Lost: The Complete Season Six
Well, it's over. Six long, rollercoaster years of the most mercurial television since David Lynch teased us over who exactly killed Laura Palmer have come to a close, and audiences are every bit as divided as the remaining survivors of Ocenaic Flight 815 were just a few short months ago. Make no mistake, endings are hard, and it's a tough ask to name any show good enough to last six seasons that managed to wrap itself up neatly enough to satisfy the needy, heckling herds of the faithful. Yet, for a story with more loose ends than a sack full of mop heads, they played it safe, but they played it very, very well.
Let's be honest, the island's mythology – woven together with threads – taken from everything from classic literature to Star Wars – was never going to make sense and fair play to longtime honchos Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, they didn't really waste much time trying. Ultimately, the much-anticipated ending amounted to a quick pilgrimage, a swift cliff-top scrap, and a bit of fumbling about in a cave was all we got, and I'm actually okay with that. Jacob and the Man in Black was a landmine waiting to be stepped on, and one this show skillfully avoided.
You see, once you elevate your story into the realm of grand, age old battles waged between good and evil then you are, in my opinion, simply attempting to excuse yourself from having to explain yourself adequately. Take the much-maligned Across The Sea episode as a clear example. So, Jacob is "good" and the man in black is "evil," and together they form a "balance" and protect the "source" from the humans who are inherently "bad." I'm sorry, that's not good writing. That's just broadly drawn, absurdly oversimplified, metaphysical mumbo-jumbo that doesn't really mean anything. So, having spent a good season and a half whittling themselves a crutch, the powers that be elected not to use it and for that alone that should be applauded.
For all it's involving mystery that was the talk of the water cooler' for so long Lost is a character driven drama. Everything from the numbers, to the button and the smoke monster, through to the time-traveling Tardis-like island itself are simple window-dressing for the characters that inhabit it. It's the characters that kept people coming back and the characters that informed the plot, not the other way around as it so often typical. It's was Locke's search for meaning that led us down into the hatch; Kate's commitment issues combined with Sawyer's need for detachment that gave us that compelling love triangle; Jack's compulsive need to fix everything that drove him to make the ultimate sacrifice so that his companions might escape.
Sure, there have been a few catastrophic missteps here and there (we here at Uinterview still shudder at that six episode capsule that opened season three), but throughout it all Cuse and Lindelof held steadfast to the idea that, no matter how bizarre the circumstance, people have to be who they are. With that in mind it's unsurprising that the meat of the season took place in the alternate reality of the Flash-sideways, and was all the better for it. Who cares if the island survies or not? What people really want to see is these flawed characters they have grown to love made whole again, and while the finale left logic holes you could stuff a planet into, the emotional payoff was more than ample compensation.
What rich characters; what detailed, nuanced arcs; all tied off with beat after beat of perfectly circled literary symmetry; from Dominic Monaghan's pithy rockstar, to Naveen Andrew's tortured torturer, everyone had their moment of reflection and watching them hug one another in that church – both a greeting and a goodbye – was nothing short of heart swelling. Even the great Michael Emerson – who having built Ben into one of TV's all-time great villains saw his character sorely sidelined this final season – received his blissful moment of redemption; gently bestowed the role of proverbial shepherd he had coveted for so long by Hurley, whose awkward frame made him the most illogical choice for island protector, while his limitless compassion, at the same time, made him perhaps the most obvious. With pay-off as delicious as that, who cares what the damn number mean anyway?
DVD Special Features:
As we've come to expect, the extra features on a Lost season box set are suitably extensive. The New Man in Charge offers an 11-minute epilogue on the island under Hurley's rule. The End takes us behind-the-scenes of the season finale, while A Hero's Journey takes us deeper inside the characters. See You in Another Life, Brotha focuses on the sideways flash narrative. Also included are numerous commentary tracks, bloopers and deleted scenes.
Starring: Mathew Fox, Terry O'Quinn, Josh Holloway, Evangeline Lilly, Dominic Monaghan, Naveen Andrews, Emile De Ravine, Jorge Garcia, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim
Creator: JJ Abrams & Damon Lindelof
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