Six Seasons in a Second
Throughout our final season, I have always kept myself from reading the recaps of others until after I completed my own. This week was no different, except that I did hear from more of you about your own theories, things you liked or didn't, and what's eating at you. I noticed a lot of confusion, some of it centered around what the whole story was, what the Island was, who died when, etc. So before we get to the specifics of the finale, let's do a quick look at the general overlay of the series.
In 2004, an airplane full of broken people crashed on a real Island in the South Pacific. Several people died in the crash. Perhaps they were the ones who were fulfilled, healed, and restored already. Several people would go on to die on the Island. Perhaps they were redeemed or accomplished their purposes during their brief stay there. Still more would go on to have many unbelievable adventures, including learning that the Island sat atop large pockets of electromagnetic energy that made it special in several ways. It could appear to disappear by moving in time. It could heal people. There were forces of good and evil on it. There were Other people already there, living in a society that was all at once secular and religious, scientific and faith-(fear?)-based. The human drama had been playing out for longer than any of our survivors could imagine in this place. Part of that is because this Island required a guardian, because it also served as a metaphorical (even literal) cork to keep Hell and chaos at bay. Unleashed, this Hell would cause the Island to fall into the sea, and would result in the Light of humanity going out, and the ceasing of the flow of living water. Essentially, the elements of life and community would be gone. The Island was not allegorical (I'm with Tolkien, who disliked people asking him what "The One Ring" symbolized. He intended no one-to-one correspondence). If the Island symoblized anything, it was our Earth - is it just a barren rock floating in a wide sea? Is our planet just a barren rock floating in the sea of space? Or is there meaning, is there a spiritual side?
There never was any escape for the twisted, angry, consumed-with-being-right soul of the guardian's twin brother. The very thing that would allow him to be free of the Island would result in the destruction of the world he wanted to see. That world is worth saving because even though Death waits for us all, we can continue in death to deal with our issues and find all-important love, choosing to move on if we so desire. Faith is the key, hope is the gift it unlocks, and love is what endures, helps us find each other even across the great border, and allows us to move on.
Several of you told me, "I just wish they had lived." And I admit to being a little confused over that wish. All the characters lived, existed. "Some died before [Jack], some long after." There's no sadness to the fact that eventually death came to them all; it comes to all of us. Boone died on the island in 2004. Jack died at the end of 2007 after completing his mission on the island. Kate probably went on to live another 40-50 years after flying out on the Ajira plane, and for all of that time she pined for Jack like another Kate (Winslet, as Rose DeWitt) pined for her own Jack (Dawson, played by Leo DiCaprio). I base this, of course, on how DeadWorld Kate told Jack how much she had missed him. We get to imagine what it was like for Miles to go home as a very rich man with the diamonds he dug up from Nikki and Paulo's graves. Or that Desmond probably used the Donkey Wheel to leave the Island, return to his family, and live out his days. Or what challenges Claire would overcome on the path to sanity and motherhood. Or that Richard could go on to experience the joys of aging, knowing he would one day shake off the bonds of flesh to be reunited with Isabella in his own DeadWorld. We also get to smile at the idea of new-Jacob Hurley running the Island with new-Richard Ben for another couple thousand years. You heard me. No reason to think he didn't do the job as long as he could, and that's a spin-off I'd love to see - the Adventures of the Immortal Hurley and Ben, and the Compelling Events that Ultimately Resulted in Their Own Deaths and Turning the Island Over to A New Protector). It doesn't matter when you die, since once you do, you step outside of time. Thus, every character, despite dying at different times, can arrive in this DeadWorld together. Let's take a look at what that world is like…