Open Mic

'Lost' Finale: For Dance 10, Looks 5; and Did It Damage Whatever Future Potential the Franchise Has

Aaron Barnhart Posted May 24, 2010 at 11:57 AM

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So, I’ve already rated last night’s “Lost” finale a 10 emotionally and a 5 narratively ... and the 5 was perhaps being generous.

Now here's the billion-dollar question: Did last night's finale do permanent damage to the LOST brand, or was it (to invoke Jack Shepard's time-dimension-crossing case of stigmata and write a caption to the above screen grab) merely a flesh wound?

In an interview with THR's James Hibberd in January, "Lost" co-creator Carlton Cuse said the following:

"The Walt Disney Co. owns 'Lost.' It's a franchise that's conservatively worth billions of dollars. It's hard to imagine 'Lost' will rest on the shelves and nothing will ever be made with 'Lost.' Eventually somebody will make something under the moniker of 'Lost' -- whether we do it or not. We just made a commitment to this group of characters whose stories are coming to a conclusion this May."

Cuse talks a good game — and it's hard to imagine that some of that future value, if realized, won't find its way into his bank account.

The reality, however, is that almost no television show enjoys much of an afterlife, certainly not one that can be quantified in the 'billions of dollars.' Perhaps, perhaps, the "Star Trek" franchise has achieved that kind of value in 2010 dollars. But it's hard to think of anything else that comes close — "Sex and the City," "Battlestar Galactica," "The X-Files"...

Even if "Lost" had had a stellar landing, it would've been tough to keep the love going through replay of past episodes and creation of future storylines with presumably new characters.

Last night's episode left more questions unanswered than answered — and that wasn't a good thing. Scroll to the bottom of this story and look at the "Lost" questions my colleagues came up with prior to the finale. How many were addressed last night? How many, given the gauzy, "Six Feet Under"-style ending of the show, can ever be answered? And how many of us, given the roller coaster of the last six years, can trust anyone connected to this show to ever give us straight answers?#