Okay, the time has come. I’ve gotta write about Lost, especially after Tuesday night’s episode, “Happily Ever After.” I suppose at this point I should put in a Spoiler Warning, but…dude. Come on. If you haven’t caught up by now, in this pivotal time of Only A Few Remaining Episodes Before The End, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself. Suck it up.
So the reason I’m writing about Lost for the first time in all these years, even though I’ve been a diehard fan since the very first episode, is because I nearly drowned in tears watching “Happily Ever After”…and because, to be totally self-centered for a moment (yeah yeah when is this blog not, but hey, when did I ever promise it was going to be about establishing peace in the Middle East?), the big revelation from the episode is one of only two things that I have EVER guessed right about this mindbender of a show.
The first one was that the island was a “cork” stoppering up…something bad, as explained by Jacob in the recent episode “Ab Aeterno,” and the second one was from Tuesday night. Yay me. I guess I’m a late bloomer, finally figuring things out at the very end. Or I need stuff handed to me on a platter. Whatev’.
The revelation that was in this most recent, Desmond-centric episode (yum) was one I had figured out a while back, but I thought “Naaahhh—can’t be.” But it was. And it was this: The whole point of all this dramatic, confusing, twisty, time-traveling rigamarole that has been unspooling for six seasons is not so much about smoke monsters, weird scientists, Others, cursed numbers, or alternate realities. Nope, the whole thing has been about…love…all along.
You know, that thing that God is and we all want and the Beatles sang was all you need? That stuff.
Seriously. Love. As in the eternal dance of twin flames—those who have always been together and who always will be, to paraphrase Charlie. He was waxing rhapsodic about Claire, whom he’d only glimpsed, not met, in this alternate reality. Charlie talked about this need to find his true love to the sideways-reality version of Desmond, who was sleepwalking through his existence alone, unaware that it wasn’t real, and, more important, unaware that he had a true love out there, Penny, that he also needed to meet. A little while later the same sentiment was echoed by Daniel, who was in love with Charlotte, but only from afar, as he hadn’t met her yet either.
Ooh, starcrossed lovers all over the place. How exciting!
Oh, I can hear it now, the hipsters and naysayers braying, “That’s IT? But but but I want Lost to be about every kickass weird sci-fi theme that I’ve ever tried to wrap my mind around as I sat in a post-original-Star Trek-marathon stupor, licking my fingers free of the last of the Cheetos dust and downing the dregs of the nearly empty two-liter of Mountain Dew! Not LOVE! Love is stoopid!”
Sorry, haters. Get over yourselves. Lost is, instead, about the ultimate latter-day hippy-dippy New Agey ideal. And I think it’s perfect.
It’s the perfect reminder that even in our mundane “real life” existence, which is mercifully free of underground hatches, ’70s computers, and polar bears in the jungle, the most important thing in all of existence, the thing that keeps the world turning on its axis, is the love we feel for one another, the love we share with one another.
Sounds silly? Overly simplistic? A little too Harlequin Romance for your fine cynical self? Maybe. But day-um, the way Desmond looked at Penny when he met her for the “first time” on the steps of the stadium….Yeah, I could see that kind of love powering the turbines that spin the spheres of the universe, easily.
Now tell me that you have never dreamed of having someone look at you like that, like you are everything and all, made up of glittering stars, wrapped up with a bow and handed to him or her, and they were going to burst from the joy of seeing you standing before them.
But all right, let’s go beyond the twin-flame romantic type of love. Doesn’t this need for happily-ever-after include all types of love? Parents and children? Friends? Extended family? Even people in service capacities, helping their fellow humans? Because all these types of love are merely divine love in miniature, reflected in one another.
Don’t believe it? Fine; you don’t have to take my word for it. How about the words of the Lost creators? After “Happily Ever After” aired, this little tidbit was published in Kristin Dos Santos’ column “Watch with Kristin,” on E! Online:
A couple weeks ago, after I got a little intel on tonight’s episode, I floated the following theory to Damon [Lindelof]: “Is it safe to say that at its very core Lost is a love story?”
Damon replied: “You are the very first person ever to get the meaning of the show. Yes. It is a love story. Always has been…always will be.”
I tell you this not to brag (Damon’s message framed above my mantel does the trick), but because if you are a fan of the show’s “constants”—Desmond and Penny, Charlie and Claire, Sun and Jin, Rose and Bernard, Daniel and Charlotte, Richard and Isabella, etc.—then, like me, those words from Damon just might be the sweetest ones you’ve ever heard about this series.
So there you have it. One of the freakiest, most confounding, fascinating, pivotal shows of the new millennium is actually, at heart (pun intended), about the oldest and most enduring of emotions. It is what makes us—and maybe even Jack—human after all.
Now, if we can just get Hurley back together with Libby…