May 25 2010

The Themes and Theology of Redemption and Interdependence in the End of LOST

maureen

Of the contest between good and evil Carleton Cuse said that he and Damon Lindelof wanted to “make if feel different than in other big mythological tales…there is that sort of fundamental conflict between good and evil. And what we feel is really interesting about Lost is that the central way that plays out is… within each character their own struggle to find – win the battle good versus evil is the thing that fascinates us most as storytellers.”  So after all the complicated plot lines, the science, the references and clues, ultimately Lost was about relationships and redemption.  I sort of understood the idea of the sideways as a kind of Purgatory, but for some characters that redemption arc came through experiences on the Island itself, while for others it came in one of the flashes (back or sideways).  Beyond the redemption theme, what strikes me is that nobody does it alone.

What I found most interesting about LOST is the interdependence that is part of the mythology. In the final episode, the reunions between the couples were intense and sweet. I’m glad Cuse and Lindelof were brave enough to chick-flick it. It was a bold move.

Throughout the series there has been a science vs. faith tension and the last episode clearly took a more philosophical bent. I’m still sort of hung up on the quantum theory aspects of LOST, specifically symmetry, pairs, and the concept of interdependence.  We are used to the idea of independent, individual redemption.  In the Lost universe moving through the process seems to need to occur in groups. Even when one character seems to have a specific quest or purpose it often takes more than one to accomplish it.  In some cases everyone needs to be together; and within the group each person seems to have a specific person who is his or her constant. Continue reading