Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost - The Finale

The Takeaway: When a dog licks your face; it's all good.

Format: TV

Lost has the best pilot episode I have ever seen. It captured us right from the opening frame, which quite literally was an opening - Jack's eye. A starting image that led to some of the most tense moments I've seen on television. Lost has the best finale episode I have ever seen...

But apparently not to everyone. The internet was buzzing not moments after the finale ended. Many people were confused. Some were pissed. Some were drunk and only realizing this afternoon that they are confused and pissed - this of course could be because they woke up naked under an aerobed with an empty paper towel holder stuck up their keister, and nothing at all to do with the finale of Lost.

Angry they are - but they shouldn't be. Let me explain why.

Most oft noticed question by yours truly from scouring the net - What is the island? Seriously - you don't have that one? What is the island? We were given the answer a few episodes ago. The island is a mystical place that harbors the source of all light and goodness in the world. Light goes out, we all die.

But the light did go out. Correction, astute viewer - the beam of light disappeared when Desmond lifted the stone out. But there was CLEARLY light under the cracked ground. It never fully went out and eventually Jack sacrifices his life to replace the stone and restart the beam of light - hence saving the world. Not too shabby for a little doctor from the states.

Okay, okay - but everyone was dead for the whole 6 seasons? WEAK, dude! They died in the plane crash and then we watched - like - what - purgatory for 6 years? HUH?????!!??? I'm sorry - were we all watching the same finale? Cause the one I watched EXPLICITLY tells us (actually it was Christian telling Jack - but we were on the other side of the TV screen listening in) that EVERYTHING that happened on the island was REAL! That the time all of the castaways spent on the island together was the most important time they ever spent on earth - and that it was such powerful stuff (bonds of friendship and all) that they collectively created this sort of waiting room between the real world and whatever lies beyond. This tangible place in intangible space (Jimmy Buffett wrote that song during his brief stint as a quantum physicist) has no NOW (no time element) and thus as each of them died in their own time - they all arrived in this Gathering World. Our next clue that EVERYTHING on the island was real and actually happened is: once Jack realizes he's dead he asks if everyone else is dead too. Christian replies, "Some died before you; some long after you." Lastly we have the great moment between Hurley and Ben where Ben tells Hurley he was a great number 1 (referring to his tenure as Guardian of the Island). Hurley says Ben made a pretty great number 2. (referring to Ben being Hurley's right hand man on the island, post Jack's death).

But, but, but - wait a second - if they all lived out their lives off the island - then why do they look the same in the Gathering World? Ha, ha - gotcha there, smarty J! No ya didn't. Remember what Kate says to Jack in the Gathering World (flash-sideways/alt universe - whatever-the-hell-ya-wanna-call-it-at-this-point) - she says, I missed you, Jack. I MISSED YOU. Because she lived a hell of lot longer than Jack. She made it off the island with James, Lapeidis, Miles, and Richard. She probably lived a really long life. Don't know how long - but she missed Jack at the end of it. When they all arrive in the Gathering World - they return to the form that all the others would remember them as. The way they were when they met - right after the plane crashed on the island. That's what this whole shebang was about - the bonds of friendship - redemption by community. They each of them had things to work through and together they did it. In the end, after their deaths, they arrive in the Gathering World - the place we all thought was an actual parallel universe that resulted from Juliet setting off the bomb. Desmond "wakes up" to the reality that he is dead and "lets go" first. He then goes on a season long mission to wake up the rest of his friends so they may all move on to the next plane of existence together. And in the end - Jack comes to the realization. Christian opens the doors of the church letting in a glowing light (that looks quite a bit like the light from the cave on the island. The source?) and all of them move on. I take it to mean they reassimilate into the source of goodness and light - in other words - back to the island. Remember what was said - there is a bit of the light in all of us.

As to the many other questions people had - such as Eloise - why did she ask Desmond if he was going to "take" her son? Well - she killed her son in the real world, if you recall. In this Gathering World, she has somehow woken to the fact that it isn't "real". That it's just a stopping point. But her grief over what she had done in the real world compels her to be selfish and keep Daniel from moving on. She wants him to stay forever with her in the Gathering World.

The Dharma Initiative? Group of scientists who come to the island to identify and experiment upon the mystical properties of the island. What else do you need to feel satisfied?

What's up with the mystical properties of the island? Otherwise known as - How many midiclhorians does it take to screw in a light bulb? It's a frickin' mystical, magical place, dudes! No explanation necessary. What happens, happened.

Walt? I got no answers there, brotha. Sometimes - ya just gotta let go.

I was weeping almost throughout the runtime of last night's finale. The closure brought to the arcs of these unbelievably real characters we've grown to love over the last 6 years was so elegant, beautiful, and moving - that even now, as I type this the tears are welling in my eyes. This was very much like a funeral. We were putting our friends to rest forevermore. And yet like much of last night, I have an overwhelming sense of love stirring in me. A love for my wife. For my son. For my family and friends. And for my fellow man. Even NYC cab drivers.

Paris in Fall.


  1. My only disagreement is that I think the "Gathering World" is a real place; it just happens to be an idealized one that our Losties shaped in their own image, so to speak. If they are going to move on, the insinuation is that it will continue to exist because the people within it are all real. They're just in a better world this time around.

  2. Alex - what I love about the finale is that while it is open to interpretation - there are definitive proofs for multiple perspectives. That's how brilliantly executed it was. I LOVED this show and the finale blew me away. This is coming from someone who gave up during season 2. I didn't like that season. But I came back during season 3 and fell in love with it all over again. I went back and watched what I missed and still can't figure out what I didn't like. Now I plan on re-watching the entire series in order. That may warrant a new review - for the entire series.

  3. Great post man! I did one on LOST last night on my blog.

  4. I totally agree, evilgenius333. A friend of mine says the alt-timeline is 'Heaven' and while that's not my interpretation I wouldn't say it's an incorrect one.

    There were a few things that I do wish they'd touched upon (I needed more Walt closure) but overall I was satisfied with this ending. It makes sense to me, and with what I've been watching for years.