[This post is going to be about the series finale of LOST. If you haven't seen it but plan to, please go away (for your sake!). If you don't care, you can also click the X at the top of the screen. I know not everyone cares about this show. I won't be offended. Also, commentary is welcome, and comments from those who disagree are also welcome! Just no mean jabs at me or my opinions. Thanks!]
I really didn't want to write a whole post (on a fashion blog, no less) about a TV show finale. Mostly because this really isn't the venue, but I've been working myself up for the past several hours after reading many (in my opinion) annoying comments about the show's ending. I think this show is important even though it's just television, because it dug deeper into our culture and society than most other shows ever do. It can teach us a lot if we want to learn. Also, I may not be the most credible source to talk here and I'll admit why right off the bat: I came into this show half-way through (season 4). Therefore, I may not have as many questions or emotional ties as many who begun at episode one. So take this as you will. :) That being said... I have some things I want to address. About how it all ended up, in my opinion, and in what I've gathered from watching and reading re-caps. You may disagree, and that's ok! But here's what I really think is going on and what our take-away is.
One: Some people are really not getting this, but the Island was NOT purgatory. I really think this is truth and not just opinion here, so I want to be clear that thinking the Island was "not real" or "afterlife" is a wrong understanding of the show. In fact, the flash-sideways can't even be said to have been purgatory. It was a sort of "resting place" between reality as we know it and whatever happens next. It was a place each member sort of unconsciously (through their interactions and meaningful relationships with one another) created together. Jack wasn't dead since the pilot; we saw him die, just like we saw Widmore die and Jacob die (to name a few). And the Island and it's magic were real-- all the interactions were real. In fact, more real than many other shows I've ever seen, ever. That's the beautiful thing about LOST, and this comment I read in a Salon post summarized it very well (barring one point with which I disagree, which I'll mention in a minute):
"I finally get it…and it’s brilliant.
Al those questions, the stupid minutiae of the lost-verse were there specifically to illustrate the truth of “none of this matters”.
The whole thing was, as I suspected, a faith/religion/spirituality allegory…but the allegory was on a more subtle level than I’d considered until this morning.
The story, like our spiritual lives, was about one thing and one thing only: LOVE. Community, compassion, right vs. wrong.
Religion is not about wine & wafers or burning bushes or “defense of marriage”. It’s about making us love one another.
The Lost story wasn’t about numbers or three-toed statues or hieroglyphs…it was about LOVE."
Which leads me to, two: hate to break it to you, but JJ Abrams does not care that your (or my) hopes and dreams about his series did not come true. He can't make everyone happy. If you wanted there to be a happy ending with every bow tied up in a neat little knot, sorry. Was I sad that many things were unanswered? Yes, I was. Is it ok to talk about what questions were left unanswered? Of course (and I am)! But, am I letting that ruin what was a beautiful and amazingly moving series and finale? Hell no. I realize that maybe there is an even bigger lesson to be learned here in all this: as humans, we always get caught up in the minutiae of questions that sometimes just don't matter. And sometimes, we need a little something to remind us what really matters... which is love, and people, and relationships, and the meaning we make of all of it. I might be wrong, but I think that's what the producers wanted. They wanted us to look back at ourselves, blush a little, and wake up to the truth that sometimes, we overreact. We make things more important than they really are. Why did the island get there? Who was the mother that killed the twin's mother? What was up with the mystery of island baby births? What was Dharma really all about? To those questions, I must say: Whatever! (although I admittedly was hoping to understand the baby phenomenon...) It was plot, it was substance that was needed to keep the show going (sidenote: I do disagree a little with the commenter that the plot details meant "nothing"-- if the show taught us anything, it's that nothing is nothing. The details were a part of an important plot, though I can understand why some became slightly irritated... but we have to delve further). It was what life is made up of-- lots of intracacies and questions and some things we can never explain. In the end of it all, we don't need answers, we need meaning. (and personally, I believe the end of life doesn't give answers-- i.e., there is no enlightened sort of "death-to-new-life"-- but will hopefully bring meaning, if were lucky enough to see it.)
Sure, we want answers, but come one... ya'll knew we wouldn't know everything. That was specifically said by the producers a while ago... we won't have all the answers. They can't answer them all, and it is possible they wrote themselves into a few corners. (Let's give these people some credit here 'cuz they're human and can't create a flawless and complicated 6 seasons.) But please, don't allow your anger to cloud one of the most beautiful and moving series finales this generation has seen (hyperbolic? Maybe. I'll allow it). And look a little deeper than the surface questions. I say this because I think people are really robbing themselves of the joy of the show if they don't let go. The characters were tasked with "letting go." Now it's our turn.