I keep thinking through the finale, debating its merits and failures. It’s always been a show that’s more fun to talk about than to just watch, and I just can’t find anyone around who watches it. You, therefore, must take on the burden of being my LOST buddy.
The very best article that I have seen on the finale, or at least the one I most agree with, is here. In it, John Kubiceck offers the theory that if you loved the show purely for the drama of the characters and their relationships, it was perfect (which explains why so many of the women I’ve talked to seemed to enjoy it). If you are a sci-fi lover, and watched it because you actually thought there would be answers to the ridiculous number of mythological questions that the show posed, you were disappointed. Sure, the producers said that they wanted the audience to think through the questions for themselves, but you can’t create a fake universe, give it certain properties that don’t exist in reality, and then expect those of us who dwell in this reality to come up with solutions. (I mean, who guessed that the “heart of the island” was going to be a cave full of light? Did the producers believe that we could come up with that one on our own?) So here I am, completely void of answers to so many of those nagging questions. (What was the water in the temple? What made it brown? Was the browness of the water responsible for the way that Sayid changed after coming back to life? How did that polar bear with the Dharma initiative tag get into the dessert, where Charlotte found it? What happened to her and Daniel, and why did they not go with the others? Why was Ben invited to move on while Michael endures eternal whispering on the island? What happens with Richard? Why was he not invited into the church? Did he ever receive pardon? And I could go on and on...)
Here is how the show actually ended: Jack dies in the same spot where he first woke up on the island, next to the same dog who woke him up. Hugo and Ben protect the island together. Desmond, we assume, makes it home eventually. Kate, Miles, Sawyer, Lapidis, Richard, and Claire fly off the island, but apparently they do very little with their lives because “the most important time of [their] lives was spent with those people [back on the island].” It’s actually pretty uneventful. Sure, it was emotionally satisfying, but I am a person who likes answers and unpredictable solutions. Those I did not receive.
There’s one more thing I really have to mention here. The main issue that I’ve always had with the philosophy of LOST is that it teaches that faith is very important, but the object of that faith is not. This might be one of the emptiest belief systems that I have encountered. Faith means believing in something to the point that you trust it. Without a recipient of that faith, you are trusting, quite literally, in nothing. You can’t have a trust-fall without someone there to catch you. Well, you can, but you’ll just hit the floor. Who wants to hit the floor for all of eternity? Even to the last moment, the characters had no idea what eternity held. If you don’t think that this was the message that the producers/writers meant to send, and believe that it was a mere side-note, re-watch the finale, and look for this scene:
This window was prominently displayed during the explanatory scene of the finale. This was the thesis of the show, that all faiths are valid and good. Only a lack of faith is truly wrong. I don’t blame the show. The writers/producers were espousing their beliefs on the largest forum that they had available. I am doing the same.
There is one God. One way to get to Him. Jesus Christ alone provides the sacrifice required to receive forgiveness from the sins that we commit, sins that God will not ignore. If there was any other way, why would God allow His Son to die in my place? His cross should never find its home in a window full of alternate theories. It’s the symbol of His death, which allows me to know the Object of my faith intimately and meaningfully. And that’s no fiction.