LOST Theories - DarkUFO

No Elliptical Ending by back_gammon

Quick. Name one hit movie that had an elliptical ending.

Thought so.

I was skimming some theories and I'm surprised at the persistence of the idea that LOST will end elliptically, right back at the beginning where it started, like a mobius strip.

I think most of the people who are proposing this idea would howl in rage and hurl their popcorn at the screen if they were actually given this sort of ending in a movie or tv show. The notion of "telos," that things add up and amount to something, that things have an ultimate purpose, is too deeply ingrained in American culture for most viewers to stand for something as nihilistically ironic as a truely elliptical ending.

Elliptical narratives are rare in American literature and almost non-existant in popular culture, at least as far as I'm aware. The only popular movie that comes to mind is last years "Terminator Salvation" which was a huge flop.

But more to the point, after it's original elliptical ending was leaked online, and after a huge outcry from outraged fans, the ending was changed. Hollywood isn't stupid, at least when it comes to ending its big summer blockbusters.

On the other hand, literary writers, without the same pressure of writing to sell popcorn, will sometimes choose an elliptical ending. This is done to add irony or to make the point that nothing changes. Ishmael Reed's "Flight to Canada" comes to mind as an example. Its elliptical ending both references certain African storytelling and cultural aesthetics as well as ironically and very pointedly asks the question, "Is there no end to slavery?"

But I just don't see LOST getting down to the wire and trying to be ironic or making a pointed socio-political statement. Unlike many popular tv shows, this is one of the few shows that wears its sincerity on its sleeve. Nor do I see the writers trying to illustrate that nothing changes; the theme of redemption runs too strongly throughout the show for them to suddenly go "oops, no redemption, no character growth or changes allowed. It was all for nothing."

Okay, you can start throwing things at me.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments.
blog comments powered by Disqus