Attempting to collect all my thoughts and put them into a series of coherent words that may or may not create sentences has been quite a task. I do know now what 121 episodes of LOST has done that no blatantly religious show ever could have – make me seriously think about faith and how it affects our lives.
When Oceanic Flight 815 landed on the Island 6 years ago I was pretty psyched. Awesome scenery (Island/Women). Great Special Effects. Solid Cast. Sci-Fi Undertones. I never thought that when the curtain call came I would view the entire series as an allegory for faith and relationships and how important both are to our fulfillment/enrichment/redemption.
The best way for me to explain how I came to this conclusion after spending hundreds of hours watching and re-watching episodes looking for clues to god knows what is to give you some short thoughts on what I always considered the main characters and what ultimately brought them to their enlightened state.
I honestly can say that I related with Jack the most in regards to his struggle with the inability to accept there were certain things he couldn’t fix. He couldn’t fix Boone, save everyone on the island or even figure out the give and take or relationships (Christian, Sarah, Kate).
It took Jack 4 full seasons to even begin his transformation from a man of science to a man of faith and he still didn’t fully accept it until he saw the lighthouse. Despite his anger at realizing that his life was being watched from above – he began his ascension to protector of the Island.
The fundamental realization he came to was that faith in something greater and belief in some type of destiny is what is really important in life. This life on earth is just a piece of the proverbial puzzle and the relationships we have while we are on it is what makes us who we are.
Locke has always been my favorite character even before he became the ultimate bad ass in season 6 (a performance that either gets an Emmy or the Emmy’s are forcibly disbanded). A man whose life was so pathetic and so awful but still blindly had faith in something – the island. When he woke up after the crash and could feel his toes he knew something bigger was at work. It didn’t matter that he was following a false entity or the Anti-Christ or whatever you believe the Man in Black was – but that he had faith in something bigger than life. You have to admire someone like that.
When Locke left the island however and lost his faith and ultimately was killed – I wondered if he would ever get his redemption. I believe he did end up enlightened because despite blind faith he fulfilled his destiny and without his sacrifice all the dominoes wouldn’t have fallen into place.
Plus – he did explain the entire plot of LOST to us in the Pilot.
I think her storyline boiled down to her inability to understand the importance of love and relationships. She was a loner that always felt she could do everything on her own and anytime she tried to do something for someone else she always managed to get hurt. She obviously helped sabotage each relationship she was in based on her commitment issues from the beginning until the end from her mother to her ex-husband to Sawyer and Jack. It wasn’t until she became a de-facto mother that she began to realize the importance of having someone else to care about and care for you.
She was always meant to be with Jack and I fully believed that. Sawyer was something easy for her. Something she knew she didn’t have to be fully committed to. Jack loved her for who she was – he just needed to understand himself first.
Hugo “Hurley” Reyes
Hurley’s interactions throughout the show with Sawyer, and later in the show and to an even funnier extent, Miles, were the comic relief desperately needed in such a heavy show.
In retrospect, Hurley was always special because his tie to the island was so deep as the next protector after Jack. The island had to make sure he got to where he needed to be. I think Hurley’s enlightenment, although watchable and interesting, was forced. The only thing he needed was to be told what to do. I understand this wasn’t the way of the show, but when the time came for Jack to give him the torch he was ready. Hurley cares about people and mirrored Jacob the most in that way. I have a feeling he kept very good care of the island for quite a long time cracking jokes along the way.
James “Sawyer” Ford
Mr. “Every Man for himself” kept his distance from others and focused his entire life on revenge because of the man (Anthony Cooper or John Locke Sr.) whose long con led to his father killing his mother and then pulling the trigger on himself.
Sawyer became what he swore to defeat – a con man who ruined people’s lives. He used insults to keep people away and never found enlightenment until he fell in love with Juliet. The Dharma doctor gave him a sense of purpose and was the first “real” relationship he ever had. His love for her turned him into a leader and gave him faith that there was good in people. Their relationship, although short in regards to on-camera time, was the most poignant of the series.
The Iraqi Republican Guard always let other people define him despite how much faith he had in Islam and love for others making him one of the most tragic characters in my eyes. His vice was almost caring so much about what other people say and think that he would do exactly what they asked no matter the consequences.
I fully believe Sayid was killed and lost his soul when he was taken to the Temple. I also believe that whatever the pool did it offered him a chance at a human life again – albeit with a more tortured soul. Any soul can be redeemed however and Sayid’s decision to sacrifice himself for his friends was the most noble thing he could have done.
Sun & Jin Kwon
I always loved LOST for its diversity and think that Sun/Jin not only represented the bond of marriage but how foreign marriage can be for us all. Their battered relationship that grew to be so great and was then ripped apart across multiple timelines was fantastic to watch. I honestly believe they reached their enlightenment in Season 4 when Jin forgave his wife for her infidelity and found out the baby was his. The struggle after that for them to find each other was merely for entertainment purposes. Their death scene was the hardest to watch in the series though after…
Former Heroin addict that just needed to find someone who cared enough about him that he felt his life had purpose. He found that in Claire and Aaron and their island “family.” His death remains the most tragic and heroic we ever saw on LOST and set the show into its crash course to the finish. You all everybody, Charlie. You all everybody.
If you have made it this far into the post than you, like me, are a nerd. Desmond was the real Sci-Fi element on the show from the first time he was introduced and always had me watching his breakout episodes over and over for clues (The Constant is a Top 5’er in my book).
His relationship with Penny produced some of the most dramatic sequences in the show and it was because of his special ability to see his entire life from various timelines/angles that he could enlighten everyone in their purgatory state (that and the whole not-able-to-be-hurt-by-electromagnetism thing).
He wasn’t ready yet and I think it was because he had yet to give up on being the island’s No.1 and his actual death had yet to come. As Christian Shepard said, “Many of them died before you and many long after.” I think Ben was still unable to accept the all-time No.2 role and until he does he will never go to a place much better than earth or the island.
Where there any major questions that weren’t answered for you? I know American’s as a whole love to have simple plots wrapped up in nice neat packages (Just look at the Top 10 grossing movies of the last 5 years) so I’m sure there are some even if you really did love the show and finale. Here are mine.
1. What was the real significance of the Dharma Initiative?
I understand they knew about the islands special properties, but how? Who initially brought them there. Could it have been a disgruntled Charles Widmore or an Eloise Hawking that knew they needed to be there for the greater good?
2. What is was up with Walt and Vincent?
I realized Malcolm David Kelly became an ogre between the ages of 12 and 15 and didn’t match up with the timeline but come on. I have to know the significance of him – and Vincent.
3. When did the others begin leaving the island and how could they do so and get back?
Just feel like I need to know this as a Sci-Fi nerd. Come on Darlton – help me out on the Complete Series of LOST DVD.