Wow, this show. The most recent episode pretty much justifies for me watching the entire series.
I spent most of my life wrestling with the big questions. I was fascinated by existentialism from 14 years of age, and my outlook on life has never strayed too far from that perspective. Camus has always been my touchstone. The position I eventually arrived at was not very satisfying when it comes to the search for answers, but it was the one that made the most sense to me. Long story short, to me, we won't know the answers to the truly big questions ('where do we come from?', 'why are we here?') until we are dead. And we most likely won't find out anything then either. In the meantime, it is best to observe the golden rule and find a life that fulfills us and makes the world a better place.
I have always been fascinated/repulsed by those who claim to have the answers. I always want to hear them out, because maybe there is something I missed in my own search for meaning, But time and time again, I came away either unsatisfied or angry. Because the answer usually involved handing over your self determination, your finances or both.
Lindleof has always been one of those that annoyed me. I did not watch Lost, I saw the first episode and really did not like it. My wife was a huge fan and would often tell me about it, and I certainly saw all the hype around it. It seemed from the outside that people were generally dissatisfied with the way it wrapped up. After asking a host of interesting questions, it did not seem to answer them to the satisfaction of the audience.
I then witnessed the mess that was Prometheus. This was a movie I was extremely excited about seeing, that had many incredible elements within, that ended up being a disjointed mess. Lindleof was an easy target for me to place the blame for the problems with the movie. But one of the main themes that was put forward was 'the answer is what you choose to believe'. This I think is a very valid outlook on the big questions.
So I come to the leftovers, the center of the story is a huge mystery that I don't think will be explained. The show has been filled with unreliable narration, insane people pursuing insane beliefs in response to their own broken condition.
Ultimately, I see it as commentary on the world around us and the human condition in general. The more damaged we are, the more extreme lengths we will go to in order to achieve the closure we desperately need. All of this end of the world stuff, people want the end to make sense of their own suffering. People want their lives to be significant and their minds will bend to that desire. Whether it's Scott Glenn chanting to prevent the flood, or a governement fraud investigator committing certain suicide because she needs her own closure, or a therapist who abondons her live children due to the inexplicable loss of an unwanted pregnancy.
From episode one, the show seemed to be pushing as many emotional buttons as it could in order to jack up the audiences' agitation level to the maximum. But to see it culminate in the madness of this season has been amazing.
Now I don't know what the showrunners intend to for the finale, I don't know if Kevin will rise from the dead, or if the world will be swept away by a flood, or aliens/angels will descend from the heavens on the 7 year anniversary. What I do know is that this last episode would serve quite well as the series finale in my eyes. What this episode said about the human condition really needed to be said.