Wanted to offer a summary of my thoughts after the conclusion of LOST. To give you the short-short version, I was satisfied, and the outcome made sense to me.
The only real frustrating thing from my perspective was that we didn’t find out specifically:
- what the point of the light at the heart of the island is
- why Desmond was the one who had to go down to move the rock
- what the island’s real purpose is
… I guess that makes me want to go back and re-watch certain episodes to dig for the nuggets of wisdom on those topics that were dropped along the way. In the end, it seems like we need to take the words of Jacob, his mother, and the findings of the Dharma researchers at face value. Maybe there is no greater explanation than what Jacob explained, and the mysterious powers of the island are just what they appeared to be.
The final conclusion of the show seemed to imply that those things that we were all asking and theorizing about don’t matter that much, though. Great allegory for human existence and a demonstration of the teachings of most of the world’s religions (demo’ed in the idolatry of so many in the room where Jack and his dad met): the things in this life don’t matter as much as what’s to come next. What the island is or how it works or what it’s there for isn’t as important as the reality that the castaways spent the most important parts of their lives together; that they found one another; that the loves forged on the island were the most essential ones that any of the characters would have.
I think it’s a bold way to handle the conclusion of show like this (and really, when you think about the path we’ve been led down all this while, should have come as no surprise), to say about the characters: well, in the end they all die. In the end, we ALL DIE. What is the most important thing? That we loved one another. What happened to Sawyer, Kate, Richard, Miles, and Frank wasn’t important anymore. What happened to Hurley and Ben wasn’t important anymore. This was the story of this group of people at this point in their lives, and at the VERY END, they ended up where we all wanted them to be.
It’s actually a very satisfying way to handle it, because you get to kill and not kill everyone; you leave all their fates open to interpretation and speculation while specifying all of them.
My interpretations or ideas about certain key elements:
- Did any of the “events” in the flash sideways take place? What about things like Jack’s son, or Locke’s fiance, or stuff like that? No, none of those things actually occurred; I am fine with Christian’s explanation that the flash sideways was a construct of the castaways shared consciousness immediately following their deaths.
- What happened to the island after Hurley became the caretaker? I like to think that he did exactly as Ben suggested (and judging by their conversation outside the church, I’m sure that’s right), and he took care of anyone that found their way there after him. Whereas Jacob brought people that were alone and struggling through their lives (in the same sorts of ways that HE was), I figure Hurley helped those that were lost find their way home if that’s what they wanted, or helped those that wanted to stay to get along. Groups of people also consistently came to the island struggling to control its power, whether it was the people who the Man in Black lived with, or the Army after the War, or the Dharma Initiative later on. I assume others would come and go in similar fashion over time, with minimal interference from the island’s caretaker. One thing that seemed assured for all those people: the island is too powerful to be controlled by them, and their greed will be eventually be their undoing. We didn’t get any indication that that would change, so I imagine it didn’t.
- To extend that line of thinking, it seems important to note that the mystery behind Jacob/Man In Black’s story seems distinct from the story of the mysterious power of the island in the space-time continuum. I don’t get the impression that Jacob or anyone that came after him understood the nature of the island’s power, but some of them did learn how to wield it. I think that maybe the island should be understood as a sort of focal point or wormhole in the universe. Based on the travels of Ben and Locke after turning the wheel, it seems like the wormhole goes to a specific place, and the electromagnetic interference generated by the island is probably a byproduct of that conduit.
However, I still don’t understand what the light and the rock and the pool are doing to keep the island intact. I don’t quite get how (or if) that relates to the wormhole. In the end, I think I’m going to try NOT to focus on those elements that may be hard to explain or open to speculation, and drink the creator’s kool-aid in saying, “None of that really matters. At the very end of everything, what we really care about is where the characters ended up. And they all seemed to be in a very good place.”