Spoiler Alert - what was the deal with this guy? Remember how, before we met him, he seemed scary and strange? And he had that mobile cabin with the ash moat? And those weird insect sounds always accompanied the cabin? No, you don't remember? That's ok, it probably wasn't important. Guess we'll know in about 4.5 hours...
 The finale has aired on the east coast, I've watched it, and now I'm going to use the below space to ramble on about the show, don't continue if you haven't seen the finale yet.
1,000 (Un-Proofread) Words about My Lost Experience that is of No Interest to Anyone, Probably.
A lot of people are going to be pissed. I know this because one person I was watching with got pretty pissed at a pivotal moment that probably doesn't need to be singled out. That's fine - or rather - that's fine for me, since I'm satisfied.
Listen: nearly 5 years ago, in June of 2005 I finally got sick of hearing people I knew talk about Lost, so I [obtained] the first season and used it to fill up some of the pathetic, unemployed, waiting-to-move-and-go-to-college days I lived through during that summer. I watched it all on my own through poorly encoded DivX files (remember that?!), and I was hooked. When the second season rolled around, I finally got someone I hung out with to watch the show, after re-watching the entire first season and what little of the second that had aired. Christmas came I bought the first season on DVD and gave it to my family, bringing them into the circle too. I watched the second season finale alone and in complete darkness on a terrible TV tuner card I had for my old laptop, in a miserable dorm room that I would live in through the summer of 2006. When it was over, I called people in 3 different states to talk about the Violet Light, the abduction of Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, and that crazy scene with those guys in Antarctica who only spoke Portugese and who somehow knew Penny Widmore. What the hell did we know, right?
Season 3 started slow and terrible, and its first half is my least favorite period of the series. Things picked up though, and since I was taking a class about the show at the time (a class in which only two enrolled people had read Slaughterhouse Five - hint one of them is me and the other has already been linked to), I spent a lot more time dissecting the show. Did you know that I wrote a fanfiction about the worst character? You can download it and read it. I read The Third Policeman because it was on the bookshelf in the Hatch and the writers said it was important. I watched freeze-frames of Ben's brainwashing video that Karl had to endure in Room 23, searching for clues. I got caught up in the fake (?) viral video we thought expanded Juliet's backstory, and I [didn't contribute to, but listened carefully during] the conference call the class was lucky enough to have with Carlton and Damen. I watched the season finale alone in a terrible dorm room I wasn't even technically allowed to be occupying, and afterwards called people in 3 different states to talk about the Snake in the Mailbox.
Season 4 was great - I had even more people to watch with, and the established series end date and late-start/no-rerun format felt worth it. We had the Oceanic 6, the Freighter People, and some of Ben's Best Moments to enjoy. The lower episode-per-season count forced the writers to cut the crap, and I am now willing to declare the 4th season of Lost - like the 4th season of The Wire - the best of the series. I watched the finale in that ugly living room we loved so dearly with a bunch of friends, and we all lost our minds when that boat blew up and that frozen donkey wheel turned. Oh, and the Island disappeared.
Season 5 was notable for the huge amount of time it allowed to pass, whether it was in the present or the 70's. The characters, regardless of their chronological positions, were all given the opportunity to grow over 3 years of in-show time. We had friends in the Dharma Initiative, we learned some more about Jacob, and then it all had to get blown up. Who knew what to think now, right?
As for season 6, it was uneven. It hit its lows during its concept episodes about Richard and the Brothers Loom, and it felt like the wheels were spinning while the characters ran to the temple, then away from the temple, then to Hydra Island, then away from Hydra Island, and so on (also what was the point of THIS GUY, you know?) Conversely the side-flashes were - I felt - relentlessly enjoyable, since it felt like we got to meet the characters all over again, 5 years after meeting them the first time. I was frustrated when it felt like a lot of what I'd spent so much time on as a viewer was being thrown out - Sayid, Jin, Sun, the promise of a scientific explanation for things, the spooky mystery of Jacob, the humanizing of the smoke Monster, etc.
As the finale began tonight I was apprehensive, but I promised myself that, no matter what the outcome, I'd still enjoyed the series and nothing that was presented in its final episode could negate that. Fortunately, as I watched it with people (evening out my alone/social finale experiences) in my beloved living room on my magnificent screen I thought what I saw was a fantastic conclusion, and when it ended I didn't feel like I needed to call anybody in any other state to talk about it, though I'm expecting my phone to ring here in a little while when the West Coast Feed finishes up. Discussing the events of The End serve no speculative use, as what we have is the Final Word, and all one can do is read it over and over until they're ready to settle on a definition. I've begun to form some zygotic opinions on the whole matter, but I don't feel rushed to solidify them, as I've got as long as I want to do so. I was happy to see the finale deal with the characters as the people we've come to know, not as pieces in some supernatural game. What the hell was that cuneiform that plugged up the glowing Hot Tub Time Machine at the heart of the island? I don't know yet. Did this whole story take place in the last dying seconds of Jack Shephard's mind? No way - fuck that - but you can believe what you want. Did I totally call the return of Vincent? Yes, but not in any time-stamped form I feel like digging out and sharing. I am happy to mull things over for awhile, but not now - I've been awake for 19 hours and exhausted for all but two and a half of them, so I can deal with this later. And anyway, maybe I don't even care, since all I cared about was Ben making it out Alive.