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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Read This: Breaking Bad helped Damon Lindelof let go of people who hated the Lost finale

Illustration for article titled Read This: Breaking Bad helped Damon Lindelof let go of people who hated the Lost finale

Not long after J.J. Abrams paid penance for his abuse of lens flare, Damon Lindelof has written an essay in which he attempts to end, once and for all, any further argument over the Lost finale—a confession suggesting that the co-creators of Lost are rapidly trying to unburden themselves in order to ascend. You know, like in the finale of that TV show Lindelof keeps catching shit about.


Lindelof was reminded anew of how people didn’t like the Lost finale—and how they like to remind Lindelof of that—when Sunday’s Breaking Bad prompted a fresh Twitter hell of people taking shots at him, because that’s what Twitter is for: the spontaneous discussion of shared cultural experiences, and the immediate ranking of them as better or worse than other cultural experiences. Then you find the person who created that loser art so you can tell him he’s a loser. (This is what is known as “fandom.”)

As he’s become inured to this sort of abuse, Lindelof retweeted many of those criticisms. “Hey @DamonLindelof THATS how you do a series finale. Not whatever the hell that crap was you did with #Lost,” wrote one person whose first thought, upon completion of a show he enjoyed very much, was how to express his anger about another series that ended three years ago. “@DamonLindelof how do worthless fuckheads like you get hired when there are people with actual talent like Vince Gilligan around?” wrote another human being with fresh, unsullied insight into the workings of the entertainment industry.

But perhaps realizing that Twitter is not always the place for well-reasoned responses to things, Lindelof—with the typically self-deprecating acknowledgement that he was similarly using Breaking Bad to “narcissistically whine about the perceived shortcomings of my own work"—wrote in The Hollywood Reporter about how he’d also set out to talk about Breaking Bad, only to find himself talking about Lost again, for some reason.

The whole thing is worth a read, but the most important takeaway arrives in the concluding paragraphs. Lindelof writes:

I'd like to make a pact, you and me. And here's your part: You acknowledge that I know how you feel about the ending of Lost. I got it. I heard you. I will think about your dissatisfaction always and forever. It will stay with me until I lie there on my back dying, camera pulling slowly upward whether it be a solitary dog or an entire SWAT team that comes to my side as I breathe my last breath.

And here's my part: I will finally stop talking about it. I'm not doing this because I feel entitled or above it — I'm doing it because I accept that I will not change hearts nor minds. I will not convince you they weren't dead the whole time, nor resent you for believing they were despite my infinite declarations otherwise.

Let this be our pact. And I'll just have to trust you on this — I don't have Badger and Skinny Pete pointing lasers at your chests to keep you honest. And the truth is, there's no way everyone is going to read, let alone agree with this deal.

But I'm going to keep my part. I'm done. I'm out. Just one last thing before I go …

I stand by the Lost finale. It's the story that we wanted to tell, and we told it. No excuses. No apologies. I look back on it as fondly as I look back on the process of writing the whole show. And while I'll always care what you think, I can't be a slave to it anymore. Here's why:

I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really … I was alive.

While Lindelof is probably right in that his code of silence is likely to be one-sided, at least he’s wrapped up this years-long fight with a satisfyingly straightforward ending. And now comes the part where you resist the urge to make a Lost joke about that, let go, and move on, like in that episode of television that Damon Lindelof needs to know you hated.