LOST Finale explanation – What does it all mean?

Millions tuned in as the final season of LOST came to a close. The finale aired last night and tied up the show’s loose ends in a clean way, much to the surprise of many fans.  The plot of the final episode was fairly straight forward and predictable – the plight of the surviving members of Oceanic Flight 815 would come to a close in a battle between good and evil.

(Warning: spoilers to follow)

It was not a surprise that many loose ends from the show were left untied; there was simply not enough time. In the end Jacob finds and appoints his candidate (Jack) just in time, as the Man in Black attempts to destroy the island. The smoke monster aka Locke aka the Man in Black uses Desmond to turn off the light at the heart of the island. This sets off a chain of events, leaving the island crumbling around them.

Turning off the light apparently also turns of the island’s powers – the Man in Black is made mortal, and so is Richard Alpert who finally begins to age. Ultimately the Man in Black is set free from his captivity on the island; ironically he is only free to leave in death. As the island begins to crumble, Jack makes the ultimate sacrifice to protect the island and his friends – Kate, Claire, Sawyer, Lapidus, Richard, and Miles — who escape the island on the very plane that brought them back in the first place. Jack turns the light back on and all is good in the world, or so we assume.

Lapidus flies the plane off the island, leaving Hurley to protect it as the new Jacob. He appoints Benjamin Linus to be his right-hand-man, giving him another chance to protect the island he loves so much. Essentially Ben becomes the new Richard and the assumption is that together he and Hurley will protect the island from future threats.

In a simultaneous plot, explained as a flash sideways (as opposed to a flash forward or flash back), it appears that the survivors are living out their lives as if their Oceanic flight never crashed. Each character finds themselves in an alternate world, not quite the same as the reality we’ve come to know. None of the characters know each other, but their lives become interconnected in a way that no one fully understands – until, of course, Charlie sparks Desmond’s memory of their time on the island. Desmond then makes it his priority to enlighten each of the cast members of their lives as they existed on the island.

In this sideways jump the characters and love stories that touched us over the course of the last 6 seasons are revisited. Desmond and Penny, Hurly and Libby, Sayid and Shannon, Charlie and Claire, Gin and Sun, Sawyer and Juliet, and finally Jack and Kate come together to find eternal and everlasting love. In a series of heart wrenching flash sideways moments, the loved ones relive their past loves, past lives, and even see their own deaths. Miraculously Kate, Jack, Juliet, and Sawyer don’t remember their crazy love square, but only their ultimate loves – Jack with Kate and Sawyer with Juliet. Convenient, right?

The series ends as the cast comes together in Eloise Hawking’s old church. In a touching moment, Ben asks for Locke’s forgiveness (after all, he did murder him). Ultimately previous wrongs are made right and loved ones are reunited in an effort to finally move on.

Jack’s memory is the last to come back. As he enters the church, he finds his fathers coffin. Touching it brings back a flood of memories – he relives the hardships, the triumphs, the love and the friendships he had made on the island. In the end he relives his own death, realizing that he has joined his father and the rest of his friends in the afterlife. Christian Shephard aids in the explanation, telling Jack that his friends and his time on the island made him who he is. They all died – some before Jack and some after, but ultimately they all needed to reunite to finally move on.

Over the course of the past season, we have learned about each character, their flaws, and we ultimately see them overcome their vices. The island brought them together so they could begin anew, and it seems only fitting that they would need to reunite in death to move on as well.

In the end, we learn that the sideways universe was an epilogue, but not in the way that many expected. The remaining characters survived their war against the Man in Black, yet everyone ultimately died anyway. We learn what is at the heart of the island, the source of the golden light, yet there is never any explanation for why or how the island is the way it is.

The finale left us with no major plot twists about the island or its origin, but we do come to learn that Hurley and Ben lead the island into a new age, perhaps much more friendlily than when Jacob was in charge.

The finale left a lot up in the air, and many fans wishing for more. We got to see many characters reunited, but what about Michal and Walt? Everyone wanted to see them return. And what about the sideways universe, the alternate plot, the alternate family members, and the remaining characters like Faraday, Ana Lucia, and Whitmore?  What was all that about? Maybe we’ll never know, or perhaps the creators of Lost wanted to keep us guessing and talking about the show a little longer.

*Photos from ‘Carkchacal’ and ‘Logan Antil’ from Flickr and Picasa

Comments

  1. No explanation of what the Island is, what Jacob is, why they can travel through time…. etc, etc.

    The only thing that IS explained is what the crappy season 6 flash-sideways scenes were about – it was purgatory. Pffffffff. Big deal.

    Lame.

  2. The whole parallel timeline was NOT purgatory. It was a dream lived by Jack on the verge of death in which everything would have turned the right way, and the plane would not have crashed. However as his father reminded him you cannot make everything right, and things can go wrong, and people die, you have to learn to let go. The island is still there but who cares about it, at the end of the day it was all about the survivors and what they experienced on the island.

  3. Adrienne says:

    I think that the finale was wonderful. My opinion is that there were no survivors left after the initial plane crash. (Hense one of the last scenes of the finale showing plane crash debris on the beach and nothing else) If you are religious or not you may hear of spirits displaced, or going to a place not quite heaven or hell. I think that Jack and the rest are people all had “issues” to work out, some more serious than others. They were placed on the island as a place to work on these “issues”, each helping the other. I think that the events on the island were merely a test to see if we really choose good over evil. Its hard to wrap my mind around it. Open for opinions…I think that the show was entertaining and the finale was finished and tied up with a big bow!

  4. Adrienne is right. Which would also explain why Benjamin still could not/would not go inside as he hadn’t completely resolved his issues. He told Locke he was not ready yet.

  5. charles says:

    The island world was definitely real. Christian Sheppard says so in the church. Some of teh castaways died before jack in the bamboo jungle some after (Kate, swyer miles ect). They were all dead in the sideways world which was a holding place for them all to find eachother so they can let go and move on. Everything that happened o the island REALLY happend. I don’t get how people missed that.

  6. Adrienne is completely right! It is exactly for those reasons why everything happened, in the bible, if you are a believer it names this place, its called Paradise. Excellent interpretation, i am glad i wasnt the only one who saw this as a huge parallel dealing with displaces souls.

  7. Seems like the flash sideways ended up being the afterlife. Time didn’t matter there… they all met up at some point after all were dead and moved on into to the light. Any irony in Jack’s dad’s name… Christian Sheppard? Not sure if they intended it to be an afterlife, but that’s how my wife and I took it.

  8. Yes, I understood that maybe ‘Lost’ had religious connotations, with Good and Evil, that was made clear when the twins were born (blond and black haired). I also thought that yes, while the plane crashed and the passengers died some later than other’s, I interpreted that when the plane landed on the Island these humans all had deficiencies on way or another:- Charlie -drug addict, Kate:- Prisoner, Hurley:- lack of confidence, Locke:- Paralyzed, the with terminal cancer etc.,
    This Island gave them a chance eg: Locke could walk, the lady with Cancer cured,etc., where they already in heaven!!!

    When Jacob said the light must be protected one assumed the light should not to go out, we can understand why,

    I felt when they met up at the church and walked towards the light, this meant to me, that they were ‘Lost’ souls on the Island and now their time is spent and they can now move forward to be happy ever after. I got that when Jin and Sun said they do not need protection because they were at peace already.
    I don’t think they were in Purgatory but felt more in ‘Limbo’
    So it was afterlife, walking towards the light to Heaven.

  9. electra says:

    what about “oceanic’s 6″?
    if the island is limbo/purgatory/paradise/whatever, what did those 6 achieve?going back to life?and then what?did they commit suicide and by luck ended up back at the same limbo/…./…. ?
    i think i’ll go with jack’s fairewell -to -life-last-dream.for now.
    God i keep changing my mind for hours now!

  10. RJFlorida says:

    …the island? It captures a polished Spanish gentleman and his midget sidekick, transports them back to the 70′s where it becomes…..

    FAHNTUHSEE ISLAND.

  11. Watch “Jacob’s Ladder”…obviously the writers did.

  12. jennifer says:

    Thanks Wendy I was thinking same thing after I put that post. Kudos to Lost writers and creators…they made people think and that is why so many people are pissed:) Not everything in life is simple…

  13. I think one conclusion that may be drawn is that death may not be the big deal that we think it is. In some cases death was part of the learning experience that made the characters who they are. I would like to think that the folks in the church will now leave and continue in their sideways lives while the memories of life on the island fade as in the memory of a dream.

  14. Teresa makes some good points. Maybe the take away from all this is that time, distance, life and death are just perceptions of the human experience and may be less “real” than most of us think. Stuff happens and many of us learn from it and become better people. Maybe the divide between life and death as nothing more than a learning experience. Maybe heaven is not a place but a continuation of life. Maybe some of us “LOST” junkies have learned something.

  15. 73cougar says:

    I think it was all Vincent the dog’s dream.

  16. @73couga says:

    Nice to hear something from a simpsons watcher. Who knows… maybe it was Vincent’s dream :)

  17. I am a great lover of Lost. But im completely confused.

    As i understand it:

    1. All that happened on the island actually happened…correct?

    2. The sideways world was purgatory…correct?

    if this is the case then correct me if i am wrong, but at the end of 5, when Juliette hit the bomb in the well wasnt this what triggered the alternate reality, which everyone now claims to be purgatory?

    3. What the hell happened to Walt?

    4. Why couldnt anybody else raise claires baby?

    5. Why does jacob have a name and the black smoke dude doesnt?

    Its all abit suss, i understand the symbolism, and they have done a great job setting up a canvas to be filled with bible references and good vs evil and heaven and purgatory etc etc. But im abit pissed they left so many unanswered questions?

    I still know nothing about the island, i get annoyed just talking about it!!

  18. bhmoore says:

    What did the airplane flying over the island (not crashing) mean – the last thing Jack saw before he closed his eye and supposedly died? Would that not mean that the plane never crashed and the events on the island never took place?? And I still want to know what happened to The Others and the Polar Bear??? Really??? More importantly why can’t ‘I let this go’ after two days of thinking about it non stop?

  19. bhmoore

  20. Big Dean says:

    bhmoore,

    The plane that jack saw at the end was the ajira flight that lapidus, sawyer, kate and all were on leaving the island. jack’s last sight was his friends finally leaving the island. The Others were killed by the smoke monster at the temple earlier this season and the polar bears were used by Dharma to move the island, hence the Polar Bear corpse found in the Tunisian desert where Ben ended up when he turned the wheel.

    i don’t understand how so many people are confused by the end of this show. They clearly state that the events on the island all happened, and that the purgatory was a place they all created together to meet up so they could move on to the afterlife together.

    The thing people seem not to be grasping is that the show really wasn’t about the island at all, it was just a back drop for the characters. It was really just a vehicle to help the characters “let go and move on” of all they were suffering from before they came to the island. The main themes of the show were science vs. faith, living together despite differences, and letting go of past mistake and failures and moving on. All of the characters were finally able to do that at the end.

  21. Christina says:

    ” The whole parallel timeline was NOT purgatory. It was a dream lived by Jack on the verge of death in which everything would have turned the right way, and the plane would not have crashed.”

    This doesn’t make sense to me because of what the other characters went through in the flash-sideways. If I were to believe this explanation, I’d have to believe that Jack dreamt about the troubles that Sayid, Kate, Jin, and his girlfriend went through. In addition, when Jack met the couple, they’d already been married. He would have had to dream about Charlie getting drunk all the time, people threatening/ killing other people, about Sayid’s true love marrying his brother.If it were the ” right way” does that mean that Jack WANTED to get divorced from his wife? That Sayid WANTED his true love to marry his brother? Did Sawyer want to be a cop? Did Desmond want to be alone?

    I just don’t have a clear explanation for what the sideways thing was all about. The only explanation was that it was purgatory.

  22. @Big Dean

    >>i don’t understand how so many people are confused by the end of this show.

    Could you explain to me what the parallel universe thing was all about? As Christina quite rightly so has mentioned, it couldnt be a dream of jacks because of the depth of the others characters stories, i agree with this. SO, was this alternate reality created by Juliette when she blew the bomb, which caused the plane not to crash etc etc. What do you mean when you say “That they created for themselves” – How?!

    So the question again :

    Could you explain to me what the parallel universe thing was all about?

  23. A. Safwat says:

    I don’t know if anybody had noticed but the last scene between jack and his father there where this glass window with symbols of all religions behind jack’s father.

    So I think that this is clearly a massage for all people from all cultures and religions to live in peace , and avoid conflicts like these on the show from oceanic 815 and the “others” to Jacob with his brother to Ben and Dharma initiative .

    Also one thing the show’s name is lost which was the main theme of the creators for the viewers to always be LOST.

  24. Big Dean says:

    @Pietro

    As much as this sounds like a cop out, I don’t mean for it to come off like that, but here goes:

    The bomb didn’t change anything, all it did was place the characters back in the correct timeline. It destroyed the electromagnetic pocket which was the reason for the time alterations thereby sending everyone back to their correct time period.

    The alternate reality/purgatory was simply a place that the collective consciousness of the characters created when they died. If you believe in the theory that energy can’t be destroyed, only transferred and changed, then when a person dies their “energy” is converted to something different. If you believe in the afterlife then it makes sense that that energy would go on to the afterlife. Essentially all these characters energies met up in what was essentially a waiting room before moving on to the afterlife. The cop out part of this whole theory though is that maybe it can’t really be explained since it’s a matter of faith. And really wasn’t that the main point of the show, science vs. faith? Some things have a scientific logical explanation and can be backed by concrete theories, laws, and evidence. Other things, such as an afterlife, God, even things like hollistic medicine are something that have to be taken on faith. Sometimes there isn’t an answer for everything and you just have to choose to believe or not to believe.

    I’m not a religious person by any stretch of the word, but I think this series was comforting in the fact that it teaches you that sometimes you just have to believe in something, whether it be God, Allah, Yahweh, or even a mystical island. The stained glass window with all the religious symbols and the frozen wheel did a good job of illustrating this point.

  25. Of course the entire island was purgatory, not just the sideways life…because all the babies went into afterlife with them…if the island was real, Claire’s baby was at home and so was Sun’s. They would not have moved into the afterlife with them. Claire delivered her baby in the sideways (purgatory life) because her baby died with her in the crash, so did Sun’s. And the last clip of the show makes it very evident when Jack closes his eye (which is also the very first scene of the show) and when credits are rolling…only thing that is shown is debris from the plane. They all died. The island was their test to move from puragtory to heaven- THUS BEN did not move on!

  26. @Big Dean

    Thanks, thats a good explanation, so just to be clear, are you saying that everything that happened in the sideways world wasnt real and was actually just a waiting room for everyone, so that when the “let go” and all met up, they would move on? Im happy to believe it, i need some form of explanation, and im happy to take this one :) Im a scientific mind, from an italian family, so i can appreciate both sides.

    @Vic, i dont believe that the island was purgatory, if so then why is claire’s baby living at home with claire’s mother…….or was this all a dream too, them going home, ben hanging locke etc etc

    Im putting the whole show down to symbolism i think, i cant believe im still thinking about this, all of the frickin time!

  27. I loved the show. I watched it religiously for 6 full seasons, and bought every season on DVD. The finale, however, ruined every second of the show for me. So much time was spent in aspects of the show that had nothing to do with the general message. The writers couldn’t find an explanation suitable for the mess they’d created, and stuck with a sentimental ending, feeling that by winning the viewers hearts would make the show an overall success. That didn’t work.

    It was said that they wanted to leave loose ends and let the viewer interpret it for themselves, but honestly, there was nothing to interpret. Nothing about the timeline or the idea of a smoke monster that sounded like the clanging of mechanical gears was defined, or even hinted at. If it was related to some biblical reference, it should have been stated, rather than leaving the majority of the population, lost.

  28. elizabeth howell says:

    Just a few questions! Anyone else noticed how many character names begin with J – jjohn, jin, jack, julliet, james??? Why? Also I think the whole show has been loosing based around various stories, peter pan, jacobs ladder, narnia, the bible?? Just wish I had the time to go through them all and watch again!

  29. Fernando Fernandez says:

    So about lost… I’m at work typing this up HA! Tell me that I can’t do nothing. I agree with you on the church and that all people end up in the same place, but i do now agree with you on the understanding of the show. Let me explain to you why.
    I figured this out on Wednesday.
    So the people on the plane came across each other some point in their lives whether they knew it or not and had some type of affect on the other people they eventually ended up on the island.
    So when the plane crashed they were survivors of the plan because later in the third session I think they found out that they can leave the island by u-boat. Of course they couldn’t because it was not there’s and belong to the clan of Benjamin Linus (Therefor you can exclude that they were never dead) also other characters that were on the main land came to the island when they were trying to take the island from the “others”. Not to forget when they went back on the main land people noted that they were alive! So no one should be able to say that they were dead. I mean would you actually think that all those on the main land are dead to?
    The show writers wanted to show the past of the characters and showed how they affected one another some point in their lives. After a few seasons they show that they get off the island but they were still there (island). Once the characters on the island caught up with the previous clips of the future the writer showed more of their past. The forth session showed how the ones that got off the island were in present time and the ones who stayed behind were in the past thirty years in the past.
    The fifth session the ones who left came back to the island some were stuck in the past and others in present time. They stuck it out until the end where they blew up the A-bomb so that they can try to reverse all that has happened such as the plane crashed on the island because of the pocket of magnetic force on the island.
    The final session shows that they blew up the pocket but were not sure if it worked or not. In reality it did not so whatever happened in the past happened and they could not change it. Therefore they were still stuck on the island. You may ask well how did I get that right? Well at the end of the show Kate said to Jack that she would wait to see him again and Jack noted to her that he was not going to make it back with them on the plane. Also the clips that they were showing through the whole session acted like nothing ever happened and they never meet and their lives were perfect, but in reality they were DEAD. Yes they were dead. You know how they say when you are dead everything is perfect? Yeah. So when they were finally coming across each other in limbo they started remembering all their memories from their lives when they were alive. Also did you ever see Casper? You know how in the end of the movie he finally remembers who he was? Well this is the same thing, it took an another to remember all their past memories because only with each other they can remember their past so they can move on to the afterlife.
    Also two last things. Remember Hugo and Benjamin stayed on the island? Well at the end Hugo said that he was a good number two for him on the island and apparently past their job to someone else. Kate told Jack that she waited for a long time to see him again meaning that he died long ago on the island while she lived and waited to see him again.
    There was one thing I could not put my finger on though and that was when they showed the island under water! So I figured that there sayings that water is a portal between life and death and figured that that’s what the writers were trying to say that that one clip showed that they were dead on the plane.

  30. Fernando Fernandez says:

    Oh also the baby and Walt lived their lives on the main land funny because they both grew up with the grandmothers.

  31. Can anyone explain how Desmond ended up in the sideways world when Widmore jolted him with electro magnetism? Because if everyone was dead in the sideways flash how was Desmond able to go there for a brief moment? And, who created the sideways world?

  32. Thom Hogan says:

    Casual observations:

    The table at the concert was #23 (Jack’s candidate number) which signifies to me that they were all there not so much for the concert but were waiting for

    Jack so they could move him towards enlightenment.

    The Apollo candy bar we have seen so many times in this show is at slot G23 in the vending machine. I imagine if we watch this show again from the

    beginning, we’ll see that it was always in this slot.

    In Season 5, when Juliet said, “it worked” just before dying, she was talking about getting the Apollo candy bar from the vending machine, not about the

    bomb resetting everything (very cool).

    ~~~~

    I struggled with three theories after seeing “The End” the first time:

    1) They all died in the September 22, 2004 plane crash
    2) They all died when Juliet detonated Jughead
    3) Each person died when we saw them die or they died in some future that was not shown

    After seeing “The End” a second time, it is clear that the writers opted for choice #3, which I’m told they had already decided upon after writing the

    pilot. However, I could easily sit down with an enlightened group and create an even greater ending that involves choice #1. I honestly believe that.

    Creating an ending with choice #1 would help me much more easily explain the numerous discrepancies and unanswered questions in Lost. One example would be

    the impossibility of how many times the numbers appeared, including the off-Island odometer reading on Hurley’s Camaro. However, I digress, and as I hear

    one of Lost’s key messages beckoning to me, I know I must let go and move on. . .

    Agree or disagree, because since the following opinion is my “choice,” my opinion is correct, as is yours:

    “The universe has a way of course-correcting” and the ultimate message of Lost, in my opinion, is that the Island is the extension of a higher being (God,

    Allah, Yahweh, Buddha, or whatever you choose to call it) who will continue to try to save all humans, no matter how flawed, until most humans are ready to

    have their souls take that one final journey to eternal contentment. The light on the Island embodies the collective souls of all who have moved on and is

    also the energy source that balances and sustains the light (each living person’s soul) of all who have yet to move on.

    “Why must there be a human presence on the Island?” Because the Island, for me, is an extension of God and God allows people free will and the ability to

    choose their destinies. Therefore, the Island allows humans to fight the battle with evil to protect the light because if that light goes out, all human

    souls moving forward will cease to exist and the world will be destroyed. Basically, God is allowing people to decide the destiny of the Earth and

    therefore, a human protector is required.

    Another key message of Lost is regarding fate vs. choice and although we repeatedly heard, “whatever happened, happened,” in the end we realized that many

    things can be changed; outcomes are not necessarily predestined. In Lost, redemption was a gift that was offered over and over and over again by the Island

    until the human spirit either evolved or became the possession of evil.

    As we all know, the Island is an eternal place that continuously balances the scales between good and evil. We were repeatedly reminded of this with the

    numerous black and white references throughout the show. The Island was real and ironically, Sideways World was not, so by association the Island under

    water in LA X was never real (which clears up one of my “issues”). Also, the repeated reopening of Jack’s neck wound, which was first seen in LA X, was a

    continuous reminder of Jack’s real life, with that wound actually inflicted by Smokey, presumably on or close to the day Jack died on the Island.

    Jacob was the protector of the light since approximately Jesus’ time and the writers were showing us that Jacob and the Island were the protectors of all

    human souls (just as Jesus is, based upon his ultimate sacrifice) and that the “protector” must be willing to sacrifice his life to save humanity. The

    Island really was a cork, holding back evil from destroying the world and it was Jacob’s job, as well as all the ones that came before him and all the ones

    that will come after him to keep that cork in place. Since Jacob could see his ultimate demise, he needed someone else (a candidate) to take over the role

    as the protector of the Island. Did you notice how Jack’s role mirrored the role of Jesus in the Bible? Did you notice the symbolism of Locke stabbing

    Jack which mirrors the spear wound that Jesus was given after his sacrifice and death? And also mirroring the Bible, Jack still needed to sacrifice himself

    to save humanity.

    An interesting note was that just outside the “Cave of Light,” while Jack was attaching the rope to Desmond, Desmond stated that none of this mattered –

    whether the Island was destroyed or Jack killed Smokey. Desmond believed that he would return to Sideways World when he was lowered into the light and he

    told Jack that he would try to find a way to bring Jack there, too. Even near the end, the Huminator still didn’t get it. Thank God Jack replied with,

    “All of this matters” and followed through with his mission because if the light went out and stayed out, none of the Losties (at least the ones in the

    church) would have moved on.

    Jack: You think you’re gonna destroy the Island
    Smokey: I think?
    Jack: That’s right, because that’s not what’s gonna happen
    Smokey: And what’s gonna happen, Jack?
    Jack: I’m gonna kill you
    Locke (incredulous): How do you plan to do that?
    Jack: It’s a surprise

    Man, was it ever! Brilliant! I loved that scene! It reminded me of the “do you know how badly I want to kill you right now” scene with MIB and Jacob only

    this scene was a direct threat and left us, as the viewers, thirsting for the outcome to that threat. Jack thought that Desmond was a weapon due to the

    Huminator’s resistance to electromagnetism (although I’m not quite sure what Jack expected would happen). Whatever Jack did expect did not happen.

    However, it was indirectly true that Desmond was a weapon because it appeared that uncorking the entrance to hell would have delivered a lethal dose of EM

    to anyone else except Desmond and after the cork was pulled, Smokey was basically human, and vulnerable. Let the steel cage match begin! I absolutely

    loved the confrontation between Jack and Smokey! That one shot of Jack up high on the cliff side, Locke down much lower at the ladder on the edge of the

    cliff, pouring rain all around with the ocean in the background, and my full knowledge that this was the final battle between good and evil made that shot,

    and the subsequent scenes, absolutely breathtaking.

    Note: For the amount of time that the cork was out, all souls on Earth were basically “extinguished” and I believe that given a bit more time, the entire

    Earth would have been destroyed. Also, did you notice the skeletons Desmond saw on the way to the cork and the light? Electromagnetism is a bitch!

    How about one of the final mysteries – how did Jack get out of the “Cave of Light?” I think the Island raised him from its depths because “the Island

    wasn’t done with him yet.” It wanted to show Jack that he did not die in vain, that not only did he save humanity, he also saved his comrades who he saw

    flying away from the Island in Ajira 316.

    I agonized over this tidbit: The people in the church at the end were Jack and Kate, Sawyer and Juliet, Jin and Sun, Desmond and Penny, Charlie and Claire,

    Hurley and Libby, Shannon and Sayid, Bernard and Rose, Christian, Boone, Locke, and baby Aaron. Does anyone see a problem with this picture? Christian

    told Jack, “The most important part of your life was spent with these people. That’s why all of them are here. Nobody does it alone. Jack.” Apparently

    what Christian meant to say was, “The most important part of your life was spent with these people and some have also brought along the people that meant

    the most to them.” One example of this would be Aaron, who couldn’t possibly have been one of the most important people to ALL those other people when so

    many others were not in the church. I have two theories on why we see Aaron as a baby in Sideways World: 1) The closing credits scene really was the

    crashed Ajira 316 and the Island did not let the plane leave. All died including Claire so her only memory of Aaron was when he was a baby. 2) Aaron, when

    he died, would have been much older and therefore, only existed in Claire’s imagination in Sideways World because it is assumed that Frank, Miles, Richard,

    Kate, Sawyer, and CLAIRE made it back safely on Ajira Airways 316 and therefore, Claire would have reunited with a much older Aaron. I believe that for

    Claire, the memory of baby Aaron is perhaps what she chose to cling to in Purgatory.

    The writers screwed up a bit with Christian stating, “Well this is the place that you all made together so you could find one another.” That was a bit of

    loose writing. There is one Purgatory, and after all those in the church left, others that had been on the Island still remained in Sideways World and all

    people for eternity will continue to end up there. The Losties did not create Sideways World but they did create their experiences within it. Perhaps that

    is what Christian meant to say. Make no mistake – every person in Sideways World that was alive in the real world is now dead – EVERYBODY. Therefore, ALL

    the people on Oceanic 815 (as well as anyone else that we saw on the Island in six seasons) are now dead. Some are stuck as Whisperers on the Island

    (Michael comes to mind), anyone who died in Sideways World went to hell (anyone that could not redeem themselves, such as Keamy), and most of the rest have

    either moved on or are still hanging out in Sideways World, either aware they are dead or unaware. Ben was aware that he is dead but chose to stay in SW

    until he is ready to move on. Ana Lucia doesn’t yet know that she is dead but eventually someone will come along to enlighten her and she, too, will move

    on when she is ready. Charlie became aware (thankfully) because he wasn’t doing so well. I think Charlie, however, got a free pass due to his sacrifice

    for the others. The only group of people in Sideways World that are NOT dead are people like David Shephard and perhaps the many other “props” we saw,

    because they never actually existed anywhere except in the imagination of the unenlightened people in Sideways World. I think Jack “created” David and

    forged him into the son that Jack could never be – forgiving. This was all part of Jack’s redemption phase. And so it goes in the world of “Sideways,”

    where people are able to add things to their “deaths” that were never true in their real lives. I think that Eloise Hawking is the “curator” of the

    Sideways World and perhaps she stays there for eternity, enlightening one person (if necessary) who can then in turn enlighten an entire “soul cluster.”

    Note: I found the term “soul cluster” on the Internet and found it perfect to describe these “groups.” Anyway, also note that Eloise Hawking shut down

    Daniel’s piano talent in the real world and pushed him into physics in the hope that he could alter time and prevent her from killing him. In Sideways

    World, Daniel became what he was always destined to become – a master pianist – and Eloise gets to spend time with him so she wants him to stay there and

    not move on. Eloise asked Desmond if he was going to take her son to which Desmond replied, “Not with me, no” implying that there will always be someone to

    enlighten the people in the Sideways Matrix. Note that it appeared that whatever anyone added to their SW life had to be along some path they were heading

    in their real life or perhaps wished to head in their real life. Ultimately, whenever a person is ready, they move on. In Jack’s case, he needed to be

    kicked off his pink cloud (by Locke and Kate) to eventually accept that it was time to move on and finally, in the end, Jack was complete and fulfilled.

    Note: When Jack walked in the back door of the church, he walked through one room to get to another where the coffin was. I noticed symbols for at least 5

    religions – Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity. I imagine there are several more but these are the ones I recognized. They are all over

    the rooms – watch it again! I believe this was the writers’ way of saying that no matter what religion you are, you will end up in a place similar to this

    before you move on.

    I think it’s safe to say that by the time they all met in the church, it was well into the future. Why do I say that? For now, put aside the thought that

    time has no meaning in Sideways World. As Christian stated, “There is no now, here.” Hurley became the new protector of the Island and there was no Smoke

    Monster anymore so there was no immediate threat to Hurley (or Ben). Hurley became just like Jack (and Jacob) which means he would not age. He was given

    the same powers as Jacob (and Jack) so he most definitely passed along the non-aging gift to Ben (much like Jacob did for Richard). I think it’s safe to

    assume that Hurley and Ben were on the Island for a long, long time, overseeing the “balance” of good and evil and eventually, they both died with one or

    the other passing the torch to the new Island protector. And yet, they were both in Sideways World so they eventually died, and Hurley moved on. As

    Christian stated, “Some of them died before you, some of them long after you. I would say that the “long after you” part refers to Hurley and Ben. Also,

    as Christian stated, “Everyone dies sometime, kiddo.” The only two people in (and just outside) the church that could have lived longer than the average

    human life (and most likely did) were Hurley and Ben and therefore, that is why I stated that they are ALL dead; everyone that we ever saw in the show.

    Did I find numerous issues with Lost? You bet I did. Did the writers string us along in Season 6 and throw many meaningless plots at us? Absolutely. But

    in the end, after all the cerebral gymnastics that I engaged in throughout this show, only to be left with many unanswered questions, I decided to suspend

    my disbelief and “critical eye” and accept, let go, and move on because frankly, the finale in and of itself was mesmerizing. The acceptance phase for me

    was the realization that the writers, too, are flawed, as are all of us, and although Lost was never perfect, many, many, many sequences were. The

    character development and acting was some of the best I have ever seen and the connection that I formed with these characters will never be forgotten. The

    gratification phase for me came throughout the finale, with the writers skillfully reminding me of my deep-rooted emotional investment in these characters.

    What an inspiring thought, that perhaps we will all end up in a rest area where we, too, will find the people that mattered most to us in life and then move

    on together on a highway into the unknown. All moments in time, since the ability to harness the “light” via the turning of the Donkey Wheel, were (and

    still are) accessible from the Island. And what exactly is that light source? When Christian opened the back doors to the church, the “light” permeated

    the room and at that moment, I believe that all the souls of the people in the church were absorbed into the Island “light” and all those “people” moved on

    to heaven.

    The final scene with Jack was one of the best I have ever experienced. They brought us right back to the beginning, and even threw in the sneaker hanging

    from a tree in the bamboo forest which is the same sneaker in the pilot in the very first scene of Lost. “Live together, die alone” was not the message at

    all and they showed us that by brilliantly inserting Vincent into the final scene so Jack had company when he passed on. The eye closing was simple and yet

    absolutely brilliant and so emotionally gratifying – who could possibly think of a better final scene?

    It’s been a fun ride and I want to thank all of you for experiencing it with me. Lost – you will be missed. But I know the Island lives on and someone is

    there even now, protecting all of us from the forces of evil.

    See you in another life, brothers (and sisters). . . .

    thomhogan@comcast.net

  33. I wasn’t able to watch the finale until last night and am pleased to see that I am not the only one so impacted. I absolutely loved the ending. Which is not to say that I thought it was perfect, but just that I have to ask myself what better ending could there have been? I am appreciative of Thom’s comments as they pretty much sum up my take on the finale and my feelings about what happened and why. I was content to not have answers to many of the mysteries of the island (I think in a way, such is life, yes? We are not ever going to know all the answers or why we are here) and, of course, there were some mysteries that were not resolved in ways that were altogether satisfying to me. I found Desmond’s narrative this season to be disjointed and confusing. I will have to go back and watch all of Season 6 again to see whether I can reconcile anything. I also thought there were some omissions (as a plot device, I see why Sayid found Shannon in the end and I even liked that he did, but I still was thinking, um, what about Nadia?) but overall I thought the episode got to the real point, to the real heart of the show. I loved it. I loved the show fiercely. I will miss it more than any other show on television and am grateful to all the writers, producers, actors and fans for making it what it was.

  34. How the heck did Richard of some 200 years earlier figure into Jack’s life ? The producers went out of their way a while back to tell us that this was not an after life issue. Not purgatory, etc. I think they winged it at the end. Polar Bears ? Really ?

  35. I have read elsewhere (though cannot confirm) that the footage of the plane in the credits at the end was added by ABC as a tribute to the show & its history, and was not part of the official program made by the producers.

    So for the theories relating to the plane footage as meaning either a) they were dead all along, or b) the plane leaving right at the end crashed as well – I don’t think this is applicable

  36. i didn’t like “THE END” it sucked i hated the alternate lives. How did Jack have a son? I’m so disappointed. It really ruined the whole entire series. i feel like i wasted so much of my life caring about this dumbass show.

  37. I think it’s kind of strange because at the end where they showed the plane with no survivors, where were were all the dead bodies if they died in the crash?

  38. It was wierd that everyone died on the island because I thought the island was hell and the real world was heaven. Best shown I’ve ever seen!

  39. I loved the show…i love what they did…in my opinion everything worth answering was answered and the show left me more than satisfied…my favorite was the “It worked” quote refferring to the vending machine not the bomb….all questions were answered to my liking besides the whole number thing. Yes the numbers correspond to all the candidates…but what gave the numbers power, why were they written on the hatch, why were they spoken over the radio broadcast, why did they win the lottery, where did the numbers power come from? any answers/theories?

  40. The Charlotte character still has me confused: Charlotte had a miraculous understanding of any language required. Charlotte died while time-traveling to the period when the huge statue was still intact. My thought was that Charlotte had been taken under the wing of Jacob at that point, brought back to life, and lived thousands of years, acquiring all knowledge, until she came back to the island in the 2000′s. I kept waiting for her to show up again as a more influential character, but it never happened.

  41. They were all alive on the island, they died…easy, why complicate it?…

    Supposedly, when you die you go to heaven (paradise, the astral, the afterlife, whatever) and you create your own reality…they created it so as to get together again (according to Christian Shepard (curious name, huh?))…they created it to remember their life on earth because when you die and go to the astral you forget your previous life in a human body, so they had to create all those intersecting lives to get together again.

    Obviously the creators of the show meant it to be spiritual…as in, reincarnation, karma, astral and all the stuff in that particular school of thought.

    The Law of Karma, according to some teachings (mostly New Age or Gnostic, in New Age it’s something positive in Gnostic it is evil, but anyway it is the same principle) states that:
    In every life on the 3d plane or on the astral plane, you meet the same people again & again & again…you go in circles…people you loved or hated, people you were friend or enemies with…you meet them all again, in different bodies and different circumstances, but you meet the same souls nonetheless…or so some say, and so the creators of the show believed.

    I believe the creators were on the Gnostic side though not the New Age side, hence all the duality and “Light Vs. Darkness” themes along the whole series especially the last season.
    It’s all over the whole series since the beginning. People who are aware of such beliefs would have seen so clearly what the whole series was about since the first couple of seasons.

    I can see the show also is (more or less) influenced by Stephen King’s books, The Dark Tower…not to a great degree obviously…but they have lots of common themes and “between the lines” kinda messages.

    Anyway, that’s what it seems like to me…but it obviously is open to interpretation and could work many ways, which is what most art should be, like any Bob Dylan song or any abstract painting.

    Art that are made to intelligent people who are willing to interpret and read between the lines, to search for the question themselves, instead of being fed all the answers with a spoon…art is the doorway to make someone think, not give them answers, and say that’s that.

    Well, whether you believe it or not is irrelevant because that’s what the creators of the show believed anyway in my humble opinion..they lean towards spirituality over of science (stating the obvious lol).

    That’s what I understood anyway, I might be wrong (probably am)…but it ties all the loose ends to me anyway, and makes perfect sense to what went on in the whole show as well as the finale.

    In my opinion, they also had to make the ending a bit loose and vague and a little obscure to accommodate the numerous number of fans, they all had different beliefs and different understandings and opinions, so they left it open to interpretation, to be able to accommodate people with different beliefs, and quite obvious to people who have the same beliefs that they actually meant…at any rate, the moral is obviously the same to anyone, spirituality over science.

    That’s my opinion, which is, more than just likely, wrong lol

  42. people,the writers CLEARLY said that the island was NOT purgatory.they explained this before the last season even began,so stop debating it.and why is it so hard for you guys to understand that some things are better left up to individual interpretation rather than having a straight up answer.also,the writers didnt have time to explain everything.if they had tried to the show would never end b/c each answer they could have given would have created many more questions.
    i really dont understand what is so confusing about the end,i thought christian did a wonderful job explaining everything

  43. i am so sad that jack had to die i mean he is like the mane charecter in the hole move.
    but THE END was great.

    STILL THE BEST SHOW EVER.

  44. What about one of the extras on the dvd,ben goes to a wear house and tells the workers there to finish up what there doing and leave,what was that all about..??

  45. Are you kidding me? They all died in the plane crash during the pilot episode. The flash sideways world was a version of heaven. That’s why the Island was “under” it in the water. The whole series was about the characters’ individual and entertaining process of finding peace and moving on.

    I don’t care what the writers are _telling_ people. You had a character on the island yelling at everyone, “I HAVE A BIG SECRET: WE ARE ALL DEAD!” Not nearly as subtle as the scene in the Matrix where Neo (“the One”) is stuck at the Mobil (hmm…LIMBO) subway station.

  46. Ok, So I just finished watching the last season of LOST. I watched the first two, and I was hooked. So, I went out and got all the seasons. Finishing well over 100 episodes in 2 months * yes, I have no life*. The end was a bit confusing, but I really enjoyed it. Looks like they all ended up in “Heaven” in some aspect.

  47. My name is Jack says:

    They made millions of dollars producing a show which was mediocre. It’s not hard telling stories which ask questions. It is a lot harder to answer questions. I’m sure the producers laughed their way at the bank. its sad to see people want to explain the show because they spilled several weeks of their lives on this crap!

  48. Here’ s how I like to see it:

    1) All of the characters will all dead well before they ever boarded that first flight.
    * The show had flash backs showing tramatic injuries for every main character, yet they all survived…I think they all really died. Charlie of an overdose, Michael when he got hit by the car, Kate when she escaped and got her friend killed, Rose of cancer, James/Sawyer when he was there and his dad shot his mom, Clair when she got in the bad car accident.

    They all created fake and imaginary lives for themselves after their actual deaths so that they’re souls could grow and be complete. So Sawyer never grew up to be an adult, ever. His first try at life he developed an alter ego of being Sawyer and the island gave him the chance to recitify his path and find true enlightenment. Jack was selfish and unforgiving and the island gave him the chance to be “good enough” and help. Charlie got to love Claire and himself, Claire’s do-over had her becoming a good girl and a mother, same for Kate. When Kate married that straight edged cop in the parallel life (that looked a lot like the friend she killed) she was really playing out what her soul thought would bring her happiness, and it in turn was not her true path…she wasn’t her evolved self until the island path of life was lived.

    The island, the cross over lives, really everything we saw them experience after their real earthly deaths, all of it were figments of each others’ imaginations and they all finally were aware of their deaths and crossed over together at the end. Explains why they all crossed eachothers’ paths randomly throughout all versions of their lives…they were all part of a soul cluster meant to cross into death together (God’s way of providing comfort during the final death journey to heaven). Christian’s reference to when each of them died in time was referring to them acheiving their true, “let go” selves.

  49. All I know is I watched every episode in a 2 week span on Netflix for continuity for the first and only time and the ending was just a disappointment. I COULD WRITE A STORY WITH ALL KINDS OF TWISTS AND TURNS IF I KNEW I NEVER HAD TO PROVIDE AN EXPLANATION. IT HAD ME INTRIGUED BUT THE ENDING WAS JUST A LAME COP-OUT BECAUSE THERE WAS NO EXPLANATION FOR WHAT THEY PRESENTED!

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