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...this ending was basically a mythological version of that reunion show they do after every Survivor season.

If this were a Facebook status, I would "like" it... twice.


"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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From one of the Slate responses:

"In the end, it's hard not to see Lost as the longest con of them all. Not because we didn't get enough answers - it's really true that after this episode, I don't need any more answers than what we got. But because all along, Lost seemed to be a story. Until the end, when it wasn't. In the end, it was just a bunch of stuff that happened."


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Yeah, last night was the first full episode of Lost I've ever seen, and I just about gagged on my chips and guacamole during that sequence. I thought of all the Christians I've heard praise the show -- heck, the CT site has has some huge Lost featurette up for months, it seems (no I haven't read any of the collection of linked articles there) -- and wondered if they were feeling burned, or if they were into it.

Why should they feel burned? Lost was never put forth as a "Christian Program", most of the praise was about the various themes of the show, which were not invalidated by the end of the finale. If they were upset or burned that a television show for the masses did not cater secifically to them? They are idiots.

I found it funny, apparently 61% of Entertainment Weekly's Lost related mail last week was from people who wrote to Entertainment Weekly to complain about the issue devoted to the end of Lost-because it was a show they didn't care about it. Yes. It is Entertainment Weekly's obligation to only put things "YOU" like on the cover. I think I will send them a list of what is acceptable to cover. No Twilight, no Glee. I mean, I have no interest in those shows, why should an entertainment magazine pay attention to them?!


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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Oh, speaking of a "Sopranos ending"--that was one of the spoof "alternate endings" aired on Jimmy Kimmel following the episode.

Not having seen the Sopranos ending, and so not knowing exactly how it plays out, I'd point out that most of that spoof alternate ending was also a direct copy of "Dead Like Me," the T.V. series about grim reapers helping people move on to whatever is next after death.

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Why should they feel burned? Lost was never put forth as a "Christian Program", most of the praise was about the various themes of the show, which were not invalidated by the end of the finale. If they were upset or burned that a television show for the masses did not cater secifically to them? They are idiots.

It was an open question, for just this reason. I don't know if Christians who like the show have argued that the show is somehow about Christianity, or that it dovetails with specific Christian doctrine. Maybe they were anticipating exactly the imagery seen during the sequence under discussion. You suggest that they would be idiots to expect anything else, and I'll take your word for it.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Well, the Christian imagery was pretty obvious throughout the show. Whether it was intended as a metaphor for a real conversation or message about Christianity is pretty doubtful. I think it was more for the borrowed gravitas and the overarching themes of redemption, forgiveness, and fatherhood.

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Well, the Christian imagery was pretty obvious throughout the show. Whether it was intended as a metaphor for a real conversation or message about Christianity is pretty doubtful. I think it was more for the borrowed gravitas and the overarching themes of redemption, forgiveness, and fatherhood.

I agree. However, the series also drew from other religions as well, particularly the Taoistic black and white imagery surrounding Jacob and Flocke (e.g., their appearance, the stones on the scale). And of course, the statue, which was an Egyptian deity. However, Christianity was definitely the major religious "source" for the series. The other religions were, I think, attempts to simply add a little more exotic, otherworldly flavor/ambiguity to the series.


"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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And of course, the unitarian universalist room in the last scene plus the glow cave/light room are very generic and IMHO represent the general missed opportunity of the show--not putting a stake in the ground.

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Yeah, last night was the first full episode of Lost I've ever seen, and I just about gagged on my chips and guacamole during that sequence. I thought of all the Christians I've heard praise the show -- heck, the CT site has has some huge Lost featurette up for months, it seems (no I haven't read any of the collection of linked articles there) -- and wondered if they were feeling burned, or if they were into it.

Why should they feel burned? Lost was never put forth as a "Christian Program", most of the praise was about the various themes of the show, which were not invalidated by the end of the finale. If they were upset or burned that a television show for the masses did not cater secifically to them? They are idiots.

It is a very valid question. Let's imagine that someone wrote a blog post for every episode for a few seasons of a show, extolling it for its subtle theological implications and importance as a work of contemplative art. Well, what happens when the finale to the show proves to be, for lack of a better term, stupid? It is well within the range of possibility that this person would feel as if they had maybe overstated their case a bit. And they would not be an idiot for feeling that way.

I don't think Christian was talking about how the finale did or did not cater to someone's religious identity. I think he was more talking about how Mike Myers felt when Kanye West started flipping out during the Katrina telethon.

Edited by M. Leary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Thanks, M.

Washingtonpost.com is hosting its possibly final Lost chat right now, in case anyone's interested in joining.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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It is a very valid question. Let's imagine that someone wrote a blog post for every episode for a few seasons of a show, extolling it for its subtle theological implications and importance as a work of contemplative art. Well, what happens when the finale to the show proves to be, for lack of a better term, stupid? It is well within the range of possibility that this person would feel as if they had maybe overstated their case a bit. And they would not be an idiot for feeling that way.

Fine. They would be fools. They would be right to feel that way had there been ongoing interviews which bolstered their view from the creators, but the creators never committed to one religious school of thought. And furthermore? The idea that themes of redemption, faith and forgiveness and so on are uniquely Christian ones? That's an arrogant assumption. Such themes are there, Christianity has no monopoly on them. See, there are people out there who look and say, this makes a great expression of my faith, and I find aspects of the show applicable...then there are the people Christian and you addressed who apparently thought it was a Christian world view show-when the creators and the stories never said any such thing. Thiose people who overstated the case may feel let down, but it is not the show's fault that they overstated their case...they were foolish to do so.


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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Interesting. Like I've said, I gave up on the show early in Season Three. So I'm not surprised to see the disappointments expressed here. But when I mentioned the disappointments on my FB page, I got a strong wave of objections and even frustration from people who thought the conclusion was just about perfect. I can't enter that debate, since I didn't see the show. But I do hope some of *those* folks will engage with *this* thread, since the contrast is rather striking.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Fine. They would be fools. Thiose people who overstated the case may feel let down, but it is not the show's fault that they overstated their case...they were foolish to do so.

Fools. Idiots. How about mistaken or something less pejorative? I can't count the times being mistaken about the value of something provided opportunity for significant cultural, personal, and spiritual growth.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Fine. Mistaken.

It would not be appropriate fo rthem to feel burned when it was their mistake.


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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I got a strong wave of objections and even frustration from people who thought the conclusion was just about perfect. I can't enter that debate, since I didn't see the show. But I do hope some of *those* folks will engage with *this* thread, since the contrast is rather striking.

It would be nice to see a tomatometer on this. Most of the published response (Slate, Salon, AV Club, Io9, NYT, etc...) has been negative.

I think Six Feet Under won this "everybody dies" battle.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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So, I’m heading further along my sappy sucker branch. I’ve been pretty negative on Lost this season, railing on and on about its missed opportunities and general dopiness (glow caves, dropped plotlines, etc). But for all my complaints, I loved this show.

Ever since I was a kid, I have always loved to read. Who knows how many nights I fell asleep with the bedside lamp still on, a book folded over my ten year old chest. I remember the first time I finished The Lord of the Rings. I bawled. It was over. Frodo was off to the distant shores, and Samwise went back home. But this journey, this quest, this adventure I’d been on with the fellowship was finished. Such a rich feeling of loss and satisfaction, a sense of the passing away of things but infused with the hope of a new story yet to come (of course, the new stories turned out to be half-finished texts and apparent bids for more income from Chris Tolkien).

And that is what I’m left with from Lost. When I lose a night’s sleep, tossing and turning about Jack and Sawyer and Locke, its because this story mattered to me more than my calloused self would care to admit. I think I wrote a year or so ago that I expected that the denouement would be a disappointment, but I didn’t care. I was fully under the show’s spell by then.

And so it came to pass. I watched the journeys of the heroes as they learned about time travel and glowing caves, about freighters and airplanes, about polar bears and others and other others. And even as it got less and less rich with each passing hour, I still sat on the edge of my seat, worrying for these characters.

I loved the abandon with which the show threw itself into a mess of a story—you had to start from the beginning. I loved the constant toying with faith vs. skepticism. I loved seeing characters struggling to seek redemption, and growing in their choices to move from protecting only themselves, to seeking to save the greater good (here’s looking at you, Sawyer). I loved that my wife and I could sit down one night a week and just go for the ride.

Did the show live up to its highest ideals—that faith and redemption are found at the same bubbling fount? No, in the end, I think it missed the mark ever so slightly—by choosing a generic warm and fuzzy reunion instead of a hard earned grace. But I suspect that any redemption story short of the greatest story will face that same failing.

I’ll doubt I will see a show like Lost again. And that, all complaints notwithstanding, is a bittersweet thing.

Edited by Buckeye Jones

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My friend Audrey wrote a good post (i.e. specific, balanced, and honest) about her frustration with the finale here.


It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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I started getting pissy last night at about 11:15pm, when I realized-- against my strongest hopes-- that the Island and its mythology were being left and that this was all about the resolution of the flash sideways storyline. As such it was an excellent and emotional season ending episode, but a wholly unsatisfying series closer , imo. They put to bed the flash sideways component of season six-- which was fine-- but left huge parts of the sci-fi/fringe science/metaphysical elements of the island itself unresolved. And let's be clear: contrary to what the writers have been saying this week, Lost has never been a mere character drama. The island and its mysteries have dominated much of the storytelling, from season one. It's hard not to view this final departure as a cop-out.

That major annoyance aside, the episode still packed a big emotional punch for me and it's truly sad to see the saga end. When I first started watching Lost I had a newborn and two-year old to contend with every week while I was watching. And a lot more scalp on my dome. Time flies...

My friend Audrey wrote a good post (i.e. specific, balanced, and honest) about her frustration with the finale here.
Nice article, good questions. Edited by Greg P

"The things we enjoy are channels through which the divine glory strikes us, and those who love and delight in any good thing may yet learn to love God." --Gilbert Meilaender

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I started getting pissy last night at about 11:15pm, when I realized

I did, too, a few minutes before you did, when I realized that a series finale of a show I never watched was going to keep me up to 11:30, instead of the expected 11:00!

I had to flash sideways just to get out of bed this morning.

[Attempted Lost humor from someone who heard the term "flash sideways" used, for the first time ever, this morning]

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I agree with those who were let down by the series finale. It's like the writers were spooked by the reaction to the Sopranos finale, so they took the easy way out, a fuzzy ending to please the typical American TV audience, instead of being true to the series' artistic vision.

If a great ending is like fine wine, then I have to say the ending of Lost was like ...

2976804256_df82b6902b.jpg

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I think it missed the mark ever so slightly—by choosing a generic warm and fuzzy reunion instead of a hard earned grace.

Maybe not grace but certainly hard earned. I think this was contrasted by showing Ben being awakened but not being about to "move on", whereas Jack embraced his awakening, mainly because of his hard earned saving of the island.

I thought the finale was perfect, both universes. I know there's been expressed disappointment particularly in the island aspect of the story but I don't really know if there's a pressing unanswered question I have about it.


"I am quietly judging you" - Magnolia

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