Lost and Found
Last night was the series finale for one of the most daring and original television series ever made: Lost. Unless you’ve been hiding out in some dark cave or under some black rock, you are already aware of this. If you aren’t a fan of the show, you know someone who is and you’re probably very confused by the obsessive and manic dedication that your friends, coworkers or family members have shown towards this television show. Why all the hype? It is JUST a television show, right? I suppose that I can understand people who have this attitude, as I have this same feeling about sports fanatics. When I see sports fans jump up and down, hoot and holler, and plan their entire lives around Monday Night Football, the World Series and March Madness I wonder, “Why? Isn’t it JUST a game?” No, apparently to many people it’s more than just a game, and to me, and millions of other people around the world, Lost is much more than just a television show.
I have watched Lost since the spring of 2007. I believe that I held on longer than others did because I watched the first two and a half seasons back to back, without breaks or re-runs in between. Although the current short and quick TV season format is most likely a result of the dreadful writer’s strike, I believe that this new way of doing TV was exactly what a show like Lost needed to retain its audience and to keep the momentum started in season one. Watching continuously helped me see the building blocks of the foundation and, save for one or two shows, I never felt that the building was in vain. There was always another layer and another level being added, which continually enhanced the story.
The brilliance of Lost is in the strength of its characters. From day one it was about the lives of these crash survivors. I truly believe that the island is a metaphor for the struggles that we go through in our lives that build character and shape us into better human beings. Lost is and has always been about the human struggle for purpose. Whether or not the island ever really existed is up to interpretation. I believe that the ending spoke for itself and am excited for the discussion that the finale will continue to spark beyond the life of the series.
Many people have asked and will continue to ask for answers to all of the so called “loose ends” that were left undone in Lost. In my opinion, those things are peripheral to the real story and don’t matter in the larger scheme of things. There are many mysteries in our own lives that will never be answered. In Lost, as in life, it’s easy to get caught up in the details, but the details are the things which are leading us to greater meanings and understandings. There are connections that seem so intentional, and they are, but they aren’t the end all be all. Those connections are pointing us to more important truths, just like the numbers, Charles Widmore, the Dharma Initiative, and the subtle and overt ways that the characters’ lives intersected in the past, present, and future.
A week and a half ago I was privileged enough to attend Lost: The Final Celebration, which was a concert of the music from Lost conducted by the wonderfully talented and Oscar winning composer, Michael Giacchino. Sitting in an auditorium with 1,800 other fans was an experience that I will not soon forget. It was a joining together of two of my favorite art forms: music and film. I say film because Lost has never been just another television show. Lost has always taken the medium to another level with it’s epic writing, acting, directing, production design, music, editing, etc, etc, etc. Each episode is like it’s own film and is on a scale too grand to be categorized as another TV show. The evening, like the show, was on a grand scale and was perfectly executed with introductions of the cast and producers, live music from Lost and a viewing of the penultimate episode. As the orchestra swelled with familiar Lost themes, the screen portrayed still photos from the past six seasons. We laughed together and cried together and had a unique moment that most television viewers don’t get the opportunity to experience. We celebrated our passion for this wonderful art form together and it was magical.
Last night Lost came full circle. The story began with one man, alone, walking through the carnage of a plane crash, and it ended six years later with one man, alone, walking through the jungle on the journey to his deathbed and ready to meet his Maker. At the end, Jack was assembled with the people in his life who meant the most to him and who helped shape his life. I would bet that if you asked anyone at the end of his life what the most important thing was in life that he would say the relationships he had and not the jobs, status, or money. The struggles and challenges make us who we are and it’s in light of those struggles that we can truly appreciate the end of the journey. I’ve delighted in the journey that Lost has taken me on these past few years and am excited to see the journey come to an end for one reason: now I can finally get some work done.