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

  1. Jon says

    I understood the ending, but I was just not impressed with it at all. With the alternate storyline I was expecting to see some sort of alternate-universe type thing, but what I got was something really dumbed down. Ok, so the reason the island is so special is because there is this light that if it goes out all life dies? And the person that guards it drinks some water and become the guardian of the light until such time someone else comes along. Does anyone else feel like they really had no idea where they were going to take the show, and just kind of threw something together to end it? This is what they were keeping from me all this time? These are the answers to all my questions? What a big giant let down. This ending was an epic fail. I’m glad it’s over.

  2. David F. says

    Let me explain the Lost ending for everyone. The ending is whatever you want it to be. That’s the point of art. It’s open to interpretation. So, the people who think the whole thing was purgatory are right because that is their interpretation of the art. The people who think only the flash sideways was purgatory are also right, because that is THEIR interpretation of the art. The people who think it was all about parallel universes and spaceships are equally right. THAT, my friends, is the point.

  3. Steven Carter says

    I could not have said this any better:

    For a LOST fan, this was the most satisfying and heartbreakingly beautiful ending that gave closure but did not end the conversation.Great art doesn’t spoon-feed answers, great art asks great questions and lets the listener, watcher, participant apply their own conclusions. I love the way LOST ended because the show lives on as we can debate the questions we still have. LOST gave us the themes to lead us to the correct answers…big ideas like “Live Together, Die Alone”, “Whatever Happened, Happened”, “There’s Always a Choice”, “…”It’s a place where miracles Happen”, and on and on. These are clues that allow you to debate some of the dangling mysteries within the parameters and rules the show has set up for us and leads us to be able to answer all the questions on our own, (and in heated debates with friends.) To definitively answer everything would have killed the conversation. Whether or not you like that is dependent on what your expectations were and how you watched and understood the show, but I believe that leaving it open to interpretation was all intentional and actually serves the story and the true fan much better, it includes us and trusts us to come up with some great theories and after all, isn’t that what this show has always been about? Because once you put a ceiling on it, like explaining what “the island” is or the light “source”, what happens is that it diminishes the possibilities and takes away the powerful concepts. Kinda like George Lucas over-explaining “the force”…it made it stupid where before it felt mysterious and cool. So we were left with the characters and the amazing closure we got with them after the end of all things in their journey’s together. An epic adventure tale that continues to baffle and inspire debate. Bravo!

  4. says

    I have read all these comments and some I agree with and some I don’t. I am sure by now everyone knows that the end of the show, the scene of the plane, was just a “filler” per ABC. They wanted to allow people to be “calm” before the local news came on. I have many questions as to the people that were at the reunion were never shown on the Oceanic 815 Flight. For instance, Penny, Desmond’s wife. When I watched the show that had interviewed the cast, some stuff was explained. In season 4 or 5, not sure which, they were on land and when Kate visits Sawyer’s ex, they had a little girl, was that just part Jack’s imagination or part of the “un-finished business”? There are many questions I would love to ask the writer’s/creators about. What in the world were they trying to get to? What was the point of the show? I watched it every season, every episode, and still LOST. I was disappointed at the very end, but it’s over with now. I wish there was a website, facebook page, or something that the writer’s/creator’s explain to us fans about the point of the ending. What were they trying to say? If anyone knows of such website or a page, please let me know. I would really appreciate it.

  5. Duh says

    Don’t worry to all you knuckledraggers out there that got confused by the big mean ending. There’s still plenty of reality shows and cop shows (The bad guys always talk with a MEAN accent and frown) that won’t tax your tiny little brains.

  6. losto272 says

    It just bolws my mind how deep that idea was in some viewers ,that even when a character explains that the island was real they still not belive it, ok it would have make sense if the series ended on season 3 or so, but now..!?
    The island was a purgatory for those who died there and had issues or guiltyness AKA Michael. But it was a real and touchable land for the survivors of any plane or ship that reached it.

  7. Ruby says

    I so agree with “That One Guy”. Besides the lack of definition about what the island really was, the power within it, Jacob’s adoptive Greek-like mother, etc… Who built the gigantic monument/statue and the temple and why? Why were there Egyptian heiroglifics in the hatch if the Dharma initiative built it in the ’70’s and they defined the power in the island as electromagnetic? What ever happened to all the children on the flight from season 1, considering comments made by Ben and others in other episodes that “the children are alright”. What was that whole deal with the shack that was found in, I think, the second season that had “Quarrantine” written on the door? They found a Bible and a glass eye inside a box in that shack. The only person who had lost an eye in the duration of the show was Mikail. But what did that ever have to do with him, IF it had anything to do with him? What was the significance of Walt’s unusual powers? What was the disease that made everyonone sick and why did it happen? Why did pregnant women die on the island? If it was some sort of invented world, how did they all have such a myriad of physical things happen to them, including getting shot, Claire giving birth, Charlie drowning, all the people like Boone who had injuries and DIED and were buried? Remember when Jacob pushed Richard’s head under the water and yelled, “Are you dead?!” He was making a point that they weren’t dead or imagining this because he was still quite capable of drowning. And as for the smoke monster, how is it that he viciously manifests himself time and again, season after season as an unstoppable, supernatural killing machine, but Jack dispatches him by punching him out and throwing him off a cliff? It may be symbolic, but c’mon! There are tons of unanswered questions that I personally feel they didn’t bother to address and that ticks me off. Yes, the finale was interesting, but to me it was an elaborate excuse to not have to explain details about anything.

    • losto272 says

      Who built? The Egyptians or even previus,Why? Humans build statues.
      Island: Corch between the Earth and the Source.
      Source: Life ,Death, Rebirth AKA concept thats escapes human understanding or writters ability to explain or get into much more than they did.
      If you mean the UV-light map on the walls of the hatch ,it was an Island Map not jeroglyfics.
      The kids were shown in the temple and are suposed to be killed by Widmores cleaver weapon,in “The last recruit” with the oceanic-girl that took care of them since Ecko asked her that favor.
      Flocke lost his Power when the corch was pulled out by Des “seem that you were wrong too” said Jack right after punching his face making him bleed.
      And yes of course the were alive in the island

  8. Anon says

    If they are on purgatory, why did ALL those other things happen? What about the Oceanic 6? Was THAT apart of purgatory? It still doesn’t make sense! So everything they did in the last 6 seasons was a waste of time and they all were dead anyway?

  9. That one guy says

    Still don’t understand why in the hell we don’t know what the island is, what the light is, where the power comes from, who Jacobs adoptive mother really was, and what MIBS real name is. Complete crap.

  10. Ralph says

    I made nothing of the images of the plane wreckage in the credits. I thought, “Oh they’re showing what the beach looked like in season 1,”

    I was very pleased with every single second of Lost’s six-season run and always knew they would end it the way they started, with jack in the bamboo forrest. (it was just a guess but wow was i right or what? lol)

    And I don’t mean to rub it in anyone’s faces, but yes, Lost is a very complex show of course many do not understand it and have been “lost” for a while or especially with the finale. I never had that problem, granted I watched seasons 1-4 back-to-back (for the first time since seeing them on TV) just before 5 started last year, but if you’re not devoted to actually watching the seasons more than a few times then you’re obviously gonna be “lost.”

    ABC needs to but out of their shows on the other hand, they ruin everything they touch. (allegedly)

  11. Jordan J. says

    Ok, I really don’t understand why everyone is making a big deal about the ending credits. It’s not like it totally ruined the series, it’s just pics of the plane crash from the first season. Get over it. Second Lost provided something that no show has ever done, and I believe the writers are geniuses! And for thoses who don’t get the show..”and decided to stop watching it the second season”.. that’s pretty sad because it wasn’t that difficult to get. You just need to learn to keep up.
    The ending was breath taking. I believe the whole time the survivors were brought to the island beacause they lived by mistakes. They were there to get some things fixed before they were ready for the afterlife. When they all died on the island they moved on, but they could not move on until everyone was dead. Because they needed each other to move on.
    The flashsideways was to show them moving on to the afterlife after everone had died. So the present was when they were on the island and the flashsideways was after everyone had died and moved on to the afterlife. When they started to figure out who each other were, they realized each other from when they were all on the island.
    My interpretantion. It may not be exact, but at least I have one. Unlike the people that gave up on the series. This show was amazing and left me being content.

  12. Larissa says

    The island was mainly a catalyst for each individual to re-evaluate their lives and to come to terms with their inner conflict. Thus, as Christian mentions in the end, we cannot go through life alone. Jacob also explains to them that they were brought to the island because they were all flawed. We as humans have a responsibility to towards each other.

    Those who did not make it to the final gathering were still coming to terms with their issues. whether alive, dead or stuck in limbo, example Ben. He needed to learn how to forgive himself in order to move on.

    I feel the writers did an job of conveying a message that speaks to the masses. Hence the international cast. We are a community of humans, not individuals. What happened on the island happened, but it was merely a metaphor of how we live our daily lives and the problems we face. In the end it is the fellowship of individuals that makes life what it is. I love the semi-open ending. We are left to interpret the storyline however we want.
    In the end I see it as simple as the cliche question, ‘If you were stuck on a deserted island and you had a choice of what to take with, what would you take?’, hence, what is important to you in life? Love, power, wealth etc?. What would you choose to do with these things and how does it effect the next person. However, if you go to the island with nothing what do you intend on taking with you if you ever manage to leave? If you leave with nothing, or if you stay, you will at least have the memories of your experience.

  13. leslie miller says

    i guess i am totally confused–& i have watched from the beginning. in the end (even before the added crash scene after the credits) i interpreted that no one had ever survived the original crash & everything that has happened in the last 6 seasons never really happened–that the island & all the perceived things that happened there since the crash were just events that the “survivors” imagined & had to work thru until they made peace with their past issues & accepted their own death–not purgatory but a type of limbo for them & many others that we saw over the last 6 yrs–& the sideways world was the glimpse of their truly deserved ending that they each slowly realized they earned & as each came to the realization of their death they met in the church with all those that they spent their final moments with & their time in limbo to cross over together..I CRIED & LOVED IT BUT ITS NOT THE ENDING I WANTED, but thats what i got. what i really want to know is WHAT DID THE WRITERS MEAN? is your article what the writers (aka producers?) say? did everything that happened on the island really happen & the crossover meant to be what would happen in the future when all eventually died?

    • says

      @leslie miller: It is our own opinion. You can take the finale to mean anything you like. I personally have a hard time understanding how people see the whole series as some sort of purgatory. After watching the same six seasons as everyone else, I can’t think of any indication that this is what the producers were doing.

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