Terry O Quinn
Save for the fifth season, which for some reason ABC/Disney did not send to JoBlo, I have been fortunate enough to review every season of “Lost” for the site. (And I bought the Dharma Orientation Kit Edition of Season 5 with my own money, thanks very much.) So if you want to know where I stand with "Lost" before considering my opinion on the show's final season, please check them out below: [Hint: I really, really, really like it.]
I've always had one consistent plea to God since 2004: "Please Lord, let me live long enough to see how "Lost" ends." (KICK ASS totally stole my thunder with this.) Silly as that may seem, like millions of other fans around the world, this is the kind of fervent passion for which we dedicated to a show that picked at our brains, toyed with our emotions, twisted genres, and raised and defied our expectations more than any other series in television history. So now that it's all over, how does LOST hold up?
Pretty darn well, I say. While it didn't completely stick the landing in a mindblowing way, I'm satisfied. Questions were answered such that it felt natural to what came before, for both the characters and plot, and the finale made me want to go back and rewatch the entire series yet again, which is fairly high praise. We got to see characters in new light. Jack got over his daddy issues. Desmond was even more badass than before. Daniel Faraday returned with his science. Richard Alpert: Time Pimp even got his own episode, as did Jacob and the MIB. The final season was destined to disappoint some diehard fans, as any answers given (or not given, in some cases) can be understandably frustrating. Some revelations, like the flash-sideways or the exact nature of the light at the "heart" of the island, were vague and left open to interpretation, but that seems to be in spirit with the cryptic, metaphoric nature of the show. Overall, I think that for almost every question there’s enough information out there for attentive viewers to make at least an educated guess as to the answer, which is one of the things I love about "Lost." (For the lazy, there's also this incredibly comprehensive guide of every single question on the show.)
Do I subscribe to the theory that everything was rigidly planned out and none of this was made up as it went along? No, I have a fairly good grasp on common sense. Did Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have a general direction and did what they could to evolve with the show and fans, as well as the x-factors they were dealt (the biggest being, in my mind, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's insistent departure from the show)? Probably. Of course there were certain things I wish were handled better, but given the wide scope of the show's influences and its lofty goals as a television program, I'd say we're pretty lucky. (Not to mention hindsight is 20/20.)
Compared to previous seasons, the sixth is a completely different beast (or Hurley bird), in spite of its literal connection to season one. The flash-sideways offered yet another story device that reinforced and reinvigorated the characters we'd gotten to know over five seasons. The result is another set of compelling stories/mysteries to enjoy while the main story winds down. However, I’m not going to make excuses for some of the creators' bizarre decisions or dropped balls. Things like The Infection or the Temple episodes (which work better than they should thanks to the amazing Hiroyuki Sanada) felt half-assed and plodding and weren’t even necessary in a season that needed to be more deliberately paced. The same could be said about the "mythology dump" episodes, but I acquit that to unfortunate timing in the episode order and not their content. (Although I do like "Across The Sea" a lot more after listening to the commentary.) However, even when those issues were present, the show was still firing on all cylinders in terms of characters and thematics. (That "Bad Twin" book makes a bit more sense now, huh?)
Pretty much everyone ever involved with the show gets their moment in the sun in season 6 and I don't think any disappoint (…save for Jeff Fahey's Frank Lapidus, who apparently only existed this season to fly a plane). In short of going character by character, I'll just say that this season Jack, Locke and Ben were the all-stars. Matthew Fox seriously deserved an Emmy for his amazing, emotional performances every week which felt like the culmination of six years with the character. And I haven't liked Jack as a character since the first season. Terry O'Quinn also deserves recognition for essentially playing two very different yet related characters as Locke and the MIB. I also can't help but feel that John Locke has one of the saddest character arcs in history. It's depressing because O'Quinn did such a great job building him up each season. And a special shout out to Michael Giacchino for his incredible work over the years. His score is really a character all its own.
The finale itself was fantastic and delivered as major, big-budget, event TV in spades. (The showdown between Locke and Jack on the cliff was a better action scene than in most movies I saw this year.) I know people that hate the final ending and let it ruin the entire series for them. These people are seriously, seriously stupid. (Especially those offended by the generic religious references, which point more toward general faith in humanity more than any one sanctioned belief system.) Some may say the flash-sideways were a waste of time, misdirection and a copout, but to me it felt in line with where the show had been heading with the various religious imagery and allusions from all over the world, as well as the central theme of getting a fresh start. (It also backs up my theory that the island was originally intended to be Purgatory in Season 1.) But still, if you hate the flash sideways, at most, you don't like one half of one season of the show. If you're willing to write off six years and everything "Lost" has offered and stood for over that, well, then there's nothing I can do.
If anyone has earned an emotional and powerful (some may also say "schmaltzy and feel good") ending as the one we were given, it was this show, these group of people and the audience that formed a community while watching it. Coupled with the moving music and the last gathering of all the characters in the church together again, the final sequence with Jack laying beneath the bamboo is sad enough; but when Vincent shows up to ensure that oft-alluded theme of “live together, die alone” isn't the case, I completely lose it. It's such a quiet, fitting end to six years of a near-spiritual TV experience.
Commentary by Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof, Michael Emerson, Nestor Carbonell and various cast/crew: You get commentary on four episodes: LA X, Dr. Linus, Ab Aeterno and Across the Sea. These are mostly interesting and fun to listen to, especially the two involving Lindelof and Cuse, but they're equally frustrating in that the duo still refuse to confirm or deny certain answers. They give good reasoning and still have plenty of stuff to say (especially for Across the Sea, highly recommended), but at this point in the game the coy, slightly mocking tone can be annoying to some fans. Also, no commentary for "The End." Lame.
Lost in 8:15: Every year they put one of these crash courses together and every year I’m amazed they're able to fit another season's worth of stuff in there. I also love the narrating girl’s quick, curt way of summing up things.
The New Man In Charge: I heard this was only on the complete series set, but apparently not! This new 12 minute epilogue is a nice nod to fans about what happened after Hurley was put in charge with Ben. They hints at some future development without actually giving away answers (much like the rest of the show) but we do get a follow up on Walt, which is great.
Crafting a Final Season: This 40 minute behind the scenes featurette goes inside the production offices when the Lost finale was delivered and covers the final season overall. Cast and crew reminisce about the show ending and how important and unique it is that they get to finish the story they started telling. Other creative people also comment, including people from the X Files, Rockford Files, and The Shield.
A Hero’s Journey: An examination of the literary theory idea of the hero’s journey (from Joseph Campbell, although Lindelof looks to STAR WARS instead of "Heart of Darkness.") and how it influenced the show and the characters and their evolution over six seasons. About 10 minutes.
See You In Another Life, Brotha: Another ten minute featurette, examining the flash sideways and the joys of bringing old characters back, old characters as new characters and taking the show back to where it started. From Arzdt to Alex to Boone to Libby!
Lost On Location: You get some behind the scenes foortage from 6 episodes, roughly half an hour in total. (The End is not one of them.) See them building the amazing sets, costumes and working in water (and peeing in it).It's all big budgets and expensive production that won’t be seen again on TV.
Deleted Scenes: There's nothing major in these 10 minutes, though one features a frank discussion of the rules between Flocke and Claire.
Bloopers: The usual stuff, but seeing Locke trying to french Frogurt is lovely.
Lost University: Master Program: Haven't had enough yet? Unlock more secrets online with other Lost fanatics.
Extra Tidbit: I dedicate this to my friend Hayden, who fanatically started the “Lost” journey with me our junior year of college but passed away before he could see how it ended. P.S. Neither Kate nor Sun ever got naked, buddy. Sorry.