I know I’m well behind the curve on this one, but I just got through watching the last season of Lost, and all I can say is, Hmmmm.
I’ve really enjoyed and admired this show at times. I liked their ruthlessness with cast and audience. I liked their willingness to take crazy turns,throw in new characters and keep you guessing. It was always very slickly made and put together (although the same-old island locations did start to pall after a while), and offered some really creepy, cold skin moments. I very much liked the structure of the show, in which the “now” action on the island is interspersed with snippets of the past (or future) of given characters, allowing the people and events to suddenly be shown in totally new lights. I liked some of the acting (though in general the prettier the actor, the worse the performance). I even quite admired the way that, just as they seemed to be on the verge of giving you some answers, they’d totally shift the questions, because they always did it with a kind of total belief that kept you, if not believing, then at least watching. It’s about a plane crash, no, about some numbers, no, a hatch, no, a button, no, it’s about the dharma initiative, no, time travel, no, some climactic inscrutable war of good against, no, an invisible guy in a hut, no, it’s actually not about that at all. We don’t know what it’s about.
I guess, given the way that it twisted and turned, that it misdirected, fast-talked and routinely bamboozled its audience to the point of frustration, the ending was never really going to suddenly answer all those questions, now, was it? But I was hoping for something that at least intrigued, that gave me a sense of what the fuck? in a good way, because if Lost did anything well, it was what the fuck? in a good way. What we got was a lot of lumpily spooned-up mumbo-jumbo, so incomprehensible that it had to be explained to us via the medium of Jack’s dead dad and still didn’t make any sense. It was what the fuck, yes. But not in a good way at all. And schmaltzy too! Feelgood folks chuckling away to each other, all paired off and enjoying a big hug. You guys! What about that crazy island, huh? Good times! I dunno, it felt like a real betrayal of the ruthless edge the show delighted in wielding at its best.
I expected to be disappointed, in the end. I’m not sure I expected to be that disappointed.