But I thought the character was excellent and wouldn't have had him any other way. I remember when we had arguments here around Season 3-4 where Locke seemed to be veering off into Crazyland and Jack was getting downright aggressive. Some tempers got heated here in the discussions over who could understand whose motivations. But the characters were great; both had nearly opposite ways of viewing the world, and both tenaciously held onto their viewpoints.
I really liked what they did with Jack over the series arc.
He finally learned how to let go.
As far as the rest, I admired the series from a writer's viewpoint. It was an NP wonderland, and that's a lot harder than you might imagine to pull off. Even if you have a few anchorpoints driven in, a lot of stuff is just throwing crap at the wall and seeing what sticks or what patterns you can discern in the mess. This is what authors do when they write books, however they have the benefit of calling that a "first draft" and then being able to go back and change everything before the audience EVER sees it and do complete rewrites. Because they have the opportunity to endlessly rework the material, the readers never realize how crappy the earlier drafts were and how difficult the writing might have been.
Tolkien took 12 years to write the Lord of the Rings and wrote draft after draft before he got the core of the One Ring and what he wanted to do with it. Stephen King is notorious for writing a shit-draft but in the process he uncovers a few core elements that end up making the final version soar. (I'm talking about his earlier stuff, btw; it seems like he's sort of burned out in the last 5-10 years or so.)
TV writers do not get that ability. Whatever you write into the earlier episodes has to somehow give a direction, yet be open-ended enough to allow you to weave a tapestry that you perceive within the act of actually writing and producing episodes. It's also not even a 'writer's effort," you have audience participation (by their response) + the actors themselves who can either make or break a character. Ben Linus was a three-episode guest star, but because of what Michael Emerson did with the role in those three episodes, he became a main character. This sort of stuff is not easy. You constantly have to allow your artistic vision change to embrace whatever is organically happening. This actually is a skill, and one that has to be honed -- to give just enough options (based on one's intuition) to allow for new pathways and patterns to open up, while not enough to seem scattered and diffuse. Sometimes it's hit or miss.
Which is why I'm pretty forgiving about the loose threads that might not have been tied up, themes that were lost or dropped in favor of other themes, and the whole messy business of writing an organically developing show like this. If they had the opportunity to script and plan all 121 episodes up front, perhaps I would be much harsher, but it is not that type of medium. The writers have to be very P -- you have an idea where you want to paddle the boat, but you have to contend with the waves and the storms, and sometimes you have to change direction mid-course to follow what is becoming an apparently better (or merely inevitable) direction.
Thought this commentary was interesting.
Early Reflections on the Lost Finale | This Lamp