Believe It Or Not, The Lost Producers Are Still Trying To Explain That Ending

Lost Jack see you in another life

It’s been ten years since Lost premiered on ABC, and last night members of the cast joined showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse for a PaleyFest reunion. It might seem kind of ridiculous that they still have to answer questions about the series finale almost four years after it aired, but they do. Except the big thing they explained last night didn’t really need to be explained… or so I thought. I hate to be all “no duh guys,” but did people seriously interpret that ending to mean the characters had been dead the whole time?

Apparently they did, because the producers wanted to be clear that the characters were not dead for the entire series, and the island was not purgatory. Apparently the footage of the plane wreckage at the very end of the finale was interpreted to mean the characters had died in the crash:

“We thought, let’s put those shots [of the plane wreckage] at the end of the show and it will be a little buffer and lull. And when people saw the footage of the plane with no survivors, it exacerbated the problem.”

The series ending featured all the characters dead and meeting each other in heaven. But that was not meant to imply that they’d been dead since the plane crash, just that they had all died by the end of the series:

“But the characters definitely survived the plane crash and really were on a very real island. At the very end of the series, though? Yep, they were all dead when they met up in heaven for the final ‘church’ scene.”

I was a devoted viewer of the show from the very beginning, and I was always one of those people who told off detractors by insisting the writers knew exactly where they were going and would explain everything by the end. And then when they didn’t, I looked like a moron. The finale pissed me off, but not because I thought they’d gone with the “they’ve been dead the whole time” angle. It was because they didn’t actually answer the questions they promised to answer by the end. Sure, it was nice that they gave the characters themselves some closure, and sure it made me cry. But I still don’t entirely understand what and where the island was and why the characters were there, which is why I kept watching the show.

The showrunners continue to act like the most important part of the series was the characters’ story arcs. Sorry, but that’s a total cop-out and they know it. Cuse said they wanted the ending to be “spiritual”:

“We would have long discourses about the nature of the show, for many years, and we decided it needed to mean something to us and our belief system and the characters and how all of us are here to lift each other up in our lives.”

Ugh, that’s fine, be spiritual and metaphorical and corny. BUT WHY DIDN’T YOU ALSO ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS?! WE HAVE TO GO BACK! 4 8 15 16 23 42.

(GIF: Tumblr)

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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    • Katie

      I feel like I have to take a minute or two every single day to sit and stew about the Lost finale. One of the greatest shows of all time tanked so hard and now I can’t even recommend it.
      “Hey guys, we know you love this show because of the mystery and the impending answers to all your questions… we know thats how we got rich and had one of the most successful shows of all time…. but screw you. Its about the characters.”

      • Jill O’Rourke

        EXACTLY. This.

    • Misenhammer

      Um… I was definitely one of those people who thought they were MAYBE dead the whole time on the island, although all my half-formed theories were up for debate. It’s not exactly that “duh” of an assumption, cuz, you know… Footage of dead bodies… Explicitly saying they were all dead… Constant mystical happenings on the island involving people we knew to be dead on the mainland… It’s not SUCH a crazy assumption, maybe?

      • Jill O’Rourke

        Apparently a lot of people thought so too. That interpretation just never crossed my mind, especially since the showrunners had already ruled out purgatory as the answer way before that. Although to be fair, they also acted like they’d give us all the answers by the end, which obviously they didn’t.

    • Valerie

      I still Ugly Cry at the end of the finale. Jack and the dog and ugghhhh. No matter how we were meant to interpret it I was still very touched by it. I could cry just thinking about it. Damn tinkly piano music!

      • Jill O’Rourke

        Oh absolutely, I cried like a baby. Aww Vincent.