Series finales are a tricky animal. Final episodes of long running TV shows are usually seen through extremely critical eyes, with fans disappointed more often than not. And this is exactly the case with popular drama series Lost, which aired its controversial series finale back in 2010. In a season full of flash sideways craziness, the ending saw Jack finally succumb to the island, while the extended cast reunited in a purgatory before passing on together.
This finale is still dissected today, and Lost show runner/ co-creator Damon Lindelof recently spoke about the ending with TV Line. Apparently any pacing issues that happened in the last few seasons is all ABC‘s fault.
Midway through the third season of Lost, [ABC] told us they were going to let us end it after Season 6, so we were, like, 48 episodes away from the ending. The more runway you have, the more time you have to be like, ‘Am I going too fast? Am I going too slow?’
This actually makes a great deal of sense. While sudden cancellations are every producer’s nightmare, too much notice can also throw a wrench into things.
And Lost certainly had a lot to juggle. J.J. Abrams’ ambitious sci-fi drama had some high concepts going on, and things only got more confusing and convoluted as the seasons went on. Because while flash backs helped to inform and expand the colorful cast of characters, flash forwards and sideways were eventually introduced. Juggling these concepts, while also trying to write another 3 seasons and plan the end game is quite the task.
It’s also pretty fascinating to think of the folks at Lost trying to formulate the ending back in Season 3. Because in the grand scheme of the series, Season 3 was still very early in the overall narrative. Focusing on The Others, we were properly introduced to fan favorite characters like Juliet and Ben Linus. Both characters would go on to be major figures in the Lost canon, so it’s wild to think that Damon Lindelof was already planning out their endings, while simultaneously introducing the newcomers to Lost‘s audiences.
Call me crazy, but I’m one of the few Lost fans who doesn’t totally loathe the series finale. I thought that Jack’s death was a hero’s ending, and the callbacks to the pilot’s first shot was particularly delightful. We were able to reflect on each character’s journey, as they remembered their time on the island. Additionally, almost every character from Lost‘s long run returned for the infamous church scene, which was a lovely sendoff. I know this is an unpopular opinion, so sue me.