Lost - Write a better ending

So, now that the show is over, Funkman’s thread has done it’s duty, and I think I can make a new thread about Lost.

This is mostly for people who were dissatisfied with the finale. The question is: how could it have been better? Some people are speaking as though they expected the writers to pull out an amazing ending that satisfied all emotional requirements (done!), as well as tying up every loose plot thread (not done) and explaining all the mysteries of the island (also not done). But if you couldn’t think of a way to do that, it’s a good bet that the writers couldn’t either.

So, as a sort of writing exercise: describe an ending that you think would have been better. Feel free to unravel the show as much as you want, but keep in mind that the farther you unroll, the less you’re talking about Lost, and the more you’re talking about some other show you just made up.

I think a finale with more meta-awareness might’ve been fun, like the characters actually start to explicitly point out how stupid and nonsensical everything is. “It’s a big fucking drain plug? Are you kidding me?” “So what was the point of Widmore, other than to waste our time?” There were little bits of this, like Kate’s comment on Chrisitian’s name and UnLocke’s quip about pushing the button.

But yeah, realistically there was no way to write themselves out of the mess they’d made, so they were better off trying to ignore it. Drawing more attention to it only would have served to make the episode less effective.

I wanted to keep the first post to the “challenge” if you will, so here’s my take on it:

I think they could’ve eliminated almost all the Jacob / Smokey story. The earlier appearances where “Jacob” was in the cabin and was a poltergeist, or whatever doesn’t need to change. They were just ghosts, or something. The island is still just the same, and magical, but they don’t give the distracting non-explanation of the brothers feuding. Instead, the central conflict remains between Ben (wants to control the island) and Widmore, who seemed to be set up as a villain, but never got a real motivation, or even a concrete goal.

So, we can make Widmore a well-meaning madman, intent of harnessing the magic of the island for some rich-guy-industrialist-philanthropic purpose (lets say the healing powers). We still have dubious morality, since neither he nor Ben are actually “good” per se, Widmore being willing to kill and destroy in order to get his way, and Ben still being a loony.

While it would be a little Bond-villain-y, you could still have the ending be functionally the same, with an oddly deluded Desmond doing the dirty work of removing the cork (which Ben or Widmore both deciding it was somehow instrumental to their plan), and they could even use Jack as a pawn so he gets to be in the ending, too. This would’ve paid off the Dharma stuff (Widmore could be building on the Dharma research) a little better, but we still can retain msot other aspects, even keeping the sideways-purgatory intact, since neither Jacob nor MiB were directly connected to it. If they really wanted to pay off Hurley and Jack getting to be special, they could’ve made them immortal “guardians” like Richard Alpert: just concentrated healing powers to keep them alive to keep an eye on things, but without any of the less explained powers that Jacob seemed to get when it was convenient. Or maybe even a 3-way standoff between the “Hostiles” (Richard) the “Others” (Ben), and Widmore, with Hurley and Jack siding with Alpert to keep the island’s status quo.

Basically, if they were going to not explain things, I would’ve been happy with them making the central conflict a reality-based one, but keeping most everything else the same.


HURLEY and BEN are standing on the otherwise deserted beach near the Giant Foot, looking out at the sea.

HURLEY: Dude. What just happened?

BEN: The Island did what it always does, Hugo. It granted everyone their fondest wish.

HURLEY: Yeah, but it wasn’t real or nothing. It was just… you know… fake.

BEN: It was real enough to them, Hugo. You see, it’s not the wish that’s important, it’s the perspective one gains when they have it fulfilled. (beat) I didn’t understand that until just now.


HURLEY: Well, what now, dude?

BEN: Now we wait.

HURLEY: For what?

BEN: The next group of people who need the Island, who need to learn what the Island can teach them.

HURLEY: But the sub’s been wrecked! How are they going to get here?

BEN (Sighs): The Plane. The Plane.

(Fade out as Lost Theme plays)

Haven’t thought it through on the “How” - but I’d have preferred where I thought this was going. MIB is killed, Jack completes his task and commitment he made to Jacob, as a result of all of this the parallel reality is made complete and all of the Losties realize and remember the past on the Island, understand how their experience there has made them better people, then we see a penultimate scene where they are all at a reunion, older, the babies now teenagers, sharing and laughing, perhaps mourning the passing of one or two of the older Losties, and remarking how much Hurley would have enjoyed this.

Then a switch to a scene of Hurley and Ben sitting on a log by the beach, playing teh Egyptian board game, Hurley looking up at Ben and saying “Dude, we’ve been playing this game for a LOOOONG time now, and I think you’re still making up rules.” Ben looks at him with that smile, and says something like “Why Hurley, I’m just the #2, YOU make the rules.” Hurley looks at him for a moment like he’s wondering if he’s being played. Then a very pretty woman walks up and hands Hurley a drink, smiles at him, Hurley smiles at her, then looks at Ben and says, “Whatever. It’s all good, dude.”

Man is the real monster.

I don’t get paid to write TV shows. ;)

That is brilliant!

The island is all that’s left of New York, after nuclear armageddon and the rise of the apes. Also, it’s made of people.


One thing they didn’t do was make clear the threat smokey was to the world. So barring some reveals, this is how I I was expecting it to go down:

-MiB won, and with the power of the light created an alternate world where he could be off the island.

-To ensure the candidates couldn’t stop him in this alternate world, gave them their ideal lives.

-Desmond “wakes up”, realizes it’s a sham and tries to “wake up” the others so they can all find a way to fight smokey in Alter-Universe

-In the end, they destroy smokey. Breaking them free from the X universe. Seeing he was holding the power of the island, it starts to crumble.

-Survivors get on a the plane and leave the island.


Ruenion where they all get together. Jacob appears to tell Jack that the ones who died are at peace and didn’t die in vain seeing smokey is dead.


My LOST alternate ending:

Keep everything pre-finale the same.

Desmond’s work “awakening” people in the sideways timeline comes to a climax with him assembling everyone at the church (or at the pendulum room from when the Oceanic 6 were looking to get back to the island). Jack is there, and has his moment with Kate outside, but refuses to join the others, saying "For so long all I wanted was to go back to the island, but somehow I feel that isn’t my destiny, that I’m not supposed to go with you, but remain here, with my son.” Kate tells him she understands, and joins the others inside. Faraday is there, with his mom. He says that he cannot go with them all, but has figured out how to initiate the “transfer”. Desmond tells him he understands, and wishes him a lifetime of happiness with Charlotte. Faraday’s mom thanks Desmond for allowing her son to stay. Switches are thrown, weird shit lights up and Desmond pulls everyone in tight around him.

Back on the island, Desmond pulls the cork. The light begins to flash, the water recedes, the ominous rumblings and evil red glow appear in the cave. There is a brilliant flash of white light and…cave Desmond is gone. Outside there is a flash of white light and the focus changes from character to character as they react to the blinding light and loud humming noise (very similar to the earlier Desmond incident when he blew up the Swan site). Each character is shown winking out of existence after reacting to the light, except for Smokey/Locke and Jack inside the cave.

Smokey/Locke and Jack begin to fight, much as they did on the cliff face in the finale, only inside the cave and eventually down in the cork room. Locke stabs Jack, then leaves him for dead as he starts to climb out of the cork room. Jack sees one of the skeletons in the cork room has the same ceremonial knife used in previous episodes to attempt to kill Jacob and Man-in-Black (and that did kill their “mom”), and he grabs it and plunges it into Smokey/Locke, who at that moment comes to realize that without the power of the island he is indeed mortal. With his dying gasp Smokey/Locke says “It doesn’t matter Jack, I still win.”, then promptly begins to convulse, wavering back and forth between corporeal form and smoke form. Jack knows he’s dying, and has to do something, so he plugs the cork back in, the light and water return, there is another loud noise and white flash, and Jack is gone. Smokey finishes his transformation back into pure smoke form and lets out an inhuman howl of rage upon realizing he’s once again trapped in the glowy cave.

Cut to outside the cave where everyone from the sideways timeline appeared after the white light flash. They all see the second white flash, and hear Smokey’s howl of rage. Suddenly, the whispers start up and the glow from the cave becomes brighter. From the cave entrance emerge Michael, Ben’s daughter Alex, the Japanese guy from the Temple, and dozens of other people who lived and died on the island. Michael explains that with the evil once again contained, the spirits are now free to move on, and he thanks everyone. He apologizes to Hurley, who forgives him and says “It’s OK dude, I have her back now.”, as sideways Libby is standing with him. Sideways Sawyer asks “what the hell just happened” and Michael says “there’s someone else who can explain better than I can”. From the cave entrance comes Christian Shepard, who proceeds to explain that the explosion in 1977 created a tangent timeline that was never meant to exist. It was a manifestation of what was wrong with the island, and that the island is a force for good that protects the world from great evil. Jacob and the Man in Black upset that balance with their actions long ago, and the island has been trying to right that imbalance ever since. The return of all the LOSTies to the island has rewoven the tangent timeline back into the proper one, and restored the balance. This allowed Smokey/Locke to be defeated and imprisoned once more, and for that the island is very grateful. Christian then says the island has one last favor to ask of them, it needs a new Guardian. “Jack!” shouts Hurley, “Jack is still in there! We have to save him!” Christian says “No Hugo, Jack is where he is supposed to be. It must be another.” “From the back of the crowd comes a voice, “I will do it.”. The camera pans and it’s Ben. Christian smiles and nods, as if he’s known all along what the outcome would be.

Suddenly Ben’s radio(on the ground now) crackles to life again. It’s Miles. He, Richard and Lapidus have the plane prepped and ready and were worried that the flashes of light meant something bad had befallen the others… Sawyer tells them to hold on, and prepare for a few more passengers than they originally expected. Ben prepares to leave with Christian, and makes his goodbyes, including apologizing to Locke who forgives him. We see a montage of LOSTies boarding the plane happy and reunited with one another (much like the church scene in the finale). The music swells as Lapidus announces takeoff and the jet clears the edge of the jungle. The camera cuts to the exact same scene of Jack from the finale. He gets up from the riverbank, makes his way to the clearing where the show began, and dies with Vincent by his side. The last image he sees is the plane, now full of LOSTies, flying overhead, and he smiles.


The alternate ending above addresses problems I had with the real ending. It still allows for Jack’s sacrifice, which I think is paramount to the story, but it gives the other characters a happier ending than some nebulous “holding pen” where they briefly share moments of remembered love then move on to “heaven” or whatever. It also allows for Ben’s redemption directly by taking over as Guardian. It provides a real and concrete reason behind the sideways timeline (a split created by the blast) and a reason for it to exist (tying it back into the true timeline “heals” the island). It gives Desmond the pivotal role everyone expected him to have, and attempts to answer at least a few questions about why the island exists and what Jacob and the Man In Black had to do with anything. It’s not perfect, The Others and Dharma still aren’t really accounted for, but nobody is ever going to tie all that shit together into anything cohesive after everything the writers have seen fit to toss out there over 6 seasons.

“Gilligan! Drop those coconuts!”



Right before I woke up, Alan Alda was telling Kate that the ending could have been worse (I watched a MASH repeat earlier in the day) and as I started coming to this morning, for a minute I thought the show actually ended with characters from great series finales comforting the lost cast.
You know, like Bob Newhart talking to Sawyer etc. all happening in the church there.
Now I dreamed that, and it would have been pretty funny, but I’d have preferred if the show had taken a more sci fi aproach.
The Dharma people unleashed smoky by accident when they hit the core, the Others in a vicious battle with Dharma that Ben ultimately helps the others win, Widmore finally makes it back to take up the Dharma cause and tries to wipe out the others, and the losties have to decide whether to help the others keep the secrets of the island from mankind, or let the evil Dharma corp. corrupt the powers for their own good, a once peaceful hippie commune inadvertantly thrust down the path of evil by the arrival of losties in the 70’s.

I’m still working out the end.
But I think Alan Alda will have a cameo.

The best possible ending would have been exactly the ending they had, but instead of BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT being behind the door that Christian opened, it would have been Rick Astley busting out “Never Gonna Give You Up”, fade to Jack dying in the bamboo forest, song is still playing in the background, Vincent walks out of the forest and Jack sees that the dog is singing it in Rick’s voice, like something out of one of those crappy pet food commercials. Jack begins to laugh, closes eye, dies. Fade to black.


But since they weren’t prepared to go full troll, I am disappoint.

Maybe if it was David Lynch’s Lost.

Slow claps to you, my friend. I would have vastly preferred this ending!

the society of evil gets infiltrated by one of the good guys, who then make a daring escape with a huge chunk of innocent people being held captive by the others, then when they think they’re safe at the caves, the others lay siege to the caves(led by a crazed ethan), the heroes then hole up there until they come up with the idea to have a few escape out into the jungle from the caves through that caved in tunnel jack and charlie, then find the weird iron giant invisible monster and get it to chase them into the besieging others, killing ethan who is screaming that the monster isn’t dangerous. then everyone lives happily ever after.

did i mention i stopped watching after the second or third season? and did watership down ever come into play anywhere?