In short: Wow. @$#(. Hummina. And mostly: glurglesplortz.
I'm not going to fake it. I have no idea how to do this as either a recaplet or an immediate review. I've been ruminating on this show since Wednesday, September 22, 2004. Now I've got to cough up something to tide you over until the recap is done, and yet, I'm out of wine, so this is what I like to think of as a blurt.
This was fan service, but I mean that in the highest sense, rather than in its lowest and common sense. One thing I've always wanted, and one thing I've understood about other fans, is that we came for the mystery, but we stayed for the characters. "The End" was perfectly, wonderfully, unapologetically sentimental, and character-driven in every way I'd ever hoped. There were elements that didn't make sense -- or at least don't make sense while the show's wake is still the motion in my ocean. There were things I would have changed. There were things I could have/would have skipped and yet? I wouldn't have missed this for the world, and not just because Richard, Frank and Miles lived to see another day.
Islandways: It all comes down to Jack. He brings the Jacobites to Faucke, who has picked up Desmond (who was freed from the well by either Vincent or Rose and Bernard) along the way. They make their way to the Island's glowhole. Once they're on the outskirts, Jack, Faucke and Desmond sally forth without our other lovelies. Desmond descends into the glowy light, because if you were an all-powerful island, who would you accept in your nether-regions? Once he's there, he pulls a literal cork out of the glowy pool. Everything goes dark and then red, and then there's a devil thing, but that's not important. What's important is that Desmond dies, or seems to.
Then, the island starts falling apart. Now mortal, Faucke books it for his sailboat. He and Jack fight up on the cliffs above Jacob's cave. Finally, Jack prevails, with Kate's help. Faucke dies -- but that's just where the fun begins. The island seems to have missed the memo that we want a happy ending, and continues to fall to pieces. Sawyer and Kate head for the plane, while Hurley, Ben and Jack make their way back to the glowhole. Jack descends, recorks the devil thing, sends Desmond back up on the rope meant to save him (Jack) and as he (Jack, again, did you not watch?) slowly dies, the glowly light is restored. Hurley, who accepted a drink from pre-suicide-mission Jack, is now chief cook and bottle washer of Craphole. He can't do it alone, though, so he makes Ben his lieutenant. Meanwhile, Frank, Richard and Miles have been getting Ajira 316 back into flying shape. Sawyer and Kate hie themselves to Hydra, find Claire, get her aboard and take off. Meanwhile, down by the waterfall and swimming hole, a near-dead Jack comes to and drags himself toward the bamboo grove where this all began.
Sideways: It's the big Faraday/Drive Shaft/David Shephard concert, except David does nothing but escort his knocked-up aunt, Claire, to the shindig. His mother -- MOTHERFREAKING JULIET -- meets him there, but she has to leave to do something at the hospital. That something turns out to be meeting up with Detective James Ford, who is her constant. Claire goes into labor at the gig. Kate takes her backstage and has an epiphany while assisting in the delivery. Once Claire holds Aaron in her arms for the first time, she becomes integrated as well. Then it's Charlie's turn. Meanwhile, at the hospital, Jin and Sun have gone through the same thing, as Juliet showed them the ultrasound. Locke has his surgery and he's fully actualized. Everyone is -- everyone except Jack. He has a disturbing convo with Locke, who tells him David doesn't exist. This sends Jack flying to the concert, which is well and truly over -- and it also sends him flying into Kate's arms. Jack flashes to the Islandways when she kisses him, but he's not ready to let go.
Kate eventually brings Jack to church, where all the Losties are waiting. Ben remains outside. He's not ready yet. Kate enters the front, but tells Jack he should go through the back. Once inside, he finds a coffin, lays his hand on it and has the Full Island Monty, but when he opens the death box, it's empty. Christian appears and tells Jack what he needs to do -- let go. Jack and Christian then enter the sanctuary, which is very Unitarian Jihad. There, everyone is reunited -- all the couples, all the friends, and finally Jack and Kate. Once our Losties are seated, Christian clasps Jack's shoulder and we cut to the...
Islandways: Bloodied and broken, Jack Shephard makes his way to the bamboo grove. Once he finds just the right spot, he lies down. We hear a bark in the distance. When dear old Vincent appears, Jack smiles. Vincent approaches Jack, licks his hand and lies down beside him. He will not die alone.
Back in the Sideways, Christian opens the sanctuary doors to reveal a blinding light.
Islandways: Vincent appears dead. Jack's still alive, though. When he sees an airplane fly overhead, he smiles. We zoom in on his right eye, which closes for the last time.
Sideways; Church: Jack smiles until he and all our beloved are obscured from our view by the light of world.
This was two and a half hours. There's no way to do it justice before deadline. Suffice it to say that this finale warmed my heart and satisfied my brain enough to let me sleep the sleep of the just. I'm sure it will be controversial. I'm sure fan opinion will be divided. I'm sure I've skipped some things, missed other things, and will change my mind here and there by the time I'm done with the full recap, but right now, I'm just closing my eyes and bathing in the warmest light I've ever felt.
I'm starting the full recap, now. Come back to see whether Ben will work out his salvation in fear and trembling, and learn who woke Sayid up to the reality of his life (hint: it wasn't a chicken) and so much more. Until then, please grade the episode in the "Episode Report Card" at the top of the page, and then join us in the forums where we have no coffins, but plenty of tissues.
The Lost finale promo was set to "The End" by The Doors, rather than "The End" by The Beatles, and now we know why. Spoilers for the entire series were secreted away in the grooves of Abbey Road more than 40 years ago: And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. For all its Colonel Kurtz posturing, it turns out Lost isn't so much about heart-of-darkness-y badness -- it's about purging oneself of it, in order to bask in the warmest light you'll ever feel.
There are points of this epic series and its equally epic finale that don't work for me (and I won't skip 'em), but I got what I needed above all -- emotional satisfaction. Earlier this season, I said: Look, I'm just trying to enjoy these few remaining hours without putting on my ranty pants. Darlton should thank Ronald D. Moore for lowering the bar with his Battlestar Galactica series finale. If, when this series bows, I refrain from beating my head against the fieldstone wall in my backyard, Lost totally wins.
My head and wall are still (mostly) intact. In one sense, that's because I gave up on the mystery, years ago. After a while, it seemed to me that the characters were far more important (to the writers, that is) than the mystery or mythology; they certainly became more important to me. I suspect some Pavlovian extinction thingum is to blame, but I'm too satisfied and spent to conduct the sort of postmortem needed to prove my
baseless accusations. It largely comes down to how I've learned to watch TV.
On December 15, 1998 (right after "Amends" aired), Joss Whedon (riffing on DH Lawrence) told the fans at the then official Buffy message board: "Trust the tale, not the teller." It stuck with me, and not just because it aligns itself nicely with my know-it-all-itis. Joss also once said, "Stop watching and the pain will go away," but er...that's hardly helpful after a series finale, huh? Um...let's put that in a magic box and stick to Trust the tale...