“Lost” grabbed my attention from the first episode with its intriguing premise: Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 crashes on a mysterious island. An attractive group of apparent strangers is thrust together in a survival situation. One of them is a fugitive from justice. Something monstrous is in the jungle. What’s not to love?
For a couple of years, I followed the show every week. Then my work schedule began to interfere, but I still continued to try to catch as many “Lost” episodes as I could so I could follow the adventures of Kate, Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Lock, Jin, Sun, Claire, Charlie, Walt and the rest. As new characters were introduced, I began to follow their stories as Ben Linus, Juliet, Desmond, etc. brought new conflicts, mysteries, coincidences and new drama to the island. For the most part, “Lost” delivered excitement, mystery and interesting relationships in every episode, and it kept my attention the first two or three years, although they “lost” me a little bit with the introduction of the not-so-scary Smoke Monster.
As with most viewers, I was also engaged in the story behind the story. There was always something more going on than met the eye. “Lost” engaged viewers not only with the current situation of the characters, but with their back stories. In the final season, “Lost” added the additional dimension of a parallel reality via the “flash sideways.” There was always something more, something below the surface that hinted at a deeper meaning and a spiritual significance. Clues like the name Christian Shepherd implied there might be some redeeming qualities to the message of the show, but would “Lost” defy PC culture and show a glimpse of the deeper magic found in J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis?
As the final “Lost” season wound to its conclusion, some of the clues viewers had been given — dark vs. light, good vs. evil were fleshed out in the story line of Jacob and his brother the Smoke Monster AKA the Man in Black. While I had been disappointed in the Smoke Monster through most of the show, the last few episodes brought new meaning and depth to the dark side of the island. However, in an effort to appeal to and appease every religion, as the last episodes were shown, it became clear “Lost” was just another purveyor of New Age religion.
Take, for example, the light in the pool Jacob guarded — the light which viewers were told “shines within all of us a little bit” — but which will go out everywhere if it is allowed to go out on the island. It that didn’t illustrate New Age spiritualism enough, perhaps the “church” in the final episode spoke the spiritual message of “Lost” more clearly. The church not only had articles of multiple faiths displayed on every surface in the church, but the stained glass window was a shining testament to “Lost’s” New Age religious message that all faiths were created equal and light could be found in all of them, as well as in all of us.
Did that make “Lost” any less entertaining? Not really, and in fact, some of the message of “Lost” was to be applauded, such as the positive take on life after death. The ending presented the idea of relationships and reunions which carry us through life and into the afterlife with eloquence. Certainly there was some Christ symbology throughout the show in people willing to lay down their lives for others, but there were also allegorical and symbolical elements from other religions inserted throughout, intertwined and entangled with any Christian symbology. In the final analysis, “Lost” was brilliant entertainment, but just another New Age message.
Key roles in the last season of “Lost” included: Dr. Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox); fugitive Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly); con artist James “Sawyer” Ford (Josh Holloway); millionaire Hugo “Hurley” Reyes (Jorge Garcia); Republican Guard torturer Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews); medium Miles Straume (Ken Leung); mob-enforcer Jin-Soo Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim) and his wife Sun Kwon (Yunjin Kim); leader of the “Others,” Ben Linus (Michael Emerson); fertility specialist Dr. Juliet Burke (Elizabeth Mitchell); pilot Frank Lapidus (Jeff Fahey); ageless adviser to the “Others” Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell); deceased rock star Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan); Boone Carlyle (Ian Somerhalder) and his stepsister Shannon Rutherford (Maggie Grace); and the deceased John Locke (Terry O’Quinn).
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