Friday, August 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Ellen Gray: Not lost over 'Lost,' other finales & guys named Jack

Jorge Garcia as Hurley on "Lost": How exactly did he get out of protecting the island?
Jorge Garcia as Hurley on "Lost": How exactly did he get out of protecting the island? Associated Press
Jorge Garcia as Hurley on "Lost": How exactly did he get out of protecting the island? Gallery: Ellen Gray: Not lost over 'Lost,' other finales & guys named Jack

SO MUCH television, so little time:

* My understanding of Sunday's "Lost" finale continues to evolve daily - or at least my theories do - but it probably helps that I didn't go in to this season with a list of questions I absolutely needed answers to.

A TV series that runs for six seasons isn't the same as a two-hour movie. There are bound to be detours and dead ends along the way, and even if the writers say they've known all along what the show's final image would be, that doesn't mean they've known how exactly they'd be taking us to it.

So while I'll continue to wonder how Hurley (Jorge Garcia) eventually managed to get out of the job of protecting the island so that he could head toward the light with the rest of them - I'd like to think he wasn't murdered, too - it's the things I saw in Sunday's episode and in the weeks that led up to it that keep me awake nights, not the things I didn't.

My chief worry had been that the truth that was out there would turn out to be as disappointing as it was on "The X-Files," and that didn't happen.

Not everyone's willing to cut the "Lost" writers that much slack, of course, and if you're looking for reasons to feel had, here's one of the many lists out there of the island's unsolved mysteries: geekscape.net/the-top-ten-questions-lost-never-answered.html.

* If you were among the people on Monday's post-finale chat who couldn't get a word in edgewise, I apologize. There were many hundreds of you and even after an hour and 40 minutes, we hadn't come close to getting to everyone who'd posted.

The Inquirer's Jonathan Storm and I will be back for our usual TV chat at noon tomorrow, when we can talk more about "Lost," as well as about the endings to "24," "Law & Order" and anything else about TV that's on your mind: go.philly.com/tvchat.

* A "Law & Order" fan noticed an error in my Monday column, in which I'd said that S. Epatha Merkerson's Lt. Anita Van Buren had been on the show since 1991.

While it's true that Merkerson holds the records for appearing in the most "L&O" episodes and for the most appearances by an actress in any single series, the character of Van Buren became part of the show only in 1993. In 1991, Merkerson had played another character, Denise Winters, in a single episode.

Look for "Law & Order" to be supplying trivia questions for years to come.

* As of yesterday afternoon, the Facebook page "Save 'Law & Order' " had 404 members, which means it has only about a half-million people to go before NBC, which earlier succumbed to a Facebook campaign on behalf of Betty White, gets around to noticing.

Maybe Sam Waterston can host "Saturday Night Live" as District Attorney Jack McCoy?

* Speaking of guys named Jack, perhaps the fault lies in ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" (or CBS' Monday sitcoms), but in the end, Jack Bauer didn't attract quite the crowd that Jack Shephard did.

Fox's two-hour send-off for Kiefer Sutherland's "24" character, who lived to fight another day - perhaps at a theater near you - averaged some 8.85 million viewers, according to the preliminary Nielsens, and placed third among 18- to 49-year-olds between 8 and 9 p.m., tying for second in that advertiser-targeted demo in the show's final hour.

That's nearly 5 million fewer than Nielsen initially estimated stuck with all of Sunday's 2 1/2-hour "Lost" finale.

Which should make for that many fewer arguments this week about just how many of the people Jack Bauer killed this season can actually be considered dead.

* No one can say that Rob Lowe's career choices are obvious ones.

The actor, who left "The West Wing" and became "Dr. Vegas," got his character, U.S. Sen. Robert McCallister, killed in this season's finale of ABC's "Brothers & Sisters," just days after making his first appearance in what's supposed to be a recurring role on NBC's "Parks and Recreation," a show that the network subsequently announced wouldn't return until the middle of next season.

Now Showtime's distributing a shot of Lowe as a movie star with Brad Pitt's, er, fashion sense. He'll appear for three episodes in the upcoming fourth season of "Californication" as an actor who may play Hank (David Duchovny) in a movie based on Hank's book.

And for this he left the Senate? *

Send e-mail to graye@phillynews.com.

 

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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