Lost's Finale, One Year Later: Do You Forgive?

To mark the anniversary of the Lost series finale, maybe it’s time to “go baaaaack!” and ask ourselves anew: Did it satisfy, imperfections (as perceived by some) and all?

I’m not a DVD person per se, though my IKEA home entertainment unit (which I believe was made by some of the people who produce The Killing) is filled to the brim with TV-show screeners and freebies. Instead, I choose to keep at the ready, just a button-mashing away, a handful of DVR’d favorites — the two-and-a-half-hour Lost series finale among them.

The last time I cued up “The End,” Parts 1 and 2, was two months ago, as I “broke in” my shiny new 55-inch Sony Bravia. Those times that I choose to revisit that mind-bending season-ender, I typically tell myself, “Just the church scenes.” And yet sure enough, time and again, I’ll follow up the end of “The End” with an umpteenth viewing of the Sawyer-Juliet candy machine encounter (“Whoa“), or the similar reconnects between Sayid and Shannon, or Claire and Charlie.

When it was on air, a lot of people got caught up in Lost‘s mystical mumbo-jumbo, pulling their hair out unless they were spoon-fed the origin of the “whispers” or the nature of the four-toed statue. And Jacob knows, I myself got caught up tapping out many a piece analyzing the likes of the hieroglyphics in the hatch or the Valenzetti Equation.

In the end, though — in “The End” — it’s the relationship moments that paid off best as the series sewed up its six-season run. Even with my last rewatch, the sequence where Desmond is lowered into the glowy cave to uncork the thingamabob utterly tests my patience. (I recall reading that leaked script online weeks prior, thinking, “This cannot be legit.”) And it still digs at my continuity-loving self that Jack passed the Island-protecting baton to Hurley without chanting in Latin.

And yet those are just details. Because it’s moments like the candy machine scene, or Jin and Sun smiling knowingly at a still-oblivious Sawyer in the hospital, that are strongest. Hurley deeply touching Ben with praise for his work as his “No. 2.” Island Jack stumbling through the bamboo, succumbing to a hero’s death, while his sideways self engaged in a cavalcade of emotional, life-affirming reunions.

Was the “limbo”/holding area nature of the sideways world a cheat? Hard for many to wrap their noodle around? Sure. But Christian Shepherd sold me on it, and he does every single time that I toggle through the DVR offerings to fire up “just” those church scenes.

“Everyone dies sometime, kiddo.”

“There is no ‘now’ here.”

“The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people…. Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them — and they needed you.”

All of which is my 450-word way of saying that no, the Lost finale may never be 100-percent perfect to 100 percent of its fans, no matter how much glowy water has passed through the cave, no matter from what new perspective we might view it. But let’s face it, that was one helluva tale to tie up in a neat bow. So, flaws and all (Shannon over Nadia? Really?), it’s still massive fun to go back to the island on a rainy night — like tonight, as I certainly will — and see how the passengers of Flight 815 landed.

Still longing for Lost days gone by? The coming TV season is bringing back many of your favorites: Michael Emerson in Person Of Interest (CBS, Thursdays), Nestor Carbonell in Ringer (The CW, Tuesdays), Jorge Garcia in Alcatraz (Fox, midseason), Henry Ian Cusick in Scandal (ABC, midseason — and sadly sans accent), and Rebecca Mader in Work It (ABC, midseason).

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