Responsing Lost

Kevinstein reads and responds thoughtfully to my earlier quips. I really enjoy this banter. At least no one is indifferent to the finale.

I agree that the writers got in over their heads and clearly didn’t not how to get out. Whether they were caught up in the speculation as the story unfolded (some stories write themselves) or they had no idea how to finish because their corporate fascination with mythology, science, and philosophy offered too may rabbit trails (“Was there a number on that rabbit?”) will remain unknown until the confessions start surfacing. I think the later is more true than the former.

Here are a couple of thoughts.

  1. Sideways Lost is not sideways nor analogous but a definite future in which all the characters have all finally died. It is after their earthly death — and I gather Hurley’s and Ben’s to be the last deaths as they were the Island’s protectors (Nos 1 and 2)–that this Purgatory comes to be.
  2. Again, I think the story is about Jack. I don’t know (or even believe) the writers knew this at the beginning. The shot of an eye opening and an eye closing is probably all they knew. How to get there was always the problem. Probably you had too many people with too many divergent interests sneaking their insight and trivia into the script. If Lost is judged on the clarity of a comprehensive plot, the series failed. It seems they were infatuated with all their cumulative philosophical-pop culture knowledge and Lost focus.
  3. Lost is not a Christian story. It must be received on its own terms no matter how flawed. I believe Gene Veith gets it right when he acknowledges that we should appreciate that the symbols of the gospel are more evocative. I am thankful that in spite of all the humanism, that Christian imagery is the most powerful, and that the selfless, chosen, sacrifice of one for friends saves some. I haven’t had a chance to recheck, but I think the stained glass window behind Jack in the final scene with Christian Shepherd is full of symbols that aren’t explicitly Christian. The church is merely another airplane where the characters are seated and traveling to another destination.
  4. The redemptive path which Lost posits is: “Remember, Let Go, Move on.” Ben is not the only one not ready to move on. He has more work to do: marry Rouseau? be a father to Alex? continue to help his father move past the loss of his wife, Ben’s mother? Anna Lucia still has not learned what she needs to learn as evidenced by her willingness to subvert justice for a bribe. Charlotte and Daniel will have their life together for as long as it takes, and Eloise has not learned to let go of her over-attachment to her son which she seems to be willfully holding on to. Their remembering is the bearing of the full weight of the brokenness of their earthly life. Consequently they must let go of it–the regret, the shame, the bitterness. This “letting go” is itself a death. “Everyone dies.”
  5. Jack’s son is not Jack’s son, but I believe is Jack himself. And Jack is the approving, loving, father he never had. Jack must let go of the regret and bitterness of not having a father who was present. In the same way, Desmond must let go of the approval-lust he has for Widmore’s favor symbolized in the McCutcheon scotch. It is only after they ‘let it go’ that they may move forward. And granted, forward into an ‘Idon’tknowwhat’.
  6. “Live together, die alone” is one of the more stirring moments in Lost‘s pilot. That Jack dies alone so that others may live, is also one of the more stirring in the finale. I don’t believe Jesus’ statement regarding ‘no greater love’ is explicitly about himself, but is rather a maxim that the disciples would’ve acknowledged as self-evident. That the Son of Man would die for others whom he deemed friends–that’s special. Again, the story was about Jack. Jack wanted to be the one who could “fix this”. His demand to fix it in order to prove his self worth was never selfless but ultimately selfish. That Boone has to tell him, “Let it go” shows how unwilling he is to let it go. Only after facing his failure–the greatest of which was the Bomb accident which killed Juliet–was he able to be both what he longed to be and needed to be. In so doing, he fulfilled both his heart’s choice and his destiny.

Additionally, aside from not learning about the mythology and history and whatsit of the Island:

  1. I still have problems with the disregard for human life exhibited by Jacob, Widmore, Ben, and the Others. A lot of people died. Were they so much worse than Smokey Lock? I don’t think so.
  2. Also, if Smokey Lock became mortal after the Island was uncorked, why not just let him go? All he wanted to do was get off the Island. What’s so bad about that? Once he was mortal who was he going to hurt? He might’ve died of starvation in the Pacific.

Lastly for all those who want answers, here’s a list of the questions:

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