I may have mentioned in yesterday’s gloomy and fatalistic post that I watched the entire six seasons of Lost on Netflix. I have to say, I fell in love with it after two episodes. And now that I have watched every single episode of the show with rapt attention, and even backed it up at times to watch important ideas again, I am ashamed to admit I have no earthly idea about what it all means. I also mentioned in the post yesterday that in the final part of the final episode, we discover that all the main characters are dead. Of course, we saw many of the characters, even some of our favorite characters, die during the series. But this was a unique series with all of its flashbacks and flash-forwards and flash-looptie-loops… and dead characters were often seen on the show again the very next week after being shot with a gun three times, or killed in a fall from a tree inside a crashed plane, or killed by the black smoke monster. It pushed the very limits of the believable and sometimes crossed the boundary from tragedy to comedy so quickly, you almost had to believe some scripts were created by the ghost of William Shakespeare (or the ghost of the Earl of Oxford for those of us who believe Shakespeare was a fictional character too).
(Here is the character key for this stolen bit of fan art by somebody who is not me;
Goofy – Michael
Minnie Mouse – Kate
Max – Walt
Pluto – Vincent
Mickey Mouse – Jack
Scrooge McDuck – Ben
Donald Duck – Sawyer
Daisy Duck – Juliet
Horace Horsecollar – Sayid
Gus Goose – Hurley
Arizona Goof (Goofy’s cousin) – Locke
Phantom Blot – Smoke Monster)
But as confusing and weirdly cerebral as the series was, it made a certain sense. I understood the basic meaning of the story before I ever found the creator quote that confirmed all my suspicions.
“This show is about people who are metaphorically lost in their lives, who get on an airplane, and crash on an island, and become physically lost on the planet Earth. And once they are able to metaphorically find themselves in their lives again, they will be able to physically find themselves in the world again. When you look at the entire show, that’s what it will look like. That’s what it’s always been about.” – Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof, , January 16, 2007
With this explanation in view, I can fully comprehend the main villain-or-was-he-a-hero-at-the-end? Ben Linus is a man so full of lies and deceit and plots that he can only be dealt with by believing that everything he says is untrue. Yet, we find out along the way that the baby girl he stole from the crazy French woman was raised as his daughter, and he actually loved her. We learn about the terrible things that happened to him as a child. And so, though at times he seems almost inhumanly cruel, we discover that his is the most lost character of all. Wouldn’t you know it, he turns out to be a teacher in the end?
My favorite character of all, Hugo Reyes, called Hurley throughout the show, was the kind of person I always admired and befriended throughout my teaching career, whether he was a fellow teacher, a student, a girl, or a boy. Everybody liked Hurley. His super power was taking care of people and making things turn out right. Of course, he had to deal with the numbers from the Fibonacci series that made him into millionaire when he used them to win the lottery. The numbers seemed to be a curse for him, causing bad things to happen to him more frequently than good things. And, of course, he is the source of much of the comedy that lightens the darkness of series (which uses black humor more than the happier kind).
I can’t recommend that you watch the entire series the way I did, only because I don’t wish obsessive-compulsive behavior on anyone. But I truly loved it. And I don’t know what I am going to replace it with. Maybe I just have to watch it all again.