"Dude, in retrospect, shouldn't this
have been your first clue?"
My first thought after watching the Lost finale was ... this is like a bad magician doing slight of hand.
look at this hand ... look at this hand ... nothing to see over there ..."
If you're looking at the hand they want you to look at, then the finale was stunning. A home run. It was touching and emotional and the kind of happy ending that everyone wishes they could have. Every couple was reunited. Everyone got what they always wanted be it love or luck ... health or happiness ...
But unfortunately there is that other hand ... and, let's be honest, that other hand is pretty full ...
In that other hand is the island and Jacob and the Man in Black. There's Hanso and Darhma and bunkers. There are the numbers and the statues and the hieroglyphics. That hand is full of all sorts of nagging questions and facts. It's as though we finished the world's largest jigsaw puzzle ... and, although the end result is breathtakingly beautiful, we still have half a box full of pieces that didn't fit anywhere.
If you went into the finale expecting an answer to every question that Lost posed, then you were destined for disappointment. That was never the nature of Lost. C.J. Cregg tried to warn us, "Every question I answer will simply lead to another question."
So having said that, I went into last night's episode with very low expectations when it came to the number of hard and fast answers we'd receive. Even so, 150 minutes later, we only had one solid answer ... the nature of the "side universe." We now know that, over time, each survivor died. "Everyone dies some time, kiddo," as Christian Sheppard would say. So the side universe was a sort of limbo ... a dimension of waiting where each soul slowly realized it's place. And, as the veil was lifted, they began gathering other souls to enter the light together.
It was beautiful ... and touching. Very emotional for me ... as I watched it and wondered if my Dad were somewhere ... living in a dimension where he drives his truck and lives out a life waiting for his family to join him. For me, the "Man of Faith" side of Lost is complete. A perfect circle that offers a very peaceful ending ... even for some very, very troubled souls like Benjamin Linus.
But ... what of the "Man of Science"? Well, that side is lacking quite a bit. So Jacob drew Oceanic 815 to the island so certain passengers could be candidates? So does that mean the other passengers were just collateral damage? Needless yet necessary deaths so that the handful of chosen people would be available to him? And the numbers ... the numbers, come to find out, were the numbers assigned to the candidates. But was that worthy of the back story of Hurley and the lottery numbers? Of the transmission of the numbers from the island? What of Walt and his "special powers?" What of Aaron? Wasn't he supposed to save the world at some point?
I expect the answer we'll be told over and over in the days to come will be ... those things don't matter. The things that matter are people and connections and relationships. Look at this hand ... look at this hand ...
And yes, as a life philosophy, that's great. But doesn't it feel just a bit too much like an easy out for an amazing story ... and it's writers who wrote themselves further and further into a hole?
In the end, I enjoyed it. I teared up ... and I can honestly say I think they offered the best ending possible for a story like Lost. I think Desmond should play us out ... because you know what he would say ...
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes ... again
The Doors - The End