L O S T, or: The Love You Take Is Equal To The Love You Make

25 May

We all start things we’ll never finish. It’s a part of life-  things are always going to get in the way. When I was about 11 I read The Chronicles of Narnia from start to finish, determined to find out the ultimate fate of the Pevensie children. Narnia is crammed full of Christian symbolism, and the final book is no exception. It tells of a great battle between various races and strange alien gods, of heroism, betrayal and (ultimately) reward.

I will never forget the day I read the last pages of The Last Battle, and how I felt afterwards. Here’s the short version if you haven’t read it: the children (except Susan, for reasons I won’t go into here) meet Aslan and Reepicheep, and as thanks for their countless years of service and protection of his kingdom Aslan sends them all back to London, where they die in a train crash.  It’s a blatantly Christian ending, and the 11-year-old me was appalled by it. Why have them die on the train? Doesn’t that invalidate their whole journey, which will go unrecorded? If Aslan wanted them to avoid the suffering of the war, why not kill them in page 3 of the first book?

There are big spoilers for the Lost finale here. You’ve been warned.

I’ve read a lot of comments and reviews about the finale, and the people who hated it all seemed to have the reaction I once had to The Last Battle, that since all the sideways-verse characters were dead that means that they’re in purgatory and so everything that happened there doesn’t matter. To me,  that’s oversimplification. This explanation by a supposed Bad Robot staffer may or may not be legit, but I agree with much of what it says.

In the end, Lost was a story about a group of people who got severely fucked around powers beyond their understanding. Some of them left happy, some of them stayed where they were, some of them died. That’s life. Jacob made some terrible mistakes and after hundreds of years decided to let one last group have some free will, and because of that people got killed. What Jack (and maybe Hurley) did was to make up for all that, for their unwilling participation in what was ultimately a game too old to change. He became the hero he always wanted to be by making good on his promise to live together, and in those final scenes the people inside the church can continue. We’re sorry, the universe fucked you over, these are the things that really matter.

As far as endings go, it’s as good as we’re going to get.

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2 Responses to “L O S T, or: The Love You Take Is Equal To The Love You Make”

  1. Jake May 25, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    “except Susan, for reasons I won’t go into here” AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    • liamjordan May 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

      I’m glad somebody is around to enjoy my Narnia jokes.

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