June 1, 2010

Lost Finale: The Man of Science (Part 2)

After a full week and multiple viewings, I have finally digested the series finale of Lost. Now, as I walk away from what was in my opinion one of the greatest series of this generation, I am both emotionally satisfied and vehemently angered.

I am still drying my eyes over what was a beautifully poignant ending, as the Lost castaways finally learned to let go and move on to a better place. From an overall thematic perspective, Lost was a huge success, giving us one over-arching lesson: what matters in the end isn’t obtaining the answers to all the mysteries of life, but the journey we made in pursuit of those answers.

But when this warm sentimental mush wore off, the right side of my brain is left with too many questions. I really still want to trust that the Lost creators planned for the show to end as it did, and the random events throughout the six seasons that seemingly had no point (i.e. time travel and Kate’s vision of a horse) did serve a greater purpose. Still, after spending six zealous years analyzing numbers, studying freeze frames of a cryptic number 108 on a sundial, and researching Egyptian history for a four-toed statue, it’s hard not to still feel, well Lost. Abandoned by the show, left to listen to whispers that say absolutely nothing.

These two conflicting opinions about the finale stem from the divergence of the show. What started as a sci-fi drama about an island, ended as a religious dissertation on life and death. It wasn’t until Season 5 that we were even personally introduced to the bickering brothers Jacob and The Man and Black. We were made to believe these men were some type of gods, and the castaways pawns in their game. But in actuality they were just people (enchanted perhaps), but not much different than any of the castaways.

Then came the Sideways world; a parallel universe that originally seemed to derive from the detonation of the hydrogen bomb (though the two had no correlation). It appeared this Sideways universe was some version of life the castaways would have lived if they never crashed on the island. Wrong again. Instead the visions of this other life we were thrown so late in the series was a faux world created by the castaways as a form of purgatory; a meeting ground where they could all find each other and reconnect once they died. Ultimately it was this plot line that we were made to care about and the only one that Lost actually provided a resolution.

Turns out the Island world and all its mysteries that I spent so much time trying to solve, none of it actually mattered. The Island simply served as a spring board for which the characters learned to grow, love and reconcile their pasts, so they could inevitably find each other once again.

In the science experiment that was Lost the audience was actually the test subject. The objective: to get people to believe in something they could never fully understand. Along the way we were tested and prodded. The producers poked fun at our loyalty through Hugo, who asked all the questions we longed to ask ourselves.

Those fans that fall under the category of Man of Faith remained devout, accepting the Island just is and extrapolating and feeding off any lessons they could find. But through the eyes of the Man of Science, Lost was an experiment gone awry. A bomb that never detonated.

Good thing I am a sucker for a mushy morale.

Which category do you fall under?

And because there will always be more questions ...

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