So, you want to know what happened on the series finale of ‘Lost’?

It’s been a week since the series finale of Lost, but it feels like a year, and that is because I must have read at least a year’s worth of writing about the finale in just one 72 hour period. (And I’m sure I’m not the only one.) This is already more progress than I’ve made on the Battlestar Galactica finale, and that was over a year ago. I’ve had reviews from “Daybreak” sitting in my inbox since March 2009, but I can’t bring myself to read them, or to write out my own thoughts, and I LIKED that episode. It’s just that the experience of watching that finale was so emotionally draining that I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch a single episode since. All in all, I’m glad that my level of emotional attachment to Lost was nowhere near my attachment to BSG, otherwise I might be dead from some sort of crying-induced aneurysm or something. As it was, I still cried like an overgrown baby.

Anyway, my point is, I’ve collected lots of goodies over the past week. I’m sure some of you might have seen most of these, but I find it helpful to put them all in one place, especially when it comes time for me to rewatch the series again. That way I don’t have to go looking too hard. Below, you’ll find a collection of reviews, ponderings, explanations, and varied miscellany all to do with “The End.” And as always, feel free to let me know if I’ve missed anything worth noting (with the amount of Internet writings about this finale, I KNOW I’ve missed something). I also want to know about your experiences with this finale. What did you all think? Have you rewatched? Does anything feel different after a week has passed? What were your favorite parts? Tell me everything. I want to know.

What did the critics have to say?

YAY

º Perhaps this one is only my favorite because Noel Murray and I seem to be on the same wave length about this show, but his review of the episode over at The AV Club is in fact, my favorite.

º Time Magazine‘s James Poniewozik thought it was “moving” and “soulful.” (“To me, the closing of Lost was not telling me that I do or do not have an immortal soul; it was telling me what these characters lives meant. And that meaning, like all our lives’ meaning, derived from the interactions they had with, and the memories they shared with, other people.”)

º Todd VanDerWerff‘s initial review from the LA Times‘s Show Tracker is very good (particularly the comparison to Watership Down), but it is his second, in which he attempts to deal with a lot of the fan fall-out and his own second opinions of the finale, that I really enjoyed.

º Myles McNutt questions the execution of the Sideways world in terms of placing emphasis on something that ultimately doesn’t lead to answers (as do I, I wish there had been more Island resolution . . . not answers, just resolution), but ultimately admits that it doesn’t affect his enjoyment of the series. (“Lindelof and Cuse confirmed in “The End” that the Flash Sideways structure was designed to highlight character and theme, the two most important part of this series for me personally.”)

º TV/Media scholar Jason Mittell has two excellent pieces up. His immediate reactions to the episode are posted on Antenna, and a follow up piece, which clarifies and expands upon the events of the episode is posted on his personal blog. The second piece is well worth a look, especially if the finale left you confused. He also makes good points in both pieces in refuting the argument that ultimately Lost was about religion, instead arguing that it was about “letting go,” and that even a die hard atheist (like himself) can find something worthwhile in its subtext.

º Mo Ryan, of The Chicago Tribune had been frustrated with the direction the show had been going the past couple of weeks, but loved the finale, calling it “an emotionally cathartic sendoff, it was a beautiful reunion and a testament to what the show was about: Creating your own world. Creating your own fate. Creating a community of people that you can’t exist without — in any sphere, before or after death.” She also posted thoughts a couple days later, after some much needed sleep.

º Entertainment Weekly‘s Ken Tucker enjoyed the finale, but seems to have missed the point, calling it “Christian.” Uh. Were we watching the same show? If anything, we should call it Unitarian. There were hints of Christianity, yes, but also major theological indicators from many other world religions and spiritual trains of thought as well, including Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.

º And on that note, Doc Jensen‘s predictably cracked out recap. (His instant reaction is here.)

NAY

º Jace Lacob over at The Daily Beast thought Lindelof and Cuse took “the easy way out,” and his post over at Televisionary calls it “sentimental and cliched.”

º While Mike Hale of the New York Times admits his initial take on the episode (that all the characters were dead the whole time, in a misunderstanding of the Sideways world that a lot of people seem to be having) was now wrong (obviously), and promises to take that into account in his more detailed review, his initial take on the episode was that it was a “cop-out.”

º Emily Nussbaum, of New York Magazine, thinks that “the creators of Lost seduced and betrayed their viewers,” but still calls herself a ‘fan.’

º Clique Clack’s Keith McDuffee writes about how ‘the ‘Lost’ finale disappointed the hell out of” him. Believes the finale had no depth and does not deserve any sort of complex analysis. (Note to self: Think twice about believing anything in any of his future reviews.)

IN BETWEEN

º Alan Sepinwall from HitFix loved the character moments but felt that more answers were needed in terms of what the show itself wanted us to believe was important. (However, he does qualify his negative thoughts with this: “When ‘Lost’ was really and truly great, it locked you so deep into the emotions of the moment that the larger questions didn’t really matter.”)

º Tom and Lorenzo loved the Sideways story, but thought the Island got short shrift, and the last fifteen minutes, at best, were problematic.

Still need answers? Or maybe just some clarification?

º Kristin Dos Santos from E! has answers (and weird speculation) from the inside.

º Design Woop, of all places, has some inside scoop, with a piece written by an anonymous former writer of the show, entitled: “Lost Finale Explained Well.” Indeed. (My favorite part: “Remember when Michael appeared to Hurley, he said he was not allowed to leave the Island. Just like the MIB. He wasn’t allowed into this sideways world and thus, was not afforded the opportunity to move on. Why? Because he had proven himself to be unworthy with his actions on the Island. He failed the test. The others, passed. They made it into Sideways world when they died — some before Jack, some years later. In Hurley’s case, maybe centuries later. They exist in this sideways world until they are ‘awakened’ and they can only move on TOGETHER because they are linked. They are destined to be together for eternity. That was their destiny.” Also, that the end scene had been written from Day One, by Mr. J.J. Abrams himself.)

º Confused by the logistics of what the fuck actually happened? Check out Rick Paulas‘s “43 Answers to Unanswered Questions About ‘Lost.'”

º College Humor’s seriously well-researched (and funny) compilation of unanswered questions (some of which have actually been answered). (And here is Movieline’s rebuttal.)

º The Los Angeles Times sets (idiot) viewers right. The plane crash footage shows during the credits does NOT mean they were “dead the whole time.”

º The dude from that Never Seen Lost blog (in which he claims to have never seen a single episode until the sixth season premiere) has a suitably amusing recap of the finale.

º Sci-Fi Wire has a nifty piece up entitled “119 Things ‘Lost’ Did (and Didn’t) Answer.”

º And, for the final note on all things mysterious, head over to Lostpedia for a complete index of solved, partially solved, and unsolved Lost mysteries.

Miscellaneous

º Jonathan Gray pleads with Anti-Fans not to “picket the funeral.

º Jimmy Kimmel‘s Lost special (which my stupid DVR didn’t record) had some fun alternate endings. I love them.

º A giant round-up of critics (even a big jerk who starts hating on the BSG finale, shut up! It was over a year ago, and you are WRONG) over on Instant Dharma. My favorite reaction has to be Libby Hill‘s, who is self proclaimed “finale apologist,” saying that showrunners have the right to decide how to end their own show, and that they deserve credit for it. Hear, hear!

º Now that Lost is over, what should you be watching? Cinema Blend has a list of TV shows that might help you fill the void.

– – –

Here are some things that I have learned in the past week: the best name for the magical glowy cave on the Island is “The Glowhole” (go ahead, try to think of a better one); a large population of the internet are both pessimistic turdbuckets and idiots; and it’s gonna be a long time before we get a show like Lost (or BSG) that we can engage in at this level, and for that, it will definitely be missed.

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