LOST: The Midi-chlorian Ending

The producers of LOST said some time ago that they were not going to give the sort of “answer” to the questions LOST raises that George Lucas did when he “explained” the Force in terms of midi-chlorians. But some people have been dissatisfied, and so I thought I’d offer my own attempt at giving a “midi-chlorian ending” to LOST. My hope is not so much that it will satisfy as that it will show why taking this route doesn’t really satisfy in any meaningful sense. And for what it’s worth, my own preferred alternate ending for LOST is the Scooby Doo ending, in which Jack pulls off Flocke’s face, showing him to be the Man in Black, and the latter utters the last words of the show: “And I would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for you meddling Oceanic Flight 815 survivors and your dog.” Black screen. “LOST” in white letters.

Now, on to the “midi-chlorian ending for LOST.” At the heart of the island is an energy, an energy that surrounds us, and penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together. It gives life to all things, and a little bit of it is in each one of us. It is mediated to us through tiny organisms called midi-chlorians. And since midi-chlorians are so closely connected with the Force, at the heart of the island there is a high concentration not only of Force energy but of independently living midi-chlorians.

When Jacob’s brother was sent downstream into the cave of light, he landed right in the midst of those midi-chlorians. His own midi-chlorians – in essence, his soul – left his body to join with them, and having been stirred up, together they issued forth from the cave as a cloud of smoke, while Jacob’s brother’s lifeless body flowed out of the cave and down the stream, where Jacob eventually found it.

These free-standing midi-chlorians were dominated by the personality of Jacob’s brother, since none of the other midi-chlorians had ever been in a symbiotic relationship with a human host. But this “entity” found that it could find other dead individuals and draw their midi-chlorians into itself, allowing their form to be taken (although communicating with the midi-chlorians in a living person who remembered the dead individual helped fill in the picture).

Now, we can set aside other details and focus on one: why was it important for the black smoke not to leave the island? On the one hand, the symbiotic relationship between the midi-chlorians and the Force would have been disrupted if the connection between them were severed by great distance. On the other hand, the black smoke would eventually absorb everyone’s midi-chlorians, preventing their life essence, their souls, from eventually returning to the light from which they originated.

So there you have it, an “explanation” of the sort Star Wars offered for the Force. I don’t know what J. J. Abrams or Carlton Cure or Damon Lindelof would have to say about it. But I’m curious whether, if at some point they had taken the time to say these things on the show (Qui-Gon could appear as a ghost and read by blog post or something like that), would those who wanted more explanations have felt more satisfied?

Also relevant to the topic of clarifying LOST is this video explanation of LOST using post-it notes:

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12963476276106907984 Sabio Lantz

    Great fun, as always.I can see why you have opted to stay in a religious community. SmileI hope members of your church are praying for you as you boldly venture even deeper into the heresy of Gnosticism.Do any of your church members visit this blog?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Some do. I think most who do get the posts through Facebook.

  • Anonymous

    TO me, the ending was they were already dead. On a journey to realise they were dead so they could pass to another place. Where the hell Scooby Doo endings come into this, I do not know but it definitely wasnt a scooby doo ending. Was pants.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    If you mean that during most of the action of the series they were already dead, then both the details of the show and the writers themselves have made clear that that is not the case.I take it you've never seen Wayne's World?


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