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Lost: New Man In Charge

August 9, 2010

This will probably be the last thing I write about Lost.

It’s called New Man In Charge. I haven’t seen this illegally leaked 12-minute epilogue, which doesn’t actually come out until the Season 6/Complete Series release later this month. That would be illegal. But if I had …

My first response would be that it’s a funny nod to the fans who wanted more answers in the finale. When the two aging hippies say “We want answers!” the audience would nod and say “Yeah, man.” But then they ask the lamest questions … 20 years in a Dharma warehouse and you want to know about the fish biscuits? Really? I guess that’s why you worked 20 years in a Dharma warehouse.

The sequence at the Santa Rosa hospital raised even more eyebrows, and I have only two (one if I forget to pluck). How are the events of this sequence even possible? I get that it’s 2010, and three years have passed in the real world since we last saw our friends in the real world. But what could have happened to have brought “Keith Johnson” to Santa Rosa?

There are some explanations, and they’re interesting. Outside Dharma never knew Island Dharma was gone. We know now what the Hurley Bird was, why the Hostiles hated the Dharma Initiative, why pregnancy was an issue, where the food came from and how Ben was able to access such amazing resources in the outside world. And also the burning question of Pierre Chang’s many names. I feel such a sense of closure …

I guess the most maddening thing, if I had seen it, would be the ridiculously bad acting. Lost was built on a foundation of solid performances, but everyone is clearly just showing up for a paycheque this time around. When Keith started to “cry,” I checked to see how much longer this thing was, or I would have, had I seen it. It plays more like an in-joke that was never meant to be seen than an actual epilogue to six years of mystery.

Its biggest fault is that it isn’t set on the island.

Here’s the deal: I liked the ending. I liked its avoidance of plot and its reliance on a spiritual story, because Lost was always, to me, a spiritual story. I enjoyed the gunfights, chases, mysteries, conspiracies, betrayals and Sawyer’s nicknames, but what made this show work for me was its emphasis on the idea of loss, and how it radiates through a community in ways people don’t notice, but feel.

I went back and watched the finale again after I didn’t watch the leaked epilogue and it worked better than ever.

Lost is not for everyone. But it was definitely for me. I’ll miss it. But now it’s over. And on we go.

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