I actually thought the series finale of Lost was fairly solid — not great, but with series finales, my rule of thumb has become ‘Be happy if the creators don’t shit the bed on their way out.’ Finales in which I think the creators truly and royally shit the bed include Seinfeld, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise. Lost reminded me more of the Star Trek: Deep Space 9 finale: satisfying, but with a lot of missed opportunities (in DS9‘s case, the gigantic missed opportunity was the admission of Bajor to the Federation, which the series set up at the beginning as sorta being one of the points of the whole series. Oops!).
I do love the Internet because one gets to see plot ideas that people think are clever (and which may be clever), but which would leave the vast majority of viewers wanting to kill J.J. Abrams, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. I call this the Meahan/Ryan Postulate, in honour of the Buffy conclusion a couple of friends of mine came up with that would have resulted in 80% of Buffy viewers forming a torch-and-pitchfork-wielding mob and surrounding Joss Whedon’s house.
My nominee for Internet plot twist that fulfills the Meahan/Ryan Postulate is ‘A horrified Jack becomes the Smoke Monster! That would have been awesome!’ Yes, and it would also have been awesome if Star Trek II featured Spock shooting JFK from the grassy knoll to save history as we know it, an actual plot twist repeatedly pitched as a Trek movie idea by Trek creator Gene Roddenberry after he was removed from all actual power over the franchise after Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The Internet makes one thing perfectly clear: some people will actually watch a show they hate for years just so they can complain about it. Years! Read a fucking book, why don’t you?
As to my major missed opportunity in the Lost finale…it falls under the category ‘Show Don’t Tell.’ We needed some indication that the Island’s impending destruction really was affecting the world outside. As we had lots of familiar characters and places to call upon, some reaction shots to earthquakes and red skies appearing in Hong Kong, LA, New York, Eko’s African village, and so on, and so forth would have made the whole thing seem a lot realer and more urgent. As it was, the stake seemed a bit theoretical, even at the end, and having shots of worried characters like Jack’s ex-wife, Penny, Walt and Aaron and his grandmother looking up at impending doom would have really put this one over the top.
On the other hand, any finale that makes use of non-linear time has my vote, though Jack’s father neglects to mention that if you’re outside time, not only is everyone dead, but everyone’s also alive.
Also, I was glad to see that I was right and that Lapidus was still alive.