May 27, 2010

Lost & Found


I think enough time has passed that people who taped or DVR'd the Lost series finale (appropriately titled The End) would have seen it by now. I would like to apologize for this rambling rave; for alienating non-Lost viewers and those who hated the finale. Let me just say that I've been on hater side this final season, and wary of the finale. This groundbreaking show was polarizing until the end. I LOVED the tear-jerking, funny, corny, mind-blowing, action-packed, and sentimental ending. I was crying, would-have been-biting-my nails if I was a nail-biter, and cheering the whole time. I applaud the creators, writers, cast members and the director for their bravery. Jack Bender should get an Emmy nod, just for his final cutaways between Island Jack and Sideways Jack. It was a stunning reveal, storytelling at its best. Matthew Fox also deserves a nomination for his understated acting and for making me cry like a baby.

People wanted answers to many questions, which true to form, remained unanswered. This wasn't a disappointment for me. The creators remained true to the essence of the show. The show was never just about folks stranded on a strange tropical island with smoke monsters and polar bears. It was about people who had lost their way in the world, and the Island provided a chance to find peace and redemption. When we watch, read or listen to something, we always bring into it our own experiences. I'm a Catholic with Buddhist tendencies. So I fully embraced the concepts of letting go, of emptiness, of connections with all creatures. The episode Across the Sea even brought to my mind the Gnostic traditions, Sophia and the Demiurge, imperfect gods, the search for the Divine within yourself. The finale was overtly Christian, and I appreciated the writers' effort to represent all the major religions inside the church. It was comforting to see our Lostaways in some version of an after-life. Or more accurately, a pre-after-life.

There WERE important questions answered. Faith vs. Science? Overwhelmingly Faith. Man in Black's belief that man will always "fight, destroy, corrupt" vs. Jacob's belief in man's innate goodness? Jack, who for most of the seasons was a man of science, eventually found his faith. His Christ-like sacrifice proved Jacob right.

In the end, all of life's troubles and foibles fall away (like the questions and mysteries of the Island). While our experiences matter because they make us who we are, at the end of our individual journeys, all we can hope for is a life well lived. That we took care of each other and this beautiful world. Jacob said the Island was the cork keeping evil at bay. At the heart of the Island was a Light-filled tunnel, the Source of Life. Our Lostaways were brought to the Island so they could reconnect with their Light and find Love. And this is what's going to save us all from the evils of anger, bitterness, despair. Some days I agree with Sartre that "hell is other people". The End reminded us that heaven is also other people.

(photo from Collider)

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