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LOST Finale explanation – What does it all mean?

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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

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San Diego resident for over 10 years, I now call this beautiful city home. Originally from the Bay Area, I'm a California girl at heart. I love the outdoors, fitness, food, and a good craft beer (from San Diego of course).

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