“What the ‘eff just happened here?”
The final episode has come and gone, and as expected it’s cracked the LOST fanbase right in half. The great polarization has impacted many, and even within the halls of Fanboy Planet the lines have already been drawn. I’m curious to get Lon’s take on the series and the final episode, although I believe the final outcome will be moot in the end. We’ll see.
I’m going to forego a detailed recap, but we did learn a few things. The sideways was nirvana, or the afterlife depending on where you stand spiritually. The whole series centered on Jack, his trials involved in accepting his role in a very important sequence of events, and his trouble letting go of things after the fact. It was the story of a group of people who came together to prevent the end of humanity, and how they met up after they died to reminisce and let go of the most import period of time in their existence.
Where the great divide is formed lies in one’s need for answers. The producers have long said that they would answer what needed to be answered, nothing more and nothing less. This doesn’t sit well with many folks, but what happened happened. Right?
The concept of the show is pretty interesting. It’s sort of like what would happen if Luke, Leia, Han, Obi Wan, Chewy, R2, and C3PO met up in the afterlife, helped each other remember those times they stopped the Empire from destroying the galaxy, and then ultimately help each other let go of the things that bind them to their mortality, preventing them from becoming one with the force. This is a beautiful thing to contemplate, especially considering our own lack of understanding around our own individual existence, mortality, and what exists in the great beyond…unless you’re too busy asking questions like, “Why does the force exist?,” “Lightsabers, how do they work?,” or “Why are some people eligible to be Jedi while others aren’t?”
The dreaded midichlorian scenes in the prequel trilogy were written for those folks, and thankfully LOST never went there.
“What are the rules, exactly?”
Do we really need to know? There is enough evidence within the series to surmise what these rules are, how they were formed, and why they were formed. But do we need a numbered list of the rules? No.
Seriously. Here’s what you really needed to know. Jacob’s adopted mother, as guardian of the island, was able to create rules for the island and its inhabitants. She displayed this with her decree that Jacob and his brother were unable to harm each other. In making Jacob the guardian, she passed this power to Jacob. Jacob’s frustration with his brother’s abuse of power while playing Senet (e.g. making up the rules as he went along) led to the creation of several island rules, some we know and others we don’t. We don’t need to have a formal list of island rules read off to us. We don’t need to know that every third Friday of the month is Ankh cleaning day. What we needed to know is that he was creating the rules, and that his rules contributed to the series of events that brought the LOSTIES to the island.
This entire story was the result of mistakes made by both Jacob and his mother – she commits matricide, Jacob abuses his power and role time and time again. Jack is the one meant to set things right and facilitate the arrival of the true island guardian – Hurley.
Jack’s arrival on the island, his trials, and his eventual rise to heroism were the focus all along. The added bonuses come in the form of metaphysical and spiritual overtones; a degree of pondering that existed in subtext from the onset. Think about it, Jack was a character that from the very beginning could be described by his own self-prescribed ethos, “live together, die alone.” He believed this, to his core. In fact, it’s his belief in this that makes him capable of carrying out his arc to completion. However, he was wrong in the end. In this story, we subscribe to the school of thought that in death, we are capable of being re-united. His reconnection with the rest of the LOSTIES is what helps him eventually let go of his own mortality, release the flesh he once served, and move on to whatever is next. Beyond death. Together.
In a way, the reveal that the flash-sideways was, in fact, nirvana actually informs the very style of the show from the very beginning as well. Jumping in time often lead to interesting juxtapositions between off island interactions and the events taking place on the island. It’s almost as if someone were recalling these events and drawing the kind of conclusions that one can only make with the added benefit of total and complete hindsight.
Multiple viewings should prove interesting, and I cannot wait to get started. I’ll continue to process this finale, and I’m going to rewatch from scratch. As I do, questions will be pondered on the blog along the way. Additionally, I’ll post more insights on The End once they’ve completely gelled. For now, I feel like this six year journey has come to a suitable end, and cannot recall a better experience regarding a concluding TV series.