Thursday, August 24th 2017
May
2007
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ABC’s Lost, Season 3: An allegory for the Afterlife?

A meditation on the meaning of the island in, Lost: Heaven, purgatory, a board game or karmic wheel?

lostBY SOUL’S CODE — The last two episodes of ABC’s hit series, Lost, Season 3 have laid the groundwork for the idea that the “survivors” that have been stranded on the island for the last two seasons may in fact be dead.

It’s easy to imagine heaven as an experience akin to being deserted on a tropical island with Evangeline Lilly (Kate); but Locke’s father suggests the island is something darker.

Perhaps the truth is somewhere in between. The Island likes to recycle the themes and situations of each survivor’s life. Charlie, the addict, is tempted by drugs. Sayid, the torturer, is charged with pulling the truth out of Sawyer. Hugo, the fat kid, finds himself hoarding food.

For some survivors, it is a second chance, a karmic opportunity to do the right thing. For others, the wheel of life simply spits out choices that keeps stripping them down to their true nature. You can’t blame “circumstances” if you make the same decisions on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific as you did in the “real” world.

In that sense, it’s a  purgatory: A board-game that tests each character’s perceptions and moral compass with a menu of potential sins and errors. It’s an interesting turn for the series, which alternates between embracing, and ignoring, the mystical tropes in its ‘mythology,’ as producers and reviewers like to say :)

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