(Note: This post contains spoilers of the LOST finale. If you have intentions of ever watching the show and haven't yet, you might want to skip this one.)
Much has been written, and will be written, about the series finale of LOST. I've resisted writing about it since Monday, but I can't hold back any longer. I am a true fan, unapologetically and completely in love with the show from the beginning. I feel like a geeky fan-club kid attempting to write about my feelings with any kind of intelligence, but I've got to give it a shot. This show matters to me. And I know I'm not the only person who feels this strongly.
The finale wasn't perfect. I still have questions about certain characters. What happened to Walt and Michael - will they get to head towards the light? Why wasn't Sayid reunited with Nadia instead of Shannon? Why didn't we get more Desmond and Penny love - and where was their son? However, at heart I am satisfied with the finale. It gave me what I desperately needed after caring for these characters for six long seasons - a feeling of peace.
When I regained my breath, after sobbing as the dog Vincent lay down beside a dying Jack, I felt deeply moved and inspired. My husband said, half-jokingly, the next day, "You felt the touch of God." And I did. Never before have I watched a more spiritual scripted television show. It made me want to be a better person. It reminded me to appreciate my life for all it is worth, while it's here. It didn't espouse a certain religious path - although there were echoes of Christianity and Buddhism that were obvious to me - but it left me certain that the show's producers were men and women of faith. They led these characters on a winding, arduous journey towards redemption and possibly rebirth.
Everything that happened on the island - and a lot of it was bad - mattered. Some of it was horrible - watching Jin's and Sun's deaths come to mind - but bad things just happen. They happen to everyone whether or not you've crashed on a mystical island that no one can find! But the horrible things these characters went through changed them - made them stronger, more compassionate, braver, self-aware. I'm not saying that they couldn't have grown without Jacob plucking them from their pre-island lives. I'm not saying it was fair that he did that to them. But my father's most famous words to me as a child were, "Whoever said life was fair?" And the older I get, the more I see his point.
Sawyer, Desmond, Jack, Hurley, Locke - they were GREAT characters. They were vibrant, complicated, intelligent, courageous. I cared about them as if I knew them. I'll miss them as if I knew them. A woman I see regularly at the library talked about the show with me and said it felt like a death, that she was grieving the show. It's hyperbolic, but I see what she means.
I wanted to know that these people had some measure of peace. Whether it was in this life, or in the next, they did. Even Jack experienced peace as he watched his friends fly away from the island as he died. I don't know how I'd feel about the show if I didn't believe in God or an afterlife. All along the show dealt with faith versus reason, and as the show progressed you could feel which way it was going. I'm not sure what my afterlife looks like yet, and I'm still wrestling with my picture of God. But I feel God, if I don't intimately or intellectually know God. And I'm operating on feeling here, with my assessment of the finale. My intellect isn't completely sated, but my heart is, and that's enough. To borrow a tweet from one of the producers, I will remember, and as much as I don't want to, I will (eventually) let go.