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A Final Post about Lost

So the other week when I joked about how Lexiophiles referred to Three Percent as containing “random, unrelated informational debris”? Well, this post sort of proves their point . . .

At 2:30am this morning, I finished what I think will be the last real piece that I’ll ever write about Lost. (Not counting this of course.) It just went live here on Speakeasy, the Wall Street Journal‘s culture blog. I tried to say all that I wanted to say there about the metaphysics of Lost, why the finale was ultimately satisfying (or not—this is a tease to try and drive traffic), etc.

But after thinking about this a bit more—like during the 3 hours I was able to sleep this morning—and reading more complaints from Facebook friends, I have two-three things I want to add. And following the “random, unrelated” motif, I’m just going to throw these down bullet-point style with very little context. Lost fans will understand (hopefully), everyone else can move onto the next post.

  • One of the big complaints has been that the Lost creators didn’t explain everything. But really? I’m sure there are loose ends (nothing of significance comes to mind, although some dissenter out there could jump all over this statement), but I think what’s really under dispute here is how complete an explanation has to be. There is no such thing as complete knowledge, and I don’t know why anyone would expect such a thing from a work of art.
  • Tied into that, one of my friends complained that the creators had originally stated that everything could be explained scientifically, which didn’t really come true. That’s sort of how life works though, isn’t it? There are different types of knowledge that inform and direct different types of situations. And re: science—I think that claim was made during season 2, when a very plausible scientific explanation for why the plane crashed. (Namely, Desmond not pressing the button therefore causing a magnetic-energy event.) Different seasons worked with different types of knowledge, moving from realistic, exploratory ways of knowing to something that was way more spiritual. I’m totally OK with this, since I don’t think the world can be explained by one set of facts or beliefs.
  • And tying into that point, it seems to me that each season operated as its own sort of event, posing its own set of questions, and resolving them in some satisfactory way that still left open questions for the future. Which is genius. Like the time travel season had its own set of questions that had fuck-all to do with this year’s mytho-religious bent.
  • It’s great that ending and all, this is still way open to interpretation. What really happened in the church? Was that just Jack’s projections? We could debate that for hours, but beyond that moment, it’s interesting to comb back over other bits of the show and discuss what they might mean. This is what all works of art aim to do (in my opinion), and I’m glad Lost didn’t cop out.

That’s it. Done. On to new informational debris.

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