(I’m going to post this in two parts. I have a lot more to say, but I think I should get some stuff out there so we can discuss!)
It’s really hard to know how to write this note. I’m struggling with the organization of it, because there’s so much to think about and discuss. I loved the finale. In the end, the story came down to the characters, their relationships with each other, and our emotional attachment to them. I know there are those who did not walk away satisfied, but to me, the ending felt right. I laughed (Miles believes in duct tape, if nothing else!) and I cried (all those “reunions”, Jack's heroic death, etc.)! I left with a feeling of satisfaction, even though I also felt a sense of confusion about what I had just experienced. The following note is my attempt at making some sense of the show, while respectfully being in awe of the writers and their ability to make me feel the way I do about this entire experience. For those of you who feel differently and were not satisfied with the ending, I will quote Doc Jensen in saying, “Your experience of Lost is your experience of Lost, and it is valid.” It’s ok, if you don’t agree with me about the ending, and I would love to hear from you.
As I get distance from the emotional experience of the finale, I start thinking more and more about all the questions I had that never got answered (and, yes, I've watched that video!). I’m a little disappointed, but I also realize that I can continue to try to put the pieces together. Now I know that I’ll never get definitive answers to my theories, but I love that I can continue to think about things that have happened, and try to make sense of them, in light of knowing how it all ends. I will keep doing that and share with you my continuing thoughts and feelings.
Part of my experience with the finale was also thinking about how these characters and their lives have an influence on me. I think about the general concepts of redemption and eternity and how they relate to me. I think about friendship and love and the people that I would be searching to connect with in my Sideways reality (the one that, as Christian so beautifully put it, I will build together with my dear ones). But I also can’t help but think about the people, like you, that I’ve connected with, either for the first time or more deeply, because of LOST! One of my FB friends put on her status something about feeling partly sad that she didn’t watch LOST and then remembering that b/c she didn’t, she had 120 more hours to do other things. I laughed out loud – only 120 hours? I’ve probably spent at least 120 hours, of non-show-watching time, just discussing LOST with other people. I am blessed, because what a great group of people we are! I wouldn’t trade the time spent pondering, discussing, asking questions, and theorizing about LOST for just about anything. It’s been a great journey, and I’m honored that we're enjoying this ride together!
Overarching Theory of LOST
I’m going to start with my thoughts on the overarching theme of LOST and what I believe to be the reality of the situation. I believe that everything that happened, before the Sideways flashes started, really happened. The original Oceanic flight crashed on the island, full of people who needed redemption, including the lottery-winning numbered candidates. In an attempt to find his replacement, Jacob brought many people over the years to the island. He brought them in groups, so that they could have a choice about whether to take the job of protector or not. He didn't have a choice, and free will is important to him. (Remember when Jacob told Richard, "Why should I have to get involved?" I read somewhere that it was Richard who convinced Jacob that he had to take a more active role in order to help the candidates destroy the MIB. Maybe that's why he started the special touches, the lists, etc. -- anyway, I digress!)
The people Jacob brought were flawed. Jacob told Richard that he brought people to the island to prove the MIB wrong in his theory about the nature of man. I think what Jacob meant was that he believes people can find redemption, through change in their own hearts, and through the work of other people (more later). Jacob told Sawyer that he brought them there because they needed the island as much as it needed them. Yes, the island needs a protector for the light (that Mother said is in all of us), and Jacob needed to find people who could figure out how to kill the MIB (since Jacob couldn’t do it himself). But the island also provided an opportunity for people to become who they needed to be in order to go from individually living in their real AND Sideways lives, to collectively moving to the next life.
When the Oceanic 6 left the island, they really had no choice but to go back. They each had unfinished business. Locke was right when he told Jack that he wasn’t supposed to leave. And this season, when Sawyer talked about getting off the island, Jack said that he would not leave, because he remembered how he felt during his time back in LA. Jack became enlightened to the fact that he had a purpose on the island, and to do anything but fulfill it would be unsuccessful.
When the Oceanic 6 returned to the island, they were given a second chance to get things right, which we know they did, because they were all present at the church. They turned their focus from surviving, to finding each other and working together to do what needed to be done (which ended up being many things). Jacob brought them to there to protect the light, figure out how to kill MIB, and to give themselves and each other the opportunity for redemption.
Jacob told MIB that it only ends once and everything else is just progress. I believe now that the progress he refers to is what happens AFTER it ends. People die, and those that have found redemption will be reunited with those who are most important to them and then move on. Christian told Jack that some of the people in the church had died before him and some long after. Christian also said, "The most important time of your life was the time you spent with these people. Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them and they needed you." The church sanctuary was full of the people who were most important to, and who helped each other along in, the redemptive process. The “progress” that Jacob refers to is the process of finding each other and moving forward. There’s only one ending, but then the journey begins!
I love the idea of finding myself, after death, in a place where I can reunite with those that I love, and then enter Heaven together. Doesn’t that sound glorious?
(I have many more theories, and much more to write about, but I want to start with this: my reaction to the finale, and my ideas about the main story line. I've started writing about redemption, Desmond, some religious stuff, and Eloise. I’ll post more as I get it done. Let me know what you thought about the finale and what you think about these ideas.)