Okay, I know I’m a bit late with this post, but I just watched the finale about an hour ago. I was doing Army stuff for two weeks so I missed the finale when it originally aired. That said, I have a few thoughts about the series.
LOST was an increasingly rare bird in modern television. The show was heavily serialized and pretty much required that the viewer watch every single episode in order to have even an illusion of understanding what was going on. I enjoy serialized shows because they allow for extensive character development and allow the viewer to watch characters grow and change as the show progresses. These serialized programs will likely become more and more of a rarity on the networks because they are not friendly to new viewers. If someone were to try and jump into LOST halfway through the series they would never be able to figure out what was going on. LOST is a program where watching an individual episode is nearly impossible because of how closely tied they are.
After watching the finale and reflecting on the whole of the series over the last few weeks I realized what it was that kept me coming back to the show. Unlike many people it was not trying to figure out the insanely convoluted storyline, but it was the relationships between the characters. It could be argued that LOST was extremely plot/story driven because serialized shows tend be very heavy on plot and the slow unraveling of that plot is what keeps people coming back. For me, it was more about the characters. First let me just say that Kate annoyed the poo out of me (as I think she did with most people) and was also the weakest of the main actors and actresses. That said, the stories that I found the most intriguing and that ultimately pulled at my emotions the most were the Jin and Sun and Sawyer/Ford and Juliette relationships. The Jin and Sun relationship was especially powerful as we watched their relationship return from the brink of disaster to Jin being unwilling to leave the side of his trapped wife in a sinking submarine. That was the single most powerful moment of the entire show for me. It was incredibly emotional to see Jin, who had once been so harsh with his wife, unwilling to leave her side even though it meant they would both die and that Jin would never see his child. Because I had seen these characters grow so much, it truly pulled at my heartstrings.
The Sawyer/Juliette relationship was also a very powerful one. It was very gratifying to see Sawyer growing beyond his selfish beginnings and ultimately settling down with Juliette to live a semi normal and respectable life. The episode where Juliette died, literally being pulled from Sawyer’s arms, was truly gut wrenching because we had finally seen the two characters find some peace and joy only to have it violently torn away from them.
So what does that mean about the show as a whole? I felt that I really began to lose interest in the story part way through season five. It felt like the writers had no conclusion in mind and that they were creating so many loose ends that they would never be able to answer even basic questions about the plot. The things that kept me coming back were the compelling human interactions. For me the images that will stick with me the most from LOST are not the discovery of the hatch, the smoke monster, the death of Jacob, or the ambiguous and religiously pluralistic church scene at the end of the movie (Did anyone else notice the symbols for the major world religions in the stained glass window behind Jack when he was in the room with the casket in the church which obviously implied that there are many way to heaven/god?), no it was watching Jin and Sun grow to love each other and the emotional roller coaster their relationship took the viewer on. It was watching Sawyer finally find some peace with Juliette and watching both of them grow out of their guarded shells and open themselves up to each other.
So ultimately I don’t care about the loose ends the series failed to tie up even though it would have been nice if the writers had thought things out better. There was a great emotional satisfaction in watching the growth of a number of the characters and it was those characters that saved the series from being prematurely removed from the recording que on the ol’ DVR.