Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST - or maybe not so lost

I've spent the last six years watching the ABC show LOST. I've followed all the story lines. I've re-watched the reruns. I've even begun to purchase the DVDs. Basically, I've invested a lot of time in a television show. Last night was the series finale. LOST is done. And some people are really upset. Those who are upset over last night's final episode seem to fall into two camps - those who are sad and will miss the show, and those who are angry that it didn't answer all the questions that they had. I'm in a slightly different place from either of those two camps. I'm satisfied with the show and how it ended. No, it didn't answer all my questions (and I probably had as many as anyone else). Yes, it was melodramatic (and yes I did shed a few tears). But overall, I think that the writers got one important point right (I'll get to that). For the first five seasons we were given back story on the main characters through flashbacks, flash forwards and flash sideways. We were introduced to the mysteries of the island (electromagnetism, "the button," "the rules," Jacob, the smoke monster, the light, the others, the Dharma project, etc.). All of this story was interwoven with symbolism and ideas that sounded familiar to all of us. They sounded familiar because we know them from church, Sunday School and just general knowledge of Christian things. But the ending of the show left people speculating as to what was real and what was "someplace else." I've heard the theory that everyone died in the plane crash and the island was purgatory. I've heard some say that they were all dead and the island was hell. I even heard one person speculate that the entire series was a dream in the mind of Vincent the dog. Unfortunately, I think all that speculation may miss the real point that the writers were trying to make, a point that truly resonates with Christian theology.
Let us assume that everything but the flash sideways in season six was real. It leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions about the island - why does it exist? what is the light? etc. The flash sideways in season six and the final episode focus on the relationships between the survivors and on something spiritual. The way that I see it the writers are saying, what is important in life is not the details of this world. We don't need to, and probably never will know all the secrets of this world that we call reality. What is really important is the relationships that we build and knowing that God has a plan, a design, a destination for each of us.
Anyway, that's what I got out of it. Maybe I'm completely off base with the intention of the writers and maybe I'm over-spiritualizing the thing. Maybe I am lost. Then again, maybe I'm found.