For six long years we’ve debated about the truths of the island. What really is going on each week with this mystical Lost show. In the end it all came full circle right back to the beginning; and the truth is that the island and all of its mysteries were just a fun story. Fun for the fans to try and figure out, and I’m certain a lot of fun for the writers to twist and turn their characters through. This is important because what everyone agreed on in the early days, back before Dharma made so many fans jump off the Lost bandwagon, is that the show was about the people.
The mysterious flash sideways of season six was finally revealed to be a limbo world, think of a waiting room type metaphor, where us long standing fans got to enjoy our favorite characters being embraced by the love that drove them all along. I want to address this issue of the dead Losties and purgatory. See, as I watched the finale I rolled my eyes a bit at how heavy handed the writing was in explaining that the flash sideways was a sort of limbo for the dead. In the pilot episode Charlie asked, “Where are we?” The exact question Jack asked his father in the final moments of the series.
Jack: Where are we?
Christian: This is a place you all made together so you could find one another...Nobody does it all alone. You needed them and they needed you.
Jack: For what?
Christian: To remember and to let go.
When Oceanic 815 crashed on the island the passengers did not all die. The entire six seasons of the show have not been a waste of the viewer’s time in that nothing mattered. Actually the time all of them spent on the island was the most important stuff that happened to these people.
I’ve always had this idea in my head that the reason everyone was brought to the island was to redeem themselves, or to discover their true purpose. Obviously that has been revealed to not be quite true. But it’s close. I didn’t account for how important love was on Lost. The limbo flash sideways world established, in often heart wrenching moments, just how important love really is on the show.
It’s not about science vs faith. It’s about Jin and Sun reconnecting and finding out how much they love one another, Claire and Charlie finding pure love in each other and with Aaron, Sawyer and Juliet being happy with one another, Hurley finally finding someone to love him in Libby, and so on.
Which brings us to our man of science and man of faith: Jack and Locke. Locke’s realization happened when Jack fixed him in the limbo universe. There was no connection of love in the traditional romantic sense, because that’s something that Locke had long before he ever came to the island. Part of the tragedy of Locke’s story on the island is that he was searching for something that he had already been granted. In the end Locke had nothing to live for, but there’s no need to be sad for the man because he knew love at one time in his life.
Jack, from the very first episode, has only ever wanted his father’s love. The cowboy with daddy issues spent his whole life seeking the approval and affection of a distant father. A father who told a stranger in a bar in Australia that he wished to tell his son how proud he was, but never took the time to say it. Jack’s story is just as tragic as Locke’s, if not more so, because he never got the chance to experience the love he sought in life. It was bittersweet to watch Jack and Christian embrace and declare their love for one another right after we were told they were dead.
Before I leave you to ponder about the millions of other questions Lost left us with I want to put things into just as blunt of terms as the finale did. The Oceanic 815 crash did not kill everyone on the plane. The stuff on the island was all real and did happen. More importantly Lost was a multi-faceted love story. I can’t think of a more fitting end to such a beautiful tale than to see all of the people who loved one another come back together in order to be shepherded into the bright light of whatever afterlife exists in this universe.
For more coverage of the Lost finale go here.