After the jump, notes on tonight's disappointing series finale -- at least as well I could watch it around Channel 5's technical difficulties, which were continuing well after midnight.
My scheduled appearance on Channel 5 tomorrow has been dropped. A station rep tells me: "Because of major technical problems on WEWS during 'Lost," we are scaling back our coverage Monday morning."
My post-jump notes, by the way, include not only spoilers for "Lost" but for last week's "Grey's Anatomy," "CSI," "House," "Community" and "30 Rock." So if you're behind on your DVR, then beware.
Here, by the way, are Channel 5 tweets about the problem:
Our engineers are isolating the issue to equipment inside our building that they believe is causing the problem.
We are very sorry for the problems during the broadcast of Lost. The equipment issue unfortunately happened at the worst time possible.
One of the weird things about this is that I probably would have been better watching this on basic, box-less cable and recording it by VCR than digital cable and DVR.
On to my original complaint and review.
Where to start with the problems tonight? Well, there were all those glitches in the locally televised presentation, which eventually led them to post a crawl about the problems, and a note about ABC's planned replay on May 29. I ended up watching more than half of it on a TV with cable but no box, where the picture did not break up, freeze or skip, so that helped some. Then there were ABC's commercials, constant and so frequently breaking up the action into tiny bites; it made it seem as if the 2 1/2-hour running time was aimed more at profit-taking than giving the show more narrative time. And those promised "alternate endings" on Kimmel? "Survivor," "Sopranos" and "Newhart" parodies. Yeesh.
And, finally, there was the show itself. I feel cheated. I wanted grandeur; instead, we had rock slides that looked as if they were from a 1960s "Star Trek" and a skeleton trail to the cavern of light which made me think it's going to be turned into a Disney ride. A show that has so often been magnificent went flat.
I believe in heaven, OK? And I can accept the idea that heaven may be a place where you are united with your true love. And the show was certainly aiming for an ending which brought all the show's star-crossed lovers together. But still, is that the best they can do? A little bit "Sixth Sense," a little bit "Places in the Heart"?
And what does this tell us about everything we have been watching so far this year: Did Jack's restarting the light make Sawyer a cop? Or was that part of Sawyer's dream of heaven? How much of what happened on the island really happened? Argh.
(Kimmel is theorizing that the show was Jack's test in life, that what happened on the island was his real life; Matthew Fox, though, says there's still room for interpretation. Big help.)
And even if the finale left some things muddled, even as much as I stayed away from spoilers, I can't think of a single moment tonight that didn't feel utterly predictable and unremarkable, no matter how much the music swelled.
I will say that "Lost" at least was willing to keep the bloodbath going, and that gives it points over some other sweeps finales. "Grey's Anatomy" let loose a shooter in its hospital, put major characters in jeopardy but ended up killing only minor ones. "CSI" went for a stabbing cliffhanger, but it involved a regular who has signed on for next season, so I'm not thinking much of that. "One Tree Hill," which favors big-time cliffhangers, ended its season with two characters gunned down, fate unclear. Of course, death or near-death is a sweeps/finale staple, that and love matches (which "Lost" also had), and I'm not always thrilled with how that works, either. House and Cuddy we've kind of been waiting for. But "Community" having Jeff in a lip-lock with Annie? Can we please remember there's an ick-inducing age difference there?
And I'm still fuming over Donaghy not getting to end up with Julianne Moore.