I’d given up hope that America’s network television could yet put together a quality show. Pap had become the norm, and thus the expected dish. I’m not now going to say LOST was some neo-seminal program. It wasn’t. It was, however, a well-told story with fairly complicated characters (read: deep). LOST ended its 6-year run this week, a pre-planned end two years in the making.
Of course, the story is pretty simple, as all good stories are: people survive a plane crash over a Pacific island, disover the island has magical/sinister powers, and spend months getting off the island, years trying to return to the island, then helping to save the island, and finally … the end.
And here’s where things get gummy: the people had actually died on that plane crash; their “lives” as we viewers saw the story, were a view into what the writers’ idea of Purgatory might look like. And all the clues were there from the very beginning:
1. Planes that fall out of the sky, statistically speaking, leave no survivors
2. Each character had led a flawed and tortured life (mostly at their own hands)
3. “Redemption” was the story’s continuous theme
4. Philo-psycho-socio-religispiritual motifs infiltrated character names (Christian Shepard, John Locke, etc), dialogue, settings, sub-plots, architecture, etcetera ad rem
5. The title itself has psycho-religio connections and connotations
6. The audience is lead down the primrose path the last half hour (albeit a nice culmination after 6 years of story)
“I once was LOST, but now I am found” goes the lyric. At the end of the story, Christian Shepard (the father of a main character, whose body was lost on the island — actually, disappeared from its coffin) pulls it together for the audience: he says of the people and the story, “Remember, and let go.”
If you want to analyze the LOST story over 6 years, you find that the story simply doesn’t make sense, when viewed from reality (as is the failure of religion). As a death allegory, LOST performed perfectly, and the tenents life-death-afterlife-purgatory-heaven-hell were all there.