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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

question of the day: What do you think of the ending of ‘Lost’?

I wish I had taken a clean break from Lost, like I was on the verge of doing a couple of seasons back. Cuz I feel cheated by that ending. What? So they were all dead all along. So the island was purgatory. Or not really. But sorta. And so nothing really needs to make any semblance of sense. Polar bears? Wormholes? Smoke monsters? 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42? Don’t worry about it: it was all just consciousness slipping away from dying brains.

Did Oceanic 815 even actually crash on the island? Or was the plane itself just a metaphor for the last moments of life?

Yeah, it made me cry to see everyone together and happy in the church in those last moments. But what did any of it actually mean? Was any of it real? Was it all supposed to be real, even the contradictory separate timelines?
I do not require tidy endings. I do not require that every plot thread be woven into a neat, square-edged tapestry. I do not require that every unanswered question be answered.

But I want some of that. I don’t feel like I got it. The basic premise of the show — what is the island? or, as Charlie expressed it earlier on, “Guys, where are we?” — remains unresolved. I find that inexcusable.

But that’s just me. What do you think of the ending of Lost?

(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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