On LOST and Dostoevsky

I’ve read The Brothers’ Karamatzov three times. 

I’ve made it to the end once.

I got to The Grand Inquisitor twice and my mind almost exploded and both times I put it down for several months before trying again.  The third time I read it, I quit trying to figure it out and just enjoyed the story.  There was a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I was missing some pretty important elements and symbols, but I knew if I tried to figure them out, I’d get stuck again, so I ignored the feeling and got lost in the plot.

For much of the last two seasons, I’ve felt the same feeling while watching LOST.  It is the Dostoevsky of television.  There was so much symbolism, so much to get out of the show from a spiritual and worldview standpoint, but if I thought about it too long, I felt like my head would explode, so I got “lost” in the story instead.

And it was a great story.  Probably the greatest TV plotline in history.  It was original and weird and dramatic and funny.  It made you think and laugh and cry and shout.  It was a really, really great show.

I’m not a TV person.  I don’t love to sit and watch TV.  The constant movement and noise makes me crazy.  Aside from FRIENDS, I’ve never before been so addicted to a show that I would put aside life for a short bit of time each week to watch.

But LOST was different.  For six years, LOST has been a date night for Lee and I.  Every week for 18 weeks, we’ve put the kids to bed early, piled up on the couch and enjoyed unravelling the mysteries of the island.  We’ve talked through theories and the significance of what the characters were experiencing.  We’ve grumbled when the plotlines didn’t make sense and clapped our hands with glee when they were so good we felt like we could jump out of our skins.

It’s kind of embarrassing to admit that I’m going to miss a TV show, but I am going to miss LOST.  It’s amazing how attached you can become to characters.  I know they aren’t real, but for six years I’ve invested in the stories of these finctional people.  It was like a long novel that I never wanted to end.  I’m going to miss watching the show with my husband each week.  I can’t imagine another show ever taking it’s place.  I actually told Lee that we should maybe just go ahead and cancel cable.

He thought that might be a little rash.

Warning – Spoiler Alerts Ahead!

Last night’s series finale left me feeling a little confused.  When it ended I almost felt let down a bit.  The nature of LOST is to leave you with questions, so I fully expected to be a little baffled.  But, like Dostoevsky, I felt like the last few minutes were so deep and metaphorical that I missed the whole meaning.  And there was a fear that maybe the writer’s had pulled the wool over my eyes for so long.

They were all dead?! What!

For about fifteen minutes, I felt confused and frustrated.  But it didn’t make sense.  Surely they hadn’t been dead the whole time.  The writer’s wouldn’t do that.  So Lee and I rewatched the ending and it seemed to answer the most pressing question.

The survivors were not dead on the island.  All that was real.  But somewhere along the way, they all eventually died.  Some, like Jin and Sun, Sayiid and Shannon and Boone, died on the island.  Others, like Claire, Kate and Sawyer got off the island and lived life.  We don’t know what happened to them, but they lived and died.  Jack, of course, died on the island, in the same place where he began six years ago.  Laying in the bamboo field. 


The sideways reality was a sort of purgatory.  It was a waiting ground – a place for all of them to be connected again.  I still don’t really understand all of that, honestly.  There are a lot of unanswered questions and this is the part of the story that I could either go crazy trying to unravel or I could simply enjoy the story and leave it at that.  Again, it’s the nature of LOST to leave you feeling completely confused and exhilerated all at once.

Dumb smart people…

But the island happened.  And that’s the story that I invested six years of my life into, so I was relieved to know that it was “real.” 

I loved the way that they brought all the characters back together in the sideays reality, even if I’m not crazy about how it ended.  It felt like there was closure.  Kate and Jack were together.  Sawyer and Juliet found one another again.  Sayiid and Shannon were reunited.  It was so good to see all of these storylines intersect once again.  It ended with everyone where they should be.

So all in all, I enjoyed the series finale of LOST.  I still feel like there is so much I missed.  There was deep symbolism leading up to last night’s finale.  I got some of it, I probably overanalyzed a little, and I’m sure I missed a lot.  But strip all that away and I still fell in love with a great story.

If you didn’t watch the show, well, you missed out.  But there’s hope!  Never fear.  Lee and I, being the deep nerds that we are, have every single season on DVD.  You can borrow them anytime you want.

And I am now finished bleeding nerdiness all over my keyboard.

The End.


  1. That is exactly what Cory and I came up with too!! 🙂 The island did happen, some of them died on the island while others got off and lived some sort of life for who knows how long. I still have a few questions let’s see if you have thought about them and what you came up with.

    So Hurley and Ben lived on the island as #1 and #2 until they eventually died as well? Man, that must have been a REALLY long time????

    Why didn’t Ben go inside with everyone else, after all he was invited by both Locke and Hurley???

    Jack obviously wasn’t the last one to die, but he was the last one to wake up and remember his life on the island? Why was he the last to arrive to meet up with everyone else if others died long after him and remembered a lot sooner?

    There you go some questions I still have in my mind. I have some answers/reasons behind them and will fill you in on my thoughts after you share yours. 🙂

    You did a great job summing it all up, I will have my mother in law read this entry once she has watched the finale as she will never get the ending, she has been lost with LOST for years!!!

  2. We need to chat. 🙂 I think that Ben and Hurley did ork together as 1 and 2. And I think it was a really long time. I think they had all been dead for a really long time. I think Ben needed to finish some things ith Alex. Maybe he wanted her to wake up and remember so that he could truly apologize? He still hands things to tie up before he could move on. As for Jack, I think from the beginning of the show he has been the one to take the longest to come around. It goes back to the faith issue. Jack has always struggled with faith and, as a man of science, this was one more transformation that took him a little while. But, ultimately, I think it was about his faith journey and him needing to make the leap.

    My questions revolve around the sideways reality. Jacks’s father said it was real – or he said he hoped it was real. So what about Jack’s son? Was he real? Did they finally all die and at that point their sideways reality started on the Oceanic flight where they could reconnect? How did all of that work? That’s where I’m still confused. We need to get together and work this out!

  3. Hey Kelli,
    Since you loved the show you would probably also love the book “The 3rd Policeman.” When Lost first started I was obbessed. I read a short obscure interview on the web with the creators and they sighted the book as part of their inspiration. I didn’t see the ending (I actually stopped watching the show after reading “the 3rd Policeman”…it totally ruined it for me because I felt like I had read the last chapter of a great mystry novel), but the “sideways reality” your describing is totally part of that book. You should check it out.

    And…I’m sorry for your loss. I hate it when stuff I love goes away. It leaves this huge void and I can’t help moaning, “What am I going to do now during that time?” It feels like something died.

  4. Haha! That’s so true. I keep laughing at myself because IT WAS ONLY A TV SHOW! But I am feeling a little sad today. I felt the same way when I finished the Harry Potter books. I was just so sad that it was over. But alas, the feeling will go away soon and I’m sure I’ll find something else to fill the void.

    I am absolutely going to check out that book! Thanks Jeff.

  5. Kelli- I tried to watch Lost but it was too complicated by the time I got around to watching it.

    May I suggest you get addicted to Mad Men if you are not already? My son suggested it to me and now all I have to do is hear the theme song to get little chills of anticipation. The only stipulation I have is I like to watch it ALONE. The understanding is that if someone INSISTS on being in the room they must not communicate with me in anyway- no eye contact and definitely no conversation. Also- they must not be in my “spot”. Nothing personal but that’s the way it is.

    The last time I felt this way was during the heyday of Dallas followed by a chaser of Falcon Crest, Fridays 9 pm.


  6. Haha, Joyce! Good to know. 🙂

  7. Well, if you’re a nerd, then Matt and I are nerds right along with you! We have looked forward to Lost, like y’all, each week and discussed theories each night after the show. Matt always had to watch it on Tues. night (never Tivo’d) because he would discuss it with people at work the next day and didn’t want anyone to spoil it! We are going to miss it, too. I shed more than one tear during the finale last night!
    We thought the sideways reality was another life for them. When they blew up the island’s core (when Juliet died), their sideways life started. We thought that was the life they would have had if the island never existed, and that’s why they would always say, “see you in another life, brother.” But I loved that even in another life, they all found each other in the end. They remembered their “other life.” But I still can’t explain how they all died. Sounds like your pergutory theory makes more sense! 😉

  8. You almost make me wish I’d watched Lost.

    I have an award for you on my blog, if you’d like it 🙂