Don’t Start A Story If You Don’t Know How It Ends…

I don’t usually write about popular culture – as we don’t have a television set and I am usually clueless…On the other hand I do have teenagers, and they are plugged into the internet and have access to downloads of television shows. Our policy is to have the computer in the living room area (public), so when my kids watch something that their friends bring over I can see what they are watching.

A few months ago my son’s friend brought over a CD with the first season of Lost on it. My son got hooked – and so did I! I thought the characters were engaging and I enjoyed  being drawn in to the plot of the story. Some of the “mysterious” parts of the plot were a bit hokey, to my taste (the smoke monster is a bit over the top) but at the same time I found myself wondering what would happen next.

To make a long story short, we just watched the last episode of Lost – and we were both disappointed. It drove me absolutely crazy not to find out why the women who got pregnant on the island died, and some of the other inconsistencies were a bit baffling too. Why could Jack suddenly be able to kill (not the real) John Locke, after he survived everyone else the whole episode?

The religious connotations were a bit over the top (purgatory? sorry guys, we Jews don’t buy into that stuff..)

The emotional reunions were of course satisfying – who doesn’t like watching lost lovers be reunited? (My son claims that the episode was written for girls…but then again he is just 14…) But overall I was very disappointed.

The best writers don’t leave you hanging. A writer can put in an unexpected twist or two, and a happy ending is not a pre-requisite – but some logic must prevail. Leaving the reader (or in this case the viewer) with too many questions just proves the laziness of the writer. Don’t start a story if you don’t know how it ends…


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan
    Jun 10, 2010 @ 17:32:25

    If it helps at all, I believe Jack was able to kill Locke because what’s-his-name went into the cave and turned off the water, thus turning Locke into a mortal.

    I do agree it would have been nice to get more answers. It’s my understanding that when they did the first season they never expected it to continue, since at the time there were no successful prime-time serial TV shows (we’re too used to having everything wrapped up in a half hour or an hour). So when it was a big success they had to scramble to try to make it all fit together.

    So you’re exactly right, they shouldn’t have started it without knowing in the beginning how it was all going to work out.

  2. Jack
    Jun 10, 2010 @ 17:54:38

    I have had a lot of conversations about this. They got stuck with using the purgatory angle because they didn’t plan as well as they should have. I understand that when the series is released on disc they are going to include an additional 15 minutes that was cut from the finale.

  3. westbankmama
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 15:28:23

    Susan – They had six years to come up with a decent ending! I can understand fumbling around a bit, but they really had enough time to do it right.

    Jack – I wonder what they could add in 15 minutes to improve it…

  4. Kali
    Oct 07, 2010 @ 20:23:49

    On the contrary, many great authors leave you hanging….i suppose you’ve never read an Atwood novel?

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