Lost Catholics

I’m still thinking about the last Lost episode, Matthew. I’ve been busy and you told me to take my time. I will reply to your challenge, I promise, and I will rebuke you for your persecution of the show you once loved. In the meantime, here‘s a little something from no less than Our Sunday Visitor, deeming Lost to be a Catholically significant TV show.


  1. Matthew Lickona says

    What do you mean, no less than? OSV does many fine things, but they're huge fans of finding Catholicity in secular culture. And Lost hangs it out there like a big fat carrot. Christian Shepherd! Walker Percy! Flannery O'Connor! Take this cup! It borrows hugely from Christian/Catholic themes and iconography.

    As for persecuting a show I once loved, there are all sorts of ways to view it. On the one hand, having loved it, I can see how it has fallen from what it was. On the other, you might argue that my bitterness is clouding my judgment. Maybe so. But I don't feel bitter. Just numb. Bemused. And amazed that the show ever engaged me the way it once did. As The Wife put it: "I used to think about each episode for a day or two after seeing it, and look forward to the next. But now, I totally forget about it between shows."

    Oh, and this.

  2. Matthew Lickona says

    And let me be clear that I do not meant to be harsh on OSV. I just read the piece, and it's a fine piece. Here's the real question: did the show's creator toss in a whole bunch of Catholic stuff because it served his purpose and sounded really cool, or did a Catholic understanding/worldview/sense of story inform the show? And if it did inform the show, did it always inform the show to the same extent/in the same way? I'd argue that the show lost its way.

  3. Rufus McCain says

    The "no less than" was meant to be a light-hearted riff on the YouTube video one post down.

  4. Matthew Lickona says

    Ah. Shame on me.

  5. Rufus McCain says

    Amy Welborn muses about the show and its finale here. I agree with her basic assessment: "I don’t think it was an epic fail, but I don’t think it was a fantastic, rousing success either, by any means."

    One of Amy's commenters (Karen LH) suggests an ending along the lines of what I had also vaguely hoped for or imagined, with the characters' lives in sideways world being merged with that of their island reality in a single, earthly flesh-and-blood reality:

    "- Everything as it was up to the gathering for the funeral.
    – The funeral is a real funeral, with Christian really dead (closure).
    – Dialog along the lines of: “I don’t know what the island was, but I feel like I’ve been given a second chance.”
    – Hurley pulls Ben aside, and they leave.
    – New scene: Ben and Hurley back on the island, sitting on the beach. One of them looks up to see an incoming plane/boat/whatever. “Here they come.”
    – Cut to black. The end."

    See also, Dorian Speed's take, here. I'm with her in being glad I stuck it out until the end. In fact I didn't find the ending immediately very emotionally satisfying. Jumping to the afterlife just leaves too much out. On the other hand, now a few days after seeing it, it does begin to increasingly satisfy me on some level. It brings closure while leaving things open-ended, which I think is fitting. And the two moments, between Ben and Locke and then Ben and Hurley, were very deft, and, I would say, extremely laden with a Catholic view of last things.

  6. Matthew Lickona says

    Sorry. I think the finale is an epic fail on many levels, STARTING with the golden-montages. A single searing image would have sufficed – no soft-focus required. As it was, by the third time, it felt perfunctory. By the fifth, it felt ludicrous. By the last, I was wondering if they actually hired the fourth-best montage guy working in television.

    But I will read Welborn and Speed before commenting further.

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