Entertainment news and musings from a pop culture geek

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Missing Greatness: LOST

For the first May in years there is no two-hour night of supremely mind-bending twists and expertly delivered action that ends with me yelling at the screen because the thought of waiting months for more is too much to bear. LOST has ended. In honor of one of the Top 10 Best Shows of All Time, (and the one year anniversary of the series finale) which had some of the most game-changing, water-cooler, forum fueling finales of all time, here are the LOST finales rated from "that's all?" weakest to "holy jacob!" best. *Spoilers follow, obviously*

6. "There's No Place Like Home," S4 - This show has had its missteps. It never stumbled when it was finale time though. But after the previous year's finale (more on that later) this one had a lot to live up to. The whole flash-forward thing was awesome, but when we caught up with the present, the stakes were slightly lowered by knowing who would make it. But of course the mystery and suspense lies in why it was those six right? Nope. The grand reason it was only the Oceanic 6 was because of plot mechanics? Too much weight on the helicopter. Really?? Then the island moved, which simultaneously earned an 'oh cool' and a deadpan 'ok.' Still this finale had a lot to enjoy and get excited about. Sayid gave Keamy the business!
Holy Jacob!: The coffin reveal, obviously, the main redeemer of this episode. Thought for sure it was gonna be Desmond.
That's All?: Just a wheel moves the island? Ehhh. Don't get me started on that gotdamn helicopter plot device either. Also, "The Constant" got me hype for a way more "Titanic"-esque Desmond-Penny reunion than we got.
Best Use of that Incredibly Emotional Score: The Oceanic 6's arrival. Heartwarming stuff.

5. "Live Together, Die Alone," S2 - This was one of the strongest season-enders out during the '05-'06 TV season but when compared in-show, this exciting, intensely suspenseful episode is only the fifth best conclusion that LOST has to offer. Still, it's quite good, featuring the return of Desmond (back when he wasn't a ubiquitous regular), the exposure of Michael's rat-bastardness (be honest though, if you had to shoot two people you've only known for two months to get your son back from some Devils Rejects' dressing people, you would t00), and my personal favorite, the Hurley-bird. Oh and something popped off involving a hatch too.
Holy Jacob!: Did I mention the hatch shit?!?! "I was wrong" is now an infamous series quote. Plus, one of the final shots was our three main heroes getting bags over their heads and kidnapped. Also the first appearance of the four toed statue that would drive fans crazy for another three years.
That's All?: Libby-Desmond seemed like a supreme stretch of the 6 degrees of separation conceit used in a lot of the flashbacks. Especially since they never found the time to get to her backstory. Fans groaned, but it really must not have been that important, am I right? And retrospectively speaking, why the fuck were those Portugese dudes in the Arctic in the final scene?

4. "The Incident," S5 - Comparing these grade A finales against each other (but let's be honest, s4 is more like a B+) was tough, and the toughest was easily deciding where to place this. Because what an episode, from instant classic opening scene to what-the-fuck climax. Leave it to LOST to be the show that fades to white instead of black for one of it's most maddening cliffhangers, maddening because there's a shitload of days between May and February. The Locke twist remains a top 10 coolest moment on the series for me. Yea I said it, top 10. Jacob's "visit" scenes were fantastic. And the reveal contextualization that this whole series was about ordinary, very flawed and small human beings caught in the middle of a very huge age old war between gods was fucking awesome. And if you think that should've been revealed earlier, allow me to disagree with you. 
Holy Jacob!: Holy Man in Black!
That's All?: Juliet is suddenly cool with Jack setting off a HYDROGEN BOMB because Sawyer's still simping over Kate??? Come the fuck on! Miles and Dr. Pierre Marvin Mark Edgar Candle Wickmund Halliwax Chang's reunion was a little undercooked.
Best Use of that Incredibly Intense Score: There's no way your adrenaline isn't pumping during that final scene at the Swan.

3. "The End," S6 - A fitting end to the season, and consequently the series. The Desmond plot device got a little hokey. Maybe you were disappointed with the final scene. Or even the whole episode. I'm amongst the team that most definitely was not. All those character reunions are the stuff series finales are made of, and if the final shot didn't move you then maybe you weren't as into this series as you thought. Bandwagoner.
Holy Jacob!: I was wayyyyy off with my Sideways world guesses. I still have conversations with people who don't really get the whole absence of time thing though.
That's All?: I'm down with Sideways, but the sunken island in "LA X" was still extremely misleading. And really, what the fuck was the Man in Black gonna do with himself once he got to the real world? Appear as Barack Obama? Justin Bieber?? Last but not least, Sayid + Shannon still = GROAN a full four seasons later.
Best Use of that Incredibly Emotional Score: The end, obviously.

2. "Exodus," S1 - The deftly executed one-two punch in which we peer down the hatch and Walt is kidnapped. That, folks, is how you wrap up a season and ensure that 20 million people will come back in three months for more. RIP Dr. Artz.
Holy Jacob!: "We're gonna need to take the boy."
That's All?: That's all nothing. Retrospectively, the first scene of the season 2 premiere more than makes up for the decision to cut before we saw anything hatch-wise.
Best Use of that Incredibly Emotional Score: I think the raft cast-off set the tone for what this show's score was made of. Word to Michael Giacchino.

1. "Through the Looking Glass," S3 - Here it is. The best finale of LOST and one of the best season finales of all time. Season three is when the doubters started piling on: the flashbacks were getting extraneous, the endless twists empty, and the story directionless. So the writers responded with a near flawless second half of the season, culminating in two hours of sheer perfection. And no it's not just because of the final twist, the episode was engaging from beginning to end, on a plot level, but more importantly, character too. Who ever thought we'd end up caring about Charlie again?
Holy Jacob!: I think this goes without saying. But in case it doesn't: WE HAVE TO GO BACK!! 
That's All?: The next season runs with no repeats, that's awesome. Wait...it starts when? January?!?
Best Use of that Incredibly Emotional Score: NOT PENNY'S BOAT.

Thoughts? What's your favorite season finale of LOST? Would you have rated them differently?

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