Lost for Life
May 24, 2010 1 Comment
An author has inherent advantages over a TV producer. Characters in a book aren’t going to get disgruntled and leave the novel, or get arrested and get written out of a chapter early. And bad ratings aren’t going to force an author to wrap the book up early. So when a TV show goes for a novelistic approach, there are plenty of pits to fall into along the way. Lost was certainly no exception. I’m sure they didn’t expect Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje to decide he didn’t like Hawaii and ask to be written out of the show. There went any long-term plans for Mr. Eko.
I say all of this because a lot of criticism being leveled at Lost‘s finale stems from the perception that the show started off in one direction and ended in another, whether through incompetence or deliberate misdirection.
Well of course it did. No plan ever survives contact with the enemy. That it was done out of sloppiness or sneakiness is what I take issue with.
Ask yourself this: what other thing that we deal with every day seems to go one way and usually ends up somewhere completely unexpected, despite all the sign posts pointing to where you think you’re going?
Oh yeah. Life.
For a show that’s grappled with and, in the end, been revealed to be about life, it’s sort of appropriate that Lost would have the tumultuous, unexpected course it’s traveled. And that, in the end, it’s not about magnets and caves of light and smoke monsters and polar bears, but how people react to the obstacles life throws in their way, and how they decide to face those obstacles together.
Plenty of people haven’t seen the finale yet, so I’m not going to toss any spoilers around here. Suffice it to say that “If we don’t live together, we’re going to die alone” ends up having a lot deeper meaning than just surviving on the island.
And the polar bear was just a polar bear.