After I posted last night, I was surprised this morning at the number of “hits’ on my blog regarding the Lost Finale. Normally I only get a few hits a week at best, but there must have been some serious “googling” going on after the finale last night. I’m sure lots of people would just like for the hype to be over, but for those who’ve invested mental energy and emotion into the show, it’s not so easy to “let go” so soon.
I was satisfied with this ending. Several weeks ago I read an article predicting disappointment from fans because so many people were looking for more than an acceptable resolution for the characters of the show—they wanted a philosophy to add meaning to life. I found myself in this camp for a time, speculating about the deity of Jacob, the inherent goodness and evil in each human, faith vs. reason, etc. But as the producers often noted—“There’s a smoke monster!”
So can we expect any grand commentary on life from a simple network drama? Probably not, but we’ve invested too much in this experience to not reflect and use it as a tool to help us define and refine our understanding of the world and our place in it.
To start where I began last night, is the world in which we live any less a mystery than this Lost Universe created by the shows producers? We think we’ve got it all figured out; the “rules” of our world are well defined, knowable, stable-- unlike Lost World where the rules seem arbitrary, elusive, and dynamic. But even recently, we find our world disrupted and out of our control be it tsunami, earthquake, volcano or oil spill. These disasters, both natural and man-made make a mockery of our understanding of rules and order, yet we hold on to our view of the universe as completely rational and knowable, a pacifier to our fear of uncertainty.
Had the primary motive of the characters of Lost been to solve the mystery of the island, the show would have been pretty boring. What drove the characters was a journey toward understanding that self-interest leads to isolation; that an overzealous pursuit to possess leads to corruption; that right and wrong are based in the present not the past.
Trying to decipher the mystery kept us interested and generated hype, but watching Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Claire, Charlie, Desmond, Ben, and all the rest muddling through a world they couldn’t figure out, hoping they would choose the right path—or even hoping a right path exited—kept us connected enough to care. In them, we found our own attempts at figuring out this world and our place in it.