For the record, I'm a total newcomer to the Lost fandom. I watched bits of the first three series but I decided to really watch the whole series only recently. So if I miss something that's blatantly obvious to longtime fans, I apologize.
I'm torn about the finale. I can't say I'm as satisfied as many seem to be but I'm guessing that anyone who's been following this show for the past six years has a much deeper emotional connection to the show than I do and so whatever direction the finale went, there would be a positive response based on sentiment alone. I will say though that after rewatching the finale a second time, I liked it more so I have a feeling I'll enjoy it more the more I watch it. Anyways, here goes my jumbled opinions on the finale:
I kind of both loved and hated the fact that the sideways world acted as a kind of purgatory for the survivors. On one level, it made sense to me that it showed (for some) that was meant to be was always meant to be, considering Lost is so closely tied to the ideas of fate and destiny. On the other hand, I think it went too far with the cheese factor. Was it really necessary to have nearly everyone pair off with their ~soulmate?
This works perfectly for some characters like Sun and Jin, and Desmond and Penny, whose stories have always been truly shaped by the other, from start to finish. I had chills watching Sun and Jin's montage of scenes and it reminded me how wonderfully crafted their story was and just how far they had come.
But the thing is, to me, the "flash of enlightenment" seems like it should occur when faced with the person or situation that dramatically affected the character the most on the island...but what about the characters whose romantic ties had a much smaller influence on their stories? With the exception of Jack/Locke and Kate/Claire, every character's flash in the finale was brought on by a romantic partner and that didn't sit well with me.Take for instance, characters like Hurley and Sayid-- it seems a little too much to swallow that Libby and Shannon are the ones to respectively jolt them out of their sideways world lives and understand the truth about their island selves. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to attack any of these pairings (in fact, I love Sayid/Shannon). Sure, Hurley/Libby were cute but when it comes down to it, Hurley's time with Libby is only a small piece of his experience on the island. I'm not saying Libby wasn't an important person in Hurley's life but I'd also like to think his friendships, especially with Charlie, had a more significant impact on him. Same goes for Sayid, whose internal moral turmoil stretched way beyond his storyline with Shannon. I hope this makes sense but the point I'm trying to make is that the ~romantic soulmate aspect of sideways world, in many ways, reduced so many characters to the romantic developments of their lives and that kind of cheapens the overall character development for many.
I did like that the finale devoted a good amount of time to Jack/Locke's relationship, which to me, has always been the relationship that has acted as the show's driving force--Man of Science vs. Man of Faith. To go back in time a bit, I think their incredible dynamic is best encapsulated in the following exchange from 2x03, one that has always resonated with me:
Locke: Why do you find it so hard to believe?
Jack: Why do you find it so easy?
Locke: It's never been easy.
I must say, I never have been a particular Jack fan but I really liked how his S6 story arc was all about him, finally understanding what Locke meant after all these. The dynamic between the two has always been fascinating and I felt a little choked up watching the scene in sideways world where the two watch Locke regain use of his legs. I especially loved that when thanking Jack for performing successful surgery and thereby restoring his ability to believe in something he once thought so impossible, Locke says "I hope someone does for you what you did for me" which is interesting considering Locke did indeed do so in ~real life. Everything coming full circle and I love it.
JATE vs. SKATE vs. SULIET
So Jate and Suliet became endgame while Sawyer and Kate pretended like they were perfect strangers.
WAIT ... WTF?
I think this is where the writing got a little sloppy. Yes, my Skate-goggles are obviously obscuring my view but I was pretty disappointed with how the triangle ended. I've always admired the fact that the outcome of this triangle was always unclear and this was due to strong consistent writing for both Skate and Jate. Okay, so Jack and Kate finally end up together...and Sawyer has absolutely no reaction at all? Considering all the testosterone-fueled tension Kate has caused all these years between Jack and Sawyer, you'd think it'd trigger some sort of response. Even if Juliet is his true love, etc., it still doesn't erase the history between him and Kate. I would've liked any sort of acknowledgment of their relationship--their friendship, at the very least. I've never particularly warmed to Jack/Kate but I won't deny that Kate has always loved Jack so that's that....though I always thought that their relationship off the island those three years only proved that they were incompatible and incapable of making their relationship last, just sayin'.
I was bit more dissatisfied with Sawyer/Juliet being endgame which is weird because I actually kind of ship them? I guess that I always found that the beauty of their relationship was that they never had a chance of lasting--they shared a nice life together during the 3 Dharma Initiative years but I think they both knew that it was a temporary life that was bound to end when they would inevitably become involved in all the destiny/island/fate-fueled drama again. After all, Juliet seemed to essentially say in the "The Incident" that the moment she saw Sawyer's look at Kate, she knew it was the end. Thus, the Suliet ending seemed just a little too convenient for me.
But no matter, it's not about the destination, it's about the journey and Skate sure had one hell of an incredible journey. And so, I'll carry on believing that Sawyer and Kate spent their years off the island using energy needed to ~pine over Juliet and Jack to do a lot of this instead:
I could obviously go on for ages and this barely scratches the surface of the finale, let alone the show itself but if my rants haven't already left you in a comatose, vegetative state, four fish biscuits for you, you go