Lost and The Spirit TempleShaun Matthee
Saturday night saw the end of an era.
A television series so compelling that it almost makes the invention of TV justifiable.
The final episode of the series Lost has aired. This marks the end of a journey that began in 2004 and has taken an average of 16 million viewers (per episode) on a mysterious, nail biting, brilliantly written, acted and sublimely produced journey.
A journey which for six years, six seasons and 117 episodes kept us all guessing and desperate to know what was really going on. In a storyline that kept evolving, created its own mythology, and was never predictable. The mystery of Lost reached a stage where the question had to be asked whether the writers themselves knew the answers.
Did they answer the mystery in the last season? The answer is a resounding yes! The central questions as to what the Island was and what the survivors of Oceanic 813 were doing there was conclusively answered. The answers to the central mystery of the series were plausible and satisfying.
Were all the loose ends tied up? No. It must be conceded that we were left with many unanswered questions concerning the myriad of subplots that sprung up over the series.
No doubt opinion will vary on the merits of these unanswered questions. For my money they (the writers) couldnt have done a better job. If we as the viewers were not left with some unanswered questions it would have been a pedestrian and wholly unsatisfying conclusion.
Great art like life does not explain itself.
The Final Episode
The revelation that the parallel universe that had come into existence at the beginning of the sixth season was a kind of purgatory- wow brilliant! The various couples who had been so cruelly torn apart during the series being reunited and remembering who they were and what they had been through together was very moving.
The showdown on the mountain between Jack and Ben was great. The tension held, as to whether a fortunate few would finally make it off the Island, right to the last scene.
Jacks realisation that he is dead and Christian Sheppards ( his father) explanation of why Jack was reunited in the church, with the people t he had shared the most meaningful time in his life with, with was deeply meaningful.
The final scene:
The survivors of Oceanic 813 finally being reunited, beyond danger and outside of time, at the end of the incredible adventure, to take the next step on the greatest adventure of all into the afterlife; offset against the image of Jack dying, lying on his back amongst the emerald green foliage, looking up at a small patch of blue sky and seeing the plane soaring above it, carrying his greatest friends whom his actions had saved. Knowing unquestionably that he had fulfilled the purpose of his life.
What can I say, call me sentimental, but I dont mind admitting it had me in tears.
The Spirit Temple
The Spirit Temple is an archetypal concept we come across in Jung (specifically Max Zellers vision of the Night). Jung describes it as the temple are all working on which will be completed in about six hundred years.
My interpretation of this is that it is a place which is constructed from the imagination of man. A place which exists, in a non material form, beyond space and time.
I think the depiction of the church in Lost as the destination where all of those who journeyed together on the Island came together and then prepared to take the next step into the afterlife was an excellent portrayal of this concept. A place they had created together where they would find each other beyond the Veil.
It was the best artistic interpretation of the afterlife I have ever come across. Its meaning being infused and amplified with the life of the characters and their adventure together over the last six years, which we the viewers has shared so intimately with them
So I suppose that leaves one final question. Once the church doors were flung open and the light flooded in where would our friends from Lost travel to?
Well naturally each of us is left to answer that question for him or herself, but for me the at least the answer is clear- The Island.