Not Fulfilling Your Promises
by MW Cook
I like stories. But you know that.
Lost had a great story for a while. A lot of people thought it started to get death chills around the second season, but I didn’t think so. Sure, there were a few plot holes and a few things done out of character, but all in all I still appreciated it up to the end. It was everything a good fantasy should be. Convoluted, full of deep, interesting characters, incredible setting. Good stuff all around. We were all very excited for the finale.
If you haven’t watched it yet, and you’re planning to, you ought to stop reading now, by the way.
My first thought after watching the finale was this: They lied to me.
The series made a few promises, you see. Not explicitly, of course, but by introducing the sorts of questions they did, they implied that they would answer them. Is Claire really crazy? Where did the island come from? Why did the light do what it did? What is the freakin’ island?
And they answered none of these questions. All they told us was what the alternate universe was (and that was unsatisfactory, too. It’s the afterlife? And yet people died there?). Matt was not pleased.
It was kinda like a Stephen King novel. Great concept. Amazing beginning and middle. But something happened at the end. Something not good. It seemed lazy, to me. And a bad ending ruins everything. I cannot bring myself to care about the story or characters anymore. There is no point. The Lost universe was damaged with such a weak ending. If a story’s ending doesn’t match the middle, it messes everything up. The endings to Mistborn and Eye of the World completed and wrapped the entire tale up in a glorious package. Lost’s ending didn’t finish the job. It was like getting a present without proper wrapping. Or getting a great piece of electronics with shoddy batteries.
If you make stories, pay attention to your endings. Sweat for your endings. The end is the part people remember. And now my memories of Lost will be less than fond.
Totally. Exactly. Right on. Precisely correct. I think, from a storytelling perspective, the writers somehow convinced themselves that this wasn’t about the island, it was about the characters.
WHAT? How can you reach that conclusion!? The only reason we’re introduced to the characters is because… the ISLAND pulls their plane out of the sky. And then starts trying to kill them. There was no pay off for that. No reason why.
It’s the pay off that we read/watch/listen for. That’s just the way it works. Sheesh!
Good words Matt.
That was probably it! And maybe for the first two seasons that was even true. But then the story began to leave the intense character development and focus on what the island was. The characters got us hooked. The island kept us attached. So how could they possibly have thought that we wouldn’t care about the island in the end? I already know the characters, gimmie what I don’t already have!
We should have written it, eh? We should make our own epics. Next week, maybe.