geoffrey gauchet

LOST is Ending and I Hate Jack and Kate

Oh, LOST, how I love thee. LOST is a TV show. No, scratch that—LOST is anawesomeTV show. I like it because it's got some action. I like it because it's got some comedy. I like it because it's got some mystery and mythology.

I also like it because it's almost over.

Don't get me wrong, I really want to one day rewatch the whole series on DVD or Netflix. I'm also a bit disappointed that one fewer good show will be on TV. On one hand, I'm upset it's almost done, but on the other hand, I'm glad. LOST is very close to jumping the shark and I want to see it go out on top.

\n*Below here, there are LOST spoilers. Also Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade spoilers. Seriously.*

LOST creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have repeated over and over that LOST is about the characters and not the mythology, that the mythology is just a vehicle to drive the character development. I can agree with that in some respects, but then I see a Jackor Kate-centric episode and then I quickly remember that I don't care about the characters. Jack and Kate are the most throw-away characters in TV history. Aside from Jack needing to exist for his father's appearance to matter to us, I don't need him. Until season six, he was the least dynamic character on the show, aside from love-triangle whore Kate. Jack and Kate could be buried with Nikki and Paolo for all I care. God knows I like Jack and Kate just as much.

And that's where I realize that honestly, some of the best characters have been the one-off or two-appearance characters that inevitably die or inexplicably disappear. And all the other likable characters that I care if they live or die have been the ones that have changed over the show's lifetime. Take Sawyer, for instance. Kind of a jerk in the beginning (okay, fine, the whole show) but he was mysterious. When we found out his secret, we realized he's got his reasons. And then when he and Juliet hook up, he turns out to be a good guy who's finally happy. And we still see glimpses of that guy in him when he cries about Juliet's death. Even Hurley has changed from lovable scardey-cat into take-charge ghost-whisperer. But no, Jack's still all whiny and I promise you he'll start taking charge of everything again just like on Day 1 and we'll see the same ol' boring Jack again. And Kate's still "oooh, I love him, oh wait, now this guy's unavailable? I love him now! Wait, he's single again? I love this other guy now!" I swear, Kate should've fallen into the giant magnethole of death at the Swan Station back in the 70s.

So no, LOST isn't just about the characters. It is most certainly about the mythology. If the same group of people had all the same character traits but they were just on this regular ol' island after a plain crash and there was no Smoke Monster or Dharma initiative, ABC would've canceled it faster than they canceled Kelsey Grammer's "Hank". The mystery of who Jacob was, what The Man in Black is, or what Charles Widmore has to do with everything, or where the hell Vincent is—those are the reasons people tune in to LOST each week. If you're the person that loves the love quadrangle of Sawyer, Juliet, Jack, and Kate, or watching Jack cry about not wanting to always be in control even though he's the first one to speak up every time, then you've been wasting almost six years of your life. This show is about the mythology; no doubt about it.

One thing LOST definitely isn't about, though, is wrapping up all the answers in a neat little package with a bow on it and handing it to you. This is a good thing. Could you imagine how boring the show would be if at the end of the series, you knew the answer toeverythingyou've ever wondered? Where's the fun in that? Also, who has that kind of time? The point of LOST isn't to go through every nitpicker's grocery list of questions and check off each one. Its purpose is to answer key questions that will let you either figure out or conjecture on your own.

It's an adventure and adventures are about the ride, not always the McGuffin at the end. Sure Indiana Jones is happy to get his golden monkey head or whatever, but the thrill of getting is why he keeps doing it. Hell, look atThe Last Crusadeand when he almost gets the chalice of Christ. He lets it go. He lets it go because (aside from almost dying) he had a hell of an adventure and he didn't need a trophy to prove it. This is why I'm glad LOST is ending this season. It will end with stuff left unanswered. It will end with a handful of new questions. It will end with a bunch of idiots yelling at their TVs.

And hopefully it will end with Jack and Kate dying in a giant fireball.

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September 7, 2005
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May 19, 2010
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