Film Junk Bonus Podcast: The LOST Finale

Well, it’s a little late, but hopefully not completely irrelevant… it’s Film Junk’s official LOST Finale Bonus Podcast! Since Frank has returned from Cuba we were able to reconvene this week to give our thoughts on the series finale and offer a few different interpretations of what it all means. This time around Andrew from Row Three also joined us, although unfortunately Goon was not able to make it.

This podcast is a bit shorter than the last one (about an hour and 20 minutes), but I think we touched on most of the important issues. If you’re not yet sick of talking about it, feel free to continue the discussion in the comments! Warning: This podcast obviously contains spoilers, so you’ll definitely want to avoid it if you haven’t yet seen the finale.

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  • Fatbologna

    The LOST finale continues to grow on me, if only because it’s sparked so many interesting conversations.

    Stoked to hear another one! Thanks, guys!

  • anton

    looking forward hearing thi one. Thanks for doing it:)

  • I missed it, thanks for recording and sharing!!

  • Seriously can you guys hire a handler for Reed and have someone smack him when he starts getting annoying?

  • I was hoping you guys would talk a little more honestly about the biggest thing Lost addresses;our need for mystery and the fact Lost was simply a vehicle to spoon feed you guys on a weekly basis. Not to criticize (because I like thinking about entertainment, storytelling and human nature) but I feel a lot of Lost fans are diluting themselves by not believing the program was, in a way, a “big con”. Maybe you acknowledge it and are still o.k., I just feel not enough diehards on these boards are being honest about the dupe.

  • I believe I addressed this on the podcast. I forgive the lack of answers because I appreciate the “thrill of the chase” (ie. the enjoyment of the mystery).

  • yes, but here we have an example of “mystery for mystery sake” instead of a traditional mystery with an actual physical purpose, conclusion, etc. I really think, based on what J.J. Abrams has said in interviews relating to other works, he feels people want mystery, and to that point, they will want it even if the conclusion is not as satisfying as the mystery.

    I believe Lost was conceived as a “dupe” from day one and I want Lost Fans to own up to this. I don’t blame you, again, it leads to a larger more interesting topic of our need for mystery.

  • @Bryan (Drunken Zombie): I deliberately didn’t say much so I wouldn’t annoy people like you.

  • Fatbologna

    Rus,

    Why do you keep trolling the LOST comments sections trying to take fans of the show to task for your perceptions on a show you’ve NEVER. EVEN. SEEN?

    I’m more than willing to listen to Reed take issue with elements of the show as he willingly watched the entire series and, whether he admits it or not, I think he enjoyed it for the most part.

    Maybe you should WATCH the show and then we can discuss the elements you don’t appreciate or find worked for you. Maybe if you engage in the mystery YOURSELF you’ll find what it was that made the show entertaining to people.

    “I believe Lost was conceived as a “dupe” from day one and I want Lost Fans to own up to this. I don’t blame you”

    You’re making assumptions based on hearsay and then asking fans to “own up” to liking it? I liked the show because it had engaging characters and didn’t spoon feed answers to people. There’s plenty of answers to be had if you’re willing to think about the show for a minute. Not EVERYTHING is answered, but I feel the most important questions were. The show wasn’t even close to flawless but it surely WAS entertaining, thought-provoking, surprising AND sometimes frustrating. It all depends on what you want from your entertainment.

    Go ahead and watch it. Maybe your questions can be answered by the actual show. It really was pretty damn good television entertainment and I don’t feel like I or anyone else needs to explain themselves for being engaged by something you’re not even willing to attempt engaging in yourself.

  • I watched the first half of the first season, the season climax, about two episodes per season. and I knew and followed everything in the conclusion that everyone else did. why? because they only concerned themselves with conclusions for characters, that for the most part, were very one dimensional and answered nothing about the island. dupe. so I would think more people would be angry with the producers. I’m on your side. WTF! was it all about spoon feeding mystery each week?

  • and why so concerned about me and what I think? is it hitting a nerve, a truth you don’t want to admit? the fact is no one could know the exact extent of the producers plans until the finale. if they had done a much larger reveal all true Lost fans would be in the catbird’s seat because they stuck with it, and experienced it LIVE. the fact the island was ignored is evidence to my theory. so the fact is it didn’t live up to the promise and I’m bringing it up, don’t get mad at me.

  • Fatbologna

    How can you say the characters were one dimensional when you skipped out on most of the episodes that filled out said characters? The reason the island’s story was inevitably ignored was due to the fact that the show was a character drama first and a sci-fi adventure show second. Any time the show’s balance tipped and it spent too much time on exposition I personally feel it failed. The initial three seasons were the best because the character work was at it’s strongest at that point. The more the mystery elements of the show took over, the more the characters became thin.

    I don’t disagree that the show was deeply flawed in many ways. It’s taken me some time to process a lot of the questions I was left with at the end. On the other hand, the fact that I had questions and was able to discuss them as well as hear other people discuss them and ultimately come to some pretty interesting conclusions is a plus to me. In the end the show is entertainment first and an attempt at art second. It’s pretty amazing that such a thing came to be on ABC of all places at all.

    I think that the themes and character work done in the show were it’s greatest strength and the other stuff was icing on the already delicious cake. How can you possibly call people out for being entertained? The producers may have enjoyed themselves while creating something that kept people talking and guessing all along and why is that wrong? The show was a fun and entertaining ride and that’s all MOST people want from TV.

    Leave the heavy shit to the movies, I say.

  • now we’re getting somewhere! with all that being said, lets say i agree with you, you calm down and stop getting worked up, why can’t we talk about the POSSIBILITY of Lost being the first (or second after Twin Peaks) show were the point of the show is to put mystery into the living rooms of North America and not be overly concerned about a strong conclusion to the mystery. That is what I’m interested in, an honest discussion about our need for mystery. Can this be done again post-Lost, I think not for awhile because people get wiser with each experience.

  • Fatbologna

    The main problem I’m having with your argument is the assumption that there’s NO resolution to the story. Even Twin Peaks had a resolution to it’s mystery. It wasn’t what everyone expected or wanted but it WAS a conclusion and it definitely kept everyone talking for years. The conclusion of Lost DID explain many things and wrapped up the threads that were integral to the story of the characters everyone cared for. It all comes down to whether or not you’re willing to let the smaller details(some admittedly larger than small) go and take the show for what it was.

    In regards to whether another show like Lost is possible, I’d say yes, more now than when the show started. As Sean said in the last Lost podcast, ABC and others have been chasing the bandwagon for a while now. Nothing’s hit yet, but I’d say there’s always the possibility that someone smart enough will come along and “dupe” everyone all over again. :)

    I think that mystery is always a good hook to keep people watching but if you’re not invested in the characters than it’s pointless. Human drama and character are the root of any good mystery show(or any other type of storytelling, of course).
    As I said before, Lost had strong characters. It took it’s time in the early seasons establishing those characters so that when things got REALLY batshit you still had those characters as an anchor keeping you invested. That’s why I felt the show was an overall success. The mysteries all amounted to a series of McGuffins surrounded by characters that everyone loved and often loved to hate.

    I think that your main misunderstanding is that you think people were somehow screwed over by the creators of the show. I believe the open-minded viewers had fun guessing what the creators would do next and that the creators had fun sidestepping the viewer’s guesses. I’ve never seen such a game of cat and mouse play out between viewer and show and I found that pretty awesome. Anyone who felt like they’d wasted the last 6 years of their time was obviously far too invested in the show. I’ve read angry blogs talking about all the time and effort they put into being a fan of the show and I think that’s completely fucking ludicrous. If I ever begin to feel like I’m “working” at enjoying something you can feel free to shoot me in the fuckin’ head!

    The show was a good time. I had a lot of fun watching it and talking about it. It is what it is. :)

  • Henrik

    I have raged against Lost in the past, but reading a comment like Fatbologna makes me feel all warm inside. It seems that as Lost went on, the people who stuck with it were forced to articulate why they kept watching the show, due to the amount of people dropping off, and all the criticism, and some pretty rock-solid arguments have been formed among the enlightened fans.

  • O.k. now I’ll admit why I even brought this up. As an inspiring screenwriter I spend countless hours thinking of interesting story ideas, and interesting climaxes to those stories. Character is paramount but if you look at GREAT films they have both great characters and climaxes.

    To get really strong stories with both of these aspects it takes a lot of heavy lifting. From the outside, and admittedly after years of watching J.J. Abrams productions, I feel Lost was a vehicle for delivering good character and drama draped in a vague idea that they had no idea of how to complete successfully from a critical, sy fy and entertainment standpoint.

    Its a cheat because you are “duping” the audiences under false pretenses. Maybe dupe is to strong of word; its like they gave the patient a placebo because at the end of the day they knew the patient/audience just wanted a strong drama in a weird setting – the mystery created the drama from the first moment. I don’t fault them if its true, but I’m curious enough to want to know more about this concept.

    In a way this is a cheat and brings some time honored levels of fair play between maker and audience in to it. I think that is another interesting aspect of Lost and its finale. I don’t like it because it causes copycats and the last thing we need is more shows and films with uninspired closures.

    [don’t flame me for not counting the character closures as answer to my argument, I’m concerned about the main mystery from season one, episode one, “what is this island”]

  • Fatbologna

    Henrik,
    To be fair I watched the entire series the month before the finale. I think that’s probably the preferable way. My girlfriend and I regularly remarked on how irritating the show would have been to watch week to week with commercials constantly interrupting the flow of the story.

    I think it also allowed me to enjoy the show without becoming as fanatical as some of the longtime viewers I’ve seen online. It was easy for me to see the faults in the storytelling and disregard them as there was always another episode to watch and something else interesting coming down the pipe. It’s probably better if you don’t get hung up on the small stuff and just enjoy the flow of the series.

    Rus,

    I think that they were good about conveying the feeling of what the island was without outright explaining it. My feeling was that the island was an entity that all religions attempt to explain. It was an intangible force that accepted/maintained the balance between good people and bad. I’d much rather have a vague ending than a Star Trek style exposition fest. I prefer a loose ending that’s left to the viewer. I appreciate it when a storyteller doesn’t insult my intelligence and allows me to make up my own mind. Obviously the argument could be made that by shirking the responsibility of tying up a LOT of loose plot threads and making the ending fairly sentimental/obtuse they were insulting the viewers by hoping they’d forget said threads. I’d prefer to think that they realized somewhere along the way that in order to make something memorable they’d have to piss off a certain amount of people and decided to take the leap.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have a number of complaints about the entire 6th season and the finale, but I appreciate the attempt to do something different more than I dislike the execution.

  • I guess I long for the days of yore, imagine the feeling of watching original Twilight Zone and being totally blown away by both character and climax. have we lost that; do writers now think to much about the ‘smart’ audience and shy away from delivering a statement ending with their productions. do you ever think of what it would be like if Lost would have delivered a epic finale with a really great reveal? is that even possible today? if that happened on modern TV, with a show like Lost, would people’s heads explode like a scene from Scanners? I hoped for that moment during the finale. I hoped for that, and the next day all the true Lost fans would be carried on the shoulders of others as disciples of a greater TV moment. alas, it didn’t happen, were do we go from here?

  • David

    Rus the problem with your argument is that you talk as if LOST is like Mullholland Dr. or a Lynch movie which threw a whole bunch of questions at you and never attempted to answer them. The fact of the matter is that they did infact answer most questions. Checkout Lostpedia’s mysteries page http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Portal:Mysterious it is almost entirely solved. The thing is that as soon as a mystery is solved people instantly forget about it and focus on an unsolved mystery. Lost did answer questions about the island, the problem some people have is that they feel that the show did not go into deeper details into it. Taking an example from 2001, LOST showed us the monolith but some people demand that they be explained exactly what the monolith is, how it works and who built it. I think going into those details would just be redundant and kill any sense of awe around the island.

  • jay

    ok back to the post casy was nice to hear what you gut had to say,, on the show and Reed i do think you like it more than your letting on,

    oh i think it was reed talking about it but yeah Jack shephard was bleeding side of his neck on the plane in the 1st episode of this season!!

    How i see it, the moment jack shut his eyes, every thing goes light then his flash sideways must start with him on the plane,

    i will try put it better,,, forget the fact they mixed the island stuff with the sideway stuff,,JACK’S sideway world starts from when he shut’s his eye and died on the island.

    Now i know where some of you is coming from when its hard to think that none of them had better life’s after they left the island,but hay we did not see it so why would they mention it.

    LOL at the JIN & SUN thing i mean thats a no win situation!! i can understand that they would be more upset inthe sidways flash but they know now they are already dead so what diff it make now,,,
    im sure someone said he should have left her in the sub come on!!! i mean like i said its a no win situation for jin,, how many of you would leave your wife drown on her own!!

  • Mason

    I just paused the podcast at 35 minutes in. At this point it’s devolved into nitpicking unexplained things, even down to the degree of “it doesn’t make sense why this character was in the church”, and “a place where time doesn’t matter makes no sense.” My theory on why the discussion went this way is that everyone in the room is a “man of science”. You need everything explained locigly or scientifically. Why can’t is be satisfying for it to be because “that’s the way it is” or “because that’s all the characters saw”? Having faith doesn’t have to be religious faith (but it helps).

    Many interpret the Christian Bible to say that time has no meaning for God either. and any Trekkie like Reed would be able to compare a timeless place to the inside of the wormhole in Deep Space Nine – which had religious significance for people on the nearby planet. The aliens inside were called “non-corporeal beings”, and because they existed in all times at once they were seen as prophets. Kind of like Christian Shephard, who had a lot insight at times? (I still haven’t decided whether Man in Black was lying when he said he was Christian Shephard. Why appear as him to anyone other than Jack or Claire?)

    Anyway, I just found it odd that it could get to an all around nit-pick session after a Sean and someone else said they enjoyed having the show open to interpretation.

    I say that too much exposition to explain everything would require a lot of exposition, which is boring, or many more episodes like “Across the Sea”. Many hated that episode and it featured none of the regular actors. I like when the only things we get are what the regulars witness. I like that they had them time travel because then they could witness things in other time periods- helping to flesh-out island back story relevant to many established peripheral characters. It’s not necessary for me to have the origin of the island explained. Any explanation wouldn’t be enough for most people. It’s enough for me to just say “The Island? It is what it is. One big MacGuffin!

  • Mason

    Oh and I thought it was obvious that the reason Desmond had the magnetism immunity and had flashes of the future was because he turned the failsafe key in the Season 2 finale. That blast of magnetism/radiation did that to him.

  • Pete

    Mason is correct .. as someone whose kind of sort of followed the program .. there is one scene that sums up the ending .. john locke and sayid .. when sayid fails to kill him .. locke makes him an offer .. right then im like-lockes the serpant-jacobs a flawed angel –
    i thought hurley would turn out to be some buddah/quasi surfer god figure at the end ..
    im halfway through the final ep on Hulu .. i find it cool that you cant apparantly spoil the ending on this
    so many loose ends its kind of left up to the viewer to decide ..

  • Janet

    Great show guys! Can someone post a link to the lost censored parody clip, lol :)

  • There are many things people brought up that I could comment on, but I’ll simply address something Mason said.

    Many people had a problem with the DS9 wormhole beings who did not understand the concept of time. I still can’t understand how something with no concept of time could interact with a human who is time-based. But I liked how Sisko who was in pain over the death of his wife tried to interact with the wormhole beings.

    The introduction of a timeless purgatory in Lost seemed like an easy way to explain away the flash sideways.

    The universe seems to run on “logical” rules and laws. That’s one reason I refuse to believe in “God.” I know there are many things like quantum behavior that seem mysterious, but I think they are mysterious because someone hasn’t figured out why, yet. Faith is for people who can’t control their lives.

    People seem to think I nitpick. I’m only trying to have fun understanding everything. I could say I enjoy something because it makes me feel happy, but there’s no point in carrying on a conversation then.

    “rus in chicago,” Abrams and co. may be interested in providing mystery, but I prefer to think it’s a lack of ideas. For example, the plot of the Star Trek movie was too simpleminded IMO. On the other hand, “Fringe” seems to be striving for some originality, and maintaining a coherent story-line. If the intent of “Lost” was to introduce supernatural ideas for the purpose of defining characters, then I suppose they succeeded like “Star Wars” did.

  • jay
  • Ben

    You know, I was just perusing that Lost mysteries wiki article and thinking about the “flash sideways/purgatory.” What the hell happened to the people who got killed in purgatory (Keamy, for example)???

    I’ll say it again, it makes no sense. Sorry Lost, in the end you failed at not only logic but storytelling.

  • Ray

    What the hell happened to the people who got killed in purgatory (Keamy, for example)

    maybe if you die in “purgatory”, to “hell”, he was an evil bastard, so that would make sense

  • this whole thing made me invest some time and start re watching the series on the awesome hulu (sorry Canada if u don’t have it) I had forgot how tight that first season is… I’m really enjoying it knowing the end; you can really see some nice subtle things rewatching the episodes.

  • Ben

    “maybe if you die in “purgatory”, to “hell”, he was an evil bastard, so that would make sense”

    That makes no sense (of course, we could just add that to the list of things that don’t make sense… an ongoing narrative in a place with no time???), someone “kills” you in purgatory and you go to hell?

    I started rewatching when we were a couple episodes before the finale and, in all honesty, the finale derailed any desire I had to revisit the series.