Aaron R. Davis
Over the Christmas vacation, I spent a few days finally catching up on the fifth season of Lost. Has there ever been a show that was as convoluted, as frustrating, as ridiculous, as involving, and as completely awesome as Lost? With the final season just a month away, I’ve been thinking again about how all of this could possibly end. What’s the best way to end it? Will it have a happy ending, where everyone’s okay? Or will it have one of those Twilight Zone style twist endings? The only thing I know for sure is that, with the geek factor so high, the finale can’t possibly please everyone in the audience.
So here are some endings I’d like the producers of Lost to consider:
1. Everything ends happily. Cut to a quill writing across a blank page. We see Christian Shepard in 1891; the entirety of Lost is a novel he’s been writing. As he finishes page 815, he writes two words and suddenly dies of a massive heart attack. Pan up to the page. The two words? THE END.
2. Cut to a bedroom. Kate closes a book as Aaron falls asleep. Turns out the whole thing was a children’s storybook. Kate goes into her bedroom where Sawyer is sound asleep. Mindfuck! THE END.
3. Charlie wakes up from a drug-induced hallucination. “Well, that was weird,” he says. THE END.
4. Jack makes it back to civilization. Someone puts on a Lady Gaga CD. “What the fuck is this shit?” he asks, standing in for the entire audience. THE END.
5. Hurley is back in the asylum. The whole thing was his paranoid fantasy. Jack is actually his doctor and everyone else is an inmate with differing levels of crazy. Desmond has been lobotomized, so Hurley suffocates him, ending his misery, then throws a sink through the window and runs off into the night while Charlie cheers him on. THE END.
6. Richard finally agrees to tell Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Ben and Hurley the truth about the island. He takes them to the beach and begins walking on water before he disappears. The four castaways follow and wind up inside of a spaceship hovering over the Earth. The whole thing has been an alien experiment. Richard, following in the grand Lost tradition of shaming people with self-righteousness, convinces Jack, Kate, Ben and Hurley that the other castaways must never know about the aliens because it would accomplish nothing but a loss of hope. Sawyer refuses to go along with the plan, because the truth is better than a comforting lie. There’s no place for him anymore, so Ben kills him while Hurley breaks down crying. THE END.
7. Richard is revealed to be an archangel. He absolves John Locke of all of his sins, and Locke breaks down crying. Cut to a woman in a hospital giving birth. She names her baby John. And we realize that the whole of the series has been an allegory for the birth process, and that all of the characters are simply sperm who have died fighting one another for a chance to become born. Gross and creepy, but at least it’s over. THE END.
8. The camera pulls back to reveal that the characters are microscopic and everything has taken place inside a Petri dish. We are in a lab. A scientist played by Robbie Coltrane accidentally drops a precariously placed sticky bun on the Petri dish, and everyone’s screams are heard as they are crushed under a cream and cinnamon hell. And if you get that reference, you are my kind of people. THE END.
9. After a final battle with every faction on the island, Kate is the only person left alive. She decides to climb to the top of the mountain and wait for death to take her. When she gets there, she finds a camera control center, several editing bays, a craft service table and a complete film crew. Jeff Probst walks out and tells her she’s won a million dollars. THE END.
10. Sawyer finds a boat and decides to go for help. When the engine cuts out, he drifts for several horrible days, singing to himself and hoping to find land. Finally, he washes up in the Sydney harbor at night. Thrilled to be back in civilization, he walks to the Sydney Opera House to the sounds of someone expertly singing a selection from Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. He walks in, only to see that the woman singing … is an ape! He looks around, panicked – everyone in the audience is an ape! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!!! THE END.
11. Hurley makes it all the way to the center Dharma station, where he meets some crazy characters who crown him king of the island after a tribunal featuring some lovely late sixties guitar music. He is sent into a chamber to meet Number One, a shrouded figure who is sitting at a control station and, well, controlling the island. Hurley tears off the shroud, only to see a man in a monkey mask. Hurley rips the man’s mask off, revealing his own father, Cheech Marin, who runs away. Hurley starts to follow, when the late Patrick McGoohan suddenly pulls him away. The find a semi truck and drive off, revealing that they were outside of Las Vegas the whole time, and Hurley is driven all the way home … only to walk into his own house and see the burned out remains of the hatch! He’s still on the island! The island is everything! We are all prisoners! We are all … LOST! THE END.
12. The army finally sends a helicopter to the island. Sawyer and Kate decide to stay behind and be together without their pasts catching up to them. There is a group hug and everyone sings “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.” Then, as the helicopter pulls away, Kate spells out the word “GOODBYE” in rocks for everyone to see. As the helicopter flies off, a coconut falls out of a palm tree, hitting Sawyer in the head and knocking him unconscious. Suddenly, we cut to a bedroom, where Bob Newhart wakes up and tells Suzanne Pleshette he’s just had a strange dream about a group of castaways lost on an island somewhere in the South Pacific. She tells him to go back to sleep, but he goes to the bathroom to put some water on his face. When he looks in the mirror, he’s Patrick McGoohan! Then, we cut to an apartment building, where Patrick McGoohan walks in wearing overalls and a construction hard hat. “Any change today?” he asks, sitting down next to Kate, who is on the couch watching television. “No,” she says. “He just sits there and stares at it all day long. I wonder what he sees in there.” Camera pans down to the dog Vincent, who is laying there, staring at a snow globe with a tropical island inside. THE END.
13. Everything starts to go crazy. Fires break out, mountains start crumbling and the armies of hell begin to rise. Just as it looks like everyone’s about to die, we cut to five high school guys gathered around a card table in a basement. They’ve been playing that game where you tell a story for five minutes and then someone else continues it, and they’ve finally run out of ideas. Shrug. THE END.
And those are just off the top of my head.
However Lost ends, I’m sure it’ll be as convoluted, frustrating, ridiculous, involving and completely awesome as the show’s been over the years. I’m looking forward to the endless debating of the unsatisfied hordes that will never be able to let it go, of which there will be many. There always are, aren’t there?
I guess that’s just the mark of a show that really connected with its audience: the ability to frustrate them completely and still be beloved.
Now if only I could figure out how to do that myself …
Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.