Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Just Finished LOST...

Wanna know what I don't get? I don't get why so many people were so hacked off about how the show ended. I thought it ended just fine. But I'm a writer; I'm weird.

Aside from Nathan Bransford's infamous post on The High Cost of WTF, which I thought was hilarious and well-deserved, I beg to differ, at least on a few things.

The thing about Story, which I covered in a previous post, is that these days, in order to keep people guessing, the writer has to pull out the stops on WTF occasionally. And yeah, the team on LOST definitely did that, and I think it was purely intentional.

That's why I think the ending was entirely apropos considering context. When Christian tells Jack that basically here and now doesn't exist, it fits, because for the entire sixth season, the audience is wondering when the hell they are. And though I'm not positive on this, I'm pretty sure everybody was dead in all those off-island scenes.

Here's the deal: LOST doesn't fit Biblical doctrine, at least not entirely, so nobody should try to make it fit. If anything, it fits eastern mysticism and New Age hippie bullshit more than anything, and I don't have a problem with that. I still think it's got a lot to contribute to the community, insofar as it provokes thought.

And speaking of, I thought there was a wry polar irony, if one can call it that, as concerns certain characters.

Sawyer, for instance, traveled a complete journey from con to cop.

Hurley graduated from being completely crippled by his anxieties to finally attaining the supreme self-assurance that was required to be the new Jacob.

John Locke overcame insecurity as well, finally being able to let go of being pissed off at the entire world for everything from his wheelchair to his daddy issues.

Sun and Jin passed their test of selflessness in the submarine by each one preferring the other, and in turn accepting the other's refusal to be selfish.

Claire finally got over her obsession with abandoning Aaron because of her paralyzing fear of being somehow doomed to be a bad mother, though this was not made as clear as I feel it could have been.

Sayid finally embraced grace, through the simple act of providing it to those trapped on the sub--plus, he found his reward in his reunion with Shannon--his true love.

Kate was able to pay a kind of penance for her rashness, though this has been played out over the last two or so seasons with her character, because she was able to nurture Aaron in his most vulnerable state, then rescue his mother and (ostensibly) reunite them, facilitating the restoration of a family. Remember that the story starts out with her utterly shredding her own.

Jack was a special case. Jack was hard-wired to fix stuff, and that was his function in the story. He fulfilled that purpose, but he also was able, finally, to be right about a decision he made as a leader. He installed Hurley as the new Jacob, and that turned out to be destiny. But he also saved the island, and was able to pay the penalty his prior mistakes demanded of him, by giving his life for his friends--and what's even more precious is that he was able to witness their escape as the plane flew over the bamboo forest (which, by the way, was a mirror image of how all of this got started, to include the close-up of his eye--this time, closing rather than opening).

And speaking of that, I notice a perfect symmetry in the story of LOST that I just love, and frankly, of which I stand in awe. The writers did a bangup job of it.

It also apparent to me that the cast is a nice cross-section of humanity. Practically every major segment of the contemporary global population is represented in the characters, which I think makes the message more universal.

So, what's the message?

I think it can be almost anything you want to make it. One message is "what's done is done;" in other words, get over it. The characters in the story have to deal with all kinds of pain and suffering, but ultimately they get past it--in life or in death (but most often in death). I find that inspiring for my own daddy issues, and maybe that's why I identify so wholly with John Locke's character. In that sense I found the show to be very inspiring.

I think though, that there's a larger perspective that one can gain through the story. There's so much human nature in there, paraded for us in all its ugliest and most beautiful costumes. There's so much intrigue and betrayal, but there's also tenderness and sacrifice. There's a lot of death and blood, but it also seems like every time one turns around there's some kind of childbirth going on; or at the very least a pregnant woman in the plot. All of it echoes with the grandness of our designed-in potential as human beings. But it shows the seamy underside as well, dealing with addictions, murder, ambition unbridled by morality, and deception, therefore telling all of the story--or at least a more accurate version.

So what story am I talking about? Why, the universal one, of course. Every good story is an echo of the archetype. LOST definitely fits the bill.

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