There are many valid reasons for Lost fans to be upset after last night’s episode. (Don’t worry, we won’t reveal anything above the cut — but after that it’s open season on spoilers.) It was abrupt, many impossible things happened, the logic of this season’s alternate reality was as foggy as ever, and we got the feeling that all semblance of sense-making was liable to be sacrificed to the ultimate goal of getting the show — whose finale was just extended by half an hour — over with in the next two and a half weeks. But here’s what bothered us about it: The show isn’t delivering on six seasons of character development.
We were disappointed when, at the beginning of this season, a near-death encounter left Sayid black-eyed and dead inside. He had always been one of our favorite characters, a guy with a (literally) tortured past struggling against his basest instincts to redeem himself. But then, suddenly, he became nothing more than a vaguely evil robot. Sure, in last night’s episode he (somehow; we don’t find out exactly why) managed to shake whatever dark force had overcome him to make the ultimate sacrifice: saving his friends by allowing a bomb to tear him to bits. So… six whole seasons of investment in one of the show’s best characters (not to mention most talented actors), for this?
Then, just when we thought the bloodbath was over, Sun got stuck in the rapidly flooding submarine, Jack (in a move totally overwrought with Jack-Sawyer-Kate love-triangle symbolism) risked everything to save Sawyer, and Jin stayed with the love of his life. Thus ended the lives of the beloved Korean couple, whose relationship evolved from fraught and semi-abusive to deeply romantic over the course of several years on and off the island. We wanted to see them go home together and raise their adorable daughter, but instead we got a scene straight out of Titanic. (And we couldn’t help thinking: Poetic lovers’ demise aside, shouldn’t Jin have given some thought to that baby he consciously decided to orphan?) This is really how their heart-wrenching story ends?
Reviewing last night’s deaths, something else unsettling strikes us: Now that Jin, Sun, and Sayid have bitten the dust, we’re down to a single non-white main character (Hurley) on a show that, when it premiered, was among the most diverse on TV. Kate and nutso Claire are the only women left. And if the Lost finale call sheet and leaked script pages that have been making the rounds online are to be trusted (and the latest episode further confirms our suspicion that they are), we may be in for an entirely lady-free finale. Please, Damon and Carlton, assure us that Kate is going to die playing the rope in a tug of war between Jack and Sawyer, as yet another pawn in the white-dude battle that we fear this show will turn out to be.