Monday, May 24, 2010

Thoughts on the Conclusion of LOST

Six years ago ABC began running promos for a new show about plane crash survivors attempting to survive on a mysterious island in the Pacific Ocean. The show looked intriguing enough so we watched the premiere. I enjoyed the pilot episode but asked out loud, “How many weeks can a show about people on a deserted island last?” Obviously, there was a deeper story to tell than any of us could have known back in 2004.

Now looking back on the conclusion of LOST, I wonder why I feel like in some way that I have lost a friend. These are, in fact, fictional characters telling fictional stories. But somehow by watching the experiences of these flawed characters week after week and year after year, I’ve been drawn into their world. LOST was not typical television. There was a mix of drama, science fiction, religion, mystery, humor and romance that has probably never been seen on the small screen and likely will never be seen again.

At its heart LOST was a story about redemption. A group of troubled individuals all dealing with their own issues were miraculously brought together on this magical island and forced to live with one another in order to survive. What appeared to simply be the story of how these unfortunate souls would survive the days following a plane crash turned into so much more. In flashbacks and flashforwards, we learned the survivors stories off the island and came to realize that for each of them there was much more than what meets the eye.

Yes, they all had sinful pasts, but they were provided this opportunity to redeem themselves. The island provided a “do over” in life and enabled the characters to find out who they really were at their core. Although the mythology of the show was fascinating, it was the characters that kept us engaged in the show. Their stories drew us to them and those of us that stayed for the whole journey were rewarded in the end.

I will miss the discussions about the symbolism in LOST and what the nuances of the show represent. The show was thick with religious metaphors and, although Christian language and reference was strewn throughout LOST, the show represented a smorgasbord of religious and philosophical beliefs. Ultimately, it demonstrated that one can have redemption and salvation with no reference to Jesus Christ and, therefore, cannot be considered “Christian” in nature.

But I will remember LOST for what it was: a captivating show with superb writing, brilliant acting and splendid story-telling. The producers did not dumb down the show for the common fan. It was chock full of hidden messages and mystifying clues that were there to find for those of that were willing to engage on the journey. In a television lineup filled with crass reality show programs and base comedies, LOST was a breath of fresh air. It represented the best of what television has to offer and generated discussions about the deeper issues of life.

Like the characters on LOST, we are all on a journey of redemption for the wrongs we have committed. But unlike those on LOST, we don’t live in a fictional world. We, too, need forgiveness for our sins and we are unable to do that on our own. Although they may be noble, our heroic acts and deeds of personal sacrifice will not earn our redemption. It is only through faith in Christ that we can be forgiven and be confident that we will one day meet up with other sinners that also came to that same realization. Jesus said that “he came to seek and save the lost.” You can learn more about how to come into a relationship with Christ here.

Thanks to ABC, J.J. Abrams, Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof and the tremendous cast of LOST for providing a thrilling ride over the past six years. You've raised the benchmark for quality television and taken the art of storytelling to a new level. You will be missed.

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