Overthinking Lost: The End. | Overthinking It
So, why doesn’t Lost allow us to mourn John Locke’s tragic, epic f***-up of a life? Because, according to Lost, it doesn’t matter that Locke screwed up. It doesn’t matter that Locke’s actions got himself and many others killed. Ultimately, actions on Earth don’t matter. All that matters is faith and that happy white light and true love and puppies and babies. In short, Lost presents us with the nicey-nice wish-fulfillment parts of a bunch of different religions and ignores a major fact of life for non-scripted human beings: that, in real life, whatever happened, happened. Actions have consequences. Dead is dead.
I’m not a big fan of the Christian conceptions of heaven and hell, but at least they somewhat focus on the consequences of your actions. If you do wrong, you suffer in hell for eternity. If you’re good and faithful, you get to chill with Jesus for eternity. I don’t believe it, but at least it allows for some kind of real-world morality. The new pseudo-multicultural religion Lost’s finale provides is particularly crazy, because it not only allows for death-bed conversions; it allows for POST-death-bed conversions. (At least, it does for everyone except Michael. Don’t ask me why he’s the only one who doesn’t get a second chance in Sideways Limbo.)
Of what use is a finale like this, when it doesn’t mirror anything we actually experience in real life? Do we just want a happy ending because we like these characters? Yet, in most art, as in life, simply being likable does not necessary earn you a happy ending.
Or is it that we enjoy the theme of “even sinners get second chances”? I would be fine with that theme if it seemed like most of the Losties actually made good use of their second chances and earned their way into Heaven by doing good deeds. But most of them didn’t. Only Jack, Sayid, Desmond, Michael (!), Charlie and, arguably, Sawyer (when he jumped out of the helicopter) sacrificed themselves for the greater good. I’ll let Hurley come to my version of Heaven, too, because he was always a good person. The rest of them? I’m not sure if they’ll be allowed past my pearly gates.