LOST 6.16: "Christian Shephard? Seriously?" Seriously
- Tuesday, May 25, 2010
"Ohhhh… did you see that?" - Awakened John Locke, to Jack
What about you? What did you see?
What I saw was the end of an epic story about what happens when the Here-and-Now finally becomes just the Here ("there is no ‘now' here," says Christian). I saw a show that debated Fate conclude with concepts about the one fate that inarguably awaits us all. I saw some answers, and I saw some questions remain. Pursuant to that, I saw the story ascend to a plane even higher than the desire for knowledge, and I saw an incredibly compelling case being made that in the end it's not that you were proved right, wrong, or agnostic about those unknowns, but that you believed.
Interestingly enough, Faith, I think was the key not only for our characters, but for we the audience. I might suggest that your level of satisfaction with the finale was directly proportionate to the faith you had that LOST would deliver an ending worthy of your investment. That there would be something for you to take away. That enough of your pet questions - whatever those may have been for you personally (we all had our own) - would be answered, or at the very least mentioned. That you would, once it was all done, be able to look forward to re-watching all six seasons at some future date and time, believing that it would look richer instead of poorer in the light of knowing the ending.
That's where I'm at as I write this. Emotionally and spiritually satisfied. Wowed at the scope, themes, sets, and performances brought forth in a television series. Mildly entranced, as a part of my brain has set itself aside for the last three days masticating on all it had seen and heard from this show. And a little bit confused, to be honest. But I also can't lie and say I am without appreciation for still having some things to think about! It's like the show has, in a way, given me a way to keep going with it, rather than completely and abruptly slamming a door in my face. Still, I'll close this sign-off blog with a look at some lingering questions, some of which unsettle me more than others.
Would I have liked the LOST finale and the way the six seasons ended no matter what? Good question, since I admittedly have been a fanboy and a staunch defender of the series all along. The more I thought about this question I realized what it is I wouldn't have liked: a finale about faith - or a series about deep themes in general - that solved everything, left no grey areas, clearly demarked who was what, didn't need me to reflect upon it, or was only about a mystery to be solved. How would that have served anyone, allowed us to continue to fight and debate, or been anything special?
"But still," you say, "couldn't they at least tell me the Man in Black's name?" (It was in the script as Samuel. Does that, while another cool biblical name to consider the meaning of, really add much to your life?). "Why didn't they tell me whether Widmore was good or bad?" (even actor Alan Dale remains unclear). "Or why the Others had trouble conceiving and birthing on-Island post-1977?"
Indeed. They could have done a lot of things. I'm not here to convince anyone to like what they didn't like, view what they loved as inconsequential, or begin a career as a LOST apologist (too late, you say?). All I can tell you in this space is what I saw, how I interpreted it, and how I'm interacting with all the raw material in the space between. My greatest privilege would be to function in a small way as the Hurley to your Sayid, saying, "If you stick with me, you'll be happy you did."
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