We’re coming to the end of Lost—finally, my GOD–and this maddening show that’s lived long on its mysteriousness about what it’s even about is now, amazingly, getting to the point of making some kind of sense.
In other words, yeah, it’s getting really boring.
The thing is, I think a big issue with Lost was never a lack of answers at all, despite the huge demand for them; it was just the incredulous way the characters never asked enough questions as the show went on, the way real people would. So much so that you always had to see the writing at play, or as I do, the phantom cocks of Damn Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, slapping against my cheek ever-so-gently. Because let’s face it, title aside… Lost is rarely a show you get lost in. It’s a show you race onto the internet to discuss and check off what we now know, and what we still need to know, and wait, did we already know that? and OMG KATE I HATE YOU. Hence its ultimately popularity and genius.
But now we’re coming to The End (literally, the title of the finale), and while simple Q&A sessions between two characters who are next to each other continue to be protracted across many episodes in typical infuriating fashion, it’s just not as fun anymore. Because with each one, there goes one less chance to be teased and tickled, and one less chance for the show to really extend itself and shine the way we know it can. “Not in Portland,” “Through the Looking Glass,” “The Constant,” “The Shape of Things To Come,” “Namaste,” all submitted for your approval.
When Locke saw that his father was tied up on the island in the middle of Season 3 we had to had to wait an infuriating six episodes, checking in with every other character including infamous wastes of space Nikki and Paulo, before circling back to that story. It was rough, but so forgivable. Now, we don’t have that. Now when we leave a story, it’s not to weave in some new ones. No time. It’s “The End.” And apparently “The End” means yawning, stretching your arms, and filling in useless details. Like every neutering fact about Richard we kind of already suspected for an hour plus six extra minutes last week, and still not enough time for some extra mystery or tension.
I’m impressed though, on a lot of levels. They’ve taken this cockamamie story and put it on track to make a cohesive whole at the end. We’ve met the white and black players of our main character-pawns, and I don’t doubt it’ll all make sense. The question now is how it’ll keep it’s creepiness and shock-value. It’s still 6 years of television—not a Matheson or Bradbury ten-pager—and it should feel like it. For such a narratively daring show (who ever thought last night’s “flash-sideways” would be as natural a thing to talk about as the weather?) it has a frightening propensity for going limp.
And I’m not the only one to think so. Recently an interview with a newcomer actress to the show named Sheila Kelley was posted on a Lost spoiler site, and in it she indicated that she’s a big piece of the Lost-puzzle, that she saw her name on “every page” of the finale, and felt like she won the lottery. There’s already two hundred plus comments telling that her to GTFO and that she can keep her answers to herself BITCH.
If the mere hint that this random woman may give some exposition sets off panic, I think that gives you a clue as to what’s important in Lost. It’s not that Answers are Bad, it’s just way more important how we get them, what else they may lead to, and how they’ll add twists to our characters.
When the devilish Man in Black smashed the wine bottle at the end of the last episode, cluing us in to his plan for destruction, does that confirm some things? Yes. Things that are mysterious and possibly creepy? Sure. But all expected from someone named “Man in Black.” My request for the remaining episodes is simple, if perhaps at odds with what I said fans really needed in the beginning:
Please Lost, tell me something I don’t know.