Well, the time has come. As the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end.”
The epic, groundbreaking, culture changing, TV programming altering show that is LOST will conclude this Sunday with millions of Americans tuning in for probably a variety of reasons. Chief among those reasons? The Hope for Answers.
If you’ve been watching LOST over the past 6 years, you are well aware of the tangle of mysteries and the web of questions the writers have been weaving. How, for every question they answer, another 3 more get asked. If you’ve been following Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley and the others (and the Others) then you know well what this Sunday means for them. And as much as we want our favorite characters to find answers, to find redemption, WE ourselves have also become characters in this story who are also looking for redemption, looking for answers.
After the episode a week ago (“Across the Sea“) I couldn’t help but wrestle with the following question regarding the closing of this story that is LOST, and I wonder if you’ve wrestled with it as well…
When all is said and done, when the final credits role, when mysteries have been revealed and questions answered, which “Jack” will I be? Will I be the Jack of Season 1, insistent that the only explanation for things are logical, rational, scientific. Or will I be the Jack of Season 6, open to possibilities that stretch beyond reason, embracing mystery itself as both the means and the end?
Here’s why I think this question is important. I think that in some way the satisfaction of the viewer (maybe not for the entire six-season show, but certainly the finale) hinges on whether or not we demand answers that would satisfy Season-1-Jack, or accept answers that would satisfy Season-6-Jack.
You see, all along, especially since Season 3, the story that is LOST has been pointing at (at times hinting, and at times shouting) a very sci-fi type of reality. This was none more evident than in last weeks episode where mysteries of what the Island is and who it’s keepers are was revealed.
A small creek, going down a shaft of really bright light, in the middle of the Island? THAT is what all this fuss is about? A place where light, energy, and beauty is all stored? And Jacob (and his mom) are just there to protect people from finding it? Huh…
But for me, who has extensive background in the realms of science fiction and fantasy, this was not just sufficient, it was perfect. I’ve been expecting moments like this. I’m okay with things like light and energy, powerful water and elements (magic wands, powerful rings, crystals, potions, wizards, aliens, etc). A pool of light and energy? Yup. Ageless guardians to protect it? Yup. Channeling water and light to create giant wheels to time travel and move the island? Of course.
But for someone who doesn’t have that background, or who doesn’t get excited about those sorts of things, they could still be asking the question, “well, yeah, but what does that MEAN? What “is” that pool of light? How did it get there? Who put it there? Where did it’s keepers come from? What the $@#% does it MEAN!!”
And you can see how Jack of Season 1 would have the latter reaction, whereas the Jack of Season 6 (especially as shown last night, in “What They Died For“) would have the former.
One of the primary themes throughout the 6 seasons, if not THE primary theme, has been the tension between Science and Faith (Jack vs Locke). And if we, the viewers, don’t prepare ourselves to be open to mystery going in to Sundays Finale, I fear we will find ourselves frustrated and disappointed. So I say, which “Jack” will you be? How important are reasonable are logical explanations of the island and it’s mysteries? Does it have to make “sense?”
I fear that if you haven’t made a similar progression or evolution that Jack has made over the past 6 years, then you might be the ones Monday morning posting “LOST… what a waste of six years” on your Facebook.
Here’s to mystery embraced, and the beauty of faith.