Once upon a time, there was a television show about a bunch of people on an island. For six years it was one of the most fascinating things on TV. And then it ended, in the worst way possible.
Lost ended tonight, and with it the hopes and dreams of millions of people who thought it might finally get good again. SPOILER ALERT: It didn't. What did we learn? Nothing. We learned nothing from two-and-a-half hours of slow-motion bullshittery backed with a syrupy soundtrack.
Everyone loves to see characters who haven't been around for a while, right? Juliet! Where have you been? Shannon! Long time since you were around, irritating all of us and ruining Sayid. But good to see you, I guess! Rose and Bernard! Nice beard, bro! And Vincent! The goddamn dog! There you are, doing dog stuff. How great is it to get all these characters back? Not very great at all, as it turns out.
For years, the show's creators and actors have been running the same bullshit line about how Lost is a character-driven show. Here is the thing, though: It is not a character-driven show. It is a show, that has characters! But the characters do not "drive" the show, except in the sense that they do things that help advance the plot. Because it is a "plot-driven" show! Lost is a show that is interesting because it has an interesting plot. Frankly, most of the characters suck! Especially Kate. And Jack. And Sawyer. And, really, all of them, except for Ben.
So what we got was a show with an engaging, mysterious plot, that was constantly being sabotaged by fool writers who thought that what the audience really wanted was, like, a love triangle. A love square! "Yes, Mr. Cuse, I don't give a shit about the donkey wheel. What I really am after is the answer behind the mystery of Jack's hideous tattoo."
And yet, somehow, we all kept coming back. I'm not going to use the "abusive relationship" metaphor, because that's hacky and offensive, but I'll say this: Those guys know how to write a finale. Season after season, it was the same thing: The first five or six episodes were great. The middle ten were terrible—just lazy, premise-stretching garbage—and then they'd pull it together for the finale.
Do you remember the hatch lighting up? Or Jack blasting In Utero and realizing that you were witnessing—I still shit my pants thinking about this years later—a flash-forward? That was why we kept watching the show: The amazing, game-changing, cliffhanger finales.
And so it stood to reason that maybe they would pull together this pitiful excuse for a season with some kind of halfway-coherent, tightly-paced, tightly-plotted finale that would answer some of our lingering questions and wash the taste of C.J. Cragg as Hypatia out of our mouths. Ha, ha! Why did I think that?
What we got instead was another two hours of running around the goddamn island with everyone having feelings and stuff—which wasn't even that bad, honestly!—and then, and I have to type this in caps because it's the only way to really let my rage out, IT TURNED OUT THAT THEY HAD ALL DIED. All of them! And not even all together, simultaneously, in some awesome disaster/explosion. They had all died, at various times, throughout history. (Except for Michael and Walt, apparently!) And then they, like, remembered that they were dead, in this terrible, unfortunate excuse for Heaven they had created, and the Church went to white, and Jack was lying there, dying, with the dog.
The dog. I swear to God, Abrams, Super 8 better be a fucking masterpiece.
Look: I had given up on getting any interesting answers to any of the thousands of questions I still had. When the explanation for "the whispers" came, I hung my head, and thought, "Well, I guess this is how it has to happen."
But I expected more from the flash-sideways (I cannot believe they have compelled me to use that word, "flash-sideways," though I suppose it is technically a "flash-way-the-hell-forward-to-when-everyone-is-dead"). I have taken a creative writing class or two (can you tell?) and do you know this thing they teach you? "Don't end your story with all your characters being dead." It is like cheating. It is worse than cheating! It is the wussiest thing a writer can do. And these smug dickheads went ahead and did it.
So here's my proposal: Let's get another season. We'll all agree to forget the flash-sideways ever existed. Let's just get Ben and Hurley running the island, making jokes and being bros and doing fun things. Is that too much to ask for? Because I don't have anything to be obsessed about anymore. And I really don't want to start watching V.
[Pic via ABC]