Getting 'Lost' Redux: Have We Been Looking At The Wrong Things?
Getting 'Lost' Redux: Have We Been Looking At The Wrong Things?
When the last scenes of Lost's series finale aired, I was left a little cold. That was it? I thought.

Fifteen minutes later, I started connecting the dots. Right, right, I thought. They did say the ending will be relevant to the characters themselves, and they did deliver. It is a happy ending in death.
But, like most of you, I was wondering about all the unanswered questions the series' end kept floating. Questions about the Island, questions about the DHARMA Initiative, questions about some of the Oceanic survivors... but I was aware that not all of them will be answered, at least explicitly. That was something I could live with.

My biggest gripe with the way Lost ended was the way the concept of the afterlife seemed to pop up from out of nowhere. Of course, I presumed that the flash sideways was a result of the Jughead detonation, and that the end game would be to merge both those timelines so everybody can get the relatively happy ending they deserve. And why wouldn't it? We've dealt with visions of the future, an Island that jumps through space and time, and what we'd later call the Light of Life.

And then, just when we thought that the series would end with a result that's grounded in our reality, we end up with Jack saving the Island and dying, Hurley taking over -- and everybody dying, at one point or another, and going to that place Christian described as "limbo" to prepare to move on. Where are the answers? Where the heck did that come from?

I started watching Lost less than a year ago -- an effort dutifully documented elsewhere on BuddyTV -- in part because I wanted to take on the show's mythology. I like these complicated things. I like the feeling of taking on something big and making sense of it all. I did achieve that after four months of watching Lost's first five seasons, and more so when I wrote about the sixth.

The catch was, the mythology because the be-all and end-all of watching Lost. I can't say it's my fault: later seasons gave more emphasis on those little things, and we all felt that untangling it would make us understand the events on the show more. But I can't say it's the writers' faults either: the show began as a character drama, and when all the sci-fi stuff started coming in, the show was still about the relationships... albeit relationships affected by the idea of the universe correcting its course by itself, at least in the case of Desmond and Penny.

So, naturally, when the series finale aired and we were all reminded that it's about the characters, we'd feel a little cheated. What about the Candidates? you'd probably ask. What about all the people on the Island? And then you realize that moving on has been a theme of the show from the very beginning: escaping your life, exorcising your demons, and everything in between. They're brought to the Island to move on, they're kicked out of the Island to move on, but it's nothing compared to the ultimate example of moving on: whatever happens after death.

With that in mind, I should give everybody who worked on Lost applause. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse once said that they aim to create a finale that will not answer everything, that will keep the conversation going for the next few months or so. I might as well do that. Maybe I'd watch all the episodes again, this time with the focus solely on the characters, and the mythology treated as a means rather than an end. It'll only be my second time watching it -- you've probably seen it, I don't know, four times? -- and I'm sure to uncover more things, but I'll have answers, and more questions, and the conversation continues. And only when I connect the afterlife ending to everything that happened will the conversation start to wind down.

Don't get me wrong. There are some connections already. Just some.

(Image courtesy of ABC)




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