After a few days of space from the tour de force swan song that LOST threw at us, the sound and fury has yet to completely die down. Cuse and Lindelof (LOST’s braintrust) made it clear they weren’t going to cop out with an easy ending and wanted to make a bold choice in sending off what has likely been the most intriguing show to ever air on television. That choice has resulted in what appears to be a split decision. I suppose it’s to be expected with so many fans harboring such high expectations, many of which have been stewing for several years. The truth is the show was always going to have unanswered questions, (though as this article shows, not so many as you may have thought) and those who felt the show was going to tie everything into a pretty bow were going to feel cheated no matter what. It’s a shame that those preconceived notions may have stolen from them the ability to truly soak in one of the most beautiful 150 minutes of video ever pieced together. My guess is 5 years down the line the negativity will have all but completely dissipated and that LOST will live in most memories as a true television classic and a solitary act of genius.
Why? Because LOST meant something.
It wasn’t a show about nothing. As more shows traded the deep for the shallow and the mind and heart for the skin and surface, the creative minds behind LOST decided to take a distinctly different approach. To tell a story that was not only fun and entertaining but that addressed real human emotion and trial and did so in a way that assumed we were smart enough to keep up. There were many things that LOST gave us to consider over the past six years and many lessons learned, but after the final curtain dropped Sunday, these three stood out to me.
1) Questions aren’t about finding answers, they are about finding truth.
The question/answer process can be a frustrating one. As Jacob’s “mother” put it, “Every question I answer will only lead to more questions.”, at least I think that’s what she said. It was either that or, “I really don’t want to spend the time answering your queries as I’m just going to smash you across the head with a nearby rock and steal your mono-chromatic twins anyway.” Either way, LOST taught me that as many mysteries as I can discover there are exponentially more around the corner with each supposed answer. Instead of trying to figure it all out it’s usually better to allow truth to reveal itself in it’s own time, and grow and learn the lessons I’m being taught from truth itself. I should concern myself not with what I don’t know, but how what I do know instructs my life.
2) Remembering is better than forgetting.
Even those who thought LOST’s last supper left a bad taste in their mouth often spoke of how beautiful the “revelation moments” were. One by one (and sometimes two by two, Noah style) our lost castaways found the truth of their own history in moments of deep emotion. Aaron wept. Point being, in those moments of remembrance, I think we are meant to understand that their desperate attempt to erase the past was not only unsuccessful, but unwarranted and even inappropriate. The events of our lives, even at their most painful, are still full of purpose and beauty and, if we are willing, can even result in a deeper joy than we could have possibly imagined.
3) The people that surround you outrank the circumstances that surround you.
Amongst the insanity that was life on “Cork Island” the moments I return to are always the moments of relationship. Charlie offering imaginary peanut butter to Claire, Locke and Boone playing Lewis and Clark, Michael and Jin building a raft, Jack and Kate sewing up each other’s wounds. OK, maybe not the last one so much, but seriously; Sawyer’s nicknames, Hurley’s golf course, Rose’s faith in Bernard. LOST’s defining beauty is in these people and the community they form much more then it was ever in solving a mystery. And the truth is it always has been. Seven episodes into season one I reviewed LOST (link) for my old site and wrote these words “the heart of the message of “Lost” is how a community in crisis adapts and how important true community is to survival” and the words ring truer than ever in the glow of the light of the finale. If I can live my life understanding the people around me are more important than the problems I’m working through, then I will truly have learned something valuable.
Even if I don’t know who parachuted in the Dharma food supply.