I admit that I didn’t become a fan of “Lost” until earlier this year. I’d never seen a second of the show until we started streaming the first season on Netflix. We ended up streaming the first five seasons. I didn’t have time to watch all of season six, so I read up on each episode and watched the two episodes before the series finale, which was the only episode of “Lost” I saw when it aired on TV.
God only knows how many articles, blogs, tweets, conversations, and thoughts have been devoted to this show. We’d all agree that TV melts our brains. “Lost” was one of those rare shows that actually engaged, not just the heart, but the minds of its fans. Brilliant writing, engaging characters, and countless mysteries are only part of what made “Lost” so successful. The biggest reason is simple:
“Lost” revealed to us so much about ourselves.
On Monday, I read an article about Sunday’s finale which pinpointed the core of the show. It was less about people being lost geographically and (much) more about people being lost in their brokenness. Throughout the series’ innovative flashbacks, flash-forwards, and season six’s flash-sideways, we were drawn deep into each of the major character’s brokenness. Jack’s inability to live up to his father’s standards. Locke’s desperate search for something in which to believe after being conned by his father. Hurley’s overwhelming fear that he was cursed. The writers and actors, through the back stories of the characters, revealed to those of us who watched the series that we, too, are broken. We all want something to believe in. We all need redemption. We’re all caught up in the struggle between good and evil.
“Lost” walked a path that nearly every other show feared to tread. The show explored the seeming conflict between faith and science. It explored philosophy. With the characters of Jacob and the Man in Black, it explored the struggle between good and evil like no show ever had. It brazenly affirmed humanity’s need for redemption and saving. Although not my favorite show (it’s pretty close), it is certainly the most engaging, relevant show of my generation.
The hype leading up to the finale guaranteed that not all the show’s fans would be satisfied. Most of the show’s fans desperately wanted the writers to tie up loose ends from the show’s six season run. In true “Lost” fashion, it didn’t happen. The finale left lots of mystery about the island, and instead focused on the redemption of the show’s characters. The “flash-sideways” ended up being a timeless, purgatory-like state where the main characters gathered to “cross over.” Through flash-backs to island, each character realized they had died, and gathered in the church which stood over the Looking Glass station. When Jack finally realized he was dead, most of the major players reunited and were able to “let go.” Even series bad boy Ben found forgiveness from Locke. The finale focused on the eventual victory of good over evil, and (in my opinion) leaned heavily toward faith (Jack’s sacrifice, down to the piercing of his side, was almost Christ-like, even if it was an imperfect comparison), but without forcing the viewers to a choice between science and faith. One blogger pointed out the sharp disagreement between fans of the show, almost showing a science vs. faith styled split. Many wanted every loose end tied up in a neat package (they should have known better). Others saw the bigger picture–a show about broken people finding purpose and redemption. I thought the ending, even with its theological missteps, was close to perfect.
Losties, what did you think about the show, including the final episode?