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Let’s talk about endings.

I was chatting with a fellow TV critic a couple of weeks ago and told her that when it comes to the majority of genre fiction, I like the first four-fifths of any story far more than the finish. I love detective fiction and policiers, but once Harry Bosch or whoever puts all the pieces together and stands gun-to-gun with the bad guy, my eyes tend to glaze. (It’s the same reason I stopped doing Sudoku puzzles after a while; once I did the hard work early on, the rest felt too much like accounting.) With dramas and comedies—especially those that are more slice-of-life—often the ending is all, and where the author chooses to punctuate is the ultimate indicator of what the story is all about. But fantasies, adventures… these types of stories frequently get their ideas out of the way early, to clear a space at the end for action.


Right after the 2008 writers’ strike was resolved, I interviewed Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse about what we had to look forward to when Lost Season Four returned from its hiatus. I also asked about the series’ end, and whether they’d eventually have to leave behind all the flashing back-and-forth and just tell one final sustained story set on The Island. Back then, I had no idea what the endgame for Lost might look like—my best guess was that it was going to involve the castaways traveling through time and becoming The Others, fighting against themselves—but I did know that I dreaded the prospect of the show turning into a straightforward action-adventure series, if for no other reason than that the creators hadn’t proven themselves to be especially adept at that kind of storytelling. Crazy twists? Sure. Hot-blooded dialogue exchanges and shootouts? Not so much.

But then a funny thing happened: Lost got a lot better at action sequences. I still don’t think the show ever did “two people yelling” all that well, but gunplay/knifeplay/smokeplay? Much more exciting in the last three seasons than in the first. And another funny thing happened too: Season Six introduced the controversial “flash sideways,” which allowed the writers to maintain a certain amount of mystery and off-Island breathers right through to “The End.” Though I shouldn’t have been surprised by that, in retrospect. In our interview, Cuse answered my question about the show becoming more straightforward by saying, “In terms of abandoning mysteries, no. Fundamentally, Lost is a mystery show, so I think that would be stripping the franchise of sort of its essential nature.” I know some viewers have been annoyed by that choice to keep us guessing all the way to the end, but I’ve liked it, for the reasons mentioned above. When Lost’s sixth season has concerned itself with ticking off boxes, its often been at its weakest. When it’s featured people getting their asses kicked in between new mysteries, it’s defused a lot of my usual impatience with endings (and has felt more like the Lost I know and love).

That said, Last week I wrote that I hoped Lost would preserve some ambiguity about what The Island’s power really is, and whether the people fighting for and against it are ultimately good and evil. I said that if “The End” failed to leave some room for interpretation, my review would be more of an “ah well” than a “hell yeah.” And the verdict? “Hell yeah” streaked with a lot of “ah well.” (Along with a little, “Hell? Yeah.”). Because with Lost, there’s always a closely intertwined duality—even in the reactions.


The internet has been clogged with columns and comments about the questions Lost “had to answer” before its final episode, but for me my questions regarding “The End” are more practical:

1. Does it work as an episode of television?

I don’t know that a person who’d never seen Lost would’ve been able to watch this episode and get much out of it (unlike the best Losts in the past, which work as individual units of story), but as far as delivering action, emotion, wit and “whoa, what the hell?” I’d say “The End” was enormously entertaining. The best storytelling gambit in this episode? The full-arc-flashes, which put an emotional button on nearly every major character’s storyline, and allowed even the prematurely dead to have one last curtain call.


But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Storywise, “The End” had two aims: to wrap up the action on The Island, and to explain the Sideways universe. In both halves, the plot was fairly straightforward, flowing from what we’ve seen over the past few episodes.

On The Island, Jack assumes his role as The Protector and leads his team to Glowy Cave, hooking up along the way with Not-Locke, Ben and Desmond. Jack, curiously, puts Not-Locke’s Island-destroying plan in action, lowering Desmond down to The Heart, where Desmond pops The Island’s cork and makes the ground tremble. In the aftermath of The Great Unstopping, Not-Locke becomes mortal, and after a tussle with Jack on a cliff, gets shot by Kate and then knocked to his death. Jack, Hurley and Ben head back to Glowy Cave to save Desmond and put The Cork back in, while Kate and Sawyer boat over to Hydra where Miles, Claire, a not-dead Frank (hooray!) and a not-dead (but newly mortal) Richard are readying the Ajira plane for takeoff. In the end, Jack anoints Hurley as the new Protector (with Ben as his trusty sidekick), he descends to The Heart, sends Desmond back up to safety, restores The Cork, and then dies.


In the Sideways, Desmond continues his job of bringing people together so that they’ll realize who, what and where they are. The answer? They’re in a kind of purgatory—which looks like Los Angeles, just as I’d always imagined—and need to find each other so that they can move to the afterlife. In the end, our main heroes wake up and convene and some kind of Unitarian Universalist church, where Christian steps out of his casket and helps Jack understand how to be dead, and explains that Jack’ll be heading into the great beyond alongside the people who brought out the best in him.

That brief description though doesn’t do justice to the many, many beautiful and exciting moments in “The End,” exemplified by those full-arc-flashes I mentioned above, where the Sideways characters remember their whole lives and deaths and achieve a kind of bliss. From the opening montage of Christian’s casket being unloaded (in between shots of the characters on The Island and in the Sideways), “The End” didn’t skimp on the lyricism. With Michael Giacchino’s ever-excellent score underscoring the emotion, this episode was determined to move its audience, and damned if it didn’t do a number on me throughout.

Plus it was funny (Kate to Desmond: “Christian Shepherd? Seriously?”) and charming (tell me you didn’t grin as big as Hurley when Charlie opened the door to his motel room), and mindful of what fans have loved about the show these past six years. Ben got his clock cleaned yet again. Hurley quoted Star Wars. Sawyer teased Kate, saying, “I’d ask you along, but that would take all the fun out of telling you you can’t come.” Jack laughed off his wounds, telling Kate, “Just find me some thread and I can count to five.” Vincent returned. In the Sideways, Boone and Shannon and Juliet returned. Desmond sat at Table 23. And so on.


I’ve always liked that Lost has been willing to risk looking goofy in order to go for the grand effect. Some folks hated it when The Smoke Monster swirled around Ben, Wizard Of Oz-style, in “Dead Is Dead.” Me, I loved it. I’m sure—in fact I know—that a lot of people are going to hate The Cork. But I thought the scene where Desmond snuffed out The Golden Light Of Goodness only to see it replaced by The Red Light Of Malevolence was terrific. The scene was so perfectly staged, with that beat of darkness and then that very disturbing crimson glow. I may have cackled a bit in my recliner.

And yet what made “The End” work so well were the smaller moments, like Eloise worrying that Desmond would take Daniel away from her to the afterlife, or an awakened Kate telling Jack “that’s not how you know me,” or Locke telling Jack he doesn’t really have a son, or Ben apologizing to Locke and receiving forgiveness, or Jack passing his mantle on to Hugo and throwing an “I believe in you” back at him. I loved that in the Sideways world, the characters woke up not just by “true love’s kiss” but by other associations. And of course I loved the reunion of James and Juliet, which may have been the most touching moment of the whole series for me.

As much as I dug the first 2:15 of the episode though, I confess that I’m still struggling with the end of “The End.” I have no problem with the Sideways world as a purgatory-like construct created by our heroes’ collective subconscious, and I get that some characters will need to live there a while before they’re ready to move on, if only so they can experience what they never got to experience in their real lives. I see how the Sideways is a final lesson in the importance of togetherness, and I’m okay with that too.


But after all the emotionally satisfying scenes throughout “The End,” I felt no twinge at all when Christian explained where Jack was and where he was going. I’ll get into that more below, but even though Christian insisted, “Everything that’s ever happened to you is real,” his little speech still seemed to me to diminish the importance of “everything that’s ever happened.” So I was left cold there, even though I still thought the episode was highly effective.

As for the very end, on The Island, where Jack lays down in the bamboo and watches the Ajira plane fly off (presumably to Guam) while he closes his eye? Absolutely perfect.

2. Does it work as a finale?

Yes and no. As noted above, it was definitely emotional, and allowed fans to say goodbye to the characters. But Lost wasn’t just about the characters; it was about the place where the characters met and lived together and died alone and had that shared adventure that Christian Shephard insisted represented all of them at their best. Understand this: I don’t need to know any more about The Island than we already do. It’s a source of great power that can be exploited for ill and thus must be protected—I get that. But in focusing so much on the Sideways resolution, I’m afraid that “The End” doesn’t give The Island itself a proper sendoff. This is a magical place, right? I needed to feel that magic a little more in the closing moments.


Also, if you think of Lost as one long story (which isn’t the only way to think of it, by the way… more on that later), then I don’t know that this ending pays off what we saw six years ago all that well.

For example, did you see this interactive cartoon, which shows how the cast of the show grew from season to season? It’s remarkable to consider how far we’ve come since Season One, as well as the way we got there: one step at a time, with the scope of the story widening hour by hour and year by year. Like a lot of you, I re-watched the pilot on Saturday night, and I thought my wife made an on-point observation while we were watching. She noted how well the pilot still worked: the music, the action, the character-introductions and most importantly the humor all made Lost compelling right off the bat, and then the mystery of the monsters in the jungle and the French distress added bait to what was already a sharp, shiny hook.

“The End” was more or less in the same kitchen tonally as “Pilot,” but did it really seem like the resolution to that story? It told us what became of the people… sort of. A lot of them died long before “The End,” but apparently got their acts together in the waystation to the afterlife. Others got off The Island and apparently lived for a while before dying and finding their way to the depot. And Jack of course died in “The End,” providing the series with a fitting final image. But again, if you think of Lost as one long story, I’m not sure that anyone was thinking after the first chapter, “I wonder what happens to these people after they die?” And I’m not sure that the enlightenment the characters achieved really resonates given that they didn’t get the chance (at least on-screen) to put those lessons into action on the real, off-Island world.


Does making “The End” about the characters “finding each other” rather than about them accomplishing some specific goal or learning some applicable lesson negate the previous 100-odd hours of adventuring? I don’t think so—as I’ll explain next—but it did make the closing moments in the church ring a little hollow for me.

3. Does the show work as a whole?

It’s too soon to say definitively. I’m looking forward to doing a full-series re-watch at some point, after the complete Blu-ray edition comes out. And when I do, I might write some kind of reassessment. Or perhaps I’ll wait a full year, and write something on the anniversary of “The End.” Either way, I think it’s going to take time, and a start-to-finish viewing, to take the proper measure of whether all of Lost’s red herrings and blind alleys and weak answers diminish it as a piece of extended storytelling. I’ll be particularly interested to see how the Sideways stories play, now that we know they’re not “real.” Will they be more poignant than ever, or will they feel like an unnecessary diversion?


I’ll repeat what I’ve said in the past, though. When I re-watched Seasons One through Three in the midst of Season Four, I found it hard to care about any story involving Shannon and Boone, knowing that they weren’t going to be playing a huge role in the direction the show would go. But after this season, I’m looking forward to watching those episodes again, because I do feel like the concept of “candidates” has given those earlier deaths new meaning—or at least enough meaning that the characters and their stories no longer seem completely useless.

Of course not everything has been explained. Some plotholes loom fairly large, like the whole business with the Jacob’s cabin and the rings of ash. And some are just mildly annoying, like the question of why The Others grabbed who they grabbed when 815 went down. I wrote about this last week, so I won’t reiterate it in full, but a lot of the questions Lost has raised over the years loom large in our minds only because the Lost team was so good at using them as the source of teases and cliffhangers. Divorced from their original context, they’re really not that big a deal. The problem with seeing Lost strictly as a puzzle is that unambiguous solutions diminish replay value. But if you look at the mysteries merely as plot-drivers and mood-setters, the show is easier to enjoy. When all is said and done, Lost is a show that looks fantastic, features performances that are often very strong, and builds and releases tension well. Just as a weekly adventure show—not as an epic story—Lost works fine.

But I do think there’s more to it than that. As I laid out before this season started, I see Lost as a story about stories, spanning genres and offering different models of what it means to be a hero. That thing the smoke monster does, where he looks into the soul of the characters and tests their mettle before flinging them against the trees? That’s a good metaphor for what we’ve been doing as viewers. We take a long look at everything these characters have done, and we judge them accordingly.


On a surface level, here’s my reading of what Lost was about: It was about this Island with mystical properties, which could be used for good, or could be used for evil—and which corrupts or improves those who live there, depending on their character. Our heroes were brought to The Island by its designated protector , Jacob, to try out for the position of his replacement, to make sure that The Island’s properties wouldn’t get misused after Jacob was gone. Some failed the test of The Island, while others were transformed and discovered their purpose in life, and how to achieve that purpose through community, not isolation. The Sideways universe summarized what they learned, offering a final bit of enlightenment before they moved on.

On a deeper level though, Lost has been about legends and belief systems and how both get distorted and misinterpreted by broken human beings—which is to say all human beings. Even Jacob didn’t necessarily know the best way to use the power bestowed upon him, or how best to protect The Island. He tried going it alone; then he tried bringing people in. Similarly, our heroes went through several cycles of trial-and-error, working their way through personal narratives that touched on just about every significant bit of philosophy and fiction known to man. In the end, they learned that waiting on absentee parents and ancient lore to tell them what to do was getting them nowhere, and that they’d have to rely on the people already by their sides.

Now I don’t know how much of my reading of the show meshes with what Lindelof and Cuse intended, nor do I know how of the metafictional aspect of Lost has been conscious, as opposed to just the result of the writers throwing all their influences into a blender. Either way, it’s been exciting for me to contemplate. And those virtues don’t disappear because the mythology turned out to be cornier than we’d hoped. The themes persist, the characters persist, the mood persists, and the many, many great episodes persist.


I have to say I’ve been a little surprised at the amount of animosity directed toward Lost this season—not because those frustrated folks don’t have legitimate complaints, but because very few of those complaints are new. I’ve made a lot of them myself over the years: how the characters didn’t talk to each other enough or pursue answers as determinedly as they should; how there were too many shoe-leather scenes; how the character motivations were often way too vague; how the acting and the writing was sometimes clunky. If I didn’t restate these objections every week, it’s only because I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that they’d be taken as read. I didn’t want to repeat myself too much. I’ve always thought Lost was a flawed show—at times deeply so. And yet I still loved it, for its ambition and its many moments of superior execution.

I spent some time this weekend re-reading things I’ve written about Lost, including blog posts I wrote prior to the introduction of TV Club in the fall of ’07. Back in 2006, in a larger piece about “the perils of serialization,” I wrote the following about the then-uncompleted Season Two:

Depending on who you ask, this second season has either been painfully slow and stingy in comparison with the first, or crammed with so many potential “answers” that the show’s now further away from the finish line than it was at the end of last season. Personally I think the show’s simmering along just fine, though it does go through stretches where it seems to be really getting somewhere (like the recent run, featuring the elusive Henry Gale, and that great Locke backstory episode), and then stretches where it seems to be merely rearranging the pieces on the board. Everyone seems to agree that for a show like this to work, the creators need to decide how many seasons they need to tell the story and then to start building slowly to the end, but while Lost’s brain trust insists that they know where they're headed, they’re unwilling to say how long it’s going to take to get there, and there have been hints in some of their statements that they may really be just making it all up as they go along. Which, if true, could lead to a real disaster in a season or two, when they look over the heap of characters and subplots they’ve introduced and then try to figure out how to make them fit into a completed puzzle.


Then after the problematic “mini-season” to start Season Three, I wrote a blog post called “Losing Lost,” in which I griped:

The biggest problem with Lost right now is what used to be its biggest strength: The flashback structure. Initially, the flashbacks were used to enrich the story, by telling us who these people were before they got to the island, and hint at how they might be connected. Now they only seem to be marking time, and only enriching the mythology. Fans spend more time scouring the flashbacks for clues than getting insights into why this particular piece of backstory matters, at least in terms of defining the characters. Put it this way: I have vivid memories of Kate’s bank-robbing adventures and Locke’s wheelchair-reveal and Hurley’s lottery win. Yet I can barely remember a single thing I learned from the flashbacks this fall. (Was Kate a housewife? I forget what that was all about.)

But after the kick-ass Season Three finale, I re-evaluated where the series stood and adopted what would become my default position as a Lost apologist:

Let’s be clear-eyed about this: No matter how much fans romanticize the way Lost used to be, it's always had some saggy stretches. Even the vaunted first season spun its wheels a little in the back half, before rallying for a corking finish. And the second season practically crept along, until the arrival of “Henry Gale” and the surprise assassination that kicked everything into gear. Frankly, I think this much-maligned season has been maligned unfairly. The creators experimented with some standalone episodes—like the controversial Nikki and Paulo showcase “Exposé”—to test the limits of what the Lost format can do. And they learned some hard lessons about what the fans will stand. The announcement of the Lost exit strategy—three more seasons of sixteen episodes each, with no weeks off—combined with exciting, answers-filled episodes and actual meaningful flashbacks, all has convinced me that we’re in pretty safe hands. (At least until the creators reveal that we've actually been on Atlantis the whole time, and the explanations of how that works prove impossibly goofy.) I understand the grumbles of the impatient, many of whom have abandoned Lost. But their complaints seem petty when the show strings together a series of episodes like it has lately, that display all the ambition and invention that make Lost unlike anything on TV right now. When all is said and done, Lost may not prove to be the greatest TV show of all time, and it may eventually let all of us down. But for now, it's a singularly thrilling adventure serial, with spine-tingling twists and a real sense of life’s inherent mystery.


And that’s pretty much been where I’ve stood ever since. I respect the position of the dissenters, but I wish they’d respect the position of the defenders, which is that for all of Lost’s imperfections—and they are myriad, I’ll grant—the show still offered an experience like no other in the history of television. I stayed out of the commenting fray last week, largely due to Lost fatigue, though also because many of you were articulating what I would’ve said. It should come as no surprise that I’m squarely in the “MayorVaughn” camp. I like that Lost has dropped enough clues to its minor mysteries—just about anything to do with DHARMA, for example—that viewers can interpret them however they’d like. Why couldn’t women give birth? What was the deal with the statue? Those kind of questions are answerable, with a little viewer imagination and the details already provided. When the show spelled out its answers, it became painfully prosaic. When it was focused on keeping viewers stimulated and disoriented, it worked much better. (Even though, as I noted last week, what made for an entertaining hour often worked against telling a cohesive six-year story.)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes television unlike any other medium, and what responsibilities we people who write about TV have to those unique qualities. I’ll save most of those thoughts for some future non-Lost blog post, since I know you all have other things on your mind right now, but where that topic is germane is in the way opinions about Lost have evolved over the years—and even over the weeks. Myles McNutt wrote a spot-on blog post over the weekend about how difficult it is to register an opinion about a serialized show with a story more in flux than most. McNutt’s attitude has been the same as mine: the best you can do is treat recaps as reports from the field, recording immediate impressions. There’s value in that; down the road, interested parties can read all the reviews in succession and they’ll tell a little story about the show and the people who covered it.

Then they can look down in the comments, and that’ll a story too. Much of what’s been fun about the show these past three years has been bouncing theories and observations around with you guys. Heaven knows we’ve disagreed plenty about what makes a good Lost episode, but by and large we’ve been enthusiasts together—laughing at the parts of the show that don’t work, marveling at the parts that do, and considering what it all might mean, both literally and philosophically. And we’ve had time between episodes to venture guesses and anticipate outcomes—perhaps not always to our benefit. Often Lost hasn’t gone the way we thought it might, or—as I mentioned last week—its payoffs haven’t matched what we’d built them up to be over the years.


Writing about Lost has undoubtedly aided in my appreciation of the show. Often I’ve started out writing a mixed-to-negative recap, and have found that in the process of describing the action and considering its thematic implications, I’ve changed my own mind. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this season has been a bit of a grind—not so much to watch but to write about and defend. A big part of me wishes I could’ve enjoyed these last few episodes the way so many Lost fans have—throwing parties, raising a toast, whatnot. Instead I’ve been picking through disapproving think pieces and gleefully snide dismissals, while trying to explain why I still love this show without sounding too much like a sucker.

In the end, I’d point to Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Marvel Comics… all the popular serialized entertainments that have sought to divert and provoke on the installment plan. Lost brought back the thrill of big stories told in tiny pieces. Like I said, it’s too soon to say what Lost’s legacy will be, but I have a strong feeling that people will still be watching it years from now, and introducing it to newcomers, and starting arguments all over again. And I think the images of Hurley, hatches, Smoke Monsters and Sawyer will be pop-culture touchstones for a long time to come. These are the new myths. Now it’s up to us to misinterpret them.

Episode Grade: A- (docked only because of the church scene, really)
Season Grade: B+ (took big chances, many of which worked)
Series Grade: A- (flawed but still pretty great)


Stray Observations:

-The white light at the end of Season Five? I guess that was the doorway to purgatory being opened up by Juliet.

-Richard and Frank returned! If Darlton could've found a way for Sawyer and Kate to get shot at by an outrigger on the way to Hydra, Lost fans would've passed out from glee, en masse.


-Not-Locke, disappointed by Jack becoming The Protector: “You’re sort of the obvious choice.”

-So Michael and Walt don’t get to go to Heaven yet? Should’ve been nicer to Jack, I guess.

-After three years of peace and isolation, Rose and Bernard moved with The Island in ’77. Then they didn’t know when the hell they were.


-Tons of nods to the fans, in the dialogue and the visuals. A repeat of the hatch-shot. Sawyer saying “long con,” etc.

-Hurley tells Sayid, “You can’t let other people tell you what you are.” That reminded me of the line from Sawyer in the pilot: “I’m the criminal, you’re the terrorist. We can all play a part.”

-Daniel Widmore & DriveShaft are not a killer act.

-Hated the crush of commercials tonight, but loved some of the creative act breaks, including Jack leaping at Not-Locke on the cliffs. A literal cliffhanger!


-Another nod to Lost lore: There’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a little duct tape and a schematic.

-When James’ Apollo Bar gets stuck in the machine, Juliet suggests he unplug the machine and plug it back in again. Or detonate a hydrogen bomb. Y’know… whatever works.

-Look for the Lost spinoff book Aaron Has Two Mommies in the children’s section of your local library.


-Nice to see Sawyer finally get to leave The Island, if not by sub or helicooter.

-My wife noted that two streams feed into Glowy Cave. But of course!

-I'm not sure I fully understand what Jack’s plan was when he helped Not-Locke lower Desmond into the cave. I get that he figured it would turn Not-Locke mortal, but just what did he think was going to cause that to happen (besides putting out The Light, which he wasn't supposed to allow)? Was he just guessing?


-Great exchange between Not-Locke and Jack at Glowy Cave, with Not-Locke joking that lowering Desmond into a hole was familiar (“If there was a button down there to push…”) and Jack refusing to let Smokey pretend to be Locke.  “You disrespect his memory by wearing his face,” he hissed. You tell ‘em, Jack!

-So many skeletons by The Heart. How many people have ventured down there before?

-I think Desmond assumed that popping The Cork would be just like turning The Failsafe Key. It would release some of The Island’s energies and set things right. But not so.


-I guess the fact that the Sideways universe isn’t strictly “real” excuses all the temporal anomalies there. (Could Jack really operate on Locke the same day he came into the office and requested the operation?) But there were some weird on-Island time-jumps too towards the end. The sub exploded at twilight, Jack and company washed ashore in the dark, trekked into the jungle by daylight, chatted with Jacob that night, and then started their trip to Glowy Cave in daylight again. And all that while, Frank apparently bobbed in the water, Jin-style. Thank goodness there were no DHARMA sharks around.

-When Jack walked into the church, I wanted everyone to leap out and yell, “Surprise!”

-Remember how Damon and Carlton said they realized in retrospect that sticking Sawyer and Kate in cages at the start of Season Three was a metaphor for how they felt making Lost with no end-date? I think the metaphor for this season can be found in all those scenes where one character or another says, “This is all happening sooner than I thought.” That line popped up so often in Season Six that it was almost like a cry for help.


-While I’m citing commonly repeated Lost lines and concepts, how about the idea that plans can’t go into effect unless everybody—or more or less everybody—comes along. There’s the theme of the finale, running through the whole series. Can’t do it alone, Jack. You need these other people; they give your life purpose, and makes your story go.

-You can’t say that ABC didn’t promote the heck out of this show. From the podcasts to the ads to the enhanced repeats, ABC gave Lost all it had.

-I don’t have a whole lot of interest in future Lost spinoffs and the like, but you know what I would like to see? A novelization. Hire a good writer, pare away some of the unnecessary tangents the show took, and turn the whole Lost story into a book. I think that could give the best sense of just what an epic this was.


-I’m already reading some interesting theories about what Hurley and Ben’s tenure as Island Protector was like, and whether they’re responsible for the Sideways. “Maybe there’s another way,” Ben says. With this show? Always.

-One last quote from my two-year-old interview with Lindelof and Cuse. Here’s Damon, on the finale:

Do we know the absolute end of the show? Yeah. We've had that in mind for quite some time. But can we hand you a script for the last episode of the show right now? No, because there are market fluctuations that we are unaware of at this point. Certain characters that you want to write more for sort of wear out their welcome sooner rather than later. New characters are introduced, and pop in unexpected ways. The essential nature of that last episode is more specifically about what the last three or four scenes are, and us working toward those has always remained pretty constant.


So that’s it.