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Remember, and Let Go: Thoughts on the Lost Finale

Lost finally ended on Monday morning UK time. What a ride. It left me satisfied in a way and unsatisfied and curious in others — very fitting for such a structurally mysterious show. My only complaint would be that the island storyline seemed to get too little attention — given all the build-up about the Man in Black and the Heart of the Island the finale dispensed with those with remarkable economy. It felt like this season could have done with a few more episodes.

Unlike many, I don’t think “lack of answers” was a problem. The answers are there for those who can accept them. In many cases the answers are metaphorical and imperfect and invite you to draw your own conclusions. If you like your answers neatly tied with a bow on top Lost is the wrong show.

Unlike Battlestar, at least, Lost did not explain away whole sections of the plot as divine intervention.  I am very thankful for that. At the same time, Lost raised complex questions about philosophy, faith and science from practically the very first season, so the ’sudden’ segue into spiritualism was neither unexpected nor jarring. In fact, one of the key themes of Lost was that its characters were lost not only physically on an island, but also morally (a point made over and over in the flashbacks of season 1-3), because of the choices each of them had made. Bravo to Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse for rescuing the Losties not only physically (some of them) but also morally and spiritually. It was not perfect, but it was the perfect plucky ending to one of the most ambitious pop storytelling efforts of our time.

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Christian Shephard: Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you.
Jack Shephard: For what?
Christian Shephard: To remember … and to let go.

–Lost, “The End”

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An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church says of the anamnesis: “This memorial prayer of remembrance recalls for the worshipping community past events in their tradition of faith that are formative for their identity and self-understanding”.

* * *

In Indian religions, Moksha or Mukti, literally “release” (both from a root muc  “to let loose, let go“), is the liberation from samsara and the concomitant suffering  involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and rebirth (reincarnation).

* * *

“Remember. Let go. Move on. I will miss it more than I can ever say.” — Lost creator Damon Lindelof on Twitter, after the airing of the finale.

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The Church in the Lost finale episode - "The End". This shot shows Buddhist, Christian and Hindu motifs.

The Church in the Lost finale episode - "The End". This shot shows Buddhist, Christian and Hindu motifs.

1 Comment

26 May 2010 12:53 am

One Response to “Remember, and Let Go: Thoughts on the Lost Finale”

  1. rijuta Says:

    yes dada…i see it now….it took me a lot of time to come around to this ending…that’s the beauty of lost…one has to rise up to meet it, not the other way round


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