Danielle Bean, a wife and mother of eight, is editorial director of Faith & Family magazine and author of My Cup of Tea, Mom to Mom, Day to Day, and most recently Small Steps for Catholic Moms. Read more of her blogging at Faith & Family Live and DanielleBean.com.
SPOILER ALERT: If you do not want to know how the “Lost” series ends, do not read any further.
I have admitted before that I am a Lostie, and so it should come as no surprise to readers here that Sunday night found me glued to my television set, shouting at the kids to hurry up and go to bed already so that I could concentrate. On the Lost finale.
A few of you have written asking for my assessment of the series finale, so here goes:
I loved it. I hated it. It was exactly right. It was all wrong. It made perfect sense. And I’m not sure at all that I understand it.
Does that sound about right? If you’re a fan of the show, you are probably nodding your head.
I can see how the series finale would feel like a cheap sell-out to some fans. It’s kind of like that fairy tale fantasy I wrote in second grade, where I got the characters so involved in such a complicated series of inexplicable events that the only way to neatly solve everything was to add a final scene where the main character finds herself waking up in her bed. Don’t worry about that pesky plot ... it was all just a dream, after all!
So yes, a second grade plot technique seems a bit beneath the writers of Lost and I can understand why some fans are disappointed.
I suppose I experienced the show and its ending differently, though, because the plot of the entire series was such a difficult thing to wrap your brain around, that I long ago resigned myself to focusing on character development instead. And there was plenty of that.
We had father issues, mother issues, and lost loves. We had the fighting of faith and embracing of faith, issues of trust, and good versus evil. We had death, new life, hope, and healing. We had sin and redemption. The entire series of Lost has been a veritable playground of human experience and emotion. And an artistically accomplished one at that.
I particularly enjoyed Tony Rossi’s run-down and explanation of the finale:
When the castaways arrived on the island, they were, as Jacob described them, “alone.” They were emotionally-crippled, lost souls without any genuine human connections. But through the love and responsibility they exhibited toward each other, they were able to grow as human beings and fulfill their real natures - to move past the tragedies, mistakes and obsessions that haunted them and eventually arrive in a state of grace. In fact, there was a promo for “Lost” before this final season began that was edited to Willie Nelson singing “Amazing Grace.” For me, the lyrics in that song “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see” explains the process of what happened in the Sideways/Purgatory world and over the course of the series. Grace builds on nature. As such, the castaways became a means of each others salvation.
Do you see how much we have to work with here? Come on, people. After all that spiritual growth and human connection, how can any of us come away complaining that they never adequately explained the polar bears?
It might have been nice to understand the bears. And Tunisia. For sure, I would have liked a reasonable explanation of Tunisia.
But in the end, I have no complaints at all. I think Lost is artistically excellent television and I am not sorry for the 121 hours I have spent watching it. But typing that number makes me think that now might be a pretty good time to take a break from television altogether. And work on making some spiritual progress and human connection of my own.