LOST

I know Jack is a polarizing character and definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but this is my favorite scenes of the entire series. Absolutely heart-wrenching.

 
I’m an episode away from starting it again but season 6’s biggest problem was trying to pad out the on-island events and the expense of the Temple set (which wasn’t worth it) derailing the volcano finale, which made a lot more sense.

And would’ve required someone else to be Adam of Adam & Eve.
 
Has anyone involved with production on the show ever talked about what the ending was planned to be from the start, if it was changed, or if it ended as was always the idea?

Viewers who abandoned it accused them of not knowing what they were doing and buying time with diversions.
They've pretty much admitted that they made things up as they went along, though the broad strokes of a "fight between good and evil, light versus dark" was there from the start as @BTG says. The concept of the island as a cork for evil was an early idea, as was the idea of the island moving. They knew in season 1 that they wanted the show to end with Jack's eye closing, with Vincent by his side. They outline a lot of that in Vulture's oral history of the finale with quotes from various people involved in the show.

If I recall correctly though, Damon also secretly hoped the show would get cancelled after 13 episodes back in season 1, so it would be seen as this little cult show like Firefly that never had a proper conclusion, instead of being burdened with answering everything. After the show launched and smashed out of the gate, they had to start thinking about making the show function long-term. Carlton was brought in as a co-showrunner alongside Damon, as Damon was suffering from depression after the loss of his dad and JJ got the Mission Impossible III gig. Damon's said he was "terrified" and broke down sobbing the day LOST premiered dd.

They had some ideas for what the show would evolve into but it wasn't until the "writers camp" they held in between seasons that they came up with some of the answers to the core mythology for the show - who was in the hatch, DHARMA, etc. Then when they got a go-ahead from ABC mid-season 3 to write towards an ending, the show started introducing elements that would be important to the endgame - Jacob, the Man in Black, Widmore's crew.

Personally I don't think it really matters whether they made things up as they went along. The great thing about mysteries is that there's always going to be multiple interpretations and theories and the answers are often much lamer than the questions themselves. Damon's also said they wanted to avoid "midi-chlorian" type reveals that explain the particulars of the island's science, which is probably why the show was also so interested in "science vs faith" as a concept. The known vs the unknown. The numbers for instance could be explained as magic lotto numbers, a psychological test by Dharma (how many times can Desmond type in those numbers until he goes insane?), a mathemagical equation to determine the end of the world (the Valenzetti equation), the hatches' serial number, the numbers for Jacob's candidates or just a plain ol' coincidence that somehow connects all of these people's lives. The times they tried spoon-feeding audiences the answers rarely worked (the whispers are the island's lost souls!), so I liked that the show mostly kept it metaphorical and abstract, more open to individual interpretation than one definitive way of looking at the world.

I think if you're going to be a functional, long-running TV show you need to be flexible, especially when you're doing a serialized, mystery-driven show. As I said earlier, Ben and Desmond's extended roles were products of improvisation when they saw what the actors could do, not something they had planned beforehand. They had to cut Eko's arc short when Adewale hated living in Hawaii (some elements of his original arc were given to Locke). Season 4 was truncated due to the writers strike, etc. Even for the series finale they had to improvise as ABC found their original plan of ending with a fight on the island's volcano too costly. The show kind of thrived on that kind of spontaneity and problem-solving (though the endgame for the show certainly would've been more exciting had they been able to convey the stakes more properly).

I much prefer that kind of "planned, but always open to changes" approach to something like How I Met Your Mother, which tacked on the ending they had originally planned for the show, instead of organically changing it to fit what the show had turned into 9 seasons later.
 
@Heartthrob summed up my thoughts really well. People are very invested in the idea that the show (or any show for that matter) shouldn’t make things up as they go along, but that’s the reality of network television. You should always be in a state of flux, open to fresh ideas and concepts, and adapting to whatever massive curveballs are thrown your way during six years of making TV.

By all means, definitely have the ending in mind, know your themes, know your broad strokes and goalpost plot points that you’re working towards, but the day to day should be improvised.

That said, I would kill to see the version of the show that had Eko become Jacob’s killer, not Ben. They’ve pretty much said that was where he was going and that would’ve been incredible. Either that or Eko would’ve been the MIB’s persona and Locke the killer, which would also have worked really well but there was no way anyone but Terry O’Quinn was playing the MIB.
 
I’m hindsight it’s really shoddy that Season 2 killed off three of the female characters when they were in the minority to begin with. Who did it leave after that? Sun, Claire and Kate? Thank God Juliette appeared in Season 3 to tug our wigs.

Sawyer is a masterclass in character development. The way I hated him in Season 1 and by the end he was lowkey my fave. Jack wishes he was Sawyer.
 
I’m hindsight it’s really shoddy that Season 2 killed off three of the female characters when they were in the minority to begin with. Who did it leave after that? Sun, Claire and Kate? Thank God Juliette appeared in Season 3 to tug our wigs.

Sawyer is a masterclass in character development. The way I hated him in Season 1 and by the end he was lowkey my fave. Jack wishes he was Sawyer.

Yeah the show did the female characters so dirty. It doesn’t sit right that, out of ten main female characters over the show’s run, only two of them survived.

They should’ve absolutely locked Juliet down for the final season and had her make it through the end.
 
Even more so when she only got two(ish) years out of that shoddy V remake. I get it was a tempting gig as a lead role but she only got about 20 episodes in the end.
I never watched V, but ABC treated it so bizarrely. They had a four-month break after airing only four episodes, then when it did just about well enough on its return in the spring to justify its renewal...they held off on season two until the following January and cut back the order to 10 episodes. It felt like they never really gave it a chance.
 
I never watched V, but ABC treated it so bizarrely. They had a four-month break after airing only four episodes, then when it did just about well enough on its return in the spring to justify its renewal...they held off on season two until the following January and cut back the order to 10 episodes. It felt like they never really gave it a chance.

That break after the first four episodes was very odd and I felt the show was already doomed from that point on. To be honest, the show stood no chance given how poorly it was put together. It had absolutely no idea what it wanted to be compared to the bold confidence of the original.

It kind of floated around in this hollow post-Battlestar Galactica kind of space.

Such a shame for Mitchell and the V concept, which was and still is brilliant.
 
I’ve just recently finished a rewatch of the entire series and it still holds up as excellent TV. I thought watching it after a few years might change my perspective on a few things (possibly some characters) but largely I walked away with the same opinions as before. I found myself understanding more of the mysteries and, having prior knowledge of how it ends up, some things made more sense when they were introduced or were a focus. I found myself audibly gasping when realising two things linked a character (Kate’s dad in the army van talking to Sayid, a picture of Eloise and the head monk at the monastery where Desmond was) so that shows that the writers got you to care about these characters effectively.

I discovered this YouTube channel which has loads of videos answering the big questions, explaining why things happened, and helps fill in holes on some things which are very helpful and interesting:


Jack was still whiny and an ass, but he became far more palatable when he backed off a little like when just accepted he can’t fix or change everything. But then of course he was back on his bullshit by the next episode.

Kate’s love triangle was frustrating and how she was reduced to being damsel in distress and love interest was disappointing, however her story to reunite Claire and Aaron was actually sweet and interesting. All the stuff about her being on the run and how she managed to wriggle out of trouble was brilliant and made her a great hero.

I was very annoyed when they killed Ana Lucia when I originally watched it and was just as annoyed this time, I think her death really messed up Kate’s character and storylines. Ana Lucia was actually convincing as a leader and felt badass enough to the point that any of the action or fighting with the Others would’ve felt legitimate.

Season 6 Sayid was not good, but I found myself rooting for him before all that happened. When he snapped the neck of one of the Others with his legs I just sat there with my mouth open.

Sun and Jin had such a great story arc, and I liked that it was never known which one was the chosen candidate (most likely they both were). Sun’s scream when the bomb goes off is superb acting. Also her coming back to buy the majority of shares in her dad’s company was such a boss move and I loved seeing her progression.

I felt Hurley had more of a purpose this time as previously (maybe because I didn’t understand) I felt he was just the bumbling sidekick that everybody liked. But I liked that he knew he was liked and therefore could get things done or do things and not have pushback.

I really wasn’t sad when Boone or Shannon died, those both felt inevitable. I’d love to know what the fuck happened to Michael because I was not a fan of his story at all. It would’ve been more interesting had he something to do with the Man in Black.

Ben and Desmond were fascinating and I found myself actually jumping between hating Ben, admiring him, liking him, and feeling sorry for him sometimes within one episode. It’s hard to believe either of them weren’t meant to be in as many episodes as they were.

Sawyer went from wise-ass cracking jokes and sarcastic comments to a likeable character who puts others before himself. One of the best scenes to show this is when he refuses to let Hurley come with them to fight and says “for God’s sake, look at you, you’d just slow us down” but you can see it pains him to say it and he’s only doing it to protect him from coming as he’d be in danger.

And then we have Juliet. What a character! On paper she could come across as cold, a pushover, weak, and lost. But Elizabeth Mitchell’s performance makes her such a complex character that intrigues you from the very first time we meet her, you want to know more about her as soon as she speaks. A show that was littered with fantastic performances, her character is continually one of the best things in the show.

Oh and I’d absolutely fuck Richard and the Man in Black. When I was younger was all about Jack but now give me those age-less Daddies.
 
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