Monday, May 24, 2010

Film on TV: Lost's End

You still have questions. We all do. Why couldn’t Aaron be raised by “an-other”? What makes Desmond so different from everybody else? What would have happened if Jack hadn’t re-corked the Island? Would all of humanity been “lost”? And just what the hell IS this damned Island anyway?

In “The End” we received none of those answers, and very few in general…and yet the finale felt wholly and completely final. Because more than anything else – more than the questions and the weird and the references and the hidden easter eggs suggestively placed to tingle and torment LOST diehards – the ground-breaking, soul-shaking show that was, is and always will be LOST is about the people…the characters, their humanities and their community...

There’s so much to say about this show, its ginormous finale and its grand impact on television and drama at large. And over the next few days or weeks or even decades, that’s what many people will do. So I’ll refrain to just a few words.

A fair amount is left open to interpretation in this series and its finale, but regardless of your belief system or philosophical understanding of the afterlife, LOST posited two very clear life statements. 1 – time isn’t cyclical, or dotted along a straight line. It is ever-present and omni-current, the past, present and future always happening at the exact same “time”.

2 – the “sideways” world was essentially a metaphysical bond created by a community, a family of people. It was their place to gather after death – whenever their deaths might be – to reconnect before moving on, to whatever YOU want their afterlife to be.

In the beginning many thought the island was purgatory. In “The End” LOST threw you a curveball – the island is real, but the “sideways” world was the afterlife pit stop. And what a beautiful pit stop it was.

Discussing the show last night (after a requisite amount of time to digest), The Movie Gal asked me why, if the sideways world is something the castaways created, would it be a place where bad things happen? My answer – like our dreams, the sideways world is based on our experiences. It is created in the form of our reality, and filled with our understanding of what that reality is.

“What do we have to do to create it?” she asked. “Nothing,” I replied. “It’s already there.”

In a lot of ways, the LOST series finale was exactly what we needed – a softie lobbed up for our hearts and souls. The tough questions weren’t ignored as much as surpassed by the things that really matter – the relationships, the happy little moments in life, and the assurance that in the end, we only just begin. I dug the fist-fight to the death at the edge of a cliff as it crumbled into the sea. I wish they hadn’t robbed Jack of his victory over Flocke, but then again, Kate’s coming to his rescue only reassures the “live together, die alone” mantra.

But as badass as that fight was, and as interesting as the island energy cork was, I didn’t care about any of it as much as the look on Hurley’s face when he found Charlie in that hotel room, or the rom-com purity of the Sawyer/Juliet reunion.

LOST wasn’t flawless. It was awkward and weird and hopeful and curious and annoying and violent and funny and faulty and interesting and aggravating and fun. It was human. And in “The End” it was loved. And all those nitpicky little concerns and issues are meaningless in the shadow of love.

What I always dug about LOST was its ability to be tough and sensitive at the same time, to push and reward, to suffer and remain positive. And I can’t help but feel that positivity today.

We woke up this morning not to a world without LOST, but in a world in which LOST will always exist, on DVD, Hulu and in our hearts. I don’t know about you, but I think that world’s pretty damn awesome.

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