Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The End, Part 1
Hey everybody! This is the first of many posts about the series finale. I'm not sure how many there will be, but I do know that this will be my soap box to get out everything i've been thinking about. Since the finale, I've been on the line of 3 different Lost Podcasts, for a total of about 16 hours. Granted 10 hours of that was The Lost Flashbacks, but that's still a lot. My point I guess is I still have more to say, and this way people can choose to read it or not, and won't be forced to listen to my voice. I'm even getting sick of it.
So, this first part will be about the things that shocked me. Not necessarily the shocking or surprising moments of the episode, but more things that shocked me about myself. I've always considered myself a mythology junkie. I loved everything about the history of the Island, and the crazy science experiments DHARMA was doing. I couldn't get enough of Locke and his journey to learn the secrets of the Island. That's probably why he became my favorite character early on. I am not a religious person at all, so I was very excited that Locke's quest was not based on any religion, but his faith in the Island. The faith that lead him to be an early mentor to Jack in his time of need in White Rabbit. The faith that lead him to the hatch, and then drove him to discover its secrets. I wanted to know what was in that hatch just as much as him! His faith lead to Boone's death, and that lead to the beginning of the Jack vs. Locke battle that would continue all the way to season 5. And that faith is what drove Jack back to the Island, and gave him faith that it was his destiny to drop Jughead down the Swan Station. It was that same faith that lead Jack to believe it was his destiny to be the Island's protector, and in doing so defeat the Man in Black, and save the ones who were left.
That's an interesting paragraph, maybe to long, but I've never been a grammar guy. I start out by saying I'm into the mythology and science, and finish by saying it's all about faith. Faith? This from an agnostic. Well friends, that's one of the things that really shocked me. I thought I was watching for science fictiony coolness, and mythology filled revelations. Turns out I wasn't watching for that at all. I was watching because I connected with these characters, and their journey became my journey. As I said in the previous post, the show was never about getting answers to questions. I don't know about anyone else, but as season six wound down, I found myself wanting answers less and less. I didn't care how the glowing light worked, or who built it and why. I didn't care about the timeline of events that connected the temple to the statue. I'm not saying they aren't amazing mysteries, but I firmly believe that that was not the point of the series.
I'm reminded of Jack in A Tale of Two Cities. Being taunted almost by Juliet when she has a huge file all about Jack's life. She knows he wants to know about Sarah's new life, and it caused him great pain in the past. In this moment, Jack doesn't ask for specific details about Sarah's life, nor does he try and get answers to the personal mysteries that have tortured him for years. He simply asks if she is happy. Juliet says that Sarah is indeed very happy, and unlike old Jack who craved to know everything about her life, this Jack is satisfied with that, and it brings him peace.
I bring this up because it's similar to Lost fans. Asking who Sarah is with and where they are living, is like asking about the Egyptian era on the Island. Yeah, it would be good to know for our obsessive brains, but it serves no purpose knowing it. Same thing with the Smoke Monster. The exact nature of the Smoke Monster is probably beyond comprehension, and would only serve to annoy or bewilder. I'm not even sure I want to know what it was. This way Big-O can have his nano-bots!
These thoughts were very shocking to me. The idea that I could confidently say the answers were not important, story was important would have totally pissed off the Josh that was in the middle of season two. In the end, Lost was about these people who came together as total strangers. They fixed each other, loved each other, fought each other, and saved each other. That's what life is all about. You don't have to live every day to the fullest, or treat everyone amazing all the time. Carpe Diem is a great way to live, but it's exhausting. That is not the point of Lost. For me, the point is simply that life is about your interactions with other people. They can be good, they can be bad, but every person you come in contact with is touched by you, and you by them. The group in the church at the end, they didn't love each other all the time. Hell, sometimes they were trying to kill each other. But their struggles, and their conflicts built the bond between them just as much as their love for each other.
I'll save my character discussion for a different post, because there is a lot to say there. We invested six years in them, and the lessons they learned in the end really were meant for us. So really, in the final analysis, the thing that shocked me the most was that all this time I thought I was watching a TV show. In reality, I was getting a lesson on how to live my life.