On the Ending of “Lost”

I know this isn’t a very timely post, but “Lost” is always timely for me. I have watched the series about four times, I’ve analyzed the minutest details of it, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

One of my favorite things and ways I bond best with people is by having “Lost” conversations. We share our views on our favorite characters or analyze certain elements or plot twists. We fantasize about the writers’ intentions and what they must have been thinking.

What was the Dharma Initiative all about anyway?

What was the Dharma Initiative all about anyway?

Much to my dismay, nobody wants to talk about “Lost” anymore. People are bitter about the ending. Many people wish that there were more questions answered or that there was a bigger twist at the end that we did not anticipate. Some people didn’t understand it and were frankly left confused. It disheartens me to think that the last episode of a show could taint the whole experience for the viewer, and so in that respect I think the writers failed.

Personally, however, I enjoyed the ending. It was comforting to imagine that after all our crazy life experiences, there may be a world out there that defies time and allows us to be with the people we have loved most. They tied together all the people and their connections, and brought back the characters with whom we fell in love, like Charlie.

The message of the whole show ended up being that much of the chaos that ensues in our lives does not matter. What does matter is those that we forge strong connections with. Some of the characters learned this in their lifetimes, like Rose and Bernard, and others did not until after their death, like Jack.

I think people were upset with the ending because it told them that they essentially wasted their time watching the show, since the events of the show did not matter, even to the characters in it.

People will exasperatedly tell me, “They were dead the whole time!” Although, that is not how I interpreted it, I can see how people got that idea.

It is a frustrating concept that the events of a television show, or even worse, our lives, ultimately have little value. Especially because people get so hung up on these things. But, the message of the show is that if you let go of these things, you will find peace. And for viewers who are ready to let go, they found comfort in the series finally, while those who still have their hang-ups were frustrated. But, the fact that the writers stirred that kind of emotional connection to the characters and response to the conclusion was the ultimate success.


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8 thoughts on “On the Ending of “Lost”

  1. I loved your blog! I, too, love to “talk LOST”, but people find it an old topic. Email me, and we can discuss. I was a total LOST fan, but I watched it after everyone else did, on Netflix. I would watch about 3 episodes a night, watching it until my eyelids were too heavy.

    It was the people who did it for me. I bonded with the characters. They were like close friends to me. At the end, it was as if they all moved away (or moved on), and I grieved a loss big time.

    I did think it went in too many directions, and got a little crazy. It was the people, tho, who made me watch it to the end.

    I’m one of those weirdos who liked the ending. It was touching.

    I personally think the writers intended, from the start, to have them all have died in the plane crash. With the fan following that occurred years later, and everyone guessing they were all dead, I believe they changed it and threw it twists and turns along the way.

    Great show. None like it.

    • That might be true. It did seem like they were heading that way, and that they were dead the whole time. But who knows. The ending was good, I thought. It left me feeling peaceful and happy that they were all together.
      I also loved the characters. It really was all about them and how they dealt with their struggles. Sawyer was definitely my favorite. I’ll probably write about him sometime on here since he’s such an interesting character to analyze.

  2. I don’t even know where to start. I to am one of those people who can “talk LOST” all day and everyday. I had such an emotional bond with the characters which made me fall head over heels for the show. It is like no other show I have ever watched. I am absolutely obsessed with the characters and the writing of the show. I recently finished the series (December 2013) and am currently watching it again. Already on season 2.

    To me, although I have read numerous internet website pages on how they were all actually dead, I won’t believe it. To me, they were not dead. Everything happened seasons 1-6. And although the ending still confuses me, I think I will be able to boast about LOST for the rest of my life. I truly felt so close to the characters my heart is heavy EVEN after I have finished the series and watching it again.

    • I’m glad you agree. The writers did a wonderful job of allowing the audience to build strong bonds with the characters. Do you have a favorite character? Mine is definitely Sawyer. I’m going to write more about him in future posts.

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  4. I’ve been noticing a pattern in many television series of the past decade. The endings are often abrupt and they often leave viewers without a strong sense resolution. Evil prevails, and seemingly integral characters are killed off. I think this reflects the postmodern era in which we live where identity is more fragmented than ever, evil is more ambiguous, and terror could find us around any corner. I don’t know if this trend in television is conscious or if it reflects the collective unconscious of people living in this era.

    • Hmmm this is true. But, I still think most shows give a sense of resolution. Like Lost, we were assured they were with the people they loved, though it was ambiguous and difficult to grasp. Breaking Bad, for example, horrible things happened to Jesse in the end, but he got away, and presumably, started a new life. Walt died, but not before redeeming himself. I think it’s more of a reflection of us looking to happy endings in different places. We have a collective awareness that things wont be perfect, but there are ways to find closure and fulfillment through the tragedies that strike us.

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