Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost: The End

Well, what did you think about the Lost finale? Facebook comments right after the show ranged from "Awesome" to "Rip-off!" It shouldn't be a surprise that a show that's kept everyone guessing would continue to make you scratch your head even after it was over. If you were waiting for a tidy ending that served all of the answers up in a neat little package, you weren't watching the same show I was for the past 6 seasons.

While the nature of the flash sideways storyline is up for interpretation (I'll share what I believe in a minute), what happened on the island actually happened - Even Christian made sure Jack knew that at the end. Yes, they all crashed on the island. Yes, they all lived the experiences on and off the island. And yes, like everyone else, they all eventually died at some point. Boone died back in season 1, Jack died at the end of the show and Hurley died sometime after (maybe another 2,000 years or more). The show was about the human experience... but that's such a huge story to tell. They had to tell it through one man's experience - and that was Jack. When Jack closed his eye the story, for us, ended.

So WHAT happened on the island? Exactly what we saw. Jack and Smoke Monster both thought that Desmond was there for a reason... That he was able to withstand electromagnetic radiation (the heart of the island). Jack thought that if Jacob wanted him there, Desmond must be they key to saving the island from the Smoke Monster. Smokey was betting on the fact that if Desmond turned off the light the island would be destroyed. They were both right. Desmond turned off the light, which started the destruction of the island. Unfortunately for Smoke Monster, the light was also the source of his immortality. Now that there was no light, he was able to die... and die he did.

Why was Richard mortal all of the sudden? That happened before the light was turned off. He became mortal when Jacob's ashes disappeared in the camp fire. When Jacob's power was transferred to Jack, his rules no longer applied.

So Hurley is now immortal? Yes. A whole new story begins with Hurley. The show isn't about that story... the same way it wasn't about whomever was in charge of the island before Jacob and Man in Black's crazy "mother". Hurley will eventually die, like Jacob did. Ben is the new Richard, and will also eventually die one day like Richard eventually does. Details on this story aren't necessary... but fun to think about. (Theory time) Since the Smoke Monster was "dead" before Jack went into the cave of light, it's possible that he re-released the smoke monster, just like Man In Black did when he fell into the cave. I'd like to think that after Jack dies, the monster takes the form of Jack's body and battles good and evil with Hurley on the island for a couple of centuries... but, again, that's a whole other story. (Theory over)

So, now what about the flash sideways storyline? It's up for interpretation, but this is what I believe: They are in a "purgatory" before moving on after being dead. I hate to use the word "purgatory" because that's been a theory of what the island was ever since season 2. But, remember, the island and all of the stories flashed back and forward were real. They weren't in purgatory during the whole series. The producers led us to believe that there was an "alternate" timeline that started after Juliette detonated the bomb. This wasn't true. Just like the flashbacks that wound up really being flash forwards in season 4; What we thought was an alternate timeline was actually another place of consciousness. After dying, the characters all go to this "place" where they need to become aware of what life they lived, and how they died. Once they become aware they can "let go".

This was a brilliant way to end the series. As each character "let go" we got to see their story unfold one last time. What triggered their awareness was the interaction with the other people who made their life important. It's kind of hokey, but the point is that the experiences we have with other people is the most important part of our real life, and what we take with us when we move on. Some were ready to move on... others, even after being aware, needed more time to sort things out. Ben wasn't ready - perhaps he needed more time to sort out his sins... or just wanted to do it with Rousseau a few times first. This is why Faraday's mother didn't want Desmond to make Daniel aware... she finally was able to see him they way she wanted him to be, and wasn't ready to lose him again. She also wasn't ready to forgive herself from ruining his life and then killing him (again).

While all of this is still up for interpretation... there are some things that are just fact. They really did crash, and Jack died in the bamboo after experiencing everything we saw on the show. The plane flying overhead as Jack was dying was carrying Kate, Sawyer and the gang off of the island - it wasn't Oceanic 815 not crashing... to prove the point, we were shown the same sneaker hanging on the bamboo from the beginning of the series, now old and decomposing after years of hanging out in the jungle. And, we're left with the iconic image of the crash site, to show that it all happened and that everyone involved has now moved on to the next part of their story.

So, that's it. Thanks for allowing me to ramble on about the show for the past 6 years. I don't think I'm gonna get hooked on another show like this for a very long time. As always, I'd love to hear your interpretation, so feel free to comment below... I'll see all of ya in another life, Brothas!

PS - If you're one of those people who didn't like the ending... re-watch the last 30 minutes, now knowing that they are all dead (I just did). The sideways timeline is pure genius! Now that we know they are all trying to "let go" there's so many things that now take on an entirely different meaning. Amazing. Time to completely rewatch the whole last season... I guess it's not over after all!