Lost Will Never Be Over
The ending of Lost was, to put it nicely, controversial. Recently producer Damon Lindelof released the five nastiest tweets he received:
"Hey, douche! Instead of backpacking in Europe or whatever the fuck you're doing, how about you give me six years of my life back?"
"My very first tweet. I started this account just to let you know how disappointed I am in you."
"Has anyone accused you of being an emotional terrorist yet? And research these words: closure and actual explanations."
"You suck. Please don't ruin Star Trek by ending it in Klingon purgatory."
"You're a dirty liar. You never knew, you made it all up, you betrayed us all. You betrayed me and I hope you rot, motherfucker."
The fanboys over at AICN responded by throwing more hate his way. (Though it is amazing that Lost can still get more people writing in than any other TV show.) Most of the stuff in the comments section is negative, though a lot of the same people keep writing in--don't they have anything better to do?
A lot of them bring up questions that weren't answered. Sometimes I think these questions were answered. Even more often they bring up stuff that doesn't make sense. Often I think there are explanations (sometimes pretty obvious) but they haven't tried to figure them out.
There are defenders, or course, though they seem to be outnumbered. One guy had a new interpretation of the sideways world which wasn't bad. It's what happens (for whatever reasons) to the characters on the island (or perhaps were on the island) when they're close to death. It's a chance for them to deal with their unresolved conflicts before they're gone. Thus Juliet's "it worked" before she died, and the final scene ending with Jack's eye closing. (Also, presumably, Desmond having a near death experience thanks to Widmore's experiment.)
A lot of people complain that Desmond, as the only guy to destroy the island, is the last guy Jacob should want there. Let's assume we accept Widmore's claim that Jacob told him to bring Desmond. Perhaps Jacob did see Des as a failsafe (just is MIB did) in that if MIB looked like he was going to succeed one way, by (eventually) killing all the candidates, then the only other way to destroy MIB was to make him mortal, which only Des could achieve.
Here's a comment from someone who agrees with me that The Incident created an alternate reality:
how does Widmore's 'device' connect Desmond's consciousness with his 'afterlife' self? not by any scientific means, that's for sure. knowing as we do that Desmond is able to survive shifting consciousness through time, which he survives because of his inner determination to see the woman he loves, it makes more sense that he might be connected to other temporal realities, but the Afterlife? why? and why big electromagnets? they just kill normal people, why not Desmond? clearly, what makes Desmond special is within him, and how what makes him special connects with the power of the island.
Another guy had the intriguing idea that they're stuck in a time loop, and when they walk into that white light at the end, they'll be right back to Jack opening his eye.
Here's one of the more colorful complaints:
Can someone explain to me (without the Maguffin of "The Rules") why Jacob just didn't show up around season two or three or four and say...
"Listen up, motherfuckers, 'cause this is gonna save your lives! You've seen some pretty weird shit go down on this island. Some crazy stuff. Now, I can't explain all of that shit or even most of it. But I can tell you this, I'm a 2,000 year old dude who's trying to stop my brother, the Smoke Monster, from leaving this island. You gotta help me and you gotta trust me. But be careful - that motherfucker is sneaky and he can look like anyone who's dead, but he can't kill, you and you and you and you and you."
"Oh, shit," Jack says. "I been seeing dead motherfuckers for weeks now."
"Yeah, that's my brother fucking with you. But, straight up now, I'm here to help."
"Coolio, Jacob, 'cause, honestly, the Smoke Monster is a vicious fuck and who the fuck is gonna trust somebody who appears as dead people? We're with ya, brother!"
"Did somebody say 'brotha,'" a voice calls out. Everyone turns to see Desmond approaching.
"Hello, brotha," he says as he approaches Jacob.
"Oh, yeah, fuck," Jacob says, "I forgot about him. Yeah, here's the deal. We gotta get this cat the fuck off the island and never, ever, ever, ever let this motherfucker back 'cause he's the only person who can destroy this place and Smokey just might try to use him to do that."
"Well, that's fine with me, brotha," Desmond says. "I got a girl named Penny I'm dying to see."
"Well, then bitches, let's get a motherfucking move on," Jacob says.
And, with that, three or four seasons of ridiculous mayhem and deaths get avoided.
Can someone explain WHY that didn't happen?
The explanations are easy enough. Above all, Jacob believed in free will so much that he hated the idea of explaining things too clearly, especially while the game was afoot. (After he died, he didn't mind so much.) I wouldn't be surprised if he believed the destruction of the light would meant he end of free will. (We don't get to see him reasoning out these thing, wisely or not, over that 2000 year period.) As we saw, Jacob was willing to ensure that people acted as they believed. (As for the Desmond stuff, that's explained above.)
Here's one of the more rational complaints:
A commonly missed point that apologists like to 'fill in the blanks' with, is that the ash ring WAS NOT broken when Locke and Ben went there, but was broken when Ilana went there. So Ben could not have been taking orders from MiB the whole time, since Smokey was free in the jungle. Just wanted to point that out and see if you can make it fit with the information given.
I hate the last 10 minutes, not for unanswered questions, but for the paper-thin game-changing twist that was DESIGNED to fool you thru deceit and no foreshadowing. If I ever re-watch seasons five and six (doubtful) then I'll just continue to see Lindelhof and Cuse shooting me the middle finger as they waste my time building up a sideways world that is DESIGNED to be a twist. It's their narrative shenanigans (underwater island is a lie) that I'll see, not as organic to the story or characters, but constructed with the purpose of being deceitful to the viewer. All the sole purpose of just going 'A HA! Look! the Twist!' Nothing clicks together, nothing is airtight, and nothing works. The truly awesome 'awakening' scenes (and it was really good up till the twist) hold no weight and no longer work. Not only do I see them giggling as they think they pulled a fast one on me, but I feel cheated out of an awesome idea they presented and could have went with, if they were not so dedicated to trying to con me. The Twist feels tacked on and doesn't jive with anything else in the series.
Ben never saw anything in the cabin. As to whether Locke heard MIB or Jacob is an open question, though I strongly suspect it was MIB. (But for all of MIB's "long con," both Jacob and MIB were working on the same people, and those people ultimately did what they wanted to do.)
I agree with the dramatic analysis of the final twist. As powerful as the moment might have been, it seems to rob the sideways world of much of its power. Going for both spirituality and surprise, the producers didn't bring the two worlds together into a dramatic finale, they forever split them asunder so that alta-world hardly means anything. This is why from the start (of the post-finale era) I've preferred to believe it's an alternate reality, and one that they need to work out their problems but then escape from, or the regular world is as finished as if MIB got off the island.