After six tangled seasons, the hit series Lost will finally come to a close this Sunday in a two-and-a-half-hour finale on ABC. The show, known for its constantly twisting plot points that raise more questions than they answer, has left even the most attentive fans in a state of wonder. But while the show's conclusion will probably "leave many viewers unsatisfied," says Robert Lloyd in the Los Angeles Times, Lost aficionados can still find meaning — even if they don't find closure. Here, an excerpt:
"Endings are always tricky. Television has done without them for most of its life; for years series were canceled and disappeared without ceremony, but nowadays, with a serial strain running through even highly episodic shows, it is more usual to aim for some sort of closure. (Just as it's become more common, in life, to think we need it.) Nevertheless, there is something in the very structure of American network television that is inimical to finality: New shows are launched hopefully to run forever; they are made for cliffhangers, not conclusions.
"When they do come, the conclusions tend to be straightforward: A villain is defeated, a patient cured, a job finished, a romance finally begins. But Lost is something else: The mystery at its heart is 'What is the nature of this mystery?' and the job of the last couple of seasons has been to explain (some of) what's come before, even as the show has charged continually ahead into new territory and drawn a curtain over old business...."