Sunday, May 23, 2010

A few thoughts before The End of Lost

If you aren't caught up to this point you should probably just quit reading and go rent the DVDs. You don't have time to get caught up but you might find yourself watching four or five episodes at a time.

In the lead up to this final episode I've been attempting to keep my expectations in check. Basically, I don't want a six year journey to feel tainted because of the choices the creators made in the last 150 minutes. Really, any show that has me this excited for a final episode has already succeeded. I've had a good reminder of the exhilarating highs the show has produced over the years when a work friend of mine started in on Season 1 last week. Every day he would come in, "Dude, I watched four episodes last night..." and then start going into the twists and turns and his theories that were sometimes correct and oftentimes as laughably wrong as most of mine were. While I may tentatively agree with this NY Times piece that the first season was the show at its best and that the speculation I referred to above is a big part of the success of the show I think the author is way too harsh on the rest of the series.

This mythology may be a major driving force behind the show and provides for most of the speculation I've enjoyed but if there wasn't the character development of the bonds we've made with them the mythology behind it all would ring hollow as it does on many of the other serialized shows that have crashed and burned in Lost's wake. I'll admit that outside of a few stellar performances (the actors playing Locke, Desmond, Ben among the most notable) the acting has been average at best and the show has fallen victim to lazy story writing or meandering plot lines and never really fully developed a quality female character but the positives more than outweigh the negatives. Watching the characters struggle and grow we feel their triumphs are well earned.

I think back to episodes like "Through the Looking Glass" and "The Constant" and moments like "we're going to have to take the boy", Locke pounding on the hatch until the light comes on, "Not Penny's Boat", and any number of Ben Linus moments and I think of TV at its best. Regardless of whether their vision of an ending is as "good" as something else I've imagined it's still been a fun ride.

And if it really does suck? Well, what good is the internet if not a place to vent misplaced righteous indignation?

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