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Lost: ABC Messed Up the “The End”?

Lost series finaleIn case you haven’t heard, the series finale of Lost aired on Sunday night and brought to a close the story of the survivors of flight Oceanic 815. Many viewers enjoyed the last episode but there were others who felt confused, frustrated, and tricked by the producers. It turns out that part of their frustration isn’t the producers’ fault.

Lost, as most everyone knows by now, follows the story of a diverse group of people who crash land on a very strange island. Many actors have come and gone in the show’s six seasons but the final regular cast includes Daniel Dae Kim, Emilie de Ravin, Evangeline Lilly, Jeff Fahey, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Ken Leung, Matthew Fox, Michael Emerson, Naveen Andrews, Nestor Carbonell, Terry O’Quinn, Yunjin Kim, and Henry Ian Cusick.

To the delight of many fans, “The End” also includes appearances from several performers from past seasons, including Maggie Grace, Ian Somerhalder, Elizabeth Mitchell, Jeremy Davies, Cynthia Watros, Dominic Monaghan, Rebecca Mader, John Terry, L. Scott Caldwell, Sam Anderson, Sonya Walger, Francois Chau, Fionnula Flanagan, and Neil Hopkins.

While the end credits rolled on the Lost series finale, viewers were shown images of rusting plane wreckage on a beach. Some understood this to simply be the remnants of the Oceanic 815 crash. Others read more into it, thinking that this indicated that no one had survived the initial crash or, that the escape plane with Kate, Sawyer, and the others had crashed.

Does this change how you feel about the Lost finale?

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We now know that ABC, and not the producers, added those images. The network apparently wanted to soften the transition between the ending and the local news and didn’t consider that they might be misinterpreted.

An ABC spokesperson wrote to the LA Times, “The images shown during the end credits of the Lost finale, which included shots of Oceanic 815 on a deserted beach, were not part of the final story but were a visual aid to allow the viewer to decompress before heading into the news.”

So, to review… what happened on the island, happened. Jack died on the island at the end of the story. Hurley became the new Jacob and Ben helped him. Kate and friends flew back to the mainland. The alternate story that we saw in season six was the place the survivors created so they could reconnect in the afterlife after they had all passed on, in their own time. ABC messed up. End of story.

What do you think? Does ABC’s admission change your feelings about the last episode? Make things more clear?


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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori May 27, 2010 at 9:12 am

“The End” messed up by ABC, no. The whole series messed up by ABC, yes absolutely. I stopped watching Lost after season 2. I watched tv to escape and not think too much. This show required you to rack your brain. One of JJ Abrams worst creations.


Ryan May 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Lori, you basically just said the show was bad because it required intellectual capacity. You are basically admitting you are not a hard thinker. And to say it is his worst creation is an insult to the people that like being intellectual. The show changed the medium of television from being ripe with reality tv shows and shows that were for the braindead to shows that challenged the mind.


MK May 27, 2010 at 7:01 am

When I first saw these images, I took them as just a look back to the set of Season One. It didn’t even occur to me to read anything into them. They could just as easily have shown images of the cast on the set during rehearsal thru the years.


gotFLava May 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I agree with Kel. The ending seems like it was great for Season 6, but not for the series. I felt that too much was left on the table and more could have been done. To say that the Smoke Monster, hatches, temples, not being able to give birth, and more mysteries surrounding the island were irrelevant just leaves a bad taste in the mouths of true Lost fans that really delve into the show. I dare anyone that says the finale was perfect to watch Lost from the “Pilot” to “The End” and see if you feel like you were left with half a pizza when you paid for a whole pizza pie.


Kel May 26, 2010 at 2:03 pm

“Rewarded”….? With what exactly?

Not even a single real hint about the island much less an answer or two and the big finale “reveal” only has to do with the flashsideways from the past two “mini-seasons”! And that brilliant “twist”? They took what everyone had said about the island since the first episode and they continually denied, that it was purgatory, and just made it the flashsideways instead!

It was nice to see everyone all happy and together at the end but that could have been two minutes at the end and not the whole point of the 2 1/2 hours. I think the more people think about it as time goes by… especially the diehards who will probably go back and watch it all from the beginning again on DVD… I think they’ll get to a point where they admit to themselves it was like an hours long wait for a steak dinner and they got handed a paper plate with a slightly warm hamburger on a soggy bun instead.


Vicki May 26, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I have no problem with what happened on the island. My problem was with the whole “they’re all dead and coming together in the afterlife” bit. I LOVED this show, but that final bit really left me feeling unsatisfied. So, all the flashes-sideways were pointless? I feel let down by THAT part of the finale. What happened on the island, though, made perfect sense. I also loved (and guessed) that the final image would be a close-up of Jack’s eye closing. Very nice.


Shelly June 1, 2010 at 2:16 am

Pointless?!? Okay, like Christian said, everyone dies. So we know that they all have to eventually die – some deaths we saw, some we didn’t. There are many beliefs that there is something after death, that the “soul,” or whatever you would like to call it, moves on, to another form of existence. That being the case, I found it very satisfying to see that so many of these characters that we grew to love over the years had come back to together to move on together.

Whatever your interpretation of that “moving on” was, it was easy to extrapolate that many of characters not moving on with this group or people had moved on, or would move on, with those that were most significant to them in life.

It was much better than it just ending with Jack dieing in bamboo.

Also, I thought it was great how they showed the same shoe hanging from the bamboo that was there in the first scene, but looking very weathered.


Ole Vizer May 26, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I disconnected from the series by the end of the second season but I was thrilled for the die hard fans of the show that were rewarded for their dedication and patience. Shows of this genre rarely get the series finale they deserve too often succumbing to premature cancellation. The fact that people are still reacting to the show’s finale just demonstrates their passion for Lost. Very interesting to see!


Brian Parks May 26, 2010 at 11:46 am

Also, if you looked carefully, you could see footsteps in the sand.


Brian Parks May 26, 2010 at 11:45 am

It caught me off guard at first. I can see why some people would be confused. Then I realized that it was just supposed to be a poignant scene of where it all began.

I think the ending was pretty clear that it all happened and all mattered. Jack hammered this home in a statement to Desmond and then Christian did the same to Jack.

Overall, loved the series and the finale.


jim May 26, 2010 at 10:16 am

You just can’t please everybody. They worked very hard on the Series Finale , and just hoped for the best.


Sam May 26, 2010 at 10:01 am

Leave it up to a major network to shut down any extra creative thinking. They are not the Lost writers, I personally loved the way Lost ended. It let peoples own views on life and faith help them make their decisions about what happened. That is what was so great about the finale. This statement from ABC does not change that. I watched this episode with a huge crowd in Brooklyn NY, and the band ‘Previously on Lost’. These guys are an episode recap band and they’re wonderful. It was such an amazing way to close out Lost. Almost everyone there was sobbing our cursing when the crash backdrop came up, ABC just killed that for me.


Becky May 26, 2010 at 8:46 am

They want to soften the transition? Fine … let the backdrop of the credits be the ocean … the island… the horizon … some favorite moment stills from the show … but the plane wreckage?? Of course it would confuse people! Jeez, audiences around the world have been waiting for the finale and the answers to questions, and someone at ABC mucks it up by confusing the audience further!


tckitty May 26, 2010 at 8:40 am

you have no idea how many ppl are arguing over these credit images. ppl still think the island is the purgatory and everything that happened in the island is not real.


Harvest May 26, 2010 at 7:43 am

In Film, this is known as a ‘slow curtain’. It’s rude to just cut to credits after such intensity, so Films write in some excess resolution scenes.

Ending Lost is absolutely huge, for all the audiences. Visual aids were more than necessary to decompress. I just wish the end of Six Feet Under had a ‘slow-er curtain’.


Michael Coppens May 26, 2010 at 6:55 am

Spare me, some people need serious help, and this is coming from someone who was bawling at the end of the episode. I took those images for exactly what they were, a moment to decompress after a pretty overwhelming ending to a great television show. The ending was clear the island, and everything that happened on it, was very real. Why are so many people confused by this?


Alex May 26, 2010 at 6:48 am

It simply reaffirms my belief that network executives are insanely stupid. ‘Decompress before heading into the news’? Wow. The credits would have been fine. I do realise how such a visual aid could help viewers decompress, but is it really necessary?


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