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Lost: What Did You Think of “The End?” (Initial Reactions)

Lost series finaleTonight we bid adieu to Lost after six seasons on the air. The series finale had a lot to live up to and, without question, it wasn’t going to please everyone.

The producers have long said that the series was about the people. The title referred to their place in life and, through their experience, they grew and changed. In the end, all of our Losties (and many of their loved ones) are all together again, bound by the most important time in their lives — their time on the island.

In looking at the immediate reaction, it seems that many people feel cheated. I think it stems from (I believe) the misconception that the characters were dead the whole time.

We were told that the Losties were not dead and not in purgatory and they weren’t. Their experience on the island was real. They were all dead by the end of the show, in the church — a place they all created so that they could reunite once they had each passed away. As Christian told his son, some of them died before Jack did (on the island) and some died after.

What did you think of the series finale of Lost? Satisfying or upsetting? Love it or hate it? How does this one rank against other series finales?

UPDATE: If you were confused by the final images, blame ABC.

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{ 106 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank May 24, 2010 at 8:15 am

I was with this show until the last ten minutes. Then it proved the two things I always believed about Lost. 1.) That show had no respect for human life and 2.) Every storyline that happened off the island was cheesy and stupid. There at the end I though maybe Murder Island had actually orchestrated all those events of nuclear bombs and time travel, just to create a side reality for all those it effed with the get to live their lives in peace.

Then it pulled the rug out from under my feet and revealed it was all a bizarro purgatory that the characters made so they could find each other in the afterlife. WHY??? Because the afterlife already created by God is all lame and confusing and doesn’t have a map or address listings for your friends? It’s clear the writers had no idea what the full implications of creating an alternate reality were when they did so at the end of last season. They made that crap up as they went along, just like they made up everything else as they went along. I had to watch all that lame side-ways universe crap just to find out none of it was real? Jack’s son is really an illusion? Then why make us watch him play piano? Why make Sayid go through all that trouble then reveal his true love was some annoying blond he was with for like a week back on the island? Clearly they had no idea what they were doing.

It’s also clear that J.J. Abrams’ notes didn’t include explanations for all the important mysteries about the island, like the numbers, or Walt, or where the island came from. And by the end I’m forced to ask who cares about the dumb island and it’s unimpressive conceit? It kills a bunch of people with Others, and flaming arrows, and monster attacks and thinks that’s justified in the name of keeping some dumb smoke monster guy from escaping? Cause he’s eeeeeeeevil? And is a post-Christian metaphor for the Devil? How about the Powers That Be just come up with something better than a stone hole stopper to keep evil out? The bright side is, however, that at least the whole insane racket is over.

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Meno May 24, 2010 at 7:58 am

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and to be honest, if we had got all the answers would the interweb be buzzing with differing theories, opinions and arguments about the rights and wrongs of not telling us everything about the island.

I agree that one of the best characters in the show was the Island itself, but that was due to its mystery, and if we had got the answers we wanted, that mystery would have been removed and then it would just be another island.

I don’t agree with the purgatory thoery either. Technically most of the characters had better lives than they had in the “real” world, and purgatory is seen as a place of waiting and punishment, for those who have not been 100% “good”. Jack, Sawyer, Juliet, Locke, Ben, et al (except for maybe Kate, Claire, and Charlie) all seem to be enjoying life more; not much of a punishement.

I, for one, was enthralled by the episode, and compliment the creators, writers, actors, and rest of the crew for providing such a good TV show.

And, after all, it is ONLY a tv show…

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Unprejudiced June 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

ABC’s programming has always been geared towards the casual television watcher.
LOST attracted a rather new type of audience to ABC. A more thoughtful and harder to please audience.The types of people who create the buzz on the internet are exactly the kind of people this ending offended. People that make Fansites and write fan-fics and start long-term , hardcore discussions about TV shows are a different breed than the folks who casually watch a show and never really even care if they understand it.

I do not know who it is you are agreeing with. It seems you are talking mostly to yourself; however to call the island a character seems a stretch. The Island was never given an identity. There is nothing wrong with mystery but at some point a conclusion should be forthcoming. If you feel otherwise go out and buy some mystery novels and rip out the last 75 pages before reading them.

I don’t feel like the purgatory theory matters. Technically it was nothing more than a way of telling the characters actual stories. Of course they were all going to die eventually. Everyone dies. The sideways unniverse and the excuse that the show was about the characters is nothing more than a device used by the powers that be to try and obscure the utter and total lack of substance.

I, for one, was disgusted by the episode, and curse the creators, writers and crew for ruining what could have been a very memorable show.

You say its ONLY a TV show………. I say it’s 6 years of watsed time.

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Simon May 24, 2010 at 7:37 am

I personally was thrilled with the whole series, I really think it was very clever with the mythology and almost biblical references running though the show, combined with numeous themes and subplots. It seems to me that whatever way the creators of Lost had gone there would always be people who would be dissatisfied, but then that is the viewers prerogative as it would be the reader of a novel.
This was an epic, it was clever and fascinating all at the same time, combining all sorts of human emotions, tragedy, grief, comical moments ( Sawyer was a great contributor throughout! )everyone as we know had flaws as do all of mankind or almost all; The creators leave us to ponder on good and bad, honesty and dishonesty and then whilst we are doing this we see our favourite characters struggling to deal with the Island and it’s secrets and whilst doing so we are very cleverly reunited with the characters to their parallel lives, culminating with Desmond, Hurley and yes Linus ( he has stuggled to bring all the survivors together before ). I feel that the climax with no jealousies, simply all the love in the world at what appears to be a funeral service ( theirs ) just leaves the audience in awe and utter admiration for what has been a brilliant series. It’s going to have it’s critics, but then what great work didn’t have. I for one will forever be a huge fan.

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Dennis May 24, 2010 at 7:15 am

In the first season they mentioned The Island being like another character. That was the gimmick, that was the intrigue, that was what kept us watching the show. Remember in season 3 when the show sucked? That was because all we saw was ridiculous episodes about Jack getting his tattoos and the Expose people getting bit by spiders. The ratings tanked because we were getting no answers about the island.

So now they say, “It was all about the people, and we’ve always said that.” No it wasn’t, and no you didn’t.

I feel like I was strung along for 6 years with the mystery of the island only for the producers to give me a huge middle finger.

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Blcoop May 24, 2010 at 7:10 am

I dont understand how people can say that was the worst finale EVER, obivously they havent seen the Sopranos. Granted there are many questions unanswered, but at least people will be thinking about the answers to these questions long after the show is over.

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Unprejudiced June 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I am not sure how you can compare the Soprano’s ending to this. The Sopranos storyline was all tied up and closure was brought to all of the running plotlines. They even went several steps further and started Willow and Tony Jr on coherent , believable paths towards thier future. I have to assume you are talking about the final scene where Tony was killed without showing the bullet fired……. That may have been a little unsatisfying, but its not that big a deal, its just some imagery, we knew what happened we just didn’t see it. The Sopranos were a complete story……LOST was like a novel that had the last 75 pages or so torn out of it…….. I will definetly watch the Sopranos Series again, I have the DvD’s for all seasons…….. I would never even consider watching LOST again……. after all……… even tho (as “Pro-reviewers so deperately and anxiously point out) the events on the island “actually happened” they meant nothing……… in the end nothing actually happened……. a group of people gave thier lives to move a rock for reasons that were never explained.

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BenDover May 24, 2010 at 6:54 am

It was very disappointing. Yes, it sucked. Just like the endings of The X files or Seinfeld.
It was a great way to satisfy a very religious and scientifically illiterate country (USA).
By the way, none of you have “theories” about the show. A scientific theory is a well tested and proven set of facts about the natural world, such as Darwins Theory or Einsteins Special Theory of Relativity. You have hypotheses which need confirming data in order to call them theories.

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Dolly May 24, 2010 at 6:46 am

I expected more than a “gotcha” ending. The ending was not as sophisticated as the audience. We guessed they were in Purgatory in Season 1. But after six seasons, to just come out and say that they were all dead, is a cop out to me. It makes the stories of Jacob & MIB, Richard, all the time travel and the Dharma Initiative…IRREVLEVANT!
And then to show Kate, Sawyer, Claire, Miles, Daniel Faraday and Frank Lapidus actually getting off the island was an extra insult to only say…. gotcha….they’re all dead…..
I have read so many BETTER theories on the web, that this ending really makes me sick….

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admin May 24, 2010 at 7:18 am

@Dolly: There’s no “gotcha” about it.

The point is that they weren’t all dead from the beginning. The island was not a dream or purgatory. It all happened in the character’s lives, except for the “flash sideways” that we’ve been seeing in season six. The ending showed us that the characters all ended up in the afterlife together and moved on to the great beyond (heaven if you like).

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Dolly May 24, 2010 at 7:36 am

Well if they weren’t all dead from the beginning, why did they show the original wreckage of the Oceanic 815 flight? And not all the characters showed up at the church. Where was Mr. Eko, Michael, Walt, Ana Lucia, Daniel Faraday, Miles and Frank Lapidus? Were their “sins” greater than anyone else’s? What was Penny doing at the church? Both her and Desmond were not on the flight. Did those few seconds at the stadium with Jack & Desmond running the bleachers make that big a difference in Jack’s life? If so, then how lame is Jack! And why did the psychic tell Claire to take the flight? Did he want Claire’s baby to die?! That’s awful! No, this story could have taken so many wonderful turns to enhance the story, but just to say that they were all dead, doesn’t cut it for me….

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Jaguar May 24, 2010 at 7:48 am

“this ending really makes me sick”

Me too. I kid you not when I say I burst into tears when it ended–I couldn’t believe I had just wasted 6 years on a show that has a non-ending.

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Christopher May 24, 2010 at 6:34 am

Ending sucked. The “purgatory” storyline was an absolute watse. I don’t give a crap that they all couldn’t “move on” after they died (I understand that they all died at random times and they didn’t die together in Flight 815, 316, or the H-bomb). Who cares? The show was not about the people, it was about the Island. These people represtent just one chapter in this island’s long history, mainly the last chapter of Jacob’s tenure as island protector. You have to assume that the island has had many protectors and people coming and going over the centuries, all playing out the fate v. free will game that is the crux of human existence. The show was fascinating not because of the soap opera between the characters, but the existential drama that eventually confronts us all: why are we here? What is our purpose? What is good? What is evil? What is reality? This ending was bullshit.

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Elmo May 24, 2010 at 6:09 am

Ending sucked – just one alternate ending could have been everyone was frozen by Drama after the plane crash and their brain waves were being manipulated by Ben for research and the volcano on the island blows up allowing all to die in peace

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Simon May 24, 2010 at 7:40 am

???? Well, we are all entitled to our view point, I’m sure that you may have got confused with ‘Thunderbirds’ or ‘Captain Scarlett’

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Joe May 24, 2010 at 5:51 am

Right after the finale ended, I got up and threw out my “Lost” Season 1 DVD set (the only one I had pending possibly getting the full series on DVD)

They betrayed the series.

I understand it’s about the people on the show. But the bottom line is, pulling a religious ending out of the show when they had tried so hard to make it a science fiction show is a cop out. What if some of the folk were non-believers? Is Ben what happens to them, unable to accept what’s happening and enter “heaven”?

The writers and producers had YEARS to figure this out, and instead, wasted half of the last season on some lame “purgatory” concept that just didn’t make sense in the reality of the series.

And all those unanswered questions? I don’t need all the answers, but it’s clear the writers just threw stuff at the wall for years to see what would stick, and just conveniently forgot what fell off.

What a waste of time the series turned out to be.

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Allous May 24, 2010 at 5:50 am

very very disappointing ending

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Rob May 24, 2010 at 5:35 am

It was perhaps the most disappointing ending to a show of all time. Soo many questions needed to be answered and never will be. very unhappy

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jen May 24, 2010 at 5:27 am

don’t compare this rubbish to A2A, that is an insult, A2A tied up everything and answered every question, lost took the easy way out cos the writers weren’t clever enough, I don’t care that they are dead and moving on together, I wanted the islands questions answered, not the cop out we got, the island was real and they just died at different times, kate said she missed jack so she got off the island and lived a life, they just all met in that place when they died, so if the island is real, answer they should have answered the questions but their minds weren’t clever enough to think anything up so they took the easy way out

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Jaguar May 24, 2010 at 7:44 am

Yes, yes, yes! I totally agree with you! They never finished the story. I don’t care if the show was just about the people. If the show wasn’t about the Island and its mysteries, it never should have been mentioned!

Basically, the show ended with everyone dying and nothing happening. It was a sappy Lifetime movie ending.

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Ben May 24, 2010 at 5:12 am

I think it was a good ending, fitting of Lost as a whole. I think it would have been more annoying to have everything answered as Lost, as the name implies, means that we are not meant to know everything. As has already been mentioned, it was always about the characters and they had their storylines pretty much wrapped up.

My theory about the ending:

Everything that happened on the island was real. The plane did crash. The experiences that everyone went through were real, hence why everybody experienced flashbacks when they touched the ones they loved or whatever. Why would they remember this if it did not happen?

The flash sideways world was a world that they all constructed to find each other after they had all died. Jack died in the bamboo place at the end of the episode. Hurley and Ben stayed on the island for however long until they both ultimately died. The plan carrying Kate etc took off and reached wherever they were going. But they all eventually died as well. Remember what Jack’s dad said – everyone dies at some point, some before you (Shannon, Locke, Sayeed etc) and some after you (Kate, Sawyer, Hurley etc.) The flash sideways enabled them all to come back together and find each other, remembering what they learned…as all of the problems each of them had before going to the island were resolved in one way or another and this was in large part due to the relationships that were forged there, at a point when each of them had lived their lives and died. Having met up in the afterlife and finding each other they were able to “move on”.

The whole mythology of the island etc was just a tool to put everyone through hell and to test each character and push them all together and ultimately show the best in them. The unanswered questions remain because life is full of questions – is there heaven/hell…how big is the universe…why are we here? each of these are questions no one is able to answer and im guessing if they were people would be pretty disappointed by the response. Life is in the mystery and the unknown, not in knowing everything.

So basically, the characters lived together, loved each other, lost each other but eventually found each other again and moved on together. :-)

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nomi May 24, 2010 at 5:11 am

To Man of Science
The island is a real place where time travel occurs; it ties together the physical world as we know it and the metaphysical world–for sci fi fans there is a time portal accessible due to enormous electomagnetic forces somehow “bottled” there. Physicists do think that time travel is possible–so if we all die in time, yet we think our existence is limited by time and death–can we be alive after our death? Many times during the show, characters who had died, such as Charly make appearances to those living in the “future” world. If there is a God and the metaphysical world is Real, they exist outside of time–“Now, there is no time..” Christian Shepherd says at the end.
Despite the references to all the world religions by their symbols in the church, the primary religious themes of the show, of life after death (or despite death), timelessness, communion (all the cups of wine and water), self sacrifice by choice, redemption by individual conscience and by the forgiveness and love of others, baptism by fire and water, these are all extremely familiar notions to Catholics. The story of Jacob and his brother are very Old Testament—unlike them Jack has free choice, and Hurley finds a kinder and gentler way to protect the source and all people–one senses there will be no more killing.
Ben Linus stays outside the church at the end, because he has not reached redemption yet, by his own conscience, despite the others asking him in. The show gives a fairly decent explanation of the complexities of good and evil.

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