ABC’s epic television show, Lost, is about to begin its sixth and final season in just under two-weeks. I cannot recall a more anticipated series finale for a television show in recent history (except for that of Seinfeld, of course). Regardless, hopes are high for the final season – and rightfully so.
Like Benjamin, we, as viewers, have been loyal to the show for 5 years now – researching hints, digging for easter eggs, talking with friends for hours about what things could mean. Every time, though, we run into dead ends, red herrings, and smirks from Damon & Carlton. Even then, we still stuck up for a show that all of our friends said we were crazy for following because it was ‘too hard to follow’ and ‘bound to disappoint’ – even when we couldn’t explain what the show was really about.
The ending of season five left us right back where we started in the first episode of season one: finally getting a better understanding of John Locke’s enigmatic comments about backgammon and Jesus Christ. Lost is obviously a show about duality (as this blog so keenly illustrates). However, I think it is also a show about singularity.
Backgammon is a game that indeed has two sides, but only until the game is over. To win the game one color must gather all of its pieces to the other side of the board – leaving the other color behind. And the game is not just sheer luck of the dice, either. It requires strategic placement of pieces in response as well as anticipation of what the other color will do. In as much as Lost has provided us with five seasons of climactic back and forth play between these two sides, it is evident that season six will be the Omega Point that Jacob refers to in the opening of the season five finale:
Man in Black: “They come; they fight; they destroy; they corrupt. It always ends the same.”
Jacob: “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”
Why tell this story? As magnificent as the show has been, why would ABC spend millions of dollars producing this television show? Why would so many people give so much of their time, effort and thought to a piece of entertainment that seems to be an elaborate telling of a story that is thousands and thousands of years old?
Because we are curious how the game will end… because we believe in destiny… but also because we believe we can change the future. Lost will end the same way that this story has ended for thousands of years: with the apocalypse. The real question is: what happens after the game is over?
The answer lies in the shadow of the statue. In fallen civilizations and worlds that have always destroyed and corrupted (from Egypt to present day), grace has always lurked in the shadow of wickedness, sin, and godlessness. After the end of all things, all men will see past the red herrings of the world and clearly proclaim that He, Jesus Christ, is, indeed, “Ille qui nos omnis servabit” (he who will save us all). And, then, when all is finished – when the fallen rise from the dead – He will be all in all. John 12:31-36, Ephesians 1:3-10.
The only question for Lost fans is who is ‘he?’