6 Ways the Final Season of Lost is Just Like the Final Season of Buffy

If the final season of the mythologically dense Lost feels a little bit familiar to you, there might be a good reason: It's a whole lot like the final season of the mythologically dense Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Here are six ways the two shows' last arcs dovetail, mimic, and flat-out pilfer from each other:

The season's primary villain is a shape-shifter

Perhaps the most obvious similarity the two seasons share is that each is concluding its series with a shape-shifting archenemy. On Lost, that'd be the Monster, which has transformed into Locke, Ben's daughter, Eko's brother, Jack's dad, someone's nagging mother-in-law almost certainly, and Deadwood's Titus Welliver, among others. Buffy had its own transforming baddie in the First Evil, which could shape-shift into prior seasons' Big Bads based on guest star availability (though producers eventually decided, eh, let's just have it look like Sarah Michelle Gellar a lot).

Everyone hates the show's lead character

Both Lost and Buffy are taking unsympathetic and oddly similar routes with their lead characters in the final homestretch. Like Jack, Buffy went through a demoralizing penultimate season then, upon summoning leadership from deep within, found herself constantly questioned and glared at by the over-it supporting characters. Will Jack have to face a mutiny later in the season, mirroring the late-in-the-game moment where Buffy's friends turned on her? It's hard to be the leader, guys. Let's see Hurley or Anya try to do it!

The villain can't directly kill its biggest enemy and must recruit followers

For some reason, Lost's Monster couldn't just waltz in and behead his rival Jacob, no matter how annoying that guy's beatific manner got over centuries of living on the island together. Presumably, we'll find out why that is later on (might it have something to do with how enemies Ben and Widmore also can't lay a finger on each other?), but until then, the Monster's taken cues from the incorporeal First Evil, recruiting morally weak human followers to do its dirty work.

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Comments

  • JollyJeff says:

    #3 is slightly wrong since The First couldn't touch anyone but The Monster can kick the crap out of bit players. You might be correct about The Monster not being able to kill the major characters but we'll have to wait to see. I'm a huge Buffy fan and so I'll be watching the final episodes of Lost to see if this works.
    Also, in Buffy they did change the world when they created her sister Dawn and only a few characters finally got clued into the fact that they were living in an alternate universe.

  • JaySin420 says:

    Cool article, I've never seen Buffy but I love Lost and that's really interesting.

  • DarkKnightShyamalan says:

    Well, to me the main difference is that every episode of the last season of Lost doesn't make me want to stab myself repeatedly in the face.

  • Snarf says:

    SPOLER - the whole show is a game of backgammon played by gods (probably acient Eypgtian or Sumarian ones. Take a look at all the main players always totals 15x2. Smokezilla only kills those that can't be turned bad (that's why it left Locke and Eko alone (at least initally).
    My guess it will end with another plane or boat crash with Jack and company now taking the role of the "others" and the new surviors the new good guys/lostaways.

  • Amanda says:

    I love LOST and I love Buffy, and considering how several writers, and actors have worked on this show, it's no surprise how it's just raised the bar on television. Just like Buffy did.

  • Jason says:

    Actually, in Buffy there was no "alternate universe"; it was the same universe, all that was different is that the *memories* of people had been modified by the monks who turned the key from Living Energy into Dawn :)

  • Sarah says:

    I'm deeply in love with both LOST and BtVS, and I'm intrigued by the comparisons. I definitely appreciate the Sawyer-Spike parallel; they're both the bad boys we couldn't get enough of, who ended up turning hero.
    I'm not sold on the Buffy-Jack comparison, only because in the final season, Buffy became terrified of the leadership implications with the impending apocalypse, and began a dictatorial method(which turned everyone against her). Jack, on the other hand, seems to have a new sort of inner tranquility, even humility- he doesn't proclaim to be special, he just is who he is (S6E2). But he does have to pull through somehow in the end, because he has been the leader from the start. I still can't imagine what the show would be like if the original vision (Jack dies in the pilot and Kate is the leader) has stuck.
    Benjamin-Andrew is a really intriguing pair. Ben's whole life has sucked profoundly, and he's committed some awful deeds (because he "lost" his innocence as a boy? who knows). It would be great if he got some kind of redemption.

  • Benny-bebop says:

    Joss killed off important characters to serve a purpose. Abrams killed off people in season 1 (I only watched the one) in an arbitrary fashion which reflected the aimless and poorly written show with unanswered question after unanswered question. I'm not in the least surprised that the final seasons of Buffy have had huge chunks copied and pasted by this awful show.

  • Bix says:

    J.J. Abrams didn't have much to do with the show then and nothing to do with it since.
    Also: Only one main character (Boone) was killed off in the first season. The other 2 deaths were of extras: One drowned accidentally while swimming and the other was killed as part of a ongoing plotline.

  • bookant says:

    Are you suggesting that the writers of "Buffy" had access to a time machine, and came forward into the future to watch the final season of "Lost?" No? Then they're not "pilfering from each other," are they?

  • Joel says:

    One bit of clarification: the First Evil on BtVS could take on the form of anyone who was (or had been) dead, not just the original Buffy Big Bads. This is the crux of the best ep of that season, Conversations with Dead People. It also more literally ties into Smokie on Lost, since Smokie seems to only impersonate dead people itself.

  • Michelle Kusal says:

    I am pretty sure Betty Bebop was saying that the writers of Lost "borrowed" story lines from Buffy not the other way around..LOL
    I'm a huge Buffy and Lost fan. I see many similarities and its IS very curious how similar they are. Joss Whedon is a genius of a writer and I wouldn't be surprised if people he has worked with or people who look up to him and his style are writing for Lost. Most of the similarities make sense...it would be uber confusing if The First Evil OR Smokezilla (ny new favorite nickname btw) started taking the form of characters that are alive. Also, the whole Spike/Sawyer thing IS interesting, but again, kind of a no brainer....every good drama serious is going to have this kind of character. We can all identify with him (his good and bad parts). The Ilana/Giles thing is just dumb! Many characters on the show have accents....and we don't even know if she knows what she is talking about. Nobody hated Buffy...they all loved her and just didn't trust her and I suspect the same about Jack. Again, typical hero type in any good drama...especially one that is kind of bordering on fantasy like Lost and Buffy.

  • Visitor says:

    Interesting thoughts here. These are my two favorite shows and there are writers/producers who have worked on both shows.
    I am watching the end of Buffy season 5. The Big Bad, Glory, is trying to go "home." She is attempting to use Dawn (the key) to open a portal to another dimension. Glory is imprisoned in human form and losing her strength as the moment draws near for her to return to her hell dimension. She is evil incarnate as is Flocke. I think as season 6 of Lost goes on, we will see more of the old John Locke manifesting himself. Maybe when Smokey was stabbed with Dogen's dagger something happened that will allow John Locke to neuter Smokey...Anyway, it's interesting that Glory stresses that she wants to go home. When she opens the other dimension worlds will fold in on each other. Maybe a similar fate will meet the Lost world if Smokey can go "home."

  • Diane says:

    Go rent Buffy. You won't be disappointed

  • jason says:

    The first point is off a bit...both the monster and the First only shape changed into DEAD people. The reason the First ever looked like Buffy or various vampires was because they had, at some point, DIED. ALl the big bads it became were dead, too. Same for the smoke monster...only dead people. Its actually a MUCH stronger paralled.

  • Bridget says:

    I agree about the Glory similar to Flocke thing! I actually re-watched season 5 of Buffy recently, so when Flocke first said he wanted to "go home," I immediately thought of Glory. I think that's a more obvious comparison than any of the ones in the article.

  • Gina says:

    I understand why people were aggravated with the last season of Buffy, but there were some great moments. Specifically the episode Conversations with Dead People - definitely one of the best in the series.

  • Gina says:

    Whoops, I meant Lies My Parents Told Me.

  • Bryan says:

    Why hasn't anyone pointed out the most obvious connection between LOST and BtVS yet? On the most recent episode of LOST we saw the backstory for Richard Alpert. This is where we were told that the island is a "cork" that keeps "evil, darkness, or malevelance" contained. The first thing that came to my mind when I heard this was Buffy and Sunnydale. It's Jacob's job (or his successor candidates) to keep evil contained. Just like it's Buffy's job (or her slayer potentials) to keep evil at bay. The only difference is the form evil takes (vampires, hell-beings vs. smokezilla), and the location (the Island vs. hellmouth Sunnydale). What do you think?

  • Thom says:

    And you can add that the revelation about Locke, at the very end of season 5, is exactly the same as the revelation about Cordy, in Angel's fourth season ;)

  • Andie says:

    Another similarity is that BtVS showed us a "sideways world" in the season 6 episode "Normal Again." Buffy goes back and forth between the known reality of the show and an alternate reality with her institutionalization in a mental hospital and mother still being alive.

  • Wow, I was able to read your blogs on my android phone while in a cab. Kinda cool. Good writing here.

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  • Rosie says:

    I can't believe this author had the nerve to compare the last season of "BUFFY" with the last season of "LOST". The latter wasn't bad, but couldn't hold a candle to "BUFFY", in my opinion.

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