Stormtrooper Terry

Stormtrooper Terry

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tales from the Tube: Lost No More

It took me some time to process my thoughts before I could write a blog about the finale of Lost, because, let's face it, that was a hell of a finale. Initially I had just planned to give my overall thoughts, but after scouring the internet, it seems like there are a lot of people out there who flat-out misunderstood everything, so I'm going to address that first. To that end, I've transcribed the last conversation that took place on the show, which quite honestly explains it all of you pay attention. Obviously, there are spoilers ahead, so stop reading if you haven't seen it yet.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_eP-TQH6WbX0/Sx8f6OF3xiI/AAAAAAAAJX0/o2BHVowlmcc/s400/Lost+Season+6-+The+Final+Season+Television+Promo+Poster.jpg

Too late to turn back now. I've bolded the parts of the conversation that are particularly important.

Jack: Dad? I don't understand. You died.

Christian: Yes, I did.

Jack: Then how are you here right now?

Christian: How are YOU here?

Jack: I died too.

Christian: It's okay. It's okay. It's okay, son.

Jack: I love you.

Christian: I love you too, son.

Jack: Are you real?

Christian: I sure hope so. Yeah, I'm real. You're real. Everything that has ever happened to you is real. All those people in the church, they're all real too.

Jack: They're all... they're all dead?

Christian: Everyone dies some time, kiddo. Some of them before you, some of them long after you.

Jack: But why are they all here now?

Christian: Well there is no "now" here.

Jack: Where are we, Dad?

Christian: Well this is the place you all made together so you could find one another. The most important part of your life is the time you spent with these people. That's why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you.

Jack: For what?

Christian: To remember. And let go.

Jack: Kate. She said we were leaving.

Christian: Not leaving, no. Moving on.

Jack: Where are we going?

Christian: Let's go find out.

Okay, so let's start out with the big thing that so many people seem to believe that is obviously wrong:

THEY DID NOT DIE IN THE FIRST PLANE CRASH. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN DEAD THE WHOLE TIME. YOU HAVE NOT SPENT SIX YEARS WATCHING A SHOW ABOUT A BUNCH OF DEAD PEOPLE.

Now, how do we know this? Well, Christian Shephard flat out says, "Everything that has ever happened to you is real." Seems pretty clear to me. If, however you require further proof, he also says, "Some of them before you, some of them long after you," regarding death. Pretty much rules out them all dying in the same plane crash, doesn't it? If you're particularly dense and need further proof, Hugo and Ben have a conversation outside the church where they talk about being great number ones and number twos. That makes it seem pretty obvious that life on the island happened, and the agreement they made towards the end held for some years, otherwise that conversation makes absolutely no sense at all. So yes, everything on the island happened. They all died, but not at the same time. Charlie died when he drowned. Libby died when Michael shot her. Boone died when he fell. And so on. Hugo, Kate, Desmond, Sawyer, Claire, Lapidus, Miles, Ben, and even Alpert (I'm assuming the gray hair they focused on meant his immortality ended after Desmond uncorked the island) died sometime after they got off the island.

The alternate timeline or flash sideways in this final season was explained pretty clearly as well, I thought. It was purgatory or limbo or whatever you want to call it, a place they all stayed until they remembered their lives, came to grips with their deaths, and let go. That's why they needed to have certain experiences or meet certain people there before they were able to remember. For the most part, love is what did it, although there were other factors as well. To me, the reason they all needed to be together was, as Christian said, the most important parts of their lives were together, and that's why they needed each other. For them, the idea of moving on, whether it was to heaven or whatever else might come next, could only happen if they were together. It's a really beautiful take on death and the afterlife, and I think it was a perfect fit for these characters.

And if for some reason you need to know where the alternate timeline fits into things chronologically (although I don't know why you would), the first flash sideways in the first episode started with Jack opening his eye and looking into the bathroom mirror on the plane at the cut on his neck. Seems to me you could say that followed Jack closing his eye for the last time on the island before it went to black at the end. Feels like a nice fit to me, especially since we finally found out the cut on his neck is from the place Smokey tried to slit his throat. And yes, I think Jack died at the end. Is that definite? No, and it doesn't need to be. Sure, Vincent was with him at the end, and maybe Rose and Bernard followed Vincent to him and saved Jack's life. Doesn't matter. He either died then or he died years later. Either way, the last time he closed his eyes on Earth led to him opening them on the plane in that first flash sideways.

I know a lot of people are upset that there was no detailed explanation of what the island is, but really, there was enough there that you could piece it together. Have you ever seen a movie or television show where they talked about the power of man, how it was unquantifiable and how it led man to be able to win under the most difficult of circumstances? Sure you have, they're everywhere. The island was the source of that light. Literally. That's what Jacob was there to protect. That's why it would have been so horrible if Smokey succeeded in destroying the island. That light would have gone out forever. That's my interpretation, anyway, and it seems logical to me based on the clues they gave, especially in the last few episodes.

The final season was never going to explain everything. We were never going to learn, for example, why Walt was so special early on (although puberty ruined that more than anything else) or why the Others on the island either couldn't conceive or deliver babies or whatever that deal was, or so many of the other little things that happened on the island that were never quite explained. And here's the thing.

It doesn't matter.

Lost was never a show about the mysteries. Sure, there were a lot of them, but Lost was always about the characters first. That's why half of every episode was devoted to flashbacks that had nothing to do with what was happening on the island in most cases, but were huge in terms of getting to the heart of the characters. The answers were never important, except when they needed to be.

Everyone goes on a journey through life; multiple journeys, in fact. There's the journey you take inside yourself, going from who you are to who you're going to be, as Jack did over six seasons as he went from a man of science to a man of faith. There's the journey you take through life, and, like everyone else in the world, that journey has just one destination: death. As Jack said very early on in Lost, "we either live together or we die alone." Since we're all going to the same place on our journeys eventually, the destination isn't what matters; the journey itself, and who we choose to make the journey with, is what matters.

That's the message behind Lost, folks. That's why we didn't need all the answers. We just needed to love the people in it and enjoy the ride. And if our final destination is anything like the church in those last ten minutes was, I can't think of a better ending to get.

2 comments:

  1. Well done. I think it couldn't have been clearer.

    The only questions that were legitimate to me were:

    1) why did the light turn MIB into the smoke monster, but when desmond went down there nothing happened to him. Was it his invulnerability to the electromagnetic energy?

    2) The children - walt & aaron...i felt that was a cop out. Although part of me wonders if much in the same way that Jack/Claire/Miles, etc. had ties to people who had been to the island before and it's part of an ongoing circle. As in - Hurley would bring Aaron/Walt to the island to replace him in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, I think it was definitely his invulnerability that saved Desmond, even though it still kicked his ass pretty well.

    I hadn't thought of that part with the kids, but it sounds good, Walt and Aaron take over for Hurley and Ben, maybe. I like that idea.

    ReplyDelete