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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Will ‘Lost’ end as (un)satisfyingly as ‘Battlestar Galactica’?

A few days ago, reader JoshDM emailed me a suggestion for a QOTD: Will Lost end as (un)satisfyingly as Battlestar Galactica? I responded that maybe it would be better to wait until after the finale and then ask what everyone thought of the ending. And that was my plan: to wait.

And then, last night, I watched the penultimate episode of Lost. And I’m wondering if JoshDM mightn’t be on to something. Though I suspect I’m going to hate the ending of Lost in a way that I did not hate the ending of BSG.

Back in January, I asked you to speculate on how Lost would end, and then, JoshDM offered an interesting scenario for what’s really been going on with the island all these years; this week’s episode appears to have proven the point that reader CB offered in response to JoshDM:

JoshDM’s theory is fifty times more thought-out and logical than anything the creators have actually thought of as they winged it through five seasons

Because if all ends with everybody ending up happily listening to music in the audience of Jack’s son’s recital, I’m gonna be pretty pissed. As long ago as January 2008, I was asking whether we would finally get some resolution to the mysteries of Lost… and I’m still waiting. And I’m not hopeful that anything will be resolved. And I’m pissed off that the characters have been reduced to chess pieces on a board, and no longer feel like real people to me.

Anyway: Will Lost end as (un)satisfyingly as Battlestar Galactica?

Talk about it for a few days, and then we’ll come back on Monday, after this Sunday’s two-hour finale, and wrap it up.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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  • Isobel

    Oh! You did BSG blogging!?! How could I not have known that! Picture the joy that is me right now, anticipating four seasons worth of commentary (and yes, I was so rooting for Kara and Lee to shack up and make babies too).

  • JoshDM

    As a disclaimer, I actually originally typed my question out without the parenthesis around “un”.

    Then I realized some were satisfied with BSG, so I added them. I was not satisfied.

    I don’t like non-explanations with major questions looming. I wanted a technological (or at least somewhat logical) explanation to Kara coming back. Same for Head-Six and Head-Baltar. Granted, if it was understood that faith/religion/ghosts existed side-by-side with high technology, then I’d have been OK. I guess it must have been hinted at enough in the series that I should have “got it”, but I don’t have to like it. The rest of the ending (where they ended up, how it proceeded from there, etc.) was fine with me. I do wonder if Caprica will address any of this.

    Then-again, I didn’t need (or like) the technical explanation to The Force.

    Without spoiling it, the ending to The Sopranos is not faith-based. Someone explained it, and there really is a pattern to look for. It becomes quite apparent if you simply pay attention and look for it. The immediate end of the show actually translates to the physical point of view of one of the characters (again, not specified) at that moment of time and going forward from that moment.

    Getting back to the topic at hand, my speculation is:

    1 – We won’t get an explanation of the numbers.
    2 – We won’t get an explanation of why the hatch is there or built.
    3 – We won’t get to see any of the hatch map being drawn.
    4 – We won’t get a definitive origin of the island.

    Events I suspect will happen (I have read no spoilers):

    1 – Aaron will be born (and maybe he will have a twin brother – probably to be named Jack based on item 6 below).
    2 – We’d better meet Penny’s birth mother.
    3 – We will learn more about the circumstances of Widmore’s banishment and his off-island meeting with Jacob.
    4 – Lapidus, Richard and maybe Jin were not killed on (or slightly off in the case of Lapidus and Jin) the island.
    5 – Jacob’s replacement won’t be who we think.
    6 – Jack will probably die in the alternate timeline.
    7 – An analogy for the black smoke (probably from a fire or something at the big classy Alternate Timeline Event everyone is going to) will appear in the Alternate Timeline.
    8 – Someone else (Jack, Desmond or Locke) is going to be sent into the island’s glowing honeypot.

  • JoshDM

    Also left out

    9 – We will see a poor CGI reason as to why the transformation of Human to Black Smoke Monster always takes place offscreen, or we will see that they are 2 separate entities (one a vengeful ghost given form, the other a smoke entity) in direct collusion.

    Items we are left to assume

    1 – Egyptians arrived on the island prior to the Roman birth mother of Jacob and the Man in Black (MIB) and her contingent.
    2 – Unnamed Mother (the self-proclaimed guardian of Jacob / MIB) was probably one of these Egyptians.
    3 – Unnamed Mother was likely also a Smoke Monster, created through the same process as MIB was; this is expressed as she is likely the one who killed the Romans and filled in the well and also because we have seen Egyptian hieroglyphs which depict the Smoke Monster (back when Ben was underground and confronted with a Smoke Monster-based Alex).

  • Bryan

    I thought the ending to BSG was beautiful and I’d pick it as my favorite episode of the series. I very much doubt that Lost will come close, but I’m not nearly as big a fan of Lost.

    That said, BSG didn’t really leave THAT many mysteries. It implied answers to almost everything, even Starbuck. And the supernatural was always part of the series (which is more clear on the second viewing of the series as a whole) so when they left a question open to supernatural explanation it felt, well, natural. In contrast, while Lost has always had an element of faith, it has never really worked that aspect into the show in a coherent manner (probably cause the writers never really figured out where they were going). So it will feel much more unsatisfying when they don’t answer those questions.

  • JoshDM

    Regarding faith, they actually have had psychic phenomenon in the show since the beginning (Walt, the whispers, visions of dead relations, and much later Miles), but I had always hoped there was a clearer explanation for them and some sort of guideline of rules governing them.

    With the additions of time travel and alternate timelines, I feel those more traditionally fall into the area of science fiction, rather than supernatural fiction.

  • mortadella

    Strangely, I liked things better when the island mythos stuff was kept in the vague and the character arcs sustained the show. The show creators already explained the numbers and some other issues…and well, there wasn’t a lot of wow factor. Also, people have been theorizing for so long about EVERYTHING, that it’s hard to blow people’s socks off. On the other hand, the characters still impress me; Ben Linus still surprises me and will till the end. Miles, James, Locke and Juliet were actually complicated and interesting people to watch.
    I’m pretty sure the writers will inject some quantum mechanics into the ending.
    But sometimes explaining everything isn’t necessary. Remember The X-Files? I really dug that show.

  • JoshDM

    There wasn’t a lot of wow factor on the numbers reveal because after they revealed their origin (though the associated Alternate Reality Game / ARG), it was explained that pretty much any info from the ARG was not considered canon within the show.

  • Lisa

    Lost has always been about the characters, with cool, weird stuff happening. I just want the characters to be happy and for Flocke to get an almighty ass kicking. If you think that concert’s gonna be a happy occasion, you are sorely mistaken.

  • Lisa

    I want to see Locke standing at his wedding to Helen too!

  • JoshDM

    I was looking at times for Iron Man II last night at 10PM and I noticed a LOST thing with the New York Times happening at the local movie theater at 8PM. I had missed it. Apparently it was pretty good.

    They talk about it here.

  • stryker1121

    The X-Files alien conspiracy arc was incredibly complicated but I thought it was wrapped up nicely and logically in the end (by that I mean w/ the movie and a couple of eps of Season 6). Lost’s story is so muddied right now I fear no ending Abrams and Co. come up w/ will be satisfying. Really hope I’m wrong.

  • blake

    I’m going to go a bit off topic here. Sorry. Still, as we’re talking endings it might be intresting, Ashes to Ashes ends tonight and it could be intresting to see the conclusion of the British Gene Hunt (and his time travelling friends) compared to the American one… I’m guessing no spaceships in our conclusion.

  • Lisa
  • mfan

    Who is this person who stuck with Battlestar Galactica to the end? I gave up on the series just after they settled a planet.

  • I think the people who are mainly invested in the mysteries will inevitably be disappointed, especially if “Across the Sea” is anything to go by. At this point, I’m just hoping to see all the original characters’ storylines resolved because they’re the reason I’ve stuck with the show all this time. I feel that hoping for anything more in a single hour would be unrealistic.

    Battlestar was a different animal. It didn’t tease, it didn’t rely on a frakload of outrageous ideas to keep viewers engaged from one season to the next, and characters were a lot more consistent. The finale had its problems, sure, but by that time, the show had richly earned a handwave or two because the appeal of the stories was always mainly in the present tense and not in the expectations they created for happens next. Lost never fully took that course. I expect the finale to suffer for it.

  • JoshDM

    Man, that was unsatisfying.

  • Keith

    I missed the first hour of Lost, and I hadn’t watched since season 2, but I didn’t think it was all that disappointing. A lot seems left unexplained, but the main character story threads were wrapped up satisfactorily. The parallel universe thing was an interesting idea and made sense at the end.

  • Lisa

    i’m reading lots of unsatisfactory comments on the boards but I loved it cried for 2 1/2 hours

    happy!

  • JoshDM

    They wrapped up all the character arcs, much like BSG did. They didn’t answer the unexplainable mysteries properly, much like BSG didn’t.

    The problem is that they didn’t answer a lot of questions that were posed. Some fans who defend the show state that those questions were never really asked.

    But they were. Charlie asked the question, “WHERE ARE WE?”.

    It was never answered properly. “Hey Charlie, you’re on some weird island with some weird inconsistent spiritual electromagnetic properties and has a history that you’ll never know, but since you’re here you’ll have a great time and when you’re in purgatory after death, if you remember this place and your death, you’ll go to heaven happy.”

    Meh. I am a man of science.

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