Lost – the end
Well, it’s all over. Lost, one of the most epic TV shows around, has come to an end. The hotly-anticipated sixth and final series finished the other week, and it has proved to be quite a controversial climax.
I was just glad to get there, personally – Justin sent through the DVD shortly before I was away for a whole week, and time seemed to pass very slowly until I could get my hands on them and watch the ending.
To set the scene for those of you who’ve not been following Lost – and I should warn you, if you’ve not seen the ending then this blog contains many spoilers – it’s ostensibly the story of a group of plane crash survivors on a tropical island. As time passes, strange and seemingly inexplicable things start to happen and we get to know the survivors very closely as we see them uncover the mysteries of the island and strive to get home, while seeing “flashbacks” of their lives so far.
But it is no mere “desert island” show, or survival drama. Elements of science fiction, fantasy and many other genres collide to present a strange and complicated backstory to the island, with events from hundreds, if not thousands, of years past carving the path that lead to the events of the crash and thereafter. The island is host to strange powers, and attracts the interest of many forces, including scientists, explorers and more; and what seems to be a simple battle of good (the survivors) versus evil (the hostile, mysterious inhabitants of the island) turns out to be something more complicated.
That journey has, over the years – and it is funny to think that this has been something occupying my life for the last six years – been utterly gripping, and while progress in explaining the mysteries has often been criticised as slow, we’ve had wonderful characters, humour, drama, romance, horror, and weird and wonderful twists and turns to keep us going along the way. Many of the situations, ideas, back stories and characters were rich and exciting enough that they could almost have been the basis for great shows in themselves.
Series 6, and to a lesser extent series 4 and 5 before it, delivered answers to all these mysteries and by the end things were pretty well tied up, with the last series’s captivating “flash sideways” turning out to be a sort of redemptive afterlife. It sounds cheesy, and to be honest, the ending was something of an anticlimax that on the face of it came over as a little cliched and cringeworthy. It also felt a little unsatisfying given there were a few loose ends concerning who survived and where they now were.
But, as this article that Justin pointed me towards suggests, that was never the point – the finale helped us realise that all along Lost was not a story of survival but of redemption; and those who enjoyed a happy ending were not necessarily those who avoided getting bumped off, but rather the characters who had become most at peace with themselves and those around them. The unknown author of the article was “outed” as not quite who they were claiming to be, but it was still a helpful thesis in resolving what happened.
Of course, in retrospect, it shouldn’t be surprising that there should be that shift from survival to redemption – in amongst the drama, temporal physics and philosophy lay a great deal of spirituality, faith and mysticism. Call it a religious message, call it a reflection on what makes us people, but it makes significant sense looking back at the end that it shouldn’t simply have been about whether and how the survivors were rescued, but how they responded to the situations and people they were set amongst.
I’ve read quite a few articles (the following are particularly interesting 1|2|3) and scoured the brilliant Lostpedia, and reckon that there need not be any urgency in figuring it all out and thinking it through. Lost was so deep, so long, and so rich in characters, back stories, science, mythology and so much more that easy conclusions will be hard to reach. Indeed, the best way to think it all through in the light of the “redemption not survival” finale will be by watching it all again.
I wonder when the complete DVD set will be cheap enough to be worth buying? Quite some time from now, I suppose…
This entry was posted on Monday, June 7th, 2010 at 4:10 pm and is filed under Entertainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.