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May 25th, 2010
10:48 AM ET

'Lost' leaves viewers a lesson on faith

For scores of viewers who tuned in to see the finale of "Lost," a satisfied sense of closure might be the subject of fervent debate for a long time to come. It certainly took a giant leap of faith to end without explaining all the mythology that has spurred numerous water cooler discussions since the series debuted in 2004.

"Lost" is a series that dabbles into science fiction, fantasy and drama but is most importantly about the characters. Having so many different elements in its six year run, it seems like a huge undertaking to do justice to such a monster of a show.

The writers attempt to accomplish this, though, by taking audiences on a multilayered journey of faith.

On one layer the final episode is all about having faith in each other. Character after character is challenged to trust another person, whether it is Hurley telling Sayid that he’ll be glad that he went with him in the flash sideways or Locke trusting Jack to fix his spine in surgery. The writers are perhaps trying to get across the message that there is nothing to fear in having faith and everything to gain by connecting to people.

The ending scene at the church perfectly captures this moment, where all the castaways are reunited and all that there is between them is love. They have all let go of the past and have faith that what’s next for them will be fine because what matters is that they’re all together.

Great television, like other works of fiction, gives its viewer nuggets to chew on, and the "Lost" finale is a reflection on real life and how we, just like the show’s characters, will be continually tested. The important lesson is to not lose faith in ourselves, our beliefs and other people.

Many viewers may be dissatisfied with the ending, but the writers seem to reach out to them to say that in life not every question is answered and the answers you do get may not be the one that you want. This can be seen through Jack being able to accept being wrong about Desmond as a weapon but not being hindered by it even when his assumption yields danger for everyone on the island.

"Lost" is not about proselytizing viewers into thinking one way but leaves it all open to interpretation. Even in addressing faith, each character comes to it differently as they wrestle with their own internal issues. In a larger context this episode even has us reflecting on faith stretching across all religions and the possibility that we all end up at the same place regardless of circumstances or personal beliefs.

- CNN Video Assistant

Filed under: Culture & Science • TV

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Elvis

    In my opinion, the whole story may be telling us people all over the world that most of us are lost, lost in the so called "realistic" world. We think that this world is our whole world and after we die, there is nothing. So some people try to get something he want by all means, some people do bad things to achieve their goals without repenting.

    We are lost.

    In the ending of the story, some lines impress me very much. It tells us that after we die, we are not leaving. We are moving on in another life and this life must be much longer than the one in which we think we are "alive". The "life" we lived is just for us to remember, and then let go.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:48 am |
  2. Gabby

    I interpretated that Desmond WAS a weapon. He was the failasafe. In oth
    er words, if they couldn't find any other way to kill Smokey, then Desmond, by unplugging the "cork," of the island, would force the smoke monster back into human form, thereby allowing him to be killed like any other human can be killed. In this sense he was Jacobs Wild Card, so to speak.

    I loved the ending and really don't see what the fuss is about regarding not getting all the mythology answers. After all, in reality, we STILL don't know everything about the Ancient Egyptians, Stonehenge, etc. Plus, the sign of a "classic" piece of art, a masterpiece, such as Shakespear, Lord of the Rings, and so forth, is that millions of people can relate to it, and identify with it. NOT because it's the lowest common denominator, but because there are enough spaces, left within it, for people to transfer their own reality and values into the story. LOTR is scene as a retelling of the Christ Story, as a Treatise on the dangers of Industrialism, as a Gay Love Story, etc. depending on who is reading the books, watching the movies. THATS how it SHOULD be. We wouldn't have book clubs, if we all read the same book and understood it in the exact same way after all. So BRAVO to Lost.

    May 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Gabby

      DAng typos! That's "LOTR is SEEN," as a.... LOL

      May 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • jeffro

      Gabby, i couldn't agree with you more. Thats what i got out of the finale...plus, Damon and Carlton have been warning us for MONTHS that we were not going to get all the answers.

      May 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Chris

      The differences in your examples and Lost is that the show created the mythology and had omniscient characters who could explain it. The show tantalized viewers with interesting plot points and then didn't explain them. In the end, the writers betrayed the trust of the viewers. People should join book clubs so that they can learn how narratives work and understand the covenant between storytellers and their audiences. Lost violated this covenant. In the end, the writers blamed the viewers for asking questions even though the writers were the ones who created them. Too many people are letting Cuselof off the hook. Viewer needs to hold them accountable.

      May 28, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
  3. Chris

    But Jack was right about Desmond being a weapon. He couldn't hurt Locke until the plug was pulled, and Des was the only one who could do that.

    May 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  4. Bill

    All that was missing was the Beatles "All You Need Is Love"

    May 25, 2010 at 10:54 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.