Saying goodbye.

I’m trying to remember the first series finale that was a really big deal for me—the first one where I was really concerned about bringing the story to a proper ending, and saying goodbye to characters in whom I’d invested huge (probably unhealthy) amounts of my emotion. I’ve never tried to hide my nerd card around here, so I’ll admit it: it had to have been Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I remember tearing up during the opening theme song, for god’s sake. And forget it if you think I maintained composure during any scene involving Odo and Kira, or Ben and Jake, or Miles and Julian…

Anyway. There have been other finales since that were big events for me, many of that same type of character-driven sci-fi or fantasy: Buffy, Angel, Battlestar Galactica. Tonight comes one of the biggest so far, with the ending of LOST.

At this point in time, I’m not much interested in criticizing things the show could have done better (there will be plenty of time to contemplate that once the picture is complete), or speculating on what might happen (which has never been my favorite way to approach this show). I just want to sit back and enjoy a little more time with my characters.

Whatever happens tonight, LOST will always be a show that has brought me many moments of intense satisfaction as a viewer, whether joyful, shocking, sorrowful or somewhere in between. Here are just a few of my favorite moments through the years:

–Hearing the mysterious French message.

One of many WTF moments in the pilot episode, this might be the creepiest for me. Who is this desperate woman begging for help? And her message has been on a loop for how long??

–Locke was paralyzed!

The first really great twist LOST threw at us solidified my new dedication to the show, and introduced us to one of TV’s great signature lines: “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.”

–Sun speaks English.

Less flashy than Locke’s twist, this is still one of my favorite character-revealing moments of the series. Actually, we get three great moments: Sun revealing her ruse to Michael and the audience; Kate discovering it on her own when Sun slips and acknowledges something Kate says; and Sun yelling out in front of Jin and everyone as the raft burns.

–The big hatch reveal!

My very favorite moment of LOST, ever. The absolute glee and exhilaration of realizing this first scene of the second season, where we’ve been watching a mysterious man go through his daily routine, is taking place inside the hatch—it’s never been matched. And I didn’t even know I’d just seen the introduction of one of the greatest characters of contemporary American television, Mr. Desmond Hume.

–Hurley gets the van running.

Poor Hurley really, really needed a break. And we needed to see this fan-favorite character have a moment of happiness again. A wonderful scene.

–R.I.P. Nikki and Paulo.

I know this episode is polarizing, but I’m in the camp of people who believe that the sheer fun of the side-story made the whole awkward intro of Nikki and Paulo worth it. I mean, they get buried alive! How can you not love that?

–“That’s for taking the kid off the raft.”

Sawyer’s execution of Tom Friendly was equal parts badass and sad. Sawyer’s anger and the way he deals with it reveal just how much anguish this character won’t let himself admit he’s feeling.

–“We have to go back!”

Ok, probably we’ve all gotten a little sick of this refrain, but when Jack screamed it out to Kate on the season three finale, with the big reveal that we’d been post-Island all along, the awesomeness was palpable.

–December 24, 2004

Desmond gets Penny on the phone. Viewers weep with joy.

–Keamy changes the rules of the game.

We may be able to debate the various motivations, good or twisted, of Ben Linus at different points of the series for forever. But in this moment, when Keamy murders Alex, we see him truly doubt himself for the first time. For me, one of the most startling and poignant deaths of the series.

–“We’re not going to Guam, are we?”

One of the reasons I think the writers felt ok underusing Frank Lapidus was because the character and the actor could convey so much personality in just a few seconds here and there. His reaction to finding five of the Oceanic Six on board his Ajira flight is priceless.

–LaFleur is Sawyer.

The sojourn into the 1970s Dharma Initiative was one of my favorite storylines of the series. We realize that gang has joined up when two lackeys fret over a security breach (“3:00 in the morning, you really want to wake LaFleur up?!”) and our head of security turns out to be none other than James Ford himself. So freaking fun.

–Jack and the poison pill.

I’m not sure why we had to spend so much time at the Temple this season, but Jack’s transformation into “Death Wish Jack” was the best part of it. He’ll take Sayid’s pill himself if Dogen won’t tell him what it is, dammit!

There are many, many more moments I could list besides these. (For example, absolutely anything involving Daniel Faraday.) Being a viewer of LOST since day one has been the kind of rich experience I’m always searching for as a voracious consumer of fiction. However it ends, I am grateful.

Please add your favorite moments the comments! And happy viewing tonight.


3 Responses to “Saying goodbye.”

  1. 1 Jared May 24, 2010 at 10:11 am

    This is great! I never much watched the show, but I really appreciate this insight into you and the characters who are a part of your life. Well said, Brandi.

  2. 2 Carly May 24, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    brandi, it wasn’t perfect, but i was emotionally satisfied except – except! – whhhhyyyyy did we have to watch Shannon and Sayid make out again?! if all of these character arcs are about closure and forgiveness (i’m on board! i care not about the numbers!), what are we to make of Sayid’s apparent devotion to Nadia, tossed to the wind when Lost’s most irritating character starts getting beat up by ill-advisedly throwing herself into a fight to save her (incestuously into her) brother? I mean, is Sayid just turned on by chivalry? and i keep seeing reviews where people are hugely excited and gratified by this scene. please reassure me I am not alone in thinking they copped-out on Sayid’s years-long narrative for an easy reunion of familiar faces.

  3. 3 Brandi Sperry May 24, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Yeah, that was the least satisfying of the revelatory moments. I could have bought it if the earlier storyline that seemed to be about Sayid letting go of Nadia in the Sideways world had landed a bit better. I never thought Shannon was as bad as you apparently did, though, so I wasn’t overly bothered. More distracting for me: who are Boone and Locke supposed to hook up with at that family reunion? Each other? The romantic overtones of every story were nice individually, but taken as a collective it ended up being a little much for this single girl. Still–I was very satisfied and on board with the finale over all.

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