OK, I’ve come across many other theories/takes/reviews of the finale that are more hopeful than mine, so I’m going to repost my favorites here (so you’re not all depressed by reading mine):
It seemed to me that the finale demonstrated that everything in Season’s 1-5 WAS incredibly important and REAL. (struggles with good and evil, faith and science, humanity vs the divine, mystery vs. fact)…. That there was huge significance to their actions and a greater purpose. I saw the sideways timeline or ‘hereafter’ as their ‘awakening’ persay… only in that could they finally grasp the fuller meaning of their journey , they got the impact of something bigger and insight into the significance of their actions… and in essence found peace and moved on. I also got the impression that the ‘moving on’ was just the start of another journey with greater dimension. I found it very hopeful. It seemed like only the characters ‘got it’ at the end… and appropriately… we won’t get it fully where we sit in time.
The ending of Lost somewhat blew me away last night. What do you make of the show, and what does it all mean? Here’s my best theory.
Let’s say you could go back and try to live your life again with the knowledge you have now. Would you? Have you been face-to-face with your own brokenness, and would you re-do something if you could? I think we all have regrets- and the Losties have bigger regrets than many of us do. And when they set off a nuclear explosion to “reset” the clock of human history, they reset themselves (a kind of re-incarnation) with the wisdom gained on the island. Sawyer doesn’t turn to a life of crime, Ben Linus finds contentment in service, etc. But there is something missing. Love. None of them have the person they loved in the original timeline. And so Desmond is on a journey to reintroduce these characters to the love that they are missing.
And as Jack saves the island and leaves Hurley and Ben to run things (what a team!), the real story is how the characters have found love (and therefore some kind of redemption) and can break free from the cycles in which they have been trapped. That could explain why they go into a church with more symbols of Far Eastern religion than I have ever seen in a church. It’s because they are breaking the cycle and love truly is setting them free.
And that’s why Ben can’t go into the church. His love has always been for Alex, and she is not there yet. He is a person who has never really received love in his entire life, except from Hurley to some extent (being recruited). He still has to work out what love really means.
In short, the finale surprised the daylights out of me. But in the end, it went deeper than “what happens when the smoke monster dies?” and went to the very heart of being human – a longing to love and be loved. And so I might be in the minority, but I am gradually falling in love with the end of Lost.
You can interpret LOST to have some Christian themes – afterlife and redemption and ekklesia (community / needing others) and tons of subtext spirituality. But those themes are not exclusively Christian.
So, aside from the philosophical undertones and the ending that will leave everyone talking… what has been the writer’s underlining message?
For me, I believe the message is one of redemption – but I think it was encapsulated in the idea that we need help from others and we need to work through our issues within community. After watching the recap show and rewatching the Pilot, I see this theme developing. And from two generations that prize community SO much, while achieving so very little of it — the desire for community is a powerful one.
I think most poignantly was John Locke’s final words to Jack, “I hope somebody helps you as you have helped me”.
Live Together, Die Alone. Namaste.
From “The Guy Who Supposedly Worked at Bad Robot”:
Sideways world is where it gets really cool in terms of theology and metaphysical discussion (for me at least — because I love history/religion theories and loved all the talks in the writer’s room about it). Basically what the show is proposing is that we’re all linked to certain people during our lives. Call them soulmates (though it’s not exactly the best word). But these people we’re linked to are with us duing “the most important moments of our lives” as Christian said. These are the people we move through the universe with from lifetime to lifetime. It’s loosely based in Hinduisim with large doses of western religion thrown into the mix.
The conceit that the writers created, basing it off these religious philosophies, was that as a group, the Lostaways subconsciously created this “sideways” world where they exist in purgatory until they are “awakened” and find one another. Once they all find one another, they can then move on and move forward. In essence, this is the show’s concept of the afterlife. According to the show, everyone creates their own “Sideways” purgatory with their “soulmates” throughout their lives and exist there until they all move on together. That’s a beautiful notion. Even if you aren’t religious or even spirtual, the idea that we live AND die together is deeply profound and moving.
It’s a really cool and spirtual concept that fits the whole tone and subtext the show has had from the beginning. These people were SUPPOSED to be together on that plane. They were supposed to live through these events — not JUST because of Jacob. But because that’s what the universe or God (depending on how religious you wish to get) wanted to happen. The show was always about science vs faith — and it ultimately came down on the side of faith. It answered THE core question of the series. The one question that has been at the root of every island mystery, every character backstory, every plot twist. That, by itself, is quite an accomplishment.
How much you want to extrapolate from that is up to you as the viewer. Think about season 1 when we first found the Hatch. Everyone thought that’s THE answer! Whatever is down there is the answer! Then, as we discovered it was just one station of many. One link in a very long chain that kept revealing more, and more of a larger mosiac.
But the writer’s took it even further this season by contrasting this Sideways “purgatory” with the Island itself. Remember when Michael appeared to Hurley, he said he was not allowed to leave the Island. Just like the MIB. He wasn’t allowed into this sideways world and thus, was not afforded the opportunity to move on. Why? Because he had proven himself to be unworthy with his actions on the Island. He failed the test. The others, passed. They made it into Sideways world when they died — some before Jack, some years later. In Hurley’s case, maybe centuries later. They exist in this sideways world until they are “awakened” and they can only move on TOGETHER because they are linked. They are destined to be together for eternity. That was their destiny.
They were NOT linked to Anna Lucia, Daniel, Roussou, Alex, Miles, Lupidis, (and all the rest who weren’t in the chuch — basically everyone who wasn’t in season 1). Yet those people exist in Sideways world. Why? Well again, here’s where they leave it up to you to decide. The way I like to think about it, is that those people who were left behind in Sideways world have to find their own soulmates before they can wake up. It’s possible that those links aren’t people from the island but from their other life (Anna’s parnter, the guy she shot — Roussou’s husband, etc etc).
A lot of people have been talking about Ben and why he didn’t go into the Church. And if you think of Sideways world in this way, then it gives you the answer to that very question. Ben can’t move on yet because he hasn’t connected with the people he needs to. It’s going to be his job to awaken Roussou, Alex, Anna Lucia (maybe), Ethan, Goodspeed, his father and the rest. He has to attone for his sins more than he did by being Hurley’s number two. He has to do what Hurley and Desmond did for our Lostaways with his own people. He has to help them connect. And he can only move on when all the links in his chain are ready to. Same can be said for Faraday, Charlotte, Whidmore, Hawkins etc. It’s really a neat, and cool concept. At least to me.
I have to start by saying that I loved the ending, every bit of it and I don’t agree with the idea that i’m not critiquing the show logically. We’re dealing with a show that’s fundamentally about science vs faith and the reason why it became so famous is that every season finale gave people the opportunity to answer the questions, based on their own personal beliefs. If the writers had sat down and given us a detailed a=b and c=d finale, the basic appeal of the show is just “lost”. I hated the episodes about the temple as much as the next person, but the show started with these total strangers who we discovered were connected to each other and ended with them knowing how they were connected to each other….i can see why so many people would hate that, but you have to give the writers some points for being so poetic about it.
The numbers were around much before the Dharma initiative, which we know from the names in Jacob’s cave. My guess is, Jacob wrote a whole bunch of names with their respective numbers on the cave walls and the island, in all its mysterious glory, gave special importance to 4 8 15 16 23 and 42 coz those just happened to be the numbers of our beloved Losties.
And as far as why Aaron was still a baby in the Church is concerned, my only guess is that we have to try and understand what exactly Christian meant by “there is no now”. This limbo that the losties were in isn’t in any real time that we can identify or even comprehend. It’s completely a mystical/religious concept and even though I don’t have an exact answer to it, I only know that Aaron as a BABY was connected to these people and not Aaron as a grown up.
Loved the show, loved the finale, loved being lost (couldn’t resist the pun :D)
And my favorite:
NEW YORK—Desperate fans of the recently concluded television series Lost are speculating that the program is continuing on in a parallel dimension somewhere, and that alternate versions of showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are currently writing new episodes of the series. “It’s very possible that a sideways world running concurrent to our own exists, and that a facsimile of myself is happy, fulfilled, and already gearing up for the season seven premiere of Lost,” said 36-year-old Kevin Molinaro, who, along with more than 20 million other hopeless fans, has recently booked multiple roundtrip tickets from Los Angeles to Australia in hopes of traveling through a vortex in the space-time continuum. “I just have to find a way to get there. We all do.” According to data from Google analytics, searches for “How to build/detonate/use a hydrogen bomb to open up a multidimensional wormhole” have increased 10 millionfold since the episode aired.
And the last link I’ll put is an excellent review that is part critical, part hopeful, perhaps the best I’ve read, from Amy @ a chase after wind:
LOST: Time to Let Go