Good news: it was perfect.
Lost, "The End"
FIREWORKS. THERE WERE ACTUAL FIREWORKS GOING OFF INSIDE MY ROOM TONIGHT OVER "LOST." Just when you think you can't get any more crazed with happiness, BAM, something else would happen! And then we got to the last 10 minutes and it was kind of like "..." and I still don't fully understand what happened, and there might have been some tears along the way, but the point is that was THE MOST AMAZING FINALE IN THE RECENT HISTORY OF PRE-PLANNED SERIES FINALES.
Let's just start talking, shall we? I may or may not make at least 7 pop-culture references to other shows/fandoms in the process.
Sideways World: Epic Romances
First I'd like to point out that one of my broken OTPs got diddly-squat the whole season, so I expect fanfic to rectify my Alex/Karl misery. How hard would it have been to have her to mention a boyfriend? Other than that...
1. SAYID/SHANNON. SAYID/SHANNON, OH MY GOD, WHAT, IS THIS A THING AGAIN?!?!?! Sure, there were like five seconds in there where I felt guilty and missed Nadia, but then I rationalized how she was married with kids in this life, and more importantly I remembered season 1 and why I started watching this show and I just could not believe they actually went back there, but THANK YOU. I swooned. I wept tears of happiness. They were beautiful and she had abandonment issues and he promised he'd never leave her, okay! At this point, I didn't care how the show ended. I was already content. And by content, I mean whooping and cheering and doing that thing where you make a fist and twirl your wrist in a circle.
2. Charlie/Claire! My word, this was almost ruined by how much more adorable he was in the island versus how awful and creepy he looks now, but then they persisted in clobbering me over the head with all the times they were sweet as pie together (I'd forgotten how beautiful the kiss was!!), and conveniently left out all the times that were heartbreaking, and by the end all I really wanted was for this adorable nuclear family to return to its spontaneous existence. Pretty sure I cried when it did. Bring on the tearful kissing! Right, so that's two romances-ripped-apart-by-untimely-death restored...you want to go for 3?
3. YOU DO! Okay - I was giddy, then I was giddier, and then James & Juliet went from smirky fun to recognizing each other, and I clapped so hard my hands turned warm and red. But when they remembered the end, and it was essentially them getting another chance to hold each other, safe from all that? Yeah, I could watch them cling to each other forever (in other unsurprising news, his voice breaks me). This is what I've secretly longed for them to have since the season premiere! By the time they repeated their last conversation, with a much happier ending, I think I had fainted.
4. And it's a good thing, too, because no one told me the finale was going to be all about hammering in how Jack & Kate Are Soulmates. To a really obnoxious degree. The first time it was like, "Wow, they actually picked a side of the triangle. Bold. Impressive." And then it was, "yeah, I got that. No, I definitely got it the first two times. Yep, still getting it. Oh, my God, I already surrendered and said I was fine with it, quit rubbing it in!!" Like, yes, haha, you got us, I invested 4-5 years of my life in the wrong team. That's the story of my Lost viewing experience.
But for the record, I am almost totally on board with this. I still have the nagging sense that I'll be betraying a fundamental part of who I am if I give in to the other side, but...I really want to give in. When they showed those domestic scenes from season 4 during the pre-finale retrospective tonight, my happiness meter spiked through the roof. And I'm getting ahead of myself here, but...when Kate is standing there cliffside with her beautiful tears and her heartbreaking goodbye kiss, I'm in all the way.
I have to give TPTB props for somehow, between the two universes, managing to have all four possible combinations of the love quadrangle exist after all. Remember how that was my ideal solution? I mean, technically our beloved rapscallion James Ford is taking the doc's seconds in both timelines, but I remain impressed. In sideways world Jack/Juliet are bonded by a kid while Sawyer/Juliet are making a fresh start; on the island Jack & Kate are officially It, but he's a bit, um, dead, and she & Sawyer are the only pair who made it out alive. That last thing is particularly poetic, so I'm coming back to it.
5. I finally realized why I love the flashes of recognition so much - I got a taste of them in Doctor Who, with John Smith/Joan Redfern, and I've been secretly yearning for more ever since.
6. Er, Jin & Sun were nice too. I almost had feelings about their last beach hug this time! Oh, fine, I really did get a little emotional when I realized how very many times they've been separated over the course of the series.
1. I spent two and a half hours on the edge of my seat, nearly having a heart attack at every turn. If someone could have told me to calm down and that nobody would be dying here today except Flocke (and maybe someone else, but that won't be important until later), it would have helped.
2. I still can't believe it was that easy to kill Flocke. But I'm definitely happy about it. So very satisfying watching Locke die, you know?
3. Nice to see that Rose & Bernard just hang out on the island forever, quietly living their lives, happy and drama-free.
4. The worst thing about this finale was not getting to see the ultimate Desmond/Penny/Charlie reunion. Charlie doesn't even have to be there, I just wanted to see Desmond to get back to Penny. He's terrifically bruised and bloodied and generally beat-up in every way at this point - my imagination is good, but some film would be even better. *GRUMP*
(You'd think I would be more relieved that they're at least both alive, but...at some point, I realized that this finale was going to be ridiculously gentle and benevolent compared to the series at large, with imminent death for most everybody taken off the table, so I found other bones to pick. Although at least Jack finally flat-out told him that if he wants to do something, he can go home and be with his wife and son. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the island reenactment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; tonight the role of Lupin will be played by Desmond Hume, with Jack Shephard starring as Harry)
5. I was on board with Sawyer checking on Kate's wound at the beginning; pendulum swung right back in their favor. It takes next to nothing to woo me at this point.
6. Case in point - on the cliffside o' sadness, I actually found myself chanting "Oh, go on, kiss him! Kiss him, kiss him!" Unlike Barney Stinson, I actually was saying "kiss." And when I got it, complete with mutual sincere "I love you"s, I was in ecstasy. I still can't believe they chose a side, but my notes say "well played. Respect."
7. I was so happy that the Great Plane Escape went off without a hitch or a dynamite-related explosion that I could have cried. Frank, you magnificent bastard. (high five for not dying! You too, Ricky-boy)
8. The heart of the island will make me laugh forever. I'm sorry, it just will. Hysterically. Especially when Desmond ventured down into the center of it and I was like, OH CRAP, HE'S STUMBLED INTO ALADDIN'S CAVE OF WONDERS. Run, you fool! Touch nothing but the lamp!
9. Nevertheless, it's almost fitting that Hurley became the caretaker in the end. More importantly, I think - although my TV fritzed in that moment - Ben will be helping him out for a while? Awwww, Benry. I'm happy you found what you were looking for after all this time. And you only had to sacrifice one daughter, triple-cross everyone you've ever met, and kill 23153 people to get there.
I should probably be more upset that Jack died after all that...but I wasn't. Weirdly. (although, further to what I said last week, I did holler "I didn't mean 'wriggle out of it' by DYING!")
Yes, I'm sad, but the heroic-martyr thing worked for me. And it was so beautiful and fitting and circle-completing that I just couldn't argue with it at all. That final shot of the plane soaring away and Jack's eye closing was all kinds of poignant...but what got me the hardest was Vincent lying down next to him at the end. I had been holding it together, but when the dog arrived to keep him company as he faded away, the tears came flowing freely. Good boy.
Although it did remind me of a certain prophecy I came up with - paraphrased, because I can't remember exactly when I wrote it and thus can't find the original post, but you get the idea: I'm calling it right now - one member of that triangle is not going to survive. J.K. Rowling might have chickened out, but Darlton will totally do it.
*glowers at Past Self* YOU DID THIS.
And then, while I was already crying, that final pan over the deserted beach full o' plane wreckage - finally, at long last, empty - squeezed a few extra tears out of me. Bravo. Bra-vo.
Final Scene, Sideways Version
They got pretty close to a Purgatory story after all, didn't they?
I honestly don't understand what Sideways World WAS. They seemed to be implying Heaven at the end of it (and oh, my heart broke when Jack realized "I died too"), but did the world itself and all its characters exist entirely in Jack's head? Because surely it's not like David's parents just up and abandoned him to join a cult with the promise of going to Blisstonia at the end.
But it's not quite like all their souls were just hanging out in a Matrix-like Purgatory waiting for Jack to join them, either. (or were they? regardless of when they died, since the afterlife has no real time, did they all just sort of flit to the gathering to help Jack along? Or does that world/their parts in it just fall away when they realize it's time to go? Because ooh, that one just came closest to sounding right.)
I've never had a problem understanding the answers on this show before, but gosh darn it, I just don't understand this! I can almost wrap my brain around the idea, without being able to define it, but then it will slip away from me again.
[Edit: Ahah! I knew I could count on TV Squad for explanations. Here you go, read and be euphoric.)
Maybe I should just be happy with the pan around the church, featuring all kinds of hugging and couples cuddling (oh, there's Desmond and Penny. NOT GOOD ENOUGH! *whip*), and the sense of peace and long-awaited relief at the end. On the island I think Juliet and everyone else still essentially died for nothing, but if there's even a dream where they all live out their lives safe and sound and eventually come together again, I will cling to it like a security blanket.
Especially because Benry is going to continue living in it, to find his non-island-stewarding happy place.
P.S. I still find it amusing that Michael & Walt do not factor into this "most important people" group.
Of the many heart twinges in the last 10 minutes, nothing got to me like realizing that at long last, Kate & Sawyer both got off the island. Nothing will convince me that they don't wind up together, on the Sawyer/Juliet principle, because how could they not cling to each other after all that? Give them proper time to grieve, and they'll get there. Because the secret truth that warring shippers don't want to admit is that they're all soulmates, those four, and two of them are meant for each other no matter how it shakes out.
Let's have another prophecy quote! Episode 4.4: "How far gone am I that after two seconds of that conversation, ignoring the canon of flash forwards, I wanted Kate to be pregnant so she and Claire could have a little Island Mommies club? And the five of them could share a house and it would all be very domestic, despite Sawyer's qualms about children, and someone should really write me a fic like this."
Hey, of all the crazy fic ideas I've had over the years, that one now has the highest chance of coming true. Either way,
I'm still pretty tickled that these three made it out together in the end.
Oh! Also: In addition to our miracle-working pilot (move over, Captain Sully!), Miles beat all the impossible odds to escape (WTF? I will call that the Sandra Diaz principle, I guess. Switch sides whenever you need a better deal and stay out of the way, it'll get you far), and Richard Alpert is finally going back to the real world, possibly now mortal and able to age and die naturally? I wasn't real clear on that. What an odd combination of survivors...but I'm happy for all of them.
...and I guess, ultimately, Desmond's vision of Claire being rescued wasn't completely wrong? It just happened to be an airplane rather than a helicopter, and several years later than assumed. If I hadn't already forgiven him, I'd forgive him now.
How My Heart Is Holding Up
I wrote most of this prior to reading any other reviews or watching it twice, so tomorrow I will probably have a hundred new thoughts and possibly a desire to picspam some kissing that I will never actually follow through on, in favor of merely watching the clips a thousand times. But I maintain that it was masterfully done, bittersweet in all the right ways, and more emotionally satisfying than I could have imagined.
You know what was even better? Jimmy Kimmel's reunion show. If circumstances prevented you from seeing this live, FIND A WAY TO WATCH IT LATER. Watch the gorgeous retrospective too, if you can (so many fun cast interviews!), but this might even be better.
-"Two things we learned - don't go chasing waterfalls, and not all dogs go to heaven." Hahaha! Also, way to remind me where Vincent wasn't in Sideways World. :(
-JOSH HOLLOWAY. DANCING. AWESOMELY.
-Kimmel actually talked to everybody he invited, even though there were upwards of a dozen on the bench. YOU SHOULD TAKE NOTES ON HOW TO DO REUNION SHOWS RIGHT, SURVIVOR. Speaking of which -- my favorite part of the hour was definitely alternate ending #1. "I did not spend five years in the Republican Guard . . . to get sent home by Jeff f***** Probst!" Bwahahahahaha, best.
-Though I was also very fond of "Come Sail Away" playing during alt. ending #2, if only because I was like, "I know this song! Why do I know this song! It's a very important song, it's -- FROM THE DOCTOR WHO MUSICAL, OF COURSE!"
-That's all I can remember, because my brain loses the ability to record memory when things are too BLINDINGLY AMAZING.
AND FINALLY, just to end this on a downer note...after Jimmy Kimmel, guess what came on? Legend of the Seeker. Considering everyone has been telling me to watch this for months, its random appearance now seemed like the ideal nightcap. True, I immediately realized it was the series finale and therefore probably not the best episode to watch first...but did that stop me? Nope.
Prior to now, my LotS knowledge has consisted of scattered episode reactions, a season 1 hug montage, another clip of dancing, some awesome promo pics that must have been for the penultimate episode, a Wikipedia scan, and the fantastic WIP "Storm Born."
And now that I've actually seen an episode...I'm sorry, you guys, but the answer is no. This might get ugly, so if you need to spare yourself, walk away now.
Where was I? Ah yes, "no." That was somewhere between deadly boring and completely godawful - and pretty much what I expected. I stuck it out for the entire hour, just in case, but I knew in the first ten minutes that this was not fun for me. I will happily take your Richard/Kahlan, but story-wise there is absolutely nothing appealing about this at all. Zedd is annoying, Cara constantly irritates me for reasons I can't even explain, anything that relies on magic & mysticism generally does not an interesting show make, and combined with the terrible writing, that is unforgivable. I appreciate the pretty hugs/kissing, as both members of the OTP are fantastic, but I'm never intentionally watching this crap again.
But on the plus side, the ending totally fit into the Lost theme described in my subject line. *thumbs up*