5/24/2010

LOST: The End thoughts

I've said it before on facebook, and I'll say it again here- MAJOR SPOILER ALERT, although if you haven't seen the series finale of LOST and you're putzing around the interwebz, let alone allowing your eyes to scan anything that says LOST in the title, then you totally deserve to get spoiled! I didn't look at the internet from 5 pm (so 8 eastern, before the finale even started) until 11:30, once it was all over, because I didn't want to risk it. So yeah- if you read this and things get spoiled, I'm not gonna cry for you at your pity party!

My thinking about last night's series finale of LOST is still a bit jumbled, but I want to write this down before I forget.  Plus, I can't lie- I dreamed about LOST last night, woke up to my alarm and I can't remember now, but I know that somehow in my dreams it was tied to Jack and decisions he needed to make and whatnot.

So, LOST.  I've never written about it, but I love the show. I'm still a little shell-shocked that it's over, actually. I know a lot of people hated the ending- not enough answers! is a common complaint. Honestly, I've just never cared much about answers. I don't know why- I guess I just took it on faith that there was a reason certain things happened that didn't make sense, and that was enough for me. I did care about a satisfying conclusion though, and I think I got one.

The island really happened. "What happened, happened."  The island wasn't purgatory- the sideways world was. People in the sideways world had the opportunity to realize the redemption experienced by their island selves, and live out healing brought full-circle by sideways storylines (Jack having a good father relationship with his son. Sun and Jin loving one another, choosing one another over all other possibilities, and rejoicing in their daughter growing in Sun's womb. Locke choosing life and freedom over confinement even when guilt told him he deserved it, instead of the bitterness that caused him to thirst for freedom from his chair before. Sayid still breaking the rules for Nadia and having to fight to believe that he wasn't inherently evil. On and on, the stories go).  By way of Jack's sacrifice (hello, Jesus-figure- the piercing in the side really did me in) he created a way for everyone, including those already gone, to connect again in a world where pain and death would no longer threaten them and they could exist in peace and love.

It's rather remarkable, if you think about it- somehow Desmond being able to connect with a world that exists outside of this one, one after death, and then merging that limbo-life with their real lives after their lives were over in order to move on into the afterlife together. Confusing? Yeah. But it also totally makes sense. Brilliant, I say.

I don't agree theologically with the premise that heaven is just this nice place with people we love- heaven is all about freedom from this sin-marred world to worship God the Father, by way of his son Jesus, resting fully in our identity as beloved children of God clothed with the righteousness of Christ. I believe that we will see those we knew and loved, and so many others we never knew, if they are in the Book of Life and are Christians. There is no marriage in heaven, so I don't know how it works with those being there that we knew intimately here on earth, but I do know that it's not just our normal earth selves spending eternity with our favorite earthly people / things with everything happy and easy and just a glorified earth, minus the stuff we didn't like. 

Heaven- eternity- is about Jesus, so while the ending last night was good TV, satisfying my desire for characters to be with those they love, (c'mon, when Juliet and Sawyer recognized one another? Man. I'm crying again now!) it left me a little sad feeling because it misses the point- being with those we loved on earth in heaven? Good. Being free from sin to worship and enjoy the God who loves us so much that we can't fathom it with our human minds, crying out Holy, Holy, Holy, and praising his goodness and awesomeness and holiness?  Indescribable, but infinitely better than good.

I have other thoughts, but one thing I have to address is this- Jack's death at the end really broke my heart. It was amazing to see his transformation from insecure boy in a man's body craving his father's love to self-assured and sacrificial man, both killing the MIB (with Kate's help, of course) and then putting the "cork" back in to create the opportunity for the remaining survivors to live. I'm not sure how, but it would seem that resetting the stone in the island, and restoring the light, allowed it's mystical powers to be restored, which I think in turn created the possibility for the ending, where once everyone had died (which might have been a looooong time, assuming Hurley was ageless in the Jacob-role as island protector) then they were able to move on into the afterlife together. 

[Sidenote: how about that redemptive storyline in which Hurley chose Ben as special, to be his #2, just as Richard helped Jacob for so long? Plus, interesting that for Ben he chose not to go with everyone else at the church.  The church included everyone who had decided ahead of time that the pinnacle of their lives was their island lives with one another; for Ben, the most important part of his life wasn't with the Oceanic survivors- it was with Alex, and so he now could choose to spend his life with her and Rousseau and go into the afterlife with them.

In that vein, I'm glad that Farraday didn't have his "enlightenment" moment yet, and hopefully got to make his life with Charlotte happen. I like some of those loose ends left up to our imagination. That's more satisfying, I think, than if Desmond- the true constant- had taken Farraday with everyone else. Even though I kind of hated Eloise Hawking more than anyone- pushing Farraday (my favorite character, tied with Juliet) as a child from music into physics, knowing that she would eventually kill him because it had already happened- seeing her get to support his flourishing classical music career and her fear of losing him was touching. Plus, she knew that she had to endure the pain of sending her son to die in the island life in order for her happiness with him- and his happiness in life- to happen in sideways world. Another Christ-figure reference, with a mother sending her only son to die so that eternal bliss can be possible. Nonetheless, I actually see Eloise Hawking as quite redeemed, too, and I get it now. She really was doing the best thing, though it made no sense to any of us. Yet another reference on the character of God. Impressive, Darlton Cuselof!

Bonus sidenote:  I need to rewatch, but was Juliet the only person in the church who wasn't actually on Oceanic 815? Hmmm. That's interesting.]

So, the final scene wrecked, me. Though it was good, and Jack's sacrifice created the possibility for everyone to spend eternity in heaven together (hello, again, Christ figure!), for him to lay there and see that plane, with Kate and Claire and Sawyer all going off to presumably finally live happily ever after as Jack was dying? Man.  I'm crying all over again. The creators did a good job of redeeming Jack from annoying to possibly one of my favorite TV characters of all time. Fitting, then, that his sacrifice wasn't in vain, and though it was sideways world (ergo not really real, although real enough in that it was reality for the characters until they moved onto the afterlife) I'm glad he got to experience having a son and having that relationship end up being a pretty good one in the end, plus he got to be a catalyst for hope and change in Locke's life, instead of perpetual enemies, which was cool. 

[Another sidenote: I was so glad to see Locke alive. I hated that he died and then was merely a vessel for the evil MIB. To see Locke's full redemptive story arc was pretty dang powerful, too. Another great TV character.]

I did have lingering questions. Did Kate help Claire raise Aaron? Did they all die old and gray? Claire wasn't part of the Oceanic 6, so how did she assimilate into society? And Richard- we know that pulling the cork out allowed him to start aging again (I'm guessing that pulling the cork made all supernatural abilities, like eternal life and MIB / candidates not being able to kill each other, reset to zero and then once it was back in, as Ben told Hurley, the new protector Hurley could make his own rules)- but how did Richard react to society after spending 150 or so years on the island? Imagine exiting society circa 1850 and re-entering in 2007- oy vey. And did Kate and Sawyer end up together by default, since everyone was dead? Were their lives happy and good or were they just waiting to die? Did their island selves, once off the island, know that sideways world and eventual eternal bliss with everyone who died and was left behind would happen?  So many questions that will now never be answered! Those matter so much more to me than the stupid polar bear.

Ok. I'm done now. Overall, I think the ending was brilliant. Some hated it, and I get that. But I think there's really no better way for it to have gone out- the island stayed in tact, with Hurley as the new Jacob, a finally special and chosen Ben to get his dream of protecting the island (AND he gets Alex as a daughter, more than likely, in sideways world- nice for him), Sawyer and Kate- the two who wanted off the island arguably most desperately- and Claire, who only wanted to be with Aaron wherever that was, got to finally get off the island. Richard got to get old. And everyone got to be reunited after death and move on into happily ever after together. Pretty dang satisfying, I think. 

Well done, LOST. You will be very, very missed.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, so I didn't read this until now because I have only this weekend finally watched the ending. But I really like what you wrote and agree to a large part. That is a relief, because so far the people that I have communicated about it with totally saw it differently! So thanks for seeing it my way! :) Ha.

    For what it's worth: Keith pointed out to me that Richard had been off the island at several points earlier in the series. So he probably did alright back in society. And besides Juliet, Desmond and Penny were in the church but not on the plane as well.

    If you still read my Xanga, will you let me know your thoughts on what I wrote?

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