Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a huge LOST geek. And unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, I’m sure you all know by now that the series finale was on last night. It seems to have really polarized the viewers. Many are upset with how it ended, but others are overjoyed. I didn’t really know what to think when it was all over. My emotions were fried. I had cried, laughed and gasped in horror. I felt like I’d been on the roller coaster ride of my life.

(Don’t read any further unless you want to be spoiled. I’m about to talk about the ending. So go watch it if you haven’t already. Then you can come back, k?)

And then they had a really strange ending. Not the Jack ending up right back where the series started, only this time with his eye closed and Vincent laying beside him so that he didn’t die alone. That was incredible. I’m not a big dog person, but that made me cry buckets.

What I’m talking about is the weird church scene where Jack’s dad appears to explain to him what is happening. The church reminded me of those bumper stickers with all the different religious symbols that spell out the word “coexist.” Although I completely agree with the fact that people should be respectful and kind to one another, regardless of one’s particular beliefs, I just found it strange that this transition had to take place in a church of no determined belief. There were stained glass windows and religious symbols all over the place in there, but they were from each of the major religions. They even had the symbol of the Frozen Donkey Wheel for those who don’t relate to any of the more traditional beliefs. I understand why the creators did that, but still. It irked me because the people who relate to LOST are doing so because they resonate with The Story of love, failure, forgiveness and redemption that I believe God has placed in our beings. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Harry Potter have all became wildly successful because they, like LOST, all have this same common thread running through them.

That being said, there was a lot, and I mean a LOT of Christian material in this finale. Ken Tucker over at Entertainment Weekly had this to say: If there was any big surprise last night, it was how overtly Christian in its imagery and message the series proved to be. Its heavily underscored lesson was that everyone was forgiven — that word was used over and over. And the water at the Magic Glowing Source was used for the purposes of transubstantiation: “Drink this,” Jack was told upon being handed water, a phrase later repeated when Jack gave water to Hugo. Given the liquid’s effect particularly on Jack, the dialogue might just as well have quoted directly from a Communion service: “Drink this, for this is my body which is given unto you. Do this, in remembrance of me.”

For if there was one thing we can probably all agree upon, in the end, Jack Shephard was a Christ figure whose sacrifice saved many other people. The imagery could not have been more specific: Jack’s questioning and obeying of his father; his leadership of a small group of disciples; his final ascension (in TV terms, in a glowing white light). Even the piercing of his side by Locke/Man In Black was in the part of his body where Christ was speared while in agony on the crucifying cross.

Obvious to anyone who watched the show and knows the Christ of the Bible, LOST wasn’t trying to say that Jack was Jesus. Jack was a very flawed man, starting off the series completely devoid of any kind of faith. It took until the very last season for him to loosen his grip on his total reliance on science. But the writers did seem to want to allude to man’s need for redemption and how one person’s sacrifice can be such a beautiful way to love someone and save many. The Christian undertones have led many, many fans to have some truly incredible conversations over the past 6 years. And for that, I tip my hat to Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse.

What happened inside the church was, in my opinion, wonderful. I ache for the day when I will be reunited with my loved ones who have died before me. I have dreams where they meet me upon my arrival into heaven, eager to usher me through the transition from earthly life to eternal life. Aren’t we always telling people at funerals to take hope because we can one day see our loved ones again? Wouldn’t it be awesome to also be greeted by those who died after we had? Being reunited in heaven with my children, who by God’s mercy will not die before I do, would be that much sweeter. Isn’t that exactly what happened in that finale? Beautiful.

I think that what we watched last night was Jack’s particular ‘greeting room’ experience. I believe that if we had seen Jin or Sun’s experience, we would have seen Ji Yeon, their daughter. But since Jack had never met her, it makes sense that she wouldn’t be there. I also loved how Ben Linus sat outside the church, unwilling to go inside because he wasn’t ready to ‘let go and move on’ like the rest of them were. Perhaps it was because he wanted to be there for Alex, now that he could be. Perhaps he still felt as if he hadn’t ‘earned’ the right to be forgiven. Raise your hand if you’ve ever had that particular feeling? Yeah, me too. Because of that, I was able to understand why Michael and Walt and Mr. Eko weren’t in the church. Perhaps they too weren’t ready to let go.

For two hours, we watched as our favorite Oceanic 815 crash survivors found their own Constants. Daniel Faraday/Widmore, a character from the show, explains it like this: ‘When a consciousness travels back and forth through time, it needs a constant to latch onto. A constant is an object or person that exists in both periods of time that the traveler deeply cares about and could recognize.’ I’m not a believer in ‘soul mates.’ I believe it takes lots of work to maintain relationships, even with those who seem to be perfect for us. I think you can become soul mates with your loved ones by deciding and committing to go through life together no matter what happens in your lives. But it’s a choice, not a cosmic game of hide and seek; that you will never be happy in love if you don’t end up with your particular soul mate. As far as I'm aware, I've never time travelled, but I know that when I’m struggling through a difficult situation, it’s made easier if I have my husband at my side. I truly don’t know how I’d handle life without him. And so I loved that these characters found the person they so wanted/needed to be with in the end. Some of these were done so well, I nearly cried for the entire two hours.

I admit that I am frustrated with not having more answers to the many questions brought up in the show. And I find it cheap to answer some of them in the DVD release of the season. If there are questions that the writers feel need to be answered, they should have answered them in the show, not on the DVDs for $50 a pop. I have enjoyed the Island mythology/mysteries along with the story of the characters, and I wish they would have attempted to give us some more resolution about both. Really, would 7 seasons have been that bad?!

If you want to discuss more specifics about the show, let me know. It would be my pleasure. One of the best parts about watching LOST was being involved in such a smart, fun, creative community of fans who came together on the internet. What a fun experience that has been! I love LOST and will miss the show a lot, but I will also really miss hearing from such amazing people. My favorite part about reading books or seeing movies has always been the dialogue that happens as a result of coming together with others who have read/seen the story. I think LOST is truly unique for being able to bring such a diverse crowd together for such a strange cause – to figure out this blasted show! I have enjoyed that just as much as watching the show, if not more. So go ahead and send me your thoughts/questions. Because never have I related more to Benjamin Linus - beat up, sitting on the outside, not wanting to let go and move on.

Namaste.

1 comment:

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I couldn't find your email, but I wanted to thank you for leaving such a delightful review on my blog. So glad you enjoyed the Huevos Rancheros.
Blessings,
Debby