Why the end of Lost makes me fear for The Avengers

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Life, sadly, can’t revolve entirely around the cinema, much as I would like it to. But there are things that can be almost as rewarding on TV. One of them comes to an end this weekend after six years packed with detail and intrigue, and it’s one that, almost more than anything on TV, I now feel I should have watched but didn’t.

The reason for not getting into Lost when it started, apart from watching ten minutes of the pilot episode and not really engaging with it, was that I’d been burned with previous mythology based stories, most notable The X Files. And I just had this feeling at the time that Lost was going to set up years and years of mythology, and like The X Files wouldn’t know how to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion.

Reading some of the articles online as the series finale approaches, there do seem to be an awful lot of unanswered questions. So much has happened over the six year run that it’s become completely impenetrable for anyone who’s not watched, but almost as much for casual viewers. And even if it’s a two and half hour crawl of rapidly moving text, there seems little chance of wrapping up all of those questions.

But the general feeling I get is that most fans are happy with that state of affairs, and as long as there’s come sense of resolution, they are more likely than not to be satisfied. The general reaction will tell me, finally, if I was right not to get involved at the beginning, and if the journey was truly worth taking when the destination comes into view.

It’s this general acceptance of confusion that worries me most with the Avengers series of movies that’s now had its second addition in Iron Man 2. As I outlined in my review, this felt exposition heavy for a sequel, and there’s already the feeling that the movie series will start to throw out more and more loose ends, to allow some avenues to be explored but potentially leaving as much unanswered as answered.

If the reaction to Lost is what I think it will be (largely positive), then that feels almost a statement that we are willing to accept this turn of affairs. While I’m all for intricate plotting and fiendish brain-twisters, and also for loud and proud comic book action, is it too much to ask that there is a sensible line of narrative through such big undertakings, and that the end justifies the means? I hope not, and I hope that Joss Whedon, Jon Favreau and all those involved can prove me wrong.

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