With the final season of Lost just around the corner, a lot of the writers at Christ and Pop Culture have finally found a television show they can agree on. From it’s beginning, it’s dealt head on with issues of morality, spirituality and faith. Most importantly, it’s a show that is thoughtfully and artfully produced, presenting us with a unique plot and real, empathetic characters. Naturally, it’s a perfect show for CaPC writers to discuss in our Water Cooler series.
Leading up to the season premier, we’ll discuss the show so far, and what we might expect in the coming weeks and months. Once the show starts, you can expect regular updates, in which we discuss each episode and its implications.
Warning! If you are not completely caught up with Lost, you won’t want to read any further.
David, you asked whether it seemed like Jack had become the “man of faith” in this season, and I think you’re absolutely right. One thing I think is fascinating (and I mentioned this on last week’s podcast) is the way Jack and John are being forced to go outside their default positions. We see a pretty realistic extreme shift to the other assumption, and in this season I think we will see both Jack and John come to similar places emotionally and spiritually when they finally find a nice middle ground between the two. In other words, they’re going to find a kind of peace.
This kind of addresses Alan’s concern, that Lost was relying too much on a Faith vs. Reason dichotomy. I think they’re demonstrating the failure of both extremes, only to bring us to a place where we accept a more helpful position. The question is whether they do it well.
Of course, as we head toward the big premiere this Tuesday, the big question the show intended to present before us is whether or not they will be able to change the past/present/future. I think they probably will, but they will still retain all of their memories and the things they learned from the experiences they had. The conflict between Kate and Jack was that Jack wanted to erase the past completely, while Kate wanted to keep living within it. Neither will get their wish, but in my opinion, they’ll get something much better, and something we all pine for: A chance to start over with 20/20 hindsight. A chance to do it all again. A chance to make it right. In other words, a chance at redemption. That’s what I predict will open up the season.
Of course, we know that were we given a chance to do it all again (and were adam and eve given another garden), we’d just find another, more creative way to screw it all up. I think you’ll see that conflict hanging over our character’s heads throughout the season.
Rich, this talk of redemption and changing the past finally brings us to the big question of Season 6: what the heck is going to happen? Did the bomb work? If it did, what are we going to be watching this season?
More importantly though is the question of whether or not the show’s producers will allow for the possibility of free will. In Season 5 Daniel Faraday dies trying to alter the course of “what happened.” Despite the fact that we had been previously told (by Faraday) that no one can change history, Faraday tries to prevent the explosion of electromagnetic energy at the Swan station, thus changing the events that led to the original plane crash. However, as we know, his mother kills him before he can go through with his plans. I loved Faraday’s character and was sad when his mother killed him, especially when I realized that his “present day” mother sent him back to the island knowing that she would kill him in the past (Is it possible to talk about time-travel without sounding ridiculous?). But what was even more potentially troubling about his death was the fact that it seemed to suggest, symbolically if nothing else, that free will was doomed. Faraday literally dies striving to exert his will against history in order to save lives.
Since Rich gave us his prediction for Season 6, I’ll go on record a guess that the bomb was successful, but not in the way Faraday intended.
Well, Alan, since you brought up Calvinism and free will, and since I talked about how impossible it must be to redeem oneself, even if given the explicit chance, let’s point out what Calvinism’s answer to free will officially is: Total Depravity, or the belief that man is completely incapable of doing or choosing good (or God) on his own. Isn’t it interesting that the series seems so incredibly focused on the same old faults for its’ ensemble? This is the sort of thing that would be incredibly frustrating if the show only had two or three key players, but because individual stories are spaced out so much, we don’t get quite as frustrated that Jack is always falling off the wagon, Kate is always running away, Hurley is always indulging himself, Locke is always lying to himself, Sayid keeps killing and/or torturing people, and Ben is always manipulating people.
And over and over, there are hints that the best thing the characters could do is to “let go,” dangerous advice for a lazy person who doesn’t care, but that’s not what we’re dealing with here. We’re dealing with characters who are in fact obsessed with controlling their own destiny and righting their own wrongs. They think that they have the will to do this. This season, it’s likely we’ll see if their will is strong enough.