Yesterday’s Season Four finale of “Lost” was a fantastic reminder of how the theme of miracles and destiny will always be a part of the show’s mythology. When Jack and Locke began arguing outside “The Orchid” about whether miracles existed (as usual, Locke said “Yes” while Jack said “No”), who wasn’t reminded of another debate they had during the Season One finale? Minutes before the hatch door to “The Swan” exploded, Locke argued the island was their destiny while Jack argued there was nothing but the present.
During Season One, Locke believed it was their fate to descend into the hatch, that it would be the answer to getting them rescued off the island. Three seasons later, Locke also believes it’s their fate to descend into another hatch, though this time it’s to save them from being destroyed on the island. As Locke’s mysticism and spirituality has strengthened through the years, his relationship with Jack has also weakened and deepened into a wide chasm. What’s surprising about Jack’s denial of miracles is his self-delusion (which Locked pointed out). After all, how could he deny his ex-wife’s survival from spine surgery or even his amazing “reunion” with Desmond in the hatch as anything but miraculous?
This time, Jack didn’t stick around to watch Locke enter “The Orchid.” Instead, he ended his relationship with Locke–but not before hearing Locke’s warning that it would be Jack’s fate to lie about his island experiences to the outside world and that he would regret leaving the island. Still scoffing at Locke, Jack was shocked when the promised miracle did happen–the island was actually moved, disappearing right before his eyes. Even though Ben moved the island, not Locke, a personal miracle happened when he was appointed Ben’s successor to lead the Others.
Locke’s destiny on the island seemed to be falling into place while Jack’s destiny seemed to be disintegrating. Despite being saved, despite leaving the island, Jack found himself lying about his experiences, just as Locke predicted. In the future, we also see Jack as an alcoholic mess, wishing he could go back to the island. Yet it also becomes clear his destiny includes returning to the island while Locke’s destiny seems to have ended in suicide. Is it a miracle that Jack’s greatest desire is to return to the island? Yes. Is it a miracle that Locke ends up leaving the island and dying? Yes. Is it Jack and Locke’s destiny to return to the island? Yes. After all, the island has a mind of its own.
Until next season.
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