Monday, May 31, 2010

Resurrection of LOST

It’s been a week. If you haven’t seen the season finale of LOST by now, then chances are you won’t, but just so no one complains: Spoiler Alert—this post reveals key details about the show and its ending. Do not read it if you don't want to know such details.

LOST was good, and then bad, and then weird, and finally, in the final season, it proved to be ultimately spiritual—one might even say Christian.

If you haven’t seen the show and are wondering what it was all about, here is everything you need to know in a nutshell: plane crashes; weird things happen to people in crash and lots of chaos/adventure ensues; some people leave the island only to realize that they are more lost than ever before, those characters return to the island only to discover one of the good guys is now a bad guy only he isn’t really the good guy rather a bad guy in the good guys body; characters stand together to fight evil bad guy; some people die, some people live, but they all meet up in the afterlife. Got all that?!

And what of the season finale? Here’s what happened there: Jack (the main character) and Hurley (the fat guy) stayed behind to save the island while the others escapes. Jack gave his life so that mankind could live, and Hurley became the protector of the island. At the end of the show, viewers learned that this parallel (sideways) world they had been watching throughout the season was actually a purgatory of sorts, and they had to find key memories that would trigger them to reunite with each other so they could meet one final time before going to heaven. Really, it all makes sense if you watch the show from start to finish—I swear!

And Jack, it turns out, was a Christ figure all along; he died for mankind, and even got pierced on the side right before he died—I’m really surprised he didn’t bleed water.

I have bittersweet feelings about how the show ended; it didn’t answer all the questions I had—it didn’t even answer some of them. What the show proved in the end was that the mysteries of the island never really matter—the show was always about characters and redemption. I thought this was a bit cheap—for six years I had tuned in and the writers basically kept saying “keep watching and you’ll figure it all out” and then in the end basically said you don’t really need to figure it all out; I felt in this sense I had been cheated—they had fed me what now seems to be gimmicks to get me to keep watching.

The show never fully explained who Jacob was (only where he came from) and why the island needed a keeper and what exactly the island was for that matter; it never explained why women couldn’t get pregnant; it never explained the significance of the numbers; it never explained why Jacob needed a replacement; and to tell you the truth I’m still confused over how Locke became evil and why he became evil (although this was explained, but not explained well). But what came through in the series finale more than anything was that the creators never planned on explaining everything—life is a mystery I guess, and in some ways it makes sense, although it is still disappointing.

Six years ago, I would have said the show is about people on an island battling for their lives and trying to find a way off. And now? Now it makes sense that it was really a show about man versus science/logic—his desire to prove that there is a reason for everything. What each of the characters have to discover in their own way is that you cannot solve and reason everything—until you drop your guard and reason that faith is the only guide we truly have, we were always going to be slaves to the world.

In the end, LOST wasn't out to entertain us—it was out to teach us a moral lesson: that we are all lost and we will stay that way until we have the courage to stand up and say we won’t let logic rule our life. There is a place for logic and reason, but it was never on the island. It was the perfect resolution to the characters, but that's it.

Am I discouraged by the ending? A little—but in the end, it was still a fun ride.

Anyone else have thoughts on the show?

1 comment:

  1. The show was essentially a giant thought-experiment with the characters as proxies for 17th and 18th century philosophers to duke it out over destiny and the moral obligation of Man. With a healthy dose of religious and mythological imagery thrown in.

    That said, while I initially didn't like the ending I have come to terms with it and now I think it's good. Plus I'm a sucker for the Juliet/Sawyer reunion.