I loved the finale for Lost, up to about the last five minutes. Then I felt a sense of deja vu as I watched a guy move through time and space to connect lives and make them better… but the guy was apparently dead all along? Oh yeah, that was Quantum Leap’s ending. It’s also the ending for Roseanne, come to think of it. Jimmy Kimmel did a spoof with Newhart ending, which I felt worked a lot better.
It’s not like the writers had themselves in a corner or anything. There were probably several good ways to end the series, and they were hot on a truly great ending, but then dropped the ball on it. In my version, we keep it right up to where Hugo and Ben are left in charge of the island, then we cut back to LA 2004. There, Jack sees his father in the coffin, remembers everything, and then goes into that chapel. Hugo thanks everyone for all they’ve done and, as we see a scene of Jack watching the plane take off, tells them they’ve all made their choices and to live their lives in peace and as much happiness as they can share… because one does not own happiness. Sawyer makes a wisecrack about what Hugo will do with his millions, and Hugo says, “They’re all yours.”
Stunned, the castaways watch on as Hugo explains they all get a little piece of his fortune, as he doesn’t need all of it. “I’ve made my choice. I don’t need a whole lot for where I’m going. And, speaking of going, I’ve got a flight to catch. But, frankly, there wasn’t any way I was going to be able to spend it all in my lifetime. Help me do that, willya?”
Everyone says goodbye to Hugo and has a good time with each other in the chapel, realizing their lives have been changed for the better from their suffering on the island. We watch as Hugo goes to LAX and boards a plane for Hawaii. He sits next to Ben. There’s some ominous turbulence, but the plane lands just fine. In Hawaii, Hugo buys a boat and Ben helps him sail it… to the island. Hugo looks at his new home and says, “This is a better way of getting here, don’t you think?” Hugo’s girlfriend steps out of the cabin, looks things over with Ben at her side. Hugo says, “Well, let’s start with fixing that statue.”
Cut to Jack going back to look at his father one more time. He opens the coffin, to see it empty. He looks up in wonder.
Back to the boat. Ben says, “That’s a big job. Who’s going to help us?”
Hugo points at the beach. “They are!”
Cut to a scene of everyone that died on the island standing to greet Hugo, with Jack’s father in the center. The End.
Credit where credit’s due: my son came up with the last part, where Jack goes to the empty coffin, as we were driving to school this morning.