Either you get it or you don’t. If you don’t, please refrain from being crude and snide. I liked it, you didn’t. Let’s agree to disagree.
I started watching Lost in the fall of 2005, several episodes into the second season. I had given up tv for Lent a year or two previously and had never really gone back. So Dom had his shows that he watched and I usually sat in the other room and read. Newlywed bliss. Then I got pregnant and started feeling really sick. Evenings were the worst. I found myself drifting in and plopping down next to Dom, not really caring about the shows but wanting company in my misery. And something about Lost caught me. We bought the dvds of the first season and I got caught up.
Caught up. These were stories that pulled me in. Made me think. They were something to ponder and talk about, theorize about. So many mysteries and questions. So many good characters.
Characters. Seriously, what other show could introduce an Iraqi Republican guard torturer and make him a beloved character? What does it mean to be a good guy or a bad guy? Is there ever so clear a distinction in life? Most of us are nether saints nor villains. There are good choices and bad choices and that somehow our choices shape who we are. But there is always a hope for redemption. Our bad choices need not condemn us.
Mysteries. So many things to think about and explore. And every answer seemed to generate a dozen new questions. Is there any way they could have wrapped it up in a neat package? Going into this final episode I had no idea how they could possibly resolve this story to my satisfaction. There were too many loose ends. Untidy.
In the end they left so much unanswered and unexplained. Yet to me (and to Dom) it didn’t matter. The ending was emotionally satisfying not intellectually satisfying. In a larger sense, though, I think that was intellectually satisfying because life itself is not a neat package. And because the mysteries were a means to an end, not an end in themselves. In the end what was shown to matter was love.
This is deeply satisfying because it affirms what I know to be true in life. All the the mysteries and intellectual inquiries, all the dogmas and doctrines, they exist to serve Love. St Thomas Aquinas indicated as much when he declared near the end of his life that all he had written seemed like straw compared to what he had seen.
It’s not that the mysteries weren’t important or that puzzling over them was a waste of time; but that their time had come and gone and now they are seen in their proper perspective. I was always convinced that the characters were what was truly important about the show. The mysteries were vehicles for storytelling, curiosities along the way, satisfying because we need something to chew on while we travel to keep us going forward.
What I saw in the end was redemption through love. I saw that brokenness can be healed by stepping out in faith, by a free gift of self, and by connections to other people.
Over and over again in this final episode was played out the same moment: that moment of recognition when the scales fall off their eyes and suddenly two people see each other with the eyes of love. The couples: Jin and Sun. Sawyer and Juliet. Sayid and Shannon. Charlie and Claire. But also Locke seeing Jack and knowing him, loving him. We see that to make this happen, this revelation, is worth much pain and effort. Desmond goes to jail to claim Kate and Sayid. Boone allows himself to be beat up to give that gift to Shannon and Sayid.
And there were reconciliation and healing: Ben and Locke: forgiveness, redemption. Jack and his father, finally reunited, reconciled. Ben and Hurley… Ben finally receiving the recognition and responsibility he craved.
Not everyone will be satisfied, I’m sure. But I was I always had faith that the end was planned from the beginning,that they were nit just making it up as they went along. I was right.
Amy Welborn caught this most pertinent reference last night: “Remain true to yourself, but move ever upward toward greater consciousness and greater love! At the summit you will find yourselves united with all those who, from every direction, have made the same ascent. For everything that rises must converge” – Teilhard de Chardin
The last line is the title of the Flannery O’Connor story collection that Jacob was seen reading last season.
Dorian Speed had some good thoughts here.
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