Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST - The End

In case you were under a rock or on another planet, you are fully aware that Lost series finale aired last night. It was a very emotional and sad finale of Lost where we did not get any real answers to the countless questions that surfaced during the last 6 years. Of course, there are two extremist views of “Lost” – all plot vs. character – and I suspect most are more like me, somewhere in between. The show has always been more about the characters than the mysteries.

Now as far as the final show goes…..I thought most of it worked pretty great; the reunions in the sideways (Sawyer and Juliet in particular, but all of them were splendidly played), Sun and Jin (who got their English back one last time), the farewells in the real world, the final battle between Jack and Smoke Monster on the cliff, etc. You would have to be made of stone to not get choked up at one or multiple points, whether it was Jack passing on the protector job to Hurley (an appropriate end for the "fan surrogate character" as he's been called) or Kate and Charlie again helping Claire deliver Aaron, or Locke forgiving Ben, or one of a dozen other moments like those. Really, up until those last minutes, which I'll get to in a bit, I thought it was a wonderful final episode.

As far as that ending……..with them ending up at the church…..Now, I’m not 100% confident in my interpretations (which is stating the obvious), but here’s my thoughts… take is that indeed we discover via Christian Shephard aka Jack’s dead father that all of the people on Oceanic 815 including Desmond, Daniel, Charlotte, Kate, Sawyer, Miles, Claire, Sayid, Sun, Jin, Locke, Hurley, Benjamin, etc. did really live on the island but when they died they moved on to L.A for their flash-sideways world was the afterlife – taking place after everyone died, but not in any real time frame. In the end, the characters’ experiences on the island bonded them together – “the most important time of your lives” – and they all reconnected in the afterlife, before moving on to… the light.

As with everything else in “Lost,” there are statements and then there are layers. For instance, most of the “recognition” moments took place when two people in love encountered each other in the afterlife. And in the afterlife, everything always seemed to work out. The couples that were supposed to be together ended up together. Love won out. Hurley was the “luckiest man in the world.” Locke was cured of his paralysis. Things just always seemed to work out. For everyone. That’s how many people in our post-modern world see “the afterlife.”

Now I can't say I found "The End" wholly satisfying as closure for this season or the series.

I do believe it’ll be years before another cult hit like this comes along. We’ve all just witnessed something special I think. One of the greatest dramatic TV shows of all-time.

I have come to see the show not just as entertainment but also an exercise in storytelling, debates in modern moral dilemmas, and reflection upon theological and spiritual undertones.

These theologies are NOT always overtly Christian on LOST, but they make us think about the Christian life so that we can gain perspective in our own lives.

Please, don't get me wrong. Lost is not a particularly Christian show, even if there are spiritual overtones (good verses evil, faith, redemption, love, etc.) Fact is, there are elements of many philosophical and religious traditions, and as such, it should not be placed in the same category of creative works as, say, those by C. S. Lewis, who wrote stories that intentionally reflected a worldview of Christian orthodoxy.

Nevertheless, one of the valuable things about watching Lost is that it invites us to confront our ideas of who God is. Is God personal and forgiving? Is He cold and uncaring? Is He distant and unknowable? Does He leave us to our own devices? Or does He actively intervene?

So if Lost fans are seeking within its narratives the secrets of life, meaning and significance they will eventually walk away disappointed and frustrated.

But the good news is the "Good News" -- the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "The Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost" As believers in Christ, we can appreciate the echoes of truth that reverberate in quality entertainment options like Lost, but we get to have a personal relationship with the One who is the Truth. And through Jesus, who is the Word, we have access to a God who has chosen to make Himself known to His people. (John 1:14, 18)

To put a spin from our Christian perspective, my hope is to, as Desmond would say,“See you in another life brother.” (John 14:1-6)

God bless,
Robert Prater

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