The Official “the LOST finale sucked” thread. Seriously.
May 24, 2010

 
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I just finished watching the series finally of ABC’s “Lost”, and was seriously disappointed… disappointed to the point where I must break from the usual topic of politics to rant about it (and provide a place for all of you to share your own thoughts.) After watching every episode of the entire six-year series, the ending was clearly made-up somewhere in the middle of the season six. Didn’t make a lick of sense. I should note that I was NOT one of those obsessed fans. I simply enjoyed the show and trying to solve the puzzle. But this ending was like reading a 1,000 page Sherlock Holmes novel only to find out on the last page that the butler’s third cousin… whom was not once mentioned in the book… did it. (Note, nothing but spoilers from here on, in case you haven’t watched it yet.)
 

So it was all one big “dream sequence” for Jack’s benefit???

First off, the ending didn’t make a lick of sense. You CAN’T tell me THAT is the ending they had in mind when Season-1 began. What was the significance of “The HANSO Corporation“? What was the point of all the “time travel”? Why did “turning the wheel” transport you to the Gobi Desert, and move the island through time? What was the significance of Hurley’s numbers? Why didn’t “Jacob’s brother” have a name? Why a “smoke monster” that clearly GREW as each season progressed? What was the DHARMA Initiative and what was with all the stations scattered about the island? Why “polar bears”? Why could no child born to The Others survive, and what happened to The Others anyway? How (and why) did Walt contact his father on the computer after he was kidnapped? The ONLY computer on the island was the Apple-][ in Desmond’s hatch. Why did Faraday’s “test missile” fired from Whitmore’s ship take an additional 45 minutes to reach the island (more “time travel” issues) and why could you only escape the island if you followed the *exact* heading of 315′? Why did Faraday’s mother and Desmond know what was going on while no one else did? What was the point of any of that?

I could probably go on for two more paragraphs, but I think you get the point.

Back during Season one, a lot of people were speculating on blogs dedicated to the show that “everyone on the plane had been killed and they were all in heaven/hell/limbo.” That particular bit of speculation became SO pervasive, the writers of the show actually released a statement assuring fan that “No, the passengers are not dead.” Flash forward six years and guess what? They’re all dead. Wow. Didn’t see THAT coming, huh?

I had my own theory of what was happening that explained everything SO well I boastfully posted it on one fan-blog calling it my “grand unifying theory of everything.”

In my theory, the passengers never even boarded the plane. They were all actually in a Virtual Reality simulation somewhere in the recesses of The HANSO Corporation in South Korea (why SK? Because the scientists were all from there, and the DHARMA logo was based upon the SK flag, meaning there is a definite link to be made). (watch this fake commercial from Season-1 and tell me I wasn’t on the right track. Or, to you defenders, try to tell me how that ad fits in with this ending.)

The “black smoke” and the “clackity-clack monster” were TWO different “creatures”. The “black smoke”, which was a tiny wisp the first time Jack saw it on the beach, was in fact a computer virus that had infected the mainframe that all the “passengers” were plugged into, and they couldn’t be disconnected without it killing them. As time progressed, the virus grew, as did the smoke. Barely a puff in the first episode, by the end it was a freaking freight train. Even in scenes supposedly taking place in “the past”… yet physically later in the story, the smoke monster was bigger than it was early in the story. The “clackity-clack monster” was the “anti-virus software that was going through and “destroying” anything that did not belong in its hunt for the virus. That which “didn’t belong” were kicked out of the system (ie: “killed”). Since “experimenting on children” is considered a no-no, all children were immediately removed from the system… which is why The Others could not have children, and all the child “passengers” were “kidnapped” long before the simulation was infected to the point of no-return.

The “polar bear” in the first episode was but an early indication something was wrong with the computer program, inserting things into the Virtual Reality world that had no business being there.

In season three, after Walt, Michael’s son, was taken by The Others, Michael was fooling with the computer in the hatch when he got a surprise message from his son (“Dad, is that you?”) In reality, after being extracted from the system, Walt must have hacked into the network from the outside to try and find his dad.

Faraday’s “test missile” took extra time to arrive because the programmers on the outside had to “inject” that program into the system, resulting in a lag that was perceived as “time travel” issues. Why did Sawyer and a few others “time travel” to 1977? Because that is the year the Apple-][… the computer in the hatch… was built. I suspect the scientists on the outside were trying to “reboot” the simulated computer inside the VR simulation and try to use it against the virus because it was so old (pre-PC) it was immune.

The significance of Hurley’s numbers was likely a “security code” of some type that the scientists on the outside were trying to protect/secure before the virus stole them to whatever hackers infected the system in the first place (maybe HANSO in America hacked DHARMA in South Korea… or vice versa???) Whitmore’s team could have been scientists from the lab that were inserted into the program to try and fix it from the inside… note that Whitmore was out to destroy the “smoke monster”.

The “nuclear bomb” (an internal “System Reset”) that prevented the plane from crashing somehow fractured the computer’s storyline, forcing it to “make up” a totally original reality from scratch knowing nothing about the “survivors” true lives. That is why Jack suddenly had a son and was married to Juliet, Sawyer is a cop that worked with Miles, and everybody keeps running into each other because of the difficulty of creating original characters from scratch.

In MY ending, the virus is defeated and everyone is rescued from the simulation.

So I ask you, who just came up with a more compelling and satisfying ending to “Lost”? The people that decided “it was all just one big elaborate dream for Jack’s benefit” or my “Virtual Reality” explanation? There hasn’t been an ending this absurd since that episode of Dallas where Pam awoke to find Bobby still alive and in the shower, and the last several years of the show were just one big dream.

(I will return to my usual political ranting later this week. Plenty to talk about, but I got sidetracked watching the show tonight. – Mugsy)
 


 

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May 24, 2010 · Admin Mugsy · 10 Comments - Add
Posted in: General, Rants, Seems Obvious to Me

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  • wileypeter May 24, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    No offense, but if you think it was all a dream Jack was having you didn’t watch the show. The alternate world in which they all met in the church was one outside time, where the core group gathered after each of them died in their own time. To imply it either was “all one big ‘dream sequence’ for Jack’s benefit” or existed in the same linear chronology as the series itself would be error. (Hence, Ben & Hugo’s exchange about #1 & #2).

    Come on, man. Pay attention.

    Jack died, yes, and in doing so he met the others after THEY died, in their own time. Hurley ended up in charge of the island for some undetermined length of time. Those on the airplane likely made it off the island, but we may never know. Trying to turn this into a watered-down version of The Matrix just to tie up every loose end would have been a much greater disservice to the last six years.

    But that’s just my take on it.

     
    • Mugsy May 24, 2010 at 12:27 PM

      Somewhere around season 4, the show went off the rails and started trying to work up a different ending.

      Your explanation makes even less sense. You CAN’T tell me THAT is the ending that had in mind since Day One! They could of come up with that ending on the last day of filming.

      As I noted in my post, go back and rewatch the fake HANSO commercial from Season #1. TELL me this ending is what they originally intended.

      I heard the same “Matrix” complaints when I posted my theory five years ago, and personally I think someone from the show read it and decided that if they did what they were planning, they’d have a lot of pissed off fans in the end.

       
  • Mugsy May 24, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    tvfanatic.com” agrees that the LOST conclusion was seriously unsatisfying. “The smoke monster was finally defeated with a shot in the back by Kate?”

     
  • neskire May 24, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    The final shot of the beach when the credits were rolling confirmed to me that they all died in the crash. The full title of the show could have been “LOST SOULS”. Similar to the film “The Others” with Nicole Kidman (and Fionnulla Flanagan, who was also in LOST). Sometimes the dead refuse to accept their deaths and “move on”. Michael and his son were not in the church because they did not accept their deaths. Linus stayed outside because he needed to re-unite with his daughter. The helicopter with Faraday and the other researchers crashed as well and they became “lost”.

     
  • wileypeter May 25, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    First, I don’t think they had any idea where it was going until maybe season three. They made a point of tossing in a lot of red herrings. Hanso’s commercial was one of them and, based on your ire, an effective one. The commercial was, if anything, so vague as to be a rorschach inkblot to see where a viewer wants the story to go. More vague than anything in the finale by far.

    Second, the Smoke Monster was just a man when the “light” wasn’t gathered in the pool, made clear before the gunshot by Jack beating him just after Desmond’s descent. There are many precedents to this in speculative fiction and mainstream film (the death of the pirate captain in Pirates of the Caribbean maybe the most recent). Again, anyone surprised by this was not paying attention.

    Third, the empty crash set was shown for one of three reasons, none of which was to emphasize they were all dead. This is a show that has given us onscreen deaths, skeletons by the dozen and a pit of dead Dharma workers, and we don’t see a single dead body at a crash site that was, by the way, completely littered with footprints? It was either just showing us the empty set (“It’s over now.), or a literal or metaphorical statement that the crash survivors had left behind the starting point of their story.

     
    • Mugsy May 25, 2010 at 6:01 PM

      Not only is your first point mere speculation (and contrary to what the writers claimed), but is a dumb way to do devise a story line if you ever hope to write another series ever again. I certainly would never read another book by an author that introduced a mystery character on the last page that rendered half of the book irrelevant.

      Second, why a “smoke monster”? Of all things to make as your antagonist, a creature made of smoke that grew as time progressed for no apparent reason is ridiculous. If you didn’t notice the “smoke monster” was growing from season to season, I’d argue it was YOU that wasn’t “paying attention”.

      Third, while I never brought up the empty crash site, its inclusion was clearly to suggest that the wreckage had been there like that (with no survivors) all along. If there were “footprints”, they didn’t focus on them and were hoping no one noticed.

      I find that Steven King often writes like this, concocting a great story only to find no good way to end it, so he inserts a monster from out of nowhere to explain everything (his novels “The Tommyknockers” and “It” are perfect examples of this), yet look how popular he is.

       
      • wileypeter May 27, 2010 at 9:18 PM

        Anything we say that isn’t or wasn’t explicitly spelled out at the time of conception is speculation. That’s the nature of film/literary/TV criticism and the core of your original post. Separately, many skilled writers begin with an interesting situation and a character they like and simply go from there. This is not to say it’s always the best way to come to a resolution, or that crappy writers don’t do the same thing, but not every great tale was even outlined before the beginning was written. Hell, Dickens made major plotting decisions on a weekly basis as his work was serialized (a nearly direct precedent to the current discussion). Not that I’d rank LOST up there with A Tale Of Two Cities. I suspect they had the basic themes down, but that the mechanics of the plot were really hazy until a few years ago, but that is, as you say, speculation. It would, however, force them to give weight to each red herring, never knowing which would turn out to be a major plot point, which would seem to fit with the show as shot.

        I’m not arguing the “smoke monster” was or wasn’t an effective bad guy, and never did. I was just making a point that expressing disappointment that “The smoke monster was finally defeated with a shot in the back by Kate?” was ignoring the storyline in favor of hope, and the writer was predisposing himself to disappointment. It would be like actually expecting Obama to shift the economy over to socialism: It ignores all facts in evidence and many precedents as to the nature of the acting force. Interesting that you seemed to think I claimed something about the “smoke monster,” rather than made a reference to the basic power construct the writers set up in the last season, the events of the finale as they pertained to that structure, AND pointed to precedents for the trope. You might want to work on reading comprehension. It can be handy. In reference to the largeness or smallness of it, I suspect it’s like the alien in Alien: It may have looked larger because we saw more of it as the series revealed it to us. Frankly I hadn’t wondered about the why of it and this is just a quick guess without much weight.

        A previous comment brought up the crash site, and I was writing in reference to that comment as well as yours. I really ought to have made that obvious. I apologize for the lack of clarity there. As for the site, there were a TON of footprints. Even as small as the images were it was littered with obvious footprints making well-trod trails. Conversely, not one body. Not a bone, not a hunk of flesh, nothing, and again, this from a production more than willing to show dead bodies en masse. It was a well-travelled, carnage-free site even at the barest of viewings. Whether you agree with my conclusions as to the reasons for that is, of course, up to you, but if anything it was a much clearer indicator that the HANSO commercial on which you’ve hung such meaning. Go back and look at THAT footage. (And I say this seriously. I do think it’s too easy to dismiss the whole thing as not having happened, and the crash site is, while not an explicit contradiction, as close to one as the authors are willing to issue. That so many signs of human habitation were shown on a show that has paid a huge amount of attention to set detail seems unlikely to be anything short of intentional. Any more and they’d have been spoon-feeding us.)

        I’m with you on King. Largely a hack, and better in short stories where he all but had to see the end coming before he sat down at the keyboard. He’s a thin shadow of Richard Matheson. However, I’d say the sudden twist of “everything is in a computer” would be just as King-esque as “everything was in Jack’s head,” and again, I don’t think that was the overall implication of the ending.

         
  • zod May 28, 2010 at 7:11 PM

    Excellent summary (Mugsy). The Lost Finale did indeed suck mightily. Whether or not one finds the ending as it stands logical or understandable I think its a massive disappointment to have hardly a single one of the puzzles and intrigues from the first 4 series cleared up. This was after all, what made the series so fascinating for many people. I think the “In the Matrix” Virtually Reality ending could have been a good one, had it been done cleverly, integrating, as you mentioned, Hurley’s Numbers as some kind of system code. Jacob and his brother could have been built in rival A.I. entities (hence their immortality). Smoke monster a virus, etc etc. Lots of possibilities. For me is just laziness of the creators, resting on the laurels of their half completed masterpiece and handing the project off at the peak of its popularity.

    Heres what Evangeline Lily had to say on the matter –
    “I think that would be so unfair to our viewers. They’ve invested in this idea, and to cop out and make it something as stupid and simple as we’re all dead in purgatory or something, I think I’d get up and kick a hole through my television I’d be so pissed off.”

     
  • Jason June 23, 2013 at 4:16 AM

    The ending was very bad, agreed.  The virtual reality concept has some merit in terms of tying some themes together but I believe it would be too cliche and also just as easy of a cop-out plot device as the actual ending. I also don’t think the vr concept is adequately compatible with the flashbacks of what was the actual lives of the people on the island.  I would like it if they had not had the “sideways flashes” and utilized that half of the final season for more fruitful ventures related to the island.  We could have seen episodes teasing Richard’s origin to the plot before his backstory episode that included even more info along with context for: insert random plot device or ambiguous concept here.  The same could be said for Jacob and the man in black and (possibly an actual name for him), more details on the golden light that needs to be protected and why (without spelling it out entirely of course).  Charles and Eloise’s characters could be explained more, as well as more about the black smoke without ruining the mystery. The actual ending could go many ways with these changes and I am not sure what exactly I would do instead of the actual ending because it is a huge story. It is not my story and I do not want everything I enjoy to always fit perfectly with what I want, I am being entertained by someone else’s story and I realize that.  The ending is bad enough in my subjective opinion though that I would like to at least suggest alternatives.  I think the show would have been much better off without any of the portions not related to the actions occurring on the island in the final season, so it is wide open from there.  Some kind of ambiguous ending involving how Hurley and Ben protecting the island will work out, Desmond and Penny’s story from there, the fate of “the others” and whether or not the people on the plane will ever return to the island could be a possibility.  This sets up a potential spin-off or continuation of the series in some form at a later date if desired.  One thing I have noticed in a lot of complaints about the final episode and the show in general is a supposed lack of explanation about the presence of polar bears on the island.  While not explained in great detail, the polar bears are addressed when Dr. Chang threatens Hurley with having to dispose of polar bear feces after the Dharma Initiative scientists have concluded experimental testing and weighing of specimens.  That is the answer, the polar bears are there because the DI brought them to the island.  How some of them survived for decades in the wild before their appearance in the first season without housing conditions similar to those of zoological parks the DI must have had is another question.

     
  • John Oslin September 20, 2013 at 3:36 AM

    The finale sucked.  The writers had their way with the viewers.  And of course, some people are happy with the ending.  As long people like mediocrity, that means that mediocrity will always be a threat to my being entertained.  

     
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