Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lost: The End

We made our own Lost art for a convention some years back.

After so many years of following the story of Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sun, Jin, Locke, Juliet and Ben, the tv show that I have adored, loved and ultimately cried over is finally over.  Lost has finally concluded with a Finale that sadly does raise much more questions rather than give clear answers.  With the concluding episode aptly entitled, The End, Lost establishes that many given reasons that seemed uncertain are actually the reasons, many mysteries that were first hinted at were as clear as they were, and many information that was once given as fact was actually wrong or merely misunderstandings by the speaker.

The Island.

I clearly am one of those who goes with the belief the island is literally intelligence.  It DID speak to John Locke when he had his sweat lodge.   It did reach out to others before.  In the case of Oceanic 815, however, it was more Jacob's doing than the island itself.

Our own version of the hatch blast door map.

While Lost never clearly explains why the island is The Island, Lost does establish that the Island is indeed special and the light within its heart is capable of wondrous things -- a fact given during the first season -- but pushes it further to suggest that the island itself has indeed a heart.  The acts of healing John Locke, to allowing the dead to still speak to the living are just some of the smaller miracles the island does grant to those who it deems worthy.  And while the unnamed Smoke Monster does harness to some degree a smaller level of these powers, it is the revelations that neither Jacob nor the Smoke Monster actually new the truth behind things which made me smile.

Raised believing their mother was the only other person in the island, Jacob and the unnamed one are forced into the roles by choices they or their mother had made.  And in the many many decades that follow, both find themselves in a stalemate as they struggle to find a way to win over the other.  Neither is truly a hero, if one looks at them with a much more empirical view.  The Smoke Monster directly manipulates, but strangely holds fast to promises and keeping its word.  Jacob on the other hand would offer suggestive questions, and manipulate events to fall into place as he desires.   While the actual numbers reflected Jacob's machinations in manipulating their lives, Jacob himself fails to see how even his selected candidates are not mere coincidence. The numbers are the Numbers, and the island itself is sad to see Jacob fails to understand.

Everything happens for a Reason.

Yes, even Jin's suddenly getting hotter every season.

That has been the tagline for Lost ever since the series began.  And expectedly, everyone tries to find their answer to what the island's mysteries are through the lens of human experience.  The battle of Good and Evil was not a battle that the island tried to challenge its inhabitants with.  The black and white sides were sides Jacob and his unnamed brother began, perhaps due to the urgings of the woman they believed as their mother.  And each and every society that followed and was drawn or called to the island attempted to interpret things in a similar way.  Some saw plague.  Some saw miracles.  Some saw power.  Potential.  Immortality.   From religious fanaticism, to scientific organized investigation, man tried and tried again to make sense of the island.  The Dharma Initiative got close and found the key locations in the island where energy was harnessed, or experimentation was practiced.  Dharma, however, never truly understood the island's mysteries.   And all attempts to recreate what made a person "special" lead to merely insanity or death.

But the island endured.

And the island continued to bless those it deemed worthy.

Find yourself, indeed.

No one may leave the island.  

Ben claimed no one could leave.  Desmond tried and failed.  Ultimately it was revealed that it was a two way barrier.  Penny and her father Charles Widmore too had difficulty making their way to the island.    But while the island was permissive of visitors which the siblings seemingly called for, it was still selective to those who were permitted to find it.  It had its reasons, and those reasons were not mere coincidence.

Was the island omniscient?  It allowed dangerous individuals like Keamy to find it.  It drew in Eko's brother in  preparation for Eko's arrival.  It summoned Locke's father.  The island had its reasons for bringing such people in, and that reason was the same reason we all knew the Oceanic 815 survivors were given from the very first Season:

It gave them a second chance.

It was the same second chance that it gave Ben and his Others.  The island wanted them to find themselves.  To become the people they were meant to be.  But some abused it.  And like Michael, learned the island could be vengeful.  Others tip-toed around the lines,but by following rules, kept the island's retaliation from coming to them.  Widmore and Ben were prime examples of this.

But the island is neither Jacob nor his brother.

And the two were the biggest abusers of the island's gifts.  The two prepared a massive game against each other.  A manipulation that spanned across the world and touched two generations of people.  While the Smoke Monster found allies in Alpert, Ben Linus and others, Jacob set his touch upon Jack, Kate and the other candidates.  The two shared their views, misunderstandings and in some cases outright lies and thought that once their best "choices" were in the island, they could find their own freedoms.  Jacob still had fears that his brother had become what he believed was pure evil, and hoped he would never escape.  The Smoke Monster, on the other hand, simply wanted out.   And it would be this terrible game against each other that would pit many of the characters in an unclear war against one another.

The Constant.

But what the island did care about more other than every single person's potential to be better was the other person that completes them.  Their Constant.  For some, it was a clear case of dying romantic love like the one Penny and Desmond shared.  For others, it was the willingness to finally see each other respectfully and lovingly as equals as it was for Jin and Sun.  The Constant was misunderstood by the one person who thought he understood it the most:  Daniel Faraday.  Daniel believed the Constant had to be a person, and thus he failed to be one for Charlotte when she was suffering from the flashes.  In the finale, the cast reaffirms their constants, and the longest one it takes to fix just happens of course to be Jack.

Jack having delivered Vincent's babies... oh wait.

Jack at the center of everything.

This is ultimately because the island in many ways resonates with Jack.  The island wants to fix everything.  It wants to make everything better.  But the island knows that it cannot fix another completely.  It can only do so much.  And the rest have to be up to the person being fixed.   When the Oceanic 815 plane crashes, the island spreads out its influence to ensure the survivors make it through.  And even that early it brings Jack close to its heart, sensing that in many ways, Jack will be what Jacob could never be:  an embodiment of itself walking among the people.  The island saw Jack as the one who can help them all become better.  Become what they should be.  And find their constants.

Clearly, not all succeeded.   And it is here we understand the island has its limits.  There are many who died and never found their constants, such as Ana Lucia and Libby.  There are many who gave up and failed to become better persons, like Paolo and Nikki.  But those who did try to be better, felt the island's influence.  Rose's cancer regressed.  Locke could walk.  Slowly but surely, Jack's presence strengthened even others.   And ultimately, Jack became the pivotal character who would deal with the fallout of Jacob and Smokey, and allow the island to seemingly start anew.

In exchange, with his death, the island grants Jack a beautiful ending.  A sideways vision of how his life would have been had the plane, among many other things, went through things differently.  And knowing the others who were in the journey with Jack were important to him, drew those in as well into a living dream.  It would be Desmond who would then become the first constant, one unwittingly awakened by Faraday's mother, Eloise.   She never realized it, but she was in many way a constant herself.

The vision spanned through time.  It ended long enough after to have had the untold story of Hurley and Ben watching over the island come to an end.  It began early enough to draw Sun and Jin in before they expired inside the sinking submarine.   The island, even at the very end when the people upon it were trying to sink it, was kind.  It granted them a glimpse of what could be argued by some as perfect lives.  Or by others as to the very least one where they had a second chance to make things work how they thought they wanted it.

They  were given the chance to know the lives that they had given up, or were too afraid to try.
They found their constants.
They found themselves.

And when the time was up, they were permitted to say their goodbyes and move on.

They were no longer Lost.


Thank you JJ Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Jeffrey Lieber, Carlton Cuse, Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Drew Goddard, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Brian K. Vaughan, Leonard Dick, Christina M. Kim, Paul Zbyszewski, David Fury, Steven Maeda, Jeff Pinkner, Melinda Hsu, Greggory Nations, Graham Roland, Jennifer Johnson, Craig Wright, Kyle Pennington and Jim Galasso for this wonderful, confusing, enlightening, touching, inspiring and moving tale of relationships, choices, time, destiny and love.

Thank you, to all the cast and crew of Lost, for each and every beautiful performance.   The show will remain one of my all-time favorites and a constant in my geek life.

And lastly, thank you Madison.
We all know the truth that in the island, you are God.

I remain Lost in the Philippines.

1 comment:

  1. Oh boy! I miss the con! I miss everyone! And that shirt!



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