Home Television Lost Was Purgatory; Now We’re in Hell

“Lost” is finally over.

And, as I surmised–and many others did a long time ago–the survivors of Oceanic 815 were in a kind of purgatory. All that flashing forwards and backwards and sideways was their lives flashing before them.

The best line of the night went to Kate, after Desmond told her someone named Christian Shephard had died. “Christian Shephard? Seriously?”

Back in the ether of my Fox News column I did say a long time ago that Jack’s father was named for a reason. The show had highly Biblical overtones, and they call came together tonight.

But, as with everything to do with “Lost,” and most series finales, this will be debated for a long time to come.

There were a lot of clues along the way. I’ll trust the folks at Lostpedia to sort them out, and all over the ‘net on forums devoted to the subject. But Jack’s neck wound coming and going should have been one, certainly. And last week, it made no sense in linear time that Michele Rodriguez‘s character, Ana Lucia, could have appeared in a flash sideways after she’d died on the island. But neither did it make sense in the same episode that Rousseau and her daughter, Alix, could have existed in Ben’s story.

The question will be: did the Oceanic passengers survive at all? Did the Oceanic 6, as they were known, return to the mainland, and then return to island only to die? And what about all the other people, like the bad guys from the Dharma Institute, and the Others? Th questions will go on and on.

But you know, “Lost” had to end eventually. And remember that that Damon Lindelof and Carleton Cuse always said they knew what the last shot would be from the beginning. And so it was.

Mantime, Cyndi Lauper was pretty damned good on “Celebrity Apprentice.” And is it any surprise that Bret Michaels won? At least he’s alive and not in purgatory.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
9 replies to this post
  1. Michaels was downright amazing in Celebrity Apprentice. He was a little too emotional and over-dramatic about his disease and it seemed just a bit to convenient that his daughter would be tested and found to be a possible diabetic during the run of the show.

    On the other hand, given the no question about it actual medical crises he faced towards the end of the run, and his courage in appearing on the show, he truly impressed me and everyone. He absolutely deserved to win. Plus, the new Snapple drink he created is really good and only 5 calories.

    As for Lost, my wife and I think the Smoke Monster got a raw deal. He was a victim of the island and was never given a chance at redemption. Nor did we ever find out why the world would have ended had he left the island. Who really was Jacob and the Smoke Monster’s mom? Was she just another in a long line of people protecting the island? Were Jacob and SM really supposed to be a sort of Cain and Abel? Moreover, where did this magical island come from and why was it the crux of their universe? Was this an Eden that some powerful force created to generate life on Earth?

    The show may have given us a plausible ending to the characters we loved but it dropped the ball on the real mystery behind it all. I guess they never really had an answer for that.

  2. I am still confused over if they died on the plane crash, or some died later on the island. The entire series is a bit confusing and i would like to believe i am a smart person.

    The ending was pretty good, but i know an aweful lot of people who are disappointed vocally. I really have no clue why, JJ Abrams has never been known as a plot guy. Hell, Alias had entire decades and years flash by at times just to be able to change characters lives a bit. And don’t forget Abrams also blew up the Planet Vulcan in his Star Trek Movie. which is completely against the Star Trek Series/Movies Bible.

  3. Exactly, it was only Season 6 that they were in purgatory, everything before that, especially their time on the island was very real. Christian Shepherd made sure to explain this at the end. They created the Sideways world to find each other after death, some of them died on the island, some of them died way after they left (for example, the people in the Ajira plane). It was one of the best finales of TV history.

  4. No. I know it’s open to interpretation and all, but you’re way off the mark here. The purgatory part was only the season 6 flash-sideways. Everything that happened before was REAL, and that’s why these people were important to each other and collectively created this world to regroup. Otherwise they wouldn’t have known each other. They wouldn’t have mattered to each other.

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