It is kind of amazing how anybody can be a LOSTie, not be considered as geeky as a Trekkie, and it's kind of self-understood that everything has a greater meaning. And some things simply go unanswered, like in real life.
WARNING: I'm assuming that if you're reading this, you've watched the entire series of LOST, as I'm not holding back anything.
LOST hasn't spanned 6 years for me, but an intense 5, as I didn't watch the first season when it originally aired. When the pilot aired I was living in Germany where the ads talked about 'the hugely successful series from the USA'--some show about plane crash survivors. I did catch a few minutes of the pilot when it aired. I saw the word "LOST" flashing across the screen, some dude in a suit walking out onto a beach and the running engine of a plane sucking in a man. "Gross," I thought, and I changed the channel to something else. Every other episode that I happened to flip through that first season was super creepy and I just left it. I didn't understand the hype and I was working too many hours to really care.
Fast forward a few months when somebody lent me the entire first season on DVD. It was just before the second season started. For several days I watched episode after episode and the escapism began. The sparks that weren't flying in my real life were ignited on the screen between Jack and Kate, there was some cute dog running around (I didn't have a dog...not even a goldfish), and some cute, old married couple (part of which I also wasn't) was gracefully accommodating one another's emotional needs, expressing caring and mutual respect. Even newlyweds Sun and Jin were inspiring.
Truthfully, when I started watching LOST I was in a horrible place in my life. Pretty much everything was running into the ground (over and over again) and I was totally blind to it. Desperate Housewives, which started running in Germany around the same time, and LOST were two hours during the week in which I could escape; I could enjoy being transported to another world, another time, or in the case of LOST, I could be transported to multiple different times. Mysteries were pondered in my brain between episodes. The months between seasons, especially of LOST, crawled by. . .movies were all right, but all I really wanted was...well, Sawyer, shirtless, walking towards me on the beach. And the site of that on TV frequently left me frozen at the dinner table, fork poised in mid-air. . .
The idea of the number sequence having a great influence in the lives of the characters (most especially the beloved Hurley!) was thrilling. I loved to see how all of those characters were brought together and they realized how connected they really were. Jack and Claire being half-siblings, for example. The backstories and flashbacks were wonderful, bringing new dimensions to the storytelling and to the entertainment. It's the expression of entertainment as a craft when such a complicated story can tie in so many characters, so much time, so many different places, AND keep it tied together well through multiple flashbacks and the island sliding through time.
Since I wasn't in the US, I didn't know much about the viral marketing campaigns, the games available in the summertime, and unfortunately (rather painfully) when I moved back to the States in 2008, I realized that I'd missed years' worth of late-night interviews with the actors and the producers. Yet there was one highlight of having moved back when I did: Germany was one season behind the States in the airing of LOST, and the episodes were available for online streaming. For several days, copious amounts of TV watching ensued. I'd uncork a bottle of wine, sit down at the computer, plug in the earphones, and watch episode after episode. It was intense! I was happy to be back in the Twin Cities, and watching LOST was a great part of it!
And by then everything made so much sense, yet it seemed to make less and less sense as time went on. Like Richard Alpert--man!
I figured that all those characters went to the island because they needed to make one more connection before they could die and went to heaven/the after-life/dog heaven. But when they made that connection, they didn't die, or in the case of Hurley and Libby, Libby died, but Hurley was still there. It was the same with Sayid and Shannon. (Hot!)
As demonstrated by last night's series finale, there is a serious amount of metaphysics involved in this show and anybody who's ever read anything about metaphysics or the great beyond or what one might call new age thought has probably heard the phrase "All you have is now" or "Time doesn't exist; it's just an illusion." I thought LOST was presenting multiple possibilities for these characters' lives, as we saw throughout the sixth and final season, or they just kept bending time as a soul (not a physical person) would experience it, however everybody kept 'remembering' things. Then we got to the church. Almost everyone had had their awakening but Jack and when he walked into the room with his father's coffin, I knew LOST really got it when I saw the stained glass window. The moon and star, the cross, yin and yang, and the wheel of dharma...I thought it might very well be the most perfect expression of Oneness ever to reach prime time.
Entering the church, we see everyone finally gets to be together. Jack and Kate, Sawyer and Juliet, Hurley and Libby; John Locke is by himself, but hey--in reincarnation, sometimes you come back by yourself for a reason. Christian Shepherd (very punny, indeed!) literally shepherds them to...what? To the great beyond? To the next time around? To heaven? Truth is: it doesn't matter. They made it to wherever they were going and they remembered what was important to them. They realized what a journey they had been on, and most importantly: that they weren't alone and they truly needed each other. It doesn't matter what you do, whether you're a doctor like Jack, a single mom like Claire, a lotto winner like Hurley, or a runaway like Kate; it's all about people. What greater reason could there be for our existence than to truly connect with others, to learn about other people, to learn about ourselves through other people.
It's the best example of the Divine in all of us that I've seen in recent years. On primetime of all places. Spiritual Enlightenment for the masses, thanks to ABC. No early morning Sunday church involved. No synagogues. No temples. An island. People.
Namaste, LOST. Thanks for the wild, beautiful ride.