May 26, 2010 at 12:05 AM

With respect to the Star Wars prequels and midichlorians, you did not have the writers of the original trilogy drumming up support among the fan base to seek an explanation to how the Force worked. With LOST, you had weekly sessions designed specifically to picque interest in questions and concepts that were ultimately abandoned.

hungrymongo on May 26, 2010 at 12:12 AM

hungrymongo on May 25, 2010 at 11:25 PM

Good post.

On some level, I can understand some of the frustration, certainly for those so invested in the mythology.

But my (and the show’s) point is that they were wrong to get bogged down in the mythology. All those games, ARG’s, easter eggs, whatever — indeed were for the answer hounds who loved to analyze every little tidbit. But it was never, nor was it ever intended, to be a part of the on-screen show. They did that for you, the fans that needed it. (Rachel Blake and Hanso and whatever else never belonged on the show, never mattered, but this was their attempt feeding your insatiable appetite for mythology).

That’s a direct quote from Damon Lindeloff, sir

Yes, and it’s true. It is what answers look like, based on what they produced. Which is precisely why I’m glad the entire Seasons 4-6 didn’t devolve into that, and we got a brilliant end.

Again, think about how all those “answers” would look. What we have to go on, as referenced before, is Season 5 and Across the Sea. Not pretty, agree? Maybe not though, as most of these types were too entangled in the muddled science fiction of Season 5 to see the show’s failure on all other fronts.

Perhaps in a perfect world the writers could have successfully fulfilled every burning question without undermining the story and maintaining continuity — but in the end, objectively — it just wasn’t a priority. You may disagree with that, but that is what it was. The journey is greater than the destination, and just like in life — not everything is perfectly answered. (And yeah, I know you’ve probably heard that a dozen times by now, but since it still hasn’t resonated it may need to hammered a dozen more times).

If you are truly speaking from the perspective of someone who from day one believed that the mythology was secondary and not necessary to the plot, then I commend you on correctly guessing the final direction of the show.

It was necessary to the plot, and it did matter — to the extent that it effected our characters’ story and journey. And yes, I always defended it pretty much the same way, so I couldn’t have asked for a better finale with the writers going all in. LOL there are actually quite a few people that I’ve told over the years “Just enjoy the journey. The quality of the show, from the scenery to the writing to the acting. Appreciate its epic scale, and its greater depth.”

It really was always a character show. I don’t see why people are questioning that, crying cop-out. Case in point: Season 1, far and away, was the most character-grounded season. It is also considered the best season by most of the mythological zealots. I always have a chuckle when I see someone say something along the lines of “Lost is such a shell of its former Season 1 self” (which in some ways was true but in entirely different ways than they thought). What they have evidently forgotten is that, for every “One Is Light, One is Dark” mini-scene, you had 100x a story about the characters and their surrounding literal environment. I loved Season 1, too, and it was far superior to Season 5 and most of Season 6 because less was more. Good drama, intrigue, characters, writing, and story trumped “answers,” easter eggs and mythology.

But in the final analysis, Lindeloff and Cuse failed to follow through on outright promises they made to their most dedicated fans–everything from Dharma food drops to the true intentions of Charles Widmore

I don’t claim the show was perfect (if that wasn’t already obvious). And though I still stand by the fact that they answered FAR more than most realize, I will admit there are some significant storylines that went out with a disappointing whimper. None of them belonged in the finale (as presented), which was damn-near perfect, but I’m with you in my disappointment with how the Widmore-Ben dynamic ended, among other things.

But guess what? I don’t really care, because it doesn’t really matter in the end. I choose to focus on the positive, and ultimately how LOST made me feel, and how special it really was. I did my fair share of speculating, and it was fun. The journey was fun. I always considered it secondary to the story, which obviously not everyone shared, but I wish more can just sit back and think how in the world, at the end of Season 6, any of those questions could have been answered in a way that didn’t undermine the story. Even the “whispers” answer was mocked as silly and too obvious. I want you to imagine that scene, x1000 (for aaaaallll of the questions you all have, and yes, there is little consensus on level of importance) — as the end to the Lost saga.

If you can’t agree with me that that would have been atrocious, and destroy the legacy of LOST and all the greatness it ever stood for — than we probably can’t agree on much. (Not saying you’re one of them, but there really are people who would have loved to see that instead of the masterpiece we got. The quality of the show at large means nothing to them, their view of an episode was 100% dependent on what ‘answers’ they did or did not receive, and in what manner.)

Could they have done a better job with Walt/Aaron, Widmore … the pregnancy problems (oops, that was answered), polar bears (oops, that was answered), time travel (oops, answered), jughead (answered), what the island was (oops, really answered), electromagnetism (answered), exotic properties of the island (answered, as exactly that), Alpert (answered), Jacob’s abilities (answered, quite brilliantly), Smoke Monster (answered over and over), whispers (answered), Room 23 (answered), Dharma Initiative and all its peeps from Horace to Radzinsky (overly answered, and poorly), The Incident (answered, in the series finale), island underwater and sideways (answered in the series finale) … should I continue?

jjraines on May 26, 2010 at 1:51 AM

… should I continue?

jjraines on May 26, 2010 at 1:51 AM

No need to; your point is well taken. The show attracted different types of fans for different reasons, and in the end it would be impossible to satisfy all of them to the degree they want. I remember Damon stating in an interview that it’s easy to criticize a direction the show took or an answer that was given. Providing an alternative is more difficult. His point is also well taken.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not sorry I invested time in LOST. I will likely watch it again at some point in the future start to finish, and I hope it will be more enjoyable because more answers are likely there than most of us realized. More importantly, a repeat viewing with the mindset going in that many specifics and gory details aren’t truly necessary should prove very liberating. Perhaps I will exit that viewing with the same appreciation that you have.

But either way, I feel that the show’s creative team actively cultivated a mindset in many of their fans that was ultimately an exercise in futility. I have to nod with agreement at reading Doc Zero’s comparison to The Sixth Sense, and the idea of “playing fair.”

But your point is well taken. I’ll fire up Season 1 in about six months. ;)

hungrymongo on May 26, 2010 at 7:02 AM

Thanks for all the interesting commentary! For those defending the show, I would reiterate what I said at the outset: my purpose in writing down my thoughts about the finale was not to denigrate those who enjoyed it, or win an argument with them about whether it sucked or not. It was my own two cents’ worth, about a significant cultural moment, offered without any expectation of concession from those who disagree.

To the apologists who say the people who don’t “get” the brilliant finale are stupid or simple-minded, “blind” viewers you feel compelled to enlighten: beyond a general admonition to make your points without insulting those you disagree with, I’d suggest you’re skating on some very thin conceptual ice. There was nothing to “get,” after all. It was all magic. None of it made any sense, and those who wrote it couldn’t produce a coherent explanation for most of those tantalizing mysteries at gunpoint. If you think that’s fine because answers weren’t important to enjoy the character development, or the show was making a larger philosophical point that There Are No Answers In Life, that’s great.

My purpose in writing was not to throttle your joy. Because I personally view that interpretation as a cheap dodge which illustrates a poverty of imagination and storytelling skills from the writers doesn’t mean it’s wrong or foolish for *you* to accept it. I like plenty of books, movies, and TV shows I couldn’t rationally defend to the many people who dislike them. Criticism is a discussion, not a battle in which only one side can “win.”

I suppose you could boil “Lost” viewers down to those who think the Frozen Donkey Wheel was “explained,” and those who don’t. Personally, I think that idea is laugh-out-loud funny. Sure, we got a scene where some guy who got through his entire life without a *name* pointed at a wheel lying on the floor, and told his equally nameless, insane adoptive mother he would gain the power to leave the island by mounting it in the wall. He was confident it would work, because some of the pre-industrial castaways he’d been hanging around with were “very smart people.” If that truly, honestly is good enough for you, great. I think you can understand why it’s *not* good enough for some of us.

(Incidentally, for the “character development is all that matters” crowd: Jacob spent much of his young life believing he was the only person in the world with a name? How did the crazy Mother warn his brother away from doing something dangerous? “Hey, you! Boy In Black! Get away from that wild boar!”)

There’s a difference between enigma and fraud. I’m really weary of elaborate con jobs being passed off as profundity, both in life and in culture. Even the most ardent “Lost” devotee would have to admit that *some* narrative cohesion is necessary to enjoy a story. Few people would have watched the show if all the characters had suddenly, inexplicably become cowboys in the Old West at the start of season 2, then the crew of a starship four episodes later, and turned into cartoon animals at the beginning of the next season. We all agree that some degree of sense and reason is necessary to construct a plot. We merely disagree on how much is required, and whether it matters that people who were paid vast sums of money to script a long-running TV show turned out to be randomly throwing weird stuff on the screen, while lying both implicitly and explicitly about whether it had any real meaning. Personally, I find that a violation of the basic trust between storyteller and audience. It’s not about needing “every little thing laid out” and “packaged with a ribbon.” It’s about becoming strongly interested in a solution that was promised by the authors, only to learn it never existed, and they were willfully deceiving their audience.

No one would have forgiven Agatha Christie for writing an intricate locked-room murder mystery, which ends with the revelation the killer is The Devil and can walk through walls. Like other disappointed “Lost” fans, I thought we were getting a mystery, not a fever dream. I don’t mind magic in fiction, but when it becomes so arbitrary that even the graduating class at Hogwart’s couldn’t figure it out, it feels lazy, and boring.

As always in the realm of literary criticism, your mileage may vary.

Doctor Zero on May 26, 2010 at 7:56 AM

Two words that immediately make Firefly>Lost.

RIVER.TAM.

Rightwingguy on May 25, 2010 at 9:16 PM

No, she’s what made Serenity better than Lost. She was way underused in the series, and the series itself was a little too campy when you see how it could have been done with the movie.

Esthier on May 26, 2010 at 11:37 AM

For those defending the show, I would reiterate what I said at the outset: my purpose in writing down my thoughts about the finale was not to denigrate those who enjoyed it, or win an argument with them about whether it sucked or not.

You say this, and yet your entire tone is designed to elicit no other response from those who liked the show. If this was an accident, it could have been avoided with less denigrating comments about the writers.

You don’t know how at all how the story came together, and yet you assume it’s all random and meaningless, ignoring evidence to the contrary.

(Incidentally, for the “character development is all that matters” crowd: Jacob spent much of his young life believing he was the only person in the world with a name? How did the crazy Mother warn his brother away from doing something dangerous? “Hey, you! Boy In Black! Get away from that wild boar!”)

This is an assumption. Just because we never learned his name doesn’t mean he didn’t have one or that “Mother” didn’t either. I mean, who was in any of those scenes who would have called her by name? Do you call your mother by her name?

From what I’ve read, MIB’s name was actually Samuel.

We merely disagree on how much is required, and whether it matters that people who were paid vast sums of money to script a long-running TV show turned out to be randomly throwing weird stuff on the screen, while lying both implicitly and explicitly about whether it had any real meaning.

Doctor Zero on May 26, 2010 at 7:56 AM

And here, you do far more than “merely disagree” and go straight into the “I simply didn’t get the show” realm.

I’m fine with people disagreeing about how great the finale was and finding fault with all the unexplained mysteries, but to claim the show threw up random “weird stuff on the screen” is to completely miss the point. Nothing about the show was random. Just because not everything was completely explained (And I agree that the wheel is one of those that was only partially explain – but then, what explanation would be satisfying? Daniel Faraday examining it and going total Hawkins on the island with a chalk board and full on Bones-style experiments? Would that really have improved the show?) doesn’t mean that any of it was random or unplanned.

And the whole “they explained nothing crowd” is completely clueless, and obviously wasn’t paying attention.

Out of 146 mysteries the show brought up, only 9 were completely unexplained, and only 16 were only partially explained.

Esthier on May 26, 2010 at 12:05 PM

An ending fit for a man of faith, not a man of science.

EMD on May 25, 2010 at 11:51 PM

That was the entire point though. It had been a struggle since the beginning between faith and science. Jack, our science man, had to eventually learn to give it up and just go with it, and because he did that, he was able to save the island and thus save the remaining survivors.

Esthier on May 26, 2010 at 12:15 PM

The reason everyone immediately rewinds The Sixth Sense after seeing it for the first time is that it plays fair. It shows the audience certain things, with complete honesty, and the audience misinterprets what it’s seeing.

As to this, I’d suggest you to actually try this with Lost. Watch the series from start to finish before making the accusation that they didn’t play fair.

Esthier on May 26, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Esthier on May 26, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Just because you got a working plot mechanic, doesn’t mean it actually works.

Niko on May 26, 2010 at 5:13 PM

For the (satisfied or unsatisfied)LOST fans who still want answers, well they are coming:‘Lost’ Creators Promise More Answers After The Finale…

RedRobin145 on May 26, 2010 at 5:50 PM

Just because you got a working plot mechanic, doesn’t mean it actually works.

Niko on May 26, 2010 at 5:13 PM

You’re welcome to make that claim. I simply don’t see that it has any grounding.

Esthier on May 26, 2010 at 6:52 PM

I saw the film version of M*A*S*H prior to the television series.

Consequently, I absolutely loathed the TV version especially with its feminized and ultra leftist Hawkeye and its sympathetic and frequently non-hypocritical Margaret Houlahan (I could go on but you get the point). I never understood how some (quite a few, actually) really enjoyed the show and adored the finale. I thought it was a total suckfest from start to finish.

On the other hand, I enjoyed Lost all the way.

So…go figure, eh?

trapeze on May 27, 2010 at 12:56 AM

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