LOST Theories - DarkUFO

Are you in the church? by Philip J. Fry

This is not a theory about why Frank wasn't in the church. Or why Penny was. Or why women couldn't have babies. Or even what the flash-sideways-world was. Or when they died. If you want to read about those things they have been covered far better elsewhere. This is about why I honestly believe these questions aren't of great importance in understanding Lost, and what it really all means.

From very early on it seems to me the writers have tried to establish relationships not only between the characters, but also between the audience and the show. A stronger relationship than the writers of most shows try to foster. More than just trying to immerse you in the storytelling. In a lot of ways the audience dictated the storytelling, and there are many instances of lines included as a nod to you, the fan. In the finale lines like Locke calling Jack the 'obvious' choice. Kate commenting on Christian Shephard's name. These lines were not put in there because of the characters, they were put in there because of the fans.

I believe this is an extremely important part of the show, and why so many people have become so involved in the world. It would have been great to simply sit and watch the mysteries unfold, guessing what came next. But the writers took that to the next level, they fed our guesses back into the show, the theories, the questions, the mythology that grew up around and about the show. This was just as important as the mythology that was growing in the show, and they were both linked to each other.

So, to the last part of the finale. The conversation between Christian and Jack. I read this scene as about as close as the writers could get to talking directly to the fans without breaking the fourth wall and jolting us out of the experience. To me, Christian here is in many ways the voice of the writers, who have guided us through this story, and we are Jack. He asks the questions we ask. The dialogue from the scene is below.

Christian: Hello Jack.
Jack: I don’t understand. You died.
C: Yeah. Yes I did.
J: Then how are you here right now?
C: How are YOU here?
J: [realization hits] I died, too.
C: That’s OK. It’s OK, son [hugs]. I love you son
J: I love you, too, Dad. Are you real?
C: I sure hope so. Yeah, I’m real. You’re real, everything that’s ever happened to you is real. All those people in the church. They’re all real, too.
J: They’re all dead?
C: Everyone dies some time, kiddo. Some have been before you, some long after you.
J: Why are they all here now?
C: There is no now, here.
J: Where are we, Dad?
C: This is a place that you’ve all made together so that you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people. That’s why all of you are here. Nobody dies alone, Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you.
J: For what?
C: To remember, and to... let go.
J: Kate... she said we were leaving.
C: Not leaving, no. Moving on.
J: Where are we going?
C: Let’s go find out.

For me this is a great piece of writing. We are as bewildered as Jack at this development. Even if we predicted it coming, we still want the answers from Christian. And as Christian is talking to Jack, the writers are talking to us. The show was real. Everything that happened on the show was real, it really affected us, we really cared about it. The time we spent watching Lost was important to us, maybe not in a paying the bills, having children, falling love kind of way, but important enough to have devoted over 100 hours of our life to it, important enough to be watching the finale right now. For whatever reason we needed to watch Lost as much as it needed the viewers. And now it is over, and we are realising it is over, and we need to let go and move on.

Now this all might sound a little bit dramatic I grant you, but here is the real genius of this scene. It works on so many different levels, on so many scales, all of them playing out the same way. It could be about Jack and the Island and death. It could be about the fans and the show and the series finale. It could be about everyone, about life, and about the ones we love. The final scene is the same shape as the whole of the show, as our lives, but on a different scale.

Ultimately as much as we don't know why women couldn't have babies, or exactly what happened to MiB when he went into the light, or the supply drops, this is the writers explicitly saying to us fine we got some stuff wrong but don't lose sight of what this show is all about. The characters didn't have the answers to these questions either. But they had to let go and move on just as we do. Just as everyone does everyday in their life. Sometimes you don't understand but you have to get on with it anyway. You die without ever really understanding most of what happened to you, but it happened, it was real, it really affected us, we really cared about it.

I can absolutely understand why that answer doesn't satisfy everyone. I can see why some people just have to try and figure it all out, and there is nothing wrong with that. I can see why some people would call it lazy or bad writing that things weren't clearer, storylines were dropped. I'm sure the writers would agree they made mistakes and this wasn't the most perfect piece of art ever created. It's a TV show and sometimes an actor doesn't want to come back, sometimes an actor turns from a 10 year old into an 18 year old in 3 months of the story. Sometimes you can't have a billion episode series to tie up all the loose ends. Sometimes you just plain old make a mistake. But for whatever reason I hope you don't miss the genius of the show for it's flaws. I hope you're inside the church even though you can't quite work out why, and stuck outside lamenting what might have been.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments.
blog comments powered by Disqus