More than anything, I want you to know I take no pleasure in doing this. It’s going to hurt me way more than it hurts you, because you still have thousands of satisfied lovers out there in the world, while I’m forced to disown the story that once mattered most to me.
I honestly wish I didn’t have to do this. But here’s the thing. You and I?
Our first three years together were blissful. Since then it’s been rocky, but I still didn’t leave you. Season 4 lacked suspense (since we knew everyone’s future); Season 5 misfired a bit by demystifying and trivializing the once-ominous Dharma Initiative; and Season 6 was the worst of all: an obligatory island-wide game of musical chairs.
And then last night happened. Or really, the last ten minutes of last night happened, because the 140 minutes before that, you were doing so good.
But then you embarrassed me. You betrayed my trust. You made a fool out of me.
And we have to break up.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking 1) I wanted more answers, 2) I’m an implacable cynic, or 3) I didn’t understand you.
But it’s not that I wanted more “answers” to your mythology.
(Though to be honest, you reeked of plotholes by the end, i.e. Walt, Aaron, infertility, food drops, an anonymous outrigger that shot Sawyer somewhere in time, an unclaimed glass eye in the Arrow, the circles of ash, the completely unaddressed sickness that claimed Sayid and Claire but only until the script needed them to be sane again, the bird that screamed Hurley’s name, the scales in Jacob’s cave, the mark on Juliet’s back, the Others’ actual purpose on the Island, the Others’ reason for kidnapping people in early seasons, why the Island can move by the turn of a donkey wheel, how said donkey wheel could have gotten the Man in Black off the island, how falling into a magic light could change you into an incorporeal, shapeshifting, mindreading column of smoke, how the Man in Black could exist without anyone ever saying his name, excluding the fact that the storytellers don’t want to give him one because of some misplaced idea that that makes him cool).
It’s not that I’m cynical or anti-spiritual, either. There are plenty of stories that sucessfully tackle themes of death, forgiveness, and the afterlife. The Sixth Sense, American Gods, and Sum, for instance.
And it’s not that I didn’t understand you. I understand that the characters didn’t die in the plane crash, that they died at different times in the real world, and then found each other again in a purgatory-esque, unreal world created so that they could “remember” and “be together” for their trip to heaven, or whatever comes next.
(Though, riddle me this: why did they need to forget their real lives for a while, live in a falsely constructed universe with bizarre, seemingly random differences, and then remember their actual lives? Why not just meet up in Heaven and skip the sideways stuff? They already changed and found redemption in their lives on the Island, so there’s no need for purgatory, especially not a purgatory laced with amnesia. Is there any logic at all operating in the Lost cosmos? Outside of the writers’ need for a new storytelling device to replace flashbacks and flashforwards?)
The reason I’m breaking up with you is this: you lied about who you were.
You convinced me for six years that I was watching a compelling drama with real-life stakes about 1) a unique place, and 2) a unique group of people.
And then at the very last second (or the very last ten minutes), you reveal your true colors. You admit that the Island itself wasn’t nearly as integral to the story as we thought, but instead emotional bonds between the characters and their subsequent redemption forged on the Island. The Island wasn’t a character anymore, and didn’t get the send-off it deserved.
Were the characters important? Absolutely! Did we need to see their post-Island fates? Yes! Did we need to go so far as to see them in the afterlife (and…um…pre-afterlife)?
Did we need to dismiss the relevance of the Island’s very nature, and its seemingly conscious role in the characters’ collective redemption?
Does dismissing the on-Island events (beyond their capacity to bring people together) and ending the story in a manner and form completely alien to the preceding 120 hours completely violate the essential premise and nature of the story itself and our trust in the storytellers?
It’s a long con. A cop out. The red herring to end all red herrings. You already had a great ending, potentially: the sideways world could’ve simply been a second chance at life created by the Incident/Jughead, where, after their deaths on the Island, the characters could have lived happily ever after, free of the machinations of Jacob and the Man in Black.
You changed the rules in the last second of the game. And you know what that’s called?
So farewell, Lost. I’ll remember our first years together fondly. But your place in my heart is vacant, and I’ll never recommend you again, because I wouldn’t wish this kind of disappointment on anyone else!
Your Once-Greatest Fan
P.S. If you’d like to discuss re-editing options, I’m not too proud to consider reconciliation. But all of the scenes in the church last night (and the entire ‘Across the Sea’ episode), will have to be completely eliminated.
P.P.S. While I’m definitely breaking up with the you (the story), I still have the utmost love and respect for Michael Giacchino, Jack Bender, Terry O’Quinn, Michael Emerson, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Matthew Fox. It’s not their fault.