I knew the LOST writers would take a Mary Poppins-like approach to the series finale. I knew many of the Losties’ questions (Losties are Trekkies) would be answered, some would not and a few more new questions would pop up to be discussed at dinner tables and water coolers and blogs forevermore. And I must say it’s amazing that the writers did exactly that. They did what I expected, and wow is that a new experience. They’ve never done that before.
I crawled into bed last night at 1 a.m. (after the Aloha to Lost show with Jimmy Kimmel cuz I simply could NOT go right to bed!) pondering the story’s conclusion. And I woke with it still on my mind. As I shared with a few writer friends this morning, the more I think about the ending the more I like it and the less I understand it, if that makes any sense.
For people who see life as merely physical and not spiritual also, they probably hated the ending. I see life as intensely physical as well as intensely spiritual. We begin our lives in an intensely physical, almost violent way. (Observation from son as Claire gave – a seemingly bloodless – birth in the band’s Green Room last night: “They’re going to have to throw that couch out.”) And we spend our intensely physical life in an intensely spiritual pursuit of our purpose. That’s pretty much LOST in a nutshell. A coconut shell, if you must. Life is a journey to find your purpose and to find those you were meant to share the journey with.
The characters we loved most, who also loved each other most, all ended up in the Sideways Church at peace (at last) with the end of their physical lives and ready to move on to the next phase of their spiritual lives. I won’t dwell on the quirky Pick-Any-Road-To-God-You-Please aspect of the Sideways Church. Theologically the LOST story has flaws. But this is not a story about who God is. It’s a story about who we are. We are people who need each other, who find purpose by loving each other and sacrificing much for each other.
My take? The people in the church had all already died at some point, we don’t know when for all of them (Case in point: Kate, Sawyer and Claire were alive on a plane seconds before Jack closes his eyes). In the viewing room, Christian told his son that some died before Jack and some after. The Sideways Place wasn’t a purgatory to pay back debts but an ethereal waiting room for that particular group of people (who knew each other and yet didn’t) to let go of the physical (since it had already ended) and move on to the spiritual, which continues. Juliet said at the beginning of season 6 that the hydrogen bomb had worked. So even though the Oceanic flight technically never crashed, how can they NOT have been to the island? It happened, though physical history would say it didn’t. They had to meet up again to fix that somehow. At the Sideways Church, their Waiting Room, they did. And there is no NOW as Christian said. Jack was the only one who died right then. We don’t know about the exact moment the others in the church did.
This doesn’t explain everything, I know that. But like I said, Mary Poppins would tell you not to expect an explanation from a show like LOST.
If you’re still feeling lost, no pun intended, here’s a nicely put-together review of last night’s show in The Daily Collegian. It may clear up a few things. It may muddy up everything for you. If you are a true Lostie, either state should satisfy you.
And now, let’s hear your take on the The End . . .
p.s. As a dog lover – especially of yellow labs – I was moved to tears when Vincent came to lay down by Jack as he went Home. Just like a good dog would . . . Bravo.