Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST: 'The End' of an Epic Journey

Hey there.  I told myself I wasn't going to post about Lost.  There are so many outlets online that there are more than enough ideas, thoughts, interpretations and all things Lost that I didn't feel the need to have to throw in my two cents.  However, after watching the series finale last night, I decided that I would give the show my one and only post.  Grab some coffee friends, this is going to be a long one.

For those of you didn't see it, go watch the finale.  Once you do, come back and read this and give me your opinions.  There will be spoilers.  You have been warned.

Lost has been a great journey.  On island, off island, love interests, dire situations, sacrifice, good, bad, light, dark... the list can go on and on showcasing some of the great themes of Lost.  But thinking back on Lost as a whole, the focus of the show is not that of the Oceanic 815 survivors and their adventure but that of Jack Sheppard himself.

The show started with an opening of an eye, Jack's eye, and we are immediately thrown into the chaos of the crash.  Seeing everything through the point of view of Jack.  The fact that Lost started with his eye opening is important.  Since the show predominately featured eyes as a theme, it's imperative that we understand from the the get go that this is Jack's story.  Within Jack's journey, we are introduced to the other characters and as a means for us, the viewers, to better understand their plight, we are treated to the origins of their stories, which also are signaled by the opening of their respective eyes.  And one of the great aspects of the side character stories is that we're never let in on more than what we need.  We are never given information that Jack himself would not have any knowledge of.  The perfect example of this is given recently with Desmond in the well.

Now you're thinking that conversation between Desmond and Sayid happened well before Jack knew of it.  That's fine.  We're being told a story that needed that scene to take a place for the story to progress.  The brilliance of it is that we don't know what was said between Sayid and Desmond and we'll never know, and that's because Jack himself was not told of the conversation.  For those that followed the show, that conversation is critical to the character growth of Sayid.  Sayid was on a path of darkness, not feeling emotions and was very much looking the part to take over Smokey's spot as the island terror.  After that conversation with Desmond, Sayid lightened up, culminating with him sacrificing himself to to save his friends.  Right before his death, he uttered to the words to that Jack that Demsond is in a well.  This is all happening during's Jack's journey, not Sayid's.

In regards to the ending and the flash sideways, I thought it was a fitting ending to Jack's journey.  A man of science, needing to know how and why, needing to fix people, transforms himself into a man of faith, trusting others and himself, to simply go with the flow and trust his instincts.  No one knew of the outcome of Desmond going into the heart of the island but Jack had faith that whatever happened, it needed to be done, since Desmond was brought back to the island for this particular reason.  Cutting right to the end of Jack's journey, you see him lying in the same bamboo field where his journey first began.  A close up of his eye was the last scene, the difference was that this time, it was closing.  Very strong imagery.

There will be much speculation as to what the flash sideways really is.  Is it purgatory?  Christian Sheppard tells Jack that this is a place that they, the Losties, created so that they can find one another.  It is a clearly a form of afterlife where our characters are working on their issues.  But how long before they learn to let go?  This was a strong theme between Jack and Locke in the afterlife.  They each tried to push each other to "let go" of their past, not knowing that letting go will enlightened them to what they really are.  In the end, despite their differences in their philosophical views, Jack needed Locke just as much as Locke needed Jack to push each other into enlightenment.  And once all the characters have come to grips with their pasts, and ultimately, their deaths, they allowed themselves to let go and move on.  The fact that Ben decided to stay a little while longer add credence to the fact that there is a chance for redemption in their after life and how long before they accept their progression is unknown, but I believe that it was a great way to send off our cast.  Especially Jack.  His realization that he died was a strong revelation to the audience.   We all knew that the rest of the Losties were aware of their island presence, but we were not aware that they knew of their deaths.  Jack's realization is our realization and it was difficult to not have a somber heart once that was a made a fact.  Our beloved characters are in fact, dead.  However, this afterlife does not recognize time.  Christian made it clear that there were those that died before Jack and there were many that died after Jack and yet, they are there to welcome him and continue their journey.  So we can take solace in the fact that some of our friends managed to live long lives after the island.

It is interesting to note that some characters were not in attendance to this transgression.  Micheal, for one, was not there.  I strongly believe that he's stuck on the island as part of the whispers.  Looking back at that conversation between him and Hugo, it makes it clear that there are others still lurking the island.  Does this mean that the island also has an "afterlife" and that is the real purgatory?  Or simply a form of hell for those that died on the island with blood on their hands.  Michael killed Libby and Ana Lucia so he may not have been allowed to leave the island and join the sideways afterlife like many of the other characters.  Another one that raises a question is Richard Alpert.  I understand that he was there for centuries so did he get a free pass and was instantly allowed into the "light" that Christian was about to lead our Losties?  It's all open for interpretation and it's all dependent in your spiritual beliefs.  And even though this was the journey of Jack, all in all, it was a great way to send off our group of friends, together, into their next journey.  Later!

7 comments:

At first I felt slightly unsatisfied with the ending, but the more I thought about it the more I saw how fitting the ending was. I still rank LOST as one of my favorite shows.

I think it is appropriate that I have read this review by yourself, especially since I have, in fact never seen Lost. Now I won't ever "have" too. I'm still bitter about the cancellation of heroes. cheesy plot twists or otherwise.

I really enjoyed the end of lost but feel cheated by the writer's a bit.

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I feel like this show had one of the most interesting and satisfying conclusions of any I've ever seen. My husband and I were both in tears by the end. The resolution of the sideways world was so sweet.

But, in case I missed it, was Walt there to greet Jack? If not, do you have a theory about it?

I just watch some episode of Lost..I really wanted to watch this in DVD if there is..

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