Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST: The End

6.17 & 6.18: "The End"

About a half hour after the end credits, while decompressing outside the Brattle w sis, JB, KP, and JP, I described it something like this...

It's like I ordered this one thing, they brought me a different thing, and I ended up liking it anyway.

Later I added...

I don't think I'd order the different thing again, tho.

I'm gonna try to boil down the essence of the fate of the Losties here and ramble out a theory that fits. I know it's a bit foolish, the end, their end, is moving and kind and respectful and open to all kinds of interpretation, but I want to try and get an interpretation that works with my goofy gears, y'know?

I won't address the endgame action on the Island at all, only the LOST2-as-limbo/afterlife aspect.

* May 25, 2010. I've built a bit on this ramble and posted a new, even wordier, version! Enjoy!


The Island and everything that happens/happened there is real. The Island exists in a reality-adjacent snowglobe pocket dimension, and is visited and populated by real, living people. The Island is NOT a purgatory.

What I've been calling LOST2 *is* a kind of purgatory, a zone of dreamlike pseudo-reality, created in the limbo of afterlife by the souls of those with a relationship/connection to the Island.

LOST2 happens outside of time. If you absolutely need to force a temporal relationship between its events and real world events, you could say it happens at the end of everything. All the people who populate LOST2 have died in the real world. Jack dies in the bamboo forest in 2007, but those in the plane who leave the Island, along with Protector Hurley and Number Two Ben, die years later. Once they die, each of them arrives in LOST2 at the "same" time.


When someone who has a connection to the Island dies in the real world believing they deserved a different life, they become a Whisper, a soul, apparently "confined" to the Island, who wish to, but for some reason, are unable to "move on." Once one of these souls is able to face and come to terms with what they did, they are ready to move on. For some, arriving at an existence as a Whisper is what they think they deserve, and many remain as such, possibly for eternity.

A certain group of these souls, clustered around the 815ers we've come to know and love, through an accretion of wills, memories, and shared experiences, have managed to construct a shared reality out of the ether, an island, if you will, of virtual reality, in the sea of the afterlife, to inhabit together. In this constructed reality of LOST2, they are living virtual lives that they think they deserve as afterlives, but instead of living them solo, as most souls in limbo likely do, they connect and interconnect with the afterlives of friends and individuals who were important to them during the most important and intensely lived times in their real lives, their time on the Island. Until they can come to terms with their real lives, the relationships made and broken, words said and unspoken, the choices they made and their consequences, good abd bad, they cannot move on.

They conjure up lives that they believe they deserve, not necessarily heavenly ones. Jack has a son who allows him to have the father-son relationship he could never have with his own father. Sawyer develops the same shady skill set, but uses them in the service of the law, living an afterlife with the same goal as his real life, but on the side of the (Los) Angel(es). On the other hand, Sayid creates an afterlife that punishes him for his acts of torture and murder, placing him near his true love, but forever apart from her. Charlie lives a reckless life similar to his actual one, perhaps believing that he isn't deserving of true love and happiness. Or, maybe he wishes to take his brother's place, so that Liam could go on and afterlive a good and straight family afterlife. In any case, these afterlives are a denial of their real lives, and a distraction from the goal of moving on.

However, by setting them all in the same, shared, stitched-together reality of LOST2, the Losties can all eventually help one another to remember and accept their real lives, and accepting them, move on. This is what we've seen happening in LOST2 all this season.

Some souls have managed on their own, and end up playing parts in LOST2 as guides and cluegivers to help the others on their way. I suspect that Rose, Bernard, and Christian are such souls. Bernard is well aware of the 815 connection between Jack and John. Rose is the perfect person to block and parry Locke's shoulder chip rage and redirect him to an ideal job as substitute teacher. On the plane in the season premiere, Rose tells Jack, "You can let go now." Christian's MIA status brings John and Jack together at the LAX lost and found. Ultimately, the recovery of Christian's coffin triggers Jack's reconnection to his real life.

Desmond's time travelling ability is what allows him his visit to LOST2. Until season 6, we got to see how his power/side effect allows him to visit other moments in his life. In season 6, we discover that it allows him to visit moments in his afterlife as well. Of course, he doesn't KNOW this when it happens, and his interpretation of his visit is a little off, tho, as he seems to believe that it is another dimension or reality, just the way must of us did.


Anna Lucia's not ready. Her afterlife has her accepting bribes to free prisoners. Not exactly a redemptive scenario. She'll get it right in a subsequent iteration, maybe with a little help from one of the now-moved-on LOST angel/guides.

I think that Eloise has been aware of their state the "longest" within LOST2. If I had to explain this, I'd say that her gift of sussing out fate and destiny gave her a clue either while she was still alive, or once she arrived in LOST2. In any case, Eloise chooses to stay a while, to enjoy the experience of raising her son and not being doomed to kill him.

Desmond kindly reassures her that he isn't taking Daniel with him. I'm thinking that although Daniel is awakened by Charlotte, he will remain until he can enlighten Charlotte as well, or perhaps win her over in LOST2 without triggering her awakening.

Ben chooses to stay a while as well, feeling that he still has things to work out. I guess once you're awakened in this virtual afterlife, you can choose when to exit, and until then, continue the simulation. Perhaps in LOST2 Ben hopes to be a better father to Alex, as well as make up for the pain he caused Danielle, perhaps building the family that he could never have in his lifetime, and ultimately, moving on together with all of them.


A couple of odd artifacts in LOST2...

David is a soulless construct. Juliet and Jack never had a kid.

The just born Aaron and not yet born Ji Yeon likely lived for years after 2007, and died as adults (after telekinetically duking it out at the heart of an apocalypse?), but in LOST2 have been reverted to ages at which they don't even know who they are.

Afraid that's all I've got in me just now. I reserve the right to take any and all of this back when I'm something closer to awake, but it feels like it fits together pretty nicely right now.


Keep on keepin on~


Sung said...

Excellent summation/explanation for the universe of Lost. I definitely agree that Lost2 is timeless -- my guess was that it happens when the last person who was connected to the island dies. But the when is really irrelevant. It's really like what happened before the Big Bang -- nothing, since the concept of time hadn't even come into existence.

cabinboy said...

@Sung. Thanks. I need something like this to make the finale "work" for me, y'know?

I've still haven't quite worked out the purpose and rules for how their afterlives play out. The idea I present in the post is a kind of you-make-your-own-heaven/hell, it's not a sentence handed down from above, and for the most part, I think it fits the LOST2 stories we've seen as well as the nature of the show.

I wonder if people who have NEVER been to the Island or loved or known anyone who's been to the Island just turn to dust. That a connection to the Island and the Heart of the Island is the only way to get an afterlife and a chance to move on.

Is "moving on" returning to the Heart? That sounds not-too-bad. I'll be processing this for a while yet...

zorknapp said...

I've been avoiding reading your blog for a bit, because I wanted more time to decompress the series, and just let it *be* for a bit.

I still haven't actually read this post, but I will at some point.

cabinboy said...

@Zorky. No rush. It's not like they're making more. *sigh*

For the most part, I enjoyed watching the finale ("Yoda," Vincent next to Jack, Sun and Jin smirking at "Detective Ford"). Watching at the Brattle made it even better than if I'd been at home, allowed to grumble about this and that on my own. =)

Still, I feel like they only addressed half of the show they created, and did it have to be in a frickin church?

I'm still processing. Haven't given it a second viewing yet.