Last week LOST revealed several important clues to its audience as we head into this weekend's series finale. Unfortunately, those clues suggest the show will end on the same bland note other promising stories (Matrix, Battlestar Galactica) finished on.
Matrix and BSG start with two groups, heroes and villains, and we're promised the conclusion of story will be the victory of the good guys. As the story evolves, however, the distinction between the two groups is blurred and we are told the bad guys aren't all that bad and the good guys aren't perfect either. Since they're all evil to some degree, the stories end with some sort of stalemate between the two sides. Such compromises do not make for exciting drama so we shouldn't be surprised by the lack of popular interest in either story's conclusion.
In last week's episode of LOST, the Man in Black's back-story was revealed. Essentially, his reasons for leaving the Island are legitimate. His "mother" used deception and treachery to keep him there. Even Jacob, who has been presented as a hero in Season Six, comes across as weak and gullible. Jacob's attempts to keep the Man in Black on the island now seem unfair. Even if the Man in Black's imprisonment is necessary for the Island's preservation, that still seems cruel in light of his back-story.
If I'm right about LOST, then the Series Finale will conclude like this: Jack will not DEFEAT the Black Smoke; instead, there will be some sort of equilibrium between the two. Or they will both get what they want. But what you will not see is Tolkien's type of ending, the unequivocal triumph of good over evil; yet this is exactly what the audience yearns to see-Jack standing confidently over an unrepentant Locke as he takes his last breath.