Lost was a phenomenon, it was one of the rare shows which refused to dumb itself down for the audience. It built a deep mythology, and had an incredible back, front, and side story. While the show faltered a little bit in the second and third seasons, it rebounded quite amazingly in the fourth season, and was riveting until its final episode on March 23rd.
This was a show that we looked forward to every week, and with six years of questions remaining, there was no way that every question could be answered in any meaningful way. The sixth season had a lot of answers, and while there are still plenty of things which are left to our imaginations, I think overall the finale was quite satisfying, and something that the more I think on it, the more I enjoyed it.
Here there be spoilers, so if you haven’t watched it yet…well that’s your own darned fault.
The final shot of the show is a mirror of the very first shot of the show. In the beginning Jack opens his eyes in the center of a bamboo forest, he’s lying on the ground and bleeding in a few places. The first thing he comes in contact with is Vincent the dog.
The final shot is in a bamboo forest, with Jack bleeding, he’s lying on the ground and the last thing he comes in contact with is Vincent the dog. His eyes close as the show’s titles come up.
So there’s a few schools of thought.
Theory 1: Everything was real
The plane crashed on a mysterious island, lots of stuff happened, in the end Jack died as the protector of the island, and the sideways storyline was Jack’s way of dealing with his death.
Theory 2: The island was limbo
The plane crashed, everyone died. The people who vanished had gone on to their rewards, everyone else had lots of things to reconcile, and they spent the six seasons working out their issues. At the end Hurley and Ben were still working on some things, and the rest had passed on.
Theory 3: Jack was dead. The entire show was Jack lying in that bamboo field, slowly dying. As he dies, his brain creates this entire storyline around the things that happened on the plane ride. The entire show was about Jack’s lack of faith, and it wasn’t until the very end when he had faith in something higher. He becomes the keeper of the island, and chooses the light instead of purgatory. The sideways story is him finally having faith in himself, he’s confident, a good father, and a good brother.
Some interesting things from the finale. The entire beginning crew is there, but Michael isn’t (I’m pretty sure that I saw his son though). Ben doesn’t go inside…maybe because the rest of the crew is going to heaven, but Ben and Michael are going to hell?
Any way you slice the sideways story, at the end I think they were all dead, maybe they had died at different times (before and after Jack, because as Faraday had taught us, time isn’t linear), and they were all gathering to pass on together after what they had shared.
There was so much Christian imagery in the show, that to me it has to be about death (and I never caught the obvious play of “Christian Shepherd” until Kate said it at the end…I wonder if anyone had ever said the names together before). The whole Jacob storyline, the water blessings, the obvious garden of eden parallels…I could go on and on.
The finale gave me everything I wanted. It let me figure out my own ending, and lets everyone have their own interpretation, which is what art should allow…and if nothing else, Lost was television raised to art.
So…what did you think? What did Lost mean to you, and do you think it ended well?