In honor of tonight's debut of "Lost: Season 5"
A lot of characters have been killed off in seasons 1-4, and no doubt more will die in seasons 5 and 6. As always when I watch a TV show or a movie, I notice cemetery/funeral scenes. Of course there aren't any funeral homes or official cemeteries on the island, at least none that we've seen. But there have been plenty of scenes showing people dealing with the aftermath of death.
STOP if you haven't watched all four seasons: MANY SPOILERS AHEAD! I'm going by memory here, so this may not be a complete list--feel free to add to it:
* After they've been on the beach a couple of days and wild boars have entered the fusilage foraging for food, Jack decides the decomposing bodies must be burned. Sayid, who is Iraqi and later confirmed as being Muslim, objects to imposing cremation on people who might not have wished to be cremated. (The writers assume viewers will know why he objects--or will look it up.) Dr. Jack says they can't bury all those people deep enough to keep the boars from digging up the bodies, so cremation it is. Claire gathers their belongings and uses the information she gleans to lead a service, where the remaining passengers do their best to say something to eulogize each of the deceased.
* Boone is buried with a service, at which Sayid speaks. Boone's stepsister, Shannon, has a hard time dealing with her grief. When they take refuge in the caves, she insists on dragging Boone's luggage with her and breaks down crying. Sayid understands and helps her with the luggage rather than telling her to leave it behind. Later Sun tries to comfort Shannon, telling her that Boone died bravely.
* When Shannon is killed, Sayid digs the grave himself, placing her by her brother. Another service is held; Sayid again speaks.
* Paralyzed by spider venom into a state mimicking death, Nikki & Paulo are buried alive. The less said about the infamous Nikki & Paulo story arc, the better!
* Libby and Ana Lucia are buried, with a service, after being murdered. Hurley, who was sweet on Libby, is later seen by her grave, talking to her.
* Jack was on Oceanic 815 because his mother asked him to go to Australia to bring his father's body back to the US. There's a scene where an Aussie at the ticket counter is telling him he doesn't have the necessary paperwork from a funeral home to have the casket put on the plane, and he manages to talk her into accepting him and the casket. Hmmm, that seems unlikely in these post-9/11 days! Wonder what went through that ticket agent's mind when the plane was lost?!
* One of the red herrings the writers throw in to keep Jeremy Bentham's identity a mystery until the last possible minute is the funeral home where his body is being held. The fact that the funeral director is black and the funeral home seems to be in a black section of the city are obviously designed to feed the fan theory that Bentham is Michael.
* After the Oceanic 6 return home, the service for Jack's father is finally held, though the casketed body he talked onto the plane is of course not on hand. Jack eulogies his father, with whom he had a difficult relationship, in a touching way, and says he loved him.
* Hurley visits Sun in Korea to see her baby. They then go to the cemetery together and visit Jin's grave, where Sun talks to Jin and "shows" him his daughter.
* We see Sayid with others carrying a coffin as part of a funeral procession in the Middle East. It turns out Nadia has been killed and he has returned to Tikrit to bury her.
* There's a lot of debate about whether Ben/The Others are in fact "the good guys," as Ben claims. The fact that Ben killed his father and then left his body in the van, not even bothering to bury him (his body falls apart when the survivors find the van and try to get it running), makes him seem pretty bad to me.
Will there be any time for scenes showing reverent treatment of the dead and/or dealing with grief in Seasons 5 & 6? The previews make the action in Season 5 look more frantic than ever, and we learned at the end of Season 4 that "everyone" died because Jack and the others left the island. During Season 4, there was no service for much-loved Claire, who appears to have died while everyone was on the move somewhere. Ditto Charlie, at the end of Season 3. (Of course there were no bodies in those cases.) Stay tuned ...