The television series Lost ended its six years of airtime this Sunday on a high note. The puzzling show is yet again the talk of TV-addicts across social networks and friends’ gatherings. ‘Losties’ around the globe are debating whether or not the ending was satisfactory enough. Some fans call the episode an ‘epic’ ending to an epic show, while others found it to be a disappointing turn of events that did not add to the show but provided more mysteries that will never be solved.
The series started six years ago telling the stories and encounters between a group of plane-crash survivors who found themselves on a island haunted by a smoke-made monster. The series continued to follow these people as they fought each other and the forces of this island and discovered more about the true nature of the place. A God-like character named Jacob was introduced early in the show as the protector and keeper of the island, and the struggle between him and other characters searching for him was a main plot of the series.
Multiple narrative styles were used in the show, including flash-backs of the characters’ back-stories; flash-forwards of what would happen when they left the island; and flash-sideways of what would have happened if they had never crashed on the island.
The fact that the last episode of the show was screened right across the globe on Sunday evening added to the excitement of the fans.
This was the first time a scripted/non-sport event ever gained a global screening as such. The reasons behind this new technique was to limit the possibilities of illegal downloading of the episode online and to ensure than fans would not post spoilers about the ending to each other on the internet, which might have caused the number of viewers to drop. Non-US citizens fans of the show had to wake up extremely early on Monday morning to watch the final episode, which aired in the UK at a more reasonable 7AM. The episode lasted for almost two hours and was the longest in the series, as well as one of the longest TV episodes ever made. The question remains, however, as to how Lost fans are coping with the end of their favorite series?
“The ending disappointed me”, says Ryan Ryan McBride, a devoted American Lostie, who watched it in the US. “I remember how I start watching Lost six years ago, I was extremely attached to the show and I followed it without missing a single episode.” McBride, however, found the new direction that Lost took in the last season somewhat unrealistic. “I know the word ‘unrealistic’ is not the right choice when talking about events occurring on an island with a “source of life” and a “smoke monster,” but I believe it is the right pick for me. The show started to take a more emotional direction in the last season or so, when the solid facts that the whole series was based on were ignored for the sake of evolving into a more emotional finale.”
McBride pointed to the characters of Desmond and Faraday, saying, “These two characters were giving the right tone to the whole show. Faraday with his solid science theories and Desmond with his magical power to jump across time. These characters were abandoned and reduced to give an emotional ending to the show that people will debate, rather than giving answers to fans’ questions.”
Marwa Salim who tuned in to the last episode of the show in Cairo, disagrees with McBride: “I believe that if all the fans gathered to write a better ending to the show it wouldn’t be as good as this ending. I enjoyed the way the producers wrapped things up in the ending and I was shocked to learn that the flash-sideways storyline is actually the characters meeting after their deaths in a purgatory. The spiritual feeling to the episode gave it the right atmosphere and ended the series as a whole at the right point.”
“We all die eventually,” Salim quotes Christian Shephard, one of recurring characters in the show. “These people in the flash-sideways scenes created this world so they can meet after their death. Their lives on the island was the most important part of their lives and now they are ready to join each other on a final journey.”
Sally Abdullah, another Egyptian fan, noticed a religious tone underlining the show. “Most of these characters are reliving the stories mentioned in different religions, including Christianity and Islam. Most of the names in the show come from Biblical names such as Aaron and Jack Shephard. I don’t know if I like this or not, but I do think it has a deeper meaning that what you see at first glimpse.”
The Facebook fan page for Lost was filled with different opinions and theories. People from across the globe gathered there to try and explain the ending of Lost. “It’s ridiculous how people need all the answers,” wrote one.
“The writers could have filled another two seasons worth of material to cover all loose ends but that’s not what the show was about… As viewers we were only allowed to know what the characters knew. They never got answers to their questions and as such we didn’t get answers to our questions,” wrote another fan, who added that there was no significance in Jack dying in the same spot he woke up in when he arrived on the island, except that it was poetic. Some of the other fans could not gather words so easily, and only fought over how “lame” the episode or how “amazing” it was.
Lost fan Rania Wasfy ends this debate, saying: “All of the [island mysteries] like the numbers, Walt, the Dharma experiments, who came to the island first, etc, etc, were not meant to be explained, just like everything in our own lives cannot be explained.”