Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Nobody does it alone, Jack."

Monday, May 23rd marked the one year anniversary of the series finale of LOST. I am both delighted and saddened to say that I have not at all moved on. I rewatched the finale that Monday evening, and it alllllll came back. I remembered watching the first episode in the fall of my 5th grade year at Eastwood Elementary and thinking, wow, I'm going to have to convince my mom to let me stay up for this! Thankfully, she obliged, after I coaxed her into watching the Season 1 episode, "Walkabout." For anyone who has seen that particular episode, you won't be surprised to know that she was instantly hooked.

What struck me as so amazing about LOST was that it was so, so many things at once. It was science fiction, with a giant unseen monster, polar bears living in tropical forests, electromagnetic time-travel-inducing frozen donkey wheels; it was a comedy, supported by hilarious dialogue and a top-notch cast; but more than anything, LOST was a drama--a character study of individuals who were, both figuratively and literally "lost." They were flawed and broken, going at it alone. In a sense, before their time on the island, it was themselves vs. the world. It was their being on the island that changed them. They could start over, and fulfill their destinies. Before I delve deeper into the meaning of the show, I want to express my disappointment in the "fans" who hated the finale for its lack of "answers." All I will say is that from the very beginning, LOST has been a character-driven show with cool mysteries, not the other way around. It ending the only way it could have possibly ended, and if your main concern, spanning the entire six seasons was "What the hell was up with Walt?" then you are no true fan of LOST.

But enough ranting. The finale was, in my opinion, the perfect send-off. It encapsulated everything the show was about, everything it stood for, in 2 and a half glorious hours. In fact, I believe that a major message that LOST communicated to its audience is pretty well-stated in the title of this post. By this, I mean that LOST wasn't just a show about people, it was a show about how broken people fix one another. In the pivotal church scene near the end of the finale, when Jack speaks with his father, Christian tells him that the most important part of his life was the time he spent with the other survivors on the island. Without them, he couldn't do what he was chosen to do. They needed him, and he needed them.

I was reading an in-depth analysis of the finale over at Entertainment Weekly recently, and I realized that, along with being about people, LOST was about death, and the undeniable notion that we all one day will die---that death is absolute. The flash-sideways/purgatory/in-between world was not a segue into eternal happiness and bliss, as many would assume after the crowd in the church was washed in a bright white light, but rather the last step before The End. The Sideways world was a chance for the survivors to come to terms with their mortality. Borne of this acceptance is the letting go of hatred and selfishness, and the understanding of love.

If that did not make any sense, I apologize for I don't know how else to explain it; Doc Jenson is better at it here. But that's what I pulled from LOST, and I know that not all will agree with me.....which is where the true beauty of LOST lies. It is a show that will be talked about for years to come, with countless theories created and thrown out the window. It amazes me that I am even talking about a television show in this way. LOST truly was a miracle of modern entertainment, and it will not be forgotten.

Before I end this post, I cannot go without mentioning the magnificent score of Michael Giacchino. The most poignant moments of the finale (and the show in general, for that matter) are bolstered by his music. It's a shame that Giacchino lost the Creative Arts Emmy of Best Original Score to 24---he really deserved it here, particularly for the tracks "Moving On," "Closure," and "Locke vs. Jack"