I think the most succinct summary I’ve read for the Lost finale that sums up the general feeling is:
“The problem with Lost has always been that the fans watch the show for the plot, and the creators think they watch it for the characters.”
– Chris Suellentrop, journalist.
Which is more or less in line with how most people have reacted on messageboards and its been the most common reaction from friends and work colleagues who I’ve spoken to.
Personally, I’m siding with the creators on this one. Put me down in the camp that loved The End.
I really enjoyed the final episode partly because it didn’t try and explain the rather considerable list of unanswered questions the show raised in its six years. There was a time when I first watched the show where I would have loved to have had some of those questions answered but since they didn’t choose the path of gradually letting the mysteries unfold, it would have made for a ridiculously exposition-heavy final episode if they tried to cram it all in in one go.
Instead we got the world’s longest happy (albeit slightly melancholic) ending where a huge long procession of characters on the show find their peace and closure. And you know what? Sometimes, that is no bad thing.
It was lovely to see Jin and Sun reunited with their daughter. They sure as hell spent a good few years running around an island looking for one another. They earned it! Jack finally got to play the hero and successfully ‘fix’ something. Charlie no longer has his short-changed martyr ending and instead he finally gets the girl. Hurley also gets a meaningful role of responsibility and doesn’t feel so crazy any more. The only thing I didn’t quite roll with was Sayid reuniting with Shannon. After all these years of pining for Nadia, I’m not sure his flavour of the month fling in the tropics was the closure I was looking for in his character. Regardless, I’m completely onboard with the tone and delivery of the final episode. As Jacob tells the Candidates, they were chosen to come to the island because their lives were already broken, wretched and incomplete. If things didn’t change for the better, then whats really changed at all in the six years that we’ve known these characters?
As to the nature of the final scene where our Losties more or less pass into an afterlife together, I’ve been able to hold my suspension of disbelief with Smokey the Smoke Monster, Egyptian statues, a time travelling Scotsman, polar bears and more characters dying and coming back to life than I can count, so I have no problem with how they chose to wrap things up. It brought a smile to my face watching it.
All said, its been a pretty great show these past six years. Sure, it had its moments where I grew a little weary of its pacing and the occasional red herring but I think it came good in the end and there are few other shows I can think of which had such an awesome cast of characters that I cared about. It’s been a fun ride.
Thats my two cents.