in defense of the lost ending

(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or TV show, or sets their sights on something seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: a defense of the final season of the ABC TV series LOST.)

LOST was once at the pinnacle of the early Golden Age of TV. Ambitious, awe-inspiring, and frustrating, it brought forth a new age in serialized primetime television and was perhaps the last great TV show to command the attention of audiences across the country before streaming and prestige cable shows dispersed them.

You remember those glory days, right? The connective flashbacks, the masterful character work, the scavenger hunt for hints, the jaw-dropping cliffhangers. It was like nothing on TV. And it ended seven years ago today, airing its series finale on May 23, 2010.

So it pains me that LOST, one of the most exciting and daring sci-fi TV series — and one of my favorite shows of all time — is met with derision because of its final season. To be sure, it’s an oddly opaque finale for a show that until then, had operated in grays — espousing realist and borderline nihilistic philosophies that called into question the nature and morals of man. But one of the charms of LOST was that it never tried to answer these questions. Yes, it bludgeoned you over the head with that “man of science, man of faith” debate between Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) and John Locke (Terry O’Quinn), but neither were able to ever really win the upper hand.

The finale changed that. The answer, it seemed to say, was faith. And in a show that depended so heavily on sci-fi tropes and staples, this switcheroo understandably angered people.

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/Answers: The Best Television Episodes of All Time

breaking bad ozymandias

Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. This week’s edition asks “What is your favorite television episode of all time?” As always, we have submissions from the /Film writing crew and podcast team, along with a special guest. This week, we are joined by The Leftovers and Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof.

If you’d like to share your favorite TV episode, please send your thoughts to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on the site. Find our favorite episodes below!

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Damon Lindelof directing

Over the years, some notable television showrunners have taken to directing. Ryan Murphy, Noah Hawley, and Matthew Weiner have directed episodes of their shows, just to name a few examples. Sometimes these transitions from writing to directing yield great results. Hawley recently directed the thrilling and imaginative Legion pilot, while back in 2012 David Chase (The Sopranos) gifted us with his feature directorial debut, Not Fade Away.

Damon Lindelof is one well-known showrunner who’s yet to direct. In all of his years on Lost and The Leftovers, which begin its third and final season April 16, he didn’t get behind the camera once. We recently asked him why.

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Lost original ending

LOST has always been an exercise in “what could have been” — both in the story of the hit ABC show itself, and in the fans’ ultimate reaction to the show’s legacy. What could have been if the show had answered all our questions, if every bit of foreshadowing and world-building had paid off? If the ending was different?

Perhaps, as a show that attempted to tell a metaphysical story through a science-fiction lens, LOST would never have fully satisfied anyone — but it could have at least ended with a bang. At least, that was the original intention from showrunners Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, who planned for an explosive finale involving a battle for the fate of the world on top of a volcano. But alas, it was not meant to be.

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header version: tom whalen moana variant

In today’s edition of Cool Stuff, we premiere Tom Whalen’s stunning Moana screenprint variant, a screenprint tribute to The Princess and the Frog from a Pixar artist, a look at some of Fantasy Flight Games’ new figure expansions for Imperial Assault that bring some of our favorite characters from the Star Wars comics and Star Wars Rebels to the tabletop, a new six inch vinyl Sam figure from the Halloween cult classic Trick r’ Treat, a JAWS-inspire bath bomb that will turn your bath tub red, and finally Funko has made POP figures for the characters from the television series Lost, but why are they so disappointing? Hit the jump to dive in!

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San Diego Comic Con

As we prepare to travel to San Diego for another year at Comic Con, I wanted to take a look back at the best moments in Comic Con history. What are the coolest and most eventful things to happen over the last decade while sitting in Hall H? What makes a great Comic Con moment? Lets take a look back at the best comic-con moments of all time.

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Colony (1)

Colony premiered on USA January 14. The new show from Lost producer Carlon Cuse and showrunner Ryan Condal is about an alien occupation in Los Angeles. The aliens have walled off the city and some of the residents are cooperating with the occupiers. At the end of the pilot, we find out (spoiler alert!) that one of the main characters is working with the resistance.

We got a good, long interview with Cuse and Condal when they visited the Television Critics Association the day of the premiere. Cuse also addressed some questions about his other series Bates Motel, The Strain and even a lingering Lost question.  Read More »

Lost-logo

I’ve been meaning to revisit Lost lately, but I’m sure glad I didn’t do that on Netflix. The rental service had been streaming a finale missing 18 minutes of footage, which is, as Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof says, befuddling. At least Netflix has been quick to respond. Read more of Lindelof’s reaction to the Lost shortened finale after the jump.

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forceawakens-dowutin-lady-cantina

JJ Abrams is one of those filmmakers who loves to hide easter eggs in his films and television shows. And we love to go on the easter egg hunt and find them. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is packed with inside jokes, cameos, fun references to past films, as well as some things that pay homage to the inspiration and fandom of the series.

How many Game of Thrones cameos did you spot? Is it possible the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the Lost Ark might be hidden in this movie somewhere? Find out this and over 50 other Star Wars: The Force Awakens easter eggs, after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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The world premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens took place Monday night in Hollywood, and you’ve already probably read the first reactions and spoiler-free reviews. But the Force Awakens news bits keep on coming. Lets take a look at the latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens news and tidbits:

  • JJ Abrams confirms that the film’s new X-Wing pilot pays tribute to both Lost & the Beastie Boys
  • The Force Awakens Has Already Pre-sold $100 million in tickets
  • If you don’t want to play the video games to learn about the Force Awakens prequel, here is the story behind the Battle Of Jakku.
  • Lupita Nyong’o Didn’t Realize She Auditioned For Force Awakens
  • Cinematographer Dan Minel explains how he shot The Force Awakens 
  • Check out all the new Force Awakens books and merchandise hitting stores on December 18th.
  • Watch the entire recorded Force Awakens Premiere live stream
  • And the header image was created by artist Jerrod Maruyama, who says “I can’t wait to see what JJ does with George’s toys!”

All this and more in today’s Force Awakens Bits. Alright Chewie, Punch it! Hit the jump for hyperspace!

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