Tuesday, May 25, 2010

LOST in thought

`Sawyer reading

I only began my LOST journey a year ago. Paul was on a business trip, so Shauna was staying at the house with me and Veronica. Which was very brave, since our “guest room” was pretty pathetic at the time (but that’s another post). She brought her first season of LOST with her. It was fate.

The first episode, of course, had me hooked. The “monster,” as I thought of it at the time, changed it from a show about a plane crash into something unexpected. I still remember the oh-my-gosh-what-the-H-was-that feeling. I kept watching episodes that week, even though I knew I would have to start over to watch them with Paul.

We watched everything that was on DVD so far, borrowing my sister’s collection and using Netflix. So we were all caught up and ready when Season 6 began this year. (*As a side note, I vastly preferred the DVD method of watching. Although it creates the potential for staying up too late to watch “just one more,” it really helps keep track of the storyline better*)

I haven’t blogged about watching LOST before, but after the final episode this week *sob* I felt that I had to address some things, if only to help me decide what I really thought of how the show wrapped up. So, here goes!

***Naturally, SPOILERS will follow***

I realize that the thoughts that follow are my own opinions, and that some may disagree. But I’m going to share anyway! And I do reserve the right to change my mind if there is a really convincing argument.

First, I’ve seen a lot of buzz about the fact that in the final moments of the show, we find out that everyone is dead. But there seems to be some different takes on what exactly that means. Some people are very upset that everyone was “dead the whole time.” If that’s what I thought, I would be upset, too. What a cop out! But I disagree. My interpretation? The plane crash survivors really were survivors, They DID NOT die in the crash. Everything that happened on the island (and off of it, in the appropriate seasons) was real. The only “place” where everyone was dead was the flash-sideways timeline in Season 6.

Why do I think this? Because of the way Christian put it: “Everyone dies sometime, kiddo. Some before you, some long after you.” That would imply that they did NOT die together in the plane crash. The limbo that they were in was a scenario in which the plane didn’t crash, so that they could “find each other” when they did die. It means that no, Jack never had a son. David was an invented part of this place that Jack and the others created, seemingly unconsciously. How exactly that works, I don’t know. But I’m okay with not knowing. The point is, they were waiting in limbo until everyone was ready to “move on.”

That brings me to my next point. During a brief discussion on Monday morning, my sister-in-law Becky brought up an issue that she had with the final moments of the show. If the people in the church were supposed to be significant to each other, why were some people missing? Not people from the island, although some of them were missing, too. But people like parents, siblings, etc. You would think that for most people, there would be additional significant relationships in their lives.

I thought about it a bit and this is what I decided. The characters were in limbo, not heaven (yet, if you assume that is where they were headed at the end). I would definitely expect a “heaven” sort of place to include all of those significant relationships. But in this case, the characters are waiting to “move on.” And because the plane crash and ensuing events were such a significant part of their lives (indeed for some, the final part of their lives), they needed to “move on” together. Do I agree with this theologically? Absolutely not. But does it work for the show? I think so.

I realize that this post is getting a bit long. And of course, I have two little girls who want my attention. In the interest of getting something posted today, I think I will save the rest for later. Please chime in with your thoughts, and look for more posts in the next few days (hopefully). I definitely have more to write about!


  1. I totally agree with your interpretation. Someone at work also pointed out that if they were dead the whole time then how could they have formed relationships with people who weren't in the crash like Sawyer and Juliet?

    Adam, who thinks they were dead the whole time, said he thinks this because at the end of the credits they showed images of the plane wreckage with no indication of the camp.

  2. Hey Tori,
    I want in on the discussion - I agree that they weren't dead the whole time, only in post death.

    The issue I have is why the island was depicted as a character/entity almost from the start, but in the end, the last episode, in my opinion, could have almost existed on its own without the six seasons of back story -- kind of like a weak Sixth Sense. The background about a kid named Walt who was supposedly so significant that he could make birds fly into windows by looking at pictures of them ("I'm afraid we're going to have to take the boy..."), a guy named Desmond with a special gift for electromagnetic tolerance, a series of infamous numbers that had universal relevance, and last but not least, the island ("Guys, where are we?").

    Well, apparently, we could have been in Manhatten in a plane crash together if it's only about meeting up with significant folks in our life in post-death, which still begs the question, Where are some of the significant folks like Michael, who killed Libby (featured in afterlife world)? We have Ben in afterlife world, and he killed John. I felt consistency was lacking with the afterlife even independent of the island back story. But I definitely wanted more closure to the island and its particular significance all along.

    We have to go eat the pizza we just made for dinner, but I'll try to get back on later for some more nerd talk. ;) I still consider myself a diehard Lost fan. I will always love the show; I'm sad it's over. And I can't wait to hear and read more theories because audience interpretation is definitely part of the equation in this thing to some extend -- either a tribute to the fans or a copout on behalf of the producers/writers. I haven't decided that yet. ????

  3. Anyone who says they were dead the whole time wasn't paying attention! :) They absolutely were not dead the whole time. You are right Tori, not only does Christian say "some died long after you" but Kate said "it's been so long" (when she touched his face after the concert before he remembered) refering to the fact she leaves the island on the plane while Jack dies - and Hurley says to Ben "you were a great number 2" which refers to their time together after Jack dies when Hurley is the new protector and Ben his number 2. It's not that they were dead the whole time, but that when they die they all "get there" at seemingly the same time (before they can move on) because they go to a place outside of time -which is why Christian also said to Jack "there's no when, here son". Fun post Tori, we'll miss you LOST! :)