Actually, the show had very few viewers. You either participated in Lost or you stopped watching at an earlier point in the adventure. I’ll confess I gave up mid-way through the journey only to return in the last couple years and catch up. The finale or ending on Sunday night will leave fans polarized. I think the reaction to the final episode will reveal just where you are on the transition from modernity to post(where is this all going)modernity.
Modernity wants answers. First, modernity assumes there are answers. Then modernity wants them and every little clue you dropped, every story line you introduced, every element from the beginning must now come to a neatly wrapped conclusion.
Postmodernity has questions. First, postmodernity suspects any answers you give. Then postmodernity deconstructs the elements to play hide and seek with answers the way the younger version of Jacob would pop in and out of the Island jungle this past season.
In the end, all that mattered were relationships, not answers. The final scene – spoiler alert – in the church played out the theme as numerous symbols of spirituality crowded into the background – faith, not reason is where we are going. The point of the story, turns out, wasn’t solving the mystery of the Island, it was discovering each other and embracing and celebrating the life, the inspiration and the peace we can only find in connecting. To those who ever believed the story was plotted out from the beginning, that everything meant something, that every cause must surely have an effect and every effect a cause, this was heresy. It was hell.
As a teacher I’ve lately come to realize that I spend a great deal of time, arguably too much time, trying to convince people of things that they readily accept through relationship. This kicks the teacher in me right in the, um, tender bits. But the simple truth is that when you enter into relationship, authentic relationship, you just accept or reject certain things as true or meaningful. My children haven’t asked me for proof about a lot of things. Neither has my wife. Seldom do I tell my family something I believe is true, or good friends for that matter, who then ask me to back that up with Scripture or some proofs.
So, back to Lost.
I’m not sure it can stand alone, story-wise, to illustrate the difference between where we’ve been (modernity) and where we mostly are (postmodernity) but taken as an entire story I do believe this finale is a clear signpost of our culture. Questions: we’ll have many. Answers: we’ll have few. Truth is flashback, flashforward, flashsideways, flexible – which is very different from saying there is no truth. Now we will be searching for meaning through relationship – rather than reason, through faith – rather than dogma. And the funny thing is, I think this is where we started.