LOST fans should have been paying very close attention to Battlestar Galactica last night. Why? Because it ended, and while the writers and creative forces at large on BSG have no impact on LOST it was, none the less, an example of the general psychic climate for a grand high-concept mythology coming to an end. How they executed it, how satisfying it was, etc., is not of importance to us LOST fans as much as the general social impact. Sure LOST is big network show with a larger general viewership than BSG- so the atmosphere of LOST’s farewell gig is bound to be a bit noisier, but the sentiment is the same.
Battlestar Galactica was a great show with an accomplished history and a ravenous fan-base that most certainly felt entitled to the highest quality closure of a story they had dedicated heart and soul to. Sound familiar? Maybe it sounds a little like you? Consider the ending of BSG a dress rehearsal for a little over a year from now, when the entertainment media shines a light on us – curiously waiting to see how we react to the end of our obsession.
The part that concerns me the most is the realization that no matter how the story ends the fans will not be satisfied. It is a point of view that Ron Moore publicly surrendered to many times over, as have Carlton and Damon. It’s not so much a creator letting themselves off the hook when it comes to the job of delivering what they feel is the best end, it is just them accepting the fact that the show has transcended the act of composing scenes and stories. The end – in this case – involves so much more than answering questions, or giving fans closure. The end is also an end to social rituals, the endless hours spent speculating on message boards, or meditating over what may come next. The closing of the infinite vacuum of possibilities that lay beyond the end of “this week’s episode,” and the end of the staccato assault of teasers that keep us tuned in through the closing credits motivating us to take to the boards once again.
Those of us who feel like we have invested a large part of ourselves in LOST should pay close attention to what transpires in the Battlestar Galactica fan scene over the next couple of weeks – it’s a preview for what awaits us. Will we see fans lose their minds debating the value of the series finale, and the questions left open? Will the enormous societies of friends, zealots, and mythos gurus stick together – or will their communities crumble without new fuel to fire their imaginations. Will the story continue in fan-fiction? Or will the scene simply fade into the history of the show? It’s our chance to be like Desmond, turn the failsafe key and know the future.