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Michael Russnow

Michael Russnow

Posted: May 24, 2010 04:03 PM

The Lost Finale: When a Cop-Out Isn't Better Than a Dream

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Having watched Lost faithfully throughout its run and marveled at the twists and turns, however odd and fanciful, I couldn't help a sense of revulsion at the easy way out the writers took.

Maybe not in the manner Dallas did using Pam's dream to explain Bobby's death and his absence for a season, but at least that made sense. It was logical, however preposterous.

Before you say the whole point of Lost was not to be logical, with its flash forwards and flash sideways, as Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof explained on the Jimmy Kimmel Show last Friday, there is a responsibility writers have to in some way present a rationale for leading us in the way they have.

To presume, as Jimmy Kimmel surmised on Sunday's wrap-up show, that the whole series might have been a heavenly "test" for Jack after his death, to which Matthew Fox retorted that indeed it might have really occurred in as little as a "nanosecond," is the sort of stretch that may well have been planted by ABC's embarrassed executives.

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If the whole series is some mystical extended series of sequences after everyone had died, how does it explain the "Others" like Ben and Juliet, who apparently weren't on the plane -- or were they up in first class all the time?

Or all the other stories that had nothing to do with Jack that kept us intrigued and sometimes pinned to our seats as we waited for answers, some of which were fulfilled. For example, after wondering about the "Others" we finally met them and learned about the Dharma Initiative, and Ben's history and how Juliet got there, not to mention Charles Widmore and why he may have been obsessed with the island.

We went back in time to see the beginning of Jacob and his brother and learned about the mysterious power source on the island that apparently no one but the "chosen ones" could ever find. We learned about John Locke's new entity as a black smoke figure who could solidify at will. We saw characters die natural deaths, like Charlie and Boone and later Sun and Jin.

While switching back and forth to the future, the alternate present and the island, past, present and future, we saw lots of stuff happening, in particular unexplained and absurd reasoning for everyone, not only Jack, returning to the godforsaken island. In the alternate present we saw people engaged in other pursuits, such as Kate and Sawyer, all of them wondering what Desmond was doing there shepherding them around to one place after another, only to have all of them go through flashes of remembrance with current strangers (like Sawyer and Juliet) about when they were former lovers on the island.

And suddenly it not only hit them that they had a prior life together, but when Jack meets up with Kate, who was equally confused on her way to the concert with Desmond, she now takes Jack to the church smiling, suddenly with full knowledge of what's going on. Jack's the only one who is in the dark, until he meets his father and realizes he's dead.

Somehow most of them are inside the church (though we don't see Walt, because we're told by the producers and actors that he's grown a lot and perhaps wouldn't be recognized), and Ben stays outside mysteriously (perhaps because he wasn't on the plane and thus doesn't exist, but then neither was Juliet and she's inside beaming with Sawyer).

I'm hoping magazines and newspapers and the other networks such as NBC, CBS and Fox will do exposes. No puff pieces by Larry King, please. We need CNN's Anderson Cooper to grill the perpetrators.

I'm sorry, but the writers took the easy way out without regard to the creativity and effort placed in the series when it was still a cash cow for them and the network. They did this, perhaps knowing that die hard fans would accept anything, but I'm not too sure about the rest of us.

Michael Russnow's website is www.ramproductionsinternational.com

 
 
 

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